For enthusiasts of small press or micropublished work the problem of cross-continental distribution is one that will always intermittently resurface. International postage costs can often prove prohibitive, and in the UK this year we also lost the wonderful distro Impossible Books. Fans of harder-to-find titles are always eager for any point of access that improves the availability of work from outside these shores.
It’s excellent news, then, to be able to report today that two of our favourite micropublishing forces here at Broken Frontier – the acclaimed Avery Hill Publishing in the UK and the renowned Retrofit Comics in the US – are teaming up to bring each other’s books to their respective transatlantic audiences.
Avery Hill were, of course one of the nominees in the ‘Best Publisher’ category in the 2014 Broken Frontier Awards and are a regular presence in this column for projects as diverse as their collection of Simon Moreton’s Smoo Comics in Days through to the dark fantasy graphic novel debut of Tillie Walden’s stunning The End of Summer. Retrofit are also frequent reviewees here at BF with a roll call of creators who have included the impressive likes of Sam Alden, James Kochalka, Laura Knetzger, Olivier Schrauwen and, of course, Retrofit co-publisher Box Brown.
It’s a partnership that will allow readers in the UK to order Retrofit books directly from AHP and the US audience to do vice versa via Retrofit. Initially it will be a smaller selection of titles that are on offer but the publishers will be expanding these back catalogues in future.
Ricky Miller and David White, Avery Hill co-publishers had this to say on this development: “We’re incredibly honoured to be associated with a partner such as Retrofit Comics. We see them as being very similar to us in the type of comics that they publish and their adaptability on changing formats depending on what is best for the work. We’re keen to explore all ways of getting our creators’ books into the hands of readers wherever they may be.”
At Retrofit, co-publishers Box Brown and Jared Smith say “the growth of the UK comics scene over the last few years has been inspiring, and it’s great to see a like-minded publisher in Avery Hill Publishing. We’re very excited to be able to partner with them to help get books for both groups of creators to the larger audience they deserve. Plus we feel our natural crossover of work will appeal to all of our fans.”
The initial books to be included are as follows. Click on the links below for Broken Frontier reviews to whet your appetites!
From Avery Hill Publishing – A Quiet Disaster by Alex Potts, Days by Simon Moreton, Grey Area: From the City to the Sea by Tim Bird, Metroland #1 by Ricky Miller and Julia Scheele, anthology Reads #1 by various creators and The End of Summer by Tillie Walden.
From Retrofit Comics – Debbie’s Inferno by Anne Emond, Drawn Onward by Matt Madden, Eyelash Out by Ben Sea, Mowgli’s Mirror by Olivier Schrauwen, Number 1 by Box Brown, The Unmentionables by Jack Teagle and Wicked Chicken Queen by Sam Alden.
From my own perspective as a commentator on the small press world this is an extremely exciting development meaning, as it does, that my international audience will have far greater access to two of the most important players on the current scene, and the readership for some truly remarkable talents will be significantly expanded. Let’s hope this is the catalyst for more such collaborative enterprises from smaller publishing houses in the future!
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