TopatoCo
Emerald City Comicon!

THIS WEEKEND (March 28th through 30th), we’ll be at Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, WA! You can find our booth on the SKYBRIDGE (please consult Skymap above). We’ll have several of our talented and good-looking clients, many of whom are debuting new work!

Emily Horne & Joey Comeau (A Softer World), introducing A Softer World Volume 4: Let’s Do Something Wrong.

Aaron Diaz (Dresden Codak), with the new-to-ECCC book The Tomorrow Girl and Other Stories.

Becky Dreistadt & Frank Gibson (Tiny Kitten Teeth), with Capture Creatures and four brand-new, limited edition prints.

Tyson Hesse (Boxer Hockey/Diesel), with some cute new friends you can take home.

Jeph Jacques (Questionable Content), with advance copies of Questionable Content Vol. 4. There are only 100 available, so ACT FAST.

Kate Leth (Kate Leth): Kate is actually tabling at Boom Studios, across the Skybridge, but we’ll have some of her merch at our booth, too. At Boom, she’ll be debuting the graphic novel Adventure Time: Seeing Red.

Sam Logan (Sam and Fuzzy), with the Sam & Fuzzy Two-Volume Omnibus, available for the first time outside of Kickstarter!

David Malki! (Wondermark/Machine of Death), unleashing the accursed Machine of Death card game on an unsuspecting public.

Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics/The Internet), with To Be or Not To Be, a choose-your-own-path version of Hamlet! Ryan will also be on a few panels, check out his schedule here.

Dante Shepherd (Surviving the World), with Surviving the World Page-a-Day calendars. It’s never too late in the semester to add a course. He’ll also be personalizing small chalkboard slates and prints with lessons of your choosing!

Chris Yates (Chris Yates Studios), with more than 100 hand-made wooden Baffler puzzles!

You can also catch David Malki!, Dante Shepherd, and Chris Yates at a panel on Saturday afternoon:

How To Sell Merchandise Without Feeling Like You’re Selling Out
Room: TCC 302
Time: 3:00PM - 3:50PM

As a creator you might be or be thinking about selling merch online but you don’t feel like t-shirts are really your “thing”. Join TopatoCo creators David Malki, Chris Yates & Dante Shepherd for our talk about creative merch & beyond the ubiquitous T-shirt.

We hope to see you in Seattle!

Maximum Fun presents Make Your Thing!

Our friends at Maximum Fun are running a Kickstarter campaign for a cool conference this fall in Los Angeles. Make Your Thing is a conference for independent creative people of every stripe. Learn something from the speakers, sell your wares at the bazaar, and party down with other folks on their creative grind.

Comics superstar Kate Beaton is among the scheduled speakers, who also include Ayesha Siddiqi, Chris Gethard, and Colt Cabana (!). 

Even if you can’t attend, a $100 pledge gets you a t-shirt and access to videos of the talks—that’s an amazing value. That earns you an associate’s degree in Making Your Thing. 

Go check out the other rewards and the guest line-up. If you’re in favor of cross-pollination of ideas among tipsy creative professionals in a hotel bar, support this conference. If you’re interested in new ideas and inspiration for whatever it is you create, support this conference!

We Are Become Pals—Interview with Joey Comeau and Jess Fink!


We Are Become Pals is a new book by Joey Comeau and Jess Fink. It’s the story of two awesome teenage girls, Jane and Helen, and their friendship and exploits. Much of it was published on Tumblr, and is now printed in this handsome hardcover edition. There are new epilogue chapters, as well as two new “Reading Corner” chapters.

We recently asked Joey and Jess a few questions about the book, their friendship, and what makes teenagers so fun to write.

TopatoCo: How did you two come to work together on this project?

Joey Comeau: I approached Jess at TCAF with the idea of working together on a book about friendship! I had been wanting to do something about a friendship for a long time, about that exciting feeling of being young and meeting someone who was just perfect, who was your best friend almost as soon as you met. Jess’ work on We Can Fix It, and other comics I’d seen of hers were so full of that same same being-young energy and good-naturedness. I was really nervous about asking her if she wanted to collaborate.

Jess Fink: I have been a fan of Joey’s writing for a long time, so basically there was no way I could say no when he asked me. You hear that Joey?? I could not refuse! I had to drop all of my life plans!! It was like being under some kind of spell where you have to work with a writer you really like and everything they write makes you feel really good, it’s messed up!

TC: Both of you have work that involves teenagers, whether your own young self or fictionalized troublemakers. Can you talk a little about what makes adolescence such a fertile ground for stories? How easy or difficult is it to get into the mindset of a teenager?

JF:I think you’ve got a lot of nervous energy when you are a teen. You feel like you are still a kid and you’re just starting to work out how to interact with people. Every interaction is like a little social experiment. You take chances and try things older people wouldn’t and when you run into people that get you easily, without trying, it feels amazing. So many stories I have from being a teen just come from not knowing any better and being willing to make a fool of yourself to figure it out.

JC: Haha, it’s true. There was this point, in the first few weeks of university, where I decided “fuck it” and literally went around asking cool looking people, “will you be my friend?” I made at least one long-lasting and wonderful friend that week, and there’s no way I would have the guts to do it now. I am more afraid of people and the world now. It’s stupid, and I miss being better.

JF: Joey, will you be my friend??

JC: Jess, of course! Yes, yes! I thought you would never ask!

TC: Joey, what influenced your decision to make the protagonists teenage girls? Do you find teenage girls more interesting or easier to write than boys?

JC: The idea was always two girls who were best friends. I’m not sure why it was two girls and not two boys. I think I was tired of reading about and watching boy friendships. “Bromances” are funny, and I love buddy cop movies. I always wanted a buddy cop movie where the cops were women. It seemed stupid that there weren’t any. So, maybe that was part of it?

JF: Yeah, more often than not boys are shown riding their bikes around town and going on kid adventures. I’ve read books and seen so many movies about boyhood best friends goofing around this way and usually the girls are shown as the “other”, the ones who nag the boys or stay indoors doing sensible things.  But it’s not the way things really are, the truth is these are things KIDS do, not just boys. I know from experience!

TC: Jess, were there unique challenges in illustrating this story? The drawings capture a lot of energy and humor, like your comics. How different was it to illustrate one static image per chapter, rather than full comics pages?

JF: The book was very fun to illustrate, basically I just tried to pick moments from each chapter that felt important to me. A lot of moments with Jane and Helen felt eerily similar to moments I had with my best friends, so I tried to design the characters with what I and my best friends looked like back in the day. I wore ties all the time and knee high shorts, we were scruffy kids! We went all over town. The only difference is I don’t know how to ride a bike like Jane and Helen so I would usually be running behind my friends on bikes begging them to slow down.

TC: One thing I loved about Jane and Helen’s story is that they seem to become best friends almost immediately. When you’re young you can do that, you can meet a friend and it’s like falling in love, suddenly they’re everything. Did either of you have experiences like that in your youth?

JF: Totally! I feel very close to Jane and Helen. There are so many things about their relationship and lives that I see myself in, the book feels very personal even though it’s not specific to me. Thats what I love about it, because almost everyone has felt this way!  There is something about being a teen and discovering all of the things you love for the first time and then feeling so alone, like there’s no one you can share it with. Then suddenly this one person comes along and they get all of your jokes! And they love the things you love! It feels like you never had a real conversation before you met this person. You spend all of your time together and it’s amazing. My best friend and I from high school swore an oath that if one of us died before the other we had to dance on the other’s grave, like REALLY dance and get into it. We drew up a contract and signed it! It was very official.

JC: I did, for sure. I met my best friend from high school in almost the exact way that Jane and Helen meet, in a Fox Mulder costume at a high school dance. And then of course, you’re skipping school to go to the library and look at books about alien abductions, and you’re wandering the city in the middle of the night trading conspiracy theories and passwords for company voice mail systems that you spent three hours breaking into by trying every password possible.

TC: Do you think of yourself as a Jane or a Helen?

JF: This is a tough question!! I looked a lot like Jane but I felt a lot like Helen too, can I say BOTH??

JC: Haha, my answer is also BOTH. Lame, but true!

Let the record show that both Jess and Joey are cheaters who can’t answer a simple binary question. 

If you still want to support them, We Are Become Pals is available for sale here

Click on over here for information about how and when to order TopatoCo products for holiday delivery! Don’t make baby Santa cry by being late. 

Hot and fresh out the van, it’s the remix:

New and restocked items, available now! It may or may not be useless:

image *it is probably useless

New last chance items!

The old last chance is over. This is your new last chance. We have to make room in the chimney for Santa, so get these while you can. $15 each, and three-pack discounts still apply! Spring break forever.

ryannorth:

beatonna:

I am making a brief appearance at New York Comic Con next Saturday!  I’m on a panel called “Beyond the Webcomic” with Ryan North, Chris Hastings, and Seth Fishman (an agent of mine and Ryan’s!).  It should be interesting!  I understand it is difficult to find the info on the website, so here it is, a little screencap and link to the info page.  
I’m not a regular attendee though, so I don’t have a table or signing hours for those who asked.  But I will stick around to say hello after the panel.
-Kate

Yay come to our panel it’ll be rad!
I don’t have a table EITHER but beyond the panel I’ll be signing at the BOOM Studios booth twice on Saturday: from 10:30 to 11:30 and from 2 to 3.  Come say hi!  Come watch me write MY name on YOUR possessions!

Going to NYCC? Go see our beautiful children Ryan, Kate, and Chris! 

ryannorth:

beatonna:

I am making a brief appearance at New York Comic Con next Saturday!  I’m on a panel called “Beyond the Webcomic” with Ryan North, Chris Hastings, and Seth Fishman (an agent of mine and Ryan’s!).  It should be interesting!  I understand it is difficult to find the info on the website, so here it is, a little screencap and link to the info page.  

I’m not a regular attendee though, so I don’t have a table or signing hours for those who asked.  But I will stick around to say hello after the panel.

-Kate

Yay come to our panel it’ll be rad!

I don’t have a table EITHER but beyond the panel I’ll be signing at the BOOM Studios booth twice on Saturday: from 10:30 to 11:30 and from 2 to 3.  Come say hi!  Come watch me write MY name on YOUR possessions!

Going to NYCC? Go see our beautiful children Ryan, Kate, and Chris! 

This weekend: MICE in Cambridge, MA!

This weekend is the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE). Among the fine exhibitors will be two of our own:

Rosemary Mosco of Bird and Moon. Have you seen her handsome new print in our store? 
KC Green of Gunshow. He’ll be with his Regular Show comic partner, Allison Strejlau, exhibiting together for the first time! 

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