Monday, January 10, 2011

Leaping Tall Building coming from powerHouse book in '12


Christopher Irving and Seth Kushner ink a deal with powerHouse Books to publish Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comic Books.

Brooklyn, NY (January 10, 2011) - Due out in Spring of 2012, Leaping Tall Buildings takes the comic book journalism essays and portraiture found on Graphic NYC and remasters them into a whole new and unique experience. Leaping will give readers a cohesive tapestry of the history of comic books through Graphic NYC’s distinctive brand of creator profiles, through Kushner’s iconic portraits of comics legends to Irving’s essays that fuse comics history with aspects of New Journalism.

The book’s synergistic photo and profile approach will document the pioneers and masters of the print comic, all the way through to the burgeoning digital age.

"One thing we've found in talking to everyone—from Joe Simon, who created Captain America, to Jules Feiffer, to Art Speigelman and postmodernists like Paul Pope, and all the way up through Marvel CCO Joe Quesada or even newer talent like Kevin Colden—is that you can actually trace the development of the comic book through their personal experiences, be it on newsprint or an iPad," Irving notes. "Beyond that, though, is that meeting all of these folks has been a helluva’ ride, especially since a few of them are personal heroes of ours."

“There have been so many memorable experiences. Hanging out on a Hell’s Kitchen rooftop with Frank Miller, in a Gotham alley with Denny O'Neil and in front of NYC’s Flatiron Building (The home of The Daily Bugle in the Spider-Man films) with Brian Michael Bendis has been a blast,” says photographer Kushner.

The deal with powerHouse comes as Graphic NYC wraps its second year online, and also caps an interesting year for the GNYC duo of Seth Kushner and Christopher Irving. 2010 saw the publication of Seth's online photo-based webcomix series, CulturePOP: Photocomix Profiles of Real-Life Characters on, as well as the print birth of Christopher’s Graphic NYC Presents Dean Haspiel: The Early Years from IDW.

"On a personal note," Irving adds, "it was the toughest year of my life: my father, Elliott Irving, passed away in late July as I was wrapping production on the Dean book. Neither Graphic NYC nor Leaping could have happened without his support. As far as I'm concerned, honoring him means making Leaping Tall Buildings worthy of sitting on my bookshelf next to the copy of Jules Feiffer's The Great Comic Book Heroes that he gave me when I was twelve."

"The signing of this contract is the accumulation of three years of work, (so far!)" says Kushner. "It's been a long road since that cold January day in 2008 when cartoonist Dean Haspiel and I had a conversation about a potential 'photo book on comics creators' at the now-defunct Rocketship Comics in Brooklyn. From there, Dean began hooking me up with other cartoonists to photograph, and then, a few months later, he connected me with Chris and that team-up begets our upcoming book.”

“From the first book pitch through the development of the site,” Irving elaborates, “Seth and I have let Graphic NYC organically grow into an accessible and unique view of comics history that can be dug by both comic book readers and those new to the world of comics and graphic novels.”

“We knew powerHouse was the right publisher to bring our dream to fruition when we saw they were as excited by the project as we were," Kushner says, "and we’re confident that with pH publishing and with Random House’s distribution, the book will be a success."

Christopher Irving and Seth Kushner are both represented by Barry Goldblatt Literary.


Christopher Irving


Seth Kushner


Christopher Irving started as an Associate Editor of the Eisner award-winning Comic Book Artist Magazine, and has since written about comics for New York Magazine, Comics Buyer’s Guide, and Alter Ego. Irving wrote and edited Graphic NYC Presents Dean Haspiel: The Early Years this year, as well as Hermes Press’ upcoming release The First Movie Superheroes, which documents the history of the superheroes of the 1940s movie serial. Leaping Tall Buildings will be Irving’s fifth book on comics.

Seth Kushner’s photographic portraits have appeared in such publications The New York Times Magazine, Time, Newsweek, The New Yorker, L'Uomo Vogue and others. Seth's first book, The Brooklynites, was published by powerHouse Books in 2007. Currently, he is working on CulturePOP, his photocomix series on Seth resides in Brooklyn with his wife and son, and way too many comics.

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