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Pop Star Assassin, the new comic by writer/creator Ed Lavallee and art by Marcelo Basile, is a mesmerizing and surreal look into the life of Bruce, an Elvis impersonator who thinks the real Elvis was his father. The explosive first issue sees Bruce thrown into a wild situation stuck between G-Men, mobsters, and shadow agencies. All of whom are trying to use him for their own needs. As the climatic events unfold Bruce is left tying to figure what is going on, who he really is and what his connection to Elvis is. If you like guns, action, espionage, the mob, G-Men, Elvis and shadow agencies then you will love this book. Definitely check it out. Here is the exclusive interview with writer/creator Lavallee.
Where did you come up with the concept for Pop Star Assassin?
Pop Star for me has been a life long endeavor heavily influenced by all of the movies and television I watched as a kid growing up in the 70’s. Celebrity back then had a certain cache and cool that studio stars of today can’t duplicate. Genuine cool. Elvis, McQueen, Bruce Lee, Star Wars, Planet of the Apes, Saturday morning cartoons and Black Belt Theater. When these stars passed away it was always under bizarre circumstances or conspiracies that just added more to their legendary status. In my mind this made a perfect idea to to build a story around.
What is the story about and where do you see it going?
Pop Star Assassin is one mans journey to discover who he really is and where he comes from. The main character Bruce, believes he is the son of the King of Rock & Roll which is true to a degree, but not the whole truth. Turns out he is the catalyst in a government conspiracy involving Look-A-Like™ robot assassins hellbent on taking over the planet. In a nutshell anyway.
What are your influences comic wise and writing wise?
My influences, like I said stem from all the movies, books, comics, and cartoons I absorbed as a kid, which luckily I never grew out of. Star Wars was huge influence on me. As a kid it was THE greatest movie to ever grace the big screen. Comics – Frank Miller, John Byrne, most Marvel comics, Heavy Metal magazine, Savage Sword of Conan. Anything I could get my hands on really. The one creator I look up to the most and consider my biggest influence is Mike Mignola. Great all around creator, artist, writer. A true visionary in my opinion. My influences would not be complete without Tarantino on my list. True master of storytelling, character building and dialogue in my opinion.
Who else worked on the comic with you and what was their part?
I created Pop Star Assassin and co-wrote the first 3 issues with fellow comic book writer Matt Cashel. Matt wrote the Image comic Paradigm and is currently working on a new title called Blank Walls. Look for it soon and please support the HELL out of it as well. Us indy guys rely on each other and a grass roots kind of marketing to help get the word out there. The artist on Pop Star Assassin is the one and only Marcelo Basile from Argentina. A true master of his craft and all around great guy! His work on Pop Star is incredible. Each new page he turns in blows me away. Great stuff happening with issue 2 as I type this up.
What is the vibe you are going for with the comic and art?
Well, Pop Star is set in late 1977, so we’re going for a funky, groovy, gritty, over-the-top, low-sci-fi action adventure trip. A Tarantino-esque vibe for sure. Definitely a strong R rating. You picked up a copy – what did you think?
What other comics are works do you have out?
I have a OGN published through Archaia titled, Revere: Revolution in Silver. Revere is my first professionally published work. I am currently working on a follow up with volume 2 – Revere: Salem’s Plot. We’re about 25 pages in on the art of it. I am also working on a couple of books for Outland Entertainment (www.outlandentertainment.com) – ITHACA and BACKLANDS. We hope to make some official announcements soon. There are a lot of great things cooking over at Outland, so check them out if you get the chance.
How was C2E2?
C2E2 was a great show. A bit overwhelming for me really. It was my first time and just the size and number of people was incredible. I am used to doing smaller, local shows so it was a real eye opener. Made a lot of contacts and new friends. Picked up some great artwork and cool books from fellow creators. Talked to a couple of pros and got copies of PSA into their hands so that was pretty cool. Over all pretty fantastic time. Denver Comic Con is next!
What do you think about the state of independent comics?
I think independent books are on a very healthy road right now. Image is really setting the gold standard for creator owned books and is in my opinion the place to be for great stories from top flight creators. I feel like there are so many options for independents to get their books into the hands of fans with Kickstarter and crowdfunding, as well as a number of options to get books published digitally. If one door is closed, there are a bunch of others you can go through and find success. No retreat-no surrender.
What is in the works for you right now?
Right now I’m gearing up for Denver Comic Con Memorial Day weekend and then another big convention in my home town of Kansas City in August. There is a slight chance I may be attending a convention in Las Vegas in June. On the writing side of things issue 2 of Pop Star is in full effect, with finished art coming in daily. I’ll start wring Ithaca in June. Backlands issue 1 is in production. We hope to debut at the Kansas City Comic Con with an exclusive cover. I have a couple of other projects in the early idea phase just waiting for the iron to get hot. Stay tuned there is a lot more coming soon.
Any other promotional ventures you are planning for the comic?
No new promotions for Pop Star Assassin right now. I put together a special prize pack for our 500th like on the Pop Star Facebook page – will probably do another giveaway when we hit 1000 likes. Stop by the Facebook page at Popstar Assassin for all of the latest news and updates. And for those of you that don’t have your copy of issue 1 I have them available. Message me on Facebook for details.
Thanks for everything. Rock and Roll!
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Issue #4 of Tüki Save The Humans, Jeff Smith’s saga of early humans and their migration, has been postponed from May to December due to a recurrence of an arm injury that creator Jeff Smith has been battling for a while.
“The past 12 months have been really busy,” says Smith, “and last month, after doing two issues of TUKI back to back, I noticed my arm was getting numb. I’ve had trouble with carpel tunnel syndrome before, and while I haven’t crossed the line, it’s not something I want to mess with.”
“I also have a secret project I’m working on that is adding to the workload,” he continued, “so I’ve decided the best thing to do was to slow down, move the book to where it will be best for TUKI. Sincere apologies to all of my readers, and I thank you for your patience. We plan to add a few surprises to the issue and hopefully the wait will be worthwhile!”
Tüki launched as a webcomic, with print issues following, and the third “season” wrapper a while ago.
While this is disappointing news, any “secret project” from Smith is exciting.
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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By Nick Eskey
The guys of CME in front of “Deadeye”
Known for being the fan favorite of major conventions, with its relaxed nature and lines, WonderCon has been gaining in popularity over the last few years.
For this last WonderCon, I was a little underwhelmed with the pick of panel selections, so I decided to spend more time on the sales floor than I usually do. The diversity of vendors, artists, and publishers gathered here are always wonderful to see and explore. During my long exploration, I came across a few booths that I felt deserved a shout out.
C.M.E. (Creative Mind Energy LLC): I’ve seen these guys for a few years now, at both WonderCon and Comic-Con. Every time I do, it’s a great pleasure. CME is a
Design Studio Press
family business that come up with original creative content for various avenues, such as print, television, movies, and video games. The artwork of their comic books are so unique, featuring beautifully, hand drawn scenes. The work stands out and makes a name for itself. One of their latest works, Deadeye, will be coming out this June. Find a copy for yourself. [http://creativemindenergy.com/]
Design Studio Press: This publisher has been around for 15 years. The level of workmanship in each book shows why they’ve been around this long. Design
Studio Press’s content is mostly beautiful reference materials for making art and designing. A couple books of theirs that really impressed me were “How to draw” and “How to render.” Each one’s a thick piece of work; highly detailed, lots of pictures, and very simple to follow. But what really was impressive is that if you download the company’s app on your phone, and train the camera on certain pages, an AR tutorial will appear on the paper, including more than what is there. This is truly the next step in books and technology. [http://designstudiopress.com/]
Abraham Lopez himself
Abraham Lopez: A picture is worth a thousand words, so goes the saying. This artist’s work is indeed worth that many words, creating a hilarious work of fiction. Using a combination of comic and Disney characters, his drawings place them in farfetched, but yes very amusing scenes and situations. During the entire convention, his booth was consistently surrounded. I myself had to buy a few of his prints. They are just that good. But beyond their subject matter, his art is well done and polished. [http://artistabe.deviantart.com/]
Even though WonderCon is over, still check these guys out. They all deserve some patronage in my book. I’d love to see them again at this year’s SDCC.
The good news is that the 2015 MoCCA Festival moved to a new venue—Center 548 in the heart of Chelsea’s gallery district—and it was ideal! Windows, flattering white walls, three floors of comicksy goodness, tons of foot traffic, and a rooftop lounge where you could sit in the sunlight and look out over the Hudson to the far lands of Jersey. And the panels held at the Highline Hotel wee a hop skip and jump away. It was smooth sailing!
The bad news is that MoCCA will never be there again. (h/t Daryl Ayo) The building—once the home of the prestigious Dia Arts Center—has been sold and will be converted to condos, like everything else in New York. When all these people move into these condos will there be anything fun left to do in NYC except shop at the Stella McCartney store? I sure hope so.
I’ll have a more detailed report on the show for Publishers Weekly, but here’s a picture run down of the week.
One quick note: while today’s multi-faceted comics publishing world doesn’t really lend itself to a “book of the show” Jillian Tamaki’s “SexCoven” in Frontier #7 was definitely the book of the show. It sold out on Saturday but you can order your copy here.
My MoCCA Week kicked off on Thursday with a VIP party for Aline Kiminsky-Crumb with a performance by Eden and John’s East River String Band with special guest R. Crumb sitting in. But first I surveyed the Alt.Weekly cartoonists show downstairs which is amazing. This 30-year old Life in Hell strip by Matt Groening is as true today as it was then. The show is up until May 2 — see it!
It was a lively hoe down. Crumb plays with verve. And I can scratch that off my bucket list.
The hallway to the restroom is an exhibit of original art from the LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM anthology. Art by Farel Dalrymple, Bill Sienkiewicz and more. I love this page from Carla Speed McNeill for obvious reasons.
On Friday night I moderated a panel consisting of Daryl Cunningham, Penelope Bagieu, Nadja Spiegelman and Sergio Garcia Sanchez, shown above. It was a rather unattended event, sadly, but the panelists were great. Here Sanchez shows us someof his experimental comics which use space and storytelling in very unusual and beautiful ways. He teaches cartooning in France and I hope to have more with him in a few weeks. That’s Bagieu on the upper left, and she’s a pistol.
After the panel, I trained over to the Productive for Drink & Draw Like a Lady. Every year there are more ladies! Seriously the place was jammed, and I saw a lot of names on tags that I knew from Tumblr and Twitter. This is the NOISIEST party I attend every year.
Saturday morning I got into a cab with a driver who saw a bit of crosstown traffic and decided at Fifth Avenue that he wasn’t going to take me any further. “It’s a beautiful day! You’ll enjoy the walk!” he urged. For this I had to pay him $5. I got to the Highline Hotel—a former seminary which could easily stand in for Hogwarts—just in time to see Bill K. interviewing Scott McCloud. I know other people have better pictures of this, but it’s my photo essay! With these two smart people, the panel breezed by.
I love all the details that the SOI staff puts into making MoCCA run smoothly, like this signage on 10th Avenue directing you to the venue.
Inside I made a beeline to say hi to Seth Kushner here with his heroic wife Terra. Kushner fell ill after last year’s MoCCA and he’s still recovery from the leukemia that nearly took his life, but he’s leukemia free. It was wonderful to see him, and pick up his new comic, and I think his being there was the highlight of the show for a lot of people.
Band photo with Dean Haspiel and Chris Miskiewicz
A selection of books from Atlantic Press a UK based imprint that publishes experimental and student comics. The book in the foreground, Beyond the Wire by Alys Jones was my find of the show—using hand cut holes in the pages to show the claustrophobic and deadly world of the trenches of WWI.
Steve Vrattos at the Fanfare/Ponent Mon table has a ton if imports from Knockabout and other UK publishers. While I was chatting with him, he helped someone pick up their first book by Jiro Taniguchi, so job done.
I ran into Matt Loux and Abby Denson, one of my favorite comics couples, coming out of the elevator.
Oh yeah the elevator. It’s moot now, since the 548 Center is going bye bye, but getting up and down the floors was the one thing that might have been a hindrance for the venue. The elevator held four people and took 15 minutes to make a trip. The stairs were super steep and narrow, and while they weren’t really dangerous, per se, let’s just say that if you had a little bit of vertigo, things become more challenging. But like I said, that’s all moot.
After you managed to get up four flights of stairs you were greeted with this view on the roof top.
Saturday night I went back to SOI for the Awards of Excellence presentation which were given this year to Greg Kletzel (above), Kris Mukai, Daniel Zender, Tyler Boss and Keren Katz.
Here’s Keren with her trophy. (Keren is so talented and also one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, even in a business filled with nice people.)
This party had some free beer from Lagunitas and was so much fun. The patio was open, and after this long winter, just to be outside again was a joy.
On Sunday I tried to take pictures like I always do. Alice Meichi Li
Birdcage Bottom’s JT Yost
Hic and Hoc’s Matt Moses and Sam Henderson
And then I got distracted and stopping taking photos. As you can see it was a light, airy place. Too bad we’ll never be there again. Enjoy your $5 million condo that you visit once a year, oligarch.
Javier Cruz Winnik and Sara Wooley
Julia Gfrorer and Sean T. Collins. Later on we got a picture of Sean along with myself and Brigid Alverson, as shot by Johanna Draper Carlson for a Bloggers of the Aughts reunion.
At Conundrum, Kat Verhoeven, Andy Brown and Joe Ollman take their band photo. Verhoeven’s Towerkind is just out and I talked to her about it for the PW podcast this week.
The woman of the year, Jillian Tamaki.
This is the Highline Hotel. Inside it was decorated with manual typewriters and dark wood fixtures reminiscent of a century ago. When I leave New York, I want to come stay here when I visit, except rooms are $400 a night. Also you had to stand in line 20 minutes for a $4 cup of Intelligentsia coffee. They were out of cold brew and pastries by the time I got there. The barista told me they’d had an insanely busy weekend.
I checked out this panel with editors from various print and online magazines—the New York Times, Rookie magazine, Autostraddle and Tablet—and what they look for when hiring cartoonists. I took notes and will write it up in a bit.
SeflMadeHero publisher Emma Haley and Dutch artist Barbara Stok.
Ghetto Brothers, a true life tale of gang life in the South Bronx, was one of the lesser heralded books at the show, but I heard a lot about it on the floor. Here’s Benjy Melendez, subject of the story, and artist Julian Voloj. I think you’ll here more about this in the coming weeks.
Calvin Reid and I did the Buddyback!
Another view of that wonderful rooftop lounge as Brian Heater and Calvin confirm their world domination plans. Tears in the rain, baby
For those who could not binge watch Daredevil, there was a water tower.
The other Leigh of Top Shelf. I’m terrible with last names.
At the end of the day I got to ride down in the freight elevator which is bigger than my entire apartment. Sad face.
I left the show and walked over on the Highline with Marie Javins, Shannon Wheeler and Brian Heater. Here is their band photo.
And we walked off into the sunset. Seriously, comics, rooftops, Highline, sunsets…this was all so wonderful and I couldn’t ask for better people to reflect on the show with.
So yeah, MoCCA 2015 was pretty swell. I’m for Anelle Miller and the other folks at SOI will be able to wrangle a new venue for 2016, but I’ll always remember this one. It was a special time.
It’s almost quitting time here in EDT so let’s leave the week with something FUN for a change.
Why just do a comic book based on a classically of it time TV show when you can reinvent it as an acid trip that bends time and
space? And hooray for licensors who let you get away with it. Miami Vice: Remix by Joe Casey and Jim Mahfood is anything but a dull TV show comic…it’s an audacious tale on tropes and icons, and a gem in the Lion Forge line-up.
Last month, the TV classic Miami Vice came back in a whole new way with the neo-noir, ultraviolet, action-packed Miami Vice: Remix. The first issue left readers cliff-hanging but never fear — the next installment of car chases, palm trees, and mutation-inducing designer drugs is here!
When we last left Crockett and Tubbs (still Miami’s coolest cops) they were in a sticky situation with some South Florida zombies high on Miami Bath Salts. Now they’re in hot pursuit of the dealer of this horrific nose candy, which leads them to punching cracked-out monsters in the face while zooming through Florida Turnpike traffic. Just another day at the office! But while one situation explodes, another simmers; someone who’s got serious beef with our $600-suit-wearing-heroes claims that Crockett’s got a serious debt to pay — and they’re here to collect!
Writer Joe Casey (Godland, Wildcats, Adventures of Superman) and artist Jim Mahfood (Tank Girl, Ultimate Spider-Man, Grrl Scouts) take their off-the-wall trip to South Beach to the next level with another high-energy, neon-soaked installment, in-stores next Wednesday.
Pub Date: April 22, 2015
Item Code: FEB150372
Pub Date: May 13, 2015
Item Code: MAR150456
Pub Date: June 17, 2015
Item Code: APR150489
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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Canada’s Koyama Press continues to present a lively slate of boundary-pushing work, and this fall they are putting out their biggest line ever, including two books by Michael DeForge, new books by Jane Mai, Cole Closser and some newcomers, a kid’s book and a revamped version of Julia Wertz’s Drinking at the Movies. I expect one of the most interesting will be Robin Nishio’s Wailed which follows “a group of friends who also happen to be the vanguard of alternative comics making.” And you thought The Sponsor was shattering!
All the details below:
5 ½ x 8, 120 pages, colour, paper over board
Like Very Casual, a collection of very odd odds and sods from the outré oeuvre of Michael DeForge.
Michael DeForge makes comics like no one else. This collection of the cartoonist’s mini-comics, zines, anthology work, and more, is a follow up to the award-winning Very Casual, and shows the artist at the height of his occasionally fever-induced powers.
7 ⅛ x 10, 52 pages, colour, trade paper
Lose, now in full colour!
The multi-award winning Lose series is Michael DeForge’s comics laboratory. The art form is pushed to its limits in these first-time-in-full-colour pages. Revel in a cartoonist at the height of their powers exploring the eccentricities of a woman who befriends her dad’s doppelgänger, and the realities of a flightless bird/boy hybrid.
6 x 7 ½, 160 pages, colour, trade paper
This aesthetically varied collection of nine graphic short stories is loosely linked by the recurring appearance of a black rat.
Black Rat is the sleeper in the shadow, the wanderer in the woods. He walks between worlds and travels through time—slaying monsters, solving mysteries and philosophizing with his fists amidst a barrage of butchered quotes and borrowed styles in a series of seemingly disparate, sometimes violently visceral vignettes.
COLE CLOSSER is a cartoonist and a graduate of the BFA program at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, as well as a graduate of the MFA program at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont. His graphic novel Little Tommy Lost was named one of the ten best graphic novels of 2013 by A.V. Club (the Onion), and nominated for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award in the category of Best Publication Design at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con. Cole currently lives in Springfield, MO and teaches drawing at Missouri State University and Drury University.
SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY
7 x 10, 128 pages, b&w, trade paper
Autobio with bite.
This collection of diary comics features the ennui and wee of twenty-something Jane Mai whose emotions and art traverse the high and low. Moments of visual poetry and heartbreak are interspersed by bad body hair and bathroom disasters; much like life.
JANE MAI is a freelance illustrator and comic artist from Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in several anthologies and self-published zines. In 2012, Koyama Press published her first book, Sunday in the Park with Boys, which was followed by the zine Sorry I Can’t Come in on Monday I’m Really Really Sick.
DRINKING AT THE MOVIES
6 ½ x 9, 220 pages, b&w, trade paper
Julia Wertz is the anti-Bridget Jones; her diary comics are filled with life’s real and often really hilarious moments.
Representing Julia Wertz’s critically acclaimed first graphic memoir in a new format, with brand new material from Wertz, and an introduction by Janeane Garofalo. But don’t worry; we haven’t replaced any of the wrenching and ribald, whiskey-soaked coming-of-age tale. This is Wertz at her best, which is sometimes her worst.
JULIA WERTZ was born in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1982 and currently lives in Brooklyn. She is the author of the autobiographic comic books The Fart Party Vols. 1 and 2 (Atomic Books, 2007, 2009) both volumes were collected asMuseum of Mistakes in 2014, Drinking at the Movies (Random House, 2010) and The Infinite Wait and Other Stories (Koyama Press, 2012).
8 ¾ x 10, 80 pages, CMYK rich-b&w, trade paper
Page through the lives of contemporary cartooning’s enfants terribles.
Wailed is an intimate chronicle of a group of friends who also happen to be the vanguard of alternative comics making. In stark black and white, the lives of these young artists are illuminated. Comics are often associated with the past, but this is a document of their future.
ROBIN NISHIO is an accomplished illustrator and storyboard artist and his artistic acumen is also reflected in beautiful and raw photographs. His high-contrast black-and-white images recall the pioneering work of Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama. Straddling two market groups, art photography and cartooning, Wailed is a book with an easy hook, but a depth that allows it to transcend easy categorization.
10 x 13, 52 pages, 3 spot colours, trade paper
A modern Mondrian; Woollam sees cities as a latticework of vibrant colour and fluid forms.
Crossways presents the ever-changing grids that make up the modern urban center, be they intersecting streets, crisscrossing wires or the ladder that climbs up the side of a building, as pure abstraction. For Woollam, landscape is liquid and the city is a medium as fluid as ink.
PHIL WOOLLAM is an artist living in Toronto whose drawing based practice often focuses on multiples that recall the colourful geometry of the Memphis movement and De Stijl. Trained as a sculptor, Woollam has also created three-dimensional works including mascots based on the characters and designs of cartoonist Michael DeForge.
8 ½ x 10, 52 pages, colour, paper over board
Make a face when the wind changes and it will stick, but, in this myth, you might just love it.
For generations the Face Changers have made the clay tokens that change the winds and faces of their kin. This month the youngest is tasked to take the ten thousand footsteps to the top of the mountain and engulf the town in the winds of change.
NATHAN JUREVICIUS is an Australian-Canadian illustrator who has worked in a variety of media including designer toys, video games and animation. He is best known for his acclaimed multi-platform project the psychedelic and heartfelt modern folktale Scarygirl. Nathan currently lives and works in Toronto.
“Nathan Jurevicius’ work achieves the minor miracle of being aggressively weird, deeply compelling and entirely satisfying…a rare achievement that only a true master of mysterio autentico can accomplish.” — Jim Woodring, creator of Frank and Jim
Uncivilized Books has had a few knockout books, with Maya Neyestani’s An Iranian Metamorphosis getting a lot of wards consideration. And now here’s the Fall line-up with more exciting titles, including new works from Sam Alden, the debut of Xeric winner Caitlin Skaalrud, and the publishers first fiction book from a brace of award-winning writers. They also have a subscription plan for all three titles.
by Sam Alden
A collection of two new stories from cartoonist and Adventure Time contributor Sam Alden. In “Household,” a brother and sister deal with divergent memories of their father and grow closer than ever. In “Backyard,” vegans and anarchists share a house, small dramas and bizarre transformations (featuring a new, never before published ending). Designed as a companion volume to the critically acclaimed It Never Happened Again, New Construction cements Alden’s reputation as one of the best cartoonists of his generation.
Softcover, b&w, 208 Pages, $17.95
Comics / Graphic Novel
￼Houses of the Holy
by Caitlin Skaalrud
A young woman’s descent into the depths of her psyche takes the form of a Dantean journey, each stage a macabre installation of everyday objects and animals (dead and alive) arranged in occult patterns. Abandoning the false self leads her through despair, self-surrender, and an encounter with the inner void. Houses of the Holy by Caitlin Skaalrud is a nightmarish vision of a damaged psyche fighting to be reborn.
Softcover, b&w, 180 pages, $21.95
￼The Deaths of Henry King
by Brian Evenson, Jesse Ball and Lilli Carré
In The Deaths of Henry King, the hapless Henry King, as advertised, dies. Not just once or even twice, but seven dozen times, each death making way for a new demise, moving from the comic to the grim to the absurd to the transcendent and back again. With text by Jesse Ball and Brian Evenson complimented by Lilli Carré’s macabre, gravestone-rubbing art, Henry King’s ends are brought to vividly absurd life.
Hardcover, b&w with 40 2-color illustrations, 132 pages, $22.95
The FUBAR comic books might not be familiar to the traditional Wednesday Warrior, but they’re a major player in the growing zombie and anthology markets. Even though the one time it strayed from its anthology roots its Kickstarter raised over $95,000, FUBAR is committing to sharing a selection of short stories by a variety of creators. Next up are FUBAR: By The Sword and FUBAR: Declassified, exploring zombies during different periods of wartime. I spoke to the founder of FUBAR Press and major contributor to the series, Jeff McComsey, about crowdfunding the two graphic novels.
Art by Steve Becker.
Congrats on the success of the new Kickstarter! Did the stories collected in this campaign start before or after FUBAR: Mother Russia?
The stories in By The Sword and most of Declassified have been a long time coming. We’ve been publishing quite a few By The Sword stories as issues first, in the two-issue miniseries FUBAR: By the Sword and then in the Guts & Glory one-shot. Mother Russia’s success moved back the Kickstarter for By The Sword just because we needed a little more time to wrap up that campaign.
From FUBAR: By The Sword. Art by Chris Peterson. Story by Shawn Aldridge.
What made special ops and the periods of history covered in By The Sword the logical next projects for FUBAR?
The Special Ops stories are mostly made up of stuff Steve [Becker] and I wanted to draw and we just kind of came up with a reason afterwards. By The Sword was a natural extension of our American history volume. Plus we wanted to draw some swords and shields [laughs].
From FUBAR: Special Ops. Art by Steve Becker. Story by Jeff McComsey.
You’ve covered so much of world history at this point. What’s left to explore next?
We’ve got a whole music-themed issue that has already been unlocked as a stretch goal for the current campaign. After that, who knows!
FUBAR: Mother Russia. Art by Steve Becker.
All the FUBAR campaigns have done well, but what do you think made the Mother Russia Kickstarter in particular such a huge success?
Well, I think the standalone story nature versus the anthology is one aspect. Another would be I think it’s a neat story that we were able to convey with the little info you can when doing a Kickstarter. Kickstarter was also kind enough to feature us in one of their “Projects We Love” email blast and that really set the campaign off.
I wrote a piece awhile back about how Kickstarter was making anthologies possible again, but the standalone long form nature definitely seemed to have been a positive factor for Mother Russia. Has it made you consider doing more graphic novels?
I always have one or two ideas for OGNs going at all times. I have a few projects I’ll be finishing up until summer but after that, if something crazy doesn’t come up, I’ll be working on one of those OGN ideas.
American Terror by Jeff McComsey.
FUBAR-related or no?
Well, Mother Russia 2 is one of them. I have a pretty fleshed out idea about where things go after the first volume. American Terror is another option. I also have a hankering to do a bio comic.
Would you use Kickstarter for all of those?
Most definitely. I plan to Kickstart projects until people stop backing them.
From FUBAR: Special Ops. Art by Steve Becker. Story by Jeff McComsey.
How do you think your career would be different without Kickstarter?
It’s hard to say, but I certainly wouldn’t have been able to get nearly as many books on the shelf.
What makes Alterna Comics a good partner for FUBAR?
Alterna has a great business model for small press creators that are willing to help push their work. Alterna gets us into shops, book stores, ComiXology. It’s up to us to then get people to pick up those books and enjoy them.
At this point, after some really impressive Kickstarters, how much would you say FUBAR is a business and how much of it is a hobby for you and other contributors?
I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me it’s a business. Publishing, Kickstarters and all the other ephemera that pops up is itself a full-time job. Then I still have to get freelance work done. It can be tough. My love/need of drawing comics is only seconded by my love/need to publish/make comics.
From FUBAR: By The Sword. Art by Chris Peterson. Story by Shawn Aldridge.
Check out the latest FUBAR Kickstarter, which ends Sunday night. Follow Jeff at his website and on Twitter.
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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Titan announced today they are serializing the Kickstarter-funded 21st Century Tank Girl, which saw artist and Co-creators Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin returning to the character which made them famous in the 80s and 90s.
Last April, the Tank Girl Kickstarter campaign smashed it’s intended goal of $94, 839, raising nearly $300k to fund Hewlett and Martin’s return to the franchise. The project also brings on board celebrated indie artists Philip Bond and Jim Mahfood. From Titan:
TITAN PUBLISHES THE KICKSTARTER SENSATION 21ST CENTURY TANK GIRL!
This June, Titan Comics are excited to announce they are serializing Kickstarter Smash Hit 21st Century Tank Girl!
After a break of more than 20 years, artist extraordinaire Jamie Hewlett has returned to the
iconic character which made his name. Co-created in the late 80s by Hewlett and writer Alan Martin, Tank Girl quickly became a household name and revolutionized British comics industry. This landmark publication reunites the two collaborators for all-new original material!
Titan will publish 21st Century Tank Girl as a 3 issue mini-series written by Martin and illustrated by a stellar line-up of stalwarts and newcomers including Philip Bond (Kill Your Boyfriend), Jim Mahfood (Miami Vice), Brett Parson, Jonathan Edwards, Warwick Johnson Cadwell, Craig Knowles and more!
21st Century Tank Girl #1 will be issued with two Jamie Hewlett covers, and will be ready for pre-orders in the April edition of PREVIEWS.
Are you excited for Tank Girl’s return? Let us know in the comments!
The Beat’s own Zachary Clemente has just announced a new comic called Immolation and it looks very cool.
ANNOUNCEMENT: The first installment in a series of vignettes from a universe at the cusp of a perilous trial that will test all its inhabitants. IMMOLATION asks: “What is the price of power?” and is part of the upcoming 1001 Knights Anthology.
Story: Zachary Clemente
Art: Ricardo López Ortiz
Letters & Title: Arielle Soutar
Clemente will have copies to give out and tarde at ECCC and MoCCA, supplies willing, so hit him up!
I had never heard of the 1001 Knights project, but it is another cool sounding book, with stories promising “kickass ladies, feminist characters, and people-positive knights.” Lots more nice art on the tumblr.
After learning about a comic-to-movie adaption not familiar to most, I spoke with Peter Simeti, the president of the Diamond-distributed Alterna Comics whose graphic novel The CHAIR was recently adapted into an indie film. I was curious about how a book from a smaller publisher gained the attention of filmmakers and was able to fund a full-length movie. Read the answers I received below to get a sense of the kind of conditions that can lead an indie comic book or graphic novel to a turn on the big screen.
Can you describe the graphic novel version of The CHAIR in your own words?
In terms of the plot, it’s a psychological horror/thriller that revolves around a man who believes he’s innocent of the crimes he’s been convicted of and his struggle to survive against a sadistic and psychotic prison warden and his guards. But the story itself has strong themes of isolation, the ethics of torture, morality, child abuse, domestic violence, fate and the demons of one’s past.
The CHAIR was released through Alterna Comics, where you’re the publisher. Can you describe its business model?
Alterna is a creator-owned company, similar to many other independent comic publishers. We’ve been around since 2006 (celebrating Year 10 very soon!) and in that time I’ve had the pleasure of working with over 100 talented individuals; it’s been an amazing experience.
What was the reception like to The CHAIR when it was first released?
Back in 2008 when the compiled graphic novel was released, I remember that it did fairly well. Nothing huge or record-breaking, but it did good for a small press indie book. The coolest part, to me, was that people really seemed to enjoy it and, more importantly, they understood it. It’s a bit of a heady, trippy, downer of a book, so I’m glad that people have taken a liking to it.
Who’s behind the movie adaption? What experience do they have in filmmaking?
Chad Ferrin is the director of the film and along with myself, Erin Kohut (who wrote the screenplay), Zebadiah DeVane (Executive Producer), and Kyle Hester (Producer) — we all helped to champion this story into being made into a film. I encourage everyone to visit The CHAIR’s IMDb page for information on our cast and crew.
How did they learn about the graphic novel, and what made it appealing to them to adapt for film?
Erin adapted the graphic novel for film (she edited the graphic novel, so of course she did a great job on the screenplay) and we pitched it to Chad Ferrin about 2 years ago. He liked the story, characters, and writing a lot – so we moved forward from that point. Chad’s previous films shared similar themes to the ones found in The CHAIR – psychological elements and stories that were ripe in metaphor.
The original Kickstarter wasn’t able to hit a funding goal of $300,000 to make The CHAIR. You successfully funded a second campaign with a $40,000 goal. How were you able to lower the budget so drastically?
Well, because of the original Kickstarter, we actually attracted many private investors that supplemented our budget. We figured out that we only needed about $140K in reality to get production going, so we worked around those numbers to hit our production goal.
Did you have a chance to visit the set while The CHAIR was being filmed?
No! Unfortunately I was snowed in, in Massachusetts during the two weeks of filming in Los Angeles. We had a historically horrible winter here; just my luck right? [Laughs]
What kinds of restrictions did a shoestring budget put on the production?
We had to be creative with a lot of things, especially our use of space. Luckily 75% of the film takes place on death row, so it was “easy” to keep location costs down. Producer Kyle Hester did a great job on bringing along some amazingly talented people on board; I can’t thank them enough for the terrific job they did bringing this film to life.
Can you describe how the rights were negotiated? What does a contract look like for a smaller budget independent film?
Well, I’m the majority rights holder of the film. It wasn’t sold or optioned, it’s as indie as it gets! We’ve got private investors and everyone gets a piece of the pie, but there’s no big studio involved here, even though there’s many well-known actors involved (all of which, are super nice people and incredibly talented as well).
How can a comic book creator who isn’t necessarily in the mainstream get the attention of filmmakers?
By asking and showing your work! I say this all the time – you can have the greatest story/song/piece of art ever made, but if no one knows about it, then it’ll stay that way until you put it out there. If you’re a creator, share your creations!
What’s next for The CHAIR?
We’ll be having another crowdfunding campaign, this time on Indiegogo for post-production funds (editing, sound design, music, color correct), in late April. For details on that, I recommend everyone stay tuned on Twitter by following @theCHAIRhorror, @alternacomics, and @petersimeti.
By: Heidi MacDonald
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Today is a day to send shout-outs to the Center for Cartoon Studies, located in White River Junction, VT and recognize it’s many good deeds. While my shout out should be a loving essay on how teaching comics has had a strong effect on storytelling and how the bucolic yet isolated campus in rural Vermont allows students to focus in on making comics, or the print room or the other great things about the faculty which includes James Sturm and Steve Bissette, I don’t have time for that.
Instead I will just direct you to Rob Clough’s series looking at the WORK of CCS grads (which he didn’t tag with CCS, shame shame shame), and spotlight a few of them:
• Chuck Forsman, now putting out an exciting new action focused comics series, THE REVENGER:
• Melissa Mendes, who is serializing a great comic called The Weight.
• Colleen Frakes, creator of Island Brat and much more, including StevenUniverse fan art.
• Melanie Gilman creator of the Eisner nominated webcomic As The Crow Flies
• Sean Ford creator of Only Skin and Shadow Hills.
• Eleri Mai Harris whose non fiction comics grace The Nib on numerous occasions.
• Alexis Frederick-Frost artist on the Adventures in Cartooning series.
• Sophie Goldstein, whose The Oven is coming out later this month and is amazing.
……and dozens more. I have to leave the office now or I would spend hours more looking at the great great yards from this school. Someone smarter than me needs to look at how the precepts taught at CCS have changed cartooning, and how Sturms ideas about applied cartooning are changing the business. But for today…just a shout out.
In Last of the Sandwalkers, Eisner nominee Jay Hosler combines his love of comics with his academic background in biological sciences and teaching. The result is a graphic novel aimed at students, ages 10-14, that has the intellectual weight to interest a much wider audience. Tackling themes like creationism vs. evolution, space exploration, and more, Last of the Sandwalkers features a pack of beetles searching for life beyond their home. With the graphic novel releasing today, we spoke with Hosler about the inspirations for the book and the utility of the graphic novel in the classroom.
What’s your “secret origin” in the comics industry? Have you always been interested in sequential art?
Like most kids, I was drawing at a very early age. The only difference between me and most of my peers wasn’t really the quality of the work so much as the fact that I never stopped drawing as I got older.
I have early memories of reading Tintin and Charlie Brown at my Grandmother’s lake cottage in northern Indiana. Grandma wasn’t a comics fan and I don’t think my mom or her siblings were either, but for some reason she had hardback volumes of Herge’s “The Secret of the Unicorn” and Schulz’s “Peanuts Treasury.” I would read and re-read those over and over.
I can remember being fascinated by the emanata each cartoonist used; squiggly lines and stars when someone got pegged in the head or sweat droplets flying into the air when they were nervous or tired. I started to reproduce those elements in my own drawings. Suddenly, all of the dinosaurs I was obsessively drawing were blushing, sweating and staring at stars circling their noggins.
It wasn’t until I was in second grade and got my hands on Marvel Team Up #19 that I started emulating sequential art. Stegron the Dinosaur Man drew me to the comic, but Spider-Man made me stick around for more. I started trying to tell stories with multiple pictures. These tended toward humor more than adventure stories and given my love of Peanuts most of what I tried to do was comic strips.
In high school, college and graduate school I did comic strips for the school newspapers. Unfortunately, they were pretty banal stuff; this class is hard, I can’t get a date, the bookstore charges to much, bad puns, etc. In the last 30 years, I’ve managed to shake all of those themes except bad puns. By the time I was in graduate school, I was doing a daily comic strip called Spelunker for the Notre Dame newspaper as well as a weekly strip called Cow-Boy for the Comic Buyers Guide. The problem is that I was really feeling the constraints of doing a four-panel strip and I wasn’t very good as a gag-man. I wanted to try something longer.
So, along with the editorial cartoonist at the Notre Dame newspaper and a fresh-faced aspiring writer named Bill Roseman (now of Marvel fame), I decided to give comics a try. We self-published a single, 22-page issue of Wired Comix. The comic contained three stories and was as well received as one could expect for something with such limited distribution. This whetted my appetite for more.
Eventually, I would make a 72-page issue of Cow-Boy that featured seven original comic stories. I loved it, but it was still primarily goofy humor and a super hero parody wasn’t really contributing anything new to the medium. Maybe it was the scientist in me, but I wanted to make a novel contribution to comics in the same way I was trying with my research to add a little something novel to our understanding of insect physiology. It was at this point that I made the leap addressed in the next question…
At what point did you decide to bridge the gap between your love and science and cartooning?
After I had gotten my doctorate, I stayed at Notre Dame for a year and taught a few classes. After getting your degree, the next phase of a scientist’s career usually entails postdoctoral work in another lab, so I was casting about for possibilities. I managed to land a position at the Rothenbuhler Honey Bee Research Laboratory at Ohio State University (sadly, no longer there, but not because I broke it).
My graduate research had focused on how insect muscle function was affected by low temperatures, but the work at Rothenbuhler would focus on how regions of the bee brain processed floral odors. To prepare for this work, I decided I needed to bone up on my knowledge of honey bee biology, behavior and natural history. Mark Winston’s book “The Biology of the Honeybee” was a revelation. Not only was it comprehensive and interesting, but it inspired me. I remember thinking, “Someone should do a comic about bees!” It wasn’t until I was a year into my postdoc that the little light bulb went off over my head and I realized that that someone could be me.
I wrote and drew the first issue of Clan Apis and submitted it for a Xeric Grant. Several weeks later, I got the news that it would be funded. In fact, I received that news in the same week that I received funding for a three-year grant form the National Institutes of Mental Health to fund my research and my salary. I think I was more excited about the Xeric.
You’ve crafted a number of graphic novels under your own publishing house (Active Synapse). What made you want to go that route from the outset? Did you find self-publishing came with its own challenges?
The decision to self-publish was ultimately made for me. No one was interested in publishing a biologically accurate comic book about bees in the late 1990s. I suppose if I had drawn them as buxom, gun-toting cyber bees I might have had a chance, but that wasn’t the route I wanted to go. Plus, I wanted the freedom to do the books the way I wanted. I used the Xeric Grant to get things started and then was lucky to form a partnership with my friend Daryn Guarino to form Active Synapse. This was great for my books and Daryn is an indefatigable business and distribution force. He is also a very talented man and has started writing his own books.
Self-publishing is difficult, expensive and it can consume your life and I think both of us wanted to channel our creative energies elsewhere.
How did the creative process for Last of the Sandwalkers compare to your previous offerings? Did you find that there were lessons learned that you could apply?
One of the big differences was the amount of ongoing feedback that I sought. I showed the first few chapters to a friend and his kids. These are bright, book loving kids and they weren’t sure what the heck was going on at the start of the book so their feedback stimulated me to add the short first chapter as a means of clarification.
When I had it half done, I passed the book around to a few cartoonists and comics loving friends to see if what I was doing was working. All of their feedback, along with my own glacially slow deliberations, helped me make the story better. Ten plus years is a long time to work on something without feedback. Thankfully I got some excellent advice and the book didn’t wind up a hot mess (IMHO).
I think the toughest thing for me was the fact that it wasn’t a strictly linear story like my past books. There were all of the hints of past event and flashback that I wanted to tie together with the present, but I wanted them to unfold like a mystery. This required mapping out the story, drawing connections, decided how much I could say and when I could say it. What was too subtle? What was too obvious? And how do I do all of this and make it appealing to the broadest audience possible? How do you entertain comic savvy folks and comic newbies? Kids and adults?
In terms of tone, my approach was the same with all of my other books. I emulated Looney Tunes cartoons. A Bugs Bunny cartoon had slapstick for me as a kid and word play and political commentary for my Dad. There was enough there to keep us both entertained and provide us with a shared experience. That is how I hope people respond to this book.
Did you feel as though you had a specific mission statement while working on Last of the Sandwalkers?
The science writer Matthew Ridly wrote a cover blurb for Richard Dawkin’s book The Greatest Show on Earth in which he praises Dawkins as a master of “wonderstanding.” I’m usually not a fan of cutesy words but this one has been a useful touchstone for me.
I want people to feel the sense of wonder I feel in the natural world. My goal is to share that excitement and to help provide them with more than just a surface appreciation. I want them to develop an understanding of how things works and how living things are interconnected and I want to have fun doing it. I also want them to forge an emotional connection with the natural world. Laughing and crying connects us to stories and the world in powerful ways. We come back to things that make feel. And if I can cultivate a sense of wonderstanding in my readers, then insects will become more than creepy crawling things we squish without a second thought. They will enrich our sense of who we are and our connection to the natural world.
When you’re creating a work as long as Last of the Sandwalkers, what exactly is your day to day work process?
My process was fundamentally the same for this book. I found a topic that captured my interest and started doing research, cobbling together notes and story ideas. I would write a script for a chapter, read it out-loud, edit, read it to my family, edit, start thumbnailing pages, edit, start drawing, edit, show the pages to my family, edit. Lather, rinse, repeat for each page. There were some false starts. I drew a version of the first chapter in a completely different, hyper-simple style that didn’t work.
For most of this book, there was no reliable day-to-day process. I could go an entire semester without having a chance to work on it at all. But the minute the semester ended and finals were in, I could get back to it. On the first day after my final class I usually drew a page and triumphantly posted it to Facebook.
My goal was usually to get a chapter of two done over the summer, but there were times when even that wasn’t possible. Last of the Sandwalkers took the back seat when paying gigs would pop up. I couldn’t pass up the chance to work with Kevin Cannon and Zander Cannon on Evolution any more than I could miss the opportunity to illustrate entomologist-extraordinaire May Berenbaum’s book The Earwig’s Tale. So, the beetles got shuttled to the back burner at times, but they were always in my mind percolating.
Do you script first and then move on to to the illustration stage or is there another method you find works best?
The story comes first. I need to work out the balance of science and adventure so that it isn’t too insipid or too ponderously didactic. But, as I noted earlier, once the first draft is done, there is a very dynamic feedback loop between drawing and writing.
At what point did First Second become involved? How has working for a large publishing house impacted your work?
Working with First Second was a dream. Our relationship started when I met Gina Gagliano (marketing) at SPX several years ago. I can’t remember how we started talking, but I had a draft of the first half of the book at my table and after she looked through it she said, “We’d be interested in this.” I was very flattered (and a bit surprised), but at the time I was still planning to self-publish. Of course, being self-absorbed, I tucked that compliment away in my mental files for future review. When my self-publishing circumstances changed, I put together a pdf of the first 160 pages and sent it to Gina. I don’t have an agent, so this was probably a bit brassy, but fortunately I was too dumb to know any better.
My future editor Calista Brill got back to me very quickly with a proposal and we were rolling. Calista was incredibly supportive and patient and the book is better because of her. Likewise Colleen Venable (the designer at the time) was an inspiration. She worked so long and patiently with me on the cover and in the process taught me a lot about design. Her covers are great, so I just followed her lead and we arrived at a cover that is infinitely better than the one I initially proposed.
Now, I’m working with Gina to market the book. She is so on the ball, it’s tough for me to keep up sometimes! She has lined up so many opportunities for me to promote this book and I am deeply grateful.
At every step of the way I have been treated with respect, patience and creative freedom. They’ve taught me so much and new knowledge is the greatest gift you can give an academic. I feel really lucky to be working with them.
Can you explain the relationship between The Sandwalk Adventures and Last of the Sandwalkers?
It was accidental at some level. Or perhaps serendipitous, I’m not sure. For most of the time I was working on the Last of the Sandwalkers, I was using a very different title. Once the ball got rolling at First Second, we decided that my working title might not be the most effective way to go, so we went back and forth for a long time and finally settled on Last of the Sandwalkers.
In The Sandwalk Adventures, the sandwalk was the place on Darwin’s property in Downe where he would take a noon stroll and talk to the follicle mite in his left eyebrow. In the comic, the sandwalk is where they would have adventures (both imagined and real).
In Last of the Sandwalkers, the main character is a desert beetle, or sandwalker, named Lucy. And, as the title implies, she is the last of her kind as far as she knows. Calling Lucy a sandwalker was meant to be a shout out to the Darwin book, but it really inspired my editor Calista Brill and she eventually convinced me that this was the better title.
That said, there are some interesting parallels. Darwin walked a sandwalk, so he was a also sandwalker. Lucy is a scientist living in an island oasis that is surrounded by a sea of sand. She eventually leaves the island and makes discoveries that reshape our view of nature. Sounds to me a lot like Darwin leaving England on the voyage of the HMS Beagle. Clearly, something may have been at work in the back of my mind that I wasn’t even aware of.
Is it difficult to find the right balance between providing educational facts and creative storytelling?
It can be, although I don’t think of the science I weave in as “facts.” My hope is that they are knowledge of natural history that the characters need to advance the plot or tell a joke.
As far as my approach to this is concerned, imagine a sci-fi show where the characters need to reverse the polarity of the tachyon beam to generate a ripple in subspace gravity field so that they can collapse a rift in the space-time continuum. When I structure a story, I just replace all that made-up sci-fi exposition with real natural history exposition. When I can, I try to set the stories in the real world, just not the human real world. The trick is to be willing to look at a worm or an insect as a marvelous, mysterious thing. An alien underfoot. You have to see the everyday from a different perspective, but when you do it can be startling and breathtaking.
Teaching has taught me a lot about weaving storytelling and science together. For every lecture I give or lab I run, I need to see the story in what we are discussing. Throwing a slide on the screen that is packed with information is a universal guarantee of trigger the sleep response. Information in any field requires context and cohesion and these are the elements that stories provide. A worm isn’t just a worm, it is a necessity for aerating soil or the scourge of terrace rice farmers. It is a force of nature working completely out of our site, moving and transforming the ground beneath our feet.
These are the things I keep in mind as I write, but I can easily delude myself. After all, I can enjoy a good textbook as much as a novel and I know that makes me weird, so I read everything I write to my family. They’re the final arbiters of what works and what doesn’t. They will tell me when to dial back the science or give them more. They will tell me when things are too frenetic or confusing or when I need some more excitement or humor. If I can get it right for myself and for my family, then I’m usually pretty confident the story is in a good place. For a book this long and complicated, I also sent it to several colleagues and friends to get feedback as I worked.
What attracted you to do the graphic novel medium as a tool for teaching? Have you seen an increase in the use of graphic novels as an educational tool?
Our brains are wired to receive information as pictures. When I give public talks, I often throw up a slide with a block of text describing an item. The definition I use comes from the dictionary and after about thirty seconds of reading and processing a few people raise their hands to tell me what it describes. Many other are still working it out when I through up a picture of a cog and everyone in the room immediately gets it.
Our brains also appear to be wired for story. Work form cognitive scientists is starting to demonstrate the importance of storytelling for memory formation and contextualizing information. Stories scaffold ideas for us and help us hold onto to those ideas and use them effectively.
As McCloud points out in Understanding Comics, we know this intuitively because we give kids picture books. Recognition of the power of pictures doesn’t go away when kids get to college. I pick the textbooks I use based on the quality of the illustrations and figures. But, the storytelling component is all but gone. For me, comics sit between these two extremes and I believe comics are the most powerful of all three possibilities for engaging and entertaining students and casual readers.
Of course, the medium itself is just fun and the best learning happens when we are enjoying ourselves.
The protagonists in this story are battling views very similar to creationism. Do you feel creationism is still a threat to our educational system?
Absolutely. We live in a free country and people are allowed to believe what they want to believe. You want to believe that the world was created in seven days? That’s your right. But that’s a belief that has absolutely no scientific evidence to support it. Of course, that isn’t an issue for creationists, because faith in that belief does not require evidence. The problem comes when believers start demanding that their faith-based beliefs be taught as a alternative to theories that are grounded in over a century’s worth of scientific evidence from paleontology, developmental biology, geochemistry, physics, anatomy, physiology, behavior, etc.
A science class is for science. Unfortunately, having the freedom to believe what you choose and pursue your beliefs without persecution doesn’t appear to be enough for some folks. They feel compelled to try to change laws and influence school boards and teachers to make their religious beliefs a part of the science curriculum.
Proponents of creationism are constantly changing their tactics looking for ways into the classroom, so we need to be vigilant. Remember Intelligent Design? It was all the rage in the 1990s. Proponents promised they would have experimental proof that never came, but in the meantime they managed to get their philosophy into several classroom.
The even bigger problem is that creationists have written the playbook for science denial. Their tactics have been modified and deployed by everyone from those denying climate change to the anti-vaccination crowd.
Is it difficult to espouse a pro-science message without creating an anti-religion tone? Or is that the point?
Any pro-science message is going to be read by someone, somewhere as anti-religion. It is true that Lucy butts heads with a religious fundamentalist in Last of the Sandwalkers, but I’d like to believe the story is more generally about the conflict between science and the powerful individuals and organizations that oppose it. The majority of those that seek to discredit climate change scientists and their results do so for economic reasons, not because of religious objections.
As I read, I definitely got a space/sci-fi feel from the book, even though it all takes place in small corners of the Earth. Last of the Sandwalkers is about the pursuit of science and exploration – is any of it meant as a commentary on the low levels of government funding in NASA and space exploration?
You bet. The human race has become like a comfortable older couple. We don’t going anywhere anymore! We need to dream again about the worlds beyond our comfort zone. When we are at our best when we are exploring and seeking to understand the universe better. Plus, the work done to get ourselves into outer space invariable generates technologies that make life better for us that stay on Earth..
…And lastly, we have to ask, just for fun. Any interest in the upcoming Ant-Man film?
Absolutely! The current Ant-Man comic is a hoot and it has some well drawn ants. Plus, I did do my own short Ant-Man fan film…
By: Heidi MacDonald
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Over the Emerald City Comic Con weekend, Andrew MacLean was kind enough to take some time out of his schedule to chat with Comics Beat about his new graphic novel, Apocalyptigirl: An Aria for the Endtimes.
Comics Beat: So give us the rundown on your book. What can readers expect?
Andrew MacLean: Sure, but I’m terrible at talking about it! Basically we follow this girl Aria and her cat, and they’re on a mission to find this ancient relic that used to be a power source for the world before it kind of collapsed. So now the world is city ruins covered in trees and undergrowth and all that stuff, and the humans of the area are all really savage. So while Aria is searching for this, she’s constantly hindered by the savages, and then other groups come in… It’s tough to talk about it without spoiling anything, but that’s the jist of it. Robot fights and savage fights.
CB: So what gave you the idea for this story?
AM: Most of the things I do usually start out with a single drawing. I did a drawing as a sort of collaboration with my buddy Toby Cypress, and we did a print. It was just a girl sitting on a motorcycle with a spiked bat and a bunch of cats. So I have a character and then I wonder what world they’re in, and it starts coming to me. Once I realized what kind of world she was in, I kind of tapped into my love for Akira and Tekkon Kinkreet and the manga style.
CB: The art is beautiful – full of texture and grain. Did you use traditional tools for this?
AM: Yeah, I used ink and black watercolor for tones, on watercolor paper and then simple colors underneath that are digital. It was my first time coloring a book, so I did a lot of trial runs.
CB: You’ve crafted a pretty interesting mythos here. Were you influenced by anything in particular?
AM: I started out with a couple things I wanted this character to do, a string of events and stuff. It’s hard to say because the pieces just fall into place on their own. I like contrasting ideas, so it’s the future, but it’s a collapsed world, so I kind of wanted the old residents to feel savage. The characters kind of tell me what to do.
CB: The story is very heavy on narrative and light on dialogue. Is that just symptomatic of having a main character with only a cat to talk to, or do you naturally gravitate to the narrative style?
AM: I’m kind of like an artist who writes rather than a writer who draws. I have a lot of respect for people than can carry a story with minimal dialogue, and so I like to attempt that. I don’t even have the cat meow that much, so it’s really just Aria carrying the story – thoughts she has or just talking to the cat. It’s more the nature of the solitude of the character than anything else.
CB: There are these striking panels littered throughout the comic that are just eyes, colored with blues and reds. It sort of reminded me of the eyes in The Great Gatsby, which in the book is a pretty dismal symbol. Anything meaning in those panels?
AM: It’s not so much The Great Gatsby… The savage boy in the comic – there wasn’t really enough dialogue in the book for me to name him – but to me he was always “Little Dead Eyes,” so the idea was that you look at him and think he’s a little nuts, even before you see his actions. So I like that Aria only had to see him once and she was kind of already haunted by him, and so his eyes always come up again and again. The two characters are head to head, so it seems only right that we could see that through her eyes meeting his on the page. It’s a little more subtle than my other stuff.
CB: There’s definitely a musical undercurrent to this work. Could you tell us a little more about your choice to have Aria sing opera throughout the book?
AM: Mostly I just chose them so I could have something that was public domain, first and foremost. The songs I wanted to sing were more like Three Stooges songs, because that’s more in line with the personality. I went to college for music, so I just have an affinity for it. I didn’t go into it thinking I wanted to use music, but the dots just kind of connect on these things. I don’t have a map. There’s no rhyme or reason to half the stuff I do, haha.
Apocalyptigirl: An Aria for the Endtimes will be released by Dark Horse Comics on June 2, 2015.
By Kate Reynolds
November saw a slew of new titles from Image with some pretty serious sales, most notably ODY-C from Matt Fraction and Tooth & Claw from Kurt Busiek. Wytches, the new Scott Snyder title from Image continues. It was also a good month for Dark Horse as the “Fire and Stone” event keeps chugging along.
Marvel and DC have finally stopped having major events, so we are back this month with almost 140 indie titles for you. Overall indie title sales were down 23.3% at 1,488,193 comparedto last month’s 1,939571. for an average sale of 10,706.
Image is still number one with an 10.2% dollar share and a 11.06% market share. They had 7 of the top 100 books overall. IDW came in at second place with a 5.65% dollar share and a 4.53% market share. Next, Dark Horse had a 4.85% dollar share and a 3.58% market share, Dynamite has a 2.84% dollar share and a 2.54% market share, while Boom! has a 2.73% dollar share and a 2.68% market share.
UK and European sales from Diamond UK are not reported in this chart.
Thanks to icv2.com and Milton Griepp for permission to use these numbers, which are estimates only.
14. Walking Dead #134 (Image)
8/1/2014: Walking Dead #130 - $71,885 (-1.4%)
9/1/2014: Walking Dead #131 - 69,810 (-2.95)
10/1/2014:Walking Dead #132 - 326,334 (+367.5)
10/1/2014: Walking Dead #133 - 69,561 (-78.7%)
11/1/2014: Walking Dead #134 - 68,093 (-2.1%)
Slight drop, but still holding steady in the upper sixty thousand range. It doesn’t looks like this is going anywhere anytime soon.
19. Wytches #2 (Image)
10/1/2014: WYTCHES #1 - 67,996
11/1/2014: WYTCHES #2 - 58,345 (-14.2%)
Snyder’s new book at Image appears to be a smashing success, with a negligible drop between the first and second issues of the series. Can’t wait for more!
36. ODY-C #1 (Image)
11/1/2014: ODYC #1 - 47,414
Yet another solid start to Matt Fraction’s futuristic re-telling of The Odyssey . It’s gender-bending psychedelic fun.
45. Tooth & Claw (Image)
11/1/2014: TOOTH & CLAW #1 - 41,181
Haven’t had the pleasure of reading this book yet, but surely 40,000 people can’t be wrong? It’s already getting a second printing, and due to some copyright issues, a new title.
47. Outcast #5 (Image)
6/1/2014: Outcast #1 - 71,788
7/1/2014: Outcast #2 - 55,126 (-23.2%)
8/1/2014: Outcast #3 - 46,717 (-15.2%)
9/1/2014: Outcast #4 - 45,401 (-2.8%)
11/1/2014:Outcast #5 - 39,967 (-12.0%)
Looks like it might stabilize in the 30k range. Needless to say Kirkman and Azaceta are bringing plenty of readers.
90. My Little Pony Friendship is Magic #25 (IDW)
5/1/2014: My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #19 - 22,820 (-12.5%)
6/1/2014: My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #20 - 20,711 (-9.2%)
7/1/2014: My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #21 - 20,871 (+0.8%)
8/1/2014: My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #22 - 21,642 (+3.7%)
9/1/2014: My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #23 - 19,491 (-9.9%)
10/1/2014:My Little Pony Friendship is Magic #24 - 20,762 (+6.5%)
11/1/2014:My Little Pony Friendship is Magic #25 - 26,619 (+28.2%)
Slight upswing last month for the ponies.
98.Fade Out (Image)
8/1/2014: FADE OUT #1 - 34,447
10/1/2014: FADE OUT #2 - 27,797 (-19.3%)
11/1/2014: FADE OUT #3 - 24,584 (-11.6%)
If Fade Out follows the trend from Phillips and Brubaker’s previous series Fatale, it should level out in the high teens soon. Looks like they have another mid-range hit on their hands.
109. Drifter #1 (Image)
11/1/2014: DRIFTER #1 - 20,887
November saw several new titles from Image, and this piece of mind-bending science fiction has pulled in a respectable amount of readers.
116. Trees (Image)
5/1/2014: Trees #1 - 31,926 --
6/1/2014: Trees #2 - 25,515 (-20.1%)
7/1/2014: Trees #3 - 23,822 (-6.6%)
8/1/2014: Trees #4 - 23,639 (-0.8%)
9/1/2014: Trees #5 - 22,244 (-5.9%)
10/1/2014: Trees #6 - 20,720 (-6.9%)
11/1/2014: Trees #7 - 19,287 (-6.9%)
Slight drop for this title, but considering how many “Best Comics of 2014″ lists I’ve seen it on, I wouldn’t be worried.
119. Birthright #2 (Image)
10/1/2014: BIRTHRIGHT #1 - 27,234
11/1/2014: BIRTHRIGHT #2 - 18,484 (-32.1%)
This is a healthy second issue drop that could lead to stabilization in the lower teens.
121. Intersect #1 (Image)
11/1/2014: INTERSECT #1 - 18,292
Not a bad debut for Ray Fawkes’s new series of doom and madness.
125. The Humans #1 (Image)
11/1/2014: HUMANS #1 - 17,274.
Whether it’s the public’s obsessions with apes or nostalgia for the 70’s exploitation genre, Tom Neely and Keenan Marshall Keller has certainly captured the attention of a nice chunk of readers.
127. BTVS Season 10 #9 (Dark Horse)
6/1/2014: Btvs Season 10 #4 - 19,365 (-5.8%)
7/1/2014: Btvs Season 10 #5 - 18,827 (-2.8%)
8/1/2014: Btvs Season 10 #6 - 18,121 (-3.7%)
9/1/2014: Btvs Season 10 #7 - 17,701 (-2.3%)
10/1/2014: BTVS Season 10 #8 - 17,729 (+1.6%)
11/1/2014: BTVS Season10 #9 - 17,067 (-3.7%)
Let’s face it, despite a little dip last month, Buffy is still slaying it.
128. Velvet #8 (Image)
10/1/2013: Velvet #1 - 41,897 --
12/1/2013: Velvet #2 - 25,549 (-39.0%)
1/1/2014: Velvet #3 - 23,177 (-9.3%)
3/1/2014: Velvet #4 - 21,412 (-7.6%)
5/1/2014: Velvet #5 - 20,258 (-5.4%)
7/1/2014: Velvet #6 - 18,775 (-7.3%)
9/1/2014: Velvet #7 - 17,901 (-4.7%)
11/1/2014: Velvet #8 - 17,035 (-4.8%)
A slight drop as we hit the middle of the second story-arc, but the titular silver-streaked agent still commands attention.
132. TMNT Ghostbusters #2 (IDW)
10/1/2014: TMNT GHOSTBUSTERS #1 - 21,223
11/1/2014: TMNT GHOSTBUSTERS #2 - 16,624 (-21.7%)
This comic manages to capture the essence of each franchise and flawlessly blends them together. With a healthy second issue drop, this mini-series is mirroring the strong sales of the TMNT ongoing.
134. Lazarus #13 (Image)
4/1/2014: Lazarus #8 - 19,826 (-1.6%)
7/1/2014: Lazarus #9 - 19,066 (-3.8%)
8/1/2014: Lazarus #10 - 18,051 (-5.3%)
9/1/2014: Lazarus #11 - 16,531 (-8.4%)
10/1/2014: Lazarus #12 - 16,838 (+1.9%)
11/1/2014: Lazarus #13 - 16,094 (-4.4%)
There’s a slight slump coming into the second arc of Greg Rucka and Michael Lark’s post-apocalyptic series. However, there should be more excitement coming up if Forever Carlyle completes her current mission as ordered.
135. John Carter Warlord #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
11/1/2014: JOHN CARTER WARLORD #1 - 15,930
I’m always pleased to see Edgar Rice Burroughs’s legacy continuing on – especially with such sturdy numbers for the Warlord’s new series. This is also one of the strongest debuts a Dynamite title has seen recently.
139. My Little Pony Friends Forever #11 (IDW)
7/1/2014: My Little Pony Friends Forever #7 - 19,850 (+9.5%)
8/1/2014: My Little Pony Friends Forever #8 - 17,444 (-12%)
9/1/2014: My Little Pony Friends Forever #9 - 16,803 (-3.7%)
10/1/2014: My Little Pony Friends Forever #10 - 16,587 (-1.3%)
11/1/2014: MYy Little Pony Friends Forever #11 - 15,630 (-5.8%)
Not even friends are strong enough to fight off the standard attrition of ongoing series.
143. Django Zorro #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
11/1/2014: DJANGO ZORRO #1 - 15,468
First of all, you did read the title right. It’s a serious team-up between Django and Zorro, partially written by Quentin Tarantino himself. Secondly, knowing that, I’m surprised that it had fewer readers than John Carter.
144. Doctor Who 12th #2 (Titan)
10/1/2014: DOCTOR WHO 12TH #1 - 33,891
11/1/2014: DOCTOR WHO 12TH #2 - 15,277 (-54.9%)
A rather large first drop for the second issue. Only the Doctor himself could tell us where it will go from here.
146. TMNT Ongoing (IDW)
6/1/2014: TMNT Ongoing #35 - 15,174 (-13.0%)
7/1/2014: TMNT Ongoing #36 - 15,415 (+1.6%)
8/1/2014: TMNT Ongoing #37 - 15,470 (+0.4%)
10/1/2014: TMNT Ongoing #38 - 15,498 (+0.2%)
10/1/2014: TMNT Ongoing #39 - 15,235 (-1.7%)
11/1/2014: TMNT Ongoing #40 - 14,734 (-3.3%)
A slight dip for the Turtles this month, still sales are very steady.
148. MPH #4 (Image)
5/1/2014: Mph #1 - 35,632 --
6/1/2014: Mph #2 - 21,937 (-38.4%)
9/1/2014: Mph #3 - 16,881 (-23.04%)
11/1/2014: MPH #4 - 14,657 (-13.2%)
Only one issue left of Millar and Dan Fegredo’s book.
149. Doctor Who 10th #4 (Titan)
7/1/2014: Doctor Who 10th #1 - 39,707
8/1/2014: Doctor Who 10th #2 - 10,410 (-73.8%)
10/1/2014: Doctor Who 10th #3 - 14,608 (+40.30%)
11/1/2014: Doctor Who 10th #4 - 14,296 (-2.1%)
Like the Doctor himself, this title has been all over the place in terms of sales. This month sees a tiny drop in numbers, but some much needed stabilization.
152. Deadly Class #9 (Image)
4/1/2014: Deadly Class #4 - 17,855 (-3.7%)
5/1/2014: Deadly Class #5 - 17,099 (-4.2%)
6/1/2014: Deadly Class #6 - 16,305 (-4.6%)
9/1/2014: Deadly Class #7 - 14,834 (-9.0%)
10/1/2014: Deadly Class #8 - 15,003 (+1.1%)
11/1/2014: Deadly Class #9 - 14,148 (-6.7%)
This is my favorite book that Remender has out right now – which is helped by the art of Wes Craig and Lee Loughridge. Regardless, a slight drop this month for Deadly Class.
154. Alien vs. Predator Fire and Stone #2 (Dark Horse)
10/1/2014: ALIEN VS PREDATOR FIRE AND STONE #1 - 20,319
11/1/2014: ALIEN VS PREDATOR FIRE AND STONE #2 - 13,942 (-31.4%)
A normal second issue drop. Not normal – how seriously amazing the Fire and Stone event has been so far.
155. Prometheus Fire and Stone #3 (Dark Horse)
9/1/2014: Prometheus Fire And Stone #1 - 19,468
10/1/2014: Prometheus Fire and Stone #2 - 14,407 (-24.8%)
11/1/2014: Prometheus Fire and Stone #3 - 13,624 (-5.4%)
159. Aliens Fire and Stone #3 (Dark Horse)
9/1/2013: Aliens Fire and Stone #1 - 19,878
10/1/2014: Aliens Fire and Stone #2 - 14,240 (-28.4%)
11/1/2014: Aliens Fire and Stone#3 - 13,357 (-6.2%)
160. Spread #4 (Image)
7/1/2014: Spread #1 - 21,150
8/1/2014: Spread #2 - 15,244 (-27.9%)
9/1/2014: Spread #3 - 15,691 (+2.9%)
11/1/2014: Spread #4 - 13,288 (-15.3%)
A significant drop this month for Justin Jordan’s post-apocalyptic tale. Ideally the sales as the first story-arc concludes in the next two issues.
161. Invincible #115 (Image)
5/1/2014: Invincible #111 - 18,440 (+46.8%)
6/1/2014: Invincible #112 - 14,413 (-21.8%)
8/1/2014: Invincible #113 - 13,642 (-5.3%)
9/1/2014: Invincible #114 - 13,921 (+2.0%)
11/1/2014: Invincible #115 - 13,277 (-4.6%)
166. Transformers vs. GI Joe #4 (IDW)
7/1/2014: Transformers Vs GI Joe #1 - 23,009
8/1/2014: Transformers Vs GI Joe #2 - 15,472 (-32.8%)
10/1/2014: Transformers Vs GI Joe #3 - 14,293 (-7.6%)
11/1/2014: Transformers Vs GI Joe #4 - 12,733 (-10.9%)
I’ve yet to actually read a Transformers vs. GI Joe comic, mainly because I get too enamored with the art. A drop this month, but it’s still selling better than either ongoing Transformers or GI Joe title.
167. Predator Fire and Stone #2 (Dark Horse)
10/1/2014: PREDATOR FIRE AND STONE #1 - 17,166
11/1/2014: PREDATOR FIRE AND STONE #2 - 12,695 (-26.0%)
These numbers officially tell us that Xenomorphs (Aliens) are more popular with earthlings than Predators. Argument settled.
168. Nailbiter (Image)
5/1/2014: Nailbiter #1 - 22,746
6/1/2014: Nailbiter #2 - 15,193 (-33.2%)
7/1/2014: Nailbiter #3 - 16,581 (+9.1%)
8/1/2014: Nailbiter #4 - 14,706 (-11.3%)
9/1/2014: Nailbiter #5 - 14,947 (+1.6%)
10/1/2014: Nailbiter #6 - 13,340 (-10.8%)
11/1/2014: Nailbiter #7 - 12,361 (-5.3%)
I can’t believe Nailbiter lost readers this month. Did they not realize that Brian Michael Bendis has a cameo in issue seven?
169. Manhattan Projects #25 (Image)
4/1/2014: Manhattan Projects #20 - 14,253 (-3.8%)
6/1/2014: Manhattan Projects #21 - 15,126 (+6.1%)
7/1/2014: Manhattan Projects #22 - 13,319 (-11.9%)
8/1/2014: Manhattan Projects #23 - 13,157 (-1.2%)
10/1/2014: Manhattan Projects #24 - 12,693 (-4.0%)
11/1/2014: Manhattan Projects #25 - 12,236 (-3.6%)
Despite the numbers (which are fairly normal for a comic of this duration), Manhattan Projects still has some great stories left.
170. Copperhead #3 (Image)
9/1/2014: Copperhead #1 - 24,272
10/1/2014: Copperhead #2 - 17,250 (-28.9%)
11/1/2014: Copperhead #3 - 12,079 (-30.0%)
Another large drop for Copperhead, ideally we’ll see more stable numbers next issue.
172. Spawn #248 (Image)
5/1/2014: Spawn #243 - 11,714 (-1.0%)
6/1/2014: Spawn #244 - 11,837 (+1.0%)
7/1/2014: Spawn #245 - 12,090 (+2.1%)
8/1/2014: Spawn #246 - 13,343 (+10.4%)
10/1/2014: Spawn #247 - 12,023 (-9.9%)
11/1/2014: Spawn #248 - 11,934 (-0.7%)
After a few months of growth, it looks like Spawn is dropping back to normal.
173. Rasputin #2 (Image)
10/1/2014: RASPUTIN #1 - 21,373
11/1/2014: RASPUTIN #2 - 11,693 (-45.3%)
If you know anything about the mythos of Rasputin, you’ll know that what doesn’t kill him makes Rasputin even stronger. I’m assuming this still applies to a substantial numbers drop between the first two issues.
174. Star Trek City on the Edge of Forever #5 (IDW)
6/1/2014: Star Trek City O/T Edge Of Forever #1 - 12,028
7/1/2014: Star Trek City O/T Edge Of Forever #2 - 11,224 (-6.7%)
8/1/2014: Star Trek City O/T Edge Of Forever #3 - 11,767 (+4.8%)
9/1/2014: Star Trek City O/T Edge Of Forever #4 - 11,785 (+0.1%)
11/1/2014: Star Trek City O/T Edge of Forever #5 - 11,614 (-1.5%)
Negligible decline in sales this month, Star Trek fans are one of the few consistent things in the universe.
175. Big Trouble in Little China #6 (BOOM! Studios)
6/1/2014: Big Trouble In Little China #1 - 24,160 --
7/1/2014: Big Trouble In Little China #2 - 14,838 (-38.6%)
8/1/2014: Big Trouble In Little China #3 - 14,076 (-5.1%)
9/1/2014: Big Trouble in Little China #4 - 13,370 (-5.0%)
10/1/2014: Big Trouble in Little China #5 - 12,598 (-5.8%)
11/1/2014: Big Trouble in Little China #6 - 11,483 (-8.9%)
A steady decline since the first issue, though the comic seems to be nearing stable territory.
178. Angel and Faith Season 10 #8 (Dark Horse)
4/1/2014: Angel And Faith Season 10 #1 - 17,820 (+33.6%)
5/1/2014: Angel And Faith Season 10 #2 - 14,200 (-20.3%)
6/1/2014: Angel And Faith Season 10 #3 - 13,029 (-8.2%)
7/1/2014: Angel And Faith Season 10 #4 - 12,468 (-4.3%)
8/1/2014: Angel And Faith Season 10 #5 - 11,957 (-4.1%)
9/1/2014: Angel And Faith Season 10 #6 - 11,593 (-3.5%)
10/1/2014: Angel And Faith Season 10 #7 - 11,457 (-1.2%)
11/1/2014: Angel And Faith Season 10 #8 - 11,129 (-2.9%)
While not as popular as Buffy, this title is steadily supported by fans of the darker duo.
181. Red Sonja #13 (Dynamite Entertainment)
4/1/2014: Red Sonja #8 - 12,392 (-1.8%)
5/1/2014: Red Sonja #9 - 11,850 (-4.4%)
6/1/2014: Red Sonja #10 - 11,685 (-1.4%)
8/1/2014: Red Sonja #11 - 11,298 (-3.4%)
9/1/2014: Red Sonja #12 - 11,431 (+1.3)
11/1/2014: Red Sonja #13 - 10,600 (-7.3%)
A new story-arc and a slight drop, we still don’t know which will prove more dangerous to the red She-Devil.
183. Chew #44 (Image)
2/1/2014: Chew #40 - 11,193 (-2.6%)
4/1/2014: Chew #41 - 10,835 (-3.2%)
6/1/2014: Chew #42 - 10,981 (-1.3%)
9/1/2014: Chew #43 - 10,777 (-1.9%)
11/1/2014: CHEW #44 - 10,526 (-2.3%)
I typically read Chew in trades, but murmurings in the comic community recently have made me want to dive in again. Not that you would be able to tell from these boringly steady sales.
185. Wayward #4 (Image)
8/1/2014: Wayward #1 - 29,240
9/1/2014: Wayward #2 - 15,053 (-48.5%)
10/1/2014: Wayward #3 - 10,795 (-28.3%)
11/1/2014: Wayward #4 - 10,318 (-2.3%)
Wayward is finally settling in to a solid place.
186. Bob's Burgers #4 (Dynamite Entertainment)
8/1/2014: Bobs Burgers #1 - 20,157
9/1/2014: Bobs Burgers #2 - 11,030 (-45.2%)
10/1/2014: Bobs Burgers #3 - 9,571 (-13.2%)
11/1/2014: Bobs Burgers #4 - 10,160 (+6.2%)
Bob’s Burgers ended on a positive note this month. For readers of the comic, is it really the same without the voices?
187. Star Trek Ongoing #38 (IDW)
2/1/2014: Star Trek #30 $3.99 IDW 9,906 (-2.2%)
3/1/2014: Star Trek #31 $3.99 IDW 9,781 (-1.3%)
4/1/2014: Star Trek #32 $3.99 IDW 10,801 (+10.4%)
5/1/2014: Star Trek #33 $3.99 IDW 9,729 (-9.9%)
6/1/2014: Star Trek #34 $3.99 IDW 10,216 (+4.8%)
7/1/2014: Star Trek #35 $3.99 IDW 10,089 (-1.2%)
8/1/2014: Star Trek #36 $3.99 IDW 10,017 (-0.7%)
9/1/2014: Star Trek #37 $3.99 IDW 9,893 (-1.2%)
11/1/2014: Star Trek #38 $3.99 IDW 10,150 (+2.6%)
Slow and steady.
188. Edward Scissorhands #2 (IDW)
10/1/2014: EDWARD SCISSORHANDS #1 - 13,533
11/1/2014: EDWARD SCISSORHANDS #2 - 10,121 (-25.2%)
Kate Leth’s delightful writing cements a strong readership with a relatively minor second issue drop.
189. X-Files Seasons 10 #8 (IDW)
7/1/2014: X-Files Season 10 #14 - 10,850 (-5.6%)
8/1/2014: X-Files Season 10 #15 - 10,581 (-2.5%)
9/1/2014: X-Files Season 10 #16 - 10,067 (-4.9%)
10/1/2013: X-Files Season 10 #17 - 9,865 (-2.0%)
11/1/2014: X-Files Season 10 #18 - 9,915 (+0.5%)
Slight upswing this month.
191. Lumberjanes #8 (BOOM! Studios)
7/1/2014: Lumberjanes #4 - 9,988 (+9.2%)
9/1/2014: Lumberjanes #5 - 10,099 (+1.1%)
9/1/2014: Lumberjanes #6 - 10,029 (-0.7%)
10/1/2014: Lumberjanes #7 - 9,999 (-0.3%)
11/1/2014:Lumberjanes #8 - 9,543 (-4.6%)
Wow. Issue eight guys, that ending was crazy. I’m still processing.
192. Revival #25 (Image)
5/1/2014: Revival #20 - 10,341 (-0.4%)
6/1/2014: Revival #21 - 9,808 (-5.2%)
7/1/2014: Revival #22 - 9,931 (-1.9%)
8/1/2014: Revival #23 - 9,425 (-5.9%)
10/1/2014: Revival #24 - 9,019 (-4.7%)
11/1/2014: Revival #25 - 9,535 (+5.7%)
Slight increase for Revival.
193. Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #35 (IDW)
7/1/2014: Transformers More Than Meets Eye #30 - 9,395 (-1.6%)
8/1/2014: Transformers More Than Meets Eye #31 - 10,063 (+7.1%)
9/1/2014: Transformers More Than Meets Eye #32 - 9,857 (-2.0%)
9/1/2014: Transformers More Than Meets Eye #33 - 9,744 (-1.1%)
10/1/2014: Transformers More Than Meets Eye #34 - 9,670 (-0.8%)
11/1/2014: Transformers More Than Meets Eye #35 - 9,390 (-2.9%)
Some negligible attrition.
194. Sinergy #1 (Image)
11/1/2014: SINERGY #1 - 9,380
A week debut for Michael Avon Oeming and Taki Soma’s new series. Despite the low numbers, the premise of the book “sex unlocks girls sixth sense” could just be a sleeper hit.
195. Transformers Robots in Disguise #35 (IDW)
6/1/2014: Transformers Robots In Disguise #30 - 9,714 (+1.8%)
7/1/2014: Transformers Robots In Disguise #31 - 8,706 (-10.4%)
8/1/2014: Transformers Robots In Disguise #32 - 9,762 (+12.1%)
9/1/2014: Transformers Robots In Disguise #33 - 10,815 (+10.8%)
10/1/2014: Transformers Robots In Disguise #34 - 9,418 (-12.9%)
11/1/2014: Transformers Robots In Disguise #35 - 9,354 (-0.7%)
With minor ups and down, Transformers has found it’s niche.
197. Roche Limit #3 (Image)
9/1/2014: Roche Limit #1 - 23,404 --
10/1/2014: Roche Limit #2 - 11,424 (-51.2%)
11/1/2014: Roche Limit #3 - 9,296 (-18.9%)
Still searching for solid ground.
198. Dawn Vampirella #2 (Dynamite Entertainment)
9/1/2014: Dawn Vampirella #1 - 13,368 --
11/1/2014: Dawn Vampirella #2 - 9,248 (-30.8%)
A normal second issue drop-off.
199. Transformers Drift Empire of Stone #1 (IDW)
11/1/2014: TRANSFORMERS DRIFT EMPIRE OF STONE #1 - 9,246
Apparently we needed one more Transformer book. There are enough readers to support it.
201. Fairy Quest Outcasts #1 (BOOM! Studios)
11/1/2014: FAIRY QUEST OUTCASTS #1 - 8,958
I just read a quick synopsis of this issue, and it stole my heart. Here’s hoping it doesn’t lose too many readers in the second issue!
202. Alex + Ada #10 (Image)
6/1/2014: Alex + Ada #7 - 9,579 (-2.9%)
8/1/2014: Alex + Ada #8 - 9,453 (-1.3%)
10/1/2014: Alex + Ada #9 - 9,370 (-0.9%)
11/1/2014: Alex + Ada #10 - 8,946 (-4.5%)
Some attrition at play here, but the core audience still seems committed. I know I am!
203. Ten Grande #11 (Image)
2/1/2014: Ten Grand #7 - 13,201 (-14.1%)
3/1/2014: Ten Grand #8 - 12,117 (-8.2%)
4/1/2014: Ten Grand #9 - 11,210 (-7.5%)
7/1/2014: Ten Grand #10 - 10,354 (-7.6%)
11/1/2014: Ten Grand #11 - 8,932 (-13.7%)
I’d like to attribute these drops to attrition, but Ten Grande has suffered some sizable decline this year.
206. Sonic the Hedgehog #266 (Archie Comics)
1/1/2014: Sonic The Hedgehog #256 $2.99 ARC 9,840 (-5.6%)
2/1/2014: Sonic The Hedgehog #257 $2.99 ARC 9,325 (-5.2%)
3/1/2014: Sonic The Hedgehog #258 $2.99 ARC 9,023 (-3.2%)
4/1/2014: Sonic The Hedgehog #259 $2.99 ARC 6,228 (+5.2%)
5/1/2014: Sonic The Hedgehog #260 $2.99 ARC 8,866 (-6.6%)
6/1/2014: Sonic The Hedgehog #261 $2.99 ARC 8,822 (-0.5%)
7/1/2014: Sonic The Hedgehog #262 $2.99 ARC 8,971 (+1.7%)
8/1/2014: Sonic The Hedgehog #263 $2.99 ARC 9,135 (+1.8%)
9/1/2014: Sonic The Hedgehog #264 $3.99 ARC 9,019 (-1.3%)
10/1/2014: Sonic The Hedgehog #265 $3.99 ARC 8,869 (-1.7%)
11/1/2014: Sonic The Hedgehog #266 $3.99 ARC 8,822 (-0.5%)
Overall a fairly solid year for this series.
207. Deep State #1 (BOOM! Studios)
11/1/2014: DEEP STATE #1 - 8,768
Neither new series from Boom! managed to hit the 10k reader mark. This is totally a conspiracy that the agents from Deep State should look into.
208. Shadow Show #1 (IDW)
11/1/2014: SHADOW SHOW #1 - 8,634
This tribute to Ray Bradbury features new stories from Joe Hill and Jason Ciaramella (with art by Charles Paul Wilson). Perhaps the low reader numbers suggest the book had too many literary references?
209. GI Joe (2014) #3 (IDW)
9/1/2014: GI JOE (2014) #1 - 16,848
10/1/2014: GI JOE (2014) #2 - 9,708 (-42.4%)
11/1/2014: GI JOE (2014) #3 - 8,602 (-11.4%)
A small drop for the third issue. We’ll probably just see natural attrition at play with readers from here on out.
210. Grendel vs. Shadow #3 (Dark Horse)
9/1/2014 Grendel Vs Shadow #1 - 11,514
10/1/2014 Grendel Vs Shadow #2 - 9,571 (-17.1%)
11/1/2014 Grendel Vs Shadow #3 - 8,516 (-11.0 %)
This book costs $5.99. You could *almost* buy two other comics for the price of this single comic. All that to say the slight drop this month isn’t too bad considering how much the book itself costs.
211. Annihilator #3 (Legendary Comics)
9/1/2014: Annihilator #1 $3.99 RAN 10,345 --
10/1/2014: Annihilator #2 $3.99 RAN 6,482 (-37.3%)
11/1/2014: Annihilator #3 $3.99 RAN 8,383 (+29.3%)
After a large second issue drop, the third issue of Annihilator manages to pick up some new readers. I’m assuming word of mouth probably caught on for the third issue of Grant Morrison and Frazier Irving’s new comic.
213. X-O Manowar #30 (Valiant)
5/1/2014: X-O Manowar #25 - 12,493 (+45.4%)
6/1/2014: X-O Manowar #26 - 10,083 (-19.3%)
7/1/2014: X-O Manowar #27 - 9,183 (-8.9%)
8/1/2014: X-O Manowar #28 - 9,634 (+4.9%)
9/1/2014: X-O Manowar #29 - 8,566 (-11.1%)
11/1/2014: X-O Manowar #30 - 8,354 (-2.5%)
Numbers in near stasis for this month.
214. Thief of Thieves #25 (Image)
5/1/2014: Thief Of Thieves #21 - 9,625 (-2.5%)
7/1/2014: Thief Of Thieves #22 - 9,457 (-1.7%)
8/1/2014: Thief Of Thieves #23 - 9,069 (-4.1%)
10/1/2014: Thief Of Thieves #24 - 8,731 (-3.7%)
11/1/2014: Thief Of Thieves #25 - 8,336 (-4.2%)
215. Conan the Avenger #8 (Dark Horse)
4/1/2014: Conan The Avenger #1 - 11,565 (+7.7%)
5/1/2014: Conan The Avenger #2 - 9,946 (-14.0%)
6/1/2013: Conan The Avenger #3 - 9,486 (-4.6%)
7/1/2014: Conan The Avenger #4 - 9,182 (-3.2%)
8/1/2014: Conan The Avenger #5 - 8,941 (-2.6%)
9/1/2014: Conan The Avenger #6 - 8,820 (-1.4%)
10/1/2014: Conan The Avenger #7 - 8,547 (-3.1%)
11/1/2014: Conan The Avenger #8 - 8,250 (-3.5%)
There aren’t very many synonyms for the word “attrition” so I’m going to make a new one. This title is suffering from smorgnerf.
216. Cowl #6 (Image)
5/1/2014: Cowl #1 - 20,851 --
6/1/2014: Cowl #2 - 13,569 (-34.9%)
7/1/2014: Cowl #3 - 11,604 (-14.5%)
8/1/2014: Cowl #4 - 10,893 (-6.1%)
9/1/2014: Cowl #5 - 9,852 (-9.6%)
11/1/2014: Cowl #6 - 8,208 (-16.7%)
A rather large drop this month. This is one of the many series included in the second Humble Image Bundle in January which might help the series pick up a few readers.
217. Tomb Raider #10 (Dark Horse)
6/1/2013: Tomb Raider #5 - 10,536 (-6.8%)
7/1/2014: Tomb Raider #6 - 10,149 (-3.7%)
8/1/2014: Tomb Raider #7 - 9,429 (-7.1%)
9/1/2014: Tomb Raider #8 - 9,125 (-3.2%)
10/1/2014: Tomb Raider #9 - 8,748 (-4.1%)
11/1/2014: Tomb Raider #10 - 8,153 (-6.8%)
Some normal attrition going on here – or should we say smorgnerf? Either way, the numbers are slowly dropping.
218. Transformers Primacy #4 (IDW)
8/1/2014: Transformers Primacy #1 - 10,472
9/1/2014: Transformers Primacy #2 - 10,172 (-2.9%)
10/1/2014: Transformers Primacy #3 - 8,452 (-16.9%)
11/1/2014: Transformers Primacy #4 - 8,051 (-4.7%)
Small drop, looks like Primacy is finally finding it’s feet.
219. God Hates Astronauts #3 (Image)
9/1/2014: God Hates Astronauts #1 - 16,689
10/1/2014: God Hates Astronauts #2 - 10,178 (-39.0%)
11/1/2014: God Hates Astronauts #3 - 8,017 (-21.2%)
The numbers for this title have dropped quickly proving there may actually be things too weird for comics readers. Looking for these numbers to stabilize next month.
221. Godzilla Cataclysm #4 (IDW)
8/1/2014: Godzilla Cataclysm #1 - 11,868
9/1/2014: Godzilla Cataclysm #2 - 8,859 (-25.4%)
10/1/2014: Godzilla Cataclysm #3 - 8,624 (-2.7%)
11/1/2014: Godzilla Cataclysm #4 - 7,981 (-7.5%)
I’ve never really understood Godzilla. Luckily I don’t need to “get it” in order to understand it suffered a loss this month.
,Strong>223. GI Joe A Real American Hero #208 (IDW)
3/1/2014: GI Joe A Real American Hero #200 - 11,780 (+77.1%)
4/1/2014: GI Joe A Real American Hero #201 - 8,294 (-29.6%)
5/1/2014: GI Joe A Real American Hero #202 - 6,781 (-18.2%)
6/1/2014: GI Joe A Real American Hero #203 - 6,791 (+0.1%)
7/1/2014: GI Joe A Real American Hero #204 - 6,706 (-1.3%)
8/1/2014: GI Joe A Real American Hero #205 - 6,562 (-2.1%)
9/1/2014: GI Joe A Real American Hero #206 - 7,651 (+16.6%)
10/1/2014: GI Joe A Real American Hero #207 - 6,494 (-16.1%)
11/1/2014: GI Joe A Real American Hero #208 - 7,810 (+20.3%)
Attrition may be the Joe’s biggest enemy, and they gave it a pounding this month with a large bump.
224. Skylanders #2 (IDW)
10/1/2014: SKYLANDERS #1 - 12,361
11/1/2014: SKYLANDERS #2 - 7,665 (-38.0%)
I imagine that if children had their own purchasing power and actually KNEW about this comic that sales would skyrocket. Elementary aged children are maniacs for Skylanders. A normal sized second issue drop though, and still glad to see publishers gearing more comics towards kids.
225. Dungeons & Dragons Legends of Baldur's Gate #2 (IDW)
10/1/2014: Dungeons & Dragons Legends of Baldurs Gate #1 - 9,341
11/1/2014: Dungeons & Dragons Legends of Baldurs Gate #2 - 7,642 (-18.2%)
Smaller than average second issue drop.
226. X-Files Year Zero #5 (IDW)
7/1/2014: X-Files Year Zero #1 - 10,333
8/1/2014: X-Files Year Zero #2 - 8,794 (-14.9%)
10/1/2014: X-Files Year Zero #3 - 8,467 (-3.8%)
10/1/2014: X-Files Year Zero #4 - 8,049 (-4.9%)
11/1/2014: X-Files Year Zero #5 - 7,599 (-5.6%)
Only minor losses.
228. BPRD Hell on Earth #125 (Dark Horse)
6/1/2014: Bprd Hell On Earth #120 - 8,127 (-2.2%)
7/2/2014: Bprd Hell On Earth #121 - 8,092 (-0.4%)
8/1/2014: Bprd Hell On Earth #122 - 8,004 (-1.1%)
9/1/2014: Bprd Hell On Earth #123 - 7,762 (-3.0%)
10/1/2014: Bprd Hell On Earth #124 - 7,759 0%
11/1/2014: Bprd Hell On Earth #125 - 7,534 (-2.9%)
The Mignolaverse just keeps on chugging away.
229. New Vampirella #6 (Dynamite Entertainment)
6/1/2014: New Vampirella #1 - 22,864
7/1/2014: New Vampirella #2 - 9,445 (-58.7%)
8/1/2014: New Vampirella #3 - 8,732 (-7.5%)
9/1/2014: New Vampirella #4 - 8,287 (-5.1%)
10/1/2014: New Vampirella#5 - 7,784 (-6.1%)
11/1/2014: New Vampirella #6 - 7,378 (-5.2%)
This title started out strong, but “new” titling can only change stats for so long.
231. October Faction #2 (IDW)
10/1/2014: OCTOBER FACTION #1 - 9,181
11/1/2014: OCTOBER FACTION #2 - 7,174 (-21.9%)
Normal second issue drop.
232. Sonic Universe #70 (Archie Comics)
10/1/2014: SONIC UNIVERSE #68 - 7,438 (-1.8%)
10/1/2014: SONIC UNIVERSE #69 - 7,378 (-0.8%)
11/1/2014: SONIC UNIVERSE #70 - 7,161 (-2.9%)
Sonic Universe has had roughly 7k readers for over ten issues. Way to be consistent guys.
234. Godzilla Rulers of the Earth #18 (IDW)
6/1/2014: Godzilla Rulers Of The Earth #13 - 6,980 (-11.5%)
7/1/2014: Godzilla Rulers Of The Earth #14 - 7,144 (+2.3%)
8/1/2014: Godzilla Rulers Of The Earth #15 - 7,156 (+0.2%)
9/1/2014: Godzilla Rulers Of The Earth #16 - 7,181 (+0.3%)
10/1/2014: Godzilla Rulers Of The Earth #17 - 7,167 (-0.2%)
11/1/2014: Godzilla Rulers Of The Earth #18 - 7,065 (-1.4%)
This is another one of those strangely consistent comics.
235. Justice Inc. #4 (Dynamite Entertainment)
8/1/2014: Justice Inc #1 - 12,020
9/1/2014: Justice Inc #2 - 8,651 (-28.0%)
10/1/2014: Justice Inc #3 - 7,546 (-12.8%)
11/1/2014: Justice Inc #4 - 7,057 (-6.5%)
Stabilizing just in time for the final two issues of the series.
236. Bee and Puppycat #6 (BOOM! Studios)
5/1/2014: Bee And Puppycat #1 - 12,204 --
6/1/2014: Bee And Puppycat #2 - 7,557 (-38.1%)
8/1/2014: Bee And Puppycat #3 - 8,031 (+6.3%)
9/1/2014: Bee and Puppycat #4 - 7,556 (-5.9%)
10/1/2014: Bee And Puppycat #5 - 7,255 (-4.0%)
11/1/2014: Bee And Puppycat #6 - 7,055 (-2.8%)
Some minor attrition for Bee and Puppycat. It’s tempting to single-handedly buy a few hundred issues just to see the numbers rise.
237. Elfquest Final Quest #6 (Dark Horse)
1/1/2014: Elfquest Final Quest #1 - 9,861 (+1.9%)
3/1/2014: Elfquest Final Quest #2 - 8,390 (-14.9%)
5/1/2014: Elfquest Final Quest #3 - 7,967 (-5.0%)
7/1/2014: Elfquest Final Quest #4 - 7,622 (-3.7%)
9/1/2014: Elfquest Final Quest #5 - 7,364 (-3.4%)
11/1/2014:Elfquest Final Quest #6 - 6,961 (-5.5%)
Some normal attrition at play. I’m sure Richard and Wendy Pini are used to this by now considering Elf Quest has been around for DECADES.
238. Bloodshot #25 (Valiant)
10/1/2014: BLOODSHOT #24 - VAL --
11/1/2014: BLOODSHOT #25 - VAL 6,955
With #24 this went from a team book back to a solo title. Despite the major change, there hasn’t been a spike in numbers for the series.
241. Eternal Warrior Days of Steel #1 (Valiant)
11/1/2014: ETERNAL WARRIOR DAYS OF STEEL #1 - 6,785
Not exactly the numbers you’d want for a first issue. Luckily this mini-series is only 3 issues long.
242. Mega Man (Archie Comics)
10/1/2014: MEGA MAN #41 - 6,899 (-0.4%)
10/1/2014: MEGA MAN #42 - 6,946 (+0.7%)
11/1/2014: MEGA MAN #43 - 6,771 (-2.5%)
244. Archer and Armstrong One Perfect #1 (Valiant)
11/1/2014: ARCHER & ARMSTRONG ONE PERCENT #1 - 6,738
The debut of a new villain for Archer and Armstrong continues sales-wise where the previous series left off.
245. Game of Thrones #22 (Dynamite Entertainment)
3/1/2014: Game Of Thrones #19 (Mr) - 7,043 (-6.3%)
4/1/2014: Game Of Thrones #20 (Mr) - 6,938 (-1.5%)
8/1/2014: Game Of Thrones #21 (Mr) - 7,010 (+1.0%)
11/1/2014: Game Of Thrones #22 (MR) - 6,696 (-4.5%)
Is there as much nudity in the comic as there is in the HBO series?
246. Angry Birds Transformers #1 (IDW)
11/1/2014: ANGRY BIRDS TRANSFORMERS #1 - 6,667
I’ve never exactly understood the appeal of the Angry Birds franchise, but there are apparently thousands of people that do. I’m curious though, are the Angry Birds actually transforming or what?
247. Vampirella Feary Tales #2 (Dynamite Entertainment)
10/1/2014: VAMPIRELLA FEARY TALES #1 - 10,571
11/1/2014: VAMPIRELLA FEARY TALES #2 - 6,607 (-37.5%)
A second issue drop.
248. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #1 (BOOM! Studios)
11/1/2014: DAWN OF PLANET OF APES #1 - 6,569
It’s not exactly the number you’d hope to debut a new title to, but hey, it still made the list!
249. The Woods #7 (BOOM! Studios)
5/1/2014: The Woods #1 - 13,916 --
6/1/2014: The Woods #2 - 9,352 (-32.8%)
7/1/2014: The Woods #3 - 8,852 (-5.3%)
8/1/3014: The Woods #4 - 8,272 (-6.6%)
9/1/2014: The Woods #5 - 7,649 (-7/5%)
10/1/2014: The Woods #6 - 7,103 (-7.1%)
11/1/2014: The Woods #7 - 6,554 (-7.7%)
Seeing some small losses this month, maybe the swarm ate some of the readers?
250.Adventure Time Banana Guard Academy #5 (BOOM! Studios)
7/1/2014: Adv Time Banana Guard Academy #1 - 10,402
8/1/2014: Adv Time Banana Guard Academy #2 - 8,287 (-20.4%)
10/1/2014: Adv Time Banana Guard Academy #3 - 7,977 (-3.7%)
10/1/2014: Adv Time Banana Guard Academy #4 - 7,453 (-6.6%)
11/1/2014: Adv Time Banana Guard Academy #5 - 6,514 (-12.6%)
The Adventure Time comics are some of Boom’s bread and butter….and bananas. We’re seeing a large drop off of readers for the fifth issue, but the series may regain some of those for the sixth and final issue.
251. Unity #12 (Valiant)
6/1/2014: Unity #8 - 9,442 (+9.1%)
7/1/2014: Unity #9 - 8,485 (-10.1%)
8/1/2014: Unity #10 - 8,491 (0.0%)
9/1/2014: Unity #11 - 7,602 (-10.5%)
11/1/2014: Unity #12 - 6,508 (-14.4%)
A new story arc with some fixed decline on the side.
252. Sex #18 (Image)
1/1/2014: Sex #10 - 9,947 (-7.1%)
2/1/2014: Sex #11 - 9,302 (-6.5%)
3/1/2014: Sex #12 - 8,830 (-5.1%)
5/1/2014: Sex #13 - 8,192 (-7.2%)
6/1/2014: Sex #14 - 7,824 (-4.5%)
8/1/2014: Sex #15 - 7,601 (-2.9%)
9/1/2014: Sex #16 - 7,167 (-5.7%)
10/1/2014: Sex #17 - 6,709 (-6.4%)
11/1/2014: Sex #18 - 6,361 (-5.2%)
256. Sons of Anarchy #15 (BOOM! Studios)
7/1/2014: Sons Of Anarchy #11 - 7,394 (-5.9%)
8/1/2014: Sons Of Anarchy #12 - 6,955 (-5.9%)
9/1/2014: Sons of Anarchy #13 - 6,506 (-6.5%)
10/1/2014: Sons of Anarchy #14 - 6,537 0.00%
11/1/2014: Sons of Anarchy #15 - 6,271 (-4.1%)
The comic carries on, even if the show no longer does.
257. Samurai Jack #14 (IDW)
7/1/2014: Samurai Jack #10 - 6,741 (-20.4%)
8/1/2014: Samurai Jack #11 - 7,489 (+11.1%)
9/1/2014: Samurai Jack #12 - 7,135 (-4.7%)
10/1/2014: Samurai Jack #13 - 6,657 (-6.7%)
11/1/2014: Samurai Jack #14 - 6,245 (-6.2%)
Seems like Samurai Jack has hit its stride.
258. TMNT New Animated Adventures #17 (IDW)
6/1/2014: TMNT New Animated Adventures #12 - 7,577 (+24.7%)
7/1/2014: TMNT New Animated Adventures #13 - 7,158 (-5.5%)
8/1/2014: TMNT New Animated Adventures #14 - 6,420 (-10.3%)
9/1/2014: TMNT New Animated Adventures #15 - 7,589 (+18.2%)
10/1/2014: TMNT New Animated Adventures #16 - ???? ????
11/1/2014: TMNT New Animated Adventures #17 - 6,228 ????
Back on the chart.
259. Spongebob Comics #38 (Uniten Plankton Pictures)
8/1/2014: Spongebob Comics #35 - 6,491 (+0.6%)
9/1/2014: Spongebob Comics #36 - 6,405 (-1.3%)
10/1/2014: Spongebob Comics #37 - 6,417 0.00%
11/1/2014: Spongebob Comics #38 - 6,201 (-3.4%)
Minor drop, the numbers are fairly steady for Spongebob. It will be interesting to see whether Spongebob’s new movie will increase his comic sales in the next few months.
260. Capture Creatures #1 (BOOM! Studios)
11/1/2014 CAPTURE CREATURES #1 $3.99 BOO 6,171
Kids comics don’t always make the flashiest of entrances into the comic world. However, Frank Gibson and Becky Dreistadt’s Capture Creatures does warrant your children’s attention. Needless to say, I’m hoping this one takes off!
263. Strain Night Eternal #4 (Dark Horse)
8/1/2014: Strain Night Eternal #1 - 9,394
9/1/2014: Strain Night Eternal #2 - 7,540 (-19.7%)
10/1/2014: Strain Night Eternal #3 - 7,021 (-6.9%)
11/1/2014: Strain Night Eternal #4 - 6,162 (-12.2%)
The sales on this still haven’t stabilized.
264. Goners #2 (Image)
10/1/2014 GONERS #1 - 12,496
11/1/2014 GONERS #2 - 6,145 (-50.8%)
A dramatic second issue drop.
265. Judge Dredd #25 (IDW)
2/1/2014: Judge Dredd #16 - 6,456 (-2.5%)
3/1/2014: Judge Dredd #17 - 6,475 (+0.3%)
4/1/2014: Judge Dredd #18 - 6,274 (-3.1%)
5/1/2014: Judge Dredd #19 - 6,152 (-1.9%)
7/1/2014: Judge Dredd #20 - ???? ????
7/1/2014: Judge Dredd #21 - ???? ????
9/1/2014: Judge Dredd #22 - 5,715 ????
9/1/2014: Judge Dredd #23 - ???? ????
10/1/2014: Judge Dredd #24 - ???? ????
11/1/2014: Judge Dredd #25 - 6,055 ????
It’s been awhile since we had solid numbers for this title.
266. Penny Dora & The Wishing Box #1 (Image)
11/1/2014 PENNY DORA & THE WISHING BOX #1 $2.99 IMA 6,043
Remember what I said about kids comics and weak debuts?
267. Witchblade #179 (Image)
1/1/2014: Witchblade #172 - 6,221 (-14.3%)
3/1/2014: Witchblade #173 - 6,109 (-1.8%)
4/1/2014: Witchblade #174 - 6,049 (-0.9%)
6/1/2014: Witchblade #175 - 7,843 (+29.7%)
7/1/2014: Witchblade #176 - ???? ????
7/1/2014: Witchblade #177 - ???? ????
10/1/2014: Witchblade #178 - ???? ????
11/1/2014: Witchblade #179 - 6,041 ????
Back on the board!
268. Baltimore Wolf and the Apostle #2 (Dark Horse)
10/1/2014: BALTIMORE WOLF AND THE APOSTLE #1 - 6,711
11/1/2014: BALTIMORE WOLF AND THE APOSTLE #2 - 6,027 (-10.2%)
This is the tiniest second issue drop on the list this month.
269. Futurama Comics #73 (Bongo Comics)
1/1/2013: Futurama Comics #65 - 6,091 (-5.3%)
3/1/2013: Futurama Comics #66 - 6,295 (+3.3%)
5/1/2013: Futurama Comics #67 - 6,230 (-1.0%)
8/1/2013: Futurama Comics #68 - 6,245 (+0.4%)
10/1/2013: Futurama Comics #69 - ???? ????
2/1/2014: Futurama Comics #70 - 5,901 ????
5/1/2014: Futurama Comics #71 - 5,914 (+0.2)
9/1/2014: Futurama Comics #72 - ???? ????
11/1/2014:Futurama Comics #73 - 5,994 ????
From what data we have, it looks like the numbers are almost in stasis.
271. American Legends #1 (Image)
11/1/2014 AMERICAN LEGENDS #1 $3.99 IMA 5,986
No love for America guys?
272. Punks the Comics #2 (Image)
10/1/2014 PUNKS THE COMIC #1 $3.99 IMA 13,853
11/1/2014 PUNKS THE COMIC #2 $3.99 IMA 5,968 (-56.9%)
If all the punks read a comic about punks, does that make the comic too mainstream?
273. Resurrectionists #1 (Dark Horse)
11/1/2014 RESURRECTIONISTS #1 $3.50 DAR 5,943
274. God Is Dead #24 (Avatar Press)
8/1/2014 God Is Dead #18 - 7,358 (-5.2%)
9/1/2014 God Is Dead #19 - 6,857 (-6.8%)
9/1/2014 God Is Dead #20 - 6,667 (-2.8%)
10/1/2014 God Is Dead #21 - 6,579 (-1.3%)
10/1/2014 God Is Dead #22 - 6,457 (-1.9%)
10/1/2014 God Is Dead #23 - ???? ????
11/1/2014 God Is Dead #24 - 5,902 ????
Some decline as we come to the end of the current story arc.
275. Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody #2 (Valiant)
10/1/2014 Q2 RTN QUANTUM & WOODY #1 - 8,226
11/1/2014 Q2 RTN QUANTUM & WOODY #2 - 5,802 (-29.5%)
Normal second issue drop.
276. Tarot Witch of the Black Rose #89 (Broadsword Comics)
1/1/2014: Tarot Witch Of The Black Rose #84 - 6,234 (-0.3%)
3/1/2014: Tarot Witch Of The Black Rose #85 - 6,075 (-2.6%)
5/1/2014: Tarot Witch Of The Black Rose #86 - 6,078 (+0.1%)
8/1/2014: Tarot Witch of the Black Rose #87 - ???? ????
10/1/2014: Tarot Witch of the Black Rose #88 - ???? ????
11/1/2014: Tarot Wtich of the Black Rose #89 - 5,773 ????
Back on the board.
278 & 286. Usagi Yojimbo Senso #4 & #5(Dark Horse)
8/1/2014: Usagi Yojimbo Senso #1 - 7,633 --
9/1/2014: Usagi Yojimbo Senso #2 - 6,438 (-15.7%)
10/1/2014: Usagi Yojimbo Senso #3 - ???? ????
11/1/2014: Usagi Yojimbo Senso #4 - 5,720 ????
11/1/2014: Usagi Yojimbo Senso #5 - 5,451 (-4.7%)
I’m going to assume that it’s just standard attrition.
279. Massive #29 (Dark Horse)
1/1/2014: Massive #19 - 7,387 (-4.9%)
2/1/2014: Massive #20 - 6,976 (-5.6%)
3/1/2014: Massive #21 - 6,841 (-1.9%)
4/1/2014: Massive #22 - 6,650 (-2.8%)
5/1/2014: Massive #23 - 6,470 (-2.7%)
6/1/2014: Massive #24 - 6,372 (-1.5%)
7/1/2014: Massive #25 - ???? ????
8/1/2014: Massive #26 - 6,144 ????
9/1/2014: Massive #27 - ???? ????
10/1/2014: Massive #28 - ???? ????
11/1/2014: Massive #29 - 5,681 ????
The Massive has had a good run – only one issue left!
281. Death Vigil #5 (Image)
7/1/2014: Death Vigil #1 - 12,832
8/1/2014: Death Vigil #2 - 7,003 (-45.4%)
9/1/2014: Death Vigil #3 - 6,308 (-9.9%)
10/1/2014: Death Vigil #4 - ???? ????
11/1/2014: Death Vigil #5 - 5,612 ????
Back on the board this month showing some natural attrition.
282. Sleepy Hollow #2 (BOOM! Studios)
10/1/2014 SLEEPY HOLLOW #1 $3.99 BOO 10,403
11/1/2014 SLEEPY HOLLOW #2 $3.99 BOO 5,611 (-46.1%)
A dramatic second drop for the new series. If the comic is anything like the show we could have a slow burn building up.
283. Delinquents #4 (Valiant)
8/1/2014: Delinquents #1 - 12,912
9/1/2014: Delinquents #2 - 6,964 (-46.1%)
10/1/2014: Delinquents #3 - ???? ????
11/1/2014: Delinquents #4 - 5,541 ????
This probably won’t stay above the cut-off line for long as it falls to attrition.
284. Red Sonja Black Tower #3 (Dynamite Entertainment)
9/1/2014: Red Sonja Black Tower #1 - 7,519
10/1/2014: Red Sonja Black Tower #2 - ???? ????
11/1/2014: Red Sonja Black Tower #3 - 5,518 ????
This mini-series hasn’t lost too many followers.
285. Purgatori #3 (Dynamite Entertainment)
9/1/2014: Purgatori #1 - 11,718 --
10/1/2014: Purgatori #2 - ???? ????
11/1/2014:Purgatori #3 - 5,475 ????
Looks like Purgatori has lost roughly half of it’s readers since the first issue.
287 & 295. Crossed Badlands #65 & #66 (Avatar)
9/1/2014: Crossed Badlands #59 - 5,991 ????
9/1/2014: Crossed Badlands #60 - 5,991 (0.0%)
9/1/2014: Crossed Badlands #61 - ???? ????
9/1/2014: Crossed Badlands #62 - ???? ????
10/1/2014: Crossed Badlands #63 - ???? ????
10/1/2014: Crossed Badlands #64 - ???? ????
11/1/2014: Crossed Badlands #65 - 5,410 ????
11/1/2014: Crossed Badlands #66 - 5,303 (-2.0%)
Consistently staying in the 5k range.
288. Magnus Robot Fighter #8 (Dynamite Entertainment)
3/1/2014: Magnus Robot Fighter #1 - 27,497
4/1/2014: Magnus Robot Fighter #2 - 9,898 (-64.0%)
5/1/2014: Magnus Robot Fighter #3 - 8,333 (-15.8%)
6/1/2014: Magnus Robot Fighter #4 - 7,898 (-5.2%)
7/1/2014: Magnus Robot Fighter #5 - 7,205 (-8.8%)
9/1/2014: Magnus Robot Fighter #6 - ???? ????
10/1/2014: Magnus Robot Fighter #7 - ???? ????
11/1/2014: Magnus Robot Fighter #8 - 5,402 ????
289. Sidekick #9 (Image)
8/1/2013: Sidekick #1 - 27,832 --
9/1/2013: Sidekick #2 - 14,533 (-47.8%)
10/1/2013: Sidekick #3 - 11,371 (-21.8%)
11/1/2013: Sidekick #4 - 9,976 (-12.3%)
2/1/2014: Sidekick #5 - 8,943 (-10.3%)
4/1/2014: Sidekick #6 - 8,192 (-8.4%)
7/1/2014: Sidekick #7 - 6,900 (-15.8%)
9/1/2014: Sidekick #8 - 6,320 (-8.4%)
11/1/2014: Sidekick #9 - 5,382 (-14.8%)
Large drop this month.
290. Lone Ranger Vindicated #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
11/1/2014: LONE RANGER VINDICATED #1 - 5,379
Hey, at least it made the list.
291. GFT Grimm Fairy Tales #104 (Zenescope)
5/1/2014: GFT Grimm Fairy Tales #97 - 6,055 (+2.1%)
6/1/2014: GFT Grimm Fairy Tales #98 - 5,828 (-3.7%)
7/1/2014: GFT Grimm Fairy Tales #99 - 7,472 (+28.2%)
7/1/2014: GFT Grimm Fairy Tales #100 - 11,722 (+56.9%)
8/1/2014: GFT Grimm Fairy Tales #101 - 6,740 (-42.5%)
9/1/2014: GFT Grimm Fairy Tales #102 - 6,462 (-4.1%)
10/1/2014: GFT Grimm Fairy Tales #105 - ???? ????
11/1/2014: GFT Grimm Fairy Tales #104 - 5,341 ????
Lost a few readers since the last time we had solid numbers.
292. Army of Darkness Hitched #4 (Dynamite Entertainment)
7/1/2014 Army Of Darkness Hitched #1 $3.99 DE 10,956
9/1/2014 Army Of Darkness Hitched #2 $3.99 DE 6,379 (-54.3%)
10/1/2014 Army of Darkness Hitched #3 $3.99 DE ???? ????
11/1/2014 Army of Darkness Hitched #4 $3.99 DE 5,336 ????
A small drop.
293. Borderlands Fall of Fyrestone #4 (IDW)
7/1/2014: Borderlands Fall Of Fyrestone #1 - 8,830
9/1/2014: Borderlands Fall Of Fyrestone #2 - 5,680 (-35.7%)
10/1/2014: Borderlands Fall of Fyrestone #3 - ???? ????
11/1/2014: Borderlands Fall Of Fyrestone #4 - 5,331 ????
Ending the story-arc with very minor losses.
294. Morning Glories #42 (Image)
4/1/2014: Morning Glories #38 - 6,007 (-1.8%)
7/1/2014: Morning Glories #39 - ???? ????
9/1/2014: Morning Glories #40 - ???? ????
10/1/2014: Morning Glories #41 - ???? ????
11/1/2014: Morning Glories #42 - 5,322 ????
Back on the board.
296. Alice Cooper #3 (Dynamite Entertainment)
9/1/2014: Alice Cooper #1 - 10,295 --
10/1/2014: Alice Cooper #2 - 6,432 (-37.5%)
11/1/2014: Alice Cooper #3 - 5,292 (-17.7%)
298. Rush Clockwork Angels #6 (BOOM! Studios)
3/1/2014: Rush Clockwork Angels #1 - 11,602
4/1/2014: Rush Clockwork Angels #2 - 6,452 (-43.6%)
6/1/2014: Rush Clockwork Angels #3 - 6,169 (-4.4%)
8/1/2014: Rush Clockwork Angels #4 - 5,932 (-3.8%)
9/1/2014: Rush Clockwork Angels #5 - ???? ????
11/1/2014: Rush Clockwork Angels #6 - 5,257 ????
299. Bart Simpson Comics #93 (Bongo Comics)
11/1/2013: Bart Simpson Comics #87 - 5,213 ????
1/1/2014: Bart Simpson Comics #88 - 5,020 (-3.7%)
3/1/2014: Bart Simpson Comics #89 - 4,940 (-1.6%)
5/1/2014: Bart Simpson Comics #90 - ???? ????
7/1/2014: Bart Simpson Comics #91 - ???? ????
9/1/2014: Bart Simpson Comics #92 - ???? ????
11/1/2014: Bart Simpson Comics #93 - 5,220 ????
Staying in the same range as normal.
300. Turok Dinosaur Hunter #10 (Dynamite Entertainment)
6/1/2014 Turok Dinosaur Hunter #5 - 7,803 (-7.4%)
7/1/2014 Turok Dinosaur Hunter #6 - 7,352 (-5.8%)
9/1/2014 Turok Dinosaur Hunter #7 - 6,829 (-7.1%)
10/1/2014 Turok Dinosaur Hunter #8 - ???? ????
11/1/2014 Turok Dinosaur Hunter #9 - 5,757 ????
11/1/2014 Turok Dinosaur Hunter #10 - 5,214 (-9.4%)
All figures on this chart are estimates for comics sold by Diamond to direct market retailers. They include reorders that shipped in the same month. Books shipping in the first week of a month will have more time for reorders to appear than ones shipping in the last week of the month, when reorders will slip to the following month.
Brought to you by Publishers Weekly, it’s More To Come, the weekly podcast of comics news, interviews and discussion with Calvin Reid, Kate Fitzsimons and The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.
In this week’s podcast Calvin Reid interviews acclaimed comic creator Miss Lasko-Gross about her background in comics, her new graphic novel ‘Henni’ – a story about religious extremism, feminism and funny animals, the growth of a graphic novel and more on PW Comics World’s More To Come.
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By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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Comings & Goings
, Indie Comics
, Top News
, alternative comics
, James Kochalka
, kevin aucoin
, Malachi Ward
, marc arsenault
, Rich Tommaso
, sam henderson
, stephen cerio
, Tom Hart
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Alternative Comics has announced a seven book spring 2015 season, with collections by some intriguing talents. Stephen Cerio hasn’t been seen in a while, and a round-up of Malachi Ward’s quirky comics is long overdue. Plus Rich Tommaso, Sam Henderson and a process guide from Tom Hart’s Sequential Arts Workshop—some good stuff here.
Alternative publisher Marc Arsenualt has also announced that Erik Aucoin will join Alternative as Associate Publisher. Aucoin’s background includes HR, law, being a record label co-owner and of course liking comics. a massive fan of comics familiar to many of today’s top creators. In the past Aucoin has worked for the US Congress, a lobbying firm and as a radio DJ so comics should be a snap for him. His duties will includes editing the anthology title Alternative Comics.
This will be the first alternative season distributed by Consortium to the book trade, a move that has been very helpful for other small presses.
And here’s the spring line-up and catalog copy:
Clover Honey by Rich Tommaso
Abigail is an aspiring hitwoman out to prove her value to the family. She braves the wilds of Newark, overpriced parking, traffic jams, and bad hair days to track down Trevor, her former mentor, who is on the lam with a big briefcase of mob dough. A heavily revised, redrawn, and expanded twentieth anniversary edition of Rich Tommaso’s debut graphic novel.
Rich Tommaso has been writing and illustrating original comics and graphic novels since 1994. His graphic novel with writer James Sturm, Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow, won an Eisner award for Best Reality-Based Work in 2008. 136-page paperback
Diamond Code: FEB150911
Sunbeam on the Astronaut by Steven Cerio
A long-awaited collection of comics, art, and stories by artist Steven Cerio that explores silly, psychedelic, and strange worlds. Smiling cartoon critters carouse with threatening cutout whales against a shifting comic landscape in these unique illustrated stories. The psychedelic meetsSaturday morning cartoons in stories with such intriguing titles as “A Private History of Sunbeams and Head Colds,” “The Add Witch in The Berry Patch,” and “Ninny Noonday Ninny.”Steven Cerio is a prominent rock poster and magazine illustrator. His work is best known from his ongoing collaboration with San Francisco-based performance art and music group The Residents.48 pages/black and white guts/full color cover
From Now On by Malachi Ward
Short Comic Tales of The FantasticA collection of hauntingly beautiful Science Fiction and Horror short stories by Prophet (Image Comics) and Ritual artist Malachi Ward. Collects stories from Mome, Study Group Magazine, Sundays, Best American Comics 2013, and more. 144 page paperback.
June 9, 2015
Smilin’ Ed Comics
by Raoul Vezina & Tom Skulan
Crisply and energetically drawn, snappily written, filled with pop culture references, and always funny; Raoul Vezina’s Smilin’ Ed Smiley comics were a breath of fresh air when they first appeared thirty-five years ago. All the original comics are collected here for the first time. Includes sixteen pages in color.
Raoul Vezina (1948-1983) was a brilliant cartoonist who came out of the underground tradition and put his own mark on the indie comics of the early 1980s in a handful of titles. He is best remembered for the four issue of Smilin’ Ed Comics published by Albany, New York’s FantaCo.
160 page 8″ x 10″ black and white paperback with 16 pages in color and color covers
Alternative Comics, June, 2015
The SAW Guide to Making Professional Comic Strips by Tom Hart
The SAW Guide to Making Professional Comic Strips is a complete how-to manual for making the best comic strips you can, from conception to idea generation to layout, lettering, finishing, coloring and even selling. From an experienced professional comic strip artist (Hutch Owen, Ali’s House), the book is loaded with examples and instruction as well as personal stories within the industry.
96 page 8 1/2″ x 11″ color paperback.
Quit Your Job and Other Stories by James Kochalka
On his way to work, Magic Boy discovers an enchanted ring and starts an expedition to the North Pole.
Eisner Award winner James Kochalka has been called “one of the brightest lights of independent comics” and Quit Your Job is a shining example of his genius. On his way to work at the Chinese restaurant, Magic Boy discovers an enchanted ring and determines to make an expedition to the North Pole. He only gets as far as the coffee shop on the next block, but his world is forever changed in the short journey. The predecessor to the author’s popular American Elf diary comics. Includes the entirety of Kochalka’s 1997 book Paradise Sucksand an additional story featuring characters from that world. Double the size of the first edition. Introduction by Jeff Smith (Bone, RASL).
192 page 6.75″ x 675″ black and white paperback with color covers
Alternative Comics, 2015
Oh, That Monroe by Sam Henderson
Monroe Simmons, cartoon everyman, faces twenty-something life and is squashed like a bug at every turn in this series of harrowing and humorous tales from Magic Whistle and Scene But Not Heard creator Sam Henderson. This new edition features nearly 30 pages of never before collected comics and a new introduction by the author.
128 page black and white paperback with color covers
Whew the comics arts festival circuit news is flowing thick and fast; we’re in the middle of application season and hearts and minds are turning to tabling. And the CAFs are answering back with news.
§ First off, the revamped APE (Alternative Press Expo) has revealed its dates and location: October 3-4 2015 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose. This is by all accounts a fine spot for a show, and the new San Jose-based APE sounds like its off to a good start. There is a one day overlap with CXC in Columbus, but what are ya gonna do—even the CAF circuit is busting out these days.
§ Short Run, the indie themed event held in Seattle, has announced its dates: Saturday, October 31st at the Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center.
WHAT?! That’s right: get ready for a “scary” good time with Short Run as we take over Halloween afternoon with comix, zines, art books, mask-making, experimental animation, and much more. There will be both tricks and treats with 250 exhibitors under the Space Needle.
WHERE??!! Yes, it’s true: our beloved Washington Hall will be under construction this entire year as they make much needed renovations. In 2015, we’ll be returning to Seattle Center (site of the very first Short Run festival), and this time, we’ll be in the grand, expansive Fisher Pavilion. We are excited to offer both exhibitors and attendees wider aisle space in this new venue!
WHO?… Well, stay tuned! We’ll be announcing our 2015 special guests soon, as well as opening applications for this year’s exhibitors. We had such an incredible experience with our international guests last year, that we will continue to bring comix artists from around the world to Seattle.
Sounds like a good time.
§ ELCAF (The East London Comics Festival) has announced it’s expanding to two days this year, June 20-21, at a venue to be named later. This show has been getting a strong reputation for indies and it’s doubling in size. Applications are also open. (h/t Zainab)
§ Finally, April’s Lineworks NW, the Portland, OR based indie fest has announced its first four guests: Daniel Clowes, Lisa Hanawalt, Lisa Congdon and Jay Howell. Clowes and Hanawalt are best known for their comics; Congdon is afire artist and Howell does animation designs for such things as Bob’s Burgers. All four have heavy multi-media portfolio, and mixing up a CAF with guests from allied arts and animation is a very smart move and probably something we’ll see a lot more of.
More CAF news coming! If you have info on a show you would like to pass long, please email The Beat at comicsbeat at gmail dot com.
2015, the year of the team up. Brooklyn’s Hang Dai Editions, a studio whose members include Gregory Benton, Dean Haspiel, Seth Kushner, and Josh Neufeld, will team up with Alternative Comics for distribution and some publishing in 2015.
Haspiel and Neufeld were previously published by Alternative during the early aughts when Geoffrey Mason ran the line. Current publisher Marc Arsenault is happy to welcome them back to the fold. “Josh and Dean were a big part of Alternative in the past—not just as creators. It’s nice to have that continuity. I’m looking forward to everything that comes out of their studio.”
The line-up includes the long awaited SCHMUCK by Kushner, delayed by his illness and now happily back on track following his miraculous recovery. And new work by Haspiel, Benton and Neufeld is always welcome. Here’s the lineup:
SCHMUCK by Seth Kushner and various artists
184-pages. Full color.
SCHMUCK is a graphic novel memoir about one man’s awkward coming-of-age-quest to find love in New York City, written by SETH KUSHNER, with design by ERIC SKILLMAN and a forward by JONATHAN AMES. SCHMUCK is an anthology featuring art by 23 great cartoonists, including; Nick Bertozzi, Gregory Benton, Dean Haspiel, Josh Neufeld, Noah Van Sciver, Leland Purvis, Sean Pryor, Bobby Timony, Shamus Beyale, Ryan Alexander-Tanner, George Schall, Nathan Schreiber, Stephen Destefano, Jon Allen, Christa Cassano, Kevin Colden, Tony Salmons, George Jurard, Omar Angulo, Pierce Hargan, Skuds Mckinley, James O Smith, Tim Ogline and cover by Joseph Remnant.
SMOKE by Gregory Benton
64-pages. Full color.
After an accident on an industrial farm unhinges two young brothers from reality, they are guided through a weird and wonderful journey by Xolo, the mythological protector of souls.
BEEF WITH TOMATO by Dean Haspiel
96-pages. B+W comix and essays. (published by Alternative Comics)
A native New York bruiser is fed up with life in the dregs of a drug-addled Alphabet City where his neighbors are shut-ins and his bicycle is always getting stolen. He escapes from Manhattan to make a fresh start in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, only to face a new strain of street logic — where most everything he encounters is not as it seems. Emmy Award-winning artist Dean Haspiel returns to his semi-autobiographical roots with BEEF WITH TOMATO, where he explores the emotional truths between prime and primate.
THE VAGABONDS #4 by Josh Neufeld
24-pages. Full color.
Josh Neufeld’s The Vagabonds #4 serves up a spicy blend of journalism, social commentary, memoir, and literary fiction. This issue features Neufeld’s story of racial profiling at the U.S./Canadian border and three collaborations with Neufeld’s wife, writer Sari Wilson. Throw in a couple of light-hearted travel tips, and The Vagabonds #4 is chock-full of the thought-provoking and witty comics Neufeld is known for.
HEART-SHAPED HOLE by Dean Haspiel
24-pages. Full color.
Billy Dogma and Jane Legit punch the apocalypse right in the kisser as their eternal war of woo breaks a Trip City-wide hymen.
SECRET SAUCE COMIX Vol.1 by Seth Kushner and various artists
28-pages. Full color.
Seth Kushner’s new anthology features a mix of fumetti/cosplay, indie/sci-fi, and Silver-age inspired heroes by way of THE BROOKLYNITE, drawn by Shamus Beyale, COSTUMED CHARACTERS, layouts by Dean Haspiel, and YOUTOPIA, illustrated by Charles Stewart.
Hang Dai’s previous books are also available
SCHMUCK COMIX #1
–Seth Kushner’s semi-autobio webcomic gets a print edition with three stories written by Seth and drawn by Jon Allen, Shamus Beyale and Noah Van Sciver. Cover by Gregory Benton.
PSYCHOTRONIC COMIX is Dean Haspiel’s anthology of memoir and Silver Age inspired genre featuring The Red Hook, Tommy Rocket, A-Okay Cool, and NY Stories.
FORCE OF NATURE by Gregory Benton, follows an artist through a lush forest as he searches for a lost sketchbook.
THE VAGABONDS #3
–After an eight-year hiatus, Josh Neufeld’s The Vagabonds returns with its third issue — now published by Hang Dai! Many things have changed in the interim: Neufeld produced three books, became a father, and won a year-long journalism fellowship. This issue highlights Neufeld’s journalistic work over the past few years, including reportage on Hurricane Sandy, the Arab Spring, the education wars (with writer Adam Bessie), and the life of a “comics journalist.”
A lone woman fights the odds in this no-holds-barred short companion piece to B+F by Gregory Benton.
POCKET BOOK 2 by Gregory Benton
Drawn from life, pages from Gregory Benton’s sketchbooks create a loose narrative. Travel through the NYC subway, take in a concert or two, and wash up on the beach.
Sparkplug Books has just put out new of their new mini series, with work by Suzette Smith, Olivia Horvath, Nalleli Sierra, Ebin Lee and Solomon Fletcher. I’m not familiar with most of these, but I’m always interested in whatever Sparkplug is putting out.
Here’s the line-up:
Sparkplug Books is pleased to announce the addition of 5 new titles to the Sparkplug Minis Series in 2015. The Sparkplug Minis Series (SMS) is a collection of short run, limited addition mini comics by up-and-coming and outstanding artists. So far the series has included books by Asher Craw, Whit Taylor and Yumi Sakugawa. In 2015, five more excellent artists will join the roster.
• Ce Ze (SMS #4) by Suzette Smith will debut in April. Smith is a graduate of the IPRC comics certificate program. Her work has appeared inComics Workbook, Bitch Magazine and the Portland Mercury. Description of Ce Ze: “Honey Czarny and Amelia Smith are 7th graders who share fragmented memories of past lives in which they were powerful beings named Ce and Ze. A rival king’s plot to murder Ze forced her to flee her kingdom. Ce and Ze study and emulate human behavior but wish to return to their realm. “
• SMS #5 will be by Olivia Horvath and is slated to come out in June. Horvath is a printmaker, comic artist and Xeric Grant recipient from Providence, RI.
• SMS #6 by is by Nalleli Sierra, a.k.a. Naji and is coming out in September. Naji is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago. Her work has appeared in Linework comics anthology.
• SMS #7 is by Portlander Ebin Lee. The release of this comic will coincide with Short Run Comics Festival in Seattle, WA this coming October. Lee is a graduate of PNCA and an accomplished illustrator and self-publisher.
• SMS #8 is slated for February 2016 and will be by Solomon Fletcher. Fletcher is a comics artist from Minneapolis. They are the author of many minicomics and the sex positive webcomic Goldy and the Bears.
We hope you are looking forward to these new books as much as we are!
CE ZE (SMS #4)
By Suzette Smith
April 2015 Ÿ$6.00
B&W with color cover
TITLE TBD (SMS #5)
By Olivia Horvath
June 2015 Ÿ$6.00
B&W with color cover
TITLE TBD (SMS #6)
By Nalleli Sierra (Naji)
September 2015 Ÿ$6.00
B&W with color cover
TITLE TBD (SMS #7)
By Ebin Lee
October 2015 Ÿ$6.00
B&W with color cover
TITLE TBD (SMS #8)
By Solomon Fletcher
February 2016 Ÿ$6.00
B&W with color cover
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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, Indie Comics
, Literary Comics
, Top News
, Ben Templesmith
, hp lovecraft.
, Warrn Ellis
, Add a tag
by Pamela Auditore
Anyone familiar with Spike TV Scream Award Winner and New York Times Bestselling Artist/Writer Ben Templesmith’s work knows he is profoundly influenced by HP Lovecraft. Even a cursorary glance at his art makes this apparent. Lovecraft’s influence is most directly on display in Templesmith’s most recent graphic novel Squidder. A tale of a one time warrior doing battle and eluding the common place acolytes who’ve accepted the Dark Cephlopod Gods as their own.
But now, the marriage is official!
Templesmith will be tackling Lovecraft himself, the horror master who has influenced creators for nearly a century, including Mike Mignola, Nic Pizzolatto (“True Detective”) and GRR Martin.
In an e-mail yesterday, Templesmith, announced he is temporarily forgoing a sequel to Squidder, for an adaption of HP Lovecraft’s “DAGON.” “A proto-Chuthullu story,” as the Kickstarter page calls it.
As Templesmith tells it:
“‘DAGON’ is the first Lovecraft story I ever read… and is just oozing in mood and fear [sic]…so I figured I’d turn the visuals it gives me in to a deluxe graphic novella. I finally get to handle some of the unspeakable horrors of Lovecraft, especially because it’s the 125th anniversary of his birth.”
Templesmith also says he will be working on Fell, and is in talks with Warren Ellis for more issues of Wormwood.
§ By chance, two websites have been devoting some time to overviews of…non Big Two Comics I guess you could call ‘em. Multiversity is running Small Press Month and offers A Brief History of Alternative Comics by Drew Bradley which offers a pretty good run down of the journey from Zap to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, with stops for Arcade and The Comics Journal:
Naturally, this wasn’t a clean transition, and the term was applied retroactively to books after the shift had occurred. Like the undergrounds, alternative (or simply ‘alt’) comics were set apart from mainstream content by their target audience (20+ adults), their higher production quality, and their black and white art. Similarities aside, alt comics differed from undergrounds in two major ways. First, while underground comics had focused on shocks and rule breaking, alt comics made a concerted effort to have meaning and value. Second, and deriving directly from the first, was a greater acceptance of alt comics in the fast growing number of comic specialty shops, a place where underground never made much headway. When Phil Seuling and his Sea Gate Distribution turned those shops into the direct market as it’s known today, the alternatives had large industry access without large industry costs.
In another piece called Different Viewpoints
, a discussion of just what is “alternative” is discussed with tiers and so on.
Meanwhile, at The Mary Sue, Jordan West digs in to Small, Mighty, and Super Weird; or, A Brief Guide to Indie Comics :
So is that what an “indie publisher” is? A small company that puts out weird stories?
Eh. Sort of. Terms like “indie” and “small press” have come to mean anything that’s not Marvel or DC, which doesn’t really mean anything. We already talked about the Creator Owned model and how that distinguishes independent publishers from the Big Two. That, plus the absence of any shared universe or continuity, gives creators greater leverage and more room to move. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but writers in general and comics writers in particular tend to be pretty weird people, so yeah, given enough leeway, they’ll put out some weird freaking stories.
A little broader picture there and much of the article is concerned with Image Comics, which is stretching indie a little. In fact they also mention Archie which is…just…no.
I have to admit, I have an “Indie Comics” category where I kind of lump a lot of things that should be together. A Zenescope is not the same thing as a Drawn & Quarterly. I also have one category called “art comics” and another called “literary comics” and that doesn’t make any sense either.
Today’s comics purchasers, and by extension retailers, are a lot less snobby about publishing labels, I think. Image is definitely the hottest publisher, but creators have bigger followings than labels do.
The day is long past when a Dark Horse or Dynamite is an “indie.” There are The Front of the Books Dark Horse, Dc, IDW, IMage and Marvel” and the “Next Five” as I like to call them, Boom, Dynamite, Oni, Valiant and Avatar. (These are not the next five on Diamond’s chart, because don’t forget Eaglemoss.) And oh yeah, Archie. And Viz. And Zenescope and Titan. These publishers all put out periodical comics and in general have editors who select the personnel for these books. (Oni is kind of not doing that any more, but then, they’ve sort of been in a mutable place for a while.)
Fantagraphics and D&Q and Koyama, AdHouse, Uncivilized, Secret Acres and so on all have a different publishing focus, based on graphic novels, and maybe occasionally the slim pamphlet from a cartoonist who works very slowly. (Optic Nerve and Palookaville, for instance.)
Anyway, someday I need to fix my categories. What is an “art comic” and what is a “literary comic”? Any clues, readers? Paging Frank Santoro.
§ Speaking of Viz, I missed this exciting news that many more of their books are now available on Comixology, with 650 volumes added including
MAGI Vols. 1-10
CASE CLOSED Vols. 1-53
BLACK BIRD Vols. 1-18
THE DRIFTING CLASSROOM Vols. 1-10
HAPPY MARRIAGE?! Vols. 1-10
ITSUWARIBITO Vols. 1-13
MIDNIGHT SECRETARY Vols. 1-7
Everyone will have their own pick from these but mine is, of course, Drifting Classroom by Kauo Umezu. Other Beat picks: Sexy Voice and Robo, Solanin, Sunny by Matsumoto, Children of the Seas…oh it’s all good. (I don’t know if these were available before but I’m just poking around.)
BUT STILL NO URASAWA because he hate digital, I guess. You suck, Urasawa. Not really.
§ Nathan Reese at Complex presents Race and Gender in Comic Books which is a sound overview of all the stuff happening of late, from Ms. Marvel to Milo Manara.
“There’s nothing inherently masculine about telling stories with pictures; there’s nothing inherently masculine about superheroes,” says DeConnick. “In the ’40s and ’50s, there was a book called Calling All Girls that had a circulation of half a million monthly readers. But in the ’50s our industry became hugely dominated by the superhero genres, and comics began to be identified not as a medium, but as a genre, which was one of the first steps to the paring down of the diversity of our readership.”
§ When Emerald City Comic Con teamed up with Reed Pop, Rose City Comic Con, formerly allied with ECCC, was left alone. But it seems its heart will go on, as showrunner Ron Brister says the last event drew 26,000 people:
Rose City is already reaping the benefits of its short-lived partnership. Comic book artists and vendors are now contacting them, booking spots as far out as 2016. As far as financials go, you don’t have to work hard to figure out that 26,000 by $20 a ticket equals a pretty decent profit.
Despite their newfound reputation and skyrocketing popularity, Rose City organizers are looking to keep a reserved approach to growth, Brister said.
§ Former Diamond vp of purchasing Bill Shanes
has joined games company Cryptozoic as a VP,
as has another Diamond alum, John Parker
. That’s a strong line-up for any company.
§ I missed this interview with Jeanine Schaefer, departed Marvel editor, at DC Women Kicking Ass Schaefer left Marvel to move west with her husband, DC editor Mark Doyle, but she left her mark.
I think we’ve discussed the impact that digital can have on changing the demographics of comics – what’s the most interesting thing you saw as digital became a force in the comic business?
Ms. Marvel! Ms. Marvel is a JUGGERNAUT on the app. But I think that reflects the bigger story, which is that there’s an untapped market that’s dying to buy comics. Young women and girls especially are a large percentage of the digital comics market. But the internet has always been a haven for women to create and connect, and as social media and digital distribution becomes bigger, so do women’s voices.
§ Meanwhile, sad news in that the incomparable Zainab Akhtar is cutting back her posting to once a week. NOOOO! But she is writing some reviews fo the AV Club, such as this one on First Year Healthy:
First Year Healthy reads smoothly, its striking art cause for pause and contemplation, offering possibilities and interpretations to be gleaned. It may mean this, it could mean that; it probably means both, and something else besides. And that’s the beauty of DeForge.
§ Do you remember two years ago when a Chicago school decided to pull Persepolis from its curriculum because of a scene of torture? Well, a FOIA request has revealed the rest of the story.
The first e-mail was sent at 12:54 AM on Saturday, March 9, 2013, from Chandra James to Annette Gurley. James was the network chief for a group of elementary schools on the west side. And Gurley is the chief officer of Teaching and Learning, which oversees curricula. “I’ve attached a copy of 2 pages from the book ‘Persepolis’ that was sent to schools,” James wrote. “In my opinion it is not appropriate at all. Please let me know if I can pull the book from my schools.” Her e-mail included attachments to an image from Persepolis that showed a prison guard urinating on a prisoner, and parts in the book where the words “bastard” and “fucked” are used. At 10:13 AM on Saturday, Gurley responded: “By all means, pull them.”
Much more in the link.
§ The Malaysian cartoonist Zunar is in trouble again, after being arrested for a tweet which was critical of a court ruling that convicted the mainopposition political leader of sodomy.
Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque – better known as Zunar – was arrested on Tuesday night, hours after Mr Anwar was jailed for five years in a politically charged sodomy case. “Of course this is a form of intimidation, with the purpose that society does not question the authorities,” Fazlina Rosley, his wife, told AFP. “Zunar will not bow down to this intimidation. He will continue to criticise even if he remains in jail.”
Zunar has been fighting the good fight for free speech for a long time, but it seems Malaysia has a lot of problems with that old freedom thing
, like how you convict sometime to 20 years in jail for “sodomy.”
In recent years, as young voters have defected to the opposition and the government’s power has slipped, prosecutors have filed a raft of cases against critics, including opposition figures, a professor and a cartoonist. In the coming months, the government plans to strengthen and update an archaic sedition law, one of the main tools used to stifle dissenting voices.
This was the second prosecution of Mr. Anwar on a charge of sodomy. He spent six years in prison after a conviction in a separate sodomy trial by a different accuser but was acquitted on appeal in 2004. He has always insisted that the charges were baseless and politically motivated. Human rights groups question whether a law against sodomy should exist at all.
Terry Moore has been writing, drawing and independently publishing comics for over twenty years, consistently to critical acclaim in an ever-changing market. I spoke with him about his most recent works Rachel Rising, which just completed its first long “act” with Issue 30, and SiP Kids, which has two issues out. I also talked with Moore about the comics industry as a whole and how his place in it continues to evolve within it. Read that and more below.
Do you consider Rachel Rising #30 the end of the series’ initial story?
More like the end of an act. I never really thought about Rachel Rising as short story arcs. It was all kind of one long story to me. The original story was Lilith’s revenge, so [Issue 31] is a nice regrouping point.
Do you have an idea of how long it will go?
It depends on so many different things, but I do love the work.
Do you think you could go as far as Strangers in Paradise or is that always gonna be your longest work?
I doubt I’ll ever do anything that long again. I think it’s difficult to sustain a series in today’s world. It was a different climate then.
Do you know what series you want to do after Rachel Rising?
I have a couple ideas, one pretty fleshed out, but I haven’t made a final decision. I’m kind of waiting until the moment comes. In the past, when I thought I had something ready for the next series, I chickened out when the time came because it didn’t feel fresh enough. So now I keep the ideas in my head and, when the time comes, ask myself if it feels right. I like to write for the now.
Color by Steve Hamaker.
You’ve also been publishing SiP Kids recently. What was the impetus for that?
Two-fold. Robin, my wife, wanted me to do something all-ages, and I did, too. I come from an all-ages cartooning background so making comics like that comes naturally to me. I also wanted to revisit the Strangers in Paradise characters. I think they’re strong characters and they work nicely when you put them in different situations. It’s just a good ensemble cast that is very flexible. I wanted to get some SiP stuff back out there. This seemed like a fun way to do that without [doing] anything too heavy.
Are you still planning on publishing Strangers in Paradise novels?
Yes. The trick has been for me to manage to do that while continuing to keep a comic book deadline, and it’s been difficult for me to do anything over the last twenty years as I try to stick to a six-week schedule. I’ve noticed that most of the guys who are on steady monthly books are not the kind to be at conventions. [Drawing comics] is very time consuming work. It’s hard to sustain the effort needed for a novel [in addition to that], but that’s where my heart lies. I really want to get more out there.
Color by Steve Hamaker.
What’s it like working with Steve Hamaker on SiP Kids and the Strangers in Paradise Anniversary Edition?
He’s wonderful. It’s easy to work with him, he understands [what I’m going for] and he brings so much to it. I love his textures and little touches. He goes every pencil so everything is right and it’s wonderful
Did you learn about him through Jeff Smith?
Yeah. Back in the 90s when [Jeff Smith and his wife] came to San Diego they went with Steve. That’s where I got to meet him and become friends. I’ve known him for a very long time.
You mentioned the current climate for the comics industry. As sales go down prices naturally have to go up. Do you worry about having to charge $4 for a black-and-white issue that’s around 18 pages of comics?
Yes [laughs]. If I could charge $1.25 I would. I really would. But I can’t. Nobody can. The problem with the business of comics is you have grown men with families trying to make a living off them. That demands certain economic standards that everyone’s trying to struggle to keep up with. It’s not like it’s a business full of greedy old rich men trying to soak every penny. It’s just people with families trying to make a living. So it is what it is.
Sales going down changed everything. It put all the distributors but one out of business. It put most of the printers out of business. Paper has become super expensive. All of that business side of comics is unfriendly. It’s sort of an obstacle course that creators and publishers have to run before the book even gets to the comic book store. When it does it has this price tag on it and a struggling college kid looks at that price and has to make a choice. They really can’t walk out with ten books. They have to take closer to three. And the competition is just amazingly fierce right now. I honestly work much harder now to make the best comic I can than I ever did before because the competition’s so fierce. Being black and white and having a very strong price point I’ve got to make a good reason for somebody to invest their money. So I’m trying to make sure I’m making the book the best I can and that it has something fresh and interesting in there that they can’t find anywhere else. That’s really the only reason to keep buying a book, I guess, the hope that it is giving you something nothing else can. So I try to work on that level.
Have you ever considered transitioning to a bigger publisher like Image? I know Rachel Rising appeared in the back of an issue of The Walking Dead not too long ago.
I always loved the security of some father figure company taking me on and giving me some sort of lifetime security. That’s the fantasy of every writer, I think, but it doesn’t really exist. I’ve been with publishers in the past and it never quite turns out to be the security blanket that you want because you have to share the income and it comes down to a numbers game. I actually think one of the reasons I’m able to continue doing my books is because I stayed indy. I’m not sure if I’d have kept doing Strangers in Paradise and Echo and Rachel Rising if [I was with] another publisher that required minimum orders and things. So it’s a balancing game for me. How long can I hang out here on my own in this big ocean where big companies and their IPs fill cruise ships full of people? They’re big operations and I’m like this little one-man sailboat in the Atlantic [laughs]. So far I’ve survived. How much longer I can do it I don’t know, but it sure is nice to do something without having to check in with other people. You get to be flexible every single day about what needs to happen next. So that’s the good thing about being indy. And I get to do my own stuff so I’m still enjoying the rewards of being an indy book.
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TCAF, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival will be held May 9-10th this year, with a whole week of events, art exhibits, screenings. Special programming events include the CSSC-SCEBD Academic Conference, Library & Educator Day, Word Balloon Academy, and Comics Vs. Games 4. IN other words, it jam packed with stuff to see and do. As for programming the first spotlight has been announced: Drawn & Quarterly’s 25th anniversary, which is certain to bring out some top notch sessions.
TCAF is a FREE two day event held at the Toronto Reference Library, and if you love comics or cartooning this is definitely one of the most comprehensive (and fun) events celebrating the artform in North America.
The first nine guests have been announced:
Charles Burns: Creator of Black Hole, one of the most important graphic novels of all time, Burns will be at TCAF to celebrate his recently completed new graphic novel series X’ed Out (Pantheon Books).
￼Eleanor Davis: An outstanding cartoonist and editorial illustrator (The New Yorker, New York Times), Davis’ recent graphic novel release How To Be Happy (Fantagraphics) is one of the best graphic novels of 2014, and TCAF is thrilled to welcome this cartoonist to Toronto.
Gurihiru: This dynamic cartooning duo hails from Tokyo, Japan, and is beloved in North America for their original graphic novels set in the universe of Avatar: The Last Airbender (Dark Horse).
￼Lucy Knisley: A long-time supporter of the Festival, Knisley’s memoirs and travelogues are well-loved across the continent. Knisley attends as a Featured Guest in 2015, in support of her new travelogue/graphic novel Displacement (Fantagraphics).
￼Scott McCloud: Creator of the essential comics text Understanding Comics, TCAF will welcome McCloud to Toronto in support of his acclaimed new graphic novel The Sculptor (First Second Books).
￼Barbara Stok: Hailing from The Netherlands, Stok has an impressive collection of graphic novels to her credit. TCAF is happy to welcome her as a Featured Guest of the Festival in 2015, in conjunction with her debut English-language graphic novel release Vincent (SelfMadeHero), an important and critically-praised biography of Vincent Van Gogh.
￼Jillian Tamaki: With her cousin Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki’s 2014 TCAF Debut This One Summer (Groundwood/First Second) took home a Governor General’s Award, a Caldecott Honor, and a Printz Honor. In 2015, Jillian Tamaki will release SuperMutantMagicAcademy (Drawn & Quarterly), her hilarious new graphic novel.
￼Chip Zdarsky: Hometown favourite and emerging international superstar Zdarsky (a.k.a. Steve Murray) is welcomed as a Featured Guest for 2015! Best-known for his ground-breaking comic series Sex Criminals (with writer Matt Fraction), spring 2015 will see the launch of his new series Kaptara (Image Comics) with fellow Toronto illustrator Kagan McLeod, and a relaunch of Marvel Comics’ Howard The Duck.
While these nine guests are a fine start, more will be announced, hailing from France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Canada and the US, with more than 300 cartoonist will be in attendance. Good times.