Comics / Comics News

Top Shelf News: Alex Robinson, Aaron Renier, & the CBLDF

By Leroy Douresseaux
June 1, 2005 - 16:28

The following is the Top Shelf Newsletter remixed with images of the publications of question thrown in. - Leroy

Hey Comics Fans,

The big wave of summer announcements continues with:

-- Alex Robinson's Long-Awaited All-New Graphic Novel, TRICKED!
-- The Re-Release of Alex Robinson's Epic, BOX OFFICE POISON!
-- SPIRAL-BOUND, The Amazing Debut From Talented Newcomer,
Aaron Renier!
-- Top Shelf Harvey Award Nominations!
-- And An Important CBLDF Update In The Georgia Case!

Details below.

(For Pre-Ordering Books Shipping To Stores In AUGUST)


by Alex Robinson

[A "Featured Item" & "Certified Cool" on page 350 of Previews, with a
full-page ad on page 349]

From the Eisner award-winning creator of BOX OFFICE POISON - voted by Wizard magazine as the best indy graphic novel of all time! -- comes the highly-anticipated original graphic novel, TRICKED. Four years in development and clocking in at 352-pages, Alex Robinson, "the master of true-to-life relationship drama" (Library Journal), has created another tour de force. TRICKED follows the lives of six people -- a reclusive rock legend, a heartbroken waitress, a counterfeiter, an obsessive crank, a lost daughter, and a backstabbing lover -- whose lives are unconnected until an act of violence brings them spiraling in on each other. Combining intriguing characters with a story structure that is both complex and innovative, TRICKED is not to be missed. -- $19.95 (US), 352 pages, 6 1/2" x 9 5/8", Graphic Novel, ISBN 1-891830-73-2



The New Edition of:
by Alex Robinson

[Listed On page 350 of Previews, with a full-page ad on page 349]

"A convincing, absorbing and satisfying fictional portrait of post-college life in New York City." -- Publishers Weekly

"A salute to comics, an exploration of the human condition, and a solid, absorbing, and riotously snide tale about at least half of the things that make life important." -- Tasha Robinson, The Onion AV Club

Sporting a brand new cover, the award-winning and long-out-of-print BOX OFFICE POISON is back! This 608-page epic story of Sherman, Dorothy, Ed, Stephen, Jane, and Mr. Flavor is a true comics masterpiece. Alex Robinson's completely natural and inspiring knack for dialogue makes this story of dreary jobs, comic books, love, sex, messy apartments, girlfriends (and the lack thereof), undisclosed pasts, and crusty old professionals one of the most delightful and whimsical graphic novels to hit the stands in years. -- $29.95 (US), 608 pages, 6 1/2" x 9 5/8", Graphic Novel, ISBN 1-891830-19-8



by Aaron Renier

["Certified Cool" on page 350 of Previews, with a full-page ad on page 351]

"Brilliant! Aaron Renier has created a playfully mysterious universe, complete with its own dreamlike logic. It's a delightfully inventive treasure." -- Dav Pilkey, Captain Underpants

"Aaron Renier's Spiral-Bound is exactly the sort of novel I have been looking for when the weather outside is glum and I want to spend the afternoon on my couch with Nico on the stereo and a pot of toasted rice tea simmering on the end table. If you want anything more from a graphic novel than a noble elephant, a shadowy mystery, an intrepid bird, an underwater monster, an impeccable rabbit, an underground tram, a devoted dog, an aquatic sculptor, a corrupt mayor, a maze of secrets, a secret maze and not one but two performances by my new favorite musical ensemble Kodiak & Calico, you should be ashamed of yourself." -- Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events

With an ensemble cast straight from a box of Animal Crackers, this delightful tale of ambition, morality, and self-discovery is the first major work by extraordinary newcomer Aaron Renier. Drawn in a decidedly beautiful fashion, reminiscent of Richard Scary and Lewis Trondheim, Renier has given us a fully-realized and compellingly adventurous narrative, at once both achingly naive and profoundly worldly. This tightly crafted graphic novel is the real deal, and will charm your socks off. A remarkable debut. -- $14.95 (US), 184 pages, 9 3/4" x 7 1/2", Graphic Novel, ISBN 1-891830-50-3



Edited by Peter Kuper and Ryan Inzana

From attacks on Sponge Bob, to fake newscasters, to nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, to tax cuts for the rich, Neo Cons are everywhere! As the Bush administration rewrites the constitution, the artists of World War 3 draw the line and demonstrate that a picture is
worth a thousand WMDs. For a quarter century, World War 3 has been on the cutting edge of political comix, and this 25th anniversary edition continues with a line up of today's sharpest talents, including: Spain, Joe Sacco, David Rees, Steve Brodner, Barry Blitt, Eric Drooker, Sabrina Jones, Ryan Inzana, Seth Tobocman, Peter Kuper, and a wraparound cover by Sue Coe. World War 3 is the antidote to complacency. Distributed by Top Shelf. -- $5.00 (US), 64 pages, Anthology


Top Shelf would like to congratulate Andy Runton, James Kochalka, Jon B. Cooke, & Craig Thompson for their 2005 Harvey Award Nominations:

- Best New Talent: Andy Runton (Owly)
- Best New Series: Owly (Andy Runton)
- Best Graphic Album of Original Work: Owly (Andy Runton)
- Best Graphic Album of Original Work: Carnet de Voyage (Craig Thompson)
- Best Graphic Album of Previously Published Work: American Elf (James Kochalka)
- Best Biographical, Historical Or Journalistic Presentation: Comic Book Artist (Ed. by Jon B. Cooke)

Congratulations to all the other nominees as well.


Counsel for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund have submitted four motions to dismiss the charges against retailer Gordon Lee, owner of Legends in Rome, GA. Last February, the Fund initiated Lee's defense against charges resulting from accidentally distributing Alternative Comics #2, a Free Comic Book Day book from 2004, to a minor. The
anthology includes the story "The Salon" by Nick Bertozzi, which contains a segment depicting Picasso in the nude. The Fund has already spent in excess of $20,000 defending this case.

Lee was charged with seven criminal counts for allegedly violating two laws. He was charged with two counts of violating the felony of Distribution of Material Depicting Nudity or Sexual Conduct (OCGA §16-12-81), a law that bans the unsolicited delivery of any content depicting nudity to any person in the state of Georgia and carries a penalty of
one to three years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000. One of the two counts is for handing the comic to the alleged victim, and the other is for handing the comic to an alleged John or Jane Doe. Lee is also charged with five counts of violating the misdemeanor of Distribution of
Material Harmful to Minors (OCGA §16-12-103). He is charged with three discrete counts of violating the law for handing a single copy of the comic book to the alleged victim. He is also charged with two counts for allegedly giving the comics to John or Jane Doe.

The motions, written by Alan Begner and Paul Cadle, CBLDF's counsel on this case, were filed on May 2. The first motion seeks to dismiss the John Doe counts. The second seeks to dismiss both felony counts under the rule of lenity, which requires that when a defendant is charged with a felony and a misdemeanor for the same conduct, the lesser penalty must apply. The third motion seeks to dismiss the felony counts on the grounds that Georgia's Distribution of Material Depicting Nudity or Sexual Conduct is unconstitutional on its face and as applied. The fourth motion seeks to dismiss the misdemeanor counts of Distribution of Material Harmful to Minors on the grounds that the law is unconstitutional on its face and as applied to this case.

CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein says, "Mr. Begner and Mr. Cadle have presented some very persuasive legal arguments in these motions. There's no question that Gordon Lee's First Amendment rights are being trampled upon, and so we're pleased to have brought such an intelligent and aggressive legal team in to defend him. We are all very optimistic that these motions will carry significant weight as we move through the pretrial stage of this case."

Hearings on these motions have yet to be scheduled, but are expected to occur in the summer.




The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has launched a series of auctions to assist in the defense of Gordon Lee. To see what's available, click on the link above.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is calling upon artists and collectors to make donations of original art and rare collectibles to assist in summer fundraising. CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein explains, "Summer represents our busiest fundraising season. We run auctions at the major shows including Comic Con and Wizard World where the money raised can sometimes pay for an entire phase of a case. This summer we're calling upon the creative and collecting communities to make a donation of original art or similar rare collectible for us to include in those auctions. A piece of art that may be resting in someone's file drawer can help us pay for a motion to be written or an argument to be waged." Donors of art will receive a letter of acknowledgment from the CBLDF that includes the amount the piece raised on auction. Donations can be sent to: CBLDF, PO Box 693, Northampton, MA 01061. For shipping information to a street address, please e-mail Charles Brownstein at


Your friend thru comics,

Chris Staros
Top Shelf Productions
PO Box 1282
Marietta, GA 30061-1282

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

    RSS       Mobile       Contact        Advertising       Terms of Service    ComicBookBin

© Copyright 2002-2023, Toon Doctor Inc. - All rights Reserved. All other texts, images, characters and trademarks are copyright their respective owners. Use of material in this document (including reproduction, modification, distribution, electronic transmission or republication) without prior written permission is strictly prohibited. Toon Doctor ® is registered trademarks of Toon Doctor Inc. Privacy Policy