Top Shelf to publish Pat Grant’s ‘The Grot’ in May

The creator of ‘Blue’ returns with a new graphic novel about greed and environmental calamity.

Since the release of his well-received debut graphic novel Blue back in 2012, Pat Grant has been busy working on his dytsopian follow-up, The Grot. He’s been serializing the comic online and creating single issues, and come May you’ll be able to get your hands on a printed collection, courtesy of Top Shelf here in the U.S.

Grant is one of several literary cartoonists in Australia who have been catching people’s attention recently and what I’ve read of the webcomic is really strong. So this is one to watch for in May.

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Kochalka’s ‘Monkey vs Robot’ celebrates its 20th anniversary

A collection with new material will arrive from Top Shelf in June.

It was 20 years ago that James Kochalka showed the world what would happen when the monkey faced off with its natural enemy, the robot. To celebrate the anniversary of that confrontation, Top Shelf Comix will collect Kochalka’s original story, its sequel and an all-new chapter into one giant softcover.

Monkey vs Robot: The Complete Epic will arrive in June, with a new, final chapter that brings this long-running feud to its natural conclusion: Monkey Vs. Robot in Love. They’ve also added color to the entire saga — just like the original Star Wars trilogy.

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‘New Kid’ wins the Newbery Medal

Several graphic novels were honored at the American Library Association’s annual Youth Media Awards.

The American Library Association recognized several graphic novels this past weekend as part of the 2020 Youth Media Awards at their Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. These included the prestigious Newbery Medal, which has been given out since 1922 to “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children;” the Coretta Scott King Book Award; and many others.

The winner of this year’s Newbery Medal was New Kid, the graphic novel by Jerry Craft that was published by HarperCollins Children’s Books. It also won the Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award. It’s interesting to note that these aren’t in a “graphic novel” category or anything like that; The Newbery Medal is the highest honor the ALA gives out every year, and this is the first time a graphic novel has won it outright.

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‘Home Time’ gets a sequel next year

The next volume of the critically acclaimed graphic novel by Campbell Whyte arrives from Top Shelf in May.

Campbell Whyte‘s Home Time received several awards and nominations in 2018 and earned the creator a Russ Manning nomination, among others, and now he’s back with the sequel. Top Shelf will publish Home Time II: Beyond the Weaving next May.

The first graphic novel told the story of a group of kids preparing for high school who ended up transported to a village populated with creatures of fantasy. This second book picks up where the first one left off, as the kids leave the village to find their way home.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Steven Scott

The co-author of ‘They Called Us Enemy’ discusses the project, working with George Takei, his future plans and more.

When They Called Us Enemy was released this summer, it was quickly named one of the best graphic novels of the year by those who read it. George Takei, the actor and activist, has received much of the attention, and for good reason. This is his story, about how he and his family – and more than 100,000 other Japanese-Americans were interned by the American government. In recent years the actor, known best as Star Trek’s Sulu, has become best known as an activist for LGBTQ rights, but recently he has spent a great deal of time and energy to educating people about what happened in those years, both to help American citizens more fully understand our own history, but also to ensure that it never happens again.

Takei made the book with Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott and Harmony Becker. Scott may not be known to comics readers, but he’s been working in the comics industry for years and it’s how I first got to know him years ago. They Called Us Enemy is his first graphic novel, and I reached out to Scott to talk about how he ended up here, working with Takei and what he wants to do next.

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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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