Have you ever wondered what books authors and publishers keep on their own bookshelves? You can take a peek into the private collection of Annie Koyama, founder and publisher of Koyama Press, thanks to the journal It’s Nice That. Annie Koyama invited Rebecca Fulleylove to take a look at her “illustration laden bookshelf,” and she talked about some of her favorite titles. Each title Annie picked from her shelf gives readers a glimpse into her personality and interests as a publisher. As Fulleylove said in the article, “with alternative comics, art books and a bit of trade fiction all featuring, Annie’s selection is as varied as the titles she publishes.”
The first title Annie pulled was Nog a Dod by Marc Bell, a Canadian anthology that introduced her to a variety of different artists when she just beginning in the world of comics. Annie then moved on to Elvis Road by Xavier Robel and Helge Reumann, one of her favorite books because of how it “feels like a stream of consciousness commentary on the state of the world.” From there, Annie turned to Klaus Biesenbach by Henry Darger, which she was drawn to because of the “combination of the beautiful and creepy [that] Darger’s work encapsulates.” Next, Annie talked about Gary Panter. Though Panter is best known for his character and set designs for Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, Annie calls his comics and paintings “amazing” and cites him as an inspiration for her and other artists because “he draws you into his worlds to explore at your own pace.” Last, but certainly not least, Annie gushed about her childhood favorite, Little Lulu by Marjorie Henderson Buell. First read on-loan from her sister, Annie talked about her fond memories of the title: “the colors seems bright and muted at the same time and that screen-tone effect was memorable. […] I could look at that cover for a long time.”
Founded in 2007, Koyama Press publishes “a diverse and eclectic range of titles,” a mission that is echoed on Annie’s personal bookshelves. The press continues to grow each year, and 2015 will be—according to the article— “their biggest output to date with 12 titles and a handful of mini-comics” in a wide range of styles and genres. Lose #7 by Michael DeForge, Black Rat by Cole Closser, and Wailed by Robin Nishio are just a few of the newest diverse titles from Koyama Press. After perusing Annie’s shelves, it’s obvious publishing innovative and electic titles is a project of passion and love.