Long Beach, CA - California cartoonist Joshua Kemble has been awarded a prestigious Xeric Foundation Grant to self-publish his debut comic book NUMB, to be released February. "I am incredibly gratified that the Xeric Foundation Distribution Committee believes in me and my project enough to give me this generous award," said Joshua Kemble. "I am excited to have this opportunity to share my work with a wider audience, and I look forward to the process of self-publishing and giving my book the best possible presentation."
Joshua Kemble's NUMB is about a young writer named Seymour struggling with writer's block. Having no other sources for inspiration he rehashes old memories of an ex-girlfriend, Leah Mizzi, to use as fuel to write. By reliving those experiences, he gains inspiration, and then begins to write a novel that he thinks will be wildly successful. However, Seymour is about to find out that there's more to writing than having a muse.
A compelling, original and boldly visual story about meeting new love, exchanging books and CDs, making love, deciding to date, moving in, depression, drugs, lack of confidence, chatting, car rides, moving out, angry calls, depression, alcoholism, nervous breakdowns and eventual inspiration, NUMB will appeal to fans of such distinctive artists as Daniel Clowes, Adrian Tomine and Chris Ware. Joshua Kemble's NUMB cover art was featured in the publications CMYK and 3X3 Illustration Annual.
"I enjoyed NUMB," said Alex Robinson (Tricked, Box Office Poison), "Joshua Kemble's art is appealing, and distinctive."
"NUMB is a clever story," said Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man, How to be Happy), "exhibiting talent and determination of execution"
NUMB will be available at fine comic book stores everywhere February 2007.
NUMB (ISBN: 1-891867-84-9; Diamond Code: DEC06 3252; $3.95; 24 pages; 2-color; 8" x 6")
Joshua Kemble is completing his Master of Arts degree in illustration at California State University, Long Beach and is currently at work on a graphic novel to be released in 2008 by NBM Publishing. An unabashed comic book geek, Kemble was born in Tarzana, California, grew up in the Antelope Valley, and now resides in downtown Long Beach with his fiance, Mai, and his pug, Holden.
The Xeric Foundation has awarded in excess of $1,750,000 to comic book creators and non-profit organizations since its first grant cycle in September 1992. Established by Peter Laird, co-creator of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Northampton, MA based foundation offers financial assistance to self-publishing comic book creators in the US and Canada and to qualified charitable and nonprofit organizations in western Massachusetts. Previous Xeric Foundation Grant Award winners include Jessica Abel, Nick Bertozzi, Shannon Brady, Jordan Crane, Farel Dalrymple, Ellen Forney, Justin Hall, Tom Hart, Megan Kelso, Jon Lewis, Jason Little, Jason Lutes, Jim Ottaviani, Brian Ralph, James Sturm, Adrian Tomine, and Kurt Wolfgang.
Florida comic book publisher Alternative Comics will sub-distribute NUMB. Kemble's self-published book will all also be available from all of Alternative Comics' standard distributors. Alternative Comics is sub-distributing NUMB to help give readers a better chance to find the award-winning book. "We're doing this so that Kemble's book will be carried by all of our distributors, ordered by stores, and ultimately land in the hands of readers," said Alternative Comics publisher Jeff Mason. "We have also done this with previous Xeric Award winning books such as Derek Kirk Kim's Same Difference and Other Stories, Sammy Harkham's Kramers Ergot, Ben Catmull's Paper Theater, Lauren Weinstein's Inside Vineyland, and others." Alternative Comics, publishers of cool comic books, releases some of the most original and intelligent titles being created today.