HeroesCon 2011 is less than a month away! As part of our continuing series spotlighting some of our guests at this year’s show, today we’re proud to feature an interview with Chris Pitzer of AdHouse Books. Pitzer is by no means a stranger to HeroesCon, and has been a staple of Indie Island for years. With AdHouse continuing to gain respect and attention within the industry, we thought it would be fun to talk with Pitzer about his acclaimed publishing house, and to see what you might find at the AdHouse booth this HeroesCon.
Seth Peagler (SP): Chris, thanks for being a part of this interview. AdHouse has really done some great things in recent years, but to start out I’d like to ask you about what led you to start your own homegrown publishing house in the first place?
Chris Pitzer (CP): Sure thing Seth! Well, I love book design. I also love comics. So, after having done a stint at Eclipse back in the day, I started to freelance a little bit here and there within the comic field. Eventually I was made aware of a creator (Joel Priddy) and his book (Pulpatoon Pilgrimage) and we both happened to be living in Richmond, VA at the time. So, we met, and I told Joel that I’d be more than happy to help him get his work published. Knowing a few of the indy publishers at the time, I sent them his proposal and waited on a response. When a response never came, I decided to take the “knowledge” I had gained by that point, and start AdHouse. That was nine years ago!!!
SP: I would imagine that you have lots of creators who want to publish their work at AdHouse. How exactly do you decide what books and creators you want to work with and publish?
CP: I know I sound like a broken record with this answer, but I have to love it. Jeff (Alternative Comics) Mason told me that once, and it has really stuck with me. Besides loving it, I like to see an attention to detail. I like a creator who can get out there and help sell their work. I like something new, something borrowed, something blue… So, really, it’s just a matter of hitting me with the right project at the right time. This being our ninth year celebration, we’ve beenproducing work full tilt!
SP: Can you talk a bit about AdDistro? I recently bought some fantastic books from you that were published by Nobrow. Is AdDistro just another way for AdHouse to turn readers on to comics and creators they might not typically encounter?
CP: Exactly. I initially found Nobrow via the Drawn.CA website. I was curious, so I ordered a few of their publications. The only problem is that they were based in the UK. So, it wasn’t really a “problem” but I thought it might be a hurdle for some customers. So, after getting their wonderful work, I came up with the idea to help bring it to the states. Around the same time, I stumbled upon Koyama Press out of Canada. And then a retailer friend made me aware of Malachi Ward’s self-published work. So, those three were my initial offering of AdDistro. I can’t say this will be around forever, but it is fun to bring to shows and see people get excited about it. I know I still do.
SP: You’ve recently had great success with both Afrodisiac and Duncan the Wonder Dog, the latter of which just won the LA Festival of the Book Graphic Novel prize. What books or projects are you excited about AdHouse being involved with in the coming year?
CP: All of them! But to bring you and your readers up to speed, here’s what we have planned… Even the Giants by Jesse Jacobs will be appearing in stores in around two weeks. We also decided to help bring Stuart Immonen’s Centifolia V2 to life. It, and the first volume, will be available by the end of May via AdHouse and finer comic shops. June is Welcome to Oddville! by Jay Stephens which I was very excited to help publish. July is Forming by Jesse Moynihan which I am VERY excited to read. You see, I’m just helping Nobrow bring it to stores in the US, so I haven’t actually read the whole thing. Just a bit on his site. I don’t want to spoil the experience for myself. August is Blue Collar / White Collar by Sterling Hundley. This is in the vein of the James Jean or Paul Pope books. More of an art book with some essays. Very nice stuff. September is the Do It Yourself Doodler by David Jablow. It’s a weird little art book that has been quite the internet sensation. And September is Pope Hats #2! Whew!
SP: You’ve been an anchor of Indie Island throughout the years and every year you’ve always got some interesting books and people with you at your booth. What are some things fans can expect to find at the AdHouse booth this HeroesCon?
CP: We’re bringing Lamar Abrams (REMAKE SPECIAL)
back down South with us this year. We both enjoy the food! Jim Rugg (AFRODISIAC) will be making an appearance. And, I just got an email from Fred Chao (JOHNNY HIRO) that he’ll be roaming the show. So expect those great people and books as well as all our other publications! And be sure to check out the fine AdDistro items! It’s all for the love of comics!