Uncivilized Books Announces Spring Line and Subscription

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True Swamp Book 2 by Jon Lewis, with rad title lettering by Michael DeForge

Uncivilized Books is releasing three new books in spring 2015: Borb by Jason Little, Robot Investigator by Vincent Stall, and True Swamp Book 2 by Jon Lewis. You can pre-order all three for just $55.

I’m a little confused: the website claims that it’s $50 plus free shipping, but when you add it to your shopping cart it’s actually $55. So I’m guessing the mention of free shipping is an error. Unless sales tax is being added? A good deal, either way.

Throwback Thursday: Zack Soto and Study Group 12

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Happy Thanksgiving! Today I’m thankful that I happened into this sweet lot of comics from Zack Soto, dating from 2002 through 2008.

I’d like to point you to a history of Study Group, but lacking one I’ll rattle off what I know of it from memory (citations needed).

In the early 2000s, Study Group 12 was an annual comics anthology with an artist’s book sensibility that was edited, published, and printed by Zack Soto. If I was to wager, I’d guess Zack was inspired by Jordan Crane’s Non, another high-design anthology series of the era. If memory serves, Study Group 12 was also a somewhat-secret online message board, and eventually a webcomic publisher (which it still is). As far as I can tell, sometime after 2010 the “12” was lost, and Zack Soto’s publishing platform was known thereafter as Study Group. It’s now a robust micro-press that, in addition to publishing its anthology (now called Study Group Magazine), puts out single titles by authors like Sam Alden Farel Dalrymple (no small boast, those are two of the hotter names in indie comics right now).

(Like I said, I’m just rattling this off from memory. I’d welcome Zack or anyone to correct any errors here.)

Today would be a good day to head over to Study Group and order some swag.

20141127-123935.jpgSome of Zack’s solo comics: The Secret Voice 1 (2003), The Secret Voice, which collects issue 1 & 2 (2004), and Ghost Attack #1 (2008?)

20141127-124016.jpgInside The Secret Voice 1

20141127-124035.jpgStudy Group 12 #2 (2002) and #3, the “notebook issue” (2003)

20141127-124048.jpgInside Study Group 12 #2 (a spread by Souther Salazar)

Consortium to Distribute Alternative and Secret Acres

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I just read some pretty big news from Heidi MacDonald at Publisher’s Weekly. Alternative Comics and Secret Acres have just joined Consortium, one of the major distributors that caters to independent publishers and independent bookstores. Alternative and Secret Acres joined the ranks of former micro-presses Uncivilized Books and Koyama Press, who have also made the move. Toon Books also joined Consortium this year, so it’s clear the distributor is interested in adding graphic novels to their catalog.

This begs the question (to me, at least), are Alternative Comics and Secret Acres still micro-presses? Many people define a micro-press by its distribution: a small publisher that does not have commercial bookstore distribution is a micro-press. My definition is a little more complicated, but I agree distribution is key. I concede that Uncivilized and Koyama are no longer micro-presses, primarily because of their bookstore distribution.

In the end, this  definition might not matter. I am interested in Koyama, Uncivilized, Alternative, and Secret Acres. I’ll continue to talk about them at The Tiny Report, and I’ll probably keep them on my micro-press list too. If they’re not micro-presses, their close enough to be relevant to this conversation.

Congratulations, Alternative Comics and Secret Acres! More people need to be reading your books, and you can bet that’s what’s going to happen.

 

Seven Titles from Domino Books, Just $30

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Not only can you get the first seven titles from Domino Books for just $30, that also includes free shipping ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. You can’t beat that. (I’m actually scratching my head trying to figure out how this makes financial sense for publisher Austin English.)

Spider Monkey, above, is one of my favorites Domino books.

Fall Pre-Order from So What? Press

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So What? Press is releasing three new books over the next few weeks, which are available for pre-order right now. I’m especially interested in Crawlspace and City Chickens, they look really gorgeous!

I’m still figuring out So What. I might have been slow to pick up there Tales of the Night Watchman series because, and this is simply a matter of personal bias, I’m a bit lukewarm to indie takes on the super hero genre (which is what it appears to be).

So, what I know about of So What is this. It’s run Dave Kelly and Lara Antal, and it’s the only micro-press I can think of that’s run by a couple. It’s a very professional micro-press: Invisible Wounds was the first minicomic I’d ever seen with a barcode on it. They even own an LLC! They’re really good at promoting their stuff, and they seem to take publishing pretty seriously.

 

Recoil Comics Publishes Cold Crew

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Happy Halloween! Rich Tommaso’s micro-press, Recoil Comics, just published its first comic by someone who is not Rich Tommaso. Cold Crew is a monster crime comic by Patrick Dean. It’s on my to-read list, and it looks pretty good.

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Exhibitor Applications Open for CAKE

cake2015Applications are due December 15. It’s a curated show, so an advisory committee will select next year’s exhibitors. It’s great show with great community (but not much of selling show, from my experience).