Over at Blog Flume, Alvin Buenaventura announced that his much admired Buenaventura Press — publisher of such seminal works as KRAMERS ERGOT #7, FIGHT OR RUN, and THE COMPLETE JACK SURVIVES — was forced to close its doors in January, due to a single devastating financial blow. Buenaventura wrote:

In January of 2010, I closed the doors at Buenaventura Press in Oakland, California. I was forced to let go of the dedicated employees who had worked so tirelessly for so little money in order to create art that we all believed in. This meant that I had to abandon all current and future projects and discontinue sales and distribution.

I deeply regret having to take these actions, but the press experienced a devastating financial blow that made it impossible to continue. (I will release more details about this problem in the future.)

I consider myself lucky to have collaborated with many of the best cartoonists and artists of this generation. I am genuinely proud of the books and prints that the press released, and I am extremely grateful for all of your support.

As one of the most cutting edge publishers of only the finest comics, Buenaventura Press created an indelible legacy of quality and high production values that set the bar for small presses. Such books as Matt Furie’s BOY’S CLUB won dedicated cult followings, and of course the oversized, super deluxe $125 KRAMERS ERGOT #7, (shown in Buenaventura’s hands, above) was the defining statement of a decade of indie comics

As we write this, Buenaventura hadn’t responded to an email asking for further comment, but he told Sean T. Collins that it involved “a legal matter.”

Looking beyond the obvious loss of a great publisher, it’s a bit disturbing that, quite simply, arguably the finest boutique comics publisher in America went out of business five months ago and…no one noticed. Buenaventura had announced something of a hiatus back at the end of 2009 so perhaps people were waiting for the comeback, which never came. An email sent to one of Buenaventura’s email addresses bounced back with an out of office message from January:

Hi folks,

We are taking our holiday vacations and will be back to answering emails on January 5th, 2010.

Happy New Year!

Whatever the cause of the shutdown, Buenaventura is one of the most dedicated and passionate comics publishers to emerge from the last decade (as well as a hell of a nice guy) and we hope he finds some way to remain involved — comics needs more Alvin, not less.


  1. It always sucks when a company closes down. It sucks even more when those companies are one of the rare ones run by actual decent individuals.

  2. It’s not accurate to say that people “didn’t notice”. Retailers knew about it when emails stopped being responded to, and you could get the entire story of what was going on by asking about it at Mocca’s Buenaventura table.

    It may have gone unreported until now. That doesn’t mean the information wasn’t available, or that the subject wasn’t freely discussed.

  3. Oy, that’s depressing. I’d fallen quite in love with INJURY. I very much hope Alvin and the stable he developed can find a home someplace more solvent, perhaps as an imprint.

  4. i think a lot of us saw this coming, but it doesn’t soften the blow any. they were, hands down, the best comic book publisher in the US and hopefully all the members of the team have already been snatched up various publishers looking to raise their own bars in terms of quality.

    they truly were trailblazers in the field and i can only thank them and wish them the best.

  5. We feel great regret at this news, as our shelves have been graced by the many beautiful products created by Buenaventura Press.

    To our affected friends, please continue your work where you can. We will support you on principle and purpose.

  6. This is for sure sad news. It takes about 3 secs of googling to find the court docket on this is: they printed a bunch of fancy ass books like that giant ‘Kramers’ and ‘Jack Survives’ and owed there printer 85000$ and have only payed them 12000 and are getting sued for it. Sucks.