Timepiece Press may be one of the newest distributors to enter the comic book scene, surprisingly established this year just out of Cleveland, Ohio. Their internet presence is still in its budding stages, with only seven Instagram posts, seventeen likes on Facebook, and a very tenacious cat for an intern named Indy.
In the midst of #comicsgate, Dynamite Entertainment bleeding talent and creative support, and an international pandemic crippling the industry worldwide, this small and independent publisher released what may be one of the best-hidden gems to come across the Bleeding Cool desk this year. Todd Jakubisin, the creative mind and driving force behind Timepiece Press did not intend on starting a publication in the middle of a widespread shutdown, but described his decision as "quite literal survival." Although he worked on various comic strips for alternative weeklies and puzzles for The Akron Devil (an Ohio monthly rag), it wasn't until his return from studying in Scotland that Jakubisin decided that it was now or never to take the leap into the comic industry.
Almost is the story of an almost butterfly, left behind by his family after he discovers he is stuck between two worlds of used-to-be-a-caterpillar and not-quite-yet-a-butterfly. Describing Almost's targeted audience as "both kids and kids at heart," this issue does not feel in any part immature. The imagery is something comparable to Alice in Wonderland with a Doctor Seuss twist, with Jakubisin stating,
"Jeff Smith's Bone is the biggest inspiration for sure. I grew up grabbing the black and white floppies of those at the comic shop and it blew me away."
Although this project was started with a younger audience in mind, Almost transcends all ages. The feel-good message of watching this almost butterfly go forth on an adventure despite his shortcomings to the trippy scenes of grounded clouds devouring balloons to return to the sky, Timepiece Press has reached into a niche in comics that deserves its time in the spotlight – which is independent publishers creating content that "sparks the imagination."
Jakubisin does have an insight into the daunting process of self-publication, recommending to anyone wanting to follow in his footsteps to:
"Learn as much as you can. Listen to people who've gone through the paces. Apply their lessons learned. Don't psyche yourself out. And figure out what questions to ask. I've been finding that it's easiest to do that the more you read up on it."
The next steps for Timepiece Press are some greeting cards and Halloween cards in the works to help generate more capital for the publisher, and their next step for Almost is a crowdfunding campaign (keep an eye out for early October), where intrigued readers can grab their first copy. For more information about Timepiece Press, check out their social media at: