What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'Cartoonists')

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Cartoonists, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 575
1. One more Masashki Kishimoto event added for NYCC week

As you might guess, the first ever appearance of Naruto creator Masashki Kishimoto during NYCC has led to a lot of excitement…and sold out events. To give fans one more chance to see The Man, a talk at the Apple store Soho has been added on October 7th at 7PM. 

Kishimoto is here to promote […]

0 Comments on One more Masashki Kishimoto event added for NYCC week as of 9/29/2015 8:52:00 PM
Add a Comment
2. Interview: Cracking Secret Coders, Balancing Education and Entertainment, and What’s Next for Eisner Winner Gene Luen Yang

Gene Luen Yang, multiple Eisner winner and National Book Award finalist, has released his latest work for younger readers, a collaboration with Adventure Time artist Mike Holmes entitled Secret Coders. This exciting new volume from First Second, the home of Yang’s award-winning American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints, and The Shadow Hero, centers on a young […]

1 Comments on Interview: Cracking Secret Coders, Balancing Education and Entertainment, and What’s Next for Eisner Winner Gene Luen Yang, last added: 9/30/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
3. NYCC ’15: Here’s Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto’s schedule

Masashi Kishimoto, creator of Naruto is making his first public appearance ANYWHERE at this year’s New York Comic Con, and while many of his events are already sold out, you can still pick up a raffle ticket at the Viz Booth #1346 between 10:00am and 1:00pm on Thursday October 8th for a chance to win […]

0 Comments on NYCC ’15: Here’s Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto’s schedule as of 9/23/2015 6:21:00 PM
Add a Comment
4. Preview: Glenn Head’s Chicago

Cartoonist Glenn Head is a comics lifer, with a sensibility filtered through the undergrounds and decanted into the best of 90s alternatives. And how he's crafted a autobiographical comic called Chicago (Fantagraphics) that should be called "portrait of the artist as a young jerk" -- with Jerk meant in the most loving sense possible. It's quite a statement from a creator who hasn't gotten the attention he should in today's comics-loving wold. But Chicago, on sale today, will change that. And here's why.

0 Comments on Preview: Glenn Head’s Chicago as of 9/2/2015 2:33:00 PM
Add a Comment
5. Interview: Ben Hatke meditates on friendship in newest graphic novel, Little Robot

Renowned for his wonderful children’s series, Zita the Space Girl and last year’s Julia’s House for Lost Creatures, Ben Hatke is one of the leading talents in young person’s graphic literature. His latest effort, Little Robot, which releases in stores today, tells the tale of a young girl who discovers a robot in the woods. […]

0 Comments on Interview: Ben Hatke meditates on friendship in newest graphic novel, Little Robot as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
6. Interview: Paul Johnson on “Mercy,” “Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight,” and “The Invisibles”

by Alex Dueben Paul Johnson worked in comics for a relatively short time, but during those years, the British artist and painter worked with some of the most talented writers in comics. His collaborators included Neil Gaiman (Books of Magic), James Robinson (London’s Dark, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight), Grant Morrison (The Invisibles), Steve […]

2 Comments on Interview: Paul Johnson on “Mercy,” “Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight,” and “The Invisibles”, last added: 9/2/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
7. Talking Homage, Adapting from Nothing, and Atmosphere with ‘Over The Garden Wall’ creator Pat McHale

The Beat chats with Pat McHale, creator of the Cartoon Network miniseries "Over The Garden Wall" and writer of the 4-issue limited series at BOOM.

1 Comments on Talking Homage, Adapting from Nothing, and Atmosphere with ‘Over The Garden Wall’ creator Pat McHale, last added: 9/1/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
8. Dylan Horrocks announces first US tour in ten years

It’s a little late since the book came out earlier this year, but an appearance by Dylan Horrocks in the US is always welcome. In fact, it’s been more than 10 years since he came to the US and 15 since Hicksville was the toast of SPX. Fantagraphics has just announced a tour for Sam […]

2 Comments on Dylan Horrocks announces first US tour in ten years, last added: 8/26/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
9. Nice Art: Adrian Tomine’s New Yorker cover gallery a snapshot of gentrification

Adrian Tomine, whose collection Killing and Dying is what everyone is going to be talking about this fall, has the cover of this week's New Yorker and it's s typically note perfect image of gentrification in the face of raw sewage, otherwise known as Life In These Here Five Burroughs. The above link has a gallery of Tomine's other covers and they are all equally perfect, although I'm particularly partial to the one about moving to Jersey. Others love this updated "Shop round the Corner" image from 2008.

1 Comments on Nice Art: Adrian Tomine’s New Yorker cover gallery a snapshot of gentrification, last added: 8/28/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
10. Help wanted: Steve Rude seeks colorist

Legendary artist Steve Rude has an open submission form on his website for a colorist to color new Nexus and Moth stories.

0 Comments on Help wanted: Steve Rude seeks colorist as of 8/21/2015 8:42:00 PM
Add a Comment
11. Artist Roc Upchurch talks about his life following domestic violence arrest

A year ago Rat Queens artist Roc Unchurch was arrested on a domestic violence charge, resulting in his leaving the book. (Tess Fowler is now the artist.) Of course, professional concerns are only part of the story of such a personal matter, and now Unchurch has given a frank and open interview to Casey Gilley regarding what happened and where he is now. The arrest has been expunged from his record and he's trying to get things together.

1 Comments on Artist Roc Upchurch talks about his life following domestic violence arrest, last added: 8/21/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
12. NYCC ’15: Bryan Cranston, Game of Thrones Stars, and “Two Brothers” authors Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon Announced as Guests

So Walter White; Loras Tyrell; and Obara Sand, daughter of Oberyn Martell, walk into a bar.  The bartender asks, “who do you fight for?” ReedPOP just announced a bunch of new guests for New York Comic Con 2015.  On the filmed media front, fans will get to lovingly gaze upon Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston, Marvel writer […]

1 Comments on NYCC ’15: Bryan Cranston, Game of Thrones Stars, and “Two Brothers” authors Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon Announced as Guests, last added: 8/20/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
13. Webcomics alert: Cartoonist’s Diary is back with Steinke and Ayuyang

day1.jpg One of my favorite features at The Comics Journal website is their Cartoonist's Diary feature which has been appearing intermittently over the last few years,. Now it's back two weeks in a row! Last week it was Aron Nels Steinke, author of the recent GN The Zoo Box with his wife Ariel Cohn. His diary reveals details of a family vacation including car trips and cleaning roof gutters.

0 Comments on Webcomics alert: Cartoonist’s Diary is back with Steinke and Ayuyang as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
14. Making comics: Do you need to go to cons and live in NYC or LA to break in?

Short answer: no. Faith Erin Hicks has a far more informative and entertaining longer version, which includes anecdotes and concrete evidence of how she broke in while living in relatively remote, Halifax, NS. A few years ago I was at a dinner with a bunch of people I knew casually. They all worked in the […]

1 Comments on Making comics: Do you need to go to cons and live in NYC or LA to break in?, last added: 8/17/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
15. MATT CHATS: Thomas Boatwright on Puppets, Patreon and a Transition from Comics

Rarely do I get to learn the story of people who have moved away from the comics industry. Artist and creator Thomas Boatwright is an interesting example of someone who did the comics thing for awhile but eventually, initially not entirely by choice, moved on to other ventures. As a fan of his comics I’ve been […]

0 Comments on MATT CHATS: Thomas Boatwright on Puppets, Patreon and a Transition from Comics as of 8/4/2015 7:33:00 PM
Add a Comment
16. Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto is finally leaving his house—and has two signings for NYCC

Masashi Kishimoto, creator of the 205,000,000 copies in print Naruto comic, will be making an extremely rare appearance at this year's New York Comic Con with two special signings—one at Books Kinokuniya and one at the Tribeca outpost of Barnes and Noble. It's not only Kishimoto-sensei's first appearance in the US, it's also his first con appearance ever. And probably one of the few times he's left his house during the 18-year run of the international smash hit. We're kidding a little about the leaving the house bit, but as we've mentioned here many times in the past, manga creators can lead a pretty monastic lifestyle, even with the help of assistants. Since Naruto ended last year, he's been busy with various manga about Boruto, Naruto's son, and also writing the Naruto movie, but hopefully he's been enjoying some time off.

0 Comments on Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto is finally leaving his house—and has two signings for NYCC as of 8/4/2015 7:33:00 PM
Add a Comment
17. Harvery Pekar Park dedicated today with fest, installation in Cleveland

Cleveland is getting a park dedicated to its comics laureate, Harvey Pekar, whose long running American Splendor comic captured the quotidian lives of Clevelanders. The celebration will run all afternoon with music and a screening of the film American Splendor (for my money the best comic book movie of all.) The afternoon will see a […]

1 Comments on Harvery Pekar Park dedicated today with fest, installation in Cleveland, last added: 7/26/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
18. Matt Fraction speaks on collaborators and credit


Can NO ONE get this “credit” thing right? A few days ago we noted artist Chip Zdarsky standing up for Matt Fraction, writing of Sex Criminals, after only Zdarsky was mentioned on the Harvey Awards ballot. Now an io9 article entitled 6 Reasons Why Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye Is One of Marvel’s Greatest Comics touched off another round of what we were talking about yesterday , with artists being left off the “ownership” of comics with increasing frequency.

And predictably, Fraction responded, expanded the list of key collaborators to the editors, colorists and letterers who make it all possible:

The comics I write rely on collaboration and most especially my collaborators. I write projects specifically for the people that draw them – and oftentimes color and letter them, too.

Without David Aja there would be no HAWKEYE.

Without Annie Wu, Kate would not have gone west. Without Matt Hollingsworth, Lucky would not have solved a crime. Without Chris the Winter Friends wouldn’t exist and nobody would’ve said anything in any of the books anyway. Without Steve Wacker there would be no book at all.

Without Chom Zduggitty there is no SEX CRIMINALS.

More in the link, but there is something in the air for sure.

Just for the record, the Beat policy is to credit writer AND artists whenever a book’s creators are mentioned. We don’t achieve 100% success on that because of lapses duw to time and concentration, but they are lapses, not policy, and if we lapse, feel free to point it out.

4 Comments on Matt Fraction speaks on collaborators and credit, last added: 7/24/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
19. SPX announces first guests: Kate Beaton, Luke Pearson and Noelle Stevenson


Millennial comics superstars Kate Beaton, Luke Pearson and Noelle Stevenson have just been announced as the first guests at this year’s SPX which will spotlight creators who have only worked in the 21st Century. So get ready to write either your 6000-word think piece or your series of tweets on what this all means.

This year’s SPX will be held September 19-20, with over 650 creators, 280 exhibitor tables, 22 programming slots and countless rollaway beds. IT’s the annual Camp Comics on the schedule and this sounds like a real watershed year.

Her humorous, quirky takes on history, literature and famous people propelled Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant! series of webcomics into a New York Times bestseller, as well as winning both the Harvey and Ignatz Awards. SPX 2015 will see the debut of Ms. Beaton’s latest compendium of comics, Step Aside Pops! A Hark! A Vagrant Collection  for Drawn and Quarterly. She also just published her very first children’s book,  The Princess and The Pony from Scholastic Books.
Luke Pearson‘s Hildafolk series started as a single issue comic that expanded into three volumes of Scandinavian inspired, critically acclaimed children’s books for the artistically daring publisher Nobrow. Mr. Pearson’s notoriety with the Hilda series and his other comics have led him to storyboard episodes of Adventure Time, as well as illustration assignments for such prestigious outlets as The New York Times, The New Yorker and the New Republic.
Noelle Stevenson’s hit webcomic Nimona  has just been nominated for a 2015 Eisner Award for Best Digital/Web Comic, on top of having the first Nimona graphic novel released last month by Harpercollins. Ms. Stevenson was one of the primary writers of the hit series Lumberjanes from Boom! Studios, which has just been optioned for a movie. She is now writing for such Marvel titles as Thor and Runaways, as well for the Disney series Wander Over Yonder. SPX is honored to host Ms. Stevenson as guest for the first time.


Small Press Expo (SPX) is the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comics, graphic novels, and alternative political cartoons. SPX is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that brings together more than 650 artists and publishers to meet their readers, booksellers, and distributors each year. Graphic novels, mini comics, and alternative comics will all be on display and for sale by their authors and illustrators. The expo includes a series of panel discussions and interviews with this year’s guests.
The Ignatz Award is a festival prize held every year at SPX recognizing outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning, with the winners chosen by attendees at the show.

As in previous years, profits from the SPX will go to support the SPX Graphic Novel Gift Program, which funds graphic novel purchases for public and academic libraries, as well as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), which protects the First Amendment rights of comic book readers and professionals. For more information on the CBLDF, visit their website at http://www.cbldf.org. For more information on the Small Press Expo, please visit http://www.spxpo.com.

0 Comments on SPX announces first guests: Kate Beaton, Luke Pearson and Noelle Stevenson as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
20. HeroesCon Interview with Michel Fiffe Part 1: The Challenges/Merits of Self-Publishing and the Appeal of the Analogy


For me, COPRA is the one of the few superhero comics that really matter.

A few years ago, I was at a point where I had basically given up on everything produced within the arena of the “Big Two”. Sure, I enjoyed the occasional Grant Morrison comic when they would rear their head, but for the most part I had lost the exhilaration I used to get when I would read the adventures of my favorite costumed adventurers. Then, in the midst of a discussion of Jack Kirby and John Ostrander, a good friend floated along the idea that I would find great delight in reading the self-published wonder that is Michel Fiffe‘s riff on Ostrander’s biggest legacy work. What I found was a comic that embraced everything I loved about superheroes and the ideas of some of their most iconic creators, and then spun them off in wholly exciting and unpredictable directions. The jubilation that I feel whenever I crack open a new issue of COPRA is likely on par with what readers in the 70’s felt when a new Fourth World installment was released, or their counterparts in the 80’s when the aforementioned Suicide Squad and Watchmen were being unfurled upon an unsuspecting public.

COPRA reminds me of the actual potential of this side of the medium, and it’s a book that I wish everyone had their hands on. It is superhero comics at their absolute best.

While at HeroesCon, I had the opportunity to sit down with Fiffe to discuss what’s coming up in his lauded series along with other points of interest that encircle self-publishing and the day to day process of creating the issues in which he is responsible for every facet, including their mailing to subscribers. Here is Part 1 of our discussion:

When you conceived of COPRA, what was the impetus to say: “I’m going to self-publish this and do everything myself” vs. pitching it to a publisher like Image or Boom! or any other publisher that might have found a home for it?

I find the pitching process to be rather exhaustive and time consuming. I know it well, I’ve done it many times. It’s such a slow process getting a book green-lit and that’s not the nature of what I wanted to do with COPRA. It had to exist almost immediately. I don’t have a committee to answer to and that’s appealing to me. I’m not comfortable giving that power to whatever company.

And you did a lot of pitching before that you said?

Tons of pitching, tons of submissions, I’ve done pretty much everything I could think of to do to get in through the door. I’ve got some published works as a result, but nothing really satisfying, or that I really felt confident about. So, self-publishing, once I started doing that, that’s when I felt like I was creating comics on my own terms. COPRA is a natural extension of that, especially when I started giving myself a monthly schedule, mimicking the schedule of mainstream comics. For me, that’s the interesting dichotomy of it, where I’m harnessing this kind of “old-school” rigorous schedule to fit my independent needs.

Copra 4But are there significant challenges you find? I know there’s promotion that would be available in a big house publisher, like if you were working with Image there’d be press releases constantly. Is bandwidth an issue?

Well, motivation is always the biggest hurdle to overcome, especially given an unrelenting schedule. I have to wake up every day and treat this like a job, because it IS my job, it is my full-time job. I have to get it done somehow, I can’t wait for the muse to strike. I have to get an issue done a month, or as close as possible. But as far as challenges in not having the marketing muscle of other companies? I’d rather stand apart from the wall of noise. How many press releases does anyone really read, anyway?

Your comics, at least in their monthly form, are only available on your Etsy page and I noticed that you share that with your significant other, I think I saw some nice craft jewelry I think?

Yeah, Kat Roberts sells all kinds of stuff, zines, handmade purses, prints. I totally piggy-backed off her store on Etsy. That was a platform I was familiar with, so when I started publishing Zegas (Fiffe’s first self-published comic) I didn’t have a place to sell it from, except conventions and maybe the occasional store that would take a risk on it. Etsy allowed me to slowly build up my readership. By the time I got to COPRA, there was a significant amount of people that were interested in the stuff I did and that made it easier for me to move forward.

Copra 22Let me turn to the actual creation process of an individual issue, say you’re sitting at your desk and working on Issue 22 right now?

That’s the one that just came out.

Good, let’s use that one as an example, if you’re working on Issue 22, what is your step by step? Do you script first and then directly move into the illustration phase? Do you create thumbnails? How do you piece your typical issue together?

It always changes, but the constant thing is that I always map out the story, page by page, and then I script it loosely. Then I start penciling loosely with the first draft in mind. The real work portion of the process begins when I start refining the script while inking and sometimes hand lettering. That’s when it all starts coming together. But generally I have a very loose plan in mind per issue. It’s equal parts organic and strict. I just have to get a number of pages done every day, that’s basically my main objective.

What’s your average rate right now?

Comfortably, I’d say about two pages a day, complete with full color. And that may range, sometimes I may get three, sometimes just half of a page, it just depends. And then you also have to consider the managerial aspect of it after the book is done. I have to get it shipped out to readers  and stores and that’s definitely a job in of itself.

Copra Rax

Was there ever a page or spread or a panel layout that was really hard to crack? Was there any particular example where you just said “oh my god, what am I doing with this thing?”

Every page is like that, but I try to make it work somehow. I have to bring that blank page to life somehow. But the trick is to not think about it too much, because if I over-think it – which is my natural inclination – it kills it. You can get caught up in that and then nothing exists, there are no results. I strive for perfection, but being my own worst critic, I have to be real careful to not crush my gut instinct.

You’re a real master of negative space, and I read an issue and think “damn, Fiffe really knows how to use that white”. I think that’s a rare talent, and I’m not trying to kiss ass, but when I read through recent issues it’s hard to not notice how much your craft continues to grow every single issue. I’m floored by the way you use this stuff.

Thanks, man!

AsesinosBack to COPRA‘s origins, if I may, when you began to pull together your characters designs and tried to piece together the different teams…and there’s a number of different teams now I guess, you’ve got COPRA, Asesinos…

Right, it’s all splintered.

Yeah, I almost have a hard time keeping track.

I should map it out.

I would love that, if you would put a thing at the end of each issue with the full cast.

I’ve been thinking about that, actually.

That would be awesome, and I’ll take full credit if it happens. But when you were conceiving of your core cast, there are obviously analogous elements to Ostrander’s Suicide Squad.


Copra BoomerDid you ever find it was difficult to skirt the line between your own original ideas and those aforementioned analogous elements or did you just say, I’m going to use this as a starting point and go my own way?

When I initially set out to do this comic, I put myself in the mindset of: “what if a publisher hired me to take over a title, and gave me complete freedom”, which would never happen in the current landscape. So using that fantasy to guide me, I took the Dirty Dozen-esque concept, which has been around for a while in many different forms, and I used it as a blueprint to work from. I wanted a world I could really sink my teeth into month in and month out. I wanted to make something that was serialized, that maximized the nature of the single issue, I wanted to build a place that made it easier for me to explore all my interests. The analogous aspect of it… I was reluctant at first, but I had forgotten that some of my favorite comics are analogous, too, some more blatant than the others.

Are there any examples you can cite? At least of the ones that fall favorably with you?

I mean, the Fantastic Four included a Kirby monster, Plastic Man, and Carl Burgos‘ creation as the Challengers of the Unknown… as a response to JLA.  Watchmen, Marvelman, Supreme, everything Alan Moore does, basically. That’s no secret. So I moved forward citing those comics, using the current cultural momentum of irreverence to just do whatever I want. Plus, I figured no one’s going to be reading this anyway! We’re talking small press here, not many copies exist. It was liberating.

How far ahead did you map out your story?

Not that far, I did it issue by issue. I also wanted it to feel like a very immediate, raw, I wanted it to be as direct a thing as possible. So, it was really just one or two issues ahead. I mapped out twelve issues with super brief descriptions and that’s all I had to go on. I also wanted to make sure that I could fill twelve issues worth of stories. Luckily it worked out.

Look for Part 2 of our discussion on Sunday, when we discuss the possibility of digital distribution and what readers can expect in upcoming issues of COPRA.

You can purchase recent issues of COPRA at Michel Fiffe and Kat Roberts’ Etsy store, or you can order. While Bergen Street Press is currently sold out of both collected editions of the series, you can purchase the first collection at InStockTrades.

0 Comments on HeroesCon Interview with Michel Fiffe Part 1: The Challenges/Merits of Self-Publishing and the Appeal of the Analogy as of 6/26/2015 5:56:00 PM
Add a Comment
21. HeroesCon Interview with Michel Fiffe Part 2: The Possibility of Digital, Comparisons to Cerebus, and What’s to Come in COPRA



Continuing on from our first entry this past Friday, here is the second part of my HeroesCon interview with Michel Fiffe, creator of the self-published and much lauded action-adventure comic, COPRA.

It’s funny, the way I discovered your work actually came through a friend of mine at first, as a word of mouth sort of thing. Then I firmly jumped in when Oliver Sava starting writing about it on the A.V. Club, and you ended making a ton of these “Best of 2014″ lists, which is pretty exciting right? That sort of vindication has to be rewarding.

It’s nice, it’s nice that people like it, absolutely. Oliver’s a great supporter.

Everyone wants to make a superlative list at some point, right?

Yeah, that means a lot to me personally, and it actually translates into more readers. I think word of mouth has really worked a lot on COPRA, without any huge marketing muscle behind it. That’s been the primary thing, people are just excited about it, and that’s super flattering. To like it so much – in today’s aggressive marketplace – that they spread the word out of genuine enthusiasm… what more could you want?

That’s literally what’s happening, though the only hurdle is, of course, availability.

That’s the only hurdle right now. Bergen Street Press has been working hard for a couple of years now to get over it. We don’t want to make it super exclusive, this isn’t a super limited boutique item by any means, but it’s also not as simple as pushing a magic button for  books to suddenly appear. Others have that magic button.


When you made the collections, which have obviously been a great way to pull in readers, you went with Bergen Street Press, and that’s Tucker Stone’s outfit right?

Yeah, that’s Tom Adams and Tucker Stone, they’re co-owners of the store, Bergen Street Comics and they started publishing and putting out “compendium” collections of the issues early on because I started selling out of the issues. So they met that demand, they helped me meet that initial burst of enthusiasm. I was too caught up creating the next issue. My financial model is that one issue pays for the next, there’s no room for reprints, that’s not within my budget. Bergen really helped make it more available and more accessible to people. The compendiums led to an official collection, the current “Rounds” as they’re called, which collects six issues at a time. That’s the kind of thing that we’re trying to get into all the comic shops across the country.

It’s showing up in stores in Atlanta, and I even think I saw copies in the UK over Gosh Comics perhaps.

Yeah, we get a lot of orders from all over the world.

Did you just have a relationship with Tucker and Tom, is that why you went with them as the distributor and publisher and go-to guys?

I trust them and respect them, and I couldn’t happier with that specific team of players. Their point of view and their involvement with the comics industry is something I can get behind.

In regards to availability though, is digital not in the cards?

It’s not NOT in the cards, it’s just something I still have to manage and deal with. There are just so many issues with it, the platform, the way it looks, the time to get everything in order. I’m still dealing with the print issues, that’s a huge thing for me, just getting one of these out every four to six weeks. I barely have any time to do anything else BUT this issue. When it comes to digital, I want to be as hands-on as possible, and that’s a time sucker. I wouldn’t rule digital out, but at the moment it’s not a primary concern. Having said that, I don’t want to exclude anyone from reading it, I understand there’s a large portion of the readership that’s gone digital because its more convenient, but personally I haven’t related to that model. So, it’s not a priority. I don’t feel like it’s something that’s burning in me to address anytime soon.

copra physical

But there is an argument you made yesterday (on a panel with Klaus Janson) about the visual of the comic as a physical object. When you go digital, you do lose that. I mean, you can put everyone of those pages, including the back cover and back matter into a digital copy, but it’s not the same.

It’s not the same, and I want to be clear that I don’t want to impose my fetish of the newsprint comic on anyone. But readers do have the option to buy the issues or NOT to buy them, and that’s the risk I take. I’m not forcing people nor am I trying to change the industry “back to the glory that it was”. I’m just doing this because it’s a model that I’m familiar with and I aesthetically like. It’s a much more intimate thing. I just don’t read that many digital comics. That’s not how I absorb this stuff. I would feel weird putting it out in the world if I’m not sure of it myself.


The comparison has been made, and COPRA has been compared very favorably to works like Cerebus, and that’s a comparison that I find to be really quite apt in that you’ve taken an analogous set of characters, like Dave Sim did with Conan the Barbarian, but by Round Three, you’ve expanded that world and its character set in a way not dissimilar from his work in “High Society”. Is that a comparison that you find interesting?

It is, mostly because Dave and I were born on the same day.


Yeah, so it just means we’re both stubborn and hard headed, and we’re gonna do what we want no matter what. But the COPRA/Cerebus thing… I imagine it’s more accurate than I’d like to think, but the main difference is that Cerebus started out as a parody. And my book…well, I personally fucking hate parody comics of that nature. I like Cerebus, but  I especially mean modern indie takes on this sort of stuff. It’s low hanging fruit. You’re going to make fun of superheroes, good job, you’re wasting your precious time on earth doing that. Who cares? You’re not gonna outdo Marshal Law. I love that comic to death. There was a lot of anger behind that book, but it didn’t look down at anyone. Now, you either like superheroes or you don’t, and it’s perfectly fine to dislike it. In fact, you probably shouldn’t. I have zero interest in making fun of this stuff. From the first page of COPRA, it was serious business to me, serious business while fully realizing and basking in the absurd nature of this material.

That’s a difficult balance to achieve – seriousness without being overtly grim.

I just don’t want to wink at readers. I respect the readership too much to be winking at them – like, hey get the joke? Isn’t this DUMB? It’s like, fuck that joke, it’s a terrible joke. And I think Dave Sim wised up to it early on, because he was parodying Conan and the goofy barbarian genre, but then it took on a different identity all together.

Copra WirAnd I feel like that’s where you’re headed too. Round 3 is stunning, and I think when it hits a collected edition, I think there’s going to be a lot of talk. I don’t know how else to put it. I don’t want to speak too highly here, but I think that’s going to be when – people already notice it, but I mean, my god, that chapter when Wir goes back home…

Yeah, that’s a favorite. I was worried about making that one too because it’s so bizarre, even within the norms of COPRA, you know?

It was so touching and so raw. It struck nerves for me. And then Gracie in Miami, and you’re working out some of your own feelings about the city and you even say as much on the back end.

Yeah. Every issue pretty much has at least one autobiographical component in it. And I find that interesting when I read older comics too, whether they meant it or not, I think it comes through. Especially for the older creators who really had no other option but to express themselves through The Brave and the Bold or something. But for me to actually write this stuff, I have to put some sort of personal experience in it. So every issue, there’s something there that’s really personal. But I also don’t want it to be too obvious, though.

COPRA-22-page-674x1024Let’s talk about Round Four or the presumed Round Four, about what’s coming up, what’s being developed. Spoiler alert: Dutch got it at the end of the latest issue. And clearly there’s another team that’s sort of gaining up on the COPRA side of things. At least that’s what it seems like. There’s an organized group of evil doers. What can we expect in the next couple of issues; I think there are two left in this round?

I have two left. And then I’m going to have a 25th issue anniversary-sized thing, that’s going to stand apart from the narrative, the main arc. And then starting with issue 26 that starts another arc all together. I’m going to work in six issue chunks, but there are going to be main storylines in that. I think I’m going to go up to fifty issues, so 25 will be an anniversary issue, as well as the halfway point.

So there will be an endpoint that’s set in stone?

Yes, I do have an ending set, I’ve mapped it out that far. I’m so excited for it.  Knowing that it’s going to end and that everything is building up towards it makes every step of the way that much more fun for me, much richer.

So what can you tell me that we can expect in just very general terms, without spoiling anything, for the next two issues? Is it going to be a battle between the team and this group of guys that are coming after them?

It’s going to be COPRA vs COPRA. That’s all I’m going to say.


You’ve got two other narratives occurring in these books, you’ve got Dieter VDO’s back cover story for Man-Head…

Which is non-canonical.

Let me ask you how that got arranged first. Are you and Dieter friends?

Oh, I’m a big fan of his work. He did a Savage Dragon story for this collection of back ups I edited. This was ages ago. Anyway, Dieter… I like spreading the word on him. I think he’s great, one of my favorite cartoonists. I wanted to have unique back matter for this current arc and he was the first person I thought of to do something. Instead of pin ups, though, I wanted a serialized narrative. Thankfully he was on board. His own weird version of COPRA? Who wouldn’t want to see that?

So what is going on between your narrative and his narrative in these orange and white pages? There’s something appearing in the sky…?

Oh, that. Well, that’s a subplot that has to do with Rax’s dimension. It’ll all make sense once you read it together, there IS a point to it; it’s not as arbitrary as it seems. I’ve been playing it quietly because if I show too much, it’ll spoil things.

When can we expect the next issue to hit?

Maybe 4 weeks, a month? After the show I’ve to get back to drawing it. I’m not really ahead, schedule-wise. As soon as the issue is done, it’s practically in the readers’ hands.

You can purchase recent issues of COPRA at Michel Fiffe and Kat Roberts’ Etsy store. While Bergen Street Press is currently sold out of both collected editions of the series, you can purchase the first collection at InStockTrades.

1 Comments on HeroesCon Interview with Michel Fiffe Part 2: The Possibility of Digital, Comparisons to Cerebus, and What’s to Come in COPRA, last added: 6/28/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
22. 11th Anniversary Special: Really Famous People Holding Comics Books, world politics division


In honor of the Beat’s 11th anniversary ehre are two epic photos from recent social media. In the first, Congressman John Lewis presents signed copies of the March graphic novels to Malala Yousafzai, the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala was shot in the head in her native Pakistan for daring to want to get an education for herself and other girls. Lewis is a US civil rights icon whose story is as important now as it was 50 years ago.

In this photo, the Pope holds a copy of the Latin translation of The Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. As Pontiff’s go, this one is pretty awesome.

Comics have no boundaries!

2 Comments on 11th Anniversary Special: Really Famous People Holding Comics Books, world politics division, last added: 7/2/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
23. PREVIEW: Corto Maltese: Beyond the Windy Isles

What better way to celebrate the Beat’s 11th anniversary than with a preview of one of our all time favorite comics, Corto Maltese by Hugo Pratt, now being reprinted in lovely English language editions from IDW and Dean Mullaney’s Euro comix imprint. This volume goes on sales today and follow’s Corto’s ravishingly romantic and lushly inked adventures in South America from the Mosquito Coast to Barbados to a deadly struggle among Jivaro head-hunters in the Peruvian Amazon.

Corto Maltese: Beyond the Windy Isle
Hugo Pratt (w & a & c)
The second of twelve volumes presenting the definitive English-language edition of Hugo Pratt’s masterpiece in the original oversized B&W format!
TPB • BW • $29.99 • 120 pages • 9.25” x 11.75”  • ISBN: 978-1-63140-317-0









0 Comments on PREVIEW: Corto Maltese: Beyond the Windy Isles as of 7/3/2015 12:26:00 PM
Add a Comment
24. New Black Lightning Archive: DC, Tony Isabella Reconcile

Black Lightning 4“Dogs and cats, living together!” – that’s what immediately popped into my mind yesterday when I read Tony Isabella praising DC on Facebook for how it was treating him in regard to Black Lightning.I’ve never seen the original contract between DC and Isabella in regard to Black Lightning so I have nothing to say of substance in regard to the property’s legal status, but as anyone who has followed Tony’s online writing over the years can tell you, Isabella’s statements about DC’s treatment of him and his landmark creation have not exactly been complimentary. That changed, however, yesterday, when Isabella called attention to an Amazon listing of the April 2016 release of Black Lightning, volume 1, the first of what could be a series of collections featuring DC’s first African-American superhero to star in an an eponymous book.

According to Isabella, the rapprochement is the result of outreach by Dan Didio and Geoff Johns, and Isabella is confident that DC will treat him fairly in regard to the payment of royalties. He also raised the possibility of doing more work for DC given sufficient reader demand; the prospect of Isabella working with, say, the creators of the revived Milestone line on a multi-generational crossover is particularly intriguing, given certain thematic resonances with Milestone’s nuanced reflections on creative identity.

To say that Isabella’s announcement is the most unexpected Facebook post of the year is an understatement — it’s one of the most dramatic turnarounds I’ve seen in decades of reading about comics-related disputes, and kudos to all involved for bringing about what I hope will be a truly lasting peace in our time.

3 Comments on New Black Lightning Archive: DC, Tony Isabella Reconcile, last added: 7/25/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
25. Does anyone care about the artists on comics any more?


Art by Jillian Tamaki. Story by Mariko Tamaki, from This One Summer

Yesterday’s retailer poll results, as revealed at Sktchd, made for fascinating reading, but at least one statistic—only 4.8% of retailers order a book based on the artist—got familiar questions being raised about why artists seem to get the short end of the stick so much in today’s comics industry. Declan Shalvey, currently of Injection, written by Warren Ellis, kicked some things off with a tweet and you can check his twitter feed for more conversation on the topic.

The decline of the artist has been getting a lot of play on the twitterverse of late, with Steve Morris also showing a watchful eye for it, even checking interviews to make sure they credit the artist.

Which to be fair, many times they do not.


Art by Ivan Reis.

The entire “decline of the artist” phenomena has been discussed many times, sometimes at this very blog, and even by Sktchd’s Harper in the past. As I’ve said before, the decline of prestige for comics artists seems especially counterintuitive in an era which is so visually driven by Tumblr, Pinterest and the like. And given the past dominance of artists from Neal Adams on, it seems even odder. The beauty of the comics image has never been more prominent. But the makers of those images aren’t always given the credit they deserve. I have a few more thoughts, which I’ve expressed before but let me throw ’em out there again.


Art by David Aja.

There’s a LOT of emphasis on cartoonists these days, the Rainas and Piskors who offer a tightly focused worldview and esthetic. And aside from the VERY rare Tamaki/Tamaki, Morrison/Quitely, Lee/Kirby teams, collaborative comics rarely offer that. I think if you were to ask graphic novel readers they might value the artist more, but might prefer the “creator” category.

Also, as we’ve all been saying, the Big Two, especially have been dead set on promoting the Editor-driven era of comics, and even the finest artists have been cogs in an ever grinding machine. Marvel had a few breakouts along the way, mostly on Hawkeye and Daredevil, but DC’s relentless parade of Jim Lee clones during the New 52 era reduced the role of the artist to interchangeable drone. And as fine an artist as Ivan Reis is, he’s no mold-breaking stylist.

The good news is, the Nü DCYou seems to have thrown house style out the window and allowed more idiosyncratic things to creep in. The bad news is Marvel’s new universe is starting to look as blandly homogenized as the New 52. Always a pendulum, this must be.

What do YOU think? Some wondered if casual readers would reflect the same ratios as retailers. With David Harper’s permission, I’ve recreated his questiosn in an open, public poll which will stay open for two days so hop to it! And as a final plug. Sktchd has a followup podcast with Patrick Brower, owner of Challengers in Chicago which I’m sure is worth a listen.

<a href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/8992024/”>What’s the most important reason for you to buy a comic?</a>
<a href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/8992024/”>What’s the most important reason for you to buy a comic?</a>

16 Comments on Does anyone care about the artists on comics any more?, last added: 7/22/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts