iFanboy Video Podcast

iFanboy #42 – Top Shelf Productions

Show Notes

Few publishers out there are like Top Shelf Productions and this week iFanboy digs in to some of their favorites from this excellent indie publisher. Like Top Shelf, iFanboy are all over the map with cute animal books, a Transformers parody, a futuristic action thriller, and the return of Elvis!

Top Shelf Productions put out so many quality books that it’s hard to just pick a few to talk to about, but Ron, Josh and Conor do their best to talk about some of the books they especially loved.

If you’re an Elvis Presley fan, you will want to check out, The King. Is that really him? Is he back? Well, that’s what the story’s about in this original graphic novel from Rich Koslowski. Koslowski went in a completely different direction in his faux documentary book, Three Fingers.

Jeff Lemire created a simple touching book about a boy and his uncle called Tales from the Farm which managed to tug at some heartstrings.

Usually known for his stark sketchy autobiographical comics, Jeffrey Brown decided to produce both a love letter and parody of the Transformers, in The Incredible Change-Bots.

A turtle and a rat made Ron cry. This is the power of Goodbye, Chunky Rice, by Craig Thompson, who is most well known for the graphic novel, Blankets.

Last up is the straight up science fiction action tale, The Surrogates takes us to a world where people use robots to live their lives.


Get Involved

Doing the podcast is fun and all, but let's be honest, listening to the 2 of us talk to each other can get repetitive, so we look to you, the iFanboy listeners to participate in the podcast! "How can I get in on the fun?" you may ask yourself, well here's how:

  • E-Mail us at contact@ifanboy.com with any questions, comments or anything that may be on your mind.

Please don't forget to leave your name and where you're writing from and each week, we'll pick the best e-mails to include on the podcast!


  1. Hey guys, great show! I just wanted to second your thoughts on how great Top Shelf is. I actually owned a lot of the books that you guys talked about and have enjoyed them all immensely. I picked up a majority of them last year when they had their big sale (I think I spent like $100 just buying anything that looked interesting). I have always enjoyed the quality of their books.

    I have to give a shout out to Matt Kindt, who’s a local creator here in St. Louis that has a bunch of stuff published through Top Shelf. I recently picked up his new book Super Spy and it was really good. It had a great story about the effects of being a spy, and it’s one of those books that can be read a number of ways because of the ordering of the story vignettes. It’s just really solid.

    Anyways, keep up the great work guys!

  2. Awesome show! You guys talked about 2 of my favourite writers, Rich Koslowski and Jeffrey Brown, which was very cool.

    I own a few of those books, most of which I discovered from your show, and can whole-heartedly agree with them as great examples of Top Shelf’s diversity. Have to say I LOVED Change-Bots! I know it was a pretty easy target to parody Transformers but I really liked the way it put a knowing spin on the sillier little moments of the cartoon show conventions and cliches.

    By the way, if anyone’s thinking of picking up The King (which you should) then if you can stretch to the extra cost get the hard cover – it’s absolutely gorgeous!

  3. Good show, guys. Ron, Essex County #2 is out called “Ghost Stories.” It has hockey players on the cover. It’s on their home page. I’m amazed that Top Shelf is such a small operation considering they’ve had such high profile books like Blankets and Box Office Poison.

    And they’ve got a link back to here for your podcast. Well done.

    And Ron, maybe the tears for the little animals parting ways mirrors your parting from Josh and Ron. It’s okay, they’ll bring lots of tissues to the airport.

  4. “Surrogates is about a [fighting crime…] in a future time”

    … *whimper*

  5. Chris and Brett from Top Shelf are great! I recently contacted them about using “Korgi” or “Essex County” in my high school classroom (I’m an English teacher), and they were SUPER helpful and friendly. On top of that, they’ve put out some great books.

    Oh, and Ron’s right–“Essex County, Vol. 1: Tales from the Farm” was really touching. Great stuff.

  6. Quick fact-check: “Good-Bye, Chunky Rice” is no longer published by Top Shelf, but by Pantheon Books.

  7. Yeah but its true that they’re no longer the current publisher. But it started there so we give credit to Top Shelf for the book.

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