Top Shelf Productions is pleased to welcome Leigh Walton to its staff to
help coordinate marketing and publicity for its distinguished publishing
line. This raises the number of people on the corporate payroll to its
highest level ever: 4.
News of this addition comes on the heels of Top Shelf's 10-year anniversary,
as the company celebrates a decade of publishing sophisticated and
high-quality graphic novels. For publishers Chris Staros and Brett Warnock,
the time is right to expand the Top Shelf family and bring Walton aboard.
"The timing couldn't be better bringing on Leigh," says publisher Brett
Warnock. "There is stiff competition finding an audience for each and every
book that we produce. And as we grow our presence and relationship within
the book trade, our need for another pair of hands on all things
'PR' is at an all-time high. Leigh's enthusiasm is palpable, and his ability
to get things done will fit right in with the way Chris, Rob and I currently
operate. I'm excited to work with him and have him help take Top Shelf to a
After graduating from Reed College, Walton began interning at Top Shelf's
Portland office, where he quickly became a jack-of-all-trades (the job
description of everyone at Top Shelf). His exuberant salesmanship turned
heads at New York's MoCCA Fest and the San Diego Comic-Con, where Warnock
and Staros officially welcomed him to the Top Shelf crew. "I knew the first
time we met for coffee that Leigh really knew his comics," continued Brett
Warnock. "I wondered if he might be the person I'd been looking for and
hoping desperately to find. At Comic-Con, where Leigh helped man the Top
Shelf booths, (Top Shelf employee) Robert Venditti came up to me and said,
'Let's keep this guy.'"
A lifelong comics fan and self-described "evangelist" of the form, Walton
brings more to the table than missionary zeal. "When I was a student at
Reed, I had the privilege of running the school's comic book reading room,"
he says. "It was a fantastic experience: I got to play librarian, critic,
editor, retailer, and carnival barker all at the same time." Walton credits
the Reed program, now in its fourth decade, with cementing his love of
comics and teaching him the rudimentary ins and outs of the industry (Gina
Gagliano of First Second Books is a fellow alum). "Best of all," he adds, "I
was able to introduce new readers to some of my favorite books. Now I can
continue to do just that in my new position at Top Shelf. I've loved their
books for many years, and I look forward to sharing that love with readers
old and new!"