Hi, welcome to Black Rocks Books.
I'm Scott Marshall, the proprietor. BRB is a micropress and zine distro run by me. It exists to promote and celebrate comics and illustration created in Atlantic Canada (or by our expats and imports). If you have any issues or questions, please don't hesitate to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask in the BRB Discord. If you want previews of what the distro is up to you can follow @blackrocksbooks on Instagram. If you want to follow my art stuff as well you can follow @scottmarshallart on Insta and Threads.
Black Rocks Books operates gratefully in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral territory of the Mi’kmaq people.
We also acknowledge that people of African descent have been in Nova Scotia for over 400 years, and we honour and offer gratitude to those ancestors of African descent who came before us to this land.
This site is under construction, and I am just one broken man on a Halifax pier doing all this. Please bear with me.
Our top seller at DCAF! Breakfast at Stalin's by Eris S. Nyx and Charvel Rappos!
What BRB Distro Is and How it Works
The distro is an noncapitalist noncompany that exists only to get good comics into the hands of people who are primarily outside the Atlantic Provinces. In addition to providing a new distribution channel for small press publishers, I hope to help people make more comics and zines by connecting them with potential collaborators, resources, and possibly even funding if they need it.
If you publish a comic or zine that matches what I'm looking for, I will buy copies for the distro catalog. If you're a reader, you can order zines and books directly from that. If you are a comic shop, we have special rates for bulk orders and would love to work with you on fair trades in kind.
Here are the principles I will be following for the distro:
Artists get paid. If shops or other distros buy from us, they generally pay the same amount they would if buying from the artist. I don't make any money from other artists' work but I do keep whatever proceeds come from sales of my own books and zines. And then I buy more comics. It's the circle of life.
Readers pay what you can. The prices that you see in the catalog are based on each artist's production costs, which can vary widely depending on their siuation and how they choose to publish. All prices here are negotiable, with a pay what you can policy in effect for those who are struggling. If you're not struggling and want to pay the list price or even contribute more to the publishing and printing fund, you're certainly welcome to do so but it is not required. Choose the option that reflects your situation at the time.
Everything is returnable. If you buy a zine or comic from the distro, you can return it for distro credit in the same amount you paid as long as it comes back in good sale/trade condition. I am not interested in the collector market and I do not believe in applying depreciation to a book just because it is used.
We love trades. If you are an artist and/or zinemaker, you are welcome to trade your stuff for things in the catalog either on a dollar for dollar basis (eg., trading a book or zine for another with the same cover price) or more abstract exchanges.This whole thing is a wild experiment so don't be afraid to make a suggestion!
The Origin Story
I've been making zines for nearly 40 years and publishing my own comics for 30. In that time I've gone from printing pages at Kinko's and mailing copies to Factsheet Five to a digital workflow and print on demand. I'm happy with my accomplishments as an artist and publisher.
What I've always been kind of crap at is self-promotion and following through once the book is printed. It's not about making more money - though that is always welcome - it's more about getting the books into the hands of people who might want them outside of my immediate area.
I had the pleasure of meeting many other cartoonists here in Halifax before the pandemic when I organized a comics making meetup at Radstorm, which is home to the Anchor Archive Zine Library and distro. I found myself giving a lot of advice to people who wanted to pick my brain about publishing and other comics-making elements outside of writing and drawing.
During the pandemic, I realized (like everyone else) how effective cooperation could be for accomplishing modest goals, and how it can be a kind of positive pressure to work with others. Above all, I realized (like everyone else) that maybe it was time to stop putting off the projects I was thinking about.
So BRB is one of those projects; it will be the company I use to publish and distribute my own work, and maybe some other peoples' if the fit is good. I also plan to have a curated inventory of comics and comic/illustration zines to offer alongside my stuff. I hope to stretch the boundaries a little of how a distro usually works financially while being transparent about it.
Thanks for checking it out. I hope to hear from you.
- Scott Marshall, proprietor
The whole distro is new! It "launched" on August 13th at DCAF! Thanks to all of you who stopped at the table to say hello and to sample the catalog! Speaking of which:
New to the Catalog
Zeta Zine #1
by Zeta Paul
Enjoy the trippy and thoughtful illustrations of up and coming artist Zeta Paul!
Zeta Zine #2
by Zeta Paul
Zeta asks over a dozen of her favourites online what fashion means to them. See their responses in an amazing full colour issue.
|DCAF 2023 gave us two great new additions to the catalog and a bunch of potential new artists!
Illegal Bodies Annual 01
by Jud Crandall
Collects the first 5 issues of Crandall's trippy Patreon series in a new definitive larger size, plus cool new extras!
The Makers #6
by Dave Howlett
It's a cosmic showdown between creators and creations in this wild final issue. Plus a sneak peek at what Dave Howlett is working on next!