Prepare for ‘A Radical Shift in Gravity’ this fall

Watch the world float away in Kate Glasheen and Nick Tapalansky’s upcoming graphic novel from Top Shelf.

What happens when gravity starts to disappear? Find out this fall, as Top Shelf Comix will release A Radical Shift in Gravity by Kate Glasheen and Nick Tapalansky this November.

“Against the wondrous backdrop of massive planetary transformation, this stunning watercolor graphic novel explores one family’s struggle to stay grounded,” Top Shelf says about the new project. Tapalansky is the writer of Awakening from BOOM! Studios and Cast No Shadow from First Second. Glasheen’s credits include Hybrid Bastards! from Archaia and her crowdfunded, self-published graphic novel Bandage: A Diary of Sorts.

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Smash Pages Q&A: MK Reed and Greg Means

The writing team discusses ‘Penny Nichols,’ ‘a graphic novel that will warm your heart while stabbing you in the chest.’

Penny Nichols is the new graphic novel from writers MK Reed and Greg Means about the making of a low budget horror film. The titular character is an aimless 20-something who stumbles across people making a movie and becomes involved in the production, taking on an increasing number of tasks, and in the process finding herself. It is a subtle and brilliant tribute to artists with day jobs, found family, and the passions that give our lives meaning.

Means is best known as the editor of the Papercutter and Runner Runner, and the person behind Tugboat Press. Reed is currently co-writing Delver, a comiXology original, and has written a number of other comics including Palefire, The Castoffs, Americus, Science Comics: Dinosaurs, Science Comics: Wild Weather. The two have collaborated before on the graphic novel The Cute Girl Network. Penny Nichols, drawn by artist Matt Wiegle, was just released by Top Shelf Comix, and the writers answered a few questions about the book.

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Smash Pages Q&A: J.P. Ahonen

The creator of ‘Sing No Evil’ discusses the first collection of his webcomic ‘Belzebubs.’

Belzebubs is a “trve kvlt mockumentary,” a family comedy, a heavy metal family tale that involves demons, Lovecraft, child-rearing, teenage love and the problems of keeping a band together. The parents are Sloth and Lucyfer, their kids are named Lilith and Leviathan – and Lilith’s best friend is Blasphe My (who in no way resembles the beloved Moomin character Little My). Even for those who are not heavy metal fans, the strip is simply funny, with beautifully rendered artwork. The strip has become an internet sensation, with print editions in multiple countries and in multiple languages. More than a comic, Belzebubs is now an actual band with an album, Pantheon of the Nightside Gods, coming out later this month.

J.P. Ahonen made a splash when Sing No Evil was released in the United States in 2014 after being published in his native Finland, where he’s been making comics for many years. I’ve been a reader and fan of his for many years and we had a chance to speak recently in between his busy schedule to talk about Belzebubs, the collection of which is out now from Top Shelf.

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Trust Top Shelf to deliver a new Shannon Wheeler collection

‘Why Did You Trust Him?’ brings more single panel comics from the creator of ‘Sh*t My President Says’ and ‘Too Much Coffee Man.’

Top Shelf Comix will release a new collection of Shannon Wheeler comics in August, making us all ask, “Why Did We Trust Him?

The creator of Too Much Coffee Man took home an Eisner Award for his 2011 collection, I Thought You Would Be Funnier. And now he’s taking a break from focusing on President Donald Trump and the sh*t he says (just kidding; check his Twitter account!) to release another collection that includes comics on “relationships, social norms, cats, dogs, food and himself.”

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Hannah Templer’s ‘Cosmoknights’ lead the rebellion at Top Shelf

Templer’s first solo graphic novel will debut as a webcomic in March.

Hannah Templer of Jem and the Holograms fame is creating her first graphic novel, Cosmoknights, which will be released first as a webcomic and then as a graphic novel by Top Shelf.

Top Shelf decribes it as “a thrilling galactic adventure set in a world where mech-suited warriors duel over the daughters of the aristocracy, and a fledgling resistance of lady knights aim to bring down the system from within.”

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‘The Highwayman’ hits the road in May

Koren Shadmi’s latest rolls into town this spring from Top Shelf.

Top Shelf will publish The Highwayman, a new graphic novel by Love Addict and The Abaddon creator Koren Shadmi, this May.

The science fiction tale features a loner, The Highwayman, who “travels through the vastness of North America searching for the source of his condition” — immortality. “Bound to the road and at the mercy of whomever will give him a ride, he encounters people who reflect the rapidly changing world around him,” the publisher said in a statement. “Moving through centuries of change, he watches humanity’s precarious trajectory towards an unknown future.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Carolyn Nowak’s ‘Girl Town’

The Ignatz Award-winning creator discusses her latest project from Top Shelf.

Carolyn Nowak might be known to many comics readers for her work drawing Lumberjanes, but she’s also the Ignatz Award-winning creator behind comics like Radishes and Diana’s Electric Tongue. Those two stories, plus two more, along with a brand new story, have been collected in the new book Girl Town, which was just released from Top Shelf.

My feelings to the stories were similar to when I read Nowak’s comic Girl Town years ago. It was a beautifully drawn and thoughtful tale of three women who “got kicked out of astronaut school for being too good-looking to be sent to space. Now we try to make a living raising beans and cabbages, cleaning houses and curating erotic zines about staying on Earth.” It’s a funny opening, but the story itself is strange in a different way. It’s complicated and fraught, about trying to understand the emotions someone else causes in us. About getting older and trying make sense of whether this feeling is love or lust, hate or loneliness, and complexity of relationships and friendship. Nowak half-jokingly described the book as “my twenties” and for those of us who survived those years, that description will resonate in so many ways.

Besides the Lumberjanes collections that Nowak drew, she also wrote and drew the new book Buffy the Vampire Slayer: New School Nightmare, but Girl Town is the work of a masterful artist who has found her voice. Nowak was kind enough to answer a few questions about her work.

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Top Shelf to collect ‘Belzebubs’ in February

The black-metal, family-oriented webcomic by JP Ahonen finds its way to English audiences next year.

Top Shelf Comix will collect popular webcomic/Facebook phenomenon Belzebubs into book form early next year.

Created by JP Ahonen, Belzebubs is a “trve kvlt mockumentary” that features the average, ordinary life of a black-metal band with kids named Lilith and Leviathan. You can see samples on their website.

It’s been published in Finnish, French, Spanish and (soon) Greek, with Top Shelf bringing it to English audiences in February. Becky Cloonan, a noted metalologist, will provide the intro. Check out the cover and some sample strips below.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Nate Powell on ‘Come Again’

Following his work on the ‘March’ trilogy, the National Book Award recipient discusses his most recent graphic novel, punk rock, politics, his influences and more.

Nate Powell is the only cartoonist to receive the National Book Award. In recent years he’s been busy drawing the March trilogy, and continues to educate and  talk about the book series, the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement and John Lewis. Of course Powell had a long career in comics before March, beginning with self-published zines before moving onto a series of Eisner and Ignatz Award winning graphic novels including Swallow Me Whole, Tiny Giants and Any Empire.

Powell’s new book, his first solo graphic novel in many years, is Come Again. A story set at the end of the 1970’s, it’s about a commune that is fracturing, it’s about secrets, it’s about parents and children. At the heart of the book is a supernatural force, but as in the work of Ray Bradbury and others, the force isn’t a metaphor, but it plays a key but muted role in the story, preying on people in a way that is familiar and terrifying. Powell and I have been talking for years – since before he became famous, and we talked about this new book of his, punk and politics, trying to balance personal work like this with collaboration, and the political work – artistic and otherwise – that he’s come to see as so vital.

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