Archive for the 'announcements' Category

Nate Powell’s SWALLOW ME WHOLE nominated for LA Times Book Prize!

Well, this is one of the most exciting press releases I’ve had the opportunity to write.


–First graphic novel since 1992’s MAUS to make the list–

Top Shelf Productions is bursting with pride to announce that Nate Powell’s graphic novel Swallow Me Whole has been nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize!

Swallow Me Whole is one of five official finalists in the category of Young Adult Fiction, making it the first graphic novel to be nominated for this prize, in any category, since Art Spiegelman’s Maus won the Fiction category in 1992! “I’m honored just to be considered,” says Powell, “and feel dizzy having my book even placed in the same sentence as Maus.”

Although Swallow Me Whole was not created exclusively for young adult readers, it is fundamentally a story about the dark, quiet corners of adolescence. The book follows two teenage stepsiblings, Ruth and Perry, through the ups and downs of school, family, and suburban restlessness — all complicated by the insect armies, swirling visions, and haunting voices that no one else can perceive.

“To be a young person is to be surrounded at all times by frightening transition and the terror of losing touch with a safe and familiar world,” says Powell. “Sometimes the only salvation from that terror is in what a teenager can create for themselves.”

Full press release, with more juicy quotes and a special mail-order deal, over at the Top Shelf site.

smw-pg1041I actually never realized it until just now, but Swallow Me Whole reminds me of a book from my youth, Neal Shusterman’s 1992 YA novel The Eyes of Kid Midas, which I discovered around age 10. Midas started out incredibly familiar — not just presenting a realistic world that resembled my own life, but incorporating fantastical ideas and events that felt exactly right. Yes, that’s what I would do if I found a pair of sunglasses that made my wishes come true. Since I spent so much of my youth thinking about the fantastical, it was actually a more accurate portrayal of my world than a straight-up realistic novel would have been.

And then it got creepy. And then it got terrifying. It completely messed with my head. And I loved it. It’s still somewhere in my head to this day. “You know, Josh, the worst part is that I don’t even get into trouble for it.”

Swallow Me Whole is more challenging than Kid Midas… but it’s also more real. I love thinking about what it might do for young people. It might screw them up, in the good way. It might even help them put themselves together.


My new hotness

has launched!


mark your calendars now!

Our pals at San Francisco’s ISOTOPE Comic Lounge whipped up this flyer for our annual post-APE jam (including probably the most wholesome-looking photo of Brett I’ve ever seen):

Blood for the Blood God! …for a good cause

Jeffrey Brown’s one-page Warhammer 40K comic — in full color — is currently up for auction on eBay, to benefit Dave Pirkola, a retailer in Grand Rapids who was shot in a robbery a few months ago, and whose store used to be a hangout for Jeffrey, Kevin Huizenga, and countless others. He seems to be doing pretty well now (for somebody who got shot!) but like many comic retailers, Dave didn’t have health insurance… Check out the auction, and here’s a blog with the latest updates on Dave’s condition.

Edited to add: Full press release.

Text messages I have sent

From my first San Diego Comic Con:

Tues July 24 8:49 pm
California nicer than expected. Everything looks vaguely like an Eagles album cover. Having beers with the man who drew From Hell (more Scottish than expected).

Thurs July 26 10:31 pm
Having drinks w chris butcher (=wallace from scott pilgrim), retailer from toronto. He made a palladium mega man rpg once. Realized today: this=the life i want.

The second one takes some explication: my brother and I grew up obsessively playing Mega Man II and Palladium’s (crappy, in retrospect) role-playing games, and two years ago I did a summer research project analyzing the music of the Mega Man series; to find those two elements in one of my favorite comic bloggers was a head trip. He and I have a karaoke date at some point; the Top Shelf guys think I sound like Peter Murphy, a claim I must investigate further. I think at the time I was going for Bowie.

The final sentence refers to a separate epiphany I had on Thursday, walking downstairs after a lunch break and thinking about all the fans, and the depth of their genuine enthusiasm for the stuff, and how warm and approachable the pros are, and realizing that chatting with a hundred people per hour had not tired me out but actually was the source of all my energy, and thinking I am good at this; I can make a difference. Suddenly I knew it was true.

So that’s one question answered. At least for now.

first post!

Oh Earth, look up.

Here we go.

I’m currently importing all the comics-related posts over from my personal journal. Some of them go back a couple years.

Leigh Walton talks comics and maybe other arts. (RSS)
He also works for the very excellent publisher Top Shelf Productions (which does not necessarily endorse the views and opinions, etc, herein).


Header by me. Contains an interpolation of the final panel from All-Star Superman #1 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Speaking of which.