Top Shelf Productions


An army of critics agree: Nate Powell's ANY EMPIRE is stunning!

September 27, 2011

Image for An army of critics agree: Nate Powell's ANY EMPIRE is stunning!

As our huge new releases percolate out into the world, critical reviews continue to roll in -- and readers of all kinds are reporting that Nate Powell's Any Empire is blowing their minds!

Of course, after Nate's Eisner Award victory for Swallow Me Whole, expectations were high... but take a look at these responses:

"The most prodigiously talented graphic novelist of his [generation] ... Powell's exceptional visual-storytelling gift transforms a potentially obvious antiwar parable into a ravishingly beautiful, emotionally resonant, thoughtful, and provocative work of art." -- Booklist (starred review)

"Any Empire by Nate Powell is everything a graphic novel should be, and few are. Spare, to the point dialog, fluid and effortless visual storytelling devoid of pretensions, and a story with characters that stick with you. I very rarely read graphic novels because I usually can't get past the first few pages. but Any Empire drew me in from the start and didn't let up." -- Larry Hama, author of GI Joe comics since 1982

"Nate Powell's new graphic novel is a heartbreaker--a gently paced, not-particularly-realism-bound story about how kids' fantasy lives (and the cheap entertainment that fuels them) can shape their real lives, and ultimately ruin them. Great stuff." -- Douglas Wolk, ComicsAlliance

"At times poignant, at at others surreal, Any Empire is an engaging, never preachy work about childhood, centering on those secret currents that define our youthful rivalries and the games we play." -- MTV Geek

"Powell's understanding of the way his characters live -- constantly feeling a little insecure about their position among their own peer group -- and his ability to convey their daydreams work together to express a truth about a world where violence erupts organically from a culture of macho gamesmanship and cheap plastic guns." -- Noel Murray, The AV Club

"It's a book not so much about children, but about adults trying to figure out how they ended up they way they did and where it all began: the culmination of things that meant the most in a time when we felt things deepest, the effects of story on malleable minds." -- Hayley Campbell, The Comics Journal

"We've all experienced the world's endless cycle of innocence shattered, and Powell renders it all in lovely chiaroscuro... he crafts memorable and heartfelt characters that linger in the mind and scar the heart." -- Under the Radar

[The praise continues! Click below for more!]

"Like in his award-winning Swallow Me Whole, Nate Powell appears to deliver a naturalistic portrayal of young lives but the strange and symbolic, the interior lives, are never far away and seep between and within the panels... With Any Empire, he crafts a surprising, affecting, troubling graphic novel that haunts the mind." -- Paul Gravett, author of Graphic Novels: Stories to Change Your Life

"A complex knot of a book... Powell embeds his drawings with stunning narrative precision... A frictionless read that is pregnant with dense possibilities." -- Rob Vollmar, LitStack

"A wonderful graphic novel... Powell perfectly captures the lazy summers of adolescence familiar to all of us and it demands repeated reading to get the many subtle nuances of the story." -- Trent Shaw, PartnersWest

"Powell's brilliance here is that he manages to create a story that is ultimately a fantasy, but one that is realistic enough that it draws the reader in to the narrative and shows exactly where the reader fits in." -- Matthew Meylikhov, Multiversity Comics

"A story that is both intimately introspective and broadly reflective of our culture -- Powell is careful not to point a critical finger at American attitudes toward violence without revealing his own history and relationship to the same." -- Mark Barnes, All Caps Comix

"An incredible book ... Powell continues to show himself a creator who is absolutely worth paying attention to and Any Empire may even be better than Swallow Me Whole, which was sublime." -- Seth T. Hahne, Good Ok Bad