Rose City Roll Call!
Like Fantagraphics, Top Shelf is one of the anchors of any Small Press Expo, and of course is also one of the publishers we've written about extensively. You can find all of the Top Shelf entries here.
As with the best of the small presses, Top Shelf has a little bit to offer everyone. They are some of the best at doing all-ages comics, with James Kochalka's Johnny Boo and Dragon Puncher, Andy Runton's Owly, and non-series work from Jess Smart Smiley and Rob Harrell, just to name a few.
At the other extreme, they're the current publishing home of Alan Moore, who continues his League work there, along with other projects. They'll print comics from other countries (a few years ago, they had an "invasion" of Swedish creators), have been the indie starting place for creators currently making it in the superhero world (Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt, and Robert Venditti, for example), and also published Eddie Campbell, the Immonens, and more.
It was Top Shelf that got me into autobiographical comics, with Kochalka's American Elf and the various books from Jeffrey Brown setting my personal standard for the genre.
There's so much good to say about Top Shelf, and you're sure to find something you'll like when you visit them at either the Small Press Expo or Rose City Comic Con. For this spotlight, let's concentrate on the books that are new this year:
review here), so I won't belabor a description here. It's the story of a determined girl going after the witch who transformed her parents. The plot is very solid, the illustrations are distinctive and unique (and My God, the cross-hatching), and it's the first book of a longer story that still tells a complete tale within its pages.
Make sure you stop by and see Top Shelf at the shows. They'll have these four books, along with copies of some of the other things I mentioned above, because they do an awesome job of keeping books in print. Quality always deserves to be appreciated!
Can't make SPX? Not running to Rose City? There's no better time to check out Top Shelf. You can find their website here, and through September 26th, they're running their annual sale! You can get a lot of books for half off and some hidden gems for only $1 and $3! Check it out!