Tag Archives: The A.V. Club

The FADER Sees the Fearlessness of Koyama Press

KoyamaPressWe’ve written about Annie Koyama before: about the playful and innovative comics she publishes at Koyama Press, about her unusual entrance into the world of publishing, even about her quirky bookshelf. But we just can’t get enough. Her story is so inspiring that notable music magazine the FADER branched out from its usual subject matter to interview Koyama on April 29.

The article opens with the accurate claim that Koyama Press’s origin story “could easily be the plot of one of the poignant autobiographical comics it publishes”: Annie Koyama, whose background is in film production, started the press on a whim after undergoing major brain surgery for a terminal aneurysm in 2007. The life-saving surgery spurred Koyama to delve into something she felt truly passionate about, so she began funding Toronto artists’ comics, publishing them, and taking none of the profits in return. Her generous spirit allowed little-known cartoonists, who were frequently snubbed by larger publishers, the validation and exposure she felt they deserved. As the FADER puts it, “her commitment to taking risks on emerging artists reflected an ongoing paradigm shift affecting the way alternative comics are produced and consumed,” and as a result, Koyama Press has become “one of the most important forces in independent comics” around today.

Even though Koyama is currently living with a second, inoperable brain aneurysm, she continues to push forward with Koyama Press and remains committed to diversity. As she9781927668276 told the FADER, “we live in a multicultural society and we need more artists telling their stories well—from every background.” She laments that finding a vast audience for alternative comics is still “an uphill battle,” but some of the attention Koyamobscenitya Press has gotten lately should help. The A.V. Club provided an exclusive preview of upcoming Koyama titles Gorgeous and What Is Obscenity?. Check out the previews here and here, respectively. Both books come out on May 10, and they’re just a few of the many wonderful things we know are in store for Annie Koyama and her press in the future.


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Uncivilized Books’s “Borb” Is Our Sleeper of the Week!


  • “When we talk about something ‘being human’ or a ‘universal experience,’ what we hope to mean is that there are things . . . that bind us through basic empathy . . . The fundamental achievement of Jason Little’s Borb is the manner in which he harnesses that attention, underpinning the trials and tribulations of his main character with equal amounts of mirth and despair.”—The A.V. Club, April 14, 2015
  • “What makes Little’s approach and execution so impactful is the way it subverts the wacky expectations of the medium. . . . There are walls a reader has to break down to find this overweight, lumbering amputee relatable and sympathetic. Little’s considerable sincerity and skills make those walls cardboard-thin.”—Chicago Tribune, April 9, 2015
  • “A brief, picaresque story of the titular Borb, a down-on-his-luck homeless man whose fiction is as hard-fought and tragic as the reality that millions of people face every single day.”—This Is Infamous, April 6, 2015
  • “Beautifully drawn. . . . There is no way this book will not get a reaction out of you. It is an early contender for book of the year.”—Mental Floss, April 2, 2015
  • “Jason Little’s illustrations capture Borb’s life in all its dismal glory. He says so much about addiction and homelessness, and ultimately how hard it is to get out of that downward spiral, which too few ever do.”—Jason Kennedy, Boswell Book Company, March 7, 2014
  • “Little’s elegant linework, minimal dialogue, and unwavering focus on the man’s day-to-day struggles are powerful, giving us a gruesome, slapstick view of society’s underbelly.”—Publishers Weekly, February 23, 2015

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