Top Shelf’s Eisner Promotion Package

Essex County promo

I got an impressive cigar box full of stuff in the mail from Top Shelf earlier this week promoting their three Eisner Award nominations.

For Essex County, volumes 1-2: Tales from the Farm/Ghost Stories, by Jeff Lemire, nominated for Best Graphic Album–New and Best Writer/Artist, the box contained a pack of hockey trading cards and a promotional postcard. (Am I the only one who thinks it’s odd to nominate two books for that award? Even if you want to make the case that they add up to one big story, they’re parts 1 and 2 of a trilogy, with book 3 not out yet.)

Super Spy box

For Super Spy, by Matt Kindt, though, there was a cornucopia of goodies. (The book is up for Best Graphic Album–Reprint.) Clockwise from top, we have:

  • A faux-distressed paper toy gun with comics coming out of its beam
  • A vial labeled “Mint Flavored Cyanide Capsules” with some kind of tablets inside
  • A set of 72 stamp-sized pieces of art, which came out of
  • A box labeled “The Treasure” (and numbered 24 out of 181) that also contained a “treasure map” that tells you in which order to arrange the cards to discover the secret story
  • And last, what appears to be a small original painting in ink and wash.

I was flabbergasted. I really can’t capture how neat it is to hold these items and examine their detail. It makes me wish Kindt’s storytelling resonated better with me, because his design sense is astounding. I thought the fake cigarette they sent out for Pistolwhip was impressive; this is terrific.

Maybe it is a bribe, but I prefer to consider it a clever, creative way to bring works to voters’ attention. And it’s the kind of handmade, individual promotion that good small publishers can do to gain mindshare. And mention on sites like this one.

6 Responses to “Top Shelf’s Eisner Promotion Package”

  1. odessa steps Says:


    Hockey cards.

    That pack looks old too.

  2. Marc Mason Says:

    They’re from 1991 if I remember right.

  3. Kat Kan Says:

    I received one of those packages too. Way cool. And my husband, a cigar smoker, grabbed the Arturo Fuente cigar box for himself. He’s happy, I’m happy, hey, it’s a good deal.

  4. Kristy Valenti Says:

    Their new guy, Leigh Walton, is doing a great job.

  5. Johanna Says:

    Leigh’s a guy? Oh, good to know. (That was my middle name, so I jumped to the wrong conclusion.)

  6. Leigh Walton Says:

    Thanks for the kind words, guys. This was totally a team effort (Matt Kindt is the master of awesome swag — just check out his table at a con sometime)!




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