Toronto’s Papergirl Press is launching The Pushpin, a curated website of collectible, high-quality giclée prints for sale by acclaimed graphic novel artists — including Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant), Johnnie Christmas (Angel Catbird), Michael Cho (Shoplifter), Valentine De Landro (Bitch Planet) and Jeff Lemire (Royal City) — and acclaimed editorial illustrators Julia Breckenreid, Dani Crosby, Chloe Cushman, Jay Dart (as his alter-ego Granduncle Jiggs), Sarah Lazarovic, and Christian Northeast. The site will also launch with Pushpin Originals — prints of new and never-before-seen art created specifically for The Pushpin by Kagan McLeod (Kaptara), Ryan North (Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure) and Chip Zdarsky (Sex Criminals). Prints currently available from the Pushpin range in price from $25 to $150.
The Pushpin is a project of Papergirl Press, a small printing company in Toronto committed to working exclusively with independent artists, run by former journalist Jessica Johnston. “Until a year ago, I was a newspaper editor, where I worked with freelancers to make a culture section. Now I’m working with artists to make a website. It feels similar in some ways, but my walls look way better now,” said Papergirl Press Owner Jessica Johnston. “The site is pretty much an even split between comic artists and editorial illustrators, which differentiates it from other art print sites. I love having the two side-by-side, since there is a lot of overlap between the disciplines. Comic work and illustration often also share a clever, playful sensibility, which is a big theme on The Pushpin.”
“As satisfying as it is to see my work in newspapers and magazines, having high-quality prints of it available to people means the work lives on in a more permanent way,” said Julia Breckenreid. ”It's so great to have an outlet for my illustration that treats it with the same level of care that I put into it.”
At launch, The Pushpin will feature more than 40 prints including:
King Baby by Kate Beaton;
2 Pisces prints by Johnnie Christmas;
Pee Wee Herman’s loafers, rendered by Sarah Lazarovic
A Sweet Tooth and an Essex County print by Jeff Lemire;
3 Kagan McLeod prints including a portrait of Prince and a Pushpin Original History of Hip Hop;
2 Pushpin Original prints by Ryan North;
3 Chip Zdarsky pieces, including a Sex Criminals print and a Pushpin Original print entitled The Solar System: The Graphic Guide to Our Universe.
“Science is more important than ever. And even more important than science, is letting people know how much you love science,” said Sex Criminals artist Chip Zdarsky about his Pushpin Original. ”So I wanted to create a poster that could convey to your houseguests that you’d be perfectly at home retweeting Neil deGrasse Tyson, or that you read National Geographic magazines as a kid. My highly informative information graphic on THE SOLAR SYSTEM™ does just that.”
“I do a lot of work in text, and I love the idea of an image that can surprise you when you come closer,” said Ryan North about his Pushpin Original entitled Great Day. “This print on the surface says, ‘Hey, inspirational poster! You definitely know what this is!’ but as you get closer you realize, ‘hey wait’ — turns out it's actually quite a bit more complicated than that. JUST LIKE LIFE ITSELF?? When I look at it I feel a little inspired and a little sad, which is a nice feeling, and I hope I can share that feeling with others.”
“The artists featured at launch are all Canadian, but genius is everywhere, so we will be expanding our borders in upcoming months, adding new work all the time,” explained Johnston.
Artists who will have work on the Pushpin in the coming months include Bryan Lee O’Malley (Seconds), Marguerite Sauvage (DC Bombshells) and illustrator Gordon Wiebe.