Thursday, December 22, 2011

Best Ofs

Several Sparkplug titles and distro books have made it on Best Of 2011 lists - including one by Rob Kirby and Best American Comics Notable Titles. Congrats to all the authors! We will be posting our own Top 10 lists soon.

Also, Tom, Emily and I were interviewed by Tom Spurgeon at the Comics Reporter about the future of Sparkplug. You can read the interview here.

Our website update has had a few setbacks, but should be up soon!

Happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

End of Year Lists!

Virginia Paine's Top 10:
(Eleven, actually!)

2. Passage by Tessa Brunton
3. Amy Kuttab's story in Dan Quayl
5. The Wolf by Tom Neely
7. 20 Girls in 20 Days by Greer Lawson
8. Outta This Comes the Crazy by Rina Ayuyang
9. Big Plans #5 by Aron Nels Steinke
10. Ignition Zero (webcomic) by Noel Heimpel
11. I Think You're Sauceome (webcomic) by Sarah Becan

Emily Nilsson's Top 10 (in no particular order):

1. Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 by Jaime Hernandez. I haven't even read this one yet, but I know I'm going to love it, because I've loved Jaime for the last 20 years and more.
2. Play Overlord by Theo Ellsworth, Sean Christensen and Amy Kuttab. Three geniuses, or is it genii?
3. Habitat #2 by Dunja Jankovic.
4. American Gun Culture Report edited and published by Ross Eliot. I'm anti-gun, and yet I find this zine engrossing. It's made by and for liberals, spanning issues such as politics, feminism, and LGBT.
5. Face Man by Clara Bessijelle. I got a preview copy at BCGF!
6. Big Plans #5 by Aron Nels Steinke
7. Shenzhen by Guy DeLisle.  I know this is a couple years old.  But I read it over the holidays and I really enjoyed it and learned a lot!  Travelogue comics are among my favorites.
8. The Holy Ghost Guide to The Stars by ??? - A mystery lady in bird/ghost costume handed this to me at BCGF.  Did you know that the Septagram is the "star of Babalon and the SFPD"?  You will know that and more if you read this.  See her blog here.
9. Have You Seen the DOG Lately? edited by Serena Lafler.  A great comic/zine anthology including the likes of Steve Lafler and Carrie McNinch.
10. Manifesto Items by David Lasky.  A collection of poems, comics, and thoughts.  David's been a great inspiration and support to me in my own work over many years!    

Tom Neely's Top 10 (that isn't a "Top 10" at all)

I can't call mine a "Top 10 of 2011" because I haven't read everything that came out in 2011 (I'm still catching up on the last couple of years of books).  Maybe I'm just excited about comics in general, and lately I'm in a mood to lean more towards entertaining comics than heavy literary tomes, but it seems like I've found a lot of really amazing stuff this Fall. I got some good stuff earlier this year at Stumptown and TCAF, too, but that seems like a lifetime ago. After several years of the comics industry at large proclaiming the end of everything from comic books and comic shops to the end of all print media, finding so many good comics coming out of the small presses and self publishers fills me with inspiration.

So, this is more of a "best of the comics I acquired on my Fall tour." In no particular order:
1) JOSH BAYER! Man, is he some kind of unstoppable force?! His new Raw Power is really amazing. Get it from Retro Fit Comics. While you're at it, subscribe to Retro Fit Comics! Who doesn't like getting comics in the mail?
2) Rub The Blood by Various. This book is a psychotic art attack on all things Rob Liefield and awful '90s comics that all nerds my age have a special soft-spot for. "Only available in person"
3) Gagged by Dan Wiekin. This is a ridiculous book of really dirty, somewhat evil, and really offensive "gags."  Uncivilized Books.
4) I'm really excited by everything I've read from Domino Books.
5) Sammy the Mouse Vol 1 by Zak Sally. This collects the first three issues of the series in one book. All hand printed by the artist on his own printing press. Amazing. Even if you have the 3 individual issues, I think the story reads even better in this format. Get it from Zak Sally's La Mano 21.
6) Things You Carry by Vincent Stall. A beautiful, wordless, dreamlike book that seems to be about loss. Get it from 2D Cloud
7) Mother Lover Anthology from 2D Cloud. A couple of really good short stories by a few good Minnesotans.
8) BENJAMIN MARRA! Getting a new Marra comic makes me as giddy as when I went to the comic shop on new comic book day when i was 12 years old and still liked superhero comics. Get Night Business and Gangsta Rap Posse from his own Traditional Comics.
9) King Cat # 72 by John Porcellino. What can I say? John P. is a national treasure. Everyone should be reading this series.
10) Andros by Max Clottfelter. This guys a genius! So funny. So surreal. I wish I could draw like this guy.
11) 3 Short Stories by Clara Bessijelle - Clara's drawings are mesmerizing. Domino Books
12) The Greatest by Kelly Froh. This simple little book makes me really happy.
13) Sad Sex minis by Heather Benjamin. The drawings in these things scare me. This girl is sick. I like it.
14) WEIRD Magazine #1 by various artists - Imagine if all the weirdest art comix stars were running things at the old Warren Publishing house in the '60s and '70s. Yeah... that woulda been awesome. And it is. From E. T. Press
15) Keenan Marshall Keller! I love his super-stoopid-sci-fi-drugged-out-EPIC Galatctic Breakdown series (not pictured above)
16) The Disgusting Room by Austin English (not pictured above) - I wasn't sure if I should promote a Sparkplug book on this list since I'm now a partner, but it came out before I was officially part of Sparkplug Books, so... This is probably my favorite book of the year. Austin English continues to blow my mind with his merging of art into the narrative comics form. This work deserves to be hanging in museums. I can't wait to see what he does next. I told Austin it was like if "DeKooning had made comics" and he frowned and said "I've never really been a fan of his work..." Which makes me like Austin's work even more.

I would also like to mention that I really enjoyed new minis from my partners Emily and Virginia.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sparkplug's Website is Updating!

Big news! We are changing the Sparkplug website - making it a little more streamlined and easier to use. The address will remain the same, but expect a slightly different look and ordering system. The redesign is being done by Aaron Amstutz. The change should take place sometime within the next week; I'll post again when everything is finalized and the new site is up.

Thanks for supporting Sparkplug and happy holidays!


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Gay Genius on Autostraddle!

Our fantastic anthology of queer artists and comic folks, Gay Genius, made it onto a gift guide on Autostraddle! Check out the full list here!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Poopsheet's Best of 2011

Austin English's The Disgusting Room has made it on Poopsheet Foundations' Best Mini-Comics and Small Press Titles of 2011 list! Also on the list: Sparkplug artist Julia Gfrorer's Too Dark to See and Sparkplug co-owner Tom Neely's The Wolf. A bunch of the honorable mentions are Sparkplug titles as well! You can read the full list here.

If you are planning on doing any of your holiday shopping at Sparkplug, now would be a great time to order! Please check out our store; a lot of our books would make great gifts. If you need some suggestions, please feel free to contact me - virginia (at) sparkplugcomicbooks (dot) com.

Have a great week!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Passage, Reviewed!

Justin Giampaoli has written a wonderful review of Tessa Brunton's Passage on his blog Thirteen Minutes:

... Her note perfect details in the pencils lend a sense of authenticity to her quirky upbringing. When you start cataloguing the shading technique, the rampant crosshatching, and the variable line weights, you realize her self-taught style is highly accomplished, culminating with a glorious two page spread that’s a cutaway diagram of her parents’ house. It comes with a penchant for creating rich panels that hum with a lived-in feeling evident in the clothing, the hair, the backgrounds, and the general sense of diversity in all of the figure work. ...

Good stuff!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Fest

Emily and Tom will be in charge of the Sparkplug table this weekend at Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Fest. Our special guest star will be Katie Skelly, author of the Nurse Nurse series! Please join us for this super awesome fest!

Here's the scoop, from the BCGF website:


WHAT: Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival
WHEN: December 3, 2011 12- 9 pm
Free and open to the public

WHERE: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church
275 North 8th Street
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
Union Pool
484 Union Avenue # A
New York, NY 11211-3440

We are pleased to announce the third Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival, a festival of comics and graphic art featuring artists and publishers displaying and selling publications; lectures and conversations on comics; and associated exhibits and satellite events. Over 75 of the very best artists and publishers will gather on December 3rd to display and sell their work and engage in discussions and exhibitions.

In order to accommodate overwhelming demand, this year’s Festival expands its exhibition space to both floors of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church’s facilities, with a full weekend of programs and events taking place at an array of independent Brooklyn-area arts and culture institutions.

Our 2011 featured guests are: Jack Davis, Phoebe Gloeckner, CF, Lisa Hanawalt, David Mazzucchelli, Chip Kidd, John Porcellino and Brian Ralph. These guests are joined by an international array of publishers including Drawn & Quarterly, Fantagraphics, Adhouse, Nobrow, Pantheon Books, Last Gasp, Akashic, Top Shelf, PictureBox, and Koyama Press, who in turn will host artists including Adrian Tomine, Jordan Crane, Michael Deforge, Gabrielle Bell, Dash Shaw, Gary Panter, Frank Santoro, and Leslie Stein.

For our third edition we have partnered with like-minded organizations in the borough. Union Pool will host a cartoonist-studded rock show on Friday night, as well as our full slate of Festival panels all day Saturday. Scott Eder Gallery is the site of the exhibition Drawing Pop Culture: The Art of Jack Davis, while four days of comics-related films will screen at The Spectacle Theater, and a graphics and theater performance event will be presented on Sunday at the Brick Theater.

Full programming and Festival information will continue to be posted to our website:

The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival is an ongoing project by Desert Island, PictureBox and Bill Kartalopoulos.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanks to Some Extra-Special People

We here at Sparkplug have so many people to thank for their kindness and generosity to us in this transitional period.  At this time, we want especially to thank Jason Leivian of Floating World Comics, Jason T. Miles of Profanity Hill, comic artist Jim Rugg.  These awesome guys organized and promoted a series of eBay auctions of original art and collectible books to help support Sparkplug as we realize our goals. 

We also owe a debt of gratitude to the dozens of artists who gave their creations and books to be sold in the auctions, as well as friends and colleagues who made other generous donations.  Here are the names of those who contributed:

Adam Hines
Adrian Tomine
Aleks Sennwald
Allie & Jeremy Tiedeman
Annie Koyama
Art Spiegelman
Ben Dewey
Bill Boichel
Bill Kartolopuolos
Charles Brownstein
Chris Pitzer
Dan Clowes
Dan Nadel
David Lasky
Dunja Jankovic
Eric Reynolds
Eroyn Franklin
Ethan Rilly
Gabe Fowler
Greg Stump
Ian MacEwan
James Romberger
Jason T. Miles
Jeff Lemire
Jenny Gialenes
Jeremy Eaton
Jim Rugg
John Porcellino
Jonathan Case
Jordan Crane
Jordan Shively
Julia Wertz
Karn Piana
Katy Ellis O’Brien
Kelly Froh
Ken Dahl (Gabby Schulz)
Kevin Huizenga
Levon Jihanian
Luke Ramsey
Malachi Ward
Marc Palm
Martine Workman
Matt Fraction
Matthew Sheean
Max Clotfelter
Megan Kelso
Micheal Deforge
Michel Fiffe
Natalie Nourigat
Nate Powell
Nick Abadzis
Paul Hornschemeier
Pete Toms
Peter Bagge
Peter @ The Beguiling Books
Rebecca Artemisia
Renee French
Rich Tommaso
Ryan Standfest
Sarah Morean
Sean Ford
Stephen DeStefano
Steve Lieber
Tom Scioli
Victor Kerlow
Warren Bernard

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review of Flesh and Bone

Attention Deficit Disorderly has done a great review of Flesh and Bone by Julia Gfrorer:

"Gfrörer’s intelligence shines through in virtually every particular, from pacing (the excruciatingly interminable sequence in which the bereaved man writhes first in agony then in resigned masturbatory ecstasy on his beloved’s grave) to dialogue (a devastating exchange between witch and demon in which love is dismissed as “mutual masturbation,” a form of slavery that prevents humankind from pulling itself out of the muck) to strategic absences of dialogue (a harrowing silent sequence in which an owl is sent to blind a young witness to a horrible crime) to character design (the man’s Byronic good looks, the demon’s disembodied lion head) to facial expression and body language (the witch’s arched back and closed lids as she copulates with a screeching mandrake creature) to a cover that nails the appeal of her wiry, frail characters and line."

You can read the review in its entirety here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rina Ayuyang and Lark Pien at Komiks Expo 2011

Rina Ayuyang and Lark Pien, both good friends of Sparkplug, will be tabling at the Komiks Expo in San Francisco this Saturday! Details below:

Komiks Expo 2011

Saturday, November 19, 1pm-5pm

It's going to be our own local version of Comic Con! Komiks Expo 2011 is a comic book convention to showcase Filipino and API artists in cartoon, comic book, and graphic novel media. Come out to see artwork from aspiring local artists/groups in the SF Bay Area and beyond!

Special Guest: Whilce Portacio!

About Whilce Portacio:

Whilce Portacio started as an inker before launching his career as a penciller over two decades ago. He has been a leading comic book talent ever since his big break through on Marvel titles X-Factor and Uncanny X Men in the early '90s. Whilce has worked on titles Iron Man: Heroes Reborn, Punisher, Wetworks, Stormwatch, Batman Confidential, and Superman/Batman.

Admission: FREE!

Come in a comic book character costume for a chance to win a prize pack worth $100!

Curating Komiks exhibit for I-Hotel Manilatown Center. Opening September 17, 4-6 PM at 868 Kearny Street, SF. A tribute to Filipino & Filipino American Comic Book Artists, featuring the work of Alfredo Alcala, Alex Niño, Ed Badajos, Vidda Chan, Dino Ignacio, Whilce Portacio, and Nestor Redondo..
I-Hotel Manilatown Center
868 Kearny St.
San Francisco, CA 94108
Non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and fostering the rich cultural and artistic traditions of San Francisco's Filipino American community.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Back in Stock: Play Overlord, Death Deals & Ishi's Brain

We got a couple excellent books back in stock: Death Deals and Ishi's Brain by Eamon Espey and Play Overlord by Theo Ellsworth, Sean Christensen and Amy Kuttab! Take a look at them in our shop if you like!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Short Run Small Press Fest!

Join us this weekend in Seattle! I can already tell that Short Run is going to be a super fun fest, with lots of other great presses and artists involved. Emily and I look forward to seeing you there!

Short Run Small Press Fest
@ the Seattle Center
Saturday, Nov. 12th from 10:30 t0 4:30
Free Admission

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Elijah Brubaker interview at Exquisite Things

Kevin from Exquisite Things has done a wonderful, in-depth interview with Elijah Brubaker, creator of the Reich series for Sparkplug. Please give it a read!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Small Press Love Fest!

Emily and I will be tabling for Sparkplug this Tuesday at Multnomah County Library's Small Press Love Fest! This will be a really fun event, with food, raffles and a chance to get a jump on your holiday shopping. It's free too!
The fest is on Tuesday, November 8th, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the beautiful Central Library in downtown Portland. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

MIX reminder!

Just a reminder to come visit Sparkplug at the Minneapolis Indie Expo this weekend! It's from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday at The Soap Factory. Free admission, hope to see you there!

Friday, October 28, 2011

New Books in the Store: Ditko and YDGTFH #20!

Today we've brought you the newest Steve Ditko books, A Ditko #14. It's a whirlwind story from this venerated artist, including a new character, The Distorter!

And Carrie McNinch has sent us another issue of her endlessly entertaining meditation on her life, You Don't Get There From Here #20. Carrie gets a new kitten (really, the highlight of the issue!), goes for runs in the summer weather and enjoys 'carmageddon'.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sparkplug at MIX!

I'm posting this now because I will be in rural Wisconsin for most of next week, haha. Julia Wertz and I will be behind the Sparkplug table at the Minneapolis Indie Expo next weekend. It's November 5th and 6th, 10am to 5pm both days, at the Soap Factory. Come out to say hi, chat and support indie publishing!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Restock: Blammo 7

We once again have Noah Van Sciver's amazing and surprisingly dark Blammo 7 in stock! Please check it out; you can click through several interior pages for every book in our online store!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New Papercutter, Jason Overby Restock!

We've just added Papercutter #17 to the store; it is awesome and you should definitely check it out!

Also, we've got Jason Overby's strange and complex minis back in stock: Exploding Head Man, Obligatory Artifact and Solipsist's Doodles.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Future of Sparkplug

Dear Friends:

Some of you have been asking what will happen to Sparkplug now that my husband, Dylan Williams, is no longer with us.  This is to let you know that Virginia Paine, Tom Neely and I will be continuing to run things as best we can.  Our immediate plans are to continue online sales, and to get through the conventions for this Fall and Winter.  We've just been to A.P.E. in San Francisco, and we'll be present at MIX in Minneapolis next month, as well as the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival in December. 

We need your support now as much as ever.  We are grieving at the same time as we are trying to keep business afloat, and trying not to overstrain ourselves.  We want to publish again soon but that is a step we will consider more once we get through the next few months.

Thank you for all of the kindness you have given us in these recent weeks.

Emily Nilsson

Friday, October 07, 2011

Shipping and Orders Update

I've been emailing people today whose orders are still waiting to be filled. If you haven't heard from me, it's because I'm expecting your books within the next week! Please feel free to contact me with any questions - virginia (at) sparkplugcomicbooks (dot) com. Thanks for your continued patience and support!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sparkplug at APE!

Sparkplug will be at APE in San Francisco this weekend! Please stop by to say hi, buy books and chat with our artists! APE takes place at the Concourse Exhibition Center on Saturday, October 1st and Sunday October 2nd.

Also, Tom Neely, Landry Walker and others will be participating in the panel "Remembering Dylan Williams" on Sunday at 12:45. Please join us in celebrating Dylan's life and work.
Here is the panel description:
12:45 Remembering Dylan Williams—The indie comics world lost one of our own on September 10 when Dylan Williams passed away. Dylan was a tireless champion of creators with unique visions, and promoted their work through his career, starting with the mini-comics coop Puppy Toss and a stint behind the counter at Comic Relief. He is best known as the publisher of Sparkplug Comic Books. Artists, publishers, and friends who were touched by Dylan's influence -- including Tom Devlin, Todd Martinez, Tom Neely, Virginia Paine, Landry Walker, and others -- join together to remember Dylan and his passion for comics in this special tribute panel. Please attend and share your memories.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thanks for your continued patience.

Hello friends of Sparkplug,

I am just writing to check in, and thank everyone who has ordered something for their continued patience. Sparkplug has always been a small company - I have been Dylan's only employee for the last year. I have a lot of help right now, but things are still going slowly with order processing. I'm waiting on many titles to be restocked in order to ship several dozen orders. Again, if you have any questions about your order, please contact me (virginia (at) sparkplugcomicbooks (dot) com) and I will do my best to help.

I'd also like to confirm that there WILL be a Sparkplug table at APE, the Minneapolis Indie Expo and Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Fest. We look forward to seeing you there!

Thanks again for your continued support of Sparkplug and Dylan.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I have been having a lot of trouble articulating what I've been feeling the last couple days, but I'm going to try. Many, many people have written beautiful things about Dylan's passing. I urge you to read their loving tributes; everyone's perspective is slightly different, but all agree that there wasn't a kinder, more passionate soul than Dylan.

I don't know what to say about him. I feel like I didn't know him as well as I could have, even though I was his student and his employee. He means a lot to the comics community, as does Sparkplug. I'm going to miss talking to him about feminism, veganism and queer issues. I'm going to miss listening to late 90s emo with him. I'm going to miss him disrupting my work so we could talk, because he cared more about talking to me than he did about squeezing every last bit of work out of me. I'm going to miss him apologizing when I complained about being tired, and apologizing about everything else.

I was so, so grateful when he gave me this job. I hope he knew how thankful I am, and how honored I am to be his employee and friend.

I think that's all I have to say for now. My heart goes out to everyone who loved Dylan. Please let me know if you need anything.

I do feel like I should mention to folks who have ordered things from us that I am doing my best to get us back on track, but filling orders is going rather slowly. I've got some people coming to help this week and I'm going to try to get a lot done this week. Thank you for your continued patience. If you have any questions about your order, please contact me: virginia (at) sparkplugcomicbooks (dot) com

We are welcoming new orders as well, if you don't mind the wait. I'm not sure what the costs are looking like for Emily, but I think this is a good way to contribute.

Thank you everyone for supporting Dylan and Sparkplug.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Sparkplug at SPX!

Tom Neely will be covering his own I Will Destroy You table as well as Sparkplug's this weekend at SPX. Please stop and say hi if you are there! He'll have have plenty of copies of our Ignatz-nominated books!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Repost: An Additional Thank You, and a Note

I'm reposting this, because I wanted to say thank you to everyone again, and also to say, if you have any questions about your order and its status, please feel free to contact me: virginia (at) sparkplugcomicbooks (dot) com.

Thanks again. I appreciate your patience!

An Additional Thank You, and a Note

Hey All, Virginia here.

First of all, thank you everyone for your support! I'm so gratified at the response and obviously Dylan appreciates it enormously. Y'all are wonderful.

Second, a little note about your orders.
Again, thank you SO much! It's amazing to see so much support. I've been plugging away at orders as fast as I can, but we have been running out of stock of several books. They have been ordered, but it may add a little delay to some orders while we wait for the books to come in. I want to thank you so much for your patience and understanding as we work our way through your orders! <3

Friday, September 02, 2011

SF Zine Fest!

Sparkplug will be tabling (thanks to the wonderful Annie Murphy) at SF Zine Fest tomorrow and Sunday. Please stop by if you are in the Bay Area and check out our books!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

An Additional Thank You, and a Note

Hey All, Virginia here.

First of all, thank you everyone for your support! I'm so gratified at the response and obviously Dylan appreciates it enormously. Y'all are wonderful.

Second, a little note about your orders.
Again, thank you SO much! It's amazing to see so much support. I've been plugging away at orders as fast as I can, but we have been running out of stock of several books. They have been ordered, but it may add a little delay to some orders while we wait for the books to come in. I want to thank you so much for your patience and understanding as we work our way through your orders! <3

Thank you so much.

I figure I should check in and let people know I'm doing okay. I've got more treatments ahead but I'm doing well. And me and Sparkplug owe a giant thank you for all the help everyone has given us during me being conked out. I'm a lot less worried about the way things will go now.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Big Plans 5 on Kickstarter

Hey everybody, I just launched this Kickstarter project to fund issue five in my autobiographical comic series, Big Plans. You can check out my video, and then watch and laugh with friends. Ho, ho. But seriously, it's a fun book. Plus, my wolfman character makes several more appearances than before. I've also thought up some rewards that include original artwork from the book. Just click here.

For reals!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lewis, Cagle, Ellsworth and Gin Palace, in the store today!

A couple new books for y'all to check out today. First: Minty Lewis' PS Comics, which is chock-full of stories of betrayed yorkie dog friendships and disgruntled fruit office workers.

In a slightly more serious vein, but still hilarious, we have Susie Cagle's Notes on Conflict, which documents her trip to Israel and the conflicted feelings the journey provoked.

Also new today is Theo Ellsworth's Sleeper Car, which collects several short stories from this (deservedly) acclaimed comics artist.

And finally, the British comics anthology Gin Palace #1. Though not all alcohol-related, the stories are entertaining and the variety of artistic styles make an entertaining read.

Sparkplug in the Ignatz Nominees!

Sparkplug is well-represented in 2011's Ignatz Awards nominees! Gay Genius, The Heavy Hand, Habitat #2 and the Reich series have all been nominated along with a bunch of other great artists and books. Read the full list of nominees here.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Newness in the store today!

Sparkplug has several new titles for you to peruse today! First, Matthew Thurber's enthralling, complex, surreal series 1-800-Mice. We've got all five issues.

Also new today is Dave Kiersh's Neverland, a poetic examination of having to grow up, with densely textured panels and heavy lines. A beautiful book!

And finally, Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man by John Porcellino. The author's love of nature is rendered profound with simple, graceful linework and perfectly paced text.

Reich #8 reviewed on Exquisite Things!

Matt over at Exquisite Things has written a scintillating review of Reich #8! Please check it out.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Heavy Hand, Reviewed on Attentiondeficitdisorderly

Sean T. Collins has written a great review of The Heavy Hand by Chris Cilla. Check out the full article here.

"Fascinating book, this. It combines the textural, noise-based visual aesthetic of caves and monsters and melty stuff that you may have seen from many of Chris Cilla’s fellow contributors to the Paper Rodeo and Kramers Ergot anthologies with the down’n'out beer-swillin’ shit-talkin’ big-schnozzed characters of ’90s altcomix (big noses are to alternative what big feet were to the underground), so right off the top it’s doing something unexpected. And in the same way that the art is both densely intense and breezily funny, the story somehow coheres from jokey banter, grand-guignol monster attacks, and surreal non sequitur splash pages into an utterly convincing world." -Sean T. Collins, Attentiondeficitdisorderly.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Sparkplug at PZS!

Sparkplug will have a (small) table at the Portland Zine Symposium this weekend! It's happening Saturday and Sunday at Refuge in SE Portland. Click on the link for more details!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

New review of Lemon Styles

Paul Houston at Coverless has posted a good but confused review of David King's Lemon Styles:

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tom Lechner in the store!

Today we've added seven (seven!) of Tom Lechner's dream-themed, darkly strange comics to the Sparkplug store. Take a look at Cold Fusion, Consumption #11 and #12, Nightlife, Nightlife 12:01 and Tales of Inertia #2 and #3.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Books in the Store!

Many new comics for y'all to check out today! Above is Ariyana Suvarnasuddhi's Tales of Tiger Balm. It's gorgeously detailed, full of exuberant energy and hilarious.

Next are two of Eamon Espey's minis: Death Deals and Ishi's Brain. Espey's art is dense, dark and heavy (literally and figuratively). I especially enjoy his use of symbolism and Mayan-art-reminiscent pictography.

Then we have Eroyn Franklin's Sorry Sheets. Eroyn's drawing is stunning in this apparently simple story about a woman trying to take a bath.

And finally, another deconstructionist comic from Jason Overby: Exploding Head Man. Jason takes on the superhero mythos as the titular character comes to terms with his new identity and abilities.

That's all I got for ya today! Have a good one.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sparkplug in your Inbox!

If you'll peek to the right you'll notice we now have an email sign-up! Just enter your email address (we won't spam you/flood your inbox, we promise!) and you'll get updates about events, conventions, newly released books and more.

And don't forget to check out our latest book, Passage by Tessa Brunton!

Two new reviews: Flesh & Bone and Reich #8

Paul D. Houston, at his new blog Coverless, has new reviews up for Reich #8 by Elijah Brubaker and Flesh&Bone by Julia Gfrörer. Take a look:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Passage out now!

Sparkplug's newest book is this gorgeous thing by Tessa Brunton! Passage is a moving tale of awkward adolescence and even more awkward parenting. The storytelling is a perfect blend of funny and honest and Tessa's heavily textured art compliments the quirkiness of the characters very well. Get your copy today!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rob Clough reviews Reich #8!

Rob Clough has reviewed Reich #8 over at his blog, High-Low. Check it out! "...Brubaker's moody and angular drawings throw the character's emotions into sharp relief; his use of shadow in particular evokes despondency and uncertainty, while a careful use of cross-hatching and naturalistic drawing in places and objects anchors his pages and gives them weight."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gay Genius reviewed at the Gay Comics List

A completely interesting and complicated review of Gay Genius over at Gay Comics List. It is actually really well written and self-aware.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New in the Store Today: You Don't Get There From Here #19, Labanotation, The Monsters Make a Stew and Food Stamp Foodie #1

I really love quarter-size zines, so when Dylan told me to put whatever I wanted in the store, obviously I picked all smaller size comics. First up is Carrie McNinch's latest: You Don't Get There From Here #19. Entertaining as always, with a clean and comfortable-to-read style, Carrie's strips turn the mundane, magical.

Labanotation, by Sean Christensen and Amy Kuttab, is another great book...and it's huge! 96 pages! Both Sean and Amy are masters of fantasy/fantastical realism/folk tale sort of stories and I love anything set in Sean's "Church of Awesome Thought" universe. So you should probably check it out.

Next up is Lisa Rosalie Eisenberg's The Monsters Make a Stew. Lisa is mostly known for her journal comics (I Cut My Hair) but she is a great storyteller in general, and her ligne claire style suits this cute tale perfectly.

And finally, one of mine. Food Stamp Foodie #1 is a recipe zine (we've got a little collection going) with 10 cheap vegan recipes and some doodles. It's pretty cute.