He was a role model and I was priviledged to do business with him.
Barney Rosset, as you may have heard, passed away. He made his life as a publisher a crusade against our society’s strictures of morality. He picked fights and fought them fearlessly: Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Tropic of Cancer, Naked Lunch and yes The Story of O.
Oh, the fights benefitted sales, certainly. He wasn’t stupid. But it seems the fight was what he enjoyed the most throughout his life. Givin’ it to those moralizing censors, making the 1st amendment actually mean something.
In the early nineties, Rosset called me to establish an account with us. At the time, he had sold his legendary Grove Press and started another called Blue Moon Books to bring out a trove of long repressed 19th century erotic books. He wanted to complement his mail order business of this with our Eurotica line, including, of course, The Story of O, which he had to have a nostalgia for at that point.
This was vindication. The spirit with which I entered into publishing Eurotica was in fact very similar to his. Yes, to make money. But also to thumb my nose at the puritanical establishment. My finger at it, actually. Also I wanted to show that comics can also do smut with quality, with a voice. That’s why I’m still proud to publish Eurotica. It’s certainly not all high falutin’ stuff, a lot of it just plain fun (but always with great art) but you can see our gems in there, Omaha the Cat Dancer being one of them.
His fights against censorship, his Evergreen Review, which, by the way, featured dirty comics before underground comix existed, helped to bring on the sixties. He was fighting those sixties fights well before the sixties! That made him a visionary.
Ah, yes, Barney Rosset made being a smut peddler cool.
A belated welcome to Craig Russell to our blog! We’ve got a series of fascinating videos/interviews of him working specifically on his next Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde, the 5th volume with the Happy Prince, coming out in April and to be premiered at MoCCA in NY end of April. We’ll post one a week of those and also have him comment in regular blog entries on his work.
The book is being solicited for now at comics stores.
We’re also busy at the office working on putting together the book to go out to the printer tomorrow. The artwork is stunning and Lovern Kindzierski’s colors just beautiful! Lovin’ every minute.
We’re working right now on preparing Dungeon Zenith vols. 1 and 2 for going back to press and in doing so I got to realize the 1st one is now heading into its fourth printing, the second into its 3rd.
Damn, I’m impressed and quite proud of this success.
In March, we’ve got a banded set of all 3 volumes in the Zenith subseries lined up which prompts these reprints, the volumes had been out of stock for a good few months and are certainly missed.
I’d like to welcome Top Shelf to the 21st century and digital comics.
I find the hoopla around their announcement somewhat amusing especially as we’ve been there, done that for over two years now and have quite a nice library up on Comixology building for some time now! So declarations about being the first, well, Chris, I luv ya, but…
We’re also working with our distributor IPG to get us available with e-tailers and providers beyond comics ones in the general realm of e-books. So, Libraries: Overdrive should have us already! And that’s just one.
End of bass drum beating.
Following right after this, Ernie Colon’s first appearance on our blog, welcome, Ernie!
He joins our many artists blogging here from Rick Geary to Sean Michael Wilson.
Just back from SPX in the Washington DC area and it was energizing!
Saturday was amazing, starting right off the bat in high gear. For a few hours, we sold steadily books upon books, selling out of many Dungeon titles quickly as well as Sky Over the Louvre and Geary’s new Sacco & Vanzetti.
By the end of the show we had sold out of substantial quantities also of our premiere of the Stargazing Dog which was warmly received and, with Brooke Allen signing, of the many copies we brought of her Home for Mr. Easter.
The energy around the show is wonderful to see, the Ignatz Awards were SRO with many unable to fit and the post party went on into the wee hours. Gotta say, I love the forgiving hours of the show, starting at 11 on Saturday and even noon on Sunday.
A fun experience worth the trip and this show should attract attendees from farther than the DC area alone, it deserves it!
Many thanks to Brooke, Rick Parker who held up the Papercutz side, and Jesse Lonergan for appearing at our booth and talking with fans.
Well, I promised to take a picture of the cover, here it is! Not a great one but it does show the foil effect and the crazy googly eyes that are within cutouts from the hardcover.
You can even kinda see me reflected in the foil taking the picture…
Yeah, you gotta see this either at its premiere in San Diego or ask your store! They’ll have it in about 5-6 weeks…
See more about Kinky & Cosy.
Just received this morning a nice little treat: advance copies of the outrageous KINKY & COSY and it’s a beauty.
We’ve never done anything like this before. Wait ’til you see the google eyes of the two girls peering out through cutouts in the hardcover… the whole over a pink/copper shiny foil… It’s irresistible!
We’ve got advance copies being sent to San Diego to premiere the book there and if it goes like with the French sample we had on display at MoCCA where people just zeroed in on it and couldn’t resist picking it up, it should sell out in a hurry!
The cover image above doesn’t do justice to the impression of this. I’ll try and take a picture of it and post it.
Books will hit stores in about 6 weeks time and our warehouse in about 4. Before, if you’re at the San Diego shindig, come by and take a look.
A quick post to give homage to Bill Blackbeard with whom we worked for so many years on early comic strip complete collections.
I am very sorry to see him pass away, his encyclopedic knowledge of comics strips and his amazing collection which I went to visit back in the eighties in San Francisco was amazing. A monumental number of boxes safe in a dry big basement.
I started working with him in the early eighties as we started the first ever complete reprint of any strip in library-worthy clothbound books, beginning with Terry & The Pirates. His collection was thoroughly amazing, going 3-4 newspaper clippings deep which allowed him to make the best choices for reproduction which he would then send us as a batch for each volume for us to reproduce and then work on further so as to make the repro as sharp as possible within the means available back then.
This series was very popular, went for 12 very thick volumes. And each volume had an intro by Bill that set the scene of the day as well as providing info on Caniff. It was the start of our Flying Buttress Classics Library which are now rare collector’s items.
We went on, along with Bill who was quite happy to work with us in making such a permanent printed archive, to do the same with Wash Tubbs & Capt. Easy by Roy Crane and then, of course, Tarzan by first Foster, then Hogarth, where we went full color.
Every volume had wonderful informative notes by Blackbeard.
His contribution to the field of preservation of this art form is immeasurable.
I will never forget him.
See the notice on ICv2.
This is leading up to the next volume collection of his popular pithy one page webcomic observations: “My Shadow in the Distance.” And the 1st bunch of strips deal with his trip to the US… a little extra treat!
This will be volume 4 of this series, shipping in July.
So I’m happy to welcome Lewis back here. Don’t miss the strips, set up an rss.