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Fanbase Press Interviews Beehive Books’ Josh O’Neill on Launching the Kickstarter Campaign for the Deluxe Edition of ‘GratNin’

The following is an interview with Beehive Books editor Josh O’Neill regarding the recent launch of the Kickstarter campaign for the deluxe graphic novel box set of Ronald Wimberly’s critically acclaimed webcomic, GratNin. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with O’Neill about what readers can anticipate from the special edition of the webcomic, the incredible backer rewards available to supporters of the campaign, and more!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the Kickstarter campaign launch for GratNin!  As the editor of Beehive Books, what can you tell us about the upcoming release, given that it will be the first-ever print edition of the series?

Josh O’Neill: Part of our brand at Beehive is to take an inventive and unusual approach to design, production, and presentation. GratNin presented an exciting and singular problem — how to present this pageless digital comic in a print format.  As per our usual ideological commitments to inventing unusual reading experiences, we came up with the least practical, most exciting solution — to present these remarkable stories on a series of unbroken accordion-folded scrolls, turning the downward-swiping digital read into a fantastically physical experience. You track down four hundred feet of narrow page-space, in a format that brings to mind skyscrapers, alleyways, subway tunnels — all the long verticals iconically representing this fantastical vision of New York. And we filled the box with ephemera from this alternate reality — metrocards and maps and furoshikis and trading cards, making up a whole enveloping experience. A world for you to crawl into a skulk around. We didn’t want to just present a print version of Ron’s wonderful web comic – we wanted to work with him to reinvent it, and to build out his world.

BD: Why do you feel that this project was a perfect for Beehive Books?

JON: First off, because it’s a Ronald Wimberly project, and Ron’s work is right at the heart of what we’re doing. We have a lot of projects planned with Ron – he’s more than an author to us, he’s one of our partners, a part of our little, quixotic publishing family. And it’s an honor to say that, because we believe that he’s creating a lot of the most astonishing and vital work in graphic arts today.

Then, there was the unique problem the project posed, discussed above. We love problems here. We puzzled over this one for months, and we loved every second of it.

Our company tagline is: We build paper worlds. This comic is an entire world to roam around in. We were so excited to help Ron build out his own New York City in GratNin.

BD: In light of the Kickstarter campaign, are there any particular backer rewards that you would like to highlight for our readers?

JON: I love our KURODA EDITION, which is a signed and numbered version limited to 250 copies. It comes with a cotton-cloth printed furoshiki wrap, which besides the comic is my favorite thing we’re producing. And it comes in this wonderful, little die-cut display box, through which you can see the iconic neighborhood-watch-style eyes of the GratNin branding peering out at you. It’s just a really amazing package, all told.

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BD: Are there any other Beehive Books titles that you would like to highlight from this year’s recent or upcoming releases?

JON: It’s hard to choose. We have the fourth issue of LAAB MAGAZINE, our other collaboration with Ronald coming out soon. Our next project is an edition of PINOCCHIO illustrated by Mike Mignola and annotated by Lemony Snicket! Safe to say we’re pretty excited about that one.

BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell readers who want to learn more about Beehive Books, and what is the best way to support the GratNin Kickstarter campaign?

JON: You can find out more by following us on instagram (@beehivebooks), or just checking out our publications at As far as supporting the campaign, the best thing you can do is pledge – but we know that times are even tighter than usual for a lot of folks right now, so if you don’t want to pledge but still want to be a part of things, we’d just love your help spreading the word. Help us spread the gospel of GratNin – not just on social media, but to friends, family, the guy behind the meat counter at the supermarket, anybody who’ll listen to your wild-eyed ramblings.

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief




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