Alvin Buenaventura Archives | Robot 6 | The Comics Culture Blog

Comics A.M. | What sets ‘Fairy Tail’ apart from other shonen manga?

Fairy Tail

Fairy Tail

Creators | Fairy Tail creator Hiro Mashima explains what sets his series apart from other shonen manga: “It actually goes back to the series I worked on before, Rave Master. In one episode, there was a scene where a group of guys are hanging out at a bar. That was fun to draw. So I wanted to draw a manga with the feel of guys hanging out at a bar. I thought it’d be interesting to enter a world where characters have established relationships, like friendship. Usually a shonen manga starts with just a main character, who then slowly accumulates his or her allies as the story progresses. But in the world of Fairy Tail, everybody pretty much knows each other at the beginning. [Kodansha Comics]

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


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.

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Help catch the jerk who stole two $125 comics

Pigeon Press wuz robbed! Publisher Alvin Buenaventura reports that his new publishing venture had two copies of the legendary, gigantic, expensive hardcover anthology Kramers Ergot 7 stolen from its table at APE this past Sunday morning. Buenaventura, who’s had a rough enough year as it is, is looking for help from any APE exhibitors and attendees who may have witnessed the thieves in action. With a book that size, they’d be hard to miss.

If you were at APE and you saw something, say something! Not only will you help catch a thief and (hopefully) facilitate the return of some very expensive merchandise, you’ll also help solve the mystery of how anyone could waltz away with two copies of a book roughly the size of a Great Dane.

Buenaventura Press reborn!

Pigeon Press announcement

Or maybe that headline needs a question mark instead of an exclamation point — I’m not exactly sure, and publisher Alvin Buenaventura is letting the picture at right speak for him. But, yes, over on the Blog Flume group blog, Buenaventura posted the image, announcing the launch of Pigeon Press with the latest installment in two of the late, lamented Buenaventura Press’s comic series, Matt Furie’s Boy’s Club #4 and Lisa Hanawalt’s I Want You #2.

It was with heavy heart that we reported the closing of Buenaventura Press back in June after several months in limbo, owing to what Buenaventura described a single knockout financial-legal blow. In addition to comics by Furie, Hanawalt, Ted May, and Eric Haven, BP also released high-end prints, the acclaimed critical publication Comic Art, and recent volumes of Sammy Harkham’s hugely influential anthology series Kramers Ergot. It remains to be seen just how much of a continuation of that work Pigeon Press constitutes, but it’s certainly good to see Boy’s Club and I Want You back in the game at the very least.

SDCC Wishlist | Hipp’s Stray Days, Moon and Ba’s print and much more

by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba

by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba

Down to the wire here, so let’s do a round-robin of a few more cool items you can get at the San Diego Comic-Con this year …

• Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba are bringing a new limited signed giclée print, which you can see to the right.

• Buenaventura Press is having a going-out-of-business sale at booth #1734. Alvin Buenaventura will be there, selling the last copies he has of Kramers Ergot 7, Boy’s Club by Matt Furie, The Gigantic Robot by Tom Gauld, original art and more.

• Gene Luen Yang has a new T-shirt he’ll be selling at the show.

• Terry Moore is bringing The Complete Paradise TOO — “a 360 page softcover book filled with hundreds and hundreds of my comic strips and cartoons, from high school to SIP to all the Kixie strips and Plato and Lizzie the axe-murderer… all for just $30.”

• Scott Morse will have a TON of items for sale at the show; you can find them here and here.

• Both Josh Howard and Humberto Ramos will have sketchbooks at the show. Sean Galloway, meanwhile, has a Spider-Man print.

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The end of Buenaventura Press: a reaction round-up

(L-R) Robert Crumb, Kramers Ergot 7 contributors Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, and Adrian Tomine, and publisher Alvin Buenaventura; photo by Melissa P. Coats

(L-R) Robert Crumb, Kramers Ergot 7 contributors Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, and Adrian Tomine, and publisher Alvin Buenaventura; photo by Melissa P. Coats

On Friday, publisher Alvin Buenaventura announced he had shut down his imprint Buenaventura Press as of this past January, due to a single knockout legal/financial blow. Publicly available details are few, in keeping with the private way the move has been handled for the past six months. But comics creators and critics en masse are mourning BP’s demise and reading the tea leaves as to where its publisher, artists, and entire brand of comics will land.

Robot 6 reached out to several of the artists published by Buenaventura, as well as a few of his fellow publishers, for their reaction:

Working with Alvin over the years has been really amazing. He has introduced me to a lot of magical and influential artists and hooked me up with tons of inspiring and perverted books. His place has awesome shit scattered all over- mountains of crazy books, toys, memorabilia, gigantic figures, artwork- it’s like a bomb went off. Now that he’ll be taking a break from the business we’ll finally have more time to play Rock Band and trip out on weird TV shows.

–Matt Furie, writer/artist, Boy’s Club

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Buenaventura Press closes its doors

Kramers Ergot #7

Kramers Ergot #7

Some sad news today out of Oakland … Alvin Buenaventura announced today that he shut down his company, Buenaventura Press, in January.

“I was forced to let go of the dedicated employees who had worked so tirelessly for so little money in order to create art that we all believed in,” Buenaventura posted on Blog Flume earlier today. “This meant that I had to abandon all current and future projects and discontinue sales and distribution. I deeply regret having to take these actions, but the press experienced a devastating financial blow that made it impossible to continue. (I will release more details about this problem in the future.)”

Robot 6’s Sean T. Collins reached out to Buenaventura today, and he added that the situation comes down to a single problem that is legal in nature.

Buenaventura Press published many independent comics, high-end anthologies, graphic novels and prints by creators like Ron Rege Jr, Ted May, Kevin Huizenga, Eric Haven, Lisa Hanawalt and Matt Furie. Back in 2008 they received a lot of attention when they published the massive Kramers Ergot 7, an “olympic-sized” anthology that included contributions from Matt Groening, Daniel Clowes, Seth, Gabrielle Bell and many more. They also published Comic Art Magazine.

Buenaventura does The Believer

BLVRvol7no9He’s the man who helped bring us the sublime Kramers Ergot 7 and the ridiculous Boys Club. Now publisher Alvin Buenaventura is lending his Midas touch to stalwart literary magazine The Believer for its annual Art Issue.

At his Blog Flume group blog, Buenaventura reveals that In addition to an Acme Novelty Library/Jack Surives “crossover cover” by regular cover artist Charles Burns, the issue features an interview between Acme‘s Chris Ware and Jack‘s Jerry Moriarty, other interviews with Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Peter Blegvad, and a poster by Moriarty.

Finally, the issue sees the launch of a new monthly feature: a comics spread featuring new strips from Burns, Al Columbia, Matt Furie, Tom Gauld, Lisa Hanawalt, Tim Hensley and more, edited by Buenaventura himself.

Click over to Buenaventura’s blog for sample art, click the individual links for the respective features, and get ready to gorge on some great comics content.

Wow — between this and issue #33 of The Believer‘s sister publication McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, dubbed The San Francisco Panorama and featuring comics by Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware, Dan Clowes, Erik Larsen (!) and more, it’s a good time to be a fan of comics in high-end literary periodicals.

One strong gust of wind and we never find out the ending to Rusty Brown

Hail, hail the gang's all here

Hail, hail the gang's all here

I wasn’t planning on posting a bunch of Angloume-related stuff — especially at this late date — but I just have to call attention to Alvin Buenaventura’s amazing flickr set of photos taken before and during the European festival. By the way, from the left that’s Robert Crumb, Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, Adrian Tomine and Buenaventura in the photo above. That’s probably the most impressive collection of talent ever precariously balanced on a rock wall in the history of mankind. (via)

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