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Wednesday, April 03, 2002

So I wander into a bookshop, and am browsing the children's area at the back, looking for books to read to Maddy (eventually purchased The Ogre Downstairs by Diana Wynne Jones, Magic by the Lake by Edward Eager and From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg) and a young man -- I estimate his age at about eleven -- asks if I've seen Holes by Louis Sachar. I point it out for him. "You took our parking space," he tells me.

"Sorry."

"It's okay."

He looks at the small pile of books I'm accumulating in my arms. "You must like reading," he says, with awe in his voice.

"I do," I admitted. "I like it better than anything."

His eyes opened wide. "Are you an author?"

I felt like a species of exotic fauna that had just been correctly identified by a naturalist. "Yes," I said.

His eyes narrowed. "Have you written anything I could read?"

I suggested Neverwhere. "You'll find it in Science Fiction and Fantasy," I told him.

He caught up with me five minutes later, in the CD area, picking out a motley bunch of CDs (including Suzanne Vega's Solitude Standing, as background for the thing I'm writing right now, as is Patti Smith's Land and Tori's Hey Jupiter single with the live Somewhere Over the Rainbow on it, The Langley Schools Music Project , which is even odder than I'd hoped, Bowie at the Beeb, and the remastered Heroes) and said "Er... science what and what?"

"Huh?"

"The place where that book you wrote is?"

"Science Fiction and Fantasy. I think it's over that way."

"Oh. Okay."

I don't think he'd ever been out of the children's area before. Arms piled high with stuff I wandered over toward SF and Fantasy. He approached me with a copy of Neverwhere, and I signed it for him (he was Brian with an i and I had to write Hi to Tina in it as well), and left the bookshop hoping that he likes it, or that he puts it on one side until he does.

Anyway.... more Vassar pro-and-anti messages and eloquent opinions, all forwarded to Holly. (And for those of you in the UK currently wondering, it's a college in New York state.)

And we interrupt this blog for an emergency commercial message for a Very Good Cause -- one that I heartily endorse. Top Shelf do great comics. Get Jack's Luck Run's Out, or Through The Habitrails or Hey, Mister, experience the James Kochalka phenomenon, or Good-Bye, Chunky Rice. There's Eddie Campbell stuff there. (Including, in the Bacchus: The King Canute Crowd, a drawing of me pretty much naked, because Eddie has always been amused by my wardrobe.) And if you already have all their comics, you could listen to some of Alan Moore's amazing CDs, or (closer to home) get one of the lovely Craig Thompson "Last Angel Tour" silkscreen posters from them. They are good guys, and it would be a very very bad thing if they were to go under... (and look, free US shipping! and an extra $25 free stuff if you order $100 of books and so on from them. You could get a From Hell for every member of your family!)

Tell Chris I sent you and you found out about it on this journal, and he says that he'll throw in a free special goodie just for you, while stocks last. How cool is that?
.........................................................................

TOP SHELF IN TROUBLE � WE NEED YOUR HELP

Dear Comics Fans,

We have just been informed this week that our book trade distributor has
filed for bankrupcy (Chapter 11). They will continue to operate and
hopefully recover � and we will support this all we can (as our industry
needs them, and they are good people) � but unfortunately, this has
happened at a time when they owed us an enormous sum of money (over
$80,000.00 minus returns). And to make matters worse, the most recent
check they cut us, for almost $20,000.00, bounced this week, in turn
causing the last 30 checks we wrote to printers, conventions,
cartoonists � practically every aspect of the business � to bounce (or
be held) in turn.

To put it bluntly, even with all the hard work we've put in over the
years, if we don't raise $20,000 this month, it could realistically
force us to suspend publishing operations for the foreseeable future.
It's hard to believe but a big domino has fallen right on top of us at
the worst time possible. So, that leaves us no choice but to be honest
and ask for your help.

If 400-500 of you can find it in your hearts to each spend around fifty
bucks on our core list of books below, this would literally pull us
through � We mean that. We've got such a strong future schedule, and so
many cool things to announce soon (including two more Alan Moore
projects and two Film & TV projects), that I'd hate to think that we'd
have to pull the plug right before we were just about to arrive.

In any event, if you can find it in your hearts to help us out, we will
be eternally grateful. We'll be manning the phones personally on this
"drive," and we'll also be sure to keep you informed -- hopefully
letting all of you know in three-to-four weeks that everything's okay
(with your help, that is�).

On behalf of Brett Warnock and myself.

Truly, your friend thru comics,

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

(770) 425-0551
staros@bellsouth.net
http://www.topshelfcomix.com

**************************************************
**************************************************

ORDERS OVER $100 GET AN EXTRA $25 WORTH OF BOOKS FREE!
FREE SHIPPING FOR US ORDERS ($10.00 FOR INTERNATIONAL)

PHONE IN CREDIT CARD ORDERS TO:
CHRIS STAROS (770) 425-0551

OR

E-MAIL CREDIT CARD ORDERS TO:
STAROS@BELLSOUTH.NET

OR

MAIL CHECKS TO:
TOP SHELF PRODUCTIONS, INC.
PO BOX 1282
MARIETTA, GA 30061-1282
USA

OR

ORDER ON-LINE AT:
HTTP://WWW.TOPSHELFCOMIX.COM
(for our widest selection of books)

THE TOP SHELF BOOKS (the short list):

ALAN MOORE & EDDIE CAMPBELL:
FROM HELL (GN, MOVIE COVER): $35.00
FROM HELL (GN, ORIGINAL COVER): $35.00
SNAKES & LADDERS (CB): $5.95
THE BIRTH CAUL (CB): $5.95
THE HIGHBURY WORKING CD (ALAN MOORE LIVE): $20.00
ANGEL PASSAGE CD (ALAN MOORE LIVE): $20.00
HIGHBURY & ANGEL PASSAGE POSTERS: $10.00 ea.

EDDIE CAMPBELL:
ALEC: HOW TO BE AN ARTIST (TP): $13.95
ALEC: THREE PIECE SUIT (TP): $14.95
ALEC: THE KING CANUTE CROWD (TP): $14.50
BACCHUS COLOR SPECIAL (CB): $2.95
BACCHUS-VOL1: IMMORTALITY ISN'T FOREVER (TP): $10.95
BACCHUS-VOL2: THE GODS OF BUSINESS (TP): $9.95
BACCHUS-VOL3: DOING THE ISLANDS WITH BACCHUS (TP): $17.95
BACCHUS-VOL4: THE EYEBALL KID (TP): $8.50
BACCHUS-VOL5: EARTH, FIRE, AIR, WATER (TP): $9.95
BACCHUS-VOL6: 1001 NIGHTS OF BACCHUS (TP): $13.50
BACCHUS-VOL9: KING BACCHUS (TP): $12.95
BACCHUS-VOL10: BANGED UP (TP): $13.95
BACCHUS #1, #5-#8, #10, #12-#39, #41-#60 (CB): $2.95 EA.
FROM HELL / BACCHUS / ALEC ORIGINAL ART (EMAIL INQUIRIES)

GARY SPENCER MILLIDGE:
STRANGEHAVEN: ARCADIA (TP, VOL-1); $14.95
STRANGEHAVEN: BROTHERHOOD (TP, VOL-2): $14.95
STRANGEHAVEN #13: $2.95 EA.
STRANGEHAVEN #1-#3, #5-#12: $2.95 EA. (REPRINTED IN TPs)

CRAIG THOMPSON:
GOOD-BYE, CHUNKY RICE (GN): $14.95
DOOT DOOT GARDEN (SMALL BATCH): $7.00
BIBLE DOODLES (SMALL BATCH): $7.00

ALEX ROBINSON:
BOX OFFICE POISON (GN): $29.95

ED BRUBAKER:
A COMPLETE LOWLIFE (GN): $12.95

GLENN DAKIN:
ABE (GN): $14.95

MATT KINDT & JASON HALL:
PISTOLWHIP (GN): $14.95
MEPHISTO (CB): $3.95

JAMES KOCHALKA:
KOCHALKA'S SKETCHBOOK DIARY VOLS #1 & #2 (CB): $7.95 ea
THE PERFECT PLANET (GN): $14.95
PARADISE SUCKS (GN): $5.95
MAGIC BOY & THE WORD OF GOD (CB): $3.95
PEANUTBUTTER & JEREMY #1 (CB): $2.95
PEANUTBUTTER & JEREMY #2: THE FLIBBLEDIBBLE FILE (CB): $2.95
MERMAIDS (CB): $2.95
SUNBURN (CB): $2.95

PETE SICKMAN-GARNER:
HEY, MISTER: AFTER SCHOOL SPECIAL (TP, VOL-1): $7.95
HEY, MISTER: CELEBRITY ROAST (TP, VOL-2): $9.95
HEY, MISTER: THE FALL COLLECTION (TP, VOL-3): $12.95
HEY, MISTER #3 - #4 (CB): $2.95
HEY, MISTER: BEHIND THE GREEN DOOR (CB, #5): $2.95
HEY, MISTER: THE TROUBLE WITH JESUS (CB, #6): $2.95
HEY, MISTER: EYES ON THE PRIZE (CB, #7): $2.95
HEY, MISTER: DIAL 'M' FOR MISTER (CB, #8): $3.50

TOM HART:
THE COLLECTED HUTCH OWEN (TP): $14.95
NEW HAT STORIES: BANKS/EUBANKS (GN): $9.95
THE SANDS (GN): $14.95

PETER KUPER:
SPEECHLESS (FULL-COLOR HC): $19.95
TOPSY TURVY (TP): $9.95

REN�E FRENCH:
THE SOAP LADY (HC): $19.95

SCOTT MILLS:
BIG CLAY POT (GN): $12.95

JOSU� MENJIVAR:
CICADA (GN): $12.95
BROKEN FENDER #1, #2 (CB): $2.95 EA.

JOSH SIMMONS:
HAPPY (CB): $3.50
CIRKUS NEW ORLEANS (SMALL BATCH): $7.00

STEVE LAFLER:
BUGHOUSE (GN): $14.95
BAJA (GN): $9.95

BRIAN BIGGS:
DEAR JULIA, (GN): $12.95
DEAR JULIA, SHORT FILM (VIDEO): $15.00

DEAN HASPIEL:
A BOY IN MY POCKET (CB): $2.95
DAYDREAM LULLABIES: A BILLY DOGMA EXPERIENCE (TP): $7.95
OPPOSABLE THUMBS (CB): $4.95
KEYHOLE #5, #6 (CB): $2.95 EA.

BRETT WARNOCK -- TOP SHELF (THE ANTHOLOGY):
UNDER THE BIG TOP (#8, AN): $14.95
ON PARADE (#7, AN): $6.95
TOP SHELF #5-#6 (AN): $6.95 EA.
TOP SHELF #1-#2 (AN): $5.00 EA.

CHRIS STAROS:
EXPO 2001 (INCLUDES A 23-PAGER BY CHRIS): $7.95
THE STAROS REPORT - 1996 & 1997 (ZINE): $4.95 EA.

SMALL BATCH:
BETTER LUCK NEXT CENTURY (DYLAN HORROCKS): $7.00
SMUDGES (P. SHAW): $7.00
BERN & EDWINA (PAT MORIARITY & DAVID GREENBERGER): $7.00

ACTUS:
HAPPY END (FULL-COLOR HC): $21.95
ACTUS BOX (BOXED SET OF 5 COLOR GRAPHIC NOVELLAS): $31.95
FLIPPER #1 & #2 (AN): $11.95 EA.
JETLAG (AN): $14.50

STRIPBURGER:
STRIPBUREK (AN): $17.95
MINIBURGER (BOXED SET OF 12 MINICOMICS): $19.95
XXX STRIPBURGER (AN, ADULTS ONLY): $13.95
STRIPBURGER #25, #26, #27, #29 (AN): $7.00 EA.

DEE VEE:
DEE VEE #2-#14, LIC SPEC, #2001 (CB): $3.00 EA.

ALTERNATIVE COMICS:
9-11 EMERGENCY RELIEF (AN, VARIOUS): $14.95

JORDAN CRANE:
THE LAST LONELY SATURDAY (GN): $8.00

DAVID CHOE:
BRUISED FRUIT (FULL-COLOR TP): $20.00

KURT WOLFGANG:
WHERE HATS GO (GN): $8.00

JEFF NICHOLSON:
THROUGH THE HABITRAILS: $14.95

MISC. COMIX:
TALES OF THE GREAT UNSPOKEN (AARON AUGENBLICK): $3.50
JACK'S LUCK RUNS OUT (JASON LITTLE): $3.50
EYE SPY (CHARISE MERICLE): $5.00
CLOCK #1, #2, #3 (PAUL SHARAR): $3.00 EA.
RED CALLOWAY'S BIG BANG (SET OF #1-#4) (PAUL SHARAR): $10.00

SILK-SCREENED POSTERS:
NEIL GAIMAN'S THE LAST ANGEL (BY CRAIG THOMPSON): $20.00
TOP SHELF: THREE ROBOTS (BY MARTIN ONTIVEROS): $20.00
TOP SHELF: MAN WITH MARTINI (BY BRETT WARNOCK): $10.00
TOP SHELF: THE BOXER (BY FRANKIE SIRK): $10.00
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