Co-publishers Chris Staros and Brett Warnock of the independent graphic novel and comic book publisher Top Shelf Productions (which has published such titles as Alan Moore’s “From Hell” and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” and Craig Thompson’s “Blankets”) announced today that it has entered into a capital investment deal with new media entrepreneur John S. Johnson, and independent film producer Anthony Bregman (“Synecdoche, New York,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”). Johnson, and Likely Story, Bregman’s film production company, have purchased a 33% interest in Top Shelf Productions, Inc. Johnson will join the board of Top Shelf, and Likely Story will get a first-look deal for all new Top Shelf publications for possible film and TV development.
The first project slated for development by Likely Story is Alex Robinson’s “Too Cool to Be Forgotten,” which was named one of Amazon.com’s Top Ten Graphic Novels of the Year. It tells the story of a 40-something father of two who undergoes hypnosis therapy to quit smoking, only to transport back to 1985 and his formative years as a gangly, awkward teenager. Forced to live through his high school years with all the knowledge of his later life; uncertain whether he is destined to relive the mistakes of his past or if he has been given a second chance to get things right.
“The enormous successes of the Spider/Bat/Super/X/Iron Men stories of the world lead one to believe that the world of comic book adaptations are limited to superhero stories – but this couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Anthony Bregman in a statement. “Literary graphic novels and comic books represent the most creative and innovative storytelling around. Year after year, Top Shelf has consistently picked and published the most interesting, playful, and visually stunning stories of this medium.” [Andy Lauer]