April 5th, 2015
Here at Tugboat Press, we take pride in our history of working with so many great comic book artists before they exploded in to world wide fame and fortune. This year's issue feature two such artists and the return of three of our all time favorite contributors.
Sam Sharpe is a writer, illustrator, and filmmaker from Chicago. He's done a few small one pagers for us before, but this year we've turned the cover story over to him to showcase his stunning talent. We've been aware of his minicomics and off-color gag strips (collected in this book from Yeti Press) for a while now, but it was his absolutely heartbreaking story "Mother" that has labeled him as one of the best new storytellers in comics. See an excerpt from it in last year's Best American Comics.
Evan Palmer is a "digital media producer" from Minneapolis who is the author of the wonderful fantasy series THE GODINS. Besides the skilled and stylish art, The Godins stands out for it unique and humorous take on the world of sword and sorcery epics. Though the world building is rich with depth and intrigue, Palmer pushed the Thunder Kings and unbeatable warriors to the side and focuses on a small group of minions who scoot around the edges and slip through the cracks of most stories. It's a real charmer and is worth seeking out. For RR4, he has created a new side story featuring these characters as they hide in the woods and reminisce about their lives before adventure came a calling.
This issue also gives us the chance to work with some of our favorite regular contributors. Andrice Arp, Joey Sayers, and Farel Dalrymple all turn in fantastic short stories. So be sure to look for it on Free Comic Book Day and beyond.
April 30th, 2014
It's always a thrill to get to work with one of your heroes, and Megan Kelso is one of our all time favorites. We've had her on our dream list from the beginning of Tugboat Press. After a few false starts and missed opportunities, we've finally made it happen with the new issue of Runner Runner. She drew us a sublime little story called The Good Witch, 1947. It's about a single mother who's life is slowly slipping away from her. It's a beautiful piece and we feel fortunate to be able to publish it. Working with your heroes is sometimes just as good as you'd hoped!
If you can't pick up a copy of Runner Runner at one of the select stores carrying it for Free Comic Book Day, be sure to seek us out at comic shows throughout the year to get one from us directly. They're free!
November 9th, 2013
Behind the scenes, Tugboat Press will often work intensely with writers and artists on creating their new new books and comics with the vague idea that we'll eventually publish them and share them with the world. But that's not always the case. Sometimes we hand off the actual publishing to another company. We've done this with many of our recent projects, like this one and this one and several others. It's a fun way to work. We get to help craft and shape the stories and art, and then we can leave the boring business and sales part of the process to someone else. Usually someone who is really good at that part of book publishing.
Well, we did it again. This time it's a big beautiful graphic novel by Tugboat regular MK Reed and amazing NY artist Joe Flood. The book isThe Cute Girl Network and it's a hilarious romantic comedy set in the world of skater punks and indie rock kids. It turned out awesome and we couldn't be prouder of it. It was great working with publisher First Second Books. They specialize in graphic novels like this and we're sure they're going to do a great job of getting it out to the people. We hope you pick it. It's sometime special.
We also have a new issue of our annual Invincible Summer/Clutch split zine out now. This year it's printed in a lovely brown colored ink and features some very emotional moments from artist Nicole Georges. Things start off dark for her, but build to a lovely turning point in her life. Don't miss it!
June 6th, 2013
Sometimes a new project will just sneak up on you. We're a comic book publisher, and a tiny one at that. We never had any ambition to branch out into the world of fine art prints, but over the years we've learned that the best projects are the ones created just because you wanted to see them exist. And that's what happened with our new venture PANGS.
Over the last few year, writer and artist MK Reed has been putting together her version of the Irish legend Tain Bo Cuailnge, a sprawling epic of an ancient civil war brought on by a fight over a single stolen cow. Full of Game of Thrones style intrigue and backstabbing, it also features Reed's unique sense of humor and love for the absurd in human nature. She's been writing and drawing most of it herself and serializing it online at AboutABull.com. Sometimes to tell some of the side stories and fill in world building gaps, she brings in guest artists like Hilary Florido, Matt Wiegle, and Farel Dalrymple to draw from her exhaustively researched scripts. It was Farel's story that caught our eye when he showed us his amazing watercolored originals. They looked more like something that should be framed on a museum wall than quickly read on someone's smart phone. So we thought, "why not?"
Now PANGS is a set of seven fine art prints (six story pages and an oversized insert) sold in comic book style poly bag. They look NICE! This is definitely one of the more handsome projects we've ever put together. Clear off some space on your living room wall, you're going to want this!
And if you like the sound of MK Reed and Farel Dalrymple collaborating, stay tuned, we're working on an even more ambitious project with them for near future. It's a secret for now, but trust us, it's pretty cool.
Also we'll be working with big NYC publishers First Second Books this fall for the release of a 192 page graphic novel called THE CUTE GIRL NETWORK. It's a book that's close to our hearts, so keep an eye out of it. More on that soon.
March 13th, 2013
This is actually our sixth year year doing a comic for Free Comic Book Day, but this is the first time we've tried to turn it in to an actual series. Really, we just liked the title Runner Runner (a poker term for needing two lucky cards in a row) and we decided to reuse it. That was before we heard about this movie. Dang it! Oh well, maybe it'll flop.
This year's RR features a cover story by MK Reed, GMeans, Joe Flood that is a preview for their new graphic novel THE CUTE GIRL NETWORK, that is a coming out this Fall. It's a charming romantic comedy about being true to yourself and not letting other tell you what to do or who to love. The main character is a female skateboarder named Jane and you'll be hearing more about her in coming months. She's pretty cool.
The rest of the issue is rather good too.
Also thanks to everyone who passed along their congratulations and condolences on the closing of Papercutter. It was really nice to hear that people got a lot of enjoyment out of that series. Hopefully, the new Runner Runner will help ease the loss. Check back here for a list of participating store that will be carrying it for FCBD.