A NEW START

§ I’ve decided to restart my old features on small press and indie comics news. I did it for about 18 months on a monthly basis from 2017 to 2019, but it’s time to relaunch it. I’m hoping it will become a regular column every other week instead of monthly. Don’t hesitate to reach out to send me tips, press release, news, events and whatever else you feel is relevant for this kind of column.  You can reach me by email, in the comments or on Twitter (@Leblanc_Phil).

Fair warning, this feature will have a Canadian bias. I can’t escape it, being in Ottawa after all.

PLUGS

ex.mag

§ Priya Huq could use some financial help. Consider getting a few of her digital comics. The Bride’s Quarry in particular is fabulous.

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§ Sloane Leong‘s car just broke. Actually, broke is incorrect — it caught on fire. She could use some help to put her back on her feet as this was the vehicle she used to travel to conventions and other work.

§ Montreal’s Pow Pow Press has completed the translation of the excellent series Almost Summer by Sophie Bédard. It’s a wonderful coming-of-age, young adult high school drama with an engaging story and lovable characters. They’ve also made available the wordless graphic novel VII by Thom. It won the Bédéis Causa in 2018 and is absolutely worth a read.

§ We’ve talked at length on this site already about Ex.Mag, the upcoming anthology from PEOW Studios. There’s just only 1 day left to contribute. GET ON IT.

NEWS

§ Avery Hill announced via Twitter the upcoming release of Zoe Thorogood‘s graphic novel The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott. This one is on my list of books to read this year.

§ Also exciting is the announcement of a new Julia Gfrörer graphic novel called Vision. August can’t come soon enough.

§ Marguerite Sauvage has a new Society6 store where she sells all sort of amazing bags and apparel. Check it out.

§ Another mention of the exceptional comics critic Kim Jooha. This time, it’s for her list of best comics of the decade over at Solrad. Her idea of what comics are, and what they should be is quite fascinating and this list represents that quite well.

§ Jim Zub talked to CBC’s Laurie Brown

 

§ Isabelle Arsenault, the artist behind the incredible Jane, The Fox & Me, just won the Angoulême Prix des Écoles.

§ Broken Frontier announced the winners of their own Broken Frontier Awards. Among the winners are Jeff Lemire, Molly Mendoza, Tillie Walden, Aditya Bidikar and Lucy Sullivan. The list is pretty long so I won’t repost it all, but please go visit the site. Every winner and nominee deserved a spot on their award ballot.

§ The French-Canadian Independent Bookstore association announced their finalist for the “Quebec Bookstore Literary Awards”. While the French selection may not be familiar to most, the international translated work will look a little more familiar. I’m throwing my hat behind Marie-Noëlle Hébert‘s absolutely beautiful and depressing book La grosse laide. I’ll write a review of it on this site shortly.

  • BANDE DESSINÉE QUÉBÉCOISE
    • La grosse laide, Marie-Noëlle Hébert
    • Contacts, Mélanie Leclerc
    • Bootback vol. 1, Mikael
  • BANDE DESSINÉE HORS QUÉBEC
    • Speak, Emily Carroll
    • In Waves, AJ Dungo
    • Le dernier atlas, Fabien Vehlmann, Gwen de Bonneval, Hervé Tanquerelle & Frédéric Blanchard

§ Frank Santoro made available an article on colours in an old Kevin Nowlan’s Outsider Annual from 1986.

EVENTS

§ I’m not particularly attuned to events right now, but one thing did pique my interest. A two-day symposium/workshop called DRAWING GENDER: WOMEN AND FRENCH-LANGUAGE COMICS SYMPOSIUM that’s happening on February 28-29 at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. Julie Delporte will be in attendance. You can register here until February 14.

COMICS

§ I was unaware that Michael Kupperman was doing cartoons about movies over at Harpers. It’s quite funny, you should go take a look.

§ Nicole Marie Burton made a short comic about wombats and their behavioral change during the ongoing Australia’s wildfire.

§ I’ve played a lot of Fire Emblem Three Houses last year. I’ve only done the Golden Lion path and I’ll restart it soon enough to see the other houses. In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying Lucie Byron‘s Fire Emblem Three Houses strips on Twitter. It’s funny out of context, but knowing the games’ context really adds layers to the jokes.

§ A cute four-panel comic about parenthood from Kate Beaton on Twitter

REVIEWS & OTHER THINGS OF NOTE

§ Over at Sequential Pulp, a various group of comics critics give out their list of best Canadian comics of the decade. This include Kim Jooha, Andrew Woodrew-Butcher, Jenn Haines, and Candida Rifkind. There’s some overlap between the titles, but each contributors have their own reasons why each book should be included.

§ Over at Shelfdust, our former editor, Samantha Puc, writes about Bitch Planet #3 and specifically the character of Penny Rolle

§ Over at The Comics Journal, Anya Davidson reviews Craig Thompson‘s Ginseng Roots. It’s a good review. My initial thought on Ginseng Roots was quite dismissive. Since reading Habibi and finding it an extremely spiteful work, I haven’t given much thought to Thompson’s work. However, Anya Davidson’s review engages with the book, puts Habibi in context and looks at how this new work differs from that. I’m not sure I’ll reconsider my opinion of his previous work, but it did change the way I will approach Ginseng Roots… if I ever want to read it.

§ Again at TCJ, Tom Shapira argues the best comics of the last decades were all Judge Dredd comics. While he focuses on the 2000AD output, as it should, I felt I should point people towards the excellent 2014 IDW series Judge Dredd: Mega City Two – City of Courts, an oddity written by Douglas Wolk and illustrated by Ulisses Farinas with colours by Ryan Hill and lettered by Tom B. Long. Farinas’ extreme attention to details and fluidity gives the city an immediate, distinct look. There’s a big focus on what happened to American society and the insanity of corruption, fame and violence in this new world.


§ If you see something I should know about, tell me about it. You can email me, tell me in the comments or tweet at me @Leblanc_Phil. I’ll be back in two weeks with more updates.

5 COMMENTS

  1. edit – Kevin Nowlan, not Newland under the Frank Santoro piece. Great to have this column banck and hope you can write it twice a month! Check out Bubbles mag and Cankor the book coming soon from AdHouse.

  2. Hi Tim, you are correct. I’ve updated Kevin’s name. I’ll look up Cankor. I remember Michel Fiffe did something with Matthew Allison, A cover for his single issues I think, but I never read it. I’ll check it out.

  3. Hello Philipe, I have a few comics that I’ve self published and if you need some indy comics to review, I can send pdfs of them to you. I have two titles with two issues of each title done. In working on the third issue of both titles now. If you need some to review let me know. Thank you.

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