News pg. 31

Welcome to the Top Shelf SWEDISH INVASION!

January 28, 2010 / More →

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Okay, so our mastery of the Swedish language stops there. But we've got to say how excited we are to welcome you to THE SWEDISH INVASION, our overall title for a whole host of amazing Swedish stuff coming to you from Top Shelf this spring.

By April, we'll have seven whole books showcasing the best of this hotbed of comics talent, including four full-length graphic novels, two incredible anthologies, and one full-color reference book by one of Sweden's top comic scholars! It's a veritable smörgåsbord of comics!

At New York's MoCCA Festival and Chicago's new C2E2 Convention, we'll bring along a whole host of the Swedish cartoonists who created these awesome books, and throw, not one, but two (!) killer parties to welcome them to the States in style. We hope you can join us in the celebration.

The comics scene in Sweden is a real treasure trove that has gone virtually unnoticed in our part of the world... but now we'll all have a chance to get to know these creators and fall in love with their books. Take a look at the information below, and let the invasion begin!

Chris, Brett, Rob and Leigh
Top Shelf Productions

***Full details continue below! Click [MORE] to read!***

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Awesome comic-to-film featurette preview as SURROGATES DVD release approaches!

January 24, 2010 / More →

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The blockbuster film Surrogates, based on the Top Shelf graphic novel by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele, comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray this Tuesday, January 26!

In anticipation, MTV's Splash Page blog has got an exclusive clip from one of the disc's coolest bonus features -- a 7-minute featurette delving deep into the original graphic novel! In this preview clip, you'll see interviews with both Rob and Brett, plus some amazing animated graphics that bring Brett's outstanding art to life in "motion comic" form! Don't miss it!

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Chris Staros talks movie deals and more with CBR!

January 23, 2010 / More →

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Well, the whole comics internet (and beyond) has been buzzing with the news of our new investors! But what does the news really mean?

To find out, Kiel Phegley from Comic Book Resources sat down with Top Shelf publisher Chris Staros for some answers straight from the horse's mouth. CLICK HERE to read the interview and get the inside scoop on the future of Top Shelf!

SWALLOW ME WHOLE one of ALA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens!

January 20, 2010 / More →

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News from the recent Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association: the official 2010 list of Great Graphic Novels for Teens has been announced, and we're delighted to see Nate Powell's sweet, frightening, heartbreaking book Swallow Me Whole is one of the honored graphic novels!

It's the latest in a long line of honors for Swallow Me Whole, which won the 2009 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Novel, often considered the highest award in comics. Recently Neel Mukherjee praised it in The Times (UK), writing: "It’s not an easy book, but its dark brilliance marks its creator as a writer-artist of genius." We hope the GGNT committee's decision will help more teen readers discover Nate's book and connect with its young heroes, Ruth and Perry.

PS: Hats off to Top Shelf buddy Van Jansen for also scoring a GGNT honor with his debut graphic novel Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer (with Dusty Higgins)! Nice work, guys!

Two SUPER books coming in March... Order them now!

January 14, 2010 / More →

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For this month's catalog solicits, James Kochalka and Matt Kindt both have big releases available for pre-order, so they teamed up to produce this killer ad showcasing both of their books!

James Kochalka presents the long-awaited, vinyl-covered, rainbow-hued all-in-one collection of SUPERF*CKERS, the raunchiest and most hilarious super-book in human history! You get all four issues plus the all-new Jack Krak special, in a single super volume.

Matt Kindt, meanwhile, has been cooking up a super secret smorgasbord of spy stuff to follow up his Eisner-nominated breakthrough (and Wizard's Indy Book of the Year) Super Spy! Super Spy: The Lost Dossiers is a 96-page compendium of new stories, puzzles, codes, annotations, 3-D comics, and more!

CLICK HERE to see the awesome tag-team poster in its full glory! And remember, talk to your local comic retailer and ask to pre-order these books by name!

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Top Shelf Announces Capital Investment Deal

January 13, 2010 / More →

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January 13, 2010 -- Atlanta/Portland/New York -- Co-Publishers Chris Staros and Brett Warnock of independent graphic novel and comic book publisher Top Shelf Productions ( announced today that it has entered into a capital investment deal with new media entrepreneur John S. Johnson, and independent film producer Anthony Bregman.

Johnson, and Likely Story, Bregman’s film production company, have purchased a 33% interest in Top Shelf Productions, Inc. Johnson will join the board of Top Shelf, and Likely Story will get a first-look deal for all new Top Shelf publications for possible film and TV development.

This deal represents a supportive investment in the company; one that leaves Chris Staros and Brett Warnock as majority stockholders (and firmly in control of the company), but also brings to bear the resources, skills and connections of John and Anthony in helping the company expand and grow over time.

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ALEC in the Boston Globe!

January 11, 2010 / More →

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"The graphic novels that have really grabbed the public imagination have tended to be biographies and autobiographies," declares Stephen Weiner of The Boston Globe today. He mentions Art Spiegelman's Maus, Harvey Pekar's American Splendor, Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, and Alison Bechdel's Fun Home as key masterworks in the graphic-autobiography genre that have crossed over to become true mainstream classics.

"To this list," continues Weiner, "we now can add Alec, Eddie Campbell’s graphic memoir starring his surrogate, the young cartoonist Alec MacGarry."

Fine company to be in, and we must agree: Eddie has produced a modern masterpiece. Check it out below!

Happy birthday to the King!

January 8, 2010 / More →

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If you know anything about Top Shelf publisher Chris Staros, you know he loves two things: comic books and Elvis Presley.

Well, in honor of Elvis's 75th birthday today, MTV's Splash Page blog has a great tribute to appearances of Elvis in comics. Including, of course, a shout-out to Rich Koslowski's incredible graphic novel The King -- which Variety called "a substantive and astonishing fun read, regardless of whether you like Elvis or believe he really died all those years ago." Meanwhile Library Journal wrote, "While telling a fine mystery story, Koslowski also explores, without condescension, the mythology that has grown up around Elvis, and muses seriously on the nature of belief in any God … recommended wherever Elvis is remembered."

Rich has a very exciting new book coming out in the spring -- BB Wolf and the 3 LPs, with J.D. Arnold -- so take this chance to grab The King now, and get ready for another project that uses music as a starting point to say so much more.

NPR loves Eddie Campbell!

January 7, 2010 / More →

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National Public Radio's Glen Weldon has a glowing new review up of Eddie Campbell's brand-new ALEC omnibus collection, The Years Have Pants!

"The fact that we are finally able to watch young Alec slowly evolve, page by page, from a cheeky wastrel into a mature artist deeply committed to his work and his family is nothing less than a revelation," he writes.

"As the years steadily accrete, it becomes impossible to ignore the staggering scope of what Campbell has accomplished here... the three decades of mature, complex and emotionally compelling work compiled here represent a major accomplishment in comics storytelling, and in storytelling, period. It's nothing less than a modern epic of the everyday."

Whew! So, who still needs a copy? What are you waiting for?

CBR's Robot 6 highlights two essential books coming soon from Top Shelf!

January 5, 2010 / More →

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The fine Robot 6 blog has kicked off their new year with a slew of 2010 previews... prominent among them, two titles from our spring slate!

Super Spy: The Lost Dossiers is a captivating follow-up to Matt Kindt's Eisner-nominated masterwork Super Spy. Check out Robot 6's exclusive preview (a full standalone story!) by clicking here. The book comes out in March, and it's in the Diamond catalog this month, so ask your comic shop to order your copy NOW!

Then, get a load of Stuart Immonen's stunning artwork and Kathryn Immonen's razor-sharp writing, as showcased in their ingenious Nazi art theft graphic novel, Moving Pictures! This one will debut in May, but one look at the preview on Robot 6 and you'll be counting the days.

The eagle has landed! Eddie Campbell's ALEC is here!

December 29, 2009 / More →

Image for The eagle has landed! Eddie Campbell's ALEC is here!

Why is this such a big deal? Straight from the horse's mouth: "My participation in comics originally grew from my personal admiration for the work of Eddie Campbell, both in partnership with Alan Moore (on FROM HELL) and on his own (in the inimitably observant ALEC stories, as well as the irreverent BACCHUS tales). Driven to expose Eddie's work to the widest possible audience, I entered the comics business as Eddie's distributor in the United States, and soon thereafter partnered with Brett Warnock to re-launch Top Shelf. Fifteen years later (!), I'm holding in my hands one of the things I'm most proud of: A gorgeous edition of Eddie's groundbreaking autobiographical comics, collected in a giant 640-page single volume!" -- Chris Staros, co-publisher of Top Shelf Productions

Get your copies now -- at your favorite retailer, or direct from us! Click below for details:

Sean T. Collins and the Comics Reporter discuss BLANKETS!

December 21, 2009 / More →

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With the decade of the 00s coming to a close, there's been a lot of talk about Craig Thompson's Blankets being one of the decade's key graphic novels.

Now, respected comics critics Sean T. Collins and and Tom Spurgeon have posted a fascinating conversation to The Comics Reporter, about Blankets and its importance to the world of comics. It's perfect for a lazy holiday afternoon read (just like Blankets itself)! Dive in, why don't you?

FAR ARDEN podcasts galore!

December 16, 2009 / More →

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Here at Top Shelf we're lucky to publish not only some of the best cartoonists on Earth, but some of the friendliest as well! When you work as many conventions as we do, in fact, it's a must. Now, one of the sparkling conversationalists in our roster, Kevin Cannon (Far Arden), puts his charm on display this week with a plethora of podcast appearances for your listening pleasure!

First, hear Kevin bandy words with Canada's finest indie comics radio show host, Robin McConnell, on this episode of Inkstuds! Hear Robin coin the term "Canucksploitation" -- not to be missed!

Then, check out Kevin's chat with the irrepressible Charlito and Mr. Phil of Indie Spinner Rack! This lively talk captures the madness of San Diego Comic-Con.

Also, the dudes at The Mild Mannered Podcast devoted a recent episode to analyzing Far Arden, "an epic adventure of love, loss, and angry orphan punches"!

Finally, if you haven't already, you've gotta hear this radio drama of a scene from Far Arden produced by KFAI in Minneapolis! How cool is that?

Top Shelf Canadiana (real and fake) in the Montreal Gazette!

December 12, 2009 / More →

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Canadian journalist Ian McGillis has a new piece out in the Montreal Gazette highlighting 2009's best graphic novels... including two Top Shelf titles! First, Jeff Lemire's Essex County "achieves an epic sweep even though it’s relatively light on text" and "packs an enormous emotional punch." Then, Kevin Cannon's Far Arden serves as "an odd but effective cross of contemporary nerd-hero comix with Tintin-style exotica" which "zips along with manic logic." For more on these two books, check out the links below!

Amazon loves Jeffrey Brown's SULK!

December 4, 2009 / More →

Image for Amazon loves Jeffrey Brown's SULK!

Amazon's awesome book blog Omnivoracious runs a spotlight today on the amazing Jeffrey Brown and his anything-goes anthology series SULK! Check it out here.

Writer Alex Carr points out one joke he particularly enjoyed from the latest installment, Sulk #3: The Kind of Strength that Comes from Madness, featuring pirates and time-traveling babies. He concludes, "There is plenty to love in the entire series, and it's more than enough to satisfy until Top Shelf's collection of Brown miscellany, Undeleted Scenes, publishes this summer." We couldn't agree more!