Tag Archives: libraries

Graphic Novels Suck!

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1

One benefit of transitioning from the corporate world to the library world is that I get to work with and handle comics (or graphic novels as they like to call them.) on a daily basis. I mean I literally got paid to order and enter the ordering information for the first volume of Saladin Ahmed and Javier Garron’s Miles Morales: Spider-Man comic today and then at my other job at a public library, I got to show a couple of kids (whose first library card I made.) where the Pokemon “comics” were. It’s pretty awesome, but there’s a bittersweet lining to it too.

And that lining is that in the minds of many of the people I interact with at work, whether that’s colleagues or patrons, comics are still solely for kids. Yes, I know it’s a cliche, but it was corroborated by Eric Reynolds, the co-publisher of Fantagraphics in an interview with Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg of the Cartoonist Kayfabe podcast where he talked about how well comics by Dav Pilkey or Raina Telgemaier were selling, but how those sales don’t translate to the adult or even the YA market. Kids comics (and manga) are booming, but unless you’re already into the world of comics, or it’s something evergreen like Watchmen, Maus, or Fun Home, it seems like comics are not a viable reading material for, say, post-college age adults.

And I hate that I don’t feel empowered to recommend comics and graphic novels to adults at my work unless they’re already checking one out. For example, I told a patron who checked out Manhattan Projects to check out Jonathan Hickman’s recent X-Men work and that we would probably be ordering the complete hardcover in the winter. However, if a patron likes spy novels, I probably won’t recommend Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s Velvet or Antony Johnston and Sam Hart’s The Coldest City. I think a lot of this is how the graphic novels are shelved. (In the teens and kids section at one job, and hidden away on the 2nd floor at another.) But it might be a personal thing too.

In my mind as a comics critic/fan and librarian-in-training, I have two wolves inside me. One is out here trying to champion comics as either serious literature or something that can appeal to everyone like young adult dystopian novels, airport novels, or Oprah’s Book Club nonfiction. (She makes some pretty great choices.) Then, there’s another, admittedly bad, wolf that relishes in comics’ history and reputation as the “bastard child of art and commerce” and doesn’t give a shit if the people around me look down on the medium or see it as only fit for children and people, who need help learning how to read. (This is hilariously reductive because comics require both verbal and visual literacy to be understood.) I also enjoy having a little fun and saying things like the latest issue of Batman has more literary value than anything James Patterson and Tom Clancy. (It’s true, especially when Scott Snyder and Grant Morrison were writing the book.)

Batman "Enough"

What both wolves really like to come to blows over is the term “graphic novel”. The good wolf likes to emphasize it when talking to patrons because it reminds them of a currently respected medium. (The novel, which used to be seen as trash once upon a time.) The bad wolf likes to say that it’s a meaningless term, especially for trade paperbacks of ongoing series with multiple writers and artists. Both wolves agree that graphic non-fiction, memoirs, and medicine belong with their respective subjects and not with “graphic novels” because that makes so sense. Would you shelve a non-fiction book about anxiety next to J.D. Robb’s latest vapid thriller?

If I had my way, I would call anything that told a sequential story in both words and images a comic, plain and simple. However, graphic novel does have some marketing value even though some of the ways it’s used and overused are utterly banal. But, hey, if leads to a comic being checked out, I’ll use the word.

I have high hopes that as film and television shows of different genres that are comic book adaptations continue to be released, members of Generation Z keep reading comics even after their teachers and other adults say “They’re below their reading level” (This adds to their punk rock value, to be honest.), and cartoonists like Gene Luen Yang and Ed Piskor speak at prestigious book events (Aka they mainly focus on prose.) that comics will end up being just another item on the reading menu. Maybe, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will get elected president in 2024 and invite Alan Moore (He’ll probably decline.) and Dave Gibbons to chat Watchmen.

But, for now, I need to dig a little deeper and get better at recommending comics to people who aren’t children, teenagers, “geeks”, or fans of science fiction and fantasy. (I got a librarian at my work, who read Mort Weisinger-edited Superman books and 1960s Marvel comics as a child, seriously hooked on Saga.) I need to be a little less precious about semantics and use the term “graphic novel” as a tool for promotion instead of something that numbs my brain and makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit. I need to understand that some people might not have the visual literacy levels to read and enjoy comics, which is okay.

And my final takeaway is that I need to read more manga. Seriously, I went to a Barnes and Noble in the Louisville, Kentucky suburbs and there were four full rows of manga. Because of the prevalence of public transportation and the lack of a Comics Code incident leading to one genre taking over the industry due to censorship, manga of all genres is easy to obtain in Japan, and maybe it’ll be like that the United States. But, for now, it’s time to crack open Uzumaki by Junji Ito. (Once I knock off all the others on my “to be read” list).

C2E2 Empowers Chicago-area Students to Read with “Power Up to Read” Program


Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), the largest pop culture convention in the Midwest are teaming up with 194 local schools and libraries to launch “Power Up To Read.” The free program gives students between ages 6-14 the chance to earn a free 3-day badge to C2E2 simply by reading! In its inaugural year, ReedPOP is distributing 57,000 “Power Up To Read” participation worksheets and coupon codes to participating schools and libraries to help incentivize students to read more.

To partake in the program, students must attend a participating school and obtain a “Power Up To Read” worksheet from a school representative or download a copy from the Power Up To Read website. To complete the program, students must read eight books, comic books, or graphic novels from their school or library between now and March 9, 2019 and fill out the provided worksheet with the requested details on the books they read.

Once the students complete their worksheets, they can turn in the completed sheet to their school’s representative in exchange for a promo code which can be redeemed by a parent or guardian and are valid for a free 3-day badge for the student, and 50 percent off two additional 3-day badges. Codes can be redeemed at C2E219.com/badges.

SPX Has Announced its Graphic Novel Gift Program Recipients

The Small Press Expo (SPX), the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comics, graphic novels, and alternative political cartoons, has announced that the Allegany County Library and the Ruth Enlow Library of Garrett County are the 2018 recipients of the Small Press Expo Library Gift Program.

This program, the first of its kind in the United States, is an outright gift of comics and graphic novels to the libraries as selected by their collections specialists, who this year selected 186 titles comprising 224 individual books.

There was a formal presentation of the books to the libraries by Small Press Expo Graphic Novel Gift Program Director Catherine Fraas on Saturday, August 11.

The books were selected by the libraries from the offerings of publishers Adhouse, Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Drawn & Quarterly, Cartoon Books, and Koyama Press, all of whom support this program.

Ericka Lugo designed a special bookplate that has been placed in all of the books donated by SPX.

SPX’s Graphic Novel Gift Program is an expansion of the philanthropic and charitable endeavors that are part of its corporate charter, and is in addition to SPX’s annual support to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. The targets of this program are public and academic library systems in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area as selected by the Small Press Expo.

The goals of this program are:

  • to facilitate the availability of graphic novels to readers of all ages utilizing public and school libraries,
  • to promote learning and literacy through the availability of graphic novels at local libraries, and
  • to provide library systems with additional resources by which they can purchase graphic novels and comics.

SPX will be held Saturday, September 15 from 11am-7pm and Sunday, September 16, 12-6pm at the North Bethesda Marriott Convention Center in North Bethesda, Maryland. Admission is $15 for Saturday, $10 for Sunday, and $20 for both days.

C2E2 2018: Ivy Noelle Weir and Steenz talk Archival Quality, the new graphic novel from Oni Press

ArchivalQuality-banner

At C2E2, I had the pleasure of chatting with writer Ivy Noelle Weir (Princeless) and artist Steenz (Elements) about some of themes and characters in their debut graphic novel, Archival Qualitywhich was recently released by Oni Press.

The book follows the life, work, and relationships of Cel, the new archivist at the macabre Logan Museum, which is a medical archive that used to be a sanatorium and is run by the little too young to be a curator Abayomi and a mysterious board of directors. It’s part ghost story, part exploration of mental health issue and full of empathy, spookiness, and humor.

Graphic Policy: I’m going to start out with a big picture question. What are some of the strengths of the comics medium in telling a story about mental health like Archival Quality?

Ivy Noelle Weir: I’m just a writer, a lowly writer, and I don’t draw. Part of the strength of this project was the collaboration between Steenz and I because I was able to tell a story that I wanted to, and maybe prose would have fallen short in some of the emotional factors.

Because Steenz is so good at rendering human expression, I feel like [her art] gave [the story] more weight. There are moments where I’m able to have no dialogue happen in my script that Steenz is able to evoke a really strong reaction by the way she draws the characters. In prose, you get bogged down by description, and you’re prescribing more for people. You can’t just show something. Film works too for discussing this kind of thing.

Steenz: When you think about mental health in general, I feel like if you’re reading [about] it, it doesn’t humanize it as much versus if you actually see it and how it is on people’s faces. Putting a face to something you’re unfamiliar with makes it a lot easier to understand. Being able to draw that out for somebody is a little better than reading. Not that prose sucks… That’s not what I’m saying [laughs]

GP: One thing that I loved about Archival Quality were that the characters, not the ArchivalInterior.jpgGothic mystery story were at the forefront. Why did you guys decide to focus on the characters instead of twist-y plot things?

INW: I’ve always written like that. And I think it’s because people are interesting. When I was in high school, I was in this short fiction writing workshop. This shows the lasting effect a teacher can have on your life, and a teacher said to me, “You write empathy and pathos really well. It’s your strength. You should play  to that.”

And I’m like, “Alright.” I’m gonna do that for the rest of my life, I guess. I thought that was the way to tell it. And when you’re writing about something as personal as mental health, it does not look the same on everyone. Everyone’s experience of anxiety and depression is different. Having the story focus on a very three dimensional character makes it more personal, and not like you’re prescribing one way of thinking or being to everyone.

S: Also, I feel like characterization is as much of a setting as plot is. You can have something that’s super plot heavy, and the characters can be super flat, but it could also still resound with you as much. So, I think they have equal weight. You can play with what works best for the project.

GP: Steenz, I love your art style. How do you balance the adorableness of your art with telling a story with weighty topics like lobotomies and mental health? Especially the flashbacks.

S: I don’t think about it. I don’t let any kind of genre stop me from drawing the way I want to draw. When I’m reading Ivy’s stuff, I let color play into the mood because I can draw things as bright or exciting or super action-y like it was a sports anime or something.

But I can also do something that’s a little more somber or morose. It just has to do with color because the style of characters I draw never changes at all.

ArchivalArtGP: How did you develop that style? It’s very distinct.

S: When I talk to people about style development, I always tell them that it’s not something that you do intentionally. Your muscle memory will create something for you. If you’re looking at a lot of Chris Sanders (How to Train Your Dragon) and only Chris Sanders, your work is going to start to look like his. But it won’t look like his because you’re not him, it’s going to look like a “you” version of Chris Sanders.

So, the more kinds of styles that you look into and practice and see what you’re interested in, the more it’s going to combine and create this amalgamation of style mixed in with your own personal attachment to it. That will create your style for you.

GP: Ivy, I know you have a background as a librarian. Did any personal experiences you had as a librarian have an influence on Archival Quality at all? Any crazy stories?

INW:  I was a public librarian for the majority of my career so not as many because the scariest thing that happened to me was somebody returning a book soaked in Axe body spray. Or white ladies driving up in a Porsche demanding that I give back their 25 cent late fee. People saying, “My taxes pay your salary” and all that.

I did my undergrad studies in art history, and then I focused on the ethics of medical photography for my undergrad thesis. During that time, I did an internship at a medical history archive like the one in our book. That was very different from what I portrayed in the book. The book version was a pure fantasy, and I think that if an actual archivist read it that they might be like, “Hmm…”

Whereas the one I worked at was very concerned with ethics and proper procedure. I wish I had a cool, creepy story about when I worked in the medical archive, but it was like having an office job. An office job where I cataloged mummified arms.

GP: So, no handling physical body parts?

INW: I handled some physical stuff. I handled a few things that were bound in human skin. It was mostly documents, but weird documents that were like, “To cure this thing, inject turpentine into the bowels at a full moon.” And I thought about what people were going to think about modern medicine in 100 years.

GP: That’s crazy. You could get hundreds of stories from that. So, Abayomi, when I started reading the book was a straight-laced managerial type, and I assumed he might become the bad guy, but he ended up be my most favorite character in the whole book. How did you build his arc and especially his chemistry with Cel?

INW: I love manga. Aba is every cold manga boyfriend, who turns out to be soft. He comes directly from me growing up and reading shojo manga. I feel like that is characterization you see more in that than in Western comics.

S: That’s basically what my inspiration for [Abayomi] was when I drew him because Ivy didn’t give me any descriptions for what anyone looked like. Basically, here is the character and their characterization, here is the story arc they go through, and here is a little of their work background. That’s it.

Other than that, I got to build what he looked like and his body movements and how he walked and talked. I think what made him so special is that, in manga, there’s always that character, who you’re not sure what they’re about until later on. I think there’s little bits and pieces of [Cel and Abayomi’s] interactions where you can kind of see him melting a little bit. I like that progression.

GP: Like the toaster strudels.

INW: That’s one of my favorite manga tropes. They’re tough, but they have one soft thing they’re into. It was a surprise to us that we spent all this time building Aba as a character, and then, The Good Place came out, and Chidi was him.

S: He’s literally the character we created.

GP: One small-ish thing I liked about Archival Quality was how organic Cel and [her UghKylelong term boyfriend] Kyle’s breakup was. How did you keep this slow burn breakup grounded in this wild world of skulls and ghosts?

INW: We did a book club Skype where, for the first time, I talked  about how I wrote this. The book club we Skyped into were split and said, “50% of us like Kyle, 50% of us hate Kyle.” They asked if he was a good person.

S: It was a tough question.

INW: Yeah, are any of us good people? I think what I said was “Do you like him?” So, I went through a similar breakup in my 20s. I was with my college boyfriend. We had been together for a really long time, and it was that kind of thing where we were growing apart. I think that happens more to people than big, bombastic “I’m gonna throw all your clothes out the window. It’s over! I’m never talking to you again” breakups.

You just start to drift, and the next thing you know, you [realize] you’re on different continents. This is not working. I thought it was a grounding point to Cel’s arc to have that be the first indicator that she’s more aware of herself and her needs. Because prior to the story and the catalyst of her going through this experience, she might not have had the strength to actually break up with him and just have them be together and be unhappy until something bad happened.

S: Another part of it is when it comes to drawing a breakup. When I draw, I use myself as a reference so I basically read and experienced their breakup very personally because I was sitting in that car and feeling like Cel and didn’t know what to do. I was also feeling like Kyle and don’t what to do either.

After drawing that scene, I texted Ivy and said, “I’m kind of emotionally drained right now. I feel like I just went through a breakup.” I had to go through it three times: penciling it, inking it, and coloring it. I kind of put myself into it so that people can also see it and feel it that way.

GP: I really connected to it. This is kind of a publisher question. Why was Oni Press the best company to publish this story?

INW: We originally intended for [Archival Quality] to be a webcomic. I had written this story as a novella, and I wanted to revisit it because it had been years since I’d worked on it. So, I approached Steenz and said, “Do you wanna make a webcomic?”

We thought a webcomic was really low risk because either no one will read it, and we can practice making comics together. Or people will read it, but we’ll have control over the timeline. So, we started banking pages, and Oni had their open submissions period. We were like, “Why not? What’s the worse that can happen?”

S: Because if they didn’t take it, we’d put it online, which is what we intended on doing. We had never intended on pitching this book as something to be printed at all. Until Oni said, “We’re doing submissions”, and we sent it.

INW: It’s funny because we didn’t intend for it to be an OGN. We were picturing it almost as an ongoing comic. Actually, when we came to Oni, and they suggested it as an OGN, I was very thankful for it because it was my first ever comic script. Having that A-to-B, do the thing, whole story helped because if it had been open ended with me never having done comics before, I think it would have been a weaker story.

GP: Have you guys gotten any feedback from librarians or archivists? What have they said about the story?

S: All the time. I’m always surprised about how many librarians and archivists there are out there. I knew there were a lot because we were both librarians, and we’d go to ALA and see how fucking crowded it is. There are plenty of librarians.

We’re kind of like a quiet species so when we’re doing signings, and someone’s like, “Hey, I’m a librarian”. I’m like, “Oh my gosh. Hey, what’s up?” It’s always cool to know there’s librarians and archivists in places that you don’t expect. I did a signing a few weeks ago somewhere around St. Louis, and someone was saying that they work in the botanical gardens as a librarian and an archivist.

I’m thankful to be able to reach out to librarians and archivists and talk about the different stuff that they do. It is a pretty wide job description.

INW: In my day job, I work in publicity for a book publisher and am always like “Don’t read the reviews.” But, if you go on Goodreads, it’s a 50/50 splits with archivists, who are either like “The archivist stuff  is dead on” or “No one here has studied archiving.”

S: Are we right? Are we wrong? Which is it?

INW: I have my Master’s degree in it so I hope that I’m at least a little bit right.

GP: Yeah, use that MLS. I have one last question. What would each of your ideal libraries look like if you had unlimited money and unlimited time?

INW: This is my public library, and they’re sufficiently state funded because this is a fantasy. There’s less books and more community space. I’m the worst for that. I’m like that dermatologist, “Librarians hate him”. When I was a librarian, I was always going to ALA and saying, “Knock out your bookshelves. Put in programming space. Let teens be loud in the library.”

I think that having enough space for youth and young families is the ideal.

S: I’ve been to so many different kinds of libraries, and I think the ones that impacted me the most were the ones that let young readers do what they want to when it came to what they read.

I find that some libraries have a hard separation between the kids’ section and everything else. I like the libraries that are a little more seamless so that if a kid was kind of interested in going over to the mystery books, they absolutely can. They don’t have to stay in one place. So, I guess my ideal would be a layout plan that’s welcoming to all types of people and isn’t too rigid in space.

INW: Yeah, ethically, you’re not supposed to divided libraries spatially because it has what the ALA calls a “chilling effect” on circulation. There’s my graduate thesis. I summarized it for you in one second.

GP: No boundaries. I like it.

Find Ivy Noelle Weir on Twitter.
Find Steenz on Twitter.
Buy Archival Quality here. 

hoopla digital Announces Deal with Archie Comics

archie logohoopla digital, the category-creating mobile and online service for public libraries, has  announced a new content agreement with Archie Comics. With the agreement, hoopla digital’s app and online service adds popular titles from Archie Comics’ three imprints – including acclaimed, best-selling titles such as the revamped Archie and Jughead; video game favorites like Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man; and Archie’s Dark Circle comics featuring genre-defying superheroes like The Black Hood. hoopla digital will also add the newly announced Betty and Veronica relaunch following the debut of the first issue this summer.

Archie Comics titles are immediately available for participating library patrons to instantly access on hoopla digital’s app and online service via their smartphones, tablets and computers.

Inclusion of Archie Comics broadens hoopla digital’s collection of more than 500,000 movies, TV shows, music albums, eBooks, audiobooks and comics. hoopla digital partners with public libraries across North America to provide patrons with online and mobile access to dynamic digital content. The service’s catalogue already includes titles from DC Comics, Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Valiant Comics and more.

hoopla digital’s innovative Action View creates one-of-a-kind immersive digital reading by allowing for full page and panel-by-panel views of comics and illustrations. There is no waiting to borrow titles on hoopla digital since on-demand content can be enjoyed by multiple patrons simultaneously. Patrons who use hoopla digital also avoid library late fees as digital content borrowing periods simply expire without charges.

hoopla digital has partnerships with more than 950 public library systems across North America including Toronto Public Library, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Boston Public Library, Los Angeles Public Library, St. Louis Public Library, and others.

Free Comics for Librarians from Papercutz

NICKELODEON MAGAZINEBudget-crunched librarians will soon be receiving some respite thanks to a new program from Papercutz. The publisher announced today that they will be supplying 100 free copies of Nickelodeon Magazine to libraries that support comics programming. It’s part of an effort by the publisher to fuel a growing trend in the school and public library space– “ComicCons” and other events focused on the fastest growing category in publishing – graphic novels.

Comic book conventions are well-known for a variety of attractions including creator appearances, costumes and, of course, exclusive promotional material from publishers. While many librarians have reached out to the comics creative community for appearances at events and patrons have picked up the costuming challenge, promotional items have been handled on an ad hoc basis, depending on the largesse of publishers or individual creators. This new program ensures that no comics-themed event will have to do without giveaways that incentivize reading.

Interested librarians simply need to contact Papercutz VP of Marketing, Sven Larsen six to eight weeks before their event. As soon as Papercutz receives a librarian’s request (including details of the planned event) they will dispatch 100 copies of the latest issue of Nickelodeon Magazine absolutely free (the library just has to pay for shipping).

BiblioBoard Expands Comic Books Collection to Include Popular Content from Valiant Entertainment

biblioboard valiantBiblioBoard has announced a new partnership with Valiant Entertainment to bring the publisher’s award-winning library to BiblioBoard’s Comics and Graphic Novels catalog for digital consumption in libraries nationwide. Spanning nearly one thousand titles, from Bloodshot to Divinity to Quantum and Woody and X-O Manowar, Valiant’s beloved universe of superhero characters are now available at the click of a button on BiblioBoard Library with no multi-user limitations or turnaways. This means no checkouts, returns or waitlists.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2015, Valiant is one of the most successful comic book publishing companies in the history of the medium with more than 81 million comics sold and a library of more than 2,000 distinct characters, including X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Harbinger, Shadowman, Archer & Armstrong, and many more. Established by a brain trust of legendary comics creators – including former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter; seminal Iron Man writer and artist, Bob Layton; and the visionary writer and illustrator of Wolverine: Weapon X, Barry Windsor-Smith – Valiant’s heroes and villains inhabit the largest independently owned superhero universe anywhere in comics.

In recent years the company has returned to great commercial and critical success, winning a Diamond Gem Award for Publisher of the Year and numerous industry awards and accolades. Valiant’s titles consistently rate among the best reviewed in comics.

BiblioBoard’s Comics and Graphic Novels catalog now contains over 3,500 titles with nearly one thousand titles from Valiant. Valiant Entertainment’s content is being sold as a ReadersFirst, subscription-pricing model with pricing tiered per library size, putting the collection within the budget of any library.

Cleveland Public Library Presents a Card Honoring Harvey Pekar

 

This past Monday, the Cleveland Public Library released their new Harvey Pekar library cards. The native Clevelander Pekar was has been honored not just by this limited edition membership card, but also a bronze statue erected in his honor right outside the library.

Cleveland Public Library director Felton Thomas explained his choice in choosing Pekar for this honor:

He brought Cleveland to life through his work and was a loyal patron of CPL. It’s our pleasure to offer this card to our patrons in his honor.

The card’s design is based on artwork from Joe Remnant’s illustrations for Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland.

If you are a Cleveland resident and want to get your hands on your own historic Harvey Pekar Library card, the normal replacement fee of $1.00 has been waived, so all you really have to do is head over to your local CPL and ask for a new Pekar card.

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!

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day tomorrow, what’s everyone getting?

Around the Blogs:

The Beat – DiDio and Lee speak on Roberson, Before Watchmen, etc: here’s that spade to dig your hole a little deeperSome interesting nuggets and none of it a shocker.

The Mary Sue – Woman Creates Tourette’s Superhero To Heal And EducateFantastic to see stuff like this.

Publishers Weekly – iVerse to Launch Digital Comics Library Service – Interesting… didn’t know libraries had to pay per check out.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews:

CBR – Birds of Prey #8