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GOODBYE TO ALL OF YOU by Lu, Kurtzhals and Laiho coming in ’22 from Abrams

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EtQsqMZWgAISmgt.jpeg

Well, file this under “we knew you when!” The Beat’s former New Media Editor/Managing Editor Alexander Lu has just announced his first graphic novel! Goodbye to All of You will be drawn by Tara Kurtzhals with colors by Maarta Laiho and it’s coming from Abrams in 2022.

https://twitter.com/Waxenwings/status/1356743157770309640

According to the PW blurb,

This middle grade graphic novel follows two Chinese American siblings who feel untethered by the death of their mother. The night of her funeral, they wake up in a place that looks like Chinatown but is actually a space between Earth and the afterlife, populated by animal spirits. Terrance and Delilah must adapt to a new world while learning to make peace with their mother’s passing—and with each other.

The deal was repped by Inkwell Management’s Charlie Olsen and Jessica Mileo.

This sounds totally awesome and we couldn’t be happier for Alex!

The artist on Goodbye to All of You, Tara Kurtzhals, is another up and comer – you can check out their webcomics Girls Have a Blog and Knight and Beard on Webtoons. Colorist Maarta Laiho has worked on Lumberjanes, Hilo and much more.

Kurtzhals posted some preview art on Twitter, which you can see above.

Since leaving the Beat last year, Alex has been very busy working on this and also editing graphic novels for First Second — including the multiple award winning Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang. In fact it’s definitely Alex Lu Week since you can also listen to him talk editing on the podcast Portrait of an Editor!

As Kurtzhals noted in a tweet, Alex has a way of helping people:

Feeling a little teary here — Alex was such a huge support for me and the rest of the team as an editor, contributor and friend during his time at the Beat — we’ve shared so many ideas, convention adventures, and spicy Chinese soups. I knew immediately on meeting him that he was a comics lifer, and seeing his career take off is no surprise — his talent and dedication guaranteed that.

I’ve said this many times in interviews and podcasts and panels, but seeing talented people forge their creative journey, and being a part of it, no matter how large or small, is the best thing about being in comics for me, and the main reason I keep doing this.

Congrats, Alex, Tara, and Maarta! I’m sure there will be much more to come from them all.

CAB Debuts 2019: 56 fresh new comics you can pick up tomorrow

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Tomorrow it’s Comic Arts Brooklyn from 11-7 at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and  as is Beat tradition, we are here to presentn the 2019 CAB Debuts! These are by no means the only new books debuting at the show, but it’s a parade of fresh faces, fresh books and fresh looks, and perhaps something here will tickly your comics reading fancy.


KOYAMA PRESS

The Death of The Master

By Patrick Kyle

An absurdist, art brut rumination on society’s structures presented in Patrick Kyle’s singular style.

After the sudden death of a beloved patriarch who promised eternal life to his followers, a topsy-turvy society attempts to reconcile the deluded teachings of their late leader with the harsh reality he left behind.


Schmutz!
Jess Worby
jworby.com
@jworbeast

A collection of recent comic strips, including “The Netflix Saga”, various personal crises involving adult life in New York, and a couple interludes featuring the cartoonist’s dog.


On A Hot Summer Night I Like To Eat My Favorite Cartoon Characters
Sam Grinberg
www.samgrinberg.com\

@samgrinberg/

A 32 page collection of comics, stories, and images from the perspective of suburban youth.


Perishable Goods
Liz Bolduc Sux
lizbolducsux.com
@liz_sux

With food and relationships as threads throughout the comic, Liz explores the abstract anxieties one can face as they grow up and search out for the non-perishable items in life that will last.


Fool’s Wish
Shawn Kuruneru
foolswish.tumblr.com

Inspired by Eastern landscapes, Asian folktales and surreal imagery, Fool’s Wish is a fantasy horror story about disrupting the natural order to obtain your greatest desires.


HANDS UP, HERBIE!
Joey Perr
joeyperr.com

Hands Up, Herbie! follows the author’s father, Herb Perr, from a mob-linked Jewish family in Brighton Beach of the 40s and 50s, through the studios of Helen Frankenthaler and Mark Rothko, Reagan-era art activism, and a reckoning with the responsibilities of raising a family.


Nice Slice pizza zine
Brian Butler
@upperhandart

Nice Slice is a collection of new and exotic pizza slices, that can only be won by spinning a Pizza Prize Pie™️ at table K19.


STRANGE TALES
Alan Jennings
George Washington, miracles, a tragic case of acne and UFO’s are considered in this limited edition comics anthology.


Harry Nordlinger

The Men in Power Are Fucking Your Kids
@HarryNordlinger
An art zine of Harry Nordlinger’s original illustrations from 2019

Softer Than Sunshine (east coast debut)
A collection of surreal/existential horror stories, by Harry Nordlinger, designed to stick in your head and leave you with a lingering sense of dread.


FACEMELTER
By Bill Wehmann
The cosmic journey of psychedelic skull fleeing its own body.


AN ODDLY ORGANIZED YEAR: AN 18 MONTH CALENDAR

by Holly Simple

NOV ’19 – APRIL “21 + MYSTERY CENTERFOLD!!!!!

  • 19 original ink drawings
  • 8.5″ x 11″ zine style
  • NO MAJOR HOLIDAYS NOTED!


Natasha Brennan

Not much else is known about this zine!


UNTITLED PENCIL COMIC
Caroline Cash
https://www.instagram.com/cash_browns

Untitled Pencil Comic is a risographed mini comic with a vellum cover, that tells the story of a girl’s communication with an ex solely using clickbait articles.


Simulation
By Nicole Rodrigues
@lost.mirage

An android ship starts picking up floating frozen humans throughout space where they live in simulation rooms on the ship.


The Pumpkin Party
Sara Sarmiento
sarasarmiento.com

“The Pumpkin Party” is a spooky party at a pumpkin patch, made in the format of a victorian valentine form called a puzzle purse: a single sheet of paper that folds into itself.

2.

A Girl & Her Dog

“A Girl & Her Dog” is a series of four-panel comics of a woman and her dog taking rambling hikes in a strange woodland world.


Grace, Jerry, Jessica & Me: Vol III
Derek Marks
@derekgmarks

In the final issue of the series, the author meets Grace Jones and reflects upon how icons helped navigate his identity.


Silver Wire
by Kriota Willberg
kriotawelt.blogspot.com twitter.com/Kriota

This book is the product of Kriota’s artists residency at the New York Academy of Medicine Library, and it includes a graphic memoir and her images of embroidery based on historical medical illustrations.

6.5” x 9”, 28 pages. $10


Constitution Illustrated: Sampler
by R. Sikoryak
rsikoryak.com twitter.com/RSikoryak

The opening text of the U.S. Constitution, including the Preamble and Article 1, Sections 1 – 4, as illustrated in the styles of American comics from the 1900’s to today.

5.5” x 7.5″, 16 pages. $3


Vanity Floppy

By Karl Stevens


Rotten Faith
Corinne Halbert

Irreverent b+w horror comics that explore witchcraft, Baphomet eroticism and arachnophobia.


“Cicero” (Preview
By Jason Mojica & Tim Kinsell

Comics

16 year-old Justin wants to forget a humiliating robbery while his father is hell-bent on getting even, so they embark on an ill-conceived, all-night manhunt that exposes glaring differences in their attitudes toward conflict, violence, and masculinity.


VENOMYTHS 00
By Joshua Ray Stephens
www.thursdaycity.com

VENOMYTHS 00 is an arts and culture mag from the underground intergalactic resistance at least three hundred years in the future. When every thought and even biological minutia are regulated via a vast digital network, a printed book is an act of rebellion in and of itself.


Mermaid Parade

by Natalie Wardlaw

@Natalie.Wardlaw

Mermaid Parade is a memoir comic about sexual liberation, violation, death, and two very different parades.


Ratman

By Tony Chao

www.tonychaoillustration.com

@thechaoman

Ratman is a graphic novel following the journey of a homeless man in New York City battling a sinister force pulling him farther and farther away from his humanity.


West Coast Soft Boys

By Matt Goldberg and Ian Mackay

Published by Hi-Bred

mattgoldberg.net / @goldmatt / hi-bred.net / @hi__bred

Two soft boys take a wild ride in this 20 page risograph comic full of triply colors and goofy antics.


DAVID SANDLIN

@david_sandlin

Belfaust Episode 2( My Mother was a War bride)

David Sandlin

Betty Grimm tells the story of her Mom’s WW2 romance.

FrightHouse

Trump and his Cronies as Yokai in full color silkscreen


NOODLE FIGHT ISSUE 4

By Haan Lee

@leezusconleche

The 4th Issue of Noodle Fight, a comic about kickboxing, drug cartels, and hip hop.


Misery

by King Louie’s Lab

@kinglouieslab

A Halloween special about a father preyed on by a shape shifter who takes the form of his deceased son.


 

Johnny Sampson

TFU 2 (Total Fuck Up 2), which follows our favorite burnout on a day of debauchery and delinquency. 32 pages, B&W.

Slow Leak 3, my annual collection of comics and drawings I self-publish. Screenprinted cover, 40 B&W and Risograph color pages.


Channel Termination part 2

Mike Taylor

@late_era_clash

The second chapter of a long work exploring the IRL costs of social media celebrity.


ROUGH ONES

Written by Lucas McCaslin Illustrated by G. Davis Cathcart

roughonescomic.com

@gdaviscathcart

Longform 90’s post apocalyptic junkyard brawler friendship tale.


LOUDER & SMARTER

Alex Krokus/Pyrite Press

The second collection of comics by famed anthropomorphic raccoon cartoonist Alex Krokus.


warm winter
kimberly edgar
@deadbirdparty
www.kimberlyedgar.com

a short comic drawing parallels between the change in landscape in the far north due to climate change, and the changing of the main character’s body as they discover that they are actually very sick.


SCHAPPI
Anna Haifisch
www.hai-life.com\

@the.artist942

In five short stories Anna Haifisch blurs the boundaries between humans and animals in a subtle way: carnivores and herbivores meet at a nerve-wracking congress, we get to know a merciless, art-collecting lizard, meet dancing ostriches and a melancholy meditating octopus.

MELLOM COLLECTION No 4 – HUNGER
Rita Fürstenau
www.rita-fuerstenau.de
@rita_fuerstenau

The Mellom Collections assemble small scenes of natural curiosities. The focus of the fourth issue “Hunger” is on colorful songbirds and their favorite dishes.


NOBROW PRESS

DEADENDIA: THE BROKEN HALO
Hamish Steele
https://hamishsteele.co.uk

In the second installment of this quirky, heartfelt LGBTQ adventure comic, war is brewing across the thirteen planes, and as always, haunted house attraction (and portal to hell) Dead End is right at the center of it.


Follow the Doll, issue 1
By Daryl Seitchik
@Daryl.seitchik

The first part of a serialized, fully-watercolored graphic novel inspired by Russian folklore and magic.


The Grass is Always Greener When You Go Outside
by Timothy Reed
www.timart.info
@timart.info

Sometimes it’s good to stop and smell the proverbial roses.


BABIES HAVING GARFIELDS: AN EPIC TRAGEDY

By Aaron Shattuck

@aaron.shattuck

https://gumroad.com/aaronshattuck

Garfield adopts himself to Nermal; it doesn’t go well (three-color risograph mimicking Ben Day processing; six pages + cover),

KILL YOUR DARLINGS

By Aaron Shattuck

A collection of mostly comedic ephemera, including short comics, illustrations and shameless fan art (two-color risograph cover; 16 color pages; 16 black-and-white pages).


Balthasar
Julia Kim
@juliabkim
nothingfactory.net

Origin of a 17th century Dutch microscopist named Balthasar.


Pride, in Seven Parts

Mitchel Hunt

www.myowndog.com

@myowndog

Written during the summer of World Pride 2019, “Pride in Seven Parts” is an attempt to understand the want for connection through sexual identity and community.


Existential Gardening
Gerard Dalbon
gerarddalbon.com

A 42 page sketchbook zine featuring a misc of messy drawings and writings (spelling mistakes included)


Neoglyphic Media

 

Boutique Mag #4
by Marc Bell & Friends
https://marcbelldept.com

Boutique Mag #4 is a community newsletter written for these, our end-of-empire times. Steeped in a half-hearted nihilism, and geared towards a community that may or may not even exist, this mag is packed full of plenty for it’s hypothetical audience to pour over!

An Unknown Power
Edited by Cullen Beckhorn and Panayiotis Terzis
www.neoglyphicmedia.com

A book edition with work by over twenty artists from across the world. The theme centers around ambiguity in spiritual encounters, religious icons or worship imagery.

Contributors include:

Robert Beatty
Sarah Lammer
HOPE
Drew Miller
Lando
Baptiste Virot
Brie Moreno
Matt Lock
Ron Rege Jr.
Ben Marcus
Jinhee Han
Juli Majer & Cristian Hernandez
Enormous Face/Kalan Sherrard
Joel Skavdahl/Seagull Invasion
Lilli Carre
Kari Cholnoky
Margot Ferrick
Leon Sadler
Panayiotis Terzis
Nichole Shinn
Hayley Dawn Miur


My Irrational Fears
Marie Oh
marieoh.com
@bonebruised/

Are you afraid to be alone?


Below the Surface
Vikki Chu
Vikkichu.com
@vikki.chu

Warthog goes under the surface in this second Frog King & Warthog adventure.


Towns
Joe Maccarone
www.joemaccarone.com
@joemaccarone

“Towns” is an illustrated, wordless book that follows two people traveling to their brand new home, passing through many interesting and weird towns, and picking up some friends along the way.


IDK Sounds Fake: A Gender Scrapbook
KJ Martinet
kjmartinet.com

Diary comics grappling with gender identity, fictional representation and performance

Vault teases NIGHTFALL DOUBLE FEATURE

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Nightfall

Vault ComicsNightfall imprint has been responsible for top horror books such as The Autumnal, The Plot, and Resonant. Today, the publisher teased a list of creators for the 2022 lineup. Take a look at who can be found in the Nightfall Double Feature and stay tuned for updates on titles and more.

Nightfall

Small Press Spotlight: Brooklyn’s Radix Media is set to release MORTALS

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Mortals

It’s Small Press Spotlight time! This fine Wednesday we turn our attention to Brooklyn-based independent publisher Radix Media and their new upcoming title Mortals. The “meditative graphic novel” from the Brooklyn-based company is set to release on March 16, 2022. Writer John Dermot Woods and illustrator Matt L make up the creative team.

Read details here:

“Set in Brooklyn, the story revolves around Francis, an aging actor fiercely tethered to his craft, an obsession that threatens to estrange him from his family. More than the actual compulsions of the protagonist, this is a deeply evocative story of a father and son finding their way to each other in the aftermath of a divorce, with Brooklyn, rendered in black and white, forming the backdrop. As you can tell, this is a quintessential Brooklyn story, made possible by the artistic temperament of the borough.

Set in the hip private school and boutique cafe culture of Brooklyn, New York, Mortals is a meditative graphic novel about aging and posterity.  

There isn’t a role Francis has played well. An actor well past his prime, he barely has an acting career to speak of.  His ex-wife, Claudette, finds him pathetic and he routinely disappoints his precocious young son, Courtney. When an opportunity to play the dying father of a teenage pop sensation chasing indie film credit comes along, Francis must sacrifice his ego and heightened self-importance for this one last shot at legacy. The mortality of his on-screen character is a stark reminder of his own end that day by day feels closer than ever before. In the end, what will Francis  have to show for the life that he has lived?” 

Mortals

This is Radix’s second collaboration with Woods after his fiction chapbook, Always Blue, which was published as one of seven chapbooks as part of Futures: A Science Fiction Series. It is the first collaboration with Matt L.  

Characterized by black and white illustrations, the setting described in the tale is “a dreary place rife with precocious children reading Oedipus on stage, rambunctious teens who drive their ornery neighbors mad, and less than pleasant adults. Reminiscent of the loneliness and apathy that infects the lead protagonist in David Mazzucchelli’s  magnum opus Asterios Polyp, Mortals is stark with the knowledge of impending mortality.”

Check out some pages below!

Mortals Mortals

Anne Leung DePies named GM/SVP at DC Comics

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Following the abrupt departure of Daniel Cherry III, longtime DC exec Anne Leung DePies has been named Senior Vice President and General Manager of DC. Jim Lee remains as COO and Publisher at DC, and the two will work together on business and editorial matters, including digital and international expansion. 

DePies has been at DC since 2011 in various executive roles, suggesting some continuity as DC and Warner await the changes brought on by their acquisition by Discovery. She’ll report to Pam Lifford, President WarnerMedia Global Brands and Experiences.

UPDATE: I’m told this move was greeted with enthusiasm within DC, and editors are already tweeting about DePies in glowing terms. In fact, according to one tweet, people were standing up and cheering the news at DC.

You can read the rest of the story in the PR below, but at least it mentions the direct market. 

DePies will be responsible for the operations, revenue, legal, marketing, brand management, and strategic planning of the DC business, with a special focus on driving DC’s international and digital expansion. She will partner with Jim Lee, DC’s Chief Creative Officer and Publisher on creative, talent, and editorial decisions to support and drive DC’s aggressive story, character, and digital plans along with continuing DC’s commitment to the direct market comic book retailers.

“Anne’s deep knowledge and appreciation of the DC business, legacy and people will be invaluable in this new leadership role,” said Pam Lifford, President WarnerMedia Global Brands and Experiences. “She understands our fans, characters and stories, and along with Jim, will passionately build our DC publishing business to even greater heights,” Lifford added.

“I’ve worked with Anne for over a decade and what impresses me is that she gets the importance of story,” said Jim Lee, DC Chief Creative Officer and Publisher. “She understands it is our foundation, and she has literally woven it into our business plan which speaks volumes as to the future she envisions for DC. I’m super excited for this partnership and what is to come next.”

Anne DePies said: “It is incredibly humbling to step into this role at a place I’ve been for a while now. I feel like I partially grew up at DC, and I’ve seen how important we are to our fans. To get the chance to lead our company to do even more for them is a dream come true.”

DePies has been with DC since 2011 and was most recently Senior Vice President, Global Brands and Franchises where, as part of the DC leadership team, she developed a new strategic and operating focus on value creation by focusing the unit on franchises. She helped align the company’s business functions and team structure with today’s marketplace realities, and worked across publishing, editorial, sales and marketing and key support functions resulting in a record revenue year in 2021. Prior to DC, DePies worked on acquisitions across Warner Bros. theatrical, television, and video games units.

DePies started her career in 1999 at Arthur Andersen consulting and holds her degrees in International Economics and Accounting from UCLA. She completed her MBA there in 2005. 

 

 

The Marvel Rundown: Marvel celebrates BLACK PANTHER #200 in unremarkable style

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Welcome to this week’s edition of the Marvel Rundown! This week, we’re covering Black Panther #3 (#200 in legacy numbering) by John RidleyJuann Cabal, and others. I’ve been relatively lukewarm on this series since its delayed debut, but will the anniversary issue drum up enough excitement in me to finally get on board? Find out below, and check out the Rapid Rundown section, all ahead on this week’s Marvel Rundown!


Black Panther #3

Black Panther
From Black Panther #3

Written by John Ridley and Juni Ba 
Art by Juann Cabal, Ibrahim MoustafaJuni Ba, and German Peralta 
Colouring by Matt MillaChris O’Halloran, and Jesus Aburtov 
Lettering by Joe Sabino 
Cover by Alex Ross 

It’s funny how the value of any one series or character suddenly shifts, isn’t it? There are certain Marvel books out there that definitely qualify as being a “premiere” title for instance, such that they feature an incredibly popular character or is a title with an amazing pedigree of creators. Some books check both categories. Did anyone really think Thor was a premiere title until Jason Aaron took over? It’s now a book where a top-tier writer and artist must be attached lest the book falls by the wayside. Venom counts too, I think. Written by Donny Cates and drawn by Ryan Stegman, that book didn’t garner much critical reception before their run changed the character forever. Now it’s a premiere title with Al Ewing and Ram V sharing co-writing duties, with legend Bryan Hitch drawing it.

Black Panther
From Black Panther #3

Now… what about Black Panther? His Marvel film is inarguably one of the most important blockbusters of the last twenty years, and Marvel capitalized on his introduction to the MCU by hiring Ta-Nehisi Coates to write the character, with amazing artist Brian Stelfreeze drawing and designing the book. Coates’ run lasted five years and left an indelible mark on the character, transforming the Wakandan political landscape and placing T’Challa in a role that he was never ready for: the role of emperor. Great! Now, let’s hand the title off to what seems like on paper to be capable hands: John Ridley and Juann Cabal. Ridley’s screenplay for the Steve McQueen film 12 Years a Slave got him an Oscar, so he’s got the credibility there. He’s been making a name for himself in comics, writing some DC work that’s generated plenty of conversation but didn’t exactly make any waves. Cabal is one of the most exciting artists to work at Marvel in years, blowing readers away with his incentives layouts and amazingly-rendered characters, using sound effects to tell a story in a way that few artists have.

All this to say, this run is such a downer so far. It’s a really middling, boring story that doesn’t really move T’Challa into any sort of interesting direction after the conclusion of Coates’ run. It’s not exciting, it’s not fun, it’s not well-written in the slightest, and is frankly already feeling derivative. Ridley’s scripts are so rote and unimaginative that Cabal, the aforementioned most exciting artist I’ve read in a while, comes across as bland and stiff. Saddling him with boring fight scenes and even more boring conversations, Cabal isn’t given the chance to express himself in a way that I know he can, given that he’s already shown me many times that he can create one hell of a dynamic page.

Black Panther
From Black Panther #3

The plot continues to follow T’Challa’s mission to save as many of his sleeper agents that he has planted across the globe (and beyond) as possible. After getting ambushed by the assassin’s responsible for one of the agent’s deaths, T’Challa decides to lay low for a minute and visit Storm on Arrako (formerly Mars), but as is usually the case with T’Challa, he’s got something else up his sleeve. Dipping into the Storm pot this early in the run is a little bit of a bad sign; I already feel like the story is meandering a little when this happens so early. Coates waited quite a while to bring Storm into his story and, sure, he used her pretty heavily when he did, but the anticipation leading up to her appearance was a positive. Here, the interaction is really nothing more than a simple reminder that they’re together, not in the traditional sense but in the sense that they’re always there for each other despite their distance. They’re both leaders of their respective peoples now which is a nice touch in their years-long relationship.

Cabal’s portion of the story features a pretty confusing action scene, one where his Black Panther is rendered pretty similarly to his ally Omolola which made for a lot more backtracking than necessary when it comes to an intense fight scene. His art remains beautiful, though it doesn’t pop quite as well as it used to under Matt Milla’s colouring. Ibrahim Moustafa draws the Arrako portion of the story, and it was… fine. It didn’t gel at all with the previous section of the story so the transition was very jarring since both art styles are very different, but Moustafa’s characters looked cool and were expressive enough, and Storm looked awesome.

It’s not an anniversary issue without some back-up stories! The first one is written and drawn by Juni Ba, an African artist I’ve known of for quite some time and am glad to see getting some Big Two work. His story reads like a mythical story, and has all the hallmarks: a trickster entity, sneaking around to find an object, a neat little twist at the end… this was gorgeous and a lot of fun.

Next up was another story by Ridley drawn by German Peralta, one that teases a character yet to appear in his run. It was definitely a lot more engaging than his main story, showing a side of Wakanda we don’t get to see, but it does read very closely to what Coates did in his run with the political and cultural rift happening inside Wakanda. Obviously it’s too early to tell if the comparison will run parallel to each other in the future, but for now I’m eager to see where it goes.

Final Verdict: SKIP. It’s harsh, but I really don’t think this is a comic worth wasting your time on. It’s gorgeous but boring. Hell, Saga’s back this week. Spend your money wisely.

From Black Panther #3


Rapid Rundown! 

  • Devil’s Reign #3
    • After a really great start, this issue feels incomplete. I don’t think it’s due to anything Chip Zdarsky or Marco Checchetto have done wrong, but there are beats that feel brushed over due to the nature of big event crossovers and Marvel’s love of tie-ins. Don’t get me wrong: the plot is solid, the characters under Zdarsky are consistently well-written, and the art by Checchetto and Marcio Menyz is stunning to look at. But there are so many moving parts to this story that it’s like we’re missing something. I almost wish that this had stayed as a long arc in Daredevil and slowly spread out to the rest of the line, as I think it would’ve been more interesting to see some of these things happen on the page, rather than being told about them. —CB
  • Marauders Annual #1
    • This issue by Steve Orlando, Creees Lee, Rain Beredo, Cory Petit, and Tom Muller opens with Daken discovering an unmarked mutant grave in suburbia, before being captured…  A fact Kate Pryde, Captain of the Marauder, discovers when she attempts to recruit him for her new crew. This adds an element of urgency to this interesting tale of “getting the band together” for a new mission under Captain Pryde’s command (to be continued in an ongoing series beginning in April). Orlando understands the potency of images like wealthy suburbanites indifferently using the site of a mutant potter’s grave for their privileged revelry, and the machinations of Brimstone Love make for an engaging conflict. And as an opener for the forthcoming series, the new team’s interesting assortment of power sets has plenty of potential (especially when it comes to the relatively-new character Somnus)… I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when they get to hit the sea sailing in Marauders #1 a few months from now! (After Darkhold Omega, I’m hoping for a Scarlet Witch guest spot.) —AJK
  • Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond #1
    • So I’ve been riding hard on the Spider-Man universe lately and the happenings of one Peter Parker or in this case two of his lady loves. While recovering from injuries, Parker Robbins aka the Hood takes advantage of Peter’s condition to force the Black Cat into getting his magical hood back. Writer Jed MacKay and artist C.F. Villa take us on a quick scavenger hunt of the New York underworld as Black Cat and MJ hunt down the missing hood. If you can get past the super sexualized cover art, it is a fast-paced, fun story with great action and interesting character exploration as the two women bond during the events of the night. —GC3

Next week, the debuts of Sabretooth and X-Cellent!

TopatoGO crowdfunding platform launches – with a potato

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TopatoCo, the pioneering merchandising company for independent artists, has just launched TopatoGO, their own crowdfunding platform. Their first project – a plush of Topato Potato, the company mascot – is already funded. Their second project will be a third print volume of the webcomic Back by KC Green and Anthony Clark. 

The move comes in the wake of Kickstarter’s announcement of their move to a platform built on blockchain, a transition that has puzzled and angered many creators, and left many looking for other options for crowdfunding.

wigu-topatoplush_d_1024x1024@2xTopatoGO will offer “streamlined access to project planning assistance, campaign management, fundraising abilities, and shipping services — all under one roof.”

They’re definitely well positioned for the move: their sister company Make That Thing! launched in 2013 as one of the first companies designed to help creators manage Kickstarter campaigns and fulfillment. Make That Thing helped more than 30 campaigns raise more than $3.5 million but merged with TopatoCo in 2020 in preparation for this one stop shop.

TopatoCo was founded in 2004 by cartoonist Jeffrey Rowland (WIGU and Overcompensating) and quickly established itself among webcartoonists as a place to help with merchandising, sales and other business functions.

TopatoGO services include:

  • Campaign consultation, including goal calculation and budgeting
  • Backer/Customer service
  • Backers’ choices of payment options
  • Lower cumulative fees for creators
  • Ability for creators to offer “add-on” items post-campaign
  • Global shipping services at negotiated lower rates

“We’ve been doing this long enough that we figure it’s time to cut out the middleman and make it easier on everyone involved by doing it all ourselves,” said Rowland in a statement. “Over the years we’ve shipped hundreds of thousands of things and we’re pretty good at it. We have great people working every day and two warehouses, several dozen computers, a van, and a forklift. We have so many rolls of those “fragile” stickers. By shifting our crowdfunding and fulfillment totally in-house, it will allow us to make better deals for creators, streamline our internal processes, invest more into our community, and help the environment by not using blockchain for some reason.”

With many creators uneasy about Kickstarter’s future, several crowdfunding alternatives are rapidly emerging, such as Zoop. TopatoGO’s track record with webcartoonists, and other digital creators makes it a strong option, and Twitter was enthused.

“Real talk, TopatoCo is Good People I’d trust with my business if I did’t already have something cookin’ myself. They have tons of experience, are comics old-schoolers and long-haulers, and here cuz they love this. YOUR KICKSTARTER REPLACEMENT HAS ARRIVED,” tweeted Iron Circus publisher Spike Trotman.

According to the PR, TopatoGO will consider submissions for future campaigns.

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 1/26/22: Area men happy with TV show based on their work

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§ Nice Statue: Giant Robot Hellboy Statue. It’s fun to say! The statue was designed by Mike Mignola, made by Dark Horse and there will be only 500 of them. Almost as good as an NFT!

§ Titan Books is hiring a fiction editor. Apply here.

WE’RE HIRING! @TitanBooks are looking for a Fiction Editor! This is a commissioning role, meaning you get to publish books. You read them, you fall in love with them, you buy them and you get them made. Straight up the keys to the kingdom.

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§ Declan Shalvey has relaunched his website, Declan Shalvey, including information on Old Dog, his upcoming spy-fi series.

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§ Area men happy with television series based on their work: the local paper catches up with Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker on the CW’s new Naomi series, and they like it!

Speaking from their Portland homes in a recent joint interview, both Bendis and Walker say they feel lucky that DuVernay responded to “Naomi,” and that they’re happy with The CW series. “Ava knows what she’s doing,” says Walker, adding that both he and Bendis took a hands-off approach to the TV adaptation, which makes some changes to the story told in the first series of comics.

§ Graeme McMillan is newslettering! This is awesome news because we always need more Graeme McMillan. You can subscribe to Comics, FYI right here.   The most recent issue delves into a surprise simultaneous digital and print release for the latest Wolverine comic;

Wednesday brought the surprise announcement that Marvel was simultaneously releasing the first issue of new X-Men event series X Lives of Wolverine* on Marvel Unlimited alongside its release in comic stores, in what was being called a “special bonus release” of the issue. Traditionally, the MU subscription service uploads issues three months after their in-store date, although there have been occasions when issues appear earlier than anticipated; the first four issues of Donny Cates’ Thor run were added before the in-store release of the fifth in summer 2020, for example. (That’s saying nothing of accidental uploads of material ahead of in-store releases, as has happened more than once.) This “bonus” addition of the debut of X Lives of Wolverine’s premiere issue marks something new for Marvel, however – and something that might end up being a problem if it’s a trick repeated too often.

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§ You can’t keep a little blue guy down. The Smurfs have a new home for licensed books: HarperCollins. The new program kicks off in April with How Much Farther, Papa Smurf? a question we’ve all asked many times. The new program will tie in with the most recent animated Smurf series, but also Peyo’s comics classics.

The publishing effort will take its cues from the entire world of the Smurfs, including the original comics created by Peyo, refreshed versions of previously published titles, TV tie-ins, and wholly new concepts. It is likely to appeal to a wide age range, from preschool up through adults, Thomas said. The focus initially will be on core formats such as board books, I Can Read! titles, 5 Minute Storybook Collections, and, for TV tie-ins, mass market formats such as 8x8s with stickers and special effects. Further down the line, unique novelty and gift formats will be added. Harper does not hold rights to the coloring and activity book or most comic book categories, but it will be publishing some titles in its new I Can Read! Comics series. The plan is to publish one to two Smurfs titles per season.

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§ Over at Image, they are ramping up a whole now SF universe with Radiant Black, and Polygon has a preview, timeslines, you name it. The series was created by Kyle Higggins, along with editor/designer Michael Busuttil, artist Marcelo Costa, and letterer Becca Carey, and it’s just getting started. 

Higgins and his team drew from their love for relatable everyman heroes like Spider-Man, while trying to update it for the 2020s, and a generation disillusioned by lies of a hollow future. Aesthetically, it would draw upon their collective love of Tokusatsu-heroes like Ultraman, Kamen Rider, and Super Sentai, building on the Power Rangers and Ultraman comics work Higgins had already done for BOOM! and Marvel. It would go onto become a smash-hit commercial success. Having made its debut in early 2021, this February sees the title completing a full year of publishing. But the creatives behind this are just getting started. The second year of Radiant Black looks even bigger and better than the last, and more importantly, Higgins and Image have plans to expand beyond the keystone title.

§ Meanwhile, you can also catch up with Tom Peyer’s The Wrong Earth series, courtesy of Cultured Vultures. Ahoy’s flagship title has a complicated pubishing history. 

AHOY Comics launched their first wave of comic titles back in 2018. The Wrong Earth (2018-) and High Heaven (2018-2019) were the debut comic entries from the publisher. Initially, The Wrong Earth began as a limited miniseries. The comic tells a meta-story about two superheroes from parallel universes who become trapped in each other’s worlds. With one Earth saturated with campy dialogue and cotton-candy colours and the other a grim metropolis where blood runs down the noir-tinged streets, Dragonflyman and Dragonfly fight to escape their wrong Earths. After several iterations including a sequel series, a prequel series, and an upcoming one-shot crossover event series, readers who want to break through the mirror and enter The Wrong Earth comic universe may find themselves in need of guidance.

 

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§ Comics Bookcase interviews Jeremy Holt and George Schall about MADE IN KOREA

GEORGE: We really wanted for both settings of the story to contrast a lot, because there’s such a big tonal shift in the book once we leave Texas. We needed a false sense of security from the mundane life in the suburbs, so I kept some small futuristic designs here and there but nothing that would take the reader out of the slice-of-life aspect of that part. I was definitely a bit afraid of having those early parts looking too boring. But I also knew that the script was good enough to hold readers’ attention until things blew off, so I focused way more on character acting, and I think it was the right decision.

§ Director Sam Raimi enjoyed No Way Home, and really, we’re glad.

“It was so much fun,” Raimi said. “I love ‘No Way Home’ and the audience I was with went crazy. It was delightful to watch Alfred play his role, and Willem Dafoe, just seeing these guys take it to the next level. And Tobey was awesome as always. The best word I can say is it was refreshing for me.”

Refreshing indeed; departing in gloom after the mucked-up Spider-Man 3, Raimi deserves all the joy in seeing his beloved supervillains introduced into the shiny MCU. But how will Raimi fare under the MCU’s by all accounts auteur unfriendly production methods for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?

“Marvel’s been a great team to work with,” Raimi continued. “I think that was a not-surprising surprise. I’ve been super-supported by the whole Marvel operations, starting at the top with Kevin Feige, and working all the way down to the crews that they work with. [They’re] super professional and have supported me every step of the way.”

Spoken like a trooper. He also noted that DSITMOM maybe have reshoots if tests reveal weak spots. “One thing I know about the Marvel team is they won’t stop. They’ll keep pushing it until it’s as close to being great as it could.”

Indeed. Spider-Man No Way Home is now the FOURTH BIGGEST grossing domestic film of all times.

§ It looks like another Millarworld series is going into production: ‘American Jesus’ is starting up in March under show runners Everardo Gout and Leopoldo Gout. Surely there will be no controversy over this?

First announced among the initial 2018 roster of shows and movies, production is currently eying to start in March 2022 as we can exclusively reveal. First released in 2004 under the name of Chosen, the comic book series was amongst the first batch of titles from Millarworld. It was later re-released as American Jesus and 3 issues were released in total. A follow-up comic series was released between 2019 and 2020 called American Jesus: The New Messiah with 3 issues released in total.

 

 

Drawn & Quarterly Fall books include Beaton, Gauld and the Complete Castrée

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The Drawn & Quarterly Fall 2022 catalogue is finally here and there is, as expected, a lot of great material to look forward to in September and October 2022.

Keiler Roberts has two new releases this year, with her latest autobio book The Joy of Quitting joined by a team-up with her brother Lee Sensenbrenner  to produce a ‘picture book for adults’ in Creepy. There is also Kate Beaton’s much anticipated autobio piece Ducks; more work from Tom Gauld, Lynda Barry, and Yeong-shin Ma; PLUS a feminist anthology of indigenous rebellions and advocacy movements in the Global South with Movements and Moments.

And let’s not forget that massive complete collection of the work of the late Geneviève Castrée (Complete Works 1981-2016)

Lots and lots of great stuff from the ever-reliable D&Q.


September 6, 2022

Movements and Moments, Edited by Sonja Eismann, Maya & Ingo Schöningh
$29.95 USD/$34.95 CAD, 308 pages, Hardcover
ISBN 978-1-77046-561-9

An ambitious feminist anthology chronicling Indigenous rebellions around the world
In 1930s Bolivia, self-described Anarchist Cholas form a libertarian trade union. In the Northern Highlands of Vietnam, the songs of one girl’s youth lead her to a life of activism. In the Philippines, female elders from Kalinga blaze a trail when pushed into impromptu protest. Equally striking accounts from Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, India, Nepal, Peru and Thailand weave a tapestry of trauma and triumph, shedding light on not-too-distant histories otherwise overlooked.

Indigenous Peoples all over the world have always had to stand their ground in the face of colonialism. While the details may differ, what these stories have in common is their commitment to resistance in a world that puts profit before respect, and western notions of progress before their own. Movements and Moments is an introductory glimpse into how Indegenous Peoples tell these stories in their own words. From Southeast Asia to South America, vibrant communities must grapple with colonial realities to assert ownership over their lands and traditions.

This project was undertaken in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Indonesien in Jakarta. These stories were selected from an open call across 42 countries to spotlight feminist movements and advocacies in the Global South.

 

September 13, 2022

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands, Kate Beaton
$39.95 USD/$39.95 CAD, 448 pages, Hardcover
ISBN 978-1-77046-289-2

Before there was Kate Beaton, New York Times bestselling cartoonist of Hark A Vagrant, there was Katie Beaton of the Cape Breton Beatons, specifically Mabou, a tight-knit seaside community where the lobster is as abundant as beaches, fiddles, and gaelic folk songs. After university, Katie heads out west to take advantage of Alberta’s oil rush, part of the long tradition of East Coasters who seek gainful employment elsewhere when they can’t find it in the homeland they love so much. With the singular goal of paying off her student loans, what the journey will actually cost Katie will be far more than she anticipates.

Arriving in Fort McMurray, Katie finds work in the lucrative camps owned and operated by the world’s largest oil companies. As one of the few women among thousands of men, the culture shock is palpable. It does not hit home until she moves to a spartan, isolated worksite for higher pay. Katie encounters the harsh reality of life in the oil sands where trauma is an everyday occurrence yet never discussed. For young Katie, her wounds may never heal.

Beaton’s natural cartooning prowess is on full display as she draws colossal machinery and mammoth vehicles set against a sublime Albertan backdrop of wildlife, Northern Lights, and Rocky Mountains. Her first full length graphic narrative, Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands is an untold story of Canada: a country that prides itself on its egalitarian ethos and natural beauty while simultaneously exploiting both the riches of its land and the humanity of its people.

 

September 20, 2022

It’s So Magic, Lynda Barry
$21.95 USD/$24.95CAD, 128 pages, Hardcover
ISBN 978-1-77046-621-0

Maybonne Mullen is “riding on a bummer” according to her little sister, Marlys. As much as teenage Maybonne prays and tries she just can’t connect to the magic of living. How can she when there’s so much upheaval at home and school, not to mention the world at large? And yet Marlys always seems able to tap into it.

In It’s So Magic, the Mullen family dynamics are in flux. Uncle John makes a brief return to town to the delight of the girls. Freddy is finally reunited with his sisters. Marlys falls in love for the first time. And after they finally settle into a routine at their grandmother’s, the Mullen siblings’ find out that their mother might be ready to take them back in. With war in the background and precarious parental support, the siblings long for peace, finding it in the small things like grocery-store turkey-drawing contests and fishing trips.

Narrated by Maybonne, Marlys, and Freddy, It’s So Magic captures Lynda Barry’s unparalleled ability to depict the magic of youth experiencing firsts in a world that contains as much humor as it does hardship.

October 18, 2022

Revenge of the Librarians, Tom Gauld
$24.95 USD/$29.95 CAD, 180 pages, Hardcover
ISBN 978-1-77046-616-6

Confront the spectre of failure, the wraith of social media, and other supernatural enemies of the author

Tom Gauld returns with his wittiest and most trenchant collection of literary cartoons to date. Perfectly composed drawings are punctuated with the artist’s signature brand of humor, hitting high and low. After all, Gauld is just as comfortable taking jabs at Jane Eyre and Game of Thrones.

Some particularly favored targets include the pretentious procrastinating novelist, the commercial mercenary of the dispassionate editor, the willful obscurantism of the vainglorious poet. Quake in the presence of the stack of bedside books as it grows taller! Gnash your teeth at the ever-moving deadline that the writer never meets! Quail before the critic’s incisive dissection of the manuscript! And most important, seethe with envy at the paragon of creative productivity!

Revenge of the Librarians contains even more murders, drubbings, and castigations than The Department of Mind-Blowing Theories, Baking with Kafka, or any other collections of mordant scribblings by the inimitably excellent Gauld.

October 4, 2022

Geneviève Castrée: Complete Works 1981-2016, Geneviève Castrée
$99.95 USD/$119.95 CAD, 562 pages, Hardcover
ISBN 978–1-77046-618-0

Drawn & Quarterly Fall 2022

An immersive curation of Geneviève Castrée’s stunning life’s work and expansive artistic legacy

It’s not easy to label an artist like Geneviève Castrée—cartoonist, illustrator, musician, sculptor, stamp collector, activist, correspondent—a person with busy hands and a mind too creative and wild to stop doing.

Those familiar with Castrée’s seminal memoir about her childhood, Susceptible (included fully within), will know that she, to a large degree, raised herself. It was in those unattended, semi-feral childhood years that Geneviève used art to pull herself out of what could have otherwise been a bleak existence. Instead, she found beauty and depth around her and blended it gorgeously with the harsh, devastating realities of this world, creating a body of work that is so stunning, heartbreaking, and magical that it leaves you aching.

From rarely- or never-seen illustrations and comics, to album covers and photographs, to studio scraps, Geneviève Castrée: Complete Works 1981-2016 is a breathtaking collection of Castrée’s work and soul. A remarkable woman who made remarkable art, her love and spirit weep and shine from the pages.

With an introduction from Castrée’s widower Phil Elverum, who devoted himself to designing and curating the book, we gain further insight into the details of her life. Translations are lovingly and expertly provided by Elverum and Aleshia Jensen.

October 11, 2022

Artist, Yeong-shin Ma
$44.95 USD/$54.95 CAD, 636 pages, Paperback
ISBN 978-1-77046-617-3

Drawn & Quarterly Fall 2022

The satirical saga of three artists seeking recognition. But there can be only one Artist.

A novelist, single, forty-four years old. A painter, divorced, forty-six years old. A musician, single, forty-two years old.

On the outer limits of relevancy in an arts culture that celebrates youth, these three men make up the artist group Arcade. Caught in circular arguments about what makes real art and concerned about the vapid interests of their younger contemporaries, none of them are reaping the benefits of success. But there’s always another chance to make it. When it comes time, out of the three, who will emerge as an acclaimed artist? More important, when one artist’s star rises, will he leave the rest behind? Following Yeong-shin Ma’s hit manhwa, Moms, this plunge into artistic friendships is as hilarious and infuriating as it is real.

With absurdist style and off-beat humor, Artist simultaneously caricatures and complicates the figure of the artist. The friendships between the three are impassioned and mercurial, resulting in conflicts about fashion choices, squabbles with foreign children, and changes in one another’s artistic fortunes for better and worse. As the story progresses we see the ways that recognition—or lack thereof—molds each character’s outlook, whether they will be changed by the scene or end up changing it to fit their ideals.

October 25, 2022

The Joy of Quitting, Keiler Roberts
$24.95 USD/$29.95 CAD, 224 pages, Paperback
ISBN 978-1-77046-622-7

Drawn & Quarterly Fall 2022

From toddler antics to doctor appointments, Keiler Roberts breathes humour and life into the fleeting present.

Keiler Roberts affirms her status as one of the best autobiographical cartoonists working today with The Joy of Quitting, a work encompassing 8 years of hilarious moments in the author’s life, mined from the universal. It spans her frantic child-rearing, misfires in the workplace, and frustrating experiences with the medical system.

In one strip, the author and her daughter Xia have itchy scalps. Roberts asks her husband to check her hair and all she gets is the cursory remark that he just sees “a bunch of bugs.” In another, Xia describes her oddly shaped poop in precise detail. We then see Xia sitting at the breakfast table telling the family that she recently learned the word “nuisance” and everyone agrees it’s a good word for her to know. As Xia grows from toddler to big kid, the family evolves and its dynamics shift in subtle ways, changes that pass all too suddenly in real life captured forever with Roberts’s keen observational humour.

The Joy of Quitting is Roberts’ magnum opus of domestic comedy, highlighting how she continues to work within and expand the rich tradition of autobiographical comics. Again and again, Roberts shows us that most meaningful moments or gestures often don’t have any meaning at all.

October 25, 2022

Creepy, Lee Sensenbrenner & Keiler Roberts
$14.95 USD/$18.95 CAD, 36 pages, Hardcover
ISBN 978-1-77046-619-7

Drawn & Quarterly Fall 2022

A laugh out loud funny parable for the digital age.

There once was a lady who was very creepy. She moved about the world in seemingly normal ways, except for one tremendously bizarre tic. First she sought out kids transfixed by their screens, staring blindly and blank-faced at nearly any device, and then she would snatch something precious from them.

In this picture book for grown-ups, sibling duo Keiler Roberts and Lee Sensenbrenner render a compelling—and downright creepy—modern fable about kids who are hooked on their digital devices. Creepy is the contemporary answer to the shocking tales of the Brothers Grimm and bedtime moral stories like the boy who cried wolf or the princess and the pea: in it, Roberts and Sensenbrenner provide a shrewd and comical commentary on the increasing digitization of childhood. Known for her award-winning autobiographical comics, Roberts’s signature deadpan humor is on full display in these vibrantly painted pages.

It’s safe to say that no one tackles the peril of screen time as vividly or absurdly as this pair.

 

Invader Comics emerges from 215 Ink with a Kickstarter and more

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As all the disruption in the comics industry distribution system has taken place, it’s affected the biggest companies – but also the smaller ones. For instance, Invader Comics, a new indie publisher is evolving out of 215 Ink to take advantage of the many new distribution channels available.

215 Ink (named after the Philadelphia area code) has been around for a while, putting out a slate of titles like The Kitchen Witch by Steve Orlando and Olivia Palaez. 215 ink also served as a lab for projects which have moved on to larger publishers. For instance Flutter, an acclaimed series about a teen shapeshifter, started at 215 Ink before getting collected at Dark Horse and now has a TV deal in place. Jesus Hates Zombies has been in development as a film with Eric Balfour. Among the creators they’ve worked with in the past (and some currently) include Orlando, Shawn Aldridge, Micah Myers, Tony Gregori, Jeremy Holt, Jim Starlin, and logo designer Tim Daniel.

But now the company is rebranding as Invader Comics according to partner Michael D. Perkins. There are several reasons for one, it’s no longer located in Philadelphia.

For another, the comics economy has shifted, he says. “With shops closing all over the place, we knew we needed to rebrand and relaunch with a new model that would put the readers FIRST. We want to make sure we’re giving readers a reason to buy our books – so we’ve landed on a new model that runs a Kickstarter campaign with exclusive covers and content with every book. We’re moving beyond 100% creator-owned to come out with some of our own IP. We’re aiming for bookstores and libraries and media landscapes beyond the comic tradition.”

He told us more about the reasoning behind the rebrand: “Well, I started out as just a creator (both my own books and contributing to anthologies, including the NYT best-selling series FUBAR) and joined the 215 Ink team when I sold them the book I did with my brother Will Perkins, “Beware …”. (Will has gone on to Dark Horse with “Gregory Suicide” and most recently “Goblin”, both of which he did with Eric Grissom.) Eventually I started doing editing for the books, became the editor in chief, and then a co-owner of the company.

“A few years ago, the original owner walked away due to personal reasons, leaving me in charge. Currently the company is run by myself and my two other managing partners, Keith Foster and Kevin Miller. I met Keith at NYCC when I saw him boothing for his book “Kodoja” which I brought into the 215 Ink fold and he eventually started helping out with production and planning. Kevin I worked with in my day job when we both were involved with a rebrand for the Philo streaming service. He’s a top-notch creative director (and comic creator) who was involved with the rebrand of Comedy Central and the Discovery Channel.”

The name Invader is inspired by their plan to “invade as many mediums and platforms as we can find. We want our arms (tentacles) to reach far and wide, to make sure we’re making a connection with as many readers as possible.”

Small presses like 215 Ink often marketed their books directly to readers at comics events – and Perkins says the lack of live events over the last two years was part of the thinking behind the rebrand. “We can’t wait to get back to shows. We’ve done a few in the last year – most recently Emerald City – but it’s certainly been tough not being able to get out there and see as many people face to face. But rest assured, we’ll have lots to show off when we return!”

For now, Invader is launching with the first issue of the second volume of Freaks & Gods which is in Previews right now, and the Kickstarter for issue #1 this week. “Other than that, we have a full production schedule blocked out with books planned well into 2023,” says Perkins.

Perkins supplied some artwork of upcoming projects and also a manifesto mixed with some old fashioned hype:

IT’S AN INVASION!

Close your windows. Lock your doors. We’re coming for you. We’re invading the spaces we have no business being, knocking down the barriers that have kept you separated from the stories you NEED TO READ! Don’t try to run. Don’t try to hide. We’re everywhere, and we’ll find you.

We’ve amassed an army of hundreds of creatives from all over the world. We’re likely already in your hometown, and soon we’ll be invading your bookshelves. We’re going beyond traditional models, and we’re done relying on comic shops and Diamond. No matter where you look, you’ll find us. Kickstarter? Yup. Digital? You got it. TV? Movies? It’s coming … Want to buy direct from us? You can do that too.

This is an invasion from top to bottom. You’re going to find stories from the hidden talent that was right under your nose. Stories from the big names that are sick of having other people take ownership of their intellectual property. And our own original stories like you’ve never seen before. We’re pushing the limits of the medium in content and context, challenging you to see something from a new perspective.

We’ve spent years combing the creative fields to find the talent that the mainstream outlets ignored and beam them up to our brand. Our legacy of accuracy elevating talent to new heights can’t be denied. And when the big names had personal stories they wanted to tell, they came to us too. Our tentacles reach everywhere. Soon they’ll reach you, too.

We care about comics. We care about putting out quality books, and that goes for the narrative, the art, the production, and the print itself. We’re not cutting corners with the things we love, and every single book we put out will be something you’ll be proud to display on your shelf or see in your digital library. We’re not looking to add to the never-ending pile of mediocre content we see out there. If it’s not special, we won’t put our name on it.

 

 

You can Follow Invader Comics on Twitter and their website.

 

 

PREVIEW: A clash of steel concludes in SEVEN SWORDS #5

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This week AfterShock Comics releases Seven Swords #5, the final issue of the series from writer Evan Daugherty, artist Federico Dallocchio, colorist Valentina Bianconi, and letterer Dave Sharpe. Today The Beat is pleased to present an exclusive preview of the concluding chapter of the supernatural adventure series.

Here’s how AfterShock Comics describes Seven Swords #5:

The true nature of Cardinal Richelieu’s quite literally diabolical plan has been revealed, and now the Seven Swords must square off against an infernal nemesis the likes of which they’ve never encountered before. Even the most cohesive team would be hard-pressed to stand up to the taunts and temptations of the Devil himself – how can our heroes unite to slay Lucifer in the ultimate contest of swords when they can barely keep from killing one another?

Back when the series was first announced, writer Evan Daugherty listed a number of influences, from both the world of comics and elsewhere:

Daugherty says that he grew up as a fan of “rip-roaring swashbuckling” books, movies and TV series such as Alexandre Dumas’ novel The Three Muskateers, Edmond Rostand’s play Cyrano de Bergerac – both of which he re-read for this project — and Rob Reiner’s The Princess Bride. He also revisited Richard Lester’s Muskateer series of films from the 1970s’ and Errol Flynn’s 1948 interpretation of Don Juan.

He then summons a “curveball” influence: the John Wick series. “I felt like these swashbuckling swords-for-hire were, in a strange way, sort of the mercenaries or hitmen of their era. In fact, as a shorthand, I often describe this series as ‘John Wick with swords.’ ”

On the comics front itself, Daugherty says that Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentleman “greatly inspired” this book. Meanwhile, the “pulpy quality” of pre-Unity Valiant comics, in particular Magnus Robot FighterTurokArcher & Armstrong, informed his approach.

Check out the exclusive four-page preview of Seven Swords #5 below. The final issue of the series arrives in stores and digitally tomorrow, January 26th.

Vault announces new fantasy-comedy series QUESTS ASIDE

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Quests Aside

Vault Comics has announced a new fantasy-comedy series, Quests Aside, written by Brian Schirmer (Fairlady, Black Jack Ketchum), drawn by Elena Gogou (Campfire Stories, My City), colored by Rebecca Nalty (Bog Bodies, Heavy Vinyl), and designed by Tim Daniel

Quests Aside

Read details from the publisher below:

“It’s Always Sunny in The Realms! 

A skeleton, an apprentice mage, and an exiled princess walk into a bar… for another shift at Quests Aside, the local watering hole run by once legendary, now retired adventurer Barrow. When the King privately explains that he plans to shut the place down, Barrow must find a way to hold onto his business and the family he’s built around it.” 

Quests Aside

Schirmer said in a statement:

“I’ve always loved stories about the thief who wants to take One Last Score, or the outlaw who needs to take One Last Ride. Their eyes are frequently fixed on retiring thereafter. Usually, things don’t work out as they planned. We take this conceit to a fantasy realm, where a legendary adventurer has already actually succeeded in taking One Last Quest, opened a tavern, and got to retire. That’s where we begin.

“With a set cast of bartenders, servers, and a skeleton cook, Quests Aside — the series and the tavern itself — also features a steady flow of colorful characters heading out to slay a dragon, or returning with a treasure, a few scrapes, and tales to tell. We liken it to high fantasy Cheers or It’s Always Sunny. I wanted to write something that was about friendship and (found) family, and the lengths we’ll go in order to protect, preserve, and (sometimes) exploit those relationships. I also wanted it to be fun, funny, and occasionally absurd.”

Gogou added:

“In the world of Quests Aside you can have your old-time adventures who went on epic quests in their youth, but you will also get heralds with three-neck electric guitars, orc stand-up comedians, and 20-year-old mage apprentices with anxiety. There are no rules. I love this genre of fantasy, the one that takes more traditional fantasy elements and flips them on their head. When designing the world and the characters I tried to follow the same principle. I wanted the book to look familiar to what you’ve seen before, but with a little unique touch. For that, I took a lot of inspiration from Greek culture, among other things. From the character’s looks and clothes to musical instruments and tabletop games, you’ll notice them playing in the background. I wanted to create a really rich, interesting, and fun world and I can’t wait for Brian and me to share this story with you.”

Quests Aside #1 hits stores in April 2022. The entire series will feature a line of hilarious B-cover variants by Michael Dialynas (Wynd, The Woods, Gotham Academy). Readers can pre-order  Quests Aside issue #1 now by using Diamond order code FEB221768 and/or FEB221769.

Quests Aside Quests Aside

DC ROUND-UP: With DETECTIVE COMICS #1050, the team checks in on SHADOWS OF THE BAT

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THIS WEEK: The DC Round-Up team convenes for a roundtable discussion of notable new DC Comics titles including the weekly Shadows of the Bat story in Detective Comics, Superman ’78, and more.

(A Note About Spoilers: The following discussion contains mild spoilers for the titles being covered. For a spoiler-free verdict on each title, scroll to the end of its respective section of the discussion and look for the verdicts in bold.)


Shadows of the BatZACK QUAINTANCE: Hey team, welcome in to our first roundtable chat of 2022! I’m honored to be here. Let’s start the year checking in on the big Batman story line going on right now, Shadows of the Bat, which is playing out weekly in Detective Comics. Where are we all at on this one?

CORI MCCREERY: I’m absolutely loving it. It’s a Batman story without Batman, which is always fun, and Mariko Tamaki really did a wonderful job of setting up the mystery of what’s going on.

JOE GRUNENWALD: I too am I really enjoying this one. I particularly appreciate how well-paced it is, with stories focused on individual characters and plotlines playing out gradually (well, as gradually as they can for a situation that we already know is going to come crashing down at some point). The mystery of what’s going on and how it’s happening has been great, and the reveal with this week’s issue was executed wonderfully. I’m also a longtime big fan of that particular character, so I’m always happy when he pops up.

ZACK: Are we not saying the character who shows up at the end, his face is the cover of next week’s issue…

Shadows of the Bat

JOE: We can say it, I’m just spoiler-shy. It’s Roger Hayden, aka The Psycho-Pirate.

CORI: Is it his face on the cover or is it his mask, Zack, come on.

ZACK: His masked face.

CORI: Hmm… I’ll allow it I guess.

JOE: I know he was kicking around a bit during Tom King’s Batman run — I’ll go back and finish that at some point — but he was last seen in a very different form in Infinite Frontier, so it’ll be interesting to see if this ties in to that over-story somehow.

ZACK: But I too enjoy that character popping up, and I appreciate that he was sort of present in this story all along in a way that made total sense. I like when weekly stories set twists like that up and then reorient slowly as it all unfolds.

CORI: I do really like how he’s being used in this story though. It seems like a perfect use of him.

JOE: It really does. It’s the sort of no-brainer thing that makes you wonder why it’s never been done before.

ZACK: Another thing I’ve loved about Shadows of the Bat so far, which is about to change, is the art team. Ivan Reis has evolved so much and is now one of my favorite DC artists. I appreciate the way he tailors his work so specifically to the aesthetic of the stories he works on, and I especially like his work here inked by Danny Miki and colored by Brad Anderson. What a team.

JOE: It has been wonderful having one art team on four weekly issues in a row. What a rare thing to have happen.

CORI: Really makes you wonder how far ahead he had to be working to accomplish that.

ZACK: What do you all think of the specific members of the Batfamily in play throughout Shadows of the Bat?

CORI: It’s been a very long time since we’ve seen so much of Kate, and I’m very glad she’s getting an expanded role right now. I feel like we probably could have had a different Batfam member than Dick though for the other lead of the story, maybe one without their own book like Tim? I dunno.

JOE: I like the dynamic between Kate and Dick, though. She’s one of the only members of the family that he’s not sort of a big brother to, so there’s room for interesting tension there. I thought their interactions were great. I also feel like, over the course of her run on Detective, Tamaki has done character-defining work with Huntress.

ZACK: I was actually trying to lead with my earlier question to bring up Huntress, so I’m glad we got there. I really like how this run is using Huntress.

CORI: Yeah, agreed there. This is the best the Huntress has been in decades.

ZACK: For a good while, she’s basically just been, “the one with the crossbow.”

CORI: Or the spy matriarch of spy school.

JOE: I like Helena because she’s never felt like an actual ‘member’ of the Batfamily to me. She was never ordained by Batman, she just did her own thing, even when she was masquerading as Batgirl during No Man’s Land. I could imagine a scenario in which Huntress and Spoiler became a crimefighting duo, had Steph’s path gone differently. It’s been nice to see Helena brought into the fold more in Detective overall and in this storyline in particular.

Shadows of the Bat

CORI: No no Joe she was very briefly ordained by Bruce in JLA, and then quickly exiled again.

JOE: Ha, I always forget she was in the JLA for fifteen minutes.

ZACK: It was a very good 15 minutes.

JOE: She got fired for trying to kill Prometheus, right? Good times.

ZACK: I have one more question about Shadows of the Bat: what do you all think of the way the supporting cast is being used? I’m thinking of characters like Mayor Nakano, Dr. Chase Meridian, and the reporter, Deb Donovan?

CORI: I really like it, I think these civilian characters are adding a lot of depth to the story that we don’t often get with Batman stories because all of his normal supporting cast are also crime fighters. And the fact that we get Dr. Chase Meridian is just an absolute joy. It’s a shame Batman’s out of town because I want her to be absolutely horny for him.

JOE: Agree 100%. I like that Detective has been very much a series about more than just Batman, and now about more than just the Batfamily. The fleshing out of characters like Nakano and Deb Donovan has been really well done, and makes the whole of Gotham feel richer.

ZACK: I entirely agree, which is why I brought it up. I love how most of these characters don’t fit into a neat box. They may be allies, they may not be, and that all may change based on circumstance. I’m finding it really compelling.

JOE: The relationship between Batman and Nakano in particular is really interesting. Nakano seems like a good person, and it’s fun to see those two come up against each other philosophically.

ZACK: Yeah, like they’re definitely both trying to help, but in ways so different that it’s put them at odds at times. We’ve kind of moved past that following Fear State, but the memory still lingers in a way that keeps me interested in what Nakano is going to do from situation to situation…Anything else anyone wants to add about Shadows of the Bat before we move on?

CORI: DAN MORA WORLD’S FINEST!!!!! (Well not Shadows of the Bat, but Detective #1050 all the same)

JOE: I will just say that I’m also really enjoying the House of Gotham backup stories, filling out Doctor Wear’s background.

ZACK: Oh yeah! Those have been great. Some of my favorite backups in this new backup-heavy era, and that says a lot because I’ve enjoyed so many of the backups.

JOE: And yes, the Mark Waid/Dan Mora/Tamra Bonvillain teaser for World’s Finest in this week’s issue was an utter delight.

CORI: Yeah I too have really enjoyed the backups here. They are a really interesting character dissection of a man harmed by both Batman’s war on crime and the Joker.

ZACK: So verdict-wise, I’m a BUY on Detective Comics and Shadows of the Bat this week.

CORI: Hard BUY for Shadows of the Bat.

JOE: Enthusiastic BUY from me as well for Shadows of the Bat. Worth it for the World’s Finest backup alone, to be honest.

ZACK: So, up next we have Superman ’78 #6, the finale for that particular mini. This being the finale, I wanted to start by asking, what did we think of this series overall?

JOE: I’m a dyed-in-the-wool fan of the Christopher Reeve Superman movies, so I’m a really easy mark for this series, and it didn’t disappoint in the slightest.

CORI: I absolutely loved it. I’ve actually been leading a Discord I’m part of through a watch of the Reeve canon Superman movies, so falling into this series has been very natural, and I wish it had been the third installment of the movies instead of Superman III. (We’re watching Superman IV: The Quest For Peace on Sunday, pray for me).

JOE: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace is the most comic book-y Superman movie, and for that reason I love it.

CORI: I do look forward to seeing the best live action Lex Luthor before he was LEX Luthor.

JOE: I thought Robert Venditti and Wilfredo Torres captured the spirit of those films wonderfully, though.

ZACK: I really enjoyed how Gene Hackman-y the Lex in this comic looked. I mean all the characters looked a lot like their movie counterparts, but Torres seemed to have a lot of fun hamming it up with Lex/Hackman faces.

CORI: But back to the comic, it was really, really well done. Venditti did a great job of capturing these versions of the characters so well that I heard the actors’ voices in my head, and Torres did a great job of making them look like those same actors. And god, Venditti wrote one of the best Superman lines I’ve ever read: “I came from one planet and crashed on another. The first two people I met took me in and loved me as their own. How could I not see good?”

JOE: Torres did a great job capturing Marlon Brando‘s vacant stare as he reads his lines off of a baby’s diaper.

ZACK: There was such a sense of gleefulness that ran throughout this book, almost in every issue. This one, for example, had …and I really don’t want to spoil this for anyone…the Goonies show up, paying homage to another famous Richard Donner film. It caught me totally off guard and I loved it.

JOE: I LOVED the Goonies cameo.

CORI: It was delightful.

JOE: The previous issue had Shaggy from Scooby Doo in it for some reason, among others.

ZACK: This book has been a romp. It just did a really good job capturing the spirit of the films and also combining some superman elements that weren’t in those movies, maybe because of special effects.

JOE: But yes, I think “gleefulness” is the best way to describe the vibe of this series. It’s a total nostalgia trip that does interesting things with the characters and the story that would maybe not have been doable given technological limitations in the early ’80s…Haha I said what you said, whatever I’m okay with it.

CORI: I think maybe they couldn’t have done this in the 80s with the effects limitations.

JOE: I bet you’re right, Cori.

ZACK: Next question. Have we considered that some of the things in this comic might not have been possible in the movies, given the 80s effects limitations?

JOE: This is another BUY from me, and I hope they put out a nice hardcover collection that explores how this series builds on the technical limitations of the ’80s.

CORI: BUY from me as well. I really hope we get another mini-series from this team with the plot of another movie.

JOE: Robin Williams as Mxyzptlk, please.

CORI: GOD PLEASE JOE.

ZACK: BUY from me too, and yes, buy for the whole series once it gets collected…So, we’re winding down our first roundtable of the year here, and I wanted to ask, in 2022, what are some things we’re all looking forward to/hoping for from DC Comics?

JOE: So I held off on getting into this during our Detective #1050 discussion, but pump that World’s Finest series directly into my veins.

CORI: Honestly, I just want them to keep on doing what they’ve been doing for the last year. This past year has been a breath of fresh air, and the editors and creative teams are really getting to play with ideas in a way that had been stagnant for a long time.

ZACK: I’m on the keep doing what you’re doing train too. But also? Cannot wait for the second half of Nice House on the Lake. That’s not only one of my most anticipated DC things, but one of my most anticipated comics things for the year overall.

JOE: That book was the biggest surprise of 2021 for me. What an incredible comic.

CORI: For me the most anticipated things are: Earth Prime (which includes a story with art from my favorite Superman artist of all time) and the next iteration of DC: Pride. Last year’s Pride was a major highlight for me, and I can’t wait to see the follow up.

JOE: World’s Finest aside, I think the thing I’m most excited about for 2022 is the thing I haven’t thought of yet. That maybe sounds stupid, but I’m excited for the next book like One-Star Squadron, a totally odd-ball out-of-left-field series that you never even knew you wanted but that, when it’s announced, it just hits all the right buttons. That’s what I’m excited for – being surprised by things, and DC taking chances on things.

ZACK: That’s a nice thought, Joe. I agree with that. Okay! Last question…let’s dream big, what’s a thing you all want that hasn’t been announced yet? I’ll go first: new Doom Patrol comics.

JOE: Greg’s not here, so I’ll say the thing he would say but also I want it as well: a new Animal Man comic. They’re setting up a team-up in The Flash – let’s see it!

CORI: You mean aside from their appearance in World’s Finest Zack? For me though, I want a Dreamer series written by Nicole Maines. If I’m gonna dream (heh heh) big, I might as well shoot for the stars.

ZACK: I actually did mean aside from their appearance in the World’s Finest, but great answers all around. Anything else to add before we wrap up?

JOE: 2022’s off to a solid start so far, both for DC and for the Round-Up. Happy to still be here with you all again for another year.

CORI: It feels weird that we didn’t do any number ones, but uh, that’s for the best, friends. Happy new year everyone!

ZACK: Thanks for chatting friends, and thanks for reading! Here’s to a solid 2022!


Miss any of our earlier reviews? Check out our full archive!

DAREDEVIL returns with a new #1 and the same creative team

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Marvel’s ongoing Daredevil series ‘ended’ back in November, with the creative team of writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Marco Checchetto launching the Devil’s Reign event series, which spun out of DD’s ongoing title, the following month. So once Devil’s Reign is over, where does that leave ol’ hornhead, and in whose hands? It turns out, back in the pages of his own series, as today Marvel announced an all-new Daredevil #1 coming in June, with Zdarsky & Checchetto continuing their run on the character. No other creators were named in the announcement, though the promo art released alongside it features colors by Marcio Menyz.

Promo art by Marco Checchetto & Marcio Menyz

The new Daredevil #1 will pick up where Devil’s Reign ends, as well as where the Elektra-starring Daredevil: Woman Without Fear tie-in series concludes. Here’s Marvel’s official description for the series return:

After the shocking events of DEVIL’S REIGN, what is left of Daredevil? Who lived, who died, and who is left to pick up the pieces? Fans can expect the series to tackle both Matt AND Elektra’s journeys as they deal with the brutal cost of taking on the Daredevil mantle. With new enemies and radical changes to the fabric of Daredevil’s mythos, DAREDEVIL #1 is set to usher in the darkest Hell’s Kitchen to date.

Hell’s Kitchen is already a pretty dark place, so that sounds very ominous.

In a statement announcing the relaunch, Zdarsky and Checchetto expressed their enthusiasm, and joked about this being their second Daredevil #1 together:

“Getting to write Daredevil and work with Marco is a career highlight. I’m just genuinely excited that we get to continue our epic story with this new issue one!” Zdarsky said. “Matt and Elektra have confronted their past mistakes with DEVIL’S REIGN and WOMAN WITHOUT FEAR, but can they atone for them together?”

“It’s the first time that I’ve to draw the first issue of the same series twice. I could tell you it’s an issue like everyone else, now, but it’s not,” Checcetto promises. “Each time I’ve to draw a new script of Daredevil it’s a new experience. Chip keeps throwing at me new challenges and I’m not the type of artist to refuse them. How much more can we mess up with Matt Murdock’s life? Let’s see with this new DAREDEVIL #1.”

“This is the start of our fourth year on the title! And the plan for it is about as big a swing as we could possibly take,” Zdarsky added. I’m super excited for readers to see where we’re taking our Daredevils!”

It’s good to hear that Elektra will be continuing on as Daredevil along with Matt Murdock. Her time in the role has been extremely entertaining, and it felt like it had just gotten started before the Devil’s Reign hiatus.

Look for the all-new Daredevil #1 to arrive in stores and digitally in June.

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