Humanoids, the French graphic novel house now headquartered in Los Angeles, is publishing The Tipping Point, a hardcover anthology featuring 13 acclaimed international comics artists that will be released in France, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S. in January and February 2016. With stories based around the concept of the tipping point—“the point where we move from one world to a new one”—the book features short original works written and drawn by such noted artists as Paul Pope, Boulet, Bob Fingerman, and Naoki Urasawa.
The book will be released in two editions, a hardcover ($29.95) and an ultra-deluxe hardcover ($499), the latter including 14 individually signed bookplates (attached by hand) in a limited edition of 100 copies in the U.S., 150 in France, and 15 copies in Japan. The house will release 3,000 English-language trade copies for the combined U.S. and U.K. market, 10,000 copies in France, and 3,000 copies in Japan. In the U.S., Humanoids books are distributed by Ingram Publisher Services.
The anthology is also being published to mark the 40th anniversary of Humanoids, which was cofounded in Paris in 1975 by French cartoonists Moebius and Philipe Druillet (Humanoids’ celebrated magazine Metal Hurlant began in 1975, though the company was incorporated the year before). Humanoids publisher Fabrice Giger, who acquired the house in 1988, shifted its headquarters to Los Angeles in 2008, while maintaining the Paris office. Tipping Point is being published at the end of Humanoids’ anniversary year.
“I made the choice in 2008 to restructure Humanoids as a global company,” Giger said from L.A. Indeed, The Tipping Point’s simultaneous international publication—and its inclusion of artists from American, Japanese, and European comics traditions—is intended to reflect a global perspective on the current comics market. “The book is a perfect example of what Humanoids tries to achieve, a cross-pollination of three comics styles: American comic books, Japanese manga, and European bande dessinée,” Giger said.
The book’s stories include “The Unbeliever,” a whimsical tale by Bob Fingerman about an atheist confronted with the afterlife. In Atshushi’s Kaneko’s “Screwed!,” a man reflects on his life in a world on the brink of nuclear destruction. In Paul Pope’s beautifully illustrated “Consort the Destroyer,” a captive woman adrift at sea fights her way to freedom. And French artist Boulet’s funny “I Want to Believe” illustrates what many have suspected all along—that every crazy thing you’ve read on the Internet is true.
Although all the artists included in the Tipping Point are men, Giger is quick to point out that he approached seven women artists to be in the anthology, but they were all unavailable for various reasons. The Tipping Point is being released just before the opening of the Angoulême Festival International de la Bande Desinée (FIBD), the biggest comics festival in Europe, held January 28–31 in Angoulême, France. But this year the show has been wrenched by controversy and charges of sexism, after organizers released a nomination list for the Grand Priz d’Angoulême, the show’s highest literary award, without any women artists on it.
Giger said Humanoids is considering organizing an all-female version of Tipping Point in the wake of the controversy over the Grand Prix.
“Tipping Point is getting a great response from bookstores,” Giger noted. “It is a strong way to show what the comics medium can do in 2016.”