Tag Archives: any empire

Top Shelf “E-Convention” Sale! Plus free sampler and more

Top Shelf ProductsTop Shelf Continues Digital Explosion!

Hey friends, we’ve got a bundle of new digital-comics news to share, starting with a mighty whopper of a sale! PLUS: a free 168-page sampler book, two must-have digital exclusive graphic novels, and new distribution deals with Kobo and Overdrive!

Coast-to-Coast Top Shelf “E-Convention” Sale!

Top Shelf is hitting two conventions at once this weekend, both Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland (with Nate Powell & Jeff Lemire) and MoCCA Fest in New York (with Pat Grant, Joseph Remnant, Brendan Leach, Kagan McLeod, Jess Fink, Alex Robinson, Eric Skillman, and Jennifer Hayden)!

To spread the joy around, we’re offering a slew of hot books in digital form at crazy-low prices — so fans who can’t make it to Portland or NYC aren’t left out, and fans who DO come to the shows can try out everything before buying signed copies this weekend!

Blue – $0.99
Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland – $7.99
The Pterodactyl Hunters – $1.99
Lost Dogs – $1.99
Essex County – $4.99
Any Empire – $5.99
Swallow Me Whole – $4.99
Infinite Kung Fu – $5.99
Too Cool To Be Forgotten – $2.99
Box Office Poison – $4.99
Liar’s Kiss – $4.99
Underwire – $1.99

That’s a dozen of the industry’s greatest graphic novels for under fifty bucks! Do yourself a favor and load up— these prices are only valid through Sunday, April 29!

FREE Digital Action Pack available now!

Savvy to digital comics and looking for something new to read? Curious about e-reading and hesitant to take the plunge? Look no further than the Top Shelf Action Pack, packed with 168 pages of our most thrilling comics, and yours for the price of ZERO! Inside are full chapters from seven graphic novels: Infinite Kung Fu, The Homeland Directive, Lost Dogs, From Hell, SuperF*ckers, Bighead, and Any Empire! It’s available on Comixology and iVerse now, with more formats coming soon. Check it out!

Digital exclusives: Rob Walton’s RAGMOP & Alex Robinson’s LOWER REGIONS: DEFENSE OF THE WEST GATE!

Two veteran indie cartoonists have released their first ever digital-exclusive graphic novels with Top Shelf! First, Rob Walton presents the new edition of his cult favorite RAGMOP, a completely loony romp through time and space jam-packed with talking dinosaurs, evil popes, fallen angels, balsa wood spaceships, interstellar coffee corporations, rival assassins from competing global conspiracies, countless sight gags and pop-culture parodies, and debates over everything from politico-economic theory to quantum physics to the merits of mid-century animators. (whew!) It’s 422 massive pages for only $7.99!
Also, Alex Robinson returns with a sequel to his exuberant fantasy dungeon-crawl LOWER REGIONS! The new book, LOWER REGIONS: DEFENSE OF THE WEST GATE, switches perspective to the neurotic, terrified bug-creatures assigned to guard one particular dungeon gate. Plus: a brand-new bonus story, “FIGHT!!” in which our barbarian heroine battles an undead curse! These hilarious and thrilling tales are only $1.99 for 25 pages.

Top Shelf graphic novels: now available on Kobo!

Top Shelf’s quest to be available on every digital platform continues, as we announce that our graphic novels are now available for Kobo, reaching readers and devices in over 170 countries! 40 titles are available in our Kobo catalogso far, with more coming soon!

Get Top Shelf books through your library via Overdrive!

Librarians, we’re got your backs: Top Shelf is partnering with Overdrive, the leading digital distributor for libraries! Libraries can now purchase ebooks of the full Top Shelf Kids Club line — 19 titles — and offer them for free e-lending to patrons. So contact your local library and let them know you’d like to read OWLY, KORGI, JOHNNY BOO and more on your electronic device!

Dive into Blue by Pat Grant!

Official Press Release

Top Shelf ProductsDive into BLUE by Pat Grant!

You’ve never seen anything quite like this. In March 2012, Top Shelf will release the debut graphic novel from super-talented Australian cartoonist Pat Grant, entitled BLUE.

It’s a fascinating blend of autobiography and fiction with a sci-fi twist: in a seaside Australian town struggling with alien tentacle-creature immigration, a trio of aimless teenagers skip school to go surfing, chase rumors of a dead body, and avoid dealing with their own fears.

Here’s what Craig Thompson, author of Blankets, Carnet de Voyage, and Habibi, had to say about BLUE: “This book rekindles my earliest enthusiasm for the comics medium. Pat Grant is the Australian Mark Twain, trading Huck’s raft for a waxed-up surfboard and an inked-up sable brush. Vast themes of racism and immigration unravel in sprawling murals and a single day in the life of some reckless teens in this sea-polished, perfect nugget of a book.”

Still not convinced? Check out Pat’s great SHAMELESS PUBLICITY DOCUMENT, and the free preview of BLUE at Pat’s website!

Be sure to pre-order this lush, lovable, complex book from your favorite comic shop or directly from Top Shelf!

BLUE by Pat Grant
–96-page hardcover graphic novel with 2-color interiors
–9.4″ x 6.6″ (landscape format)
–Older teens (16+) and adults
–ISBN: 978-1-60309-153-4
–Diamond order code: JAN12-1268
–$14.95 (US)

“Pat Grant is serious about comics.” — Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, and Making Comics

BLUE is everything a good comics can be.” — Shaun Tan, author of The Arrival and Tales from Outer Suburbia

Nate Powell’s ANY EMPIRE explodes onto YouTube!

An intense new video trailer for ANY EMPIRE has just been posted to YouTube! It features music by the bands Tracker (who were responsible for the BLANKETS soundtrack album ) and Universe (featuring Nate Powell himself), and is a real treat for both those who’ve read the book and those who haven’t yet. Check it out!

Top Shelf books are tops on Top Ten lists!

New Year’s is not just a time for making resolutions and asking your friends to delete embarrassing party photos — it’s also an occasion for year-in-review retrospective lists! Well, the lists have been pouring in, and we’re proud to see Top Shelf titles racking up so many rankings.

In particular, Kagan McLeod’s INFINITE KUNG FU, Nate Powell’s ANY EMPIRE, and Robert Venditti & Mike Huddleston’s THE HOMELAND DIRECTIVE have been listed on “Best of 2011” lists from over a dozen top sources, spanning the gamut from CNN to Publishers Weekly to Complex to USA Today to Paste to The AV Club and many more. And other Top Shelf books are not far behind! To see all the year-end praise, check out our REVIEWS PAGE and treat yourself to one of our most acclaimed graphic novels.

Best Comics of 2011

It’s the first day of a new year and so that means we’re doing our “best of” listing of the top comic books for 2011. Generally these are comic books that came out in 2010, though some are from earlier times and we got around to reading them. Keep in mind, this is what I have read.  If it’s not on here, I just might not have read it.

Best Super Hero Comic – Daredevil

Daredevil #1 CoverDaredevil has had an interesting 2011, we started with Shadowland and then got Matt Murdock finding himself and then a relaunched back to basic series written by Mark Waid with art by Paolo RiveraShadowland wasn’t too bad, a bit uneven, but as a whole Marvel had issues with this year’s events.  Seeing Murdock corrupt and the emotion from his friends was an interesting read.  After you had Murdock wandering the country in short mini-series followed up by the relaunch.

It’s that relaunch that makes Daredevil stick out in my mind.  It’s a comic I look forward to reading each month.  Waid has given it a pulp action feel like classic Green Hornet or the Shadow and Rivera’s art is fantastic.  The comic is just fun to read.  On top of Waid’s take, Daredevil is now an Avenger and each of his brief appearances so far has enhanced that series.  When you show up in an ensemble comic and steal the show, that says something.

Waid has set up a lot going into 2012, can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Runner Ups – Moon Knight, Uncanny X-Force, Aquaman

Best Non-Super Hero Comic –DMZ

DMZ 50Is there a more politically relevant comic book series out there? Every month we’re given something to think about as we follow Matty Roth through Manhattan which is now a DMZ in the middle of the second American Civil War.

Writer Brian Wood is able to pivot and comment on what’s currently happening in politics and the world challenging our perceptions and not seem preachy at the same time.

With some single issues that stand as some of the best of the year and numerous holy shit moments, this isn’t just one of the most relevant comics out there, but some of the best political commentary of any entertainment medium.  Fittingly, this final week also brought us the final issue of the series, a perfect way to end the year.

Runner Ups – American Vampire, Chew, The Walking Dead

Best Limited Series or One Shot – Criminal: The Last Of The Innocent

Criminal: The Last Of The Innocent #1Really, just sign me up for whatever Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips have in store.  This latest volume of their crime/noir series from Marvel/Icon gave us a shit-head of a main character and kept us on our toes as to what to expect.  Sean Philips also showed us something new by changing up the art style every so often.

These two are one of the best teams in comic books today.  Early 2012 brings us Fatale from them to be published by Image which is more horror/noir.  Hopefully we’ll be seeing another volume of this series as well.

I’m a huge fan up pulp/noir comics, and this is the gold standard by which all others are judged.  Just fantastic.

Runner Ups – Critical Millennium, Severed, 27: Second Set

Best Single Issue – Transformers #22 and #23

Transformers #23 CoverTechnically it’s two issues, but the story is spread out between the two issues and either stands out as the best.  On top of that Transformers: The Death of Optimus Prime reflects on what’s discussed in these issues as well.  Megatron is captured and the two issues reflect on his and Optimus’ past and how they became who they are.  Flash forward to the present and the two leaders debate politics and motives.  It’s an adult discussion coming from two giant robots.

DMZ might have been “the” political discussion of the year, but these two issues I just didn’t expect it from.  Absolutely fantastic and enough to give me pause and make me think.

What’s the difference between a terrorist and freedom fighter?  Find out in these issues.

Worst Single Issue of the Year – Holy Terror

Just a holy piece of crap.  This is up there as one of the worst things I’ve ever read.  The graphic novel by legend Frank miller is racist, xenophobic, sexist and horribly written.  Can’t believe we’ve waited so long to read it.

Runner Ups The Infinite (any issue)

Best Graphic Novel/Trade Paperback – Green River Killer

Green River Killer A True Detective StoryDark Horse’s Green River Killer is a true-crime story focused on the Green River serial killings.  The writer was close to the subject, as his father was one of the lead detectives.  The story has multiple layers, looking at how families were affected, the struggles the police went through and at the end, why the killer did what he did.

The graphic novel is haunting.  I couldn’t stop thinking about it for many days it was that disturbing and unsettling.  The art is good, but it’s the story that gets you.  The whole time you’re wondering how they’re going to solve this, but also why is this happening.

Add in the fact this is a true story.  It’s a disturbing true story.  Being able to get some of the behind the scenes to a story I only know from newspapers and the nightly news, just adds more to it all.

Runner Ups Any Empire, Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand

Best Event of the Year – Uncanny X-Force: The Dark Angel Saga

Uncanny X-Force #18 Teaser 1I’m counting this as an event, though it’s really a long story arc.  Rick Remender has put together the best “X” book put out by Marvel.  This event which saw the rise of a new Apocalypse in the form of Archangel and X-Force is all that stands in the way between him and world destruction.

Diving into “X” lore with trips to the Age of Apocalypse universe, this was a story for the hard core “X” fans.  But, more than that, everything was thrown into it.  You had no idea what was going to come next and what to expect.

It wasn’t until I finally read the last issue that I know the ending, that’s how much of a big question mark Remender gave us.  The follow as well was fantastic as why characters did what they did and a new status-quo and direction were set.

Runner Ups Artifacts, Flashpoint

Best Genre of the Year – Horror

Horror was where it was at this year with DC folding in some Vertigo books and some great limited series like Severed.  Animal Man, Swamp Thing, I, Vampire, B.P.R.D. and more lead the way to dethroning last year’s winner, a bunch of shuffling zombies (though that’s also horror in a way).  I’ve never been creeped out more and enjoyed it as much.

Runner Up – Steampunk, Zombie

Best Comic Tie-In of the Year – Batman: Arkham City

I enjoy a video game or two (dozen).  One of the best video games of the year, not just comic book tie-ins was Batman: Arkham City which just brought more of the brawler game.  There’s a reason many are naming this as one of the best video games of the year and it’s sold so well.  It’s that damn good.

The downloadable material which seems to be coming as a steady flow, the fact you can play as so many characters, that all adds up to a comic book experience you can control.  Add in amazing graphics, game play and there you have it, it’s a must buy video game.

Runner Up – Marvel Universe toys, DC Universe Super Heroes Legos

Best Comic Book Related Movie – Thor

Marvel Studios Thor PosterThis year’s crop of comic book related movies wasn’t as amazing as I’d hope, but it’s a solid bunch.  Marvel’s batch as what stood out and all three really deserve to share the honors.  Each was excellent and flawed in their own ways, but out of the three Thor holds up best.

The story is pretty standard, didn’t really challenge me at all, but the visuals and Chris Hemsworth’s acting is what really makes it all stand out.  The flaws also are the least of the bunch with only the final fight between Thor and the Destroyer really bothering me.

Out of the bunch, this was also the highest grossing, showing it wasn’t just me that liked it.

Runner Ups – Captain America: The First Avenger, X-Men: First Class

Best Surprise of the Year – DC New 52

DC ComicsThis is a mixed one as DC’s relaunch is also a disappointment, but I’ll address it all here.  DC made a bold move this year to shake up their sagging line of comic books by starting from the beginning and relaunching the entire line.  It was gutsy.  On top of that, their digital initiative was bold.

The story that lead up to it all, Flashpoint, was pretty damn good and what came out of it as well.  I took a chance on all fifty-two issues and came away with giving half of them a chance for the second issue.  From there, I made further cuts, but today, I’m reading more comics from DC than I ever have and their higher volumes they’re selling that the initiative has worked for the short term.

The disappointing part is that they didn’t go far enough.  The comics were pretty standard and we didn’t get anything out of the box.  There also was a clear audience, adolescent males (or men stuck in their adolescence).  While we saw more advertising to the general public, we haven’t seen a sustained campaign.  For all their gains in 2011, I think we’ll see a good chunk of it erode in 2012.

Biggest Disappointment of the Year – Marvel Events

Marvel ComicsFear Itself and it’s follow up were and are bad.  X-Men: Schism was ok, but much better than what was before.  Shadowland was uneven.  Marvel has been having some issues when it comes to their events.  I won’t call it overall event fatigue in the industry as others have put out quality and showed what works.

Too many tie-ins, stories not thought out and gimmicky tricks paved the way to a substandard experience.

Marvel relied on the tired gimmick of death, killing the Ultimate Spider-Man, Bucky, the Human Torch and more, that all made headlines but some of it is already undone.  There’s only so many times you can call death before the masses catch on and shrugs their shoulders.

Already we’re heading into more events at Marvel in 2012, here’s hoping there’s some improvement.

Runner Up – Green Lantern (movie), DCnU

Best Character – Moon Knight

Moon Knight #1 CoverMoon Knight has always been a character that’s intrigued me.  Brian Michael Bendis, along with amazing art by Alex Maleev, have given us a new series that really looks at the many personalities of Marc Spector.  The new series really has fun with the idea having Moon Knight drawing upon his personalities at different points.

Moon Knight is the psychotic Batman, a super hero struggling with mental illness.  But is he really suffering from it?  And should it be this much enjoyable to read?

Publisher of the Year – Archaia

ArchaiaArchaia received the honor last year as well, so let me really explain my logic here.  Lets start with the big two, Marvel and DC.  Marvel’s line has suffered in 2011, they’re out.  DC made a bold choice, but four months letter, it all feels empty.  There’s quality, but there’s also a lot that just doesn’t excite.

BOOM! made it’s case towards the end of the year with some great original series, along with some on-goings that continue to show off their quality.  Add in a lot of licensed comics and they’ve got a line that has something for everyone.  There were also some busts, but they’ve got a great line of comics.  Image Comics, for all the quality also has some major duds.  Inconsistency is the issue, but their quality is some of the best out there.

Dark Horse has some amazing comics.  A lot of big name licenses and some good original, but there’s a lot of series I read and just didn’t interest me.  Their quality though is up there.  If your a Star Wars or Buffy fan too, they put out excellent product.  Then we come to IDW Publishing.  A lot of license there too, and also a lot of original material.  Each week I see their new releases, I get excited, as a whole, I’m probably interested in more of their monthly comics percentage wise than any other publisher, and it’s all excellent.

And the big winner is Archaia.  I should start with the presentation of the books.  Beautiful covers and packaging is the first thing that sticks out.  Their entire line of graphic novels are beautiful to look at on a shelf.  Then there’s what’s in between those fancy covers.  The variety of the books and quality is unmatched.  I can find something for everyone and hand out one of their series or a graphic novel and know I’m good with my choice.  All of what I read was good to great and much challenges story telling and comic book visuals.

Licensed books, original books, it’s all here.  And it’s amazing.  There’s comics for kids and adults and books kids and adults will love together.  Books from the US and Europe, we have different styles and perspectives, it’s like the publisher goes out of it’s way to present choice and variety.  And it’s all good.

I said it last year and it still holds true this year, when I think Archaia, I think high quality and expect the best.  They continue to not let me down.

Runner Up – IDW Publishing

Around the Tubes

It’s the weekend and it’s another UFC fight tonight, yay!  Here’s some comic book news to spend your time reading waiting for the fight.

Around the Blogs:

ICv2 – Galactic Guardians HeroClixI want my Rocket Raccoon and Groot figures!

ComiChron – November 2011 puts industry back in black for 2011 – How long before Marvel is back on top?

WNYC – Tibet, Through the Lens of ComicsCould be a cool exhibit to check out.

The Beat – Haspiel donates minicomics to Library of Congress – I might have to check this out.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews:

Shoopette’s Book Review – Any Empire

Top Shelf Products Top Shelf Cyber Monday

Top Shelf is getting into the Cyber Monday bonanza with 30% your order online. Just enter the code CYBERTSP at checkout to get 30% off your entire order. The sale ends Monday night.

CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED COMICS FOR EVERYONE ON YOUR GIFT LIST!

For those who love furious action and incredible artwork: Infinite Kung Fu by Kagan McLeod, and The Homeland Directive by Robert Venditti & Mike Huddleston

“The great strength of [Infinite Kung Fu] is its originality, but equally impressive are McLeod’s extraordinary illustrations and compelling narrative… one of the 10 best graphic novels of the year.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The Homeland Directive: an addictive page-turner that feels like an edge-of-your-seat theater experience.” — MTV Splash Page

For moms who still know how to have a good time: Underwire by Jennifer Hayden

“Hayden’s cheerful profanity and scratchy lines give the work a homey, intimate feel… Hayden’s stories are like comfortable, lived-in jeans–not the most stylish or flattering, but the ones you want to spend time wearing.” — Publishers Weekly

For small-town folks, family members, or hockey fans: Essex County by Jeff Lemire

“A rich tapestry … Mr. Lemire infuses his characters with vivid details that make them burst to life.” — The New York Times

For fantasy fans & animal lovers: Owly by Andy Runton & Korgi (including the new Book 3) by Christian Slade

“The art, storytelling, pacing, and world [Christian] Slade has created is fantastic and you don’t have to be a kid to appreciate it.” — About.com

For 20-30somethings with mixed feelings about growing up: Any Empire by Nate Powell

“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)

For middle schoolers (and middle-schoolers at heart): Pirate Penguin vs Ninja Chicken by Ray Friesen

Pirate Penguin: Each panel is punctuated with so many quips and jokes that they don’t work to form a narrative so much as they collectively embody an extended Abbot and Costello routine.” — Graphic Novel Reporter

For early readers, or kids who love to hear books read out loud: Johnny Boo & Dragon Puncher by James Kochalka

“Just the right blend of sarcasm, silliness, and action to appeal to both child readers and to adults reading this with their kids.” — School Library Journal’s Good Comics For Kids

For young lovers and those who remember young love: Blankets (deluxe hardcover edition) by Craig Thompson, and Lucille by Ludovic Debeurme

“Reading Blankets is like reliving your youth as you wander through the artist’s personal trials of fundamentalist religion and teenage heart-break in small-town America… The Best Graphic Novel of the Decade.” — Paste Magazine

“Debeurme gets underneath what makes these young lovers tick, and is realistic enough to realize that they’re too inexperienced and impulsive to fix each other. Still, the love affair in Lucille burns bright, illuminating two lives.” — The AV Club

For savvy hippies and pop-culture vultures: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century and Alan Moore’s Dodgem Logic (full set)

“Fans won’t be let down by the latest instalment of this clever, lurid saga.” — The Guardian

Kung Fu, Donuts, and Pirate Penguin in stores! Nate Powell’s Any Empire hits today!

Official Press ReleaseTop Shelf ProductsKUNG FU, DONUTS, and PIRATE PENGUIN in stores! And Nate Powell’s ANY EMPIRE hits today!

The hits keep on coming! Not long after we launched LEAGUE 1969, the new deluxe editions of BLANKETS, LUCILLE, and THE HOMELAND DIRECTIVE, here come three more hotly anticipated Top Shelf books, available NOW — with one more hitting stores today!

INFINITE KUNG FU, OKIE DOKIE DONUTS, & PIRATE PENGUIN IN STORES NOW! See what the critics are already saying:

INFINITE KUNG FU
by Kagan McLeod
— ISBN: 978-1-891830-83-9, Diamond code: MAY11-1197
— 464-page flexi-cover graphic novel, 6.75″ x 9.5″
— $24.95 (US), Older teens (16+) and adults

Don’t miss the awesome VIDEO TRAILER!

Infinite Kung Fu is glorious and deranged in the way that all comics should be.” — Warren Ellis

“All of that buzz and hype was completely on the money… It’s like the best kung-fu movie you’ve ever seen, unimpaired by time or budget constraints, willing to take everything about kung-fu that everyone loves and throw it all together.” — Chad Nevett, Comic Book Resources

“If Egon Schiele and Yim Wing Chun had a son together, he’d be called Kagan McLeod. Infinite Kung Fu is like a bitch-slap to your imagination. I am a BIG fan.” — Geof Darrow, author & artist of Shaolin Cowboy and conceptual designer for The Matrix

“A book for fans of Bruce Lee movies, zombies, ancient Chinese mythology, and any other off-the-wall genre you can think of… Infinite Kung Fu brings a style that separates it from the rest and lifts comics out of the overly serious rut that the medium has been stuck in for nearly a decade.” — Jason Sarafino, Complex

“The best elements of horror, Westerns, and of course, kung fu films are seamlessly interlaced to tell a highly imaginative tale. You couldn’t sandblast the smile from my face as I read this.” — Ain’t It Cool News

PIRATE PENGUIN VS NINJA CHICKEN
(BOOK 1): TROUBLEMS WITH FRENEMIES

by Ray Friesen
— ISBN: 978-1-60309-071-1, Diamond code: APR11-1165
— 96-page full-color hardcover graphic novel, 6.5″ x 8.5″
— 9.95 (US), All ages

“Ray Friesen is a remarkable cartoonist. He makes the silly funny and the funny sublime. The world seems lighter after reading a Ray Friesen book.” — Jimmy Gownley, creator of Amelia Rules!

“Ray Friesen is a veritable fount of silliness, and his Pirate Penguin vs. Ninja Chicken is a good example of that… it’s guaranteed to make your geeklets giggle.” — Jonathan Liu, Wired

“The jokey asides and playfully sophisticated take on language are reminiscent of Walt Kelly’s Pogo… [a] manic blend of mayhem and adventure.” — Ian Chipman, Booklist

OKIE DOKIE DONUTS
(STORY 1): OPEN FOR BUSINESS

by Chris “Elio” Eliopoulos
— ISBN: 978-1-60309-068-1, Diamond code: APR11-1155
— 48-page full-color hardcover graphic novel, 5″ x 7.5″
— $9.95 (US), All ages

“A mixture of Pablo Picasso and Cartoon Network… laden with eccentric charm.” — Eric Whitman, The Daily Blam!

“Elio consistently impresses me with his supercharged kid-friendly comics. His style is wholly distinct, and everything he does seems to explode with joy and pure fun.” — John Martz, Drawn!

“2 scoops of silly, 5 cups of cute, and a bucket load of fun!” — Bob Boyle, creator of Nick Jr.’s Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! and author of Hugo and the Really, Really, Really Long String

Nate Powell’s ANY EMPIRE hits stores today!

ANY EMPIRE
by Nate Powell
— ISBN: 978-1-60309-077-3, Diamond code: MAY11-1196
— 384-page hardcover graphic novel, 6.5″ x 9.5″
— $19.95 (US), Older teens (16+) and adults

The creator of Swallow Me Whole (Best Graphic Novel Eisner-winner) returns with a massive exploration of violence, childhood, and coming of age in a culture of war games. Don’t miss it!

“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

Any Empire by Nate Powell is everything a graphic novel should be, and few are.” — Larry Hama, author of GI Joe comics since 1982

“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

INFINITE KUNG FU tour dates!

Along with a bundle of convention apperances, Kagan McLeod will be traveling to these special INFINITE KUNG FU events across North America! Check infinitekungfu.com for more details:

This Friday, Sept 2 in Toronto!
— Revival Bar, 783 College St, Toronto, Ontario
— 9pm – $5 or free with purchase of book
— The Beguiling presents the Infinite Kung Fu book signings, author Q&A, and a live DJ Duel from Hop Fu (DJ 1XL and DJ Excess) accompanying a screening of a classic Shaw Brothers film!

Saturday, October 1, at Strange Adventures!
— 5262 Sackville St, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Saturday, November 19, at Danger Room Comics!
— 201 W 4th Ave, Olympia, Washington
— plus other Olympia events that weekend TBA!

Big thanks to The Beguiling, Strange Adventures, and Danger Room for their support of this incredible book.

Pick of the Week – Flashpoint #5

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It seems like a no-brainer as to what this week’s pick should be.  Flashpoint #5 gets this week’s honor as it ends DC’s solid summer event and we’ve been hinted that there’s more going on and at least one shocker remains at the end.  We also get DC’s relaunch as well which of course makes the list.  Flashpoint hasn’t been perfect, but it’s been a lot of fun and really has gotten DC to grow up and enter modern comic book storytelling full of action, over the top scenes and use of the real world, which makes it all relate-able.

  • Flashpoint #5 – see above
  • Justice League #1 – Hmm, art by Jim Lee?  That should be enough to get on the list, but this is one of the pillars of the DCnU.  Here’s hoping it lives up to the hype.
  • Uncanny X-Force #14 – Still in the Age of Apocalypse, still being pretty badass.
  • The Rinse #1 – BOOM! gets into the crime/noir genre with this solid entry.  I’ve been sitting on it for a bit to read, but expect a review.  It looks really good.
  • Any Empire – Top Shelf does quality and this beautiful book is an examination of war and violence, and their trickle-down effects on middle America.  Need I say more?

New Blankets, Kung Fu, Any Empire, Homeland, & League 1969 — Top Shelf’s Comic-Con is HUGE

Official Press Release

New BLANKETS, KUNG FU, ANY EMPIRE, HOMELAND, & LEAGUE Top Shelf Products1969 — Top Shelf’s Comic-Con is HUGE!

We always make a splash at San Diego Comic-Con — it’s the biggest show of the year — but honestly, with so many incredible artists and such important new books debuting, PLUS our first books launching on the iPad, this year might be our most jam-packed convention ever! We hope you’ll come to see us, July 20-24, at the Top Shelf Booth (#1721) — and everybody can check out our digital books through Comics+!

Signings & Hot Debuts @ Booth #1721!

For five exhilarating days, we’ll be cramming together more talent than you’d think could fit in one room, let alone one convention booth! Get ready to meet over a dozen of our greatest authors:

— Craig Thompson (Blankets deluxe edition)
— Kagan McLeod (Infinite Kung Fu)
— Nate Powell (Any Empire)
— Robert Venditti (The Homeland Directive)
— Ray Friesen (Pirate Penguin vs Ninja Chicken)
— Andy Runton (Owly)
— James Kochalka (Johnny Boo) and family!
— Jeffrey Brown (Incredible Change Bots Two)
— Jeff Lemire (Essex County)
— JD Arnold & Rich Koslowski (BB Wolf & the 3 LPs)
— Eric Skillman (Liar’s Kiss)
— Matt Kindt (Super Spy)
— plus your crew: Chris Staros, Leigh Walton, and our new ebook expert, Chris Ross!

HOT OFF THE PRESS FOR COMIC-CON DEBUT!!

BLANKETS (NEW HARDCOVER)
INFINITE KUNG FU
ANY EMPIRE

THE HOMELAND DIRECTIVE
OKIE D
OKIE DONUTS
PIRATE PENGUIN VS NINJA CHICKEN

THE LEAGUE OF EXT. GENTLEMEN: CENTURY 1969

Comic-Con’s Top Shelf Panel and Infinite Kung Fu video!

Don’t forget to come by the official Top Shelf panel at Comic-Con, Saturday July 23 at 4:30 in room 8! We’ll have Q&A with the Top Shelf family of authors, plus tons of sneak peeks at what’s coming next from us!

And in case you missed it last week, check out the incredible video that’s been blowing up the internet: this animated trailer for Kagan McLeod’s Infinite Kung Fu!

A Very Kochalka Comic-Con!

James Kochalka is a living legend: indie comics hero, diary comic pioneer, webcomics maestro, musical superstar, and more. His work (including American Elf, Johnny Boo, Dragon Puncher , and more) even earned him the title of Cartoonist Laureate of the state of Vermont! But did you know that his whole family are superstars? Now’s your chance to find out, because they’re all coming to San Diego!
Come by the booth (#1721) to meet the whole Kochalka family — James, Amy, Eli, and Oliver! They’re the stars of American Elf and Dragon Puncher, plus the kids are precocious young cartoonists themselves. The family will be signing a special print created by James just for this show!

Top Shelf’s Award-Winning Catalog Debuts in Comics+ from iVerse at SDCC

Top Shelf Productions joins iVerse Media for digital product launch.

San Diego, CA-18 July 2011 – One of the most diverse and highly-regarded publishers in the world of comics, Top Shelf Productions, is expanding into the digital market. iVerse Media is proud to announce the release of 70+ digital graphic novels from Top Shelf, available today for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch through the Comics+ app.

The first wave of titles includes work from top-selling and award-winning creators such as Andy Runton, Robert Venditti, Nate Powell, Jeff Lemire, Jeffrey Brown, James Kochalka, Renee French, Alex Robinson, Matt Kindt, and many more.

“We are incredibly proud to be releasing this first wave of Top Shelf titles at Comic-Con this year,” said iVerse Media CEO Michael Murphey. “Top Shelf really showcases the art of comics, and we’re excited to be the first to take this journey with them into the digital space.”

The launch titles from Top Shelf include such hits as Owly, The Homeland Directive, Any Empire, Swallow Me Whole, Essex County, Incredible Change-Bots, Johnny Boo, and Too Cool to Be Forgotten. With books spanning every age group and every genre (comedy, drama, action, memoir, fantasy, science fiction, even art books), there’s sure to be something for every reader. Following this initial wave, many more titles from Top Shelf’s rich catalog will be released over the coming weeks and months.

“At Top Shelf, we’re dedicated to telling stories that people connect with; reader-friendly comics with subtext and heart, each presented with a distinctive visual style,” explained Top Shelf publisher Chris Staros. “Now with the iVerse digital launch, it’ll be easier than ever to discover the amazing work our authors are doing, and maybe even find yourself a new favorite.”

Top Shelf and iVerse are breaking new ground — of the major English-language literary/art-comics publishers, Top Shelf is the first to offer its graphic novels for the iOS platform. And with prices ranging from $0.99 to $14.99, they hope to welcome plenty of new readers.

Titles are available now in the Comics+ Application for iOS.

Around the Tubes

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It’s the weekend, yay!  Nuff said.

Around the Blogs:

ICv2 – Archie Comics Files Suit Against Co-CEOShe was just playing the “penis” game.  Penis!

Con Coverage:

Bleeding Cool – That Gay Comics Panel At San Diego Comic Con

Bleeding Cool – San Diego Debut: Broken Pieces #1 From Aspen

The Beat – SD11: John Higgins offers exclusive WATCHMEN portfolio

Bleeding Cool – San Diego Debut: Any Empire by Nate Powell

Bleeding Cool – San Diego Debut: Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones #1

Bleeding Cool – San Diego Debut: SideShows by Erik Hendrix and Michael David Nelsen

Bleeding Cool – Friday Programming For San Diego Comic Con

Bleeding Cool – DC Starts Casino Chip Scavenger Hunt At San Diego

Bleeding Cool – San Diego Debut: Infinite Kung Fu by Kagan McLeod

The Beat – SDCC11: First Comics returns with four previews

Bleeding Cool – San Diego Debut: Z-Girl And The 4 Tigers by Kirk Manley and Jeff Marsick

Around the Tubes Reviews:

Good Comic Books – Flashpoint #3

Martin’s View – Comic Books of the Week (7/6/11)

Alan Moore’s League Is Back! (along with 4 epic releases)

Official Press Release

Top Shelf Products

Alan Moore’s LEAGUE Is Back! (along with several epic releases!)

This announcement may be the biggest confluence of releases in Top Shelf history, in that ALL FIVE of the books we’re featuring are absolute “must reads.” LUCILLE and ANY EMPIRE I’d rank side-by-side with BLANKETS and ESSEX COUNTY – which means you’re gonna read them sooner or later (so get behind them now!). And with INFINITE KUNG FU and LEAGUE: CENTURY “1969” you have two epics that combine action/adventure with literary insight in ways that are rarely seen in comics. And finally, with CHESTER 5000, you have the most refreshingly optimistic erotic graphic novel, probably ever.

Chris Staros

Ludovic Debeurme previews LUCILLE in America!

In anticipation of the American release of his award-winning graphic novel Lucille, French cartoonist Ludovic Debeurme is making a few US appearances this week! Those in the New York area will get an early look at Lucille at these events, part of the PEN World Voices Festival. (The rest of us can read an excerpt on the PEN web site!)

First up is a free lunchtime conversation between Ludovic and Norwegian novelist Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold, at La Maison Française in New York City! Tuesday, April 26 at noon. Details here.

Then on Saturday, April 30, Ludovic joins a host of comic-book talent including Kate Beaton, Nick Bertozzi, Michael Kupperman, R. Sikoryak and more, in “Comic Books Come Alive on Stage” at Cooper Union in New York! This multimedia show begins at noon and tickets are $15/$10. Details here.

Then on May 7-8, Ludovic will join us in Toronto for the Toronto Comics Art Festival, where we will debut his incredible book Lucille! You’ll fall in love with its young heroes, Lucille and Arthur, and see for yourself why their story won the Goscinny Prize and the Angouleme Essential award in France.

CHESTER 5000 & LUCILLE to debut at TCAF!

On May 7-8, Ludovic Debeurme and Jess Fink will join us in Toronto for the Toronto Comics Art Festival, where we will debut both Lucille and Chester 5000. Ludovic and Jess are part of a killer Top Shelf lineup at TCAF, including Jeff Lemire (Essex County ), Kathryn & Stuart Immonen (Moving Pictures), Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole), and Eric Skillman (of Liar’s Kiss, which made a big splash at its debut at MoCCA just a couple weeks ago).

Hot Off The Press!

LIAR’S KISS

NIGHT ANIMALS

DODGEM LOGIC #7

DODGEM LOGIC #8

NEW IN PREVIEWS!

The wait is over! Our JULY releases are now available for pre-order in Previews, and these are BIG! What awaits within? Tons of action, some of your favorite creators, and piles of pop culture references woven carefully into stories that will blow your mind. Are you excited? Get excited — and pre-order now!!

THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN (VOL III): CENTURY #2 (OF 3): “1969“

THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN (VOL III): CENTURY #2 (OF 3): “1969”

by Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill
— ISBN 978-1-60309-006-3
— an 80-pg full-color gn
— $9.95 (US)

The League is back! Our merry metafictional marauders continue their bestselling adventures through the 20th century. In this volume, the League must battle dark cultists amid the sit-ins, sitars, and psychedelics of 1960s swinging London.

ANY EMPIRE

ANY EMPIRE

by Nate Powell
— ISBN 978-1-60309-077-3
— a 304-pg hardcover gn
— $19.95 (US)

Nate Powell’s follow-up to the Eisner-winning Swallow Me Whole examines war and violence, and their trickle-down effects on middle America. As a gang of small-town kids find themselves reunited in adulthood, their dark histories collide in a struggle for the future.

INFINITE KUNG FU

INFINITE KUNG FU

by Kagan McLeod
— ISBN 978-1-891830-83-9
— a 464-pg deluxe flexi-cover gn
— $24.95 (US)

Funk music, martial arts, and zombie warfare combine in this epic saga! One reluctant monk must master all the countless styles of kung fu to save the world from a curse that has brought the dead back to walk the earth.