Highwater Books

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Highwater Books was a small but influential independent comic book publisher based in Somerville, Massachusetts, noted for its arty editorial direction and production values under publisher Tom Devlin. Highwater began in 1997 and folded in November 2004 due to financial pressure.[1]

Artists published[edit]

The press was also known for its ironically themed "Marvel Comics Benefit" anthology Coober Skeber, a prolific output of silkscreened posters and promotional materials, a loose association with Fort Thunder (where a number of Highwater artists resided) and Jordan Crane (publisher of NON), distribution of Jef Czekaj's Hypertruck (née R2D2 Is an Indie Rocker), and a few non-comic works of fiction, including a trio of books by Camden Joy.

Quotes[edit]

Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter:

Highwater Books wasn't just under-capitalized and took on a full slate of books; it was barely capitalized at all and promised books that would have been difficult for anyone to deliver. They published like a sole proprietorship in a small town that would only open its doors for business whenever and wherever its narcoleptic shopowner could stay awake long enough to flip the sign. When people put their heads together to figure out how best to work with Diamond distribution in the wake of the distributor fiascoes of the mid to late 1990s, Highwater made the interesting and unsurprising choice to walk away from Diamond altogether. Tom Devlin was always his own man. I loved Highwater as a backer of art as much as it is possible and healthy to feel affection for somebody else's business. . . . Devlin came at comics with values removed from the literary standards most noteworthy comics publishers had previously brought to bear. He didn't see the comics he wanted to publish as a corrective to or a rejection of years of largely terrible North American comic books. He saw comics . . .as a very specific kind of art book, a way of expressing ideas that didn't need to be complete statements and that could have as much value from the idiosyncrasy of vision, the first impression, as they could for the impact of a story or their cumulative narrative effect.[2]

Sources consulted[edit]

Endnotes[edit]