The comics world suddenly lost Alvin Buenaventura last Thursday.
He left an incredible, indelible mark as a publisher and advocate of the comics medium in the early 21st century. His absence will be sorely felt.
You can help keep his legacy alive today by reading any one of the great works he helped usher into the world from the Buenaventura Press + Pigeon Press catalogue.
- Boy’s Club 2 and 3 by Matt Furie
- Comic Book Holocaust and Klassic Komix Klub by Johnny Ryan
- Elvis Road by Elvis Studio by Helge Reumann & Xavier Robel
- Hunter and Painter by Tom Gauld
- Destined for Dizziness and The Neighborhood by Souther Salazar
- Yeast Hoist #12: Stop Thinking Start Sleeping Stop Sleeping Start Living by Ron Rege Jr.
- Spaniel Rage by Vanessa Davis
- Injury #1, #2 and #3 by Ted May, Jason Robards, and Jeff Wilson
- Boy’s Club #1 was published by Tim Goodyear’s Teenage Dinosaur.
- Comic Art Magazine issues 8 and 9 edited by Todd Hignite (2006, 2007)
- Kramers Ergot 6 edited by Sammy Harkham (2006)
- Kramers Ergot 7 edited by Sammy Harkham (2008)
- New York Sketches; a portfolio of drawings by Adrian Tomine (2004)
- Private Stash: A Pinup-Girl Portfolio by 20 Cartoonists by Robert Crumb, Adrian Tomine, Jaime Hernandez et al. (2006)
- Dawn by Phil Elverum (2008)
- The Complete Jack Survives by Jerry Moriarty (2009)
- Incubation by Charles Burns (2015)
- In the Garden of Evil by Charles Burns and Killofer (2015)
- Worst Behavior by Simon Hanselmann (2015)
- The Libertarian by Nick Mandaag (2014)
- Facility Integrity by Nick Mandaag (2014)
- ECHO ECHO by Charles Burns (2014)
Joe Mcculloch and Chris Mautner have put together an obituary over at the Comics Journal. The comments on this post are very much worth reading as many comics luminaries speak of the impressions that Alvin left in their lives.
Cartoonists have been reflecting on his sudden loss and the role that Alvin played in their lives. Here are but a few:
He was as loyal a friend and advocate as I’ll ever have. He was the first person to read my books, often by many months, and his generous, idiosyncratic, ramblingly unpunctuated comments are the ones I’ll most treasure. I hope to extend a similar loyalty to him in his passing, to uphold his memory and to be forever inspired by his beautiful and tragic human spirit.
Alvin was kind to me in all our run-ins over the years, in his sleepy, sad way. We never worked together but I always admired his incredible attention to detail in publishing, not to mention his deep deep knowledge of comics and cartoonists. Every artistic community needs an Alvin, someone learned and knowledgeable who wants to stack new, bright things on the revered dusty old things they love.
The photos you see of him looking through a loupe on press are indicative of his focus. I asked him about the loupe, and he said it had filters so you could look at just cyan, magenta or yellow at a high magnification. I never knew anyone could do that or be willing to. If you look at even his most low-key books, you will see that kind of attention to the simple matter of the plate hitting the paper.
He loved sharing great art, whether it was passing things along to friends or through his publishing ventures. But the enterprise is one thing. He was, in a professional capacity, not so much a publisher as he was an artist who happened to publish things. Whether it was the prints or the books or the other creative doo-dads he produced over the years, there was a commitment to quality and creativity that was unparalleled.
We will update this list of reflections as they are posted online.
Rest in peace, Alvin.