Desperado Moves Beyond Creator-Owned Books to Books About Creators

Mon, June 18th, 2007 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
CBR News Team, Editor

Official Press Release

Atlanta, GA - Desperado Publishing, recently moving away from their two year association with Image Comics, is not only publishing under their own masthead but also presenting an opportunity for creators to spotlight their accomplishments and careers. There have been many books featuring the "ART OF...." but with the release of THE ART OF BRIAN BOLLAND, Desperado has shown that it takes this avenue serious and in-depth. THE ART OF BRIAN BOLLAND, for example, is an oversized book numbering over 300 pages, and cannot easily be be picked up by one hand. "It is a lavish production in all aspects," said publisher, Joe Pruett, "from paper stock and weight to the binding but most importantly, from what Brian put into it."

Continuing that format will be the next book on Desperado's list, THE ART OF P. CRAIG RUSSELL scheduled for a July release. "I've been working on this book with Craig for quite awhile and have spend days at his house as we go through it page by page," Pruett said. "But it will be worth it as anyone who knows Craig's work will understand." Although there are other books scheduled to get similar exorbitant treatment, Pruett refuses to provide a list until the books are well under way. "The only one that I'll mention is THE ART OF JOE JUSKO because that one has already been announced but it is not on the schedule yet. These books take a long time to put together and also a long time to print. The formal announcement will come when we get closer to it."

It isn't only artists that Desperado is featuring. "We wanted to branch out to writers as well," said Pruett. "We did a collection of Philip Hester's short stories with OVERSIGHT and it was a great collection. But it's time that writers got the chance as artists do in telling something about the creation aspects of the stories...something to give us a little bit on insight on how the stories developed from their minds."

So, the first of hopefully many books featuring collections of writers telling their tales will be coming out in August. Entitled OF SCENES AND STORIES, the 320 page trade collects short stories and scenes from writer Gary Reed, former publisher of Caliber Comics and currently a freelance writer. Reed has his stories from Caliber, of course, but he has also had books published or distributed by Penguin Books, Image Comics, Simon and Shuster, Palladium, and Actionopolis. "Gary was a great first choice," Pruett said, "as he has written a great many short stories and he's also worked with many of today's top creators although at the time, some were just starting out. Not only that, his writing is insightful and powerful and covers a diverse range of topics."

Some of the artists included in OF SCENES AND STORIES include: Guy Davis, Vince Locke, Mike Perkins, Galen Showman, Michael Lark, R.G. Taylor, Michael Gaydos, Patrick Zircher, and many others including shorter pieces from David Mack and Jim Calafiore.

Reed said that putting together such a book was harder than he thought it would be. "I had to cut out a lot of stuff I originally planned to include but I couldn't let the book keep growing. It's about equal in stories and scenes from comics but most of the comic scenes are coherent segments...a bit like short stories that make up a whole." Reed said he also had to put a lot of work into his remembrances of the stories which is included on each selection. "It's surprising when you really start thinking about where the idea for the story came from. I had to muck around in my subconscious a bit to find the sources sometimes." Desperado plans to do more "writer's" books but again, none are on the schedule until they're well underway.

Pruett sums up Desperado's role in the comics market. "The philosophy is to bring fans the BEST comic book creators possible and give them a playground in which to play," said Pruett. And with four Eisner nominations in their first full year of publishing, it appears that Pruett has indeed, established quite a home for creators.

 
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