Top Shelf Anniversary Party


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This past weekend I had the esteemed pleasure of attending a party to commemorate a momentous event: the 10th Anniversary of Top Shelf Comics! The party was held at Criminal Records in Atlanta, Georgia. There were special guests, discounts and cake! What more do you need to celebrate 10 years of fine independent publishing?

The guest of honor was Andy Runton, creator of the wildly successful all ages book Owly. Andy was signing copies of the newly released, Owly Vol 4: A Time to Be Brave. My wife, Leslie, and I picked up the book and Andy was kind enough to do a little Owly sketch in it for us. I don’t know if many of you have met Andy in the past, but not only is he super talented, he’s one of the nicest people in comics I’ve ever met. He always greets you with a big grin and he’s very appreciative and friendly. If you think you love Owly, wait until you meet the guy responsible for making it. Joining Andy was Chris Staros, one of the big cheeses at the company. I had been corresponding with Chris for a month or so now and I had read his book Year Book Stories: 1976-1978, so I was looking forward to meeting him as well.

Along with the special guests, Criminal Records was also kind enough to offer a 20% discount on all other Top Shelf books in the store. I really wanted to pick up a couple Jeffrey Brown books I’m been meaning to buy, but I’m a bit strapped for cash with the holiday steadily approaching. Criminal also hosted a comic and toys swap next door at the neighboring coffee shop, Aurora.

I had been reading about the event for a while now in Criminal’s newsletter. It comes out weekly and is penned by a gal named Lillian. Lillian asked if any fans would be willing to arrange some sort of performance for the event, like a song or a poem. I wrote her to say I would assist in some lyrics or maybe some sort of participation. But when it comes to musical talent, well, I have none. Since Owly doesn’t have any words, my idea was for there to be some acoustic guitar, playing a Super Mario type song, while participants held up signs with pictures on them. Maybe the items on the signs would rhyme, I don’t know, I didn’t think it through all the way. Sadly there weren’t any performances on behalf of Owly or the other Top Shelf books.

It was really quite an event. We didn’t stay for very long because we had lots to do that day, I couldn’t help but smile like a little kid as my wife and I walked to the car with a tummy full of cake and a bag full of comics. Thanks Criminal Records and Top Shelf! Here’s to 10 more years of awesome comics!

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