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Announcement:: Comic Book Artist Finds New Publisher By Brian Jacks
Top Shelf Productions has announced that as of June 2003, the company will be publishing the two-time Eisner award-winning magazine, Comic Book Artist. "CBA Editor Jon B. Cooke has long been a friend of Top Shelf and we've admired his magazine for years, so we couldn't be happier to have CBA join us," said Chris Staros. "CBA brings an added prestige and unabashed enthusiasm about comics which complements our entire line," adds Brett Warnock.
Winner of the 2000 and 2002 Will Eisner Comics Industry Award for Best Comics-Related Periodical, Comic Book Artist has been devoted to covering the lives and works of many an overlooked comics creator, as well as examining hitherto unknown aspects of this wacky and wonderful field for the past five years, fast becoming a favorite among fans and professionals. "I've been gratified to receive encouragement and accolades from such diverse artists as Art Spiegelman and Jim Lee," editor Cooke said. "Writers as different as Michael Chabon and Stan Lee have also lent CBA their support, so needless to say it's been a long and delightfully strange trip so far. And, I promise, it's going to get even stranger!"
Cooke plans an entire revamp for CBA, though he assures that it will retain its strong emphasis on retrospective material. "The original incarnation of CBA focused primarily on the history of comics from the '60s to the early '80s, with occasional forays into the contemporary field. The magazine covered some pretty diverse material, from Sugar & Spike to National Lampoon, as well as devoting issues to some of the field's top creators, including Neal Adams and Alex Toth. We'd take a subject -- say the comics of Atlas/Seaboard or Harvey Comics -- and exhaustively cover every single aspect every which way but Tuesday! While I don't intend to feature such wall-to-wall coverage in the regular issues of CBA, I will spotlight smaller, more manageable subjects within (we hope) every issue, and leave the 'carpet-bombing' approach for the CBA Specials we will be releasing every so often."
"I'd like CBA to better reflect its name by looking less at companies and more at worthy individual artists, whether they be contemporary newcomers or traditional fan favorites." Each issue of the new Comic Book Artist will continue to feature comprehensive interviews, as well as headlining creators who have made a significant impact on the field. Future subjects scheduled to be showcased include Frank Cho, Bernie Wrightson, Colleen Doran, Alex Ross, Kyle Baker, William Stout, Michael Allred, George Tuska, Bob Burden, Tim Bradstreet, Jim Lee, Jeff Smith, Mark Shultz, Will Eisner, and many others. The revamped magazine will also inaugurate news and review departments as well as the debut of a color section.
"We will vigorously cover the field in typical CBA fashion, with emphasis on art and quality," Cooke explained, "pointing out what's worthy, cool, and especially fun, from a positive and productive perspective."
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Current plans are for CBA to release #1, Vol. 2 under the Top Shelf banner in June 2003. The magazine will publish 10 times a year, retail for $7.50, and release one to two Specials a year. Cooke said, "We will aggressively seek advertising as well as review current material (so we implore folks to send review copies of their stuff to CBA), and the magazine will not only showcase timeless features but also up-to-the-minute coverage of events and publications important to our readers."
TwoMorrows Publishing, the former publisher of CBA, will continue to sell back issues of CBA's first 25-issue incarnation (visit www.twomorrows.com/comicbookartist for ordering info or write TwoMorrows, 1812 Park Drive, Raleigh, NC 27605; phone (919) 833-8092; email@example.com).
"Moving to Top Shelf is important for me professionally and personally," Cooke added. "Chris Staros and Brett Warnock so obviously love comics, and I count them as good friends, so I'm naturally looking forward to the transition with great enthusiasm. Top Shelf has published outstanding material, both timeless and cutting-edge stuff I've been admiring for years, and I can't adequately express how happy I am to be joining them."