A First Look at Pop Star Assassin

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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.

Exciting new comics site launches: Zco.mx, with Lasky, Langridge and dozens more

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There are scores of great webcomics to read from indie cartoonists on these internets. There are also tons of great mini comics on sale from cartoonists at CAFs. But what if you can’t get to a CAF or want a more curated portal to help you find good stuff? Zco.mx (pronounced zee·com·ics) is a new site that offers a curated list of cartoonists with selected digital offerings, all available to read for free — but you are also encouraged to make a donation. Comics are downloadable as CBZ files via torrents or DC. I’m not super crazy about that format, but the reader on the site itself works very smoothly, and I don’t have any room on my iPad anyway.

Tüki Save The Humans #4 delayed by Jeff Smith arm injury

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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 […]

Koyama Press Fall slate includes double DeForge, Mai, Wertz and more

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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:

Miami Vice: Remix by Casey and Mahfood continues to be wilder than it has any reason to be

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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.

MoCCA 2015 in Pictures and memories

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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.

The Center for Cartoon Studies spits out good cartoonists like a volcano spits out lava

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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 and spotlight a few of them:

Small Press Alert: Immolation from Clemente, Ortiz and Soutar

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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 […]

Uncivilized announces Fall lineup with Alden, Skaalrud, Evenson, Ball and Carré

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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. […]

TCAF announces first guests, more details for 2015 show

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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.

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 2/12/15: What is an “indie comic” anyway?

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§ 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 […]

Sparkplug Announces 2015 publishing slate with Smith, Horvath and more

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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.

Sophie Goldstein’s The Oven coming from AdHouse

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CCS just keeps turning out interesting new cartoonists. Sophie Goldstein is a recent grad whose works defies easy categorization, except to say that she’s got a great line and a keen eye, she writes stories and anything can happen. And now AdHouse is bringing out The Oven by Goldstein in April. It’s set in a totalitarian future where “dwindling resources have driven the human race into domed cities where population controls are strictly enforced. When a young couple goes looking for an anti-government paradise in the desert they may have found more than they bargained for.”

Hang Dai Editions to publish via Alternative Comics

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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 […]

CAF update: APE and Short Run get dates; ELCAF gets a day and Lineworks NW gets guests

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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.

Must read: Whit Taylor on “A Visit to CAB” and comic arts festival sustainability

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Whitney Taylor continues to be my favorite investigative comics journalist—well, maybe investigative is too strong a word, but if “talking to a lot of people and painting a picture” is the criterion, Whit is it, as her report on Comic Arts Brooklyn shows. This was a strong show but one that experienced an unexpected glitch: a lot of people thought it was a two day show and didn’t come to the exhibits on Saturday. This resulted in a smaller crowd and, for some, lower sales. On the day there was a lot of anxiety—it’s like basing your business plan on Christmas sales and then there’s a big blizzard the day of the big sale—but everyone seems to have survived intact.

And yet, is a financial model this precarious one that is “sustainable”? I predict sustainable will be THE word of 2015, as a the last few days of posts here have been exploring. Taylor talks about the model with many publishers and creators and key behind the scenes people like publishing rep Tony Shenton, and while everyone is optimistic, there is no real consensus on whether things are working, improving or just providing a false illusion of hope: