Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Another post from the road.

Jaw drop.
Punk Rock and Trailer Parks gets a HUGE shoutout in the French national newspaper Le Monde today, in the frontpage story on the first return, since the terrorist attacks, of The Eagles of Death Metal, who played last night.
"On the stairs, past the bar, J., headphones on ears, is immersed in a graphic novel, Derf Backderf's Punk Rock & Trailer Parks (Çá et Lá, 2014). She is 26 years old. "
Yeah, here in France, people take comix to concerts to pass the time! Like everyone else here, I heard about this concert and thought about what an emotional affair it would be, and admired the defiance of the Parisians. I never expected PR&TP to be connected to this triumphant event! (Actually, I feel a twinge of the guilt of the unworthy there).

PR&TP is a hit book here, which it was not in the US. In fact, it turns out, it never really left the warehouse in the States! My publisher in 2010, SLG, ran face first into the financial and distribution troubles that would spell its end, just as the book was released. SLG, of course, a pioneer of indy comics, was the largest victim of the corporate conspiracy of the Big Two and Diamond Distribution, which essentially barred smaller publishers from mainstream comic shops. This unfolded just as PR&TP came out. I spent over two years making that book and no one could find it. It was very frustrating. I busted my ass and sold as many copies as I could at various cons. I sold tons of them and couldn't understand why it wasn't selling in the shops. Turns out the shops couldn't get copies, that's why, thsnks to SLG's troubles. And then a roof leak at the warehouse destroyed most of the copies.
But I was very happy with it, and it got great reviews. PR&TP did what wanted: put me on the graphic novel map and, more importantly, I taught me how to make a book. There would have been no My Friend Dahmer without PR&TP. It's the book I needed to do first.

PR&TP, for those of you who haven't read it, is still available. You can grab a copy on Amazon, which SLG re-supplies, or the digital download on Comixlogy.

As my wife told me before I left, "You're leading a charmed life."