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‘Christmapus: The Christmas Octopus’ wraps its tentacles around readers this holiday season

christmapus cover

christmapus coverChris the octopus was content as could be under the sea. He knew nothing of Christmas or holiday cheer. That was until, one day, Santa Claus lost his famous hat–and it found a new home on Chris’ head! In Christmapus: The Christmas Octopus, writer Paul Mattingly and illustrator F. Andrew Taylor tell the hilarious story of what happened next to Chris in this rhyming tale set to the meter of “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”

Christmapus was conceived on a cruise ship,” said Mattingly. “During Thanksgiving dinner, my friends and I were talking of traditions and we thought of the thing kids do where they trace their hand and make that into a turkey. I thought it would be fun to use both hands to create an octopus. Soon, we were joking about a Christmas octopus who gave meat to kids on the holiday. I was inspired and wrote the story-slash-poem in one marathon session that night.”

“When he got back on dry land, Paul performed Christmapus at a sketch show, where I was in the audience,” Taylor said. “After the show, I told him I was interested in illustrating it and he told me he had planned on asking me to illustrate it. Really, it’s mostly Paul’s madness. I added a few elements when I drew it, but it was mostly there in Paul’s text already.”

Mattingly and Taylor self-published the 34-page story in 2013 as a coloring book, which quickly delighted readers of all ages with its twisted humor and cartoonish illustrations. Pop! Goes the Icon helped distribute the original edition through our website and at trade shows, and based on positive reaction to the tentacled yuletide tale, we decided to publish the book in a mass-market edition, just in time for the 2015 holiday season.

“At comic conventions, we’d sell out copies of the black-and-white edition no matter what time of year,” said Pop! Goes the Icon publisher Pj Perez. “This was too charming of a book to stay hidden for very long. We knew Christmapus needed to stretch its tentacles!”

This new paperback edition has been entirely remastered from the inside out. In addition to producing an entirely new, full-color cover, Taylor colored all of the interior illustrations using a limited palette of muted tones, intended to replicate the look of mid-20th-century children’s books.

“The story of Christmapus is ultimately a hopeful one and a call for everyone to expand their spirit of giving all year long, not just during the holidays,” Mattingly said. “The story is unique and quirky and if I’ve done my job, perhaps reading Christmapus can become a favorite holiday tradition for your family.”

Christmapus: The Christmas Octopus (ISBN 9780990568827; $7.99 US) is now available for pre-order, shipping Dec. 1.

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PGTI creators celebrated holidays in downtown Las Vegas

Jay the Intern

Pop! Goes the Icon celebrated the holiday season and a banner 2013 on Dec. 18 with a public party and shopping event at the Neon Bazaar Pop-Up Shop inside Emergency Arts in the heart of downtown Las Vegas. Many of our talented contributors from the last five years were on hand to celebrate, including Hernan Valencia, Warren Wucinich, Ed Hawkins, Daniel Blodgett, Steve Benton and F. Andrew Taylor, plus our partners from Creation Forge Studios, and of course, fans, family and friends in the community.

The Neon Bazaar Pop-Up Shop featured apparel, music, jewelry, art and gifts from all-local vendors, including a selection of comics from Pop! Goes the Icon. We appreciate Neon Bazaar founder Polly Weinstein for hosting what turned out to be a funtastic event (how could it not be?!). Check out some photos from the celebration:

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Celebrate the holidays, PGTI style

holiday bonanza

Celebrate another awesome year of making rad comics and pop art with our staff and creators as we take over the Neon Bazaar Pop-Up Shop inside Emergency Arts in downtown Las Vegas for one night only, Dec. 18 from 6-9 p.m., for drinks, grub and mingling!

The Neon Bazaar Pop-Up Shop (520 E. Fremont St., Las Vegas) features apparel, music, art, accessories, and of course, comics, from all-local artisans, designers and businesses. It’s a one-stop shopping experience for distinct holiday gifts that you can feel good about buying.

We’ll have all of our most popular comics & books available, including the holiday surprise hit Christmapus, plus limited-edition hand-printed postcards by Hernan Valencia.

We hope you can join us!

holiday bonanza

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Shop local at the Neon Bazaar in Las Vegas

Neon Bazaar flier

We’re happy to announce that Pop! Goes the Icon will be joining 50 small, local businesses—including nerdy pals The Ninjabot and The 80s Kids—at the 2013 holiday Neon Bazaar at the Jackie Gaughan Plaza across from the El Cortez in downtown Las Vegas this Saturday, Nov. 30 from noon to 6 p.m. We’ll be there with new comics, prints, art, grab bags, and the breakout hit of the holiday season, Christmapus!

If you can’t be there but want to support small businesses on Saturday (or, heck, any day!), what business is smaller than Pop! Goes the Icon? I dare you to measure! We’re offering FREE shipping on all website orders over $25. So stock up on independent comics to give as gifts this holiday season!

Neon Bazaar flier

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Happy Holidays from Pop! Goes the Icon

Illustration by Tiarra Joslyn

The holidays — whichever one you fancy — are here, and if you’re stumped on what to get the favorite people in your life, why not let us help? Comic books make great gifts, whether you’re celebrating 12 days of Christmas, 8 nights of Hanukkah, or one instance of the day being really, really short.

We’ve specially priced a number of comics from our back catalog to clear out room for the new stuff coming in 2013, so you can get a lot of reading for less scratch.  Stock is limited, and the sale ends when these comics disappear!

SHOP NOW!

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Happy Holidays

Season's Greetings

Season's GreetingsWe’d like to thank everyone — fans, friends, contributors, retailers, dealers, etc. — for your support in 2011. We made some fun comics, helped support some worthy causes, tried some new things, went to some new places, and learned a lot along the way. 2012 is looming just around the corner (don’t think we can’t see you, 2012!), and while things have been quiet around here the last month or so, it’s mainly because we’re working on new projects to delight you in the coming year.

We hope you and yours have a happy and safe holiday season, filled with visions of comic panels dancing in your heads, and we hope you’ll stick around in the new year to see what’s coming up from Pop! Goes the Icon. Cheers!