PictureBox To Shut Down at the End of 2013
PictureBox, the independent comics and art magazine publisher, will be shutting down at the end of 2013. The announcement was made this morning by founder and proprietor Dan Nadel, via the PictureBox Tumblr page. Along with the announcement, PictureBox also revealed a massive 50% off sale on its inventory, to run through January 2nd.
From Nadel’s statement:
As of December 31, 2013, PictureBox will no longer release any new titles. This was not an easy decision, but the company is no longer feasible for me as a thoroughgoing venture. Change is, as the cliché goes, a good thing, and I am proud of PictureBox the idea and the company, and grateful to the many artists I’ve worked with over the years. I’ve been publishing since 2000, and without such an astounding array of loyal and talented people PictureBox would be nothing. Some of my closest friends were made while working on PictureBox projects.
Launched in 2004, PictureBox has released some of the more prominent and acclaimed books in the industry since its inception. This year’s catalogue featured several notable titles, including Frank Santoro’s Pompeii, Yuichi Yokoyama’s World Map Room, Osamu Tezuka’s 1948 graphic novel The Mysterious Underground Men, Anya Davidson’s School Spirits, and Brandon Graham’s artbook Walrus, among others. The publisher announced earlier this year that all of its 2013 titles could be had for a $300 subscription price, a move that, in hindsight, was likely an indication that this news was forthcoming.
Though a small publisher, PictureBox played a significant role in the growth of the art comix movement in the past decade. The release of So Long Silver Screen, for instance, was the first full-length book from influential French cartoonist Blutch to be published in English, introducing a whole new audience to the award-winning artist’s work. When I picked up the book at this year’s MoCCA festival, no less an authority than David Mazzuchelli told me it was an excellent purchase, and that Blutch was “outstanding.” PictureBox introduced readers to artists whose work they otherwise may never have come across, but it did much more than that. As comics critic, and occasional ComicsAlliance contributor Joe McCulloch put it: “That it is now gone, as a publishing concern, is painful and awful and a considerable loss, but its imprint on the rhetoric of comics has guaranteed its legacy.”
Nadel, who also founded the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Fest — which this year became known as Comic Arts Brooklyn — spoke to the Comics Reporter about the announcement, stating that the decision to shut down PictureBox was personal and not professional. Nadel was PictureBox’s only full time employee, and recent developments in his life, such as becoming a father, meant continuing with the company would have been difficult.
Though the publisher will no longer be releasing new titles, its books will remain available to stores and individuals via its distributors and online. To check out PictureBox’s full inventory, and take advantage of the 50% off sale, head over to the website.