I deleted a longer post about the end of Picturebox because I felt like I was talking too much shit on how staid and conservative they made Fantagraphics and Drawn And Quarterly look but in the end the conclusion I came to is that if any of you have been working a middle-class job for a while and were thinking about quitting to go into art-comics publishing you totally should and/or you should just see if Bill Kartalopolous is seeking investors for Rebus Books because he seems like he’d be the best bet to put out weird books and as of right now I’m pretty sure he’s homeless.
The only announcement I ever saw from Picturebox and said to myself “They are going to get PAID off of that” was that Odd Future book and that book is just as much a tribute to Dan being ahead of the curve as anything else.
The only books Picturebox put out, that other people would’ve, were those Charles Willeford reprints, which ended up not really being hits. Cockfighter is awesome, by the way.
No one else would’ve put out: Multi-Force Powr Mastrs Ninja Maggots If-N-Oof BJ And Da Dogs Pee Dog 2 reprint 1-800-Mice Cold Heat Blutch Yuichi Yokoyama School Spirits that Batman newspaper Utility Sketchbook published attributed to anonymous creative direction on the Wunderground catalog Gore
How insane is it that no one published Blutch in English until this year?
I asked my mom for that Tezuka book for Christmas. Going to make an order the day after Christmas for Walrus and who knows what else.
I don’t envy a young cartoonist seeking a book deal in a market that now has to absorb some of the best cartoonists currently working. Like, this is what it’s like to graduate college and apply for a job against someone who’s got twenty years experience. Which is the position they were already in, but now they’ve just got that times two.
The only potential upside I can see is that this breaks up the cool kids table. The single most potent “brand” no longer exists. So if Uncivilized Books wants to say “We’ve got Matthew Thurber!” then maybe more young people will look at that True Swamp collection. Or if Image Comics were to say “We’re putting out Puke Force” maybe more freaks will read The Bulletproof Coffin. Everyone should see this hole in the landscape to be filled with weirdness, and go nuts.