Robot 6

R.I.P.: Art comics publisher Alvin Buenaventura

alvinwithergot

Word circulated this morning via Tom Spurgeon of the sudden passing of acclaimed art comics publisher Alvin Buenaventura. Over the course of the new Millennium, the comics published by his Buenaventura Press and Pigeon Press labels left an indelible mark on the comics art form.

Just last week, Buenaventura was recalling his earliest connection to the comics industry – his time as a teenage Daniel Clowes fan chatting up the artist at San Diego Comic-Con in the late ’90s. From those humble beginnings, Buenaventura Press grew in the mid-2000s to be one of the most forward-thinking comics publishers of the decade with memorable titles like Johnny Ryan’s Comic Book Holocaust and Vanessa Davis’ Spaniel Rage.

But the Press’ best known contribution to the form will likely be the two volumes of Sammy Harkham’s Kramers Ergot anthology it shepherded into being. 2008’s Kramers 7 (pictured above) was literally a massive undertaking with a 16″ by 21″ page size that mimicked the newspaper comics of the early 20th century. The contributor list to the issue included the likes of Clowes, Matt Groening, Seth, Gabrielle Bell and Jaime Hernandez, and Buenaventura’s personal supervision of its overseas printing helped make the book a legitimate cultural event.

Due to a legal and financial emergency, Buenaventura Press was forced to close in 2010, but its publisher continued on undeterred by founding Pigeon Press. In that iteration, Buenaventura continued to publish new works by the likes of Charles Burns, Simon Hanselmann and others while also contribution comics sections to The Believer. The publisher had plans to release Nick Maandag’s The Oaf later this year.

Our thoughts go out to Buenaventura’s family, friends and collaborators. See a brief selection of online tributes below.


Comments

5 Comments

fuck dixieduncan456

February 13, 2016 at 3:03 pm

Goddamn spammer.

I can’t think of another person in this millennium who has affected me as a comic reader more than Mr. Buenaventura.
He was one of a few visionaries, and he will be missed.

Dawnell (@Dawnell_do)

February 14, 2016 at 1:30 am

R.I.P.

Sad news.

Sumalangit nawa nang kanyang kaluluwa. [Or should that have been in Chabacano?]

Rest In Peace.

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