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A hearty and heartfelt congratulations to publisher Chris Pitzer on the ninth anniversary of the formation of his fine line of comics, AdHouse Books (and more recently its distribution wing, AdDistro). Pitzer is marking the occasion by telling the stories behind nine of the company’s releases, and the result is a mix insight into the kinds of challenges any small-press comics publisher must face, and the qualities that make this particular small-press comics publisher such a valuable one.
With an output ranging from high-end art books like Paul Pope’s Pulphope and James Jean’s Process Recess to thoughtful graphic novels like Josh Cotter’s Skyscrapers of the Midwest and Adam Hines’s Duncan the Wonder Dog, it’s tough to say exactly what “an AdHouse book” will be like, but with Pitzer’s attention to design and reproduction behind every one, you generally can count on it being gorgeous. And as the stories told by Pitzer about books like Pulpatoon Pilgrimage, Skyscrapers, Duncan and so on indicate, the chances are also good that he’s gone to bat for a largely unknown and unpublished talent. That’s an admirable thing for a publisher to do once, let alone over and over again for nearly a decade.
The great cartoonist Josh Cotter, whose book Driven by Lemons ranked sixth on CBR’s list of the Best Comics of 2009, is in a bad way. AdHouse Books publisher Chris Pitzer reports that Cotter’s neighbor’s apartment recently caught fire, and the flames spread to the apartment Cotter shares with his girlfriend and their cats. Fortunately no one (two-legged or four-legged) was hurt, and the property damage could have been much worse. But with no renters’ insurance, and with the costs of clean-up and storage for all their stuff while they figure out their next move, Cotter is in the midst of a financial crisis.
Fortunately, there’s two ways you can help, and both involve getting truly awesome comics and art in return. First, you can buy things from Cotter’s website — not just his magnificent graphic novels Skyscrapers of the Midwest and Driven by Lemons, but limited edition minicomics, prints, original pages from his books, and much more.
Second, AdHouse is donating 100% of the proceeds from sales of any of Josh’s stuff directly to Josh for the next three weeks. If you ever wanted to check out the work of one of the best cartoonists of his generation, there’s never been a better time.
Chris Pitzer over at AdHouse Books tipped us off to this cool T-shirt by Joshua Cotter, creator of Driven by Lemons for the comic shop Comix Revolution in Illinois. This shirt — and shirts by Geof Darrow, Jessica Abel and Jay Ryan — can be bought on the shop’s website.
Your wallet may still be smarting from the beating it received at the hands of SLG and Buenaventura’s big bottom-line-boosting sales, but there’s no rest for the weary: Now the impeccably designed comics of indie publisher AdHouse Books are getting in on the act.
Click over to AdHouse’s holiday-season sale (initially announced right here on Robot 6!) to find killer deals on comics ranging from Joshua W. Cotter’s book-of-the-year candidate Driven by Lemons to serial Eisner Award-winner James Jean’s lovely sketchbook The Hallowed Seam: Process Recess Vol. 3 to Fred Chao’s multiple Eisner-nominated “adventure-scifi-love story” Johnny Hiro.
And to get you in the mood for saving money, why not watch this preview video for Driven by Lemons, set to the unforgettable strains of Stan Bush’s “The Touch” from Transformers: The Movie? After all, if you buy that comic, you’re a winner, you’re nobody’s fool.