FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRINT BOOKS REACH APEX; EVERYONE CAN STOP NOW
TopatoCo Announces Release of Hyper-Extravagant Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff Hardcover Book
An ostentatiously presented tome dedicated to the worst comic strip ever denotes the end of publishing and the climax of human achievement.
EASTHAMPTON, MA, January 20, 2013 – With its embossed, gold foil-stamped cover, top-quality glossy paper, and impeccable attention to detail, it’s clear that no expense was spared in making Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff. It feels good in your hands: a true work of art, a collector’s dream.
But then you notice something wrong. There’s a stain on the cover. And it is there on purpose. It’s a coffee ring printed onto the cover with gloss laminate.
“I’m really not sure what you call this,” says TopatoCo founder and CEO Jeffrey Rowland. “There’s probably a German word for it, but I’m afraid to look it up.”
This book, the debut effort by cult cartoonist Dave Strider, was realized with the help of a dedicated team of experienced artists. KC Green (gunshowcomic.com), John Keogh (lucid-tv.com), and David Malki ! (wondermark.com) served as designers. Homestuck creator Andrew Hussie (mspaintadventures.com) served as consultant.
“This book means so much to me because it means that no more books have to be made after this,” says Hussie. “There can just stop being books forever. Now writers and artists everywhere can get on with their lives.”
Since the days of Gutenberg, publishers have tried to marry form with content in pleasing and impressive ways. And while there have been fancy books, and there have been bad books, never before in the history of the codex have the two been mismatched in so dramatic and pointless a fashion. Like a wrench torquing a bolt too hard and shearing off its head, so too does Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff completely and irrevocably break the notion of the printed book.
The online comic strip “Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff” follows a handful of friends who get up to nonsensical hijinks. This is in the rare cases when it makes any sense at all. It is universally acknowledged as the worst comic strip ever created.
The book Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff lavishly presents the comic’s entire run in a treatment worthy of the highest masters of the form. It contains a completely gratuitous 4-page centerfold reading simply “centaurfold” in bright pink type.
“The printing company we used was utterly convinced that we, as designers, didn’t know what in the world we were doing,” says Malki. “The proof sheet listing supposed ‘errors’ in the book’s layout ran five pages long. I had to initial each one saying, ‘Yes, that’s OK. Yes, that’s OK. Yes, that’s OK, trust us.’”
Scattered throughout the book are perforated business-reply cards taking the form of irredeemable Subway coupons (a first for comic strip collections). Each copy of the book also comes with a “travel version” (a removable poster of all the book’s pages in grid format); a custom commemorative coin (randomly chosen from 4 designs struck); an oversized plastic paperclip imprinted with the word “paperclop”; and an animated lenticular bookmark. Bound into the spine is a red ribbon approximately three feet long, and if you scratch the nacho chip sticker on the back cover, it smells faintly of pizza. (The hologram sticker of Tony Hawk smells only of chemicals.)
“That decisions such as how best to misspell the book’s title and how often should the reader need to destroy parts of the book have been made with utmost seriousness, backed up with significant financial investment, is potent evidence for humanity having finally reached the end of its long journey,” says Keogh.
Clearly bothered, Rowland mumbled nervously “If people don’t buy this thing, we’re finished. I’ll be filling out the Subway employment application that this book also comes with.”
Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff author Dave Strider, however, does not share the same concerns: “You’d have to be a f*ckin’ idiot to buy this book.”
TopatoCo is the United States’ third-largest publisher of independent comics products. Based in Easthampton, Massachusetts, TopatoCo creates books, apparel, gift items, and novelties for over fifty of the world’s most popular web-based creators.
Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff is on sale exclusively through TopatoCo.com. The deluxe hardcover edition is limited to one print run only.
10.25” x 6.625” Prestige Format hardcover. 184 pages. $44.00.
For a gallery of pictures of the book that ended publishing, visit: topatoco.com/sweetbro and scroll to the bottom.