Top Shelf Goes Graphicly + Andy Runton on OWLY!

In another boon for digital comics, you can now find Top Shelf comics on Graphicly! Always one of our favorite publishers, we’re glad to see their work now more widely available. To celebrate the launch, Top Shelf have offered some crazy deals on their books this week.

$1.99 for League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 1910 by Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill

$1.99 for Owly book 1 by Andy Runton

$0.99 for Johnny Boo book 1 by James Kochalka

$1.99 for Clumsy by Jeffrey Brown

$2.99 for The Surrogates by Robert Venditti & Brett Weldele

Among those is the huge hit all-ages series Owly, by Andy Runton. We spoke to Andy about his thoughts on his work and digital comics. Check it out after the preview.

iFanboy: What do you think about kids reading your stories on an iPad or computer as opposed to a physical book? Do you think they prefer one over the other?

Andy Runton: I think it’ll be great! Having seen small children read books, tear pages, and see their parents cringe, I think an iPad might make things easier since it’s much more durable. In terms of which they’ll prefer… Have you seen the video of the little girl getting frustrated with a magazine because it doesn’t respond to touch? I think tablets are the clear winner. I still prefer books because I love the look and the feel of the paper and being able to browse through them… But there’s no reason we can’t have both.

iF: Owly has been around digitally for a little while. Has that changed or affected the way you produce the book?

AR: It hasn’t changed the way I create the books. I’ve always been a big fan of technology so the books are all scanned, cleaned up, and assembled digitally. The covers are all painted digitally (using a Cintiq pressure-sensitive touch screen utilizing hundreds of layers) and most of the coloring I do is all digital as well… But all of my pages start out as pencil sketches on paper that are the  inked by hand with a brush. There’s just nothing out there that captures the variation and personality that you can achieve with traditional tools. I’ll probably always do it that way.

iF: How early did you consider digital another viable method of getting your comics in front of the eyeballs of readers?

AR: I’ve always considered it but not as a readership or money thing but more as a “I wanna read comics on this gadget” kind of excitement I’ve always had. As soon as the screens left the desktop and were able to create a more intimate reading experience, I’ve been dying to see it come to life. In my former life, I was an interface designer, and it’s great to combine comics with my love of interactive design. Whenever some new technology comes out, I want to jump on it as soon a possible and see what we can create. I had a Newton in the 90’s and even used to put comics on that. I’m what they  call an “early adopter.” As soon as the iPhone came out, I got Owly on there and played around with how it could work. Now the resolutions are so great, the displays are so beautiful, and the devices are so fast that the technology is falling away and we can focus on the content. It’s a really exciting time!

iF: Would you let a 4 year old play with your iPad?

AR: Absolutely! The screen is super durable. As long as it has a protective skin on it,  (they make some awesome kid friendly ones) and it’s either on a table or the floor… I’d have no problem with that.

iF: Thanks so much Andy!


Here’s what I know. If you’re ever feeling down, do a Google image search for “Owly” and there’s no way you won’t smile. It’s biologically impossible.  

Disclaimer: iFanboy is owned by Graphicly.


  1. Good to hear Owly is going digital I absolutely love that series.

  2. Pretty cool. I know I have a nephew who is getting close to picture book age and once he’s able, he’s going to have access to all six of the volumes I own. Top Shelf has some great kid friendly books.

  3. Will these be finding their way to the nook as well? I have Irredeemable and Return of the Dapper Men on mine now and I have to say they are a welcome addition to my nook library!