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Checker Book Publishing was founded in the late nineties by Mark Thompson after leveraging his experience with other publications into starting his own publishing firm. Other additional founders and principles were involved with the distributor of Fantagraphics Books.
Checker Book Publishing focused primarily in the pop culture segment of publishing namely comic books, graphic novels, etc. Checker BPG has published nearly one hundred books and licensed a who’s who of pop culture themed graphic novels. Checker BPG licensed Flash Gordon, Dr. Seuss, Star Trek, X-Files, Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, Steve Canyon, Dick Tracy, Stephen King, Beetle Bailey, the comic strip strip B.C., and many more. Checker BPG scored sales and pre-orders which placed it’s publications consistently in the Diamond Comic Distributors top 50 for graphic novel sales.
In 2005 the publishing industry journal; Publisher’s Weekly, reviewed one of our titles and dubbed it-
” One of the eight most important graphic novels of the year.”
Checker Book Publishing publications have been positively reviewed in such outlets as The Library Journal, The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Detroit Free Press, and The Washington Post just to name a few.
In 2007 Checker was featured on the cover of the publishing industry journal ; PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY, as a top innovator in pop culture publishing.
In 2011 Checker BPG began to shift their back catalog to digital only distribution due to the rapid growth in the digital book selling platforms such as the Apple I-Pad. This shift was also in response to the financial collapse of large retail customers such as Border’s which represented 25% of Checker’s sales. This conversion was completed in early 2012.
In 2013 publisher and owner Mark Thompson suffered a personal blow when his fiance’ passed away triggering a temporary halt to new projects.
In 2014 Checker BPG began to explore it’s largest undertaking yet. Plans began to take place to develop a comprehensive role playing game with a super hero theme. These plans culminated with the purchase of the rights to the innovative game Superhero: 2044 from industry legend Lou Zocchi. An extensive list of comic book pros and role playing game industry pros was recruited which culminated in the summer of 2016 at a low key play testing session at GenCon in Indianapolis. Based upon the response from the first public tests of the game Checker BPG has pegged the launch of the role playing game for August of 2017 on Kickstarter. The collectible card game version will be launching in 2018. To support the game Checker BPG has recruited the world’s most renowned sculptors and plans to release highly detailed minis as sets that come with individual adventures that are playable with the game.
Publisher Mark Thompson noted-
“We feel that our goal is to leverage our experience in popular culture to develop a super hero role playing game which is the best game of it’s genre ever produced. It really comes across as a love letter to comics themselves and creates a gaming experience which hearkens one back to the days when you first wrapped a towel around your neck as a child and jumped off a couch acting like a super hero.“