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AdHouse Books closing after 20 years and 100 books

AdHouse Books
(Image credit: Doug Fraser (AdHouse Books))

The boutique comics publisher AdHouse Books has announced its closing its doors after the release of the upcoming graphic novel Grass of Parnassus by Kathryn and Stuart Immonen.

Chris Pitzer

Chris Pitzer (Image credit: AdHouse Books)

"We've had a lot of fun over the years… a lot of successes… a few challenges," says founder/publisher Chris Pitzer in a post on the company website (opens in new tab). "But if you're curious, I'll try and answer WHY the best I can: I'm old. Now, I know that's a matter of perspective, but take a look around the current comic-making universe and you might get an idea of what I'm talking about. Next year will be our 20th year of publishing at AdHouse, and well, I just felt like that was enough for me. Why not move over and let some of these kids take over?"

Pitzer also attributes the decision to low sales on recent releases, uneasiness about the crowdfunding model, and the lack of conventions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Originally launched in 2002, AdHouse Books was a small publisher based in Virginia that became known for its high-art approach to comics. In addition to its popular anthology series that started with the word 'Project:', AdHouse also published notable works such as Joshua W. Cotter's Skyscrapers of the Midwest (opens in new tab), Hope Larson's Salamander Dream, Zack Soto's The Secret Voice, and several works by the Immonens, Scott Morse, Paul Hornschemeier, and Joel Priddy.

(Image credit: Stuart & Kathryn Immonen (AdHouse Books))
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"The wonderful AdHouse Books is closing shop," the Immonens tweeted when the news was announced (opens in new tab). "It has been our pleasure and privilege to work with Chris on as many projects as we have, and comics is poorer without his curatorship... though we respect the hell out of pulling the plug on this dumb business."

While September's Grass of Parnassus will be AdHouse's formal finale, Pitzer says there's a "Canadian surprise" coming in October, and there are three "back-burner projects" that if they are completed, he hopes to publish. 

Although the publishing side is closing, Pitzer plans to segue into a dealer with a table at several upcoming conventions, selling his AdHouse stock as well as others.

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Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)