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Top Shelf saved by Comics Community

Top Shelf's Chris Staros released the following today. We congratualte Top Shelf on their success and congratulate the entirety of on-line fandom for their support.

Dear Comics Fans,

What a difference a day makes. On Tuesday morning at 8:00AM, April 3rd,Top Shelf was effectively put out of business, and on Tuesday evening by8:00PM, April 3rd, Top Shelf was remarkably back in business. There arenot words suitable to express how honored and thankful we are thatwithin 12 hours this amazing comics community took it upon itself tobring us back to life. And in this case, it might also be said that thepower of the internet was fully realized.

On Tuesday, after we made the announcement of our book trade distributorfiling for Chapter 11 (and the subsequent fatal impact that this had onour own operation), we received over 200 phone orders and 850 on-lineand email orders to boot. This staggering 1000 orders has not only madeus operational again (and put several thousand copies of our graphicnovels into circulation), but has also reaffirmed to us that the comicsindustry is back, revitalized, and ready to take on the world. We'reeven estimating that over 100,000 people received the news or werepersonally involved in the discussion of this on-line event on that day.

With this overwhelming support, combined with the (now contradictory)fact that Top Shelf has always prided itself that every order would shipout the very next day, we ask for your patience in letting us get all ofthese graphic novels, comics, and CDs to you. We hope to have everythingshipped out within the next few weeks. In the meantime, if all thisactivity has made you curious about our books, we would encourage you toask for them at your local retailer, so that everyone along the chain,retailers and distributors alike, can also benefit from this spur ofinterest. And while this interest in diversity is at the forefront ofeveryone's mind, we encourage you to continue in the exploration anddiscussion of comics from all the publishers doing quality work thesedays: DC Comics, Marvel, Dark Horse, Image, CrossGen, Viz,Fantagraphics, Slave Labor, Oni Press, NBM, Drawn & Quarterly, CartoonBooks, Alternative Comics, Highwater Books, the publishers we represent(like Eddie Campbell Comics, etc.), and all the rest (that we apologizefor not having the space to mention by name today).

If we've learned anything over these last seven years - and witnessed itabsolutely this week - we're all in this together. And the growth anddevelopment of this amazing medium is in the most capable handspossible: the fans of this industry.

We'd also like to take a moment to give a special thank you to a fewextraordinary people and organizations:

-- Warren Ellis and the Warren Ellis Forum. We've always known that theWarren Ellis Forum was a formidable entity, dedicated to the discussionand support of quality comics all over the industry, but theirmobilization in this instance was unprecedented. We can't absolutelydetermine what percentage of all the orders were from this distinguishedgroup, but our estimation is that it was significant. We cannot thankWarren or the supporters of his forum enough (http://www.warrenellis.com& http://forums.delphiforums.com/ellis & http://www.artbomb.net).

-- CrossGen Comics. Mark Alessi and the CrossGen staff collectivelybought $5,000.00 worth of graphic novels and will donate them to thepublic library system. This completely novel and generous gesture notonly helped to keep us going (in a big way), but also promises to exposehundreds of people and libraries to what comics can bring to the worldof art and literature. This stunned us, and is a testament to CrossGen'scontribution to our industry (http://www.crossgen.com).

-- Rick Veitch and Matt Brady of comiccon.com's Spash and Newsaramapages. Their amazing coverage, on-line discussions, and links for thisevent spurred on an uncountable array of support from the industry(http://www.comiccon.com).

-- Neil Gaiman. Neil took it upon himself to discuss our situationwithin his daily on-line journal, which just happens to be the mostvisited daily journal on the web. And since he's been known to have afan or two (including us), we've been getting a nice bit of support fromthere as well (http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/journal.asp).

-- And no less amazing than that of the above, the collective efforts ofthe crews at http://www.artbomb.net, http://www.sequentialtart.com,https://www.comicbookresources.com, http://www.comicbookgalaxy.com,http://www.icv2.com, http://www.grayhavenmagazine.com,http://www.popimage.com, http://www.shotgunreviews.com, etc., whom allrallied their subscribers, who in turn proudly stated that they had comefrom one of these very active sites.

-- And lastly, but never least, the comics retailing and distributingcommunity. They are the front line of our industry, and behind thescenes they have always been the ones that have kept the independentpublisher alive. The show of support from this community has not onlybeen amazing on this particular day, but has ALWAYS been there from thefirst moment we entered the business. They have been the group that hassupported us the most.

Again, we want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts -- wecould not have done it without you. Top Shelp will continue to try andput out the best books possible, and we look forward to not onlythanking each an every one of you personally at the Cons this summer,but also being able to now make some rather cool announcements in thecoming weeks that should be fun and beneficial for the entire industryas well.

On behalf of Brett Warnock and myself…

Truly, your friend thru comics,

Chris Staros

Top Shelf Productions

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