Tagged: Drawn & Quarterly

Our 200 Best-Selling Graphic Novels of 2013

Even though it’s damn near the middle of February I thought the following list of Forbidden Planet NYC’s most popular, best-selling graphic novels of 2013 would be of some interest.

Perhaps you’re looking for a new read, and are curious as to what the cool kids in the heppest city in the solar system are picking up (even if some of these books have been perennial faves for years and years).  Perhaps you’ll be looking at this list for some other reason (stalkers). Either way, thanks to all our customers who made 2013, and every year, such a great time to be in the business of slinging quality books!

It’s a rather lengthy post so it continues after the jump…

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Signed Copies of Jerusalem Chronicles From the Holy City

I’m proud to say one of my favorite cartoonists, Mr. Guy Delisle, came by the shop this morning to deface copies of his new graphic novel, Jerusalem Chronicles From the Holy City.  The book released today and Forbidden Planet NYC has signed copies available at no extra charge… call to put one on hold, come on by or place your mail orders ASAP as they’re going quickly and we only have a limited amount remaining!

Guy Delisle JerusalemGuy Delisle expertly lays the groundwork for a cultural road map of contemporary Jerusalem, utilizing the classic stranger in a strange land point of view that made his other books, such as Pyongyang, required reading for understanding what daily life is like in cities few are able to travel to.

In Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City, Delisle explores the complexities of a city that represents so much to so many. He examines the impact of the conflict on the lives of people on both sides of the wall while drolly recounting the quotidian: checkpoints, traffic jams, and holidays.

When observing the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim populations that call Jerusalem home, Delisle’s drawn line is both sensitive and fair, assuming nothing and drawing everything.

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Morgan Pielli’s Pile of Minis: N.Y.D.I. #1

Having just returned from a great work-cation at this year’s SPX (selling my comics to a comics-thirsty public and then drinking wine like a wine-thirsty Bacchus), all I can think about right now is the self-publishing scene. And also not being on my feet all weekend. Not standing AND the self-publishing scene.

We are in the midst of an interesting and important moment in the history of comics. While the big publishers (DC, Marvel, and to a lesser extend Dark Horse) still wield tremendous power and influence, smaller players (Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, and Drawn & Quarterly) have carved out sizable niches in the marketplace. At the same time, newer and smaller small-press publishers like Secret Acres and Koyama Press are making names for themselves. Meanwhile book publishers have begun to dip their toes into the comics-publishing world as well. Some, like Roaring Brook Press and Lerner Publishing Group, have even created their own comics imprints (First Second and Graphic Universe respectively).

And yet, in addition to all of these different avenues for comics publication, their remains one more path; one that is wholly unique to comics: Do It Yourself self-publishing. In the world of prose and poetry, self publishing is looked upon as the last avenue of the un-publishable crackpot (having worked in publishing, I can tell you that every self-published book that we got WAS from an un-publishable crackpot). However, at this moment in comics, self publishing is very well regarded. Publishers and editors attend many of the larger small-press and indie comics conventions (in particular the MoCCA Comics Fest and SPX, though I see the boys from Secret Acres at nearly every show I attend) looking for new creators. At this year’s MoCCA Comics Fest, for example, an artist beside me was offered illustration work from an editor at First Second after someone she knew had seen his work and recommended that she have a look.

My point is, and I do plan on making it eventually (I like words…), that in comics self publishing is an important first step for many independent cartoonists. However, not everyone agrees that self-publishing is the way to go.

Enter Slow Wave author Jesse Reklaw and his minicomic N.Y.D.I. #1: A History in Publishing. N.Y.D.I., which stands for “No, You Do It” is a counterpoint to the DYI self-publishing movement. Reklaw recounts his years of experience self-publishing and how he came to the realization that it wasn’t for him. His comic is very frank and straightforward, and is in many ways a primer on what a self-publisher can expect to run into. As one myself, I found myself nodding with agreement as he led me step by step to the uncomfortable conclusion that self-publishing might be more trouble than it’s worth.

However, I do feel that he is omitting some of the realities of publishing comics; not the least of which is that if you are just starting out, no one else is likely to publish you. D.I.Y. self-publishing may not be a sustainable business model for most people, true, but if one approaches it less as a business and more as a way to improve artistically AND to get your name out into the comics world, then it is still a worthwhile endeavor. You just have to accept that you will be loosing money in the short term, and gamble that it will pay off in the long term with a publisher seeing your work and deciding to take a chance on you.

This is essentially what has happened to Reklaw. His experience self-publishing taught him lessons that he would later call upon when dealing with publishers, agents, marketers, and so on. As he says near this comics’ close: “I know that I’ll always be on the fringe of the publishing world, but it doesn’t mean I have to struggle alone. I just need to find the right publisher, designer, agent, and marketing people to work with. Easier than doing it all myself, I guess.” Which is true, certainly; but in order to get there, in order to find those kindred spirits, most of us will have to self-publish first, at least for a little while.

Morgan Pielli is the author of Indestructible Universe Quarterly.

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Picture This: Signed Lynda Barry Books

The great Lynda Barry stopped by Forbidden Planet today to sign copies of her new book, Picture This.  Of course, being the terrific lady that she is, she signed a whole bunch of her other books as well.  Come by the shop (or email us for mail-order availability) and pick up your copy while supplies last.

Lynda Barry’s previous book, the Eisner Award-winning What It Is, explored the question ‘Do you think you can write’? Now with Picture This, Barry asks ‘Why do we stop drawing?’ and ‘Why do we start?’ It features the return of Barry’s most beloved character, Marlys, and introduces a new one, the Nearsighted Monkey. Picture This is an inspirational, take home extension of Barry’s traveling, continually sold out, and sought after workshop, ‘Writing The Unthinkable.’Marlys, Monkey

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Drawn & Quarterly to Print Dan Clowes’ Death Ray in HC

Daniel Clowes Eightball #23 Death ray Fantagraphics Drawn & Quarterly

Need a reason to be cheerful today?  Well, for me, it was D&Q’s announcement that they’re reprinting Mr. Clowes’ The Death-Ray (originally published as Eightball #23) in spiffy hardcover format.

Here’s the PR:

The Death-Ray is one of the most perfect and fully realized comics of the past decade and it is nothing short of the highest honour to publish,” said Chris Oliveros, Editor-In-Chief and Publisher of Drawn Quarterly. “The story of the alienated Andy is drawn and written to perfection with Dan’s signature subtle humour, stylistic eloquence, and understated social commentary–showcasing all of the hallmarks of why Dan is one of the preeminent cartoonists of the comics medium.”

The Death-Ray will be in stores as a hardcover graphic novel in Fall 2011. It is the story of the teen outcast Andy, an orphaned nobody with only one friend, the obnoxious-but-loyal Louie. They roam school halls and city streets, invisible to everyone but bullies and tormentors, until the glorious day when Andy takes his first puff on a cigarette. That night he wakes, heart pounding, soaked in sweat, and finds himself suddenly overcome with the peculiar notion that he can do anything. Indeed, he can and as he learns the extent of his new powers, he discovers a terrible and seductive gadget – a hideous compliment to his seething rage – that forever changes everything. The Death-Ray utilizes the classic staples of the superhero genre – origin, costume, ray-gun. sidekick, fight scene – reconfiguring them in a story that is anything but morally simplistic. With subtle comedy, deft mastery and an obvious affection for the bold Pop Art exuberance of comic book design, Daniel Clowes delivers a contemporary meditation on the the darkness of the human psyche.

Motion-picture rights to The Death-Ray are in development with Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite Productions, with noted director Chris Milk attached to direct.

Easily one of my favorite Clowes comics of all time, this news was a Death-Ray of sunshine on an otherwise cloudy day.

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Wilson, By Daniel Clowes

…is out today.  It’s kind of a big deal.  You should pick it up.


In his all-new graphic novel, one of the leading cartoonists of our time, Daniel Clowes, creates a thoroughly engaging, complex and fascinating character study of the modern egotist, outspoken and oblivious to the world around him.

Working in a single-page-gag format and drawing in a spectrum of styles, the cartoonist of Ghost World gives us his funniest and most deeply affecting novel to date. Wilson, an opinionated middle-aged loner, loves his dog and possibly no one else. After his father dies, Wilson sets out to find his ex-wife with the hope of rekindling their long-dead relationship, and discovers he has a teenage daughter, born after the marriage ended and given up for adoption.

Wilson eventually forces all three to reconnect as a family – a doomed mission that will surely, inevitably backfire. Wilson is Clowes’ first all-new graphic novel that has not been serialized and is being presented in book form for the first time.

New books from Daniel Clowes and Peter Bagge (Other Lives) in the same month?  I had to check the calendar to make sure this wasn’t 1995.  Once I finished with that dopey endeavor I learned to accept that we comic fans are simply blessed this April 2010 and got on with enjoying new work by two of the great cartoonists of all time.

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