Nate Powell and Chris Ross on How They Designed ‘March’

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[Editor’s note: The release this week of March Book Two by Rep. John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell has already made headlines with its story of the fight for civil rights in the 60s, and the covers to both volumes have become iconic in their own right. The message of the courage to fight for equality for all in the face of violent opposition is as relevant and needed today as it was 50 years ago. But powerful images to cover powerful times don’t always spring up fully formed. Here Powell and Top Shelf designer Chris Ross with an in-depth breakdown of how they created these covers and combined imagery to capture both history and ideals.]

NATE: March was originally a single, massive volume, so the initial front and back covers were intended to house the entire narrative: the front introduced the basic visual theme of opposition, with two elements facing off against each other, though a contingent of riot-ready white supremacist police were prominently featured across the bottom. After some discussion with Chris Ross, Andrew Aydin, and Congressman Lewis, we all agreed that we should shift some of that focus to the folks on the front lines, and away from Jim Crow police forces. Around that time, we decided to release the saga as a trilogy, so Chris and I jumped in to further develop the oppositional themes, but playing with different angles and approaches to the cover’s division.

Andy Runton’s Owly Books is going self published

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When IDW acquired Top Shelf a few weeks ago, there was much talk about creators like Alan Moore staying around, but Top Shelf’s Chris Staros made it clear that he had discussed the move in advance with his top creators.

One much liked book that Top Shelf published for about a decade is Andy Runton’s Owly series, a steady seller that helped establish kids content in the indy world long before it was fashionable. However, as noted by Johanna Draper Carlson, Runton tweeted that he would be self-publishing Owly going forward.

UPDATED: IDW acquires Top Shelf, from Alan Moore to Zander Cannon

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Well, bam, 2015 is off to a rousing start, with news breaking this morning that San Diego’s IDW has acquired Atlanta/PDX’s Top Shelf, with Top Shelf’s Chris Staros to remain as Editor in Chief, while partner Brett Warnock retires from comics to run a food and nature blog. Top Shelf will remain as a separate line at IDW, while Leigh Walton, Chris Ross and Zac Boone will all stay on at the new imprint.

Alan Moore’s Jack the Ripper Saga From Hell in development for TV

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Now what was that I was just saying about non Marvel and DC properties getting a second look—or in the case of From Hell, a third look. The masterpiece by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell that followed the saga of Jack the Ripper in fascinating detail was already made into a movie starring Johnny Depp. But now it’s back in development as a TV show:

NYCC ’14: God is Disappointed in You, but Shannon Wheeler and Mark Russell have hope

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by Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson Who else but the hipster indie publisher Top Shelf could possibly put out a book entitled God is Disappointed in You. Written by Mark Russell with illustrations by Shannon Wheeler of “Too Much Coffee Man” fame God is Disappointed in You is the Bible boiled down to its essential elements. NYCC ’14: […]

NYCC ’14: God is Disappointed in You, but Shannon Wheeler and Mark Russell have hope

From God is Disappointed in You

by Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson

Who else but the hipster indie publisher Top Shelf could possibly put out a book entitled God is Disappointed in You. Written by Mark Russell with illustrations by Shannon Wheeler of “Too Much Coffee Man” fame God is Disappointed in You is the Bible boiled down to its essential elements.

Joe Quesada’s Star Wars #1 cover variant revealed

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href="http://www.starwars.com/news/star-wars-1-variant-cover-by-joe-quesada-first-look">StarWars.com
has unveiled Joe Quesada’s variant cover to Star Wars
#1. The first Marvel issue of the 21st century will debut in
January with story by Jason Aaron, and art by John Cassaday and
Laura MArtin.. MArtin colored Quesada’s cover. Marvel’s e-i-c-
wrote:

Strong Female Protagonist collection coming from Top Shelf

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Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan & Molly Ostertag has gained a nice following online, for its strong storyline and attractive art, and they ran a kickstarter to fund a graphic nvel edition which raised $60K just like that. The actual print edition will be coming out this December from Top Shelf, and it’s […]

Top Shelf’s $3 sale is on—and this time it’s digital

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Top Shelf has an annual sale whereby you can acquire some of the greatest comics of alllll tiiiiimes for just $3. The list of sale items is right here. Some 125 titles are marked down, some to just $1! And perennials like League of Extraordinary Gentleman volumes are marked down. It’s time to jump in […]

Dragon-Con: Congressman Lewis Hopes Graphic Novel Makes Noise

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  By Hannah Lodge A little more than 51 years ago, Rep. John Lewis was one of ten people to speak at the March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made his historic “I Have a Dream” speech. Of those ten, Lewis is the only one still alive today. 1 of 10. Lewis’s […]

March Book One is first graphic novel to win the RFK Book Award

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MARCH Book One, the comics version of the life story of Civil rights pioneer Rep. John Lewis. has been breaking boundaries since it was published last year and it just smashed another one; it’s the first ever graphic novel to win a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. The awards recognize books which reflect Kennedy’s ideals […]

In India they are celebrating Free Comic Book Weekend with free downloads

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I thought this announcement of global comic book love was worth it’s very own post. This is the second time this event has been held, sponsored by the Comic Con India. And instead of going to stores, you download free comics from various Indian publishers. Sounds like a great way to experience some new stuff […]

Eventbrite uses social media to examine PAXEast

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PAX East, the hugely successful Boston version of the gaming show created by Penny Arcade, wrapped up last weekend. PAX Prime is held in Seattle, and they just announced PAX South, to be held Jan. 23-25 in San Antonio, Texas. There’s also a PAX Australia—all the shows are run by ReedPOP, which also throws a […]

Top Shelf to donate MARCH BOOK ONE to every member of Congress.

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Well, a digital copy anyway. MARCH BOOK ONE, the comics autobiography of civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis, has had a heck of a run since its August release and is now making another charge at the Year’s end Best Of lists. And to put a cherry on it, publisher Top Shelf has teamed with […]

Great moments in comics marketing 2013

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The other day I was prepping for a talk on marketing at an NYU publishing class, and reached out to the Twitosphere to ask what were “the notable comics marketing success stories over the last year” and the Twitosphere responded with a bunch of smart and savvy suggestions:

MARCH soars to #12 on Amazon after Rachel Maddow appearance

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MARCH made it to Maddow last night, as Rep. John Lewis, co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell appeared on the Rachel Maddow show for a full 10 minute segment which you can watch here: Maddow, who is a regular graphic novel reader, showed love for Powell and the whole project and also mentioned Martin […]