Top Shelf Productions


bill moyers

July 14, 2007

is a total stud. I just watched tonight's episode of Bill Moyer's Journal on PBS, and it was an inspiration. At issue, "Tough Talk on Impeachment." Guests were Bruce Fein, a nationally and internationally recognized expert on Constitutional law, and John Nichols, author and political journalist who's been writing the "Online Beat" for The Nation magazine since 1999.

Consider, a host of attacks on the very constitution itself, from executive privilege and signing statements to extraordinary rendition, from the Plame leak to the suspension of Habeas Corpus and unwarranted SPYING on U.S citizens!!

THINK about just this short list of transgressions (and there are many MANY more), and the implications they hold. By Bush's self-proclaimed rule, he could, for reasons of his own, label YOU an enemy combatant, kidnap you from your home, spirit you away with a hood over your head to an unknown secret location on the other side of the globe, with no communication to or from anyone else … let alone a lawyer … and then set about torturing you.

THIS is constitutional? What gives? Or how about Bush's recent commutation of Scooter Libby followed by his subsequent order to Harriet Myers to spurn congress and NOT respond to a congressional subpoena, because he declares the authority not to? Our Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves. Hello, impeachment!

I worry about what kind of neo-fascist state my almost 3-year old kid might grown up in, if this behavior doesn't change... it truly frightens me. John Nichols said it well, when comparing the people of the U.S. to those of the Roman Empire and its state of mind which led to its collapse, by pointing out the difference between those who CHOOSE to live like good little subjects, not paying attention to the matters of state, letting themselves be entertained to death, with those who choose to live with a strong sense of civic duty, and demand responsibility of their elected leaders. Man, what's going on right now burns me so much! Too bad the corporate owned media refuse to fulfill their obligation as the Fourth Estate, and to hold our leaders accountable for their actions in the press, else more citizens might be as peeved as i am.

It's been at least a few months since i last wrote to my Congressman and my Senators... tonight's the night, baby!

It's been i think over a year, when the Republican-controlled Congress fuc*ed over PBS and Bill Moyer's brilliant program called NOW was cut in half, since he left the show itself and the spotlight, seemingly dispirited. Well Bill is back, and it's a better world for it. Check out the weblink for this particular episode and educate yourself. Then call or write your congressional leaders and demand action, that they uphold their duty and protect our laws and Constitution from a derelict Executive branch, as they were sworn into office to do.

• O.k., now that i'm down from the soapbox, here's some not so uplifting news making the rounds on the blogosphere... Comics are broken! No, comics aren't broken at all … the BUSINESS of comics is broken. This is the sentiment with the recent announcement that Cold Cut Distributors are selling their company. This does indeed suck. I've known and worked with Mark Thompson for over a decade. He will be missed.

And, like Slave Labor publisher Dan Vado (as read on The Comics Reporter), i have to admit to being somewhat cynical about all the hoopla and hype that the new graphic novel model in the book trade, coupled with a "healthier" direct market are indicators of stability across the board. When in fact my experience would seem to indicate that the glut of Marvel and DC titles currently flooding the market, as well as an overabundance of weak comics everywhere else has created a situation where it's really very difficult to get much support from the retail community for indy comics, except for only the biggest A-List books in a given season. (And certainly not entirely via the fault of the retailers themselves, what with non-returnable sales [in the direct market] understandably inhibiting a willingness to take risks on new titles, creators, or publishers.)

Granted, there are more excellent comics coming out now than maybe in the history of the medium, at least in North America. But with so many hundreds of books in print, the ratio against the good stuff is by orders or magnitude.

Yeah, a precarious state we find ourselves in. I wish there were some answers. Clearly there needs to be more efficient methods of both retail and distribution. I love what i do, so i want a healthy marketplace. And God only knows, i'm NOT a believer in comics' sole future domain being online. I want to hold a book in my hands, feeling its pulpy goodness, the smell of ink on my fingers. And those are the kind of books i want to publish.

Dean Haspiel has a new website dedicated to none other than his alter-ego, the beatnik super-hero Billy Dogma!



Tonight was the Super Secret Spy Art Exhibit at Subterranean Books. Wish i could have been there.

Matt Kindt’s newest art show ENIGMA MACHINE opened tonight … and was also a book release party to celebrate the release of his new book Super Spy. The show will run through September 9th.

Here’s what early reviews of Super Spy are saying:

“ of the best comics I’ve read.”

“...invokes the feelings after reading Speigelman’s MAUS.”

“These spy stories are filled with pathos and longing -- Amelié meets Alfred Hitchcock in comics form. It transcends traditional spy fiction.”

• I've got a bunch of nifty books i want to mention, but i'd rather get even this short update uploaded. So stay tuned for some really cool books.