BY JEN VAUGHN – Fantagraphics Books isn’t necessarily THE MAN of the comics world but since I’ve only ever self-published my own comics, MoCCA 2012 was my first two days on the job as a staff member of the independent comics publisher. There are more than a few differences between the two experiences. Read on!
The late Harvey Pekar left behind several projects in various stages of composition, but none was as close to him as CLEVELAND, a love letter and social history of the city that was his muse—an everyman town of ordinary people and the mundane swirl of life that is nonetheless extraordinary. For Cleveland, Pekar’s script found an artist among the greatest of his collaborators: Joseph Remnant, whose dense cross hatched naturalism recalls Crumb (who we meet in these pages) but finds its own voice with expansive staging and research.
Have you heard? Sex sells. Specifically a book called Stuff About Sex… For Guys Who Are Not Like, Total Idiots, a digital-only books of sex tips by cartoonist David Mellon that in only a few days has become one of comiXology’s top 20 graphic novels. Published by Top Shelf, here’s a sneak peek at the first two pages—it’s basically a bro-to-bro sex guide for the uninitiated. The author is a self-confessed hippie and it shows….but you know, maybe we need more hippies!
Top Shelf has just announced a team-up with comiXology that includes their own iOS app, and a separate app for the Kids Club line. Books from LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN to OWLY will be available across various platforms.
Interestingly, Top Shelf is the first “alt.comix” type publisher to go whole hog with digital. D&Q and Fantagraphics and most of the smaller indies have remained remained aloof to the ecomics world. Although most art comics are best suited to the paper medium — and are, indeed the very type of objects that will keep print books alive for quite some time — a lot of indie cartoonists read just fine on the screen — we’ve found some of the “panel grid layout” types even look great on an iPhone. It seems like only a matter of time before everyone has their own app and storefront…but how long?
Kagen McLeod’s imminent INFINITE KUNG FU is a crazy-good 600 page fighting epic. Just order it already!
Top Shelf has shared their signings and book debuts with us and here’s the list:
– Craig Thompson (redesigned Blankets Hardcover & Softcover)
– Kagan McLeod (Infinite Kung Fu)
– Nate Powell (Any Empire)
– Robert Venditti/Mike Huddleston (The Homeland Directive)
– Ray Friesen (Pirate Penguin vs Ninja Chicken)
– plus the new Okie Dokie Donuts (Story 1)
– plus the new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 1969
Ludovic Debeurme’sLUCILLE hits these shores this week, and it’s a stunner. In France, this hefty (500+ page) graphic novel about two teenagers from troubled families coming of age together was a major literary event, crossing over even with non-comics readers, and Top Shelf’s English version is very faithful to the original.
Tom Hart’s essential zeitgeist character Hutch Owen gets his third collection this fall,
Let’s Get Furious!, due from Top Shelf: