Most people would settle for being a death-defying stock-market genius and leave it at that, but noooooo, not Annie Koyama. She had to go and form Koyama Press, creating a home for acclaimed cartoonists like Michael DeForge and Dustin Harbin, and racking up Joe Shuster Awards for Outstanding Comic Book Publisher and, via the comics duo Tin Can Forest, Outstanding Comic Book Cartoonist. Not one to rest on her laurels, Koyama has provided Robot 6 with an exclusive look at her very strong-seeming 2012 line-up. It features new books from Tin Can Forest, DeForge, and Harbin–including the children’s comic The Playground War, whose cover you’re getting a peek at above–as well as the Koyama Press debuts of Jesse Jacobs (Even the Giants) and Julia Wertz (The Fart Party).
The full press release and the covers for the new Jesse Jacobs and Tin Can Forest books are after the jump.
2011 was a breakout year for Koyama Press that saw the publisher win 2011’s Shuster Award for Outstanding Comic Book Publisher, in a field of nominees that included Canadian publishing luminaries such as Drawn & Quarterly, and several of the publisher’s titles won major industry awards and made a number of “best of” lists. The year finished off on a high note with the launch of a beautiful new website designed by Squidface & the Meddler.
2012 looks to be an equally exciting year for the innovative publisher. Spring 2012 will see a new release from artist and illustrator Jesse Jacobs whose book Even the Giants (AdHouse, 2011) marked his major publishing debut after several award-winning self-published titles. Jacobs describes his new comic work, By This Shall You Know Him, as coming “out of the darkness of oblivion.” Within the book’s confines, Jacobs states that the reader will “bear witness to the limitless ambitions of a gang of celestial beings as they fiddle and fuss with all sorts of molecular arrangements, creating infinitely detailed patterns and strange new worlds brimming with bizarre life forms. Part art-book, part graphic novel, By This Shall You Know Him depicts all manner of beast running, crawling and slithering towards death’s cold embrace.”
Tin Can Forest (aka Pat Shewchuk and Marek Colek) whose Koyama Press debut Baba Yaga and the Wolf was nominated for the 2011 Doug Wright Award for Best Emerging Talent, and won the duo the 2011 Joe Shuster Award for Outstanding Comic Book Cartoonist will release Wax Cross also in spring 2012. The artists describe the new work as “an alchemical folk-tale set in the twilight of the modern age, when the moon has devoured the sun, the mechanical ocean has evaporated into silence, and the decaying corpse of electric current sleeps eternally in a casket of orange lichen. Featuring a cast of characters as familiar as the faded Polaroids in a photo album salvaged from the flooded basement of a condemned church, Wax Cross presents illustrated transcriptions of ectoplasmic revelation, fibrous and grainy folklore, and unbridled bestial merriment, accompanied by textual incantations and occult decoration.”
The New Year will also see Koyama Press publish Lose 4, the most recent issue the critically acclaimed, one-man anthology by Michael Deforge who Rob Clough of The Comics Journal has called “the most startling, fully-formed young cartooning talent to burst on to the scene since Dash Shaw.” 2012 will also see new work by cartoonist Julia Wertz, author of the autobiographical comics The Fart Party and Drinking at the Movies. Her work has received praise from a number of outlets including, Bust, LA Times, USA Today, The Comics Journal, and New York Magazine. Dustin Harbin’s children’s comic The Playground War will debut in the spring as well.
These books are just some of the new titles that are set to be released by Koyama Press in 2012, a year that promises to maintain the publisher’s momentum as they continue to promote and support a wide range of emerging and established artists.