Top Shelf Productions

American Elf (Book 1)

American Elf (Book 1)

by James Kochalka

ISBN 978-1-891830-49-5

$29.95 (US)

Winner of the Ignatz Award for both Outstanding Series and Outstanding Online Comic.

"Absolutely impossible to encapsulate into a single review, Kochalka’s eminently likeable SKETCHBOOK DIARIES are a singular experience in the world of comics ... Comics’ foremost optimist, Kochalka really distinguishes himself from his fellow cartoonists not only through deceptively simple and wonderful art, but also with a goofy, vulnerable cheerfulness. In a medium where many creators find life unbearably and predictably painful, he finds the extraordinary in the ordinary." -- 4-Color Review

"By focusing on the tiniest moments -- a second gazing at the moon, a thought over breakfast -- readers come to know what truly goes on inside the author's head." -- Whitney Matheson, USA Today

"James Kochalka is my autobiographical idol." -- Alison Bechdel (creator of Dykes to Watch Out For and Fun Home)

"James Kochalka draws beautiful music." -- Nicholas Gurewitch (creator of The Perry Bible Fellowship)


(October 26, 1998 to December 31, 2003)

Kochalka's diaries have utterly redefined the daily comic strip. His attempt to document the minutia of his life results in work that explores the full spectrum of human emotions. Drawn with verve and confidence by a cartoonist at the height of his powers, it is ambitious, hilarious, moving, and quite addictive! This astounding book follows the ups and downs of Kochalka's life through 5 full years of the strip, plus also includes 32 full color pages of supplementary comics and other artwork. Quite simply, this is Kochalka's masterpiece. -- 520 pages, Diamond: MAY042960


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