RAID Press was founded in 2017 by the members of The RAID Studio, an artist collective based out of Toronto. It started simple enough. Aside from gigs that paid the bills (thank you MARVEL and DC!), our creators had tons of original stories on the go, but no real avenue to explore them with free reign. We thought, “Why not self-publish our passion projects into an annual anthology?” And so we steamrolled ahead.
With our third anthology under our belt, we decided to endeavour outside of the collective and print our first non-studio related book, the historically focused Doc. Stearne & Mr. Monster collecting the original stories for the first time since their original publication in the 40s. Following this, with an established agenda, we embarked on creating our first season of books featuring stand-alone graphic novels and comic collections. With these first significant steps forward, we look to help revitalize a now dwindling independent Canadian comics publishing scene.
“A PLACE FOR CREATORS BY CREATORS.”Ramón K Pérez / Artist & Writer
Toronto has long been a hub for comic artists and writers. The vibrant alternative and small-press scene of the 1970s saw Canadian publishers, such as DRAWN & QUARTERLY and VORTEX COMICS, gain international audiences and critical acclaim. While D&Q continues to this day, VORTEX closed its doors in 1994.
In the ensuing years, other Toronto-based publishers have tried to step in and fill this void — to find a place where not-quite-mainstream, but not-quite-art-house comics, could call home. The now-defunct SPEAKEASY COMICS of the early 2000s was a welcome step in the right direction. And while it quickly garnered industry acclaim, it too, promptly fizzled and shut its doors.
In more recent years, the multi-media TITAN1STUDIOS, and ever-mercurial CHAPTERHOUSE whose books feature the Captain Canuck universe, have burst on the scene. But rather than nurturing independent Canadian talent, they are IP-driven publishers.
With the community surrounding The RAID Studio, and the accolades it has garnered, we have established an inspirational environment for independent creators to nurture and share their ideas. To collaborate amongst peers, and learn from veterans. And now with RAID PRESS, our mandate is to offer a publishing platform that supports emerging talent, with a prerogative to produce graphic novels and related creator-owned content.