Smash Pages Q&A: Peter Hoey + Maria Hoey on ‘Coin-Op Comics Anthology’

The sibling comics creators discuss their latest collection from Top Shelf Comix, their work on ‘Blab!’ and much more.

Peter and Maria Hoey are the siblings behind Coin-Op Studio. Their illustration and advertising work has appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Time and many other publications. They’re masterful creators of inforgraphics and maps, animation and portraits, and oh yes, they also make comics. For more than 20 years they’ve been making comics together, first for the anthology Blab and then for their own series Coin-Op Comics.

Top Shelf has just published Coin-Op Comics Anthology 1997-2017. The book collects the first six issues of their comics series along with the short comics for Blab! and they represent one of the most inventive and dynamic collections of comics published in recent years. Every story the Hoeys make they set out to find a new way to tell the story, think of a different way for the page to look, another way to present information and reveal character. This collection in addition to a new issue of Coin-Op, #7, are out now and I asked them a few questions about the book and how they work.

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James Kochalka’s ‘Mechaboys’ coming from Top Shelf next year

Two teen boys build their own battle suit to fight bullies in a new graphic novel.

American Elf, Johnny Boo and SuperF*ckers creator (not to mention musician and the first official Cartoonist Laureate of the state of Vermont) James Kochalka returns in March with a new graphic novel from Top Shelf — Mechaboys. The story focuses on two teenagers who build their own battle suit after getting picked on by bullies.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Tara O’Connor

The creator discusses an expanded edition of her ‘Roots’ comic from Top Shelf and her upcoming book from Oni Press, ‘The Altered History of Willow Sparks.’

Tara O’Connor’s Roots begins with her divorce as she falls into that fugue state familiar to many that accompanies the collapse of a relationship, moving back in with one’s parents and the very specific kind of depression that comes with those life-altering events. It also depicts how O’Connor pulled herself out of this, through work and starting a new project, and what happened when she traveled to Ireland to research her family history. The trip didn’t turn out the way she expected, and neither did the resulting book.

Roots was originally self-published a few years ago, but Top Shelf is now publishing a new, longer version of that story. In addition, O’Connor has The Altered History of Willow Sparks, a fictional graphic novel coming out from Oni Press early next year. Both are about changing one’s life and O’Connor sat down to talk about her work.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Kim Dwinell on ‘Surfside Girls’

The animator discusses her first graphic novel, surfing, the ocean and more.

Kim Dwinell has been teaching and working in animation for years, but this years she’s written and drawn her first graphic novel, Surfside Girls, Book One: The Secret of Danger Point. The book, which is out now from Top Shelf, is a beautifully painted young adult mystery/adventure story. Two 12-year-olds, Samantha and Jade, live in the sleepy beach town of Surfside and become involved in s series of strange occurrences that include the titular Danger Point, ghosts, the town’s history, and a group of boys who find what they think is a baby pterodactyl.

There’s a timeless quality to the adventure, but Dwinell is also threading other more complicated stories in the background, stories of the town, of the history of California, and the result is a book that manages to capture some of that spirit and energy found in Scooby Doo and a lot of other old mystery stories that so many of us fell in love with as kids, and establishing a rich setting. This is Dwinell’s debut book, but the way she uses design and layout throughout show just how much she understands about how comics work. Summer is over, but I reached out to Dwinell to talk about the book, her background in animation, and the ocean.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Shannon Wheeler on ‘Sh*t My President Says’

Wheeler discusses his collection of illustrations of U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweets.

Shannon Wheeler has been drawing cartoons that are sardonic, sarcastic, political, angry but also strange and funny with its own unique viewpoint for a long time. Like many people I first got to know his work with Too Much Coffee Man. In the years since then Wheeler has drawn books like God is Disappointed in You, written by Mark Russell, and Oil and Water, written by Steve Duin. He’s also continued to work as a cartoonist contributing to The New Yorker and other publications.

In recent months though he’s been working on a strange project, illustrating Donald Trump’s tweets. The result is a book just out from Top Shelf, Sh*t My President Says. Since the book went to press, though, Wheeler hasn’t stopped. He’s already made a zine supplement and continues to post the comics on – where else – his Twitter feed. We spoke about how he approaches Donald Trump and why the project wasn’t just parody.

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Moore, O’Neill to conclude ‘League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ with ‘The Tempest’

Six-issue series to serve as conclusion to Moore and O’Neill’s “equally legendary comic-book careers.”

At Comic-Con International, Top Shelf Comix and Knockabout announced the final edition of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen epic. The last chapter featuring their crazy, cross-continuity adventures will be titled, appropriately, The Tempest. Per Top Shelf, it will also conclude both gentleman’s comics careers.

From the press release:

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Comics Lowdown: Comic Con case heads to court showdown

Plus: classic Archie returns, Tom King, Black Panther and more.

Battle of the Cons: The court case between Comic-Con International (which runs the San Diego comic con) and Salt Lake Comic Con over CCI’s claim that it owns the term “comic con” moves into a crucial stage this week with two days of depositions today and tomorrow, followed by a settlement hearing before a judge on Thursday. That hearing will determine whether it all ends there or the case will go to trial in October. CCI owns the trademark to “comic-con” with a hyphen but the case is murkier for the unhyphenated version; Salt Lake Comic Con was allowed to trademark its name last year.

A panel from World of Wakanda

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Shannon Wheeler to live-draw Trump’s live tweets of Comey testimony

Follow the hashtag #shitmypresidentsays to see, well, what the president has to say in illustrated form.

Shannon Wheeler took one for the team and read all 30,000 of Donald Trump’s Tweets as research for his new book, Sh*t My President Says: The Illustrated Tweets of Donald J. Trump. And on Thursday, he will rise to the occasion again: Trump has threatened to live-Tweet his reactions to former FBI director James Comey’s testimony before Congress, and if he does, Wheeler will live-draw the live Tweets—”bringing vital new insight to these important contributions to American presidential history,” according to Chris Staros, publisher and editor of Top Shelf Productions.

To catch this first draft of history as it unfolds, follow @muchcoffee (Wheeler’s Twitter) or the hashtag #shitmypresidentsays.

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Shannon Wheeler goes there with ‘Sh*t My President Says: The Illustrated Tweets of Donald J. Trump’

Top Shelf announced this week a new book by Shannon Wheeler, co-creator of God is Disappointed in You and Apocrypha Now, is tackling a topic a little less holy for his next book — Sh*t My President Says: The Illustrated Tweets of Donald J. Trump.

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