Hello Awesome Comix Experience Book Club Member! (more after the jump, yo)
Ah! It’s our third month, the end of our first quarter, and I feel like things are starting to slip into high gear about now. We’re really hoping that you’re digging on the range that we’re trying to bring you each month, and I think that you’ll find that this month does not disappoint!
We really value your feedback, for good or ill, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any comments or concerns, no matter how small!
Well, we slip just a little as people moving and looking for new jobs outnumber the new sign-ups, and we fall back to 233 paid members. This brings us back to needing 101 people to join to get us to our goal (by 2017) – argh, back to triple digits (we were at needing 99 last month)
As always, if you are enjoying what we do, we always appreciate mentions on your social media (our twitter is @comixexperience) and encouraging your friends to join. Looks like I need to start working the press trail a little harder again – I slacked most of August, trying to recover from the initial push
Again, I want to remind you that after we achieve our membership goal, every 25 members over and above that we gain will yield a 25 cents per hour raise for every staff member as well. I take zero profit from the book club! There is no limit on this, and I believe we can drive the club membership high enough to have the awesome Comix Experience staff be the highest paid comic store employees in the world.
The Kid’s Club has taken a solid jump this month – we’re now at 51 members there now, up from 40 last month.
Announcing our Winner for September 2015!
Sacred Heart by Liz Suburbia
In this debut graphic novel, the children of U.S. small-town Alexandria are just trying to live like normal teens until their parents’ promised return from a mysterious, four-year religious pilgrimage, and Ben Schiller is no exception. She’s just trying to take care of her sister, keep faith that her parents will come back, and get through her teen years as painlessly as possible. But her relationship with her best friend is changing, her younger sister is hiding a dark secret, and a terrible tragedy is coming for them all. Filled with teenage loves and fights and parties, Sacred Heart is a wonderful coming-of-age graphic novel set against the threat of a big reckoning that everyone fears is coming but has no proof. Suburbia's punk-infused comics and cartooning talent have drawn justifiable comparisons to Brandon Graham and Jaime Hernandez.
Liz Suburbia's talent is on full-display in this astonishing debut novel -- the kind of work where you're glad to be in on the ground floor, because she's only going to get better from here (and this is already pretty great). We could not be more pleased to name this our September Book Club Winner!
Buy a copy of Sacred Heart here! http://mkt.com/comix-experience/sacred-heart-sep
For Club members in good standing, you should have your copy of SACRED HEART by Monday at the latest. If you’re picking up, you can pick up immediately! Oh, and even better? Every copy comes with an EXCLSUIVE signed bookplate. Wow!
KIDS club winner for September 2015
HiLo: The Boy Who Crashed To Earth by Judd Winick
D.J. and his friend Gina are totally normal kids. But that was before a mysterious boy came crashing down from the sky! Hilo doesn’t know where he came from, or what he’s doing on Earth. (Or why going to school in only your underwear is a bad idea!) . . . But what if Hilo wasn’t the only thing to fall to our planet? Can the trio unlock the secrets of his past? Can Hilo survive a day at school? And are D.J. and Gina ready to save the world?
You want Fun? You want Action-packed? You want Laugh-Out-Loud Funny? You want Hilo. That is all.
Buy a copy of Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed To Earth here! http://mkt.com/comix-experience/hilo-the-boy-who-crashed-to-earth-sep
KIDS club members should have their copies by early next week as well. If you’re picking up, you can do so immediately!
So, don’t forget that our book club meeting to discuss last month’s pick, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, is on Wednesday September 9 at 8 PM PST. We’ll have author Ryan North and some special guests streaming with us, so that should be a little… nuts! Wait, I made that same basic joke last month, damn it! If you can’t make it to the store, it will be streamed live from here https://goo.gl/fw8I6T
Then we have our meeting for this month’s winner, Sacred Heart, on Wednesday September 23 at 8 PM PST. Author Liz Suburbia will also be joining us via stream, and we’re very excited to engage with her. If you can’t make it to the store, it will be streamed live from here https://goo.gl/IWe3Kv
But, that’s not all, September is a crazy month, because we also have our two KIDS club meetings: Sunday September 20th at 1 PM we’ve got Craig Thompson live and in-person for Space Dumplins for the kids club members only. Kids Clubbers can stream it live from https://goo.gl/oeGudF. But what if you’re not a Kids Clubber? Then you can come to our open-to-everyone signing from 2pm to 4pm! Space Dumplins is a pretty exciting book!
Finally, we close out the month with our Kids Club meeting for HiLo: The Boy Who Crashed To Earth with the ever awesome Judd Winick live and in-person on Sunday, September 27 at 10 AM for the Kids Clubbers, who can also stream it live from here https://goo.gl/41Z4zP. And if you’re not a Kids Clubber? Open public signing from 11 to 1!
Also: Due to public demand for it, we’ve started a facebook page with the events and such which you can find at https://www.facebook.com/comixexperiencegraphicnovelclub, go there and “like” it, and maybe it will show in your feed (probably not, knowing those algorithms)
YOU CAN JOIN IN when we have the meeting – you just need to have a Google+ account we can invite. You do not need to have a @gmail address in order to have a Google+ account. Join G+ at https://plus.google.com. Unless you tell me otherwise, we are directing all invitations to events and such to the address that this mail is coming to.
We are using G+ rather than Facebook because of their video meeting tools and integration with YouTube, etc. – you’ll be able to ask questions from anywhere in the world as our meeting is going on, and we think that’s pretty neat.
We also have a G+ closed and private Community which is located at https://plus.google.com/communities/114465333092610147099 -- this is a place where we can discuss the book each month. We invite you here to discuss our picks each month. If you can not access that group, please let me know and I will provide what meager support I can to get you going.
Runners Up For September 2015
We want to be really honest with you, this was pretty much the greatest slate of books we’ve faced so far, and we had a staggering seven titles that made the cut to get voted on by the Comix Experience Staff – all of these are worth a second look by you, we think, even if they didn’t win the vote. Some of these only missed by a very small number of points!
Material by Ales Kot and Will Tempest
The first book of the sweeping literary graphic novel series crosses from Boston to Los Angeles and from Oklahoma to Guantanamo, through the hidden, unfamiliar and forbidden spaces of the American psyche. Compared to the works of Don DeLillo, Daniel Clowes and Joan Didion, Material is the beginning of a journey into the heart of the newly born century.
Material is a book about being lost. It is about the things that let us be lost and the system that pushes us away. A group of narratives intertwine as each protagonist faces the thing that that is standing in their way. For a washed up starlet, an MIT professor with writers block, a political prisoner and a civil rights revolutionary all of this is Material.
Buy a copy of Material here! http://mkt.com/comix-experience/material-sep
Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir by Maggie Thrash
All-girl camp. First love. First heartbreak. At once romantic and devastating, brutally honest and full of humor, this graphic-novel memoir is a debut of the rarest sort. Maggie Thrash has spent basically every summer of her fifteen-year-old life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She’s from Atlanta, she’s never kissed a guy, she’s into Backstreet Boys in a really deep way, and her long summer days are full of a pleasant, peaceful nothing . . . until one confounding moment. A split-second of innocent physical contact pulls Maggie into a gut-twisting love for an older, wiser, and most surprising of all (at least to Maggie), female counselor named Erin. But Camp Bellflower is an impossible place for a girl to fall in love with another girl, and Maggie’s savant-like proficiency at the camp’s rifle range is the only thing keeping her heart from exploding. When it seems as if Erin maybe feels the same way about Maggie, it’s too much for both Maggie and Camp Bellflower to handle, let alone to understand.
From CE staffer Emma Munger: I felt immediately at home reading Honor Girl. I too grew up in the rustic camp environment, squealed over boy band members and developed crushes on a certain someone who was “off limits.” While those are specifics that not everyone may have experienced, I’m positive that anyone who picks up Thrash’s poignant memoir will find a piece of themselves in these pages. The vibrant water colors and excellent pacing suck you in and the brave, brutal honesty of Maggie’s “coming of age” lessons spit you right back out. I laughed, I cried, I cringed, and then I laughed some more.
Buy a copy of Honor Girl here! http://mkt.com/comix-experience/honor-girl-a-graphic-memoir-sep
The New Deal by Jonathan Case
The Waldorf Astoria is the classiest hotel along the Manhattan skyline in 1930s New York City. When a charming woman named Nina checks in with a high-society entourage, young Frank, a bellhop, and Theresa, a maid, get caught up in a series of mysterious thefts. The stakes quickly grow perilous, and the pair must rely on each other to discover the truth while navigating delicate class politics.
The challenge of a period piece is to resonate with modern readers, and Jonathan Case accomplishes this deftly by setting a traditional mystery/heist narrative within the framework of 1930's American class struggles. Case's clean illustration is evocative of the time and combines with likable protagonists to immerse you in a brisk adventure.
Buy a copy of The New Deal here! http://mkt.com/comix-experience/the-new-deal-sep
The Story Of My Tits by Jennifer Hayden
When Jennifer Hayden was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 43, she realized that her tits told a story. Across a lifetime, they'd held so many meanings: hope and fear, pride and embarrassment, life and death. And then they were gone. Now, their story has become a way of understanding her story. Growing up flat-chested and highly aware of her inadequacies... heading off to college, where she "bloomed" in more ways than one... navigating adulthood between her mother's mastectomy, her father's mistress, and her musician boyfriend's problems of his own-not to mention his sprawling family. Then the kids come along... As cancer strikes three different lives, some relationships crumble while others emerge even stronger, and this sarcastic child of the '70s finally finds a goddess she can believe in. For everyone who's faced cancer personally, or watched a loved one fight that battle, Hayden's story is a much-needed breath of fresh air, an irresistible blend of sweetness and skepticism. Rich with both symbolism & humor, The Story of My Tits will leave you laughing, weeping, and feeling grateful for every day.
Comix Experience Staffer Julie Fiveash says: I personally loved Story of My Tits for being an exceedingly honest look at breast cancer as well as an amazing memoir of a woman who's reflecting on her life and the events leading to up this moment. Although Hayden admits she's a newcomer to the world of comics, her storytelling couldn't be more detailed and thorough. Her comic is a great new voice alongside such works as Harvey Pekar's Our Cancer Year and Marisa Acocella Marchetto's Cancer Vixen and will be a pivotal comic to help further connect cancer patients and survivors to the broader culture.
Buy a copy of The Story of My Tits here! http://mkt.com/comix-experience/story-of-my-tits-the-sep
Heart in a Box by Kelly Thompson and Meredith McClaren
When the Man with No Name breaks Emma's heart, she wants to die. But you never die from these things; you just want to. In a moment of weakness, she wishes her broken heart away and a mysterious stranger--who may or may not be totally evil--obliges. But emptiness is even worse than grief, and Emma sets out to collect the seven pieces of her heart spread across the country, a journey that forces her to face her own history and the cost of recapturing it, and leads inevitably to a confrontation with the Man with No Name himself!
What if after a heart-break you could give up your heart to someone else who needs it? Really, what do you need it for when it is broken and all feels lost? Well, Emma is about to find out in this volume that is at turns funny, sad, and transcendentally poignant.
Buy a copy of Heart in a Box here! http://mkt.com/comix-experience/heart-in-a-box
Descender By Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
Young robot boy TIM-21 and his companions struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet. Descender is a heart-felt and action-packed science fiction epic, that pits humanity against machine, and world against world. Creators Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen envision their universe in a manner that is both intelligent and full of heart, illustrated with a beautiful watercolor style that will leave you breathless and wanting more.
Buy a copy of Descender here! http://mkt.com/comix-experience/descender-sep
Star Wars vol 1: Skywalker Strikes by Jason Aaron and John Cassaday
Set after the first movie, but before "Empire Strikes Back", Luke Skywalker and the ragtag rebel band opposing the Galactic Empire are fresh off their biggest victory yet - the destruction of the massive Death Star. But the Empire's not toppled yet! When a Rebel assault goes very wrong, Han and Leia will have to think fast to make their escape...while Luke finds himself face-to-face with Darth Vader! In the explosive aftermath, a humbled Luke returns to Tatooine to learn more about his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi. Meanwhile, Leia and Han undertake a vital - and dangerous -secret mission...but can they succeed without Luke?
OK, we admit it, we have a soft spot of the pulp theatrics of "Star Wars", but we also have to admit that we kind of can't imagine a more fantastic creative team than Jason Aaron and John Cassaday to tell a new story of the prime time of a galaxy far far away! It's probably not art, but we love it anyway, and you will too!
Buy a copy of Star Wars here! http://mkt.com/comix-experience/star-wars-vol-skywalker-strikes
That’s it for this month! Thanks, and please ask away at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions or concerns!