Tag Archives: top shelf

Top Shelf celebrates 10 years of March with a stunning new poster

Top Shelf Productions has announced the release of a commemorative poster to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the publication of March: Book One, the first volume in the award-winning graphic memoir trilogy by Congressman John LewisAndrew Aydin, and Nate Powell about Lewis and his colleagues’ life on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement.

These full-color posters feature brand-new artwork from Nate Powell, evocatively depicting the educational and inspirational power that the March trilogy activates within readers of all ages and walks of life.

Now considered one of the most important literary and comics works of the modern century, March broke new ground from its first conception, and swiftly became one of the most widely taught comics works in the United States. Winning the National Book Award in 2016, March became the first comics work to win one of the “major” literary awards in competition. The next year, March achieved an unprecedented sweep of the American Library Association’s Coretta Scott King Award, Printz Award, Sibert Medal, and YALSA Nonfiction Award, winning more ALA book awards than any other work in history. Among the series’ many other honors and accomplishments, March has made over 130 appearances on New York Times Best Seller lists, often at #1, and has been translated into nearly a dozen languages.

Because of its rigorously researched primary-source-based accounts and powerful imagery, teachers have embraced March as a thrilling and sophisticated resource for students in middle schools, high schools, and colleges, while countless libraries, many of the nation’s top universities, and even entire states have used March to engage in holistic dialogues through “One Book” community-wide reading programs over the past decade. Today, March is widely considered an essential work for understanding America’s past and shaping its future.

The new posters “Celebrating 10 Years of March will be distributed free of charge to comic book shops, bookstores, and libraries. Retailers and libraries are encouraged to contact their representative at Penguin Random House to request copies (SKU: MKT1000061855). While supplies last, readers can also pick up a copy from the creators, Top Shelf Productions, and IDW Publishing, at upcoming conventions.

In addition, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell are currently scheduling their participation in reading programs for the 2024-2025 academic year. Please reach out if you are interested in organizing a community-wide reading program featuring visits from the creators.

For more details about March, including educational support resources, visit topshelfcomix.com/march.

Celebrating 10 Years of March

Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story is still as relevant today as when it was first published

Martin Luther King and The Montgomery Story

One of the best releases of the last decade of comics is Top Shelf‘s March trilogy which details the life of Congressman John Lewis. Lewis was an instrumental individual in the Civil Rights movement. That successful graphic novel lead Top Shelf to partner with the Fellowship of Reconciliation to publish a new edition of the Martin Luther King and The Montgomery Story. The comic is an amazing piece of history that has been used to promote peaceful, non-violent protests around the world, being translated into numerous languages.

The 16-page comic is a wonderful summary of the Civil Rights movement taking individuals through the methods and thought process used to protest Montgomery’s policy that African Americans were to ride in the back of the bus. The narration is from an individual named “Jones” and his experience through the protest. After the story wraps up, there’s a step-by-step checklist that breaks down the exact methodology used and also how it’s been used throughout the world, in particular, to win India’s independence.

Top Shelf focused not just on reprinting the comic in modern standards, they used similar paper and coloring from the time that it originally was printed. This looks like a copy you might have held decades ago. A fantastic recreation of an important piece of comic and civil rights history.

Everyone should check this out, to learn about United States history, but also how comics have been used to create change and in political movements. Comics have been political since their formation over 100 years ago and have been a tool to fight for political change ever since.

While it’s difficult to get a print copy, there are a few options below.

Story: Alfred Hassler, Benton Resnik Art: Sy Barry
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Purchase: Kindle/comiXology Amazon

Logan’s Favorite Comics of 2022

If you’ve followed my writing this year, you can definitely tell that 2022 was the year I had serious issues keeping up with new comics even though I opened up my first pull list in six years (Shout out to Rick’s Comic City!) However, I still believe it’s the greatest storytelling medium, and the stray moments I had re-reading old favorites or finding new works were some of the best I had in 2022. I don’t really have the attention span to keep up with crossovers or sprawling shared universes any more, but I love my five issue minis or soft, queer OGNs.

So, without further ado, here are my ten favorite comics of 2022.

10. One-Star Squadron (DC)

Mark Russell and Steve Lieber’s One-Star Squadron follows a group of C and D-list superheroes who are part of an organization called Heroz4U that tries to help find heroes “meaningful” work whether that’s sales for the company, personal appearances, or even actual search and rescue work. The comic satirizes all aspects of modern employment culture, including corporate restructuring, gig work/side hustles, and the cavalier/cutthroat nature of hiring/laying off folks. NFTs and “girlboss culture” even come into play with the Russell’s take on Power Girl. There’s plenty of jokes and comedic beats and visuals from Lieber, but One-Star Squadron also has a strong emotional throughline in the relationship between Red Tornado and his employees as he tries to go to bat for characters like Minuteman and Gangbuster while trying to provide for his family and make the higher-ups at Heroz4U happy. One-Star Squadron is a must-read for fans of David Graeber’s Bullshit Jobs, r/antiwork, and obscure DC heroes.

9. Rockstar and Softboy (Image)

Rockstar and Softboy is a breezy, fun one-shot ode to queer friendship from cartoonist Sina Grace and also acts as his triumphant return to doing interior art. Even though they have completely opposite personalities, Rockstar and Softboy have a lovely friendship that survives the ups and downs of the increasingly surreal house party that is the main setpiece of the comic. Beneath the super sentai battles and dick jokes, Grace also explores the nature of creativity, collaboration, and friendship through his two lead characters as the real motivation for the house party is creating great music and video games as well as getting laid. Rockstar and Softboy is definitely one of the more fun and chaotic comics I read in 2022.

8. Sabretooth (Marvel)

As mentioned earlier, I’m a bit behind on the current X-books, but enjoyed a lot of what I read from them in 2022, including the first arcs of X-Men Red and Immortal X-Men. However, my favorite comic from that editorial group was the Sabretooth miniseries from Victor LaValle and Leonard Kirk. It’s basically Paradise Lost with Sabretooth playing the role of Milton’s Satan and trying to make a heaven of hell with his fellow Krakoans that were thrown in the Pit for various reasons. LaValle and Kirk fully explore the dark side of a utopian society and also provide social commentary on the prison system in the United States using various B and C-list mutants. Plus it ends on a killer sequel hook that enhances Victor Creed’s role in the X-books.

7. Doughnuts and Doom (Top Shelf)

Doughnuts and Doom is a (literally at times) sweet and magical queer romance graphic novel by cartoonist Balazs Lorinczi. It’s full of all the fun, relatable tropes like missed signals, enemies to lovers, and most importantly, slow burn with Lorinczi using most of the story to shape the relationship between witch/online potion seller Margot and musician/donut shop employee Elena. I also like how Lorinczi focuses on Margot and Elena’s lives outside their relationship, like Margot struggling to get her magic license, or Elena’s conflict with a local Visually, Doughnuts and Doom has a bubblegum punk aesthetics with plenty of pastels and spot blacks and different panel layouts any time magic, music, or romance happens that makes the comic even more immersive and heartwarming.

6. Spider-Punk (Marvel)

Spider-Verse denizen Hobie Brown aka Spider-Punk gets his first solo miniseries in five issues of anticapitalism, antifascism, antiracism, and head cracking from writer Cody Ziglar and artist Justin Mason. Ziglar and Mason’s passion for classic punk music shines in characters like a Devilock-sporting alternate version of Taskmaster, and they also create memorable riffs on other Marvel characters like Daredevil being a female punk drummer from Philadelphia or Captain America (Renamed Anarchy, of course) being a queer and indigenous man. Mason’s energetic art and Jim Charalamapidis’ colors create spectacular fight scenes as Hobie and his makeshift band cross the United States in a quest to take out the relatably fascist president of the United States. Spider-Punk shows that superhero comics can be subversive and call out the status quo while still being fun as hell, and it’s always interesting to see anti-corporate art being put out by one of the world’s biggest and most smothering corporations.

5. Joe Hill’s Rain (IDW)

Rain is a post-apocalyptic comic miniseries adapted from one of Joe Hill’s short stories in his 2017 Strange Weather collected and is scripted by David Booher with art by Zoe Thorogood. Though originally written years before the COVID-19 pandemic, it captures some of the feelings of fear, terror, and in some cases, coming together as found family of this time period as protagonist Honeysuckle tries to survive and eventually figure out why crystal nails are raining down from the sky. Rain is part road story, part tragic queer romance and a showcase for Thorogood’s skill at conveying character acting and emotions in life and death situations. Rain is definitely a dark read, but has several great moments where humanity shines even at the end of the world.

4. DC Pride 2022 (DC)

DC Pride 2022 was one of my favorite reads of this year, and the most memorable story in the volume was by the late Kevin Conroy and J. Bone that explores Conroy’s life as a gay man in the 1970s and 1980s, how he dealt with discrimination while trying to break into the acting business, and how getting the role of Batman in Batman: The Animated Series changes his life and the lives of millions of folks who enjoyed the show. In addition to this lovely short story, DC Pride 2022 serves as a showcase for interesting LGBTQ+ comic book characters, and more importantly, LGBTQ+ comics creators. There’s Jon Kent’s first Pride done in a beautiful (and sassy when Damian Wayne is involved) way by Devin Grayson and Nick Robles, a Jo Mullein story from Tini Howard and Evan Cagle that explores the nuances of bisexuality in a space detective story, an action-packed Connor Hawke story from Ro Stein and Ted Brandt that digs into his experience as an asexual man, and much more. These big Pride one-shots are starting to be a nice tradition from DC and hope they continue indefinitely.

3. Catwoman: Lonely City (DC)

Cliff Chiang writes, draws, colors, and letters the definitive Selina Kyle story in Catwoman: Lonely City, a Black Label miniseries that wrapped up in 2022. Catwoman: Lonely City is a touching, suspenseful story about legacy, resisting authoritarianism, and finding family in unexpected places that explores an aging Kyle pulling off one last heist in a Batman-less Gotham. It has a colorful cast of supporting characters from all over the DC Universe and is one of the most gorgeous books of 2022 with Chiang nailing everything from romantic banter between Catwoman and Riddler to a color palette that straddles neon and noir as well as some very acrobatic fight choreography. It’s truly the Catwoman book you can recommend to anyone who’s remotely interested in the character and is Cliff Chiang’s magnum opus up to this point.

2. Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands (Drawn and Quarterly)

Ducks is a graphic memoir about cartoonist Kate Beaton’s (Of Hark! A Vagrant fame) experience working various jobs in the oil fields of Alberta to pay back her student loans from art school. Beaton doesn’t shy away from showing the difficult work conditions there and the terrible treatment of women, especially in the work camps and later explores how the oil fields affect the wild life and the indigenous people who originally owned the land. Ducks unpacks the trauma that comes from trying to make money under capitalism and being woman in a field where reports of untoward behavior and even sexual assault get a blind eye. All of this is done in Kate Beaton’s trademark cartooning that punctuates the difficult moments with bits of dark humor and insights into her upbringing in Cape Breton, Canada although she uses a more detailed style for establishing shots and the inner workings of the tool area she works at . Personally, I feel like I learned a lot more about other parts of Canada beyond Ontario and the Vancouver area, and that the country isn’t some kind of Great Northern utopia even though it feels like that some time living in a right to work state where healthcare is dependent on your employer.

1. It’s Lonely at the Centre of the Earth (Image)

Zoe Thorogood is easily one of the most exciting writer/artists working in comics, and her experimental, brutally honest graphic memoir It’s Lonely at the Centre of the Earth was my favorite comic of 2022. Thorogood effectively uses anthropomorphization to visually represent different parts of her personality as well as her friends and folks she comes in contact with throughout the memoir and gives an unfiltered look about how she feels about being a comic book artist, the response to her previous comic The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott, and her relationship with her friends, family, and an ex-lover. It’s Lonely at the Centre of the Earth can definitely be a difficult read at times, especially when Thorogood brings up her inability to connect with other people and negative self-talk. But it’s a masterpiece because it uses the tools and tricks of the comics medium and page to bring her inner world to life and ends with a powerful call to the reader that their existence matters as she dances in the streets of London to a nine panel grid.

Review: Doughnuts and Doom

Doughnuts and Doom

Doughnuts and Doom is a delightful queer romantic comedy with witches, music, mishap, and of course, donuts. It’s a slow-burn storyline from cartoonist Balazs Lorinci about a witch/online potion seller named Margot and a musician/donut store employee named Elena. A mishap at the local donut store brings them together as Margot accidentally curses Elena while feeling a little hangry after failing her spell license test, and like any good rom-com, they keep bumping into each other and become good friends and maybe more. The story explores the pitfalls of relationships and being a young person with good humor and energy complemented by Lorinci’s soft lines and color palette. It also indulges in quite a few romantic comedy tropes like meet cutes, absurd misunderstandings, inability to read signals, and of course, a show-stopping musical number, but the charm of Balazs Lorinci’s art style and the depth that he gives the two leads make it go over like popcorn and facemasks instead of stale bread crumbs.

Another enjoyable thing about Doughnuts and Doom is that Elena and Margot get their own lives and arcs outside of their budding relationship. Lorinci immediately creates empathy for both characters by putting obstacles in their paths. Elena’s band is struggling to find an audience, and she’s burning the candle on both ends trying to create music and also pay the bills by working at the donut shop. This situation is definitely relatable to anyone who has worked multiple jobs or had to balance creative work and the day job, and it’s really rewarding when Margot listens to Elena’s band’s music on and connects to it, honestly, getting a part of her soul handed to her on a platter. Balazs Lorinci writes lyrics for Elena’s band (A two-piece, like the White Stripes, but swap the genders and more mishaps at gigs), and it adds to the comic’s themes of loneliness and finding that special connection in an unexpected place.

As a witch, Margot’s struggles are more rooted in the supernatural as Doughnuts and Doom opens with her failing her spell license test. (Thankfully, she has potions to fall back on especially in the financial department.) Later, in the book, she opens up to Elena about her fear of performing in front of people, and as a person who is deathly afraid of appearing on video, public speaking, and doesn’t listen to their own podcasts, I can definitely relate and smiled big-time at her big, let’s say, shining moment towards the ends of book. Margot’s issues with magic set up much of the plot of Doughnuts and Doom as she accidentally curses the donut Elena eats on her break leading to her get electrocuted at her gig. This sets up another meeting of the two where Margot cooks up a potion to remove the curse, but it ends up being a lot more complicated than that. Margot struggles with something that should be second nature to her, but it isn’t portrayed as a moral failing by Balazs Lorinci even though it’s a huge source of tension throughout and leads to personal troubles and with the powers that be/bureaucrats of the witching world.

Along with lovely character arcs for its two lead characters, Doughnuts and Doom features a unique visual style. I love the crackles of color that Lorinci includes any time something magical or musical happens in the comic, and that extends to the sparks that fly between Elena and Margot. There are also random little things I like about the art like that he draws cute noses and over the top facial expressions that especially work in the misunderstanding era of Elena and Margot’s relationship when Margot kind of came off as a Karen when she wanted a specific kind of donut. (But, honestly, no one’s perfect, and flunking a hard test plus being hungry is not a bad combination.) During the concert sequences, Balazs Lorinci uses wider panels and split screen compositions to show the energy from Elena and her drummer Tyler, and how it ebbs and flows in the crowd, and especially Margot.

All in all, Doughnuts and Doom is an eminently relatable and fiercely queer romantic comedy graphic novel that will warm your heart like the “Hot and Ready” sign at your local donut shop coupled with your favorite track on your “yearning” playlist. (It pairs nicely with “Silk Chiffon” by MUNA, or “Pang” by Caroline Polachek.)

Story/Art: Balazs Lorinci
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

IDW/Top Shelf provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Bend of Luck

Bend of Luck

(W) Peter Hoey (A/CA) Maria Hoey
In Shops: Aug 03, 2022
SRP: $19.99

Imagine a world where Luck, the most ephemeral of ideas, has a physical form. Precious stones of luck, mined like gold, are worn as bringers of fortune. But luck breaks both ways. While the blue gems may grant advantage to those who wear them, their blessing is fickle and unpredictable. In the blink of an eye, good luck can turn to bad. We follow the life of a man who comes into possession of some powerful stones – but the success enjoyed by the father goes awry when he tries to pass this luck onto his son. In alternating scenes between the two generations, The Bend of Luck follows felicity’s course, like an arrow, through a family’s destiny.

Bend of Luck

Radical: My Year With a Socialist Senator– Graphic Novelist Sofia Warren

NY’s 1st Socialist State Senator in 100 years, get’s the graphic novel treatment in Sofia Warren‘s new graphic memoir — Radical: My Year With a Socialist Senator

New York, Socialism, community organizing and COMICS are near the top of my list of interests so I’m excited to have cartoonist Sofia Warren on the show to talk about her book. Reading this graphic memoir might make you feel a little more hopeful and inspired and certainly a lot more well informed about how political organizing can win change for the better at the local level — no matter where you are.

Here’s Sofia’s instagram.

And here’s the Opertation Save Abortion online event July 17 I promotes in my intro.

Review: Radical: My Year With a Socialist Senator

Sofia Warren follows first-year New York State Senator Julia Salazar on her journey from organizer to elected official. The graphic novel perfectly captures the experience of working in politics.

Story: Sofia Warren
Art: Sofia Warren

Get your copy in comic shops! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Preview: Radical, My Year with a Socialist Senator

Radical, My Year with a Socialist Senator

(W) Sofia Warren (A) Sofia Warren
In Shops: Jun 15, 2022
SRP: $24.99

In early 2018, cartoonist Sofia Warren was not paying attention to New York state politics. But that summer, her Brooklyn neighborhood began buzzing about Julia Salazar, a 27-year-old democratic socialist running for state senate whose grassroots campaign was inspiring an army of volunteers. When they beat the odds and won, Warren found herself wondering what would happen next. How does it work when an outsider who runs on revolutionary change has to actually do the job? So she decided to find out. Using the graphic memoir format, Radical: My Year with a Socialist Senator is a remarkable first-hand account of Warren’s experience embedded with Julia Salazar and her staff during their first year in office.

Radical, My Year with a Socialist Senator

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Radical: My Year with a Socialist Senator

Wednesdays (and Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

A Calculated Man #1 (AfterShock) – A math genius who used to run the numbers for a crime family enters Witness Protection and goes in the run after turning state’s evidence.

Albatross Exploding Funnybooks #1 (Albatross Funnybooks) – A new anthology series featuring some of Eric Powell’s fan favorite creations!

Best Archie Comic Ever #1 (Archie Comics) – A series of short stories shaking up the Archie we know with a fantastic group of creators.

Bill & Ted Roll the Dice #1 (Opus Comics) – The time-traveling duo are back in a monthly series of most excellent adventures! The duo are back and having a nice renaissance and we’re excited to see how that translates to comics!

Blue, Barry & Pancakes Vol. 4 Enter the Underground Throwdown (First Second) – The series is a lot of fun for kids and adults and solid lessons… for both really.

Bone Orchard Mythos: Passageway (Image Comics) – The first book in the horror shared universe from Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino. With those two involved, we’re absolutely in for this release.

Bunny Mask: Hollow Inside #2 (AfterShock) – The horror series has us guessing what’s going to happen next and this new primordial force has us intrigued as to exactly that.

Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #1 (Marvel) – Steve Rogers gets his own Captain America series and we’re intrigued how the two will work together and stand apart from each other.

Clementine Book 1 (Image Comics/Skybound) – The popular character from The Walking Dead video game comes to comics in a young reader graphic novel series!

Deadpool: Samurai Vol. 2 (VIZ Media) – The manga take on Marvel’s popular character has been interesting. We were a bit mixed on the debut but still want to see where the second volume goes.

Do a Powerbomb #1 (Image Comics) – Wrestling gets hardcore when a necromancer asks Lona Steelrose to join the grandest pro wrestling tournament ever.

Eight Billion Genies #2 (Image Comics) – The first issue was a lot of fun as everyone in the world gets a genie to make a wish.

G.I. JOE: Saturday Morning Adventures #4 (IDW Publishing) – Perfectly capturing the 1980s cartoon, the comic is perfect nostalgia and a hell of a lot of fun.

Grim #2 (BOOM! Studios) – The first issue was a hell of a lot of fun focused on a grim reaper who has things go really sideways for her. It left us scratching our heads wanting to see what happens next.

Marvel’s Secret Reverse Vol. 1 (VIZ Media) – Yu-Gi-Oh! creator Kazuki Takahashi takes on Iron Man and Spider-Man!

The Ocean Will Take Us #3 (AfterShock) – The series has a great mix of mystery and teenage drama.

Radical: My Year with a Socialist Senator (IDW Publishing/Top Shelf) – Dive into the world of politics with this graphic novel about true experiences during a political campaign.

Undiscovered Country: Destiny Man Special (Image Comics) – The mysterious villain gets a special issue focused on him!

Why the People: The Case for Democracy (First Second) – Is democracy still the best form of government? This graphic novel attempts to answer that question!

Preview: Radical, My Year with a Socialist Senator

Radical, My Year with a Socialist Senator

(W) Sofia Warren (A) Sofia Warren
In Shops: Jun 15, 2022
SRP: $24.99

In early 2018, cartoonist Sofia Warren was not paying attention to New York state politics. But that summer, her Brooklyn neighborhood began buzzing about Julia Salazar, a 27-year-old democratic socialist running for state senate whose grassroots campaign was inspiring an army of volunteers. When they beat the odds and won, Warren found herself wondering what would happen next. How does it work when an outsider who runs on revolutionary change has to actually do the job? So she decided to find out. Using the graphic memoir format, Radical: My Year with a Socialist Senator is a remarkable first-hand account of Warren’s experience embedded with Julia Salazar and her staff during their first year in office.

Radical, My Year with a Socialist Senator
« Older Entries