The Not So Secret Secret Origin of SQP Art Books
From left to right
Bob Keenan and Sal Quartuccio, taken at the 2015 San Diego International Comic-Con
"...so what, you guys...you like, print books and stuff?"
At this game for well over forty years, and we STILL get people at conventions looking at us like we just dropped off the mothership. There's something oddly satisfying/painful in being the best-kept secret in town, but if that's our little cross to bear, so be it! "We" being Sal Quartuccio and Bob Keenan, the mighty brain trust behind SQP Inc, have been feeding artists and leveling whole forests with our little publishing company. What started out as a love for fantasy and comic art (and a desperate need to get out our family's houses) has become a fairly substantial business with an international clientele! Not too shabby for two guys from Brooklyn!
Since 1973 (a time long ago, when dinosaurs disco-danced the Earth), we've produced all manner of projects, from comic books to graphic novels (yes, there IS a difference!), to limited edition portfolios and posters, and of course art books. Long before the advent of computers and scanners, we were total maniacs for color fidelity and correct reproduction of originals. Any artist we dealt with knew, if nothing else, we were going to get the printing done right! A brief list of past collaborators reads like an ultimate wish-list of talent: Neal Adams, Rich Corben, Berni Wrightson, M.W. Kaluta, Jeff Jones, Joe Jusko, Larry Elmore, Clyde Caldwell, Esteban Maroto, Sanjulian, Brain Bolland, Dave Dorman, Joe Chiodo, and of course Steve Fastner and Rich Larson, to name but a few!
When we look back at all the other publishers with similar interests and goals that started out when we did, they don't seem to exist anymore. Heck, we've been rolling along all these decades, watching the edgiest, the freshest the smartest, the best-financed in the business skyrocket, float up there for a few seconds, and come crashing down in a pile of massive debt and screwed-over artists. We just keep movin' along, selling books and paying bills. We've always looked at this a marathon event, not for the weak of heart of the short of breath!
Something else we always knew was dealing directly with our customers is the best way to stay alive. We've ALWAYS had a catalog! We learned a long time ago, depending on any one or two distribution models was never as safe as doing it yourself directly! Thanks to the infinite miracle of the web, we can offer even more items directly to our audience (but we still offer the catalog, because people still like the feel of paper in their hand - which is kinda the point of publishing in the first place!) As to our audience, it's, in a word - diverse! Naturally, we get the standard comic art fanboy (a term we use with love - how do you think WE got started?), but we also get a wide assortment of folks from military, the arts, as well as medical professionals (Doctor, is that a Knots & Straps Volume Two on your shelf!?) and tattooo enthusiasts. As a matter of fact, one of the fastest growing fields we serve IS the ink crowd! They love the fantasy images and wide assortment of subject matter SQP provides. We take a tremendous pride in knowing someone thinks so highly of an illustration in one of our books - they're going to have it needled into their skin - FOREVER! Ouch! We prefer paper, but what ever floats your boat!
If you're reading this, you either have an insatisable need for knowledge, or way too much time on your hands. Either way, know that your interest is much-appreciated, as is your patronage. The future looks good here at SQP, and we're producing more books than ever before! Interest in fantasy, erotic, and pin-up illustration is higher than ever before, as mainstream art and pop culture continue to merge. So, thanks for stopping by and reading this hopefully brief and somewhat info-taining account of what and why we do this! Now, get back to shopping and keep us in operation!
To be Hulkinued... (always wanted to say that!)