Showing posts with label Rosarium Publishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rosarium Publishing. Show all posts

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Rosarium Publishing's new graphic novels

I got 3 new graphic novels in the mail today from Greenbelt's Rosarium Publishing presumably as review copies. Bill Campbell is the man behind the company, and we really should interview him soon.

However, following my general policy for books by people or publishers I know, I'll highlight, but not review them (unless one really knocks my socks off like March vol 1-3, which is rare these days. Honestly, life's too short to hurt anyone's feelings with a casual sentence in a review).

So these arrived, and all look interesting:

Malice in Ovenland

Vol. 1

Malice in Ovenland
128 Pages, 7 x 10
Formats: Paperback, ebook: PDF, Fixed Layout EPUB, Fixed Layout KF8
Paperback, $17.95 (US $17.95) (CA $23.95)
Publication Date: August 2016
ISBN 9780996769228

Instead of falling down a rabbit hole, Lily finds her way to a fantasy world through a messy kitchen appliance.

Lily Brown is a bright, curious, energetic young girl from Queens, New York. When her mom forces her to stay home for the summer and do chores, Lily fumes. Little did she know that the greasy oven in the kitchen was going to give her more excitement and adventure than she could possibly handle.

Born and raised in NYC, Micheline Hess does design at a prominent ad agency in Chelsea and spends her spare time developing graphic novels, short stories, and interactive iBooks for kids. She has always been fascinated by the visual narrative in books and film and is constantly endeavoring to weave her own sense of humorous story-telling into both her personal and sometimes professional work. She lives in New York City.

The art in this next one is very stylized, seemingly influenced by 1970s poster art.

The Little Black Fish
Illustrated by Bizhan Khodabandeh
52 Pages, 6.75 x 10
Formats: Paperback, ebook: PDF, Fixed Layout KF8, Fixed Layout EPUB
Paperback, $9.95 (US $9.95) (CA $12.95)
Publication Date: August 2016
ISBN 9781495607295

Based on the Persian children's classic by Samad Behrangi, this book is about a young fish's courage to question authority and strike out on her own An inquisitive little fish decided to question authority and leave the safety of her own home to venture out into the expansive sea. The creatures she meets along the way teach her important lessons and make her learn the most valuable treasure in life: freedom.

Bizhan Khodabandeh is a designer, illustrator, artist, and activist. He is the communications director for Virginia Commonwealth University's department of communication arts and design and the design manager of Gallery5 in Richmond. He is the recipient of a Silver Medal Award for comics and cartooning through the Society of Illustrators. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.

Jennifer's Journal: The Life of a SubUrban Girl Vol. 1

Jennifer's Journal
62 Pages, 7 x 10
Formats: Paperback, Fixed Layout EPUB, ebook: PDF, Fixed Layout KF8
Paperback, $8.95 (US $8.95) (CA $15.95)
Publication Date: May 2015
ISBN 9780990319160

"...this graphic novel chronicles the life of me, Jennifer Crute, a freckled-face African American artists. Pages from my actual journals illustrate my upbringing as a misfit in the suburbs of New Jersey and my daily interactions as an adult living in New York City."

Jennifer Cruté started writing comics in 2003.  She is featured in a Current TV segment about women in comics called "KAPOW! The New Comic Book Heroines." She was nominated for a Glyph Comic Award for Best Rising Star.  Her cartoons have been featured in BITCH magazine. She was a finalist in Lambda Legal's Life Without Fair Courts contest.  She has lectured at the Museum of Comic & Cartoon Art, Miami University, Ohio, and Skidmore College, and her comics and oil and mixed media work has shown at the Medialia Gallery in New York City,  the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MOCADA)  in Brooklyn; the Limner Gallery in Hudson, N.Y.; and the Ocean Hill Arts Sanctuary in Brooklyn.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Q&A with Bill Campbell, publisher of Rosarium Publishing

Local indie publisher Rosarium Publishing is in the midst of an Indiegogo fundraising campaign for its upcoming line of books. Publisher Bill Campbell answers a few questions about his endeavor, which has drawn kudos from Publishers Weekly, the Library Journal and the Washington Post, to name a few.

You publish an interesting mix of books and flow seamlessly in the prose and comics worlds. Has that always been so smooth?  Do you find readers (or maybe distributors and retailers) sometimes raise an eyebrow that you publish both types of books?

I would say that the general public doesn't really bat an eye. You can oftentimes find somebody selling a novel at a comic book convention. So, it's not so much that we have novels and anthologies there; it's just that we have so many. I generally go to the more literary science fiction conventions. Those folks are avid readers, so it's not too hard to convince them to pick up new reading material. It never really hurts to be the book people at a comics convention or the comics people at a book convention. When you're both, you generally have something for everybody.

Well, retailers are hard, and I really understand what they're going through. They have very limited space with which to make money. Every cubic inch of their store has to bring in income, so they don't necessarily want to take risks. The excuses sometimes, though. One time, I was pitching The Assimilated Cuban's Guide to Quantum Santeria to a store, and the manager said, “Oh, we don't get many Cubans in this store.” Ha!

Distribution's just hard for any small publisher. The entire field is divvied up by a cartel of distributors who have cornered their individual markets. I don't care what you publish. It's just rough dealing with people who are never hungry and know they'll never be able to feed off the tiny morsels you bring to the table—no matter how tasty.

Being an indie publisher with a drive such as yours is obviously hard work. Can you briefly give a taste of what your recent travel for Rosarium Publishing has entailed? What keeps you motivated?

Back in 2012, just before I started Rosarium and was pushing my novel Koontown Killing Kaper, I did over 50 events in a year. I swore I'd never do that again, but I still find myself doing 20 to 30. I'm still trying to cut those down, but you're right, I do have drive. So, I sometimes find myself in traveling frenzies. For example, this past month I was in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, and the Hamptons. I'm doing something local in a couple weeks (Creator Con), and then in May I'm off to Toronto (T-CAF), Philadelphia (ECBACC), and Madison, WI (WisCon). I'm actually supposed to be in Chicago, too, that month, but I think I'm going to skip that. I'm turning 46 on May Day!

What’s been the most difficult part in starting and continuing Rosarium?

Beginnings are hard no matter who you are or what you're trying to do. Usually, the biggest challenge is getting other people to take you seriously. That was definitely ours. On the sff side, we've been really fortunate. Our first anthology, Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond eventually garnered a lot of attention, and our next two (Stories for Chip and The SEA Is Ours) as well. We've been really well-received within that community.

The comics side of things has been harder. We've talked about this personally: It's because comics is a medium, not a genre, and it's immense. So, it's been much harder finding reviewers who'd be interested in what we do, etc.

And frankly, Diamond doesn't make it any easier with the monopoly they have over comics shops. They don't seem particularly fond of what we do. We've taken critically-acclaimed, award-winning comics to them, and they've been like, “Nope! Not carrying them!” Because of that, the irony with our comics is that you can find them in Barnes & Nobles and other bookstores, you can find them in libraries, you can even find some of them being taught in college classrooms, but you'd be hard-pressed to find them in a comic book shop.

But what can you do? It's things like this that simply make me work harder.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Express on Smudge

D.C. comic books get a nudge at Smudge

By Tim Regan

For indie publishers and small-press cartoonists who don’t have Marvel levels of fame, finding an audience can be tricky. Luckily, Smudge Expo is here to help.

Click here to read the article online.

The Artisphere also placed an ad in today's Express featuring Smudge.
Finally, here's a wrap up of the ads Smudge ran
online over the past few weeks to promote the show.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

PW feature on Rosarium Publishing

Brigid Alverson, who often writes about comics, pens a feature story in Publishers Weekly on D.C.'s Rosarium Publishing, which is the brainchild of Bill Campbell.

Rosarium Bets on Multicultural Novels and Comics

By Brigid Aversion

Publishers kept telling Bill Campbell that his novels weren’t marketable, so he published them himself, found a market, and 18 months ago started Rosarium Publishing to do the same for other writers and comics creators. Based in the Washington, D.C., area, Rosarium Publishing boasts a multicultural lineup of authors and a list that features prose works as well as comics.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Submissions: 'Artists against Police Brutality' comics anthology

Local publisher Bill Campbell (Rosarium Publishing) is teaming with local writer Jason Rodriguez and artist John Jennings to edit a comics anthology called APB: Artists against Police Brutality. Proceeds will go toward the Innocence Project, which provides resources for prisoners who can be cleared of conviction with new DNA evidence. They are seeking submissions. See info below:

"APB: Artists against Police Brutality is a comic book anthology with one primary goal: show pictures and tell stories that get people talking. We are looking for artists across the disciplines to lend their talents and critical eye for this artistic examination of the US justice system and its treatment of communities of color. We are looking for personal stories, biographies, sociopolitical and historical analysis that shed a light on shared experiences across these communities, not just to act as an echo chamber, but to be used to change minds outside of these communities.

"APB will be a black and white book that collects these stories. While primarily a comic book project, we will also consider following: One- and two-row comic strips
, Pin-ups and spot illustrations 
Prose stories (whatever the genre; up to 1,500 words) and analytical essays (personal, sociopolitical, historical; up to 2,000 words).

"The main goal is to encourage people to talk about the persistent problems facing this country in terms of race and the justice system in an accessible and powerful medium.

APB: Artists against Police Brutality will be edited by Bill Campbell (Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond), John Jennings (The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of a Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art), and Jason Rodriguez (Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750) and will be published by Rosarium Publishing. 

For more information, go to; join the Facebook group,; or email

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Q&A with Rosarium publisher Bill Campbell

By Matt Dembicki
Rosarium Publishing is a relatively new publisher in Washington, D.C., that delivers mostly science-fiction stories in array of formats. Its hallmark is diversity, both among its talent and content. So far, Rosarium has focused on anthologies and short novels, but publisher Bill Campbell has picked up several comics for its catalogue. Below, we chat with Bill about Rosarium, its current books and what’s in store to come in 2015.

Can you give us a brief background on Rosarium, what inspired you to start it?

This is a long, convoluted story of heartache and pain. But seriously, I was a self-published author who ended up getting a big, fancy agent. That agent didn't really work out. Mainstream publishers weren't really liking what I was doing. However, there were some academics who did. So, I found myself in the weird position of being a self-published author, basically selling his books out of the trunk of his car, then running off to some college or university to lecture about my books, some of which were being taught. I thought it was utterly ridiculous to not be good enough for a publisher but to be good enough for academia, and I figured there were probably other authors out there suffering the same fate. I started Rosarium in order to give those authors a home.

When Rosarium started in 2013, you focused on short stories through anthologies and short novels. Today, you are branching out to include comics. Was that part of the plan, or did the idea to include comics develop as you were already into your business?

That's hard to say. Publishing comics was a childhood dream of mine. So, I'm not really sure if there was a conscious decision. John Jennings (Pitch Black Rainbow, Kid Code, and Blue Hand Mojo) has been involved with Rosarium since the beginning. Keith Miller (Manticore) and I had been talking about turning my one novel, Koontown Killing Kaper, into a graphic novel before I started Rosarium. So maybe it was always part of the plan. I don't know. But as soon as I ran across KEEF CROSS's work (DayBlack), I just knew I had to publish that book.

What type of comics is and will Rosarium publish in the coming year?

“Type?” Well, that's impossible for me to pin down. As you pointed out, diversity is a key goal for Rosarium. We have over 20 different writers and artists living on five different continents. We come in all shapes, sizes, and hues. And different interests. So, we have slice-of-life (Jennifer's Journal), kid's adventure (Malice in Ovenland), a vampire tattoo artist (DayBlack), surrealist sci-fi dystopia (Corporatica), and a hip-hop Dr. Who (Kid Code); and we've got an Iranian folk tale (Little Black Fish), a medieval Indian assassin (Chadhiyana), and a prison horror tale (Manticore) in the works. And don't be surprised if you see anything from Obeah to Lovecraft coming out of our humble, little factory.

What do you look for in the comics you publish?

Good question. I'm not exactly sure there is any one “thing” I do look for. It's definitely not anything market-based or something I can easily articulate. It basically comes down to what grabs me, and, more and more, what grabs the Rosarium team. And, as you can tell, what that particular “thing” is is insanely varied.

I know that—despite holding a day job and raising a young family—you spend a lot of time on the road exhibiting at shows. Why is that important?

I once read a biography about Gene Autry. The thing that impressed me about him (which definitely wasn't his music) was that, no matter how successful he was, he was always on the road. For a musician, it's a matter of money. At this early stage, for us, it's more about connecting with people. We're doing something a little different here (on so many levels). It's really important for us to introduce ourselves, meet others inside and outside of the industry, and to connect with the folks who've felt that an experiment like Rosarium is necessary.

As a publisher that is still getting its feet wet in the publishing world, what has been the biggest challenges?

I think the biggest challenge is definitely an inside-baseball complaint. When you're new, you know that you're going to have to keep coming out with quality projects for awhile before people start taking you seriously. That was something that I realized going in and had no problem with.

The hardest part (especially since I'm dealing with comics and books) had been dealing with all the monopolies or near-monopolies. There are a bunch of distribution niches in publishing, and each niche is basically run by one company. When you're the new kid on the block, they have absolutely no interest in dealing with you, and it doesn't matter the quality of your work. They simply don't want to work with you. End of story.

It's a lot better now because we've found a smaller distributor who really likes what we're doing and is working hard on our behalf. But that first year was really hard because, even though we were with one of those monopolies, we could hardly get our books anywhere.

How would you define “success” for Rosarium?

Beats me! I'll let you know when we've achieved it.

Rosarium publisher Bill Campbell