June 6, 2010 / More →
Douglas Wolk is among the most successful comic critics in the country -- not only in appreciating great work but in communicating that appreciation to the widest of mainstream audiences. This weekend we're delighted to see that he's written on Kathryn & Stuart Immonen's new book Moving Pictures, as part of a graphic-novel roundup in the New York Times Sunday Book Review.
"Most of the story seems less drawn than peeled and chiseled away from absolute visual and moral darkness." Moving Pictures, he concludes, "suggests how art can be a lifeline to meaning at a moment when nothing seems possible but betrayal."
Wolk's write-up in the Times continues a growing mass of critical acclaim for the book, including starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly.
For more information or to order Moving Pictures (which is hot off the press and in stores nationwide), click below!
June 2, 2010 / More →
Comic Book Resources has a great new interview up with Daren White and Eddie Campbell, creators of the upcoming dry romantic comedy, The Playwright! Learn about the origins of the book (it began as a serial in Daren's anthology magazine DeeVee) and the watercolor magic that Eddie worked to create the gorgeous final product -- while never interfering with the elegant beauty of Daren's prose script. Click here to read the whole interview.
The Playwright debuts this weekend (along with BB Wolf and the 3 LPs) at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC -- so we'll see you there!
May 26, 2010 / More →
"A lot of couples who are together for a long time finish each other’s sentences... We just also happen to finish each other’s comics."
Dave Howard over at Torontoist just posted a charming and insightful interview with one of comics' great creative couples, Kathryn & Stuart Immonen. It's full of great thoughts and anecdotes about the just-released Moving Pictures, Kathryn & Stuart's amazing interpersonal drama set in a world of art smuggling and Nazi occupation.
Check out the interview here and grab your copy of Moving Pictures below!
May 25, 2010 / More →
The 2010 Bristol International Comic Expo wrapped up recently, and among the most exciting news to come out of the show are the nominees for the 2010 Eagle Awards! The Eagles, set up in 1976, focus on British and American comics but reflect fan votes from all over the world. Take a moment and add your vote!
We're proud to see the following members of the Top Shelf family honored with nominations:
Congratulations to all the nominees, and don't forget to vote (yes, you)!
May 21, 2010 / More →
If you can get cultural institutions as far apart as MTV and NPR to agree on something, it seems fair to say you've got something special on your hands. And they're both raving about The Top Shelf Swedish Invasion!
Recently the NPR home page sported this enthusiastic review by Glen Weldon of Kolbeinn Karlsson's The Troll King, by far the most wild and creative of our Swedish Invasion graphic novels. In Weldon's opinion, the book "throbs with a sort of primal, allusive, pre-verbal power," which makes it "uncannily beautiful yet defiantly unpretty." Despite the diversity of different segments that make up The Troll King, Kolbeinn's passion and creativity make the whole thing feel unified, he argues. "Karlsson's ability to tap into the mysterious and willful emotional logic of dreams ensures that everything about The Troll King feels at once unexpected and inevitable."
And now MTV's Rick Marshall follows that with a fond look at all four graphic novels in the Swedish Invasion! He has especially high praise for The 120 Days of Simon by Simon Gärdenfors, whose cartoony art is "a perfect fit for the story, taking the edge off some stories and making the whole thing seem more like a crazy adventure and less like a confessional." He also particularly liked Mats Jonsson's Hey Princess, "a great coming-of-age story that should resonate with any indie-minded readers familiar with mid-'90s culture."
Find out more about the whole wave of Swedish goodness below.
May 17, 2010 / More →
The praise continues to roll in for our upcoming book Ax (vol 1): A Collection of Alternative Manga!
Deb Aoki, the official manga guide over at About.com, got an early look and declares: "Ax goes out on a limb where most manga creators dare not go, with an undeniable energy that crackles from almost every page... it will blow your mind."
Meanwhile David Brothers at Comics Alliance has just posted his thoughts, emphasizing the vast diversity on display in the book: "Within Ax's four hundred pages are over thirty stories that explode everything you might have thought about what manga is."
Ax is currently available for pre-order below or in your local comic shop, for a July release. Don't miss it!
May 16, 2010 / More →
As graphic novels continue to find new readers, bookstores and libraries continue to launch new graphic novel collections, and they often need guidance on where to start -- which is where sites like Graphic Novel Reporter come in. They just published a "core list" of graphic novel recommendations broken down into 10 must-haves, 25 next steps, and 100 more solid picks.
Top Shelf is well represented, of course -- Craig Thompson's Blankets is one of the 10 essentials, and the following 25 include Jeff Lemire's Essex County and Kevin Cannon's Far Arden. Other picks on the GNR list include Alec: The Years Have Pants by Eddie Campbell, From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill, Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie, both Surrogates graphic novels by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele, and Too Cool to Be Forgotten by Alex Robinson! Whew!
Of course, we'd argue for the inclusion of a few more -- at a minimum, to leave out indie superstars Jeffrey Brown and James Kochalka seems strange, and Nate Powell's Eisner-winning Swallow Me Whole is a must -- but in general it's a solid list, filled with great books. A great place to start for casual fans and newcomers, as well as institutional buyers.
May 12, 2010 / More →
The good folks over at Time's Techland blog have posted an exclusive preview of one of the brilliant interrogation scenes from Moving Pictures, the brand-new graphic novel from Kathryn & Stuart Immonen which debuted at TCAF last weekend.
In this scene, curator Ila Gardner and Nazi officer Rolf Hauptmann exchange some tense words about the unbearable situations they've been forced into, in a dialogue thick with multiple meanings. It's a powerful experience to watch these two passionate figures struggle against the dehumanizing effects of 20th-century war, in very different ways. Check out the preview here, and click below for more details on Moving Pictures, coming soon to a store near you!
May 11, 2010 / More →
Scott Green, the anime/manga master over at nerd superblog Ain't It Cool News, is pretty excited about our upcoming release of Ax: A Collection of Alternative Manga. How excited? Well, his latest column is a 6,000-word preview-review of the book, with analyses of every artist, every story, all wrapped up in a fast-paced tour of the history of Japanese comics! You gotta check it out.
His opinion? "Top Shelf's release of Ax is a giant leap forward for manga available in English... I got chills reading it."
Hey, it's only natural to feel a few shivers when you're riding the cutting edge! Slice off your piece of the future -- pre-order Ax today!
May 6, 2010 / More →
Ontario, you're in luck! Not only are you home to rising superstar Jeff Lemire and the setting for his award-winning opus Essex County, you're also the home of the fantastically talented Kathryn & Stuart Immonen, and for the debut of their graphic novel Moving Pictures this weekend at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF)!
Come by the Top Shelf booth both Saturday and Sunday to:
- meet Kathryn & Stuart Immonen and smuggle out a brand-new copy of Moving Pictures, hot off the presses and ready to blow minds!
- congratulate Jeff Lemire on the release of the first Sweet Tooth book, and get him to sign your Essex County!
- get your super secret mission briefing from Matt Kindt and snag his latest, Super Spy (vol. 2): The Lost Dossiers!
We'll see you there, Toronto!
May 5, 2010 / More →
The Swedish Invasion continues to sweep across the internet!
First, Whitney Matheson of USA Today called out Hey Princess on her beloved Pop Candy blog, declaring Mats Jonsson "the Swedish Jeffrey Brown: very confessional and upfront about his everyday (and sexual) misadventures. Funny, relatable, honest. What's not to love?"
Then, Mark Frauenfelder reviewed The 120 Days of Simon at Boing Boing, calling it "incredibly entertaining" (and triggering a comment-thread controversy about Simon's sketchier exploits!).
If you haven't checked out these amazing autobiographies yet, now's the time!
April 26, 2010 / More →
Jeffrey Brown is crossing the border! In celebration of his new graphic novel Undeleted Scenes, Jeffrey will be appearing at Toronto's North York Central Library tonight (April 26) to discuss "the unique challenges of creating soul-bearing autobiography in comics, his development as a cartoonist and storyteller, and blurring the line between fact and fiction." The event is totally FREE and open to the public, so check it out!
It's all part of the city-wide buildup to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF), May 8-9, which should be a blast. See you there, Toronto!
April 23, 2010 / More →
You probably know that Portland, Oregon is a hotbed of comic-book activity -- but did you know that two years in a row, the mayor has officially declared April to be Comics Month in Portland?
Well, the pinnacle of that month is upon us, with the annual Stumptown Comics Fest hitting Portland this weekend! Top Shelf will be there in style, of course, with Portland-based crew Brett Warnock and Leigh Walton supporting a crew of great cartoonists including Brett Weldele (The Surrogates), Bwana Spoons (Welcome to Forest Island), Liz Prince (Delayed Replays, Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed?) at her own booth, and Craig Thompson (Blankets) as a featured guest of the show!
Stumptown is renowned as one of the friendliest of all comic shows, so come on out and say hello!
April 22, 2010 / More →
Jeffrey Brown's hilarious robot spoof Incredible Change-Bots has plenty of fans -- most recently, Rick Marshall at MTV's Splash Page, who just posted an "Adapt This!" column arguing for an animated series starring those bumbling 'bots. "Incredible Change-Bots manages to find the perfect balance between nostalgia and self-aware fun," he writes. So, will we ever Balls the golf cart brought to life on screen? Only time will tell, but in the meantime check out this awesome animated short, and stay tuned for the Change-Bots sequel coming in November!
Meanwhile, Comic Book Resources celebrates the release of Matt Kindt's Super Spy (vol. 2): The Lost Dossiers by interviewing the man himself! Click here to read his thoughts on The Lost Dossiers ("a giant spy activity book for adults"), book design ("I'm a firm believer in the medium being the message"), and more... including his plan to conquer every comics publisher in the industry! Hey, we're happy to share him -- there's plenty of Kindt quality to go around!
April 20, 2010 / More →
Manga scholar Ryan Holmberg has been a big help with our upcoming book Ax: A Collection of Alternative Manga -- he wrote the artist biographies printed in the back of the book. He's also the curator of an excellent new exhibit at New York's Center for Book Arts, called "Garo Manga: The First Decade, 1964-1973," showcasing the early years of legendary underground magazine Garo (an ancestor of Ax)!
The exhibit runs through June 26, but tomorrow night (Wednesday, April 21) Ryan is holding an artist talk with contemporary underground manga-ka Akino Kondoh! Ms. Kondoh is internationally known as a gallery artist, illustrator, and animator, but she'll also be prominently featured in our Ax book -- contributing two stories and the gorgeous cover!
Anybody in the New York area should check this out, 6:30pm at the Center for Book Arts. And stay tuned for more details on Ax, coming to you this summer!