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Everybody's posting their day-by-day Comic-Con reports, so here's mine:

TUESDAY: Arrived early afternoon, set up Top Shelf booth
WEDNESDAY: Slept in, relaxed all day, sold books all evening
THURSDAY: Sold books
FRIDAY: Sold books
SATURDAY: Sold books
SUNDAY: Sold books, broke down Top Shelf booth
MONDAY: Slept in, relaxed all day, flew out late afternoon

Okay, there was a little more than that, but that's what it felt like. I barely went anywhere on the show floor that wasn't directly between our booth and the bathrooms. But it paid off, I guess -- we came out with pretty good sales. Especially of EISNER-AWARD-WINNING SWALLOW ME WHOLE, which blew out pretty early Saturday morning after its Friday-night win. Sunday I forgot to eat lunch, so packing up the whole booth was rough on an empty stomach. For some reason I never make time to eat lunch on the last day of a show.

Saw a bunch of great people, got to spend time with a few, and missed a ton (some who couldn't come and others who did come and we just didn't connect). Three or four people came by the booth whom I apparently knew but totally failed to recognize, leading to awkward conversations -- sorry, if you were one of those people! I take consolation in the fact that this appears to be a pretty common Con phenomenon.

I was sorry not to hit any panels (except our own Top Shelf spotlight panel, and the Surrogates book-to-film panel Wednesday afternoon) -- the programming this year seemed really good, from second-hand reports.
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The nice consequence of LJ-friending everyone who drew in my Tintin sketchbook (newly updated with SPX sketches) is that I can look at my LJ friends page and delude myself into thinking that suddenly it is The Talk of the Internet!

Allow me my illusions!
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Made it out of DC after a fantastic SPX. Hooray for new friends and new comics. Swallow Me Whole looks better than I ever dreamed.

I got a bunch more Tintin sketches, which I'll add to the Flickr set as soon as I get home to scan them.

Now I'm in Pittsburgh visiting old high school buddies (and their new friends here), celebrating something like 4 birthdays (I turned 23!).

Clara got me this:
birthday present

I'm doing well.
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Take a picture of yourself right now
Don’t change your clothes, don't fix your hair
Just take the picture
Post the picture with no editing
Post these instructions with your picture

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"Barack Obama should in no way be upset about the cartoon that depicts him as a Muslim extremist, because you know who gets upset about cartoons? Muslim extremists."
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So I'm back from the American Library Association annual conference, which was amazing, and I hope to write more about it later.

But for now, a public service announcement: Amazon MP3 is selling a Talking Heads Best-Of compilation for FOUR DOLLARS. Some weird choices for what songs were included, but hey, it's under a quarter per song.


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The Truth About Barack Obama
There are many things people do not know about BARACK OBAMA. It is every American's duty to read this message and pass it along to all of their friends and loved ones.

Barack Obama wears a FLAG PIN at all times. Even in the shower.
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If the Java isn't working, here's a closeup

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Two weeks from today, I will wake up as a full-time employee of Top Shelf Productions.

And the next day, I'll be flying to Orange County for the American Library Association's annual conference as the sole official Top Shelf representative (teamed with one of our breakout star creators, Jeff Lemire).

This is crazy (and, to be clear, awesome). I'm sure I'll have more thoughts on it later.

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Oh good Lord.

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Friday, May 16, 2008



American indie-comics publisher Top Shelf Productions launches today its new free digital comics initiative, playfully titled Top Shelf 2.0. Updated 5 days a week, the new program will showcase a huge variety of talent both old and new, introducing creators to new fans — and fans to new creators — with a constant stream of new stories.

Updates to the site, posted every weekday, will take many forms, ranging from one-page gags to short stories to chapters in an ongoing series. With each day’s new story, co-editors Brett Warnock and Leigh Walton will unveil another piece in a rolling assortment of previously featured artists and new debuts. As a special bonus for the site’s launch, the initial offering features ten stories by twelve creators, demonstrating the vast diversity of comics and cartoonists involved. According to the editors’ welcome message, “that’s just the tip of the iceberg!”

Among those currently or soon to be featured on Top Shelf 2.0 are:
  • the haunting avant-garde imagery of Bart Johnson and Ben Constantine…

  • the globe-spanning high-kicking funkadelic fury of Kagan McCloud, serializing his indie classic Infinite Kung Fu in preparation for the collected edition to be published by Top Shelf in 2009…

  • a stunning painted fable by John C. Ralston…

  • Jed McGowan working his color wizardry with a beautifully limited palette…

  • the freewheelin’ mythic imagination of the inimitable Bernie McGovern…

  • a pair of young artists whose energy and charm practically shines from every panel of their cartoony adventures: Chris “Elio” Eliopoulos and Michael DeForge…

  • the monumental TENTH 24-hour comic by the master of the form, David Chelsea (whose new book, 24x2, is on sale now from Top Shelf)…

  • an inky poetic parable from young Slovenian prodigy Domen Finžgar, and a Japan-flavored short from Belgian brush-master Stedho…

  • the brilliant wit and charm of notable webcomickers Jessica McLeod and Edward J Grug III…

  • the Ignatz-nominated architectural hijinks of Jeff Zwirek…

  • plus Aaron Navrady, Steve Lafler, Lizz Lunney, Sean T. Collins, Matt Wiegle, Matt Rota, Nik Daum, Will Dinski, Willow Dawson, Emily Block, and many more to be revealed as we keep rolling!

With its unique one-story-per-day format, Top Shelf 2.0 is a hybrid between a webcomics portal’s stable of ongoing strips and a print anthology’s stand-alone short stories. As Walton puts it, “We’re somewhere in between Keenspot and MOME." Similarly, Walton’s web-savvy youth, combined with Warnock’s decade of experience editing the Eisner- and Harvey-Award-nominated anthology Top Shelf, makes for a killer curatorial combo.

Of course, the new program is no replacement for Top Shelf’s primary business: the print publication of critically-acclaimed and popularly treasured graphic novels. “People will never stop wanting books,” says Walton, “especially when the books are as lovingly crafted as ours (and those of other alt-comix publishers). Rather, Top Shelf 2.0 is like a little online spin-off of the big Top Shelf brand, like MTV2 or BBC Two. To a certain extent, we see Top Shelf 2.0 as a laboratory for new ideas and new creators — any webcomic that gets an outstanding response will naturally suggest that we consider it for print publication, but in the meantime we’re happy to give these creators and fans an opportunity to discover each other. Throughout the process, I should add, creators fully own their work — it’s an experiment for them as well as for us. We’re all excited to see where it goes!”

Top Shelf 2.0 is live at http://www.topshelfcomix.com/ts2.0 and updates Monday through Friday

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This came out, which is quite nice:

Indie comics publisher Top Shelf Productions will launch an all-new webcomics site on Friday, May 16, spearheaded and edited by Top Shelf publisher Brett Warnock and his co-editor, Leigh Walton.

In other news, my sinuses have declared war on the rest of my body. We hates them, precious.
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Just look at that guest list! This might be the best Stumptown yet.

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Charlie Rose interviews Charlie Rose.

It just keeps getting funnier!
Dead poets, philosophs, priests,
Martyrs, artists, inventors, governments long since,
Language-shapers on other shores,
Nations once powerful, now reduced, withdrawn, or desolate,
I dare not proceed till I respectfully credit what you have left wafted hither,
I have perused it, own it is admirable, (moving awhile among it,)
Think nothing can ever be greater, nothing can ever deserve more than it deserves,
Regarding it all intently a long while, then dismissing it,
I stand in my place with my own day here.

I never would have thought to compare Walt Whitman and Warren Ellis, but there you go. I've heard similar advice from him about learning to write.


Gonna be in Portland this weekend?

Kick off Official Comics Month in style, watching 20 of Portland's best tackle the ultimate sequential-art challenge: the 24-Hour Comic Book.

Check out the SWEET commercial we produced, starring David Chelsea and produced by local pro Bob Bates.

I'll be there the whole time (from Saturday to Sunday), snapping photos and liveblogging away!

Press release followsCollapse )

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yaaaaaay America?

Your tax dollars at work.
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