Top Shelf Productions


it's not too late!!

April 3, 2008

The April issue of Diamond Previews came out last week, and i wanted to point out a few cool books i'll be picking up. There's no Marvel or DC here, but that doesn't mean i won't be picking some spandex books up — just that they don't need a fraction as much support as these folks do. So pester your local retailer to order these for you, and one (at least) for the rack. If they won't budge, then go strait to the source.

Page 202: Kyle Baker's Nat Turner, by (of course) Kyle Baker. (The publisher is Abrams, i think.) One of the few cartoonists who seems to have a magic touch... i can't think of a single book he's done in a decade that i didn't love. One of the most effective storytellers in comics, his work is not to be missed.

Page 203: Superior Showcase #3, from AdHouse Books. Featuring new work by Jim Rugg (and supposedly his writing partner Brian Maruca, who i think is Jim's alter-ego), Dustin Harbin, and Laura Park. Project Superior is an ideal salve for the conflicted "indy" comics fans who can't let go of their lifelong super-hero proclivities.

Page 232: Freddie & Me, by Mike Dawson. Published by Bloomsbury. I've been witness to this book in progress for years, and i'm chompin' at the bit to read it in its entirety. Mike can draw like a mo-fo, and it's great to see him realize his first full-length graphic novel, after years of paying his dues with numerous mini-comics and unfinished comics.

Page 287: A Fantagraphics Feast! Man of Rock: The Biography of Joe Kubert, by Bill Schelly. The Troublemakers, a new hardcover graphic novel by Gilbert Hernandez. And Uptight #3, by Jordan Crane. For dessert, the Comics Journal #291, featuring an interview with Tim Sale. Even though they have a pretty crappy website, they're still the most important publisher in comics. (Don't tell Staros i said that though...)

Page 291: Drawing Words & Writing Pictures, by Jessica Able and Matt Madden. Published by First Second. A treatise on the form, by two of our medium's foremost formalists, published by one of the shining new stars in the industry's firmament. You can't lose!

Page 304: Scorchy Smith, by Noel Sickles, published by iDW. Editor Dean Mullaney continues his epic fucking cool series of classic reprints with the MUCH anticipated collection of the complete Sickles strip Scorchy Smith, as well as a plethora of dvd-style extras. Whoo hoo... can't wait to this puppy in my hands.

• THIS WEEKEND!! The 24-Comic Challenge!

Here's a photo set from an old challenge at Chelsea's pad.

Here are David's storyboards for the short promo made for the event this weekend.

And here's the video up on YouTube.

• Finished reading Mark Evanier's coffee table monograph of the magnificent Jack Kirby, appropriately titled KIRBY: King of Comics! As one of the world's leading Kirby biographers and personal friend of The King, it reads fine, and is accompanied by loads of great oversized art, all wrapped up with quite tasty book design. I will admit however, i was expecting a meatier history of the man. I thought for sure i'd be reading an in-depth biography, containing many gems about Kirby's life i've never heard before. Alas, there's absolutely nothing here that i haven't read in Comic Book Artist, the Comics Journal, the Kirby Collector, or any number of various magazine articles and/or interviews.

That said, it's still a kick-ass tome, and i highly recommend it. Worthy of any Kirby junky, but particularly useful too for neophytes to the Kirby phenomenon.