After 20 years and 100 books, Adhouse calls it quits

Chris Pitzer plans to close down the company he started in 2002 after publishing two more books this fall.

Chris Pitzer, publisher and owner of AdHouse Books, has announced plans to close down the “boutique publishing juggernaut” later this year.

For the past 20 years, AdHouse has brought a variety of creative indie comics and graphic novels to market from Joshua Cotter, Jim Rugg, Paul Pope, Hartley Lin, Zack Soto, Joey Weiser and many more. The recently announced Grass of Parnassus by Kathryn Immonen and Stuart Immonen will be AdHouse’s 100th release, and as it turns out, one of its last. He also ran a program called AdDistro, where he helped distribute small press/self-published comics.

Pitzer explained his reasoning for deciding to shut down what was essentially a “side gig”:

“I’m old,” Pitzer said. “Now, I know that’s a matter of perspective, but take a look around the current comic-making universe and you might get an idea of what I’m talking about. Next year will be our 20th year of publishing at AdHouse, and well, I just felt like that was enough for me. Why not move over and let some of these kids take over?”

He added that sales, COVID and not wanting to use crowdfunding also factored into his decision.

“You all do know this is a side gig, right? I have a day job. There is no way I could afford to live on the earnings from the House of Ad. And I’m sorry… I want to travel, retire and be comfortable. Last I checked, all of that takes money. So, while it might have been nice to have AdHouse to keep me busy in my retirement years, I don’t want to bet with ‘House’ money,” he said.

Besides Grass of Parnassus, Pitzer said he has one more project scheduled for October that will wrap up his publishing plans. After that, he does plan to continue attending conventions to sell off his back stock.

“Finally, if there are any serious offers out there to purchase AdHouse, I’ll entertain them. It might not be much, but damn if it didn’t take a lot of work, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t try and capitalize on that work,” he said.

Over the years, Pitzer has brought a lot of my personal favorite comics and creators to the forefront, whether you’re talking about Cotter’s Skyscrapers of the Midwest or Adam Hines’ Duncan the Wonder Dog or Pope Hats, among others. His eye for bringing cool, interesting, well-crafted stories to press will be missed.

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