Death-Ray Covers

Here’s a color pencil sketch of an unused cover for Eightball #23, which Daniel Clowes drew sometime in 2003. 

After drawing, inking, and coloring the finished version of this illustration, Clowes decided it wasn’t right for the issue, wanting something bolder. Here’s another cover sketch:

Based on the above sketch, the image below is the comic’s cover ( the issue was released in June of 2004.)

The finished version of the first cover was eventually made into a large print by Alvin Buenaventura:

The print was available in two versions: one on high-quality paper and another on newsprint, a nod to the paper used in old comics, the kind Clowes read as a child.


The final publication of Pigeon Press
In the last months before comics impresario Alvin Buenaventura passed away, he completed publishing Sir Alfred No. 3, an oversized comic book/graphic novel by the brilliant Tim Hensley (author of the acclaimed 2010 Fantagraphics release, Wally Gropius). 

Sir Alfred No. 3 is an oblique biography of the world’s most famous film director, Alfred Hitchcock. In fact, despite being numbered “No. 3,” no other issues exist. The comic book is composed of multiple gag strips based on anecdotes found in tomes of film lore in the public library and used book shops. As Hensley’s previous work Wally Gropius referenced the ‘60s teenager genre, Sir Alfred pays homage to '50s personality comics and movie tie-ins. It ends up being something of a cross between Marge Buell’s Tubby, who bears an unforeseen resemblance to the famous director, and Miss Beverly Hills of Hollywood.

The book includes cameos by Salvador Dali, Greta Garbo, Joseph Cotten, Joan Fontaine, David O. Selznick, Edith Head, Gregory Peck, Bernard Herrmann, Francois Truffaut, and a cast of thousands.

It should be emphasized that Sir Alfred No. 3 is more than just a comic book; it is a signed and numbered, limited edition bundle that was produced with a variety of printing processes including offset, letterpress, and giclee printing, as well as blind embossing, handstamping, and diecutting. Each copy of this strictly limited and signed/numbered edition of 1000 comes with a correspondingly numbered giclee print suitable for framing and a custom beverage coaster, all packaged in a mylar sleeve. 


Another incredible TCAF is in the books, and what a TCAF it was! We debuted five new books: Aidan Koch’s After Nothing Comes, Patrick Kyle’s Don’t Come in Here, Cathy G. Johnson’s Gorgeous, Ben Sears’ Night Air, and Rokudenashiko’s What Is Obscenity? The Story of a Good For Nothing Artist and her Pussy. All five artists were in Toronto and signed both days, as did long time Koyama Presser Michael DeForge. The weekend featured incredible programming, wonderful organizers, exhibitors, volunteers, and attendees, several sell-outs, and the Doug Wright Awards.

The Doug Wright Awards were particularly moving this year with memorials to comics giants Alvin Buenaventura and Darwyn Cooke. The aforementioned Patrick Kyle (pictured above in a photo by the great Aaron Costain) was awarded his first DWA, the Pigskin Peters award, which recognizes avant-garde Canadian cartoonists. Patrick continues to push his chosen medium, and a most fitting talent to don the bowler. The DWA for Best Book was awarded this year to Michael DeForge’s Dressing. This was Michael’s (not-pictured above in a picture of noted DeForge impersonator Dog Spider in a photo by the grand Aaron Costain) tenth nomination and third win (he has won one of each DWA award). Michael’s prolific and tremendous body of work continues to inspire us, and Dressing is a testament to his talent.

TCAF is our home show and we are happy to have all of you who could make it to the festival visit our city, and experience Canadian and international cartooning at the highest level. Koyama Press publisher Annie Koyama has an appreciation of TCAF here.

See you next year!


i have the wonderful opportunity to attend SMALL PRESS EXPO 2014 for the very first time and work the PIGEON PRESS table (W 51-52) with nick maandag for alvin buenaventura. PIGEON PRESS is hosting the charles burns signing for the advance release of SUGAR SKULL, the third and final volume of the NIT NIT trilogy from PANTHEON BOOKS. PIGEON PRESS is offering many rare out of print books from charles burns along with a limited-edition signed and numbered gicleé printed bookplate of 200 made especially for SPX along with promotional NIT NIT masks.  PIGEON PRESS will also offer originals from charles burns, simon hanselmann, joseph remnant and nick maandag among other exclusive items. PIGEON PRESS is also reissuing nick maandag’s hilarious THE LIBERTARIAN, which debuts at SPX. see you there this saturday and sunday! photos by chris anthony diaz

***burns will be on 2 panels during the weekend***

saturday — alt-weekly comics roundtable — Noon - 1:00pm (white oak room)

sunday — charles burns spotlight/q + a — 2:00 - 3:00pm (white oak room)

the PIGEON PRESS artist signing times will be posted shortly