Billy Bat Ads

My Extra Sequential podcast co-host Mladen showed me these great photos of a series of posters at Shinjuku train station in Tokyo (the busiest station in the world). Simply awesome. The ads are for the manga Billy Bat which Mladen describes so eloquently in our most recent episode. Imagine if Marvel and DC could achieve something like this! Of course, in the West comics readership is a drop in the ocean compared to our Eastern fans, so publishers don’t have the advertising budget to compete with Nike and McDonalds. I guess we’ll have to let Hollywood be our mouthpiece for a little while longer, and us vocal fans too of course.

Top Shelf in 2011

Top Shelf would have to be my favourite indie publisher. Blankets and The Surrogates opened my mind to the increasing diversity and entertainment value in non-superhero books a few years ago, and they continue to impress me with their output. This year looks set to unveil another fine selection of sequential art goodies. Here it is from the Shelf themselves.

Hey friends,

Happy new year to you all! We hope your 2011 is off to a great start. Here at Top Shelf, we have a wonderful year planned — and after much preparation, we’re finally ready to announce our complete 2011 lineup!

It’s a wide assortment that includes new books from your favorite Top Shelf authors (including Alan Moore, Jeffrey Brown, Robert Venditti, and Nate Powell), amazing new authors from all over the world (including Ludovic Debeurme, Jessica Fink, Jennifer Hayden, Kagan McLeod, and Eric Skillman), and a huge number of all-ages books to celebrate the official launch of the Top Shelf Kids Club!




In fact, we’re so proud and excited about these books, we decided to share some of the fun with you as well! That’s why we’ve whipped up a special treat: the 2011 Top Shelf Tribune. So, not only is our complete 2011 line of books available for browsing and pre-order in our web catalog, but all year long we’ll be giving away the tongue-in-cheek Tribune at conventions and through your local comic shop! It’s packed with news, jokes, charts, facts, teaser images, and more, all about the Top Shelf books & authors coming out this year. And the whole thing is up on our web site as well, for you to enjoy and share with your friends! The 2011 Top Shelf Tribune : Real Books. Fake News.


For years, some of our greatest books have been graphic novels for all ages: OwlyKorgiJohnny Boo, and more. In 2011, we’re taking the plunge and expanding that line in a big way, with the official launch of the TOP SHELF KIDS CLUB! Our Free Comic Book Day book will kick things off in May (featuring OwlyKorgi,Johnny Boo, as well as the all-new Okie Dokie DonutsPirate Penguin vs. Ninja Chicken, and Upside Down: A Vampire’s Tale ), followed by an amazing EIGHT new releases for kids! You can meet them all on page 3 of the Top Shelf Tribune, or visit them online in the Top Shelf Kids Club section of our web catalog!

Doctor Who For Newbies

Spinoff Online has a great article, entitled How To Start Watching Doctor Who. That tells you what the article is all about right there. It’s short enough for a quick read and will get you up to speed before launching into the long running British sci-fi series. I’ve watched very few episodes, but just watched the two part The End of Time story line, which saw baby faced David Tennant become current Doc incarnation Matt Smith in his final, dying moments. It seemed to me very comic like in its storytelling approach, with breakneck pace, end of the world shenanigans, and great interplay between various human and non-human life forms. No spandex, to be sure, but it felt kind of like Brian Michael Bendis’ approach to Avengers, just with a tad more sentimentality.

I might have to start hiring previous Doctor Who seasons now.