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AK Distro Books Get Some Buzz!

By Suzanne | June 28, 2011

Hopefully all you news hounds have been faithfully following the recent press coverage related to AK Press releases such as I Mix What I Like, Revolt and Crisis in Greece, and Peace, Love & Petrol Bombs. But we’re not the only ones publishing kick-ass books these days; several of our distributed publishers have gotten some great recognition recently for their recent titles, and we highly recommend all of these … read on and check them out, if you haven’t yet!

The Listener, a new graphic novel by artist and Mecca Normal guitarist (and Gruesome Acts of Capitalism author) David Lester, and published by Arbeiter Ring, has been getting quite a lot of press. Besides the early reviews we’ve already mentioned, it’s gotten write-ups from the Baltimore City Paper and The Onion A.V. Club. And most recently, Publishers Weekly called The Listener “a dense and fiercely intelligent work that asks important questions about art, history, and the responsibility of the individual, all in a lyrical and stirring tone.” And School Library Journal, calling it one of the best books of the year so far(!!), recommended it in the “Adult Books 4 Teens” category: “This is an excellent graphic novel for teens who appreciate history or have an interest in contemporary politics as well as for young artists and writers who can both learn from and appreciate the storytelling that brings the past to life while focusing on a character’s present. From the opening passages, the tension never lets up, yet the story remains accessible and memorable.

And check out this brand-new arrival, the steampunk choose-your-own-adventure What Lies Beneath the Clock Tower by Margaret Killjoy (also the author of the AK Press book Mythmakers and Lawbreakers), published by Combustion Books! It was featured recently on BoingBoing, where Cory Doctorow complimented the author’s “pitch-perfect steampunk sensibility” and continued: “There are many different ways the story can proceed, of course, but if you make your way through to the end, you’ll discover that Killjoy’s not just spinning a shaggy-dog story—there’s a surprising amount of heart and adventure to be had if you’re bold enough to choose the path of heroism.”

Last but certainly not least: Defying the Tomb—a collection of artwork and writings by political prisoner Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, published by our friends at Kersplebedeb—was recently featured on the Black Agenda Report‘s morning shot. It’s also been at the center of a fight between the publisher and Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit, where prison administration has banned the book, alleging “promotion of gang activities.” In Rashid’s own words (from the book): “Repression of “gangs” serves as a fig leaf for the repression of any collective action or organization by the oppressed that does not suit the plans of the oppressor. This dynamic exists in oppressed communities throughout the united states, but like most oppressive dynamics it appears in its most concentrated form within the prison system.” Check out Sketchy Thoughts for more on the banned-book fiasco, as well as links to more information about the prisoner struggles currently taking place at Pelican Bay.

All of these titles (and thousands of others!) can be ordered directly, by individual customers or wholesale, from AK Press Distribution.

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