2020 Eisner Hall of Fame nominees announced

Judges choices include Nell Brinkley and E. Simms Campbell.

Comic-Con International has announced this year’s nominees for the Eisner Hall of Fame. They include two judges’ choices — who will be automatically inducted — and 14 other nominees, four of whom will be inducted based on voters’ choices.

The judges’ choices are Nell Brinkley and E. Simms Campbell, both of whom worked in the magazine industry. Brinkley, a.k.a. the “Queen of Comics,” created comics and illustrations for many Hearst newspapers, incluidng the Denver Post and the New York Journal-America. She became well-known for her “Brinkley Girl” illustrations circa 1913 through the 1940s. Campbell, meanwhile, helped define the visual style of Esquire magazine and created comics for it, Life, Cosmopolitan and Playboy during his career. He was the first African-American cartoonist published in nationally distributed slick magazines.

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‘The Boys’ returns for a new series about Butcher’s wife

Garth Ennis, Russ Braun and Darick Robertson reunite for ‘The Boys: Dear Becky.’

Garth Ennis, Russ Braun and Darick Robertson will return to the world of The Boys with a new series subtitled Dear Becky. The first issue will debut in April, just in time for the second season of the Amazon Prime adaptation.

The Becky in the title refers to Becky Butcher, wife of Billy Butcher, one of the main characters of the original 90-issue run. Her death set off many of the events in The Boys.

“Originally I never intended to do more with The Boys at all, but for obvious reasons I’ve found myself thinking about the story and characters again over the past couple of years,” Ennis said. “There was one aspect of the original story, and one character in particular, that I never felt got a fair shake- Becky Butcher, whose demise motivates her husband Billy to do the terrible things he does, but who only actually appears in two issues of the original book. I liked writing Becky very much, almost as much as Butcher himself, and I wanted to look in greater detail at how her relatively brief appearance cast such a long shadow.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Bryan Caplan

The writer and professor who “say things that a lot of people think are crazy” discusses his latest project, the graphic novel “Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration.”

Bryan Caplan is a professor of economics at George Mason University and the author of books like The Myth of the Rational Voter, Selfish Reasons to Have Kids and The Case Against Education. He’s a blogger at EconLog, has contributed to Freakonomics and is affiliated with the Mercatus Center and the Cato Institute.

Caplan is also the author with Zach Weinersmith of the book Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration. Simply stating that it’s a book promoting the idea of open borders will be shocking (or offensive) to many people, but through a series of reports, analyses and thought experiments, the book looks at multiple moral, legal and logistical questions around immigration. Caplan admitted that he writes books that “say things that a lot of people think are crazy” and this book manages to make this argument through a deft use of the comics medium, which will leave readers saying, “Maybe this isn’t such a crazy idea.”

It’s a startling and thoughtful book that I couldn’t stop thinking about after reading it, and Caplan was kind enough to answer a few questions about comics, economics and why the late Milton Friedman was wrong.

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Project Art Cred spotlights ‘the impact artists bring to a script’

40 artists turn a Kieron Gillen script into a comic — with interesting results.

So this is pretty cool: artists Stephen Byrne and Declan Shalvey had an idea to showcase the effect a particular artist has on a comic, so they came up with Project Art Cred. Their idea was to have a comics writer — in this case, Kieron Gillen — write a one-page script, then have different artists interpret it in their own styles.

After 200 artists asked for the script, Gillen said in his email newsletter that 40 artists submitted pages, which have been shared on both Twitter and Tumblr. The artistic styles are impressive in their range and voice, bringing Gillen’s words to life in many different ways.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Aude White

The illustrator and cartoonist discusses her latest comic for The Believer, her day job (which she loves) and more.

Aude White may spend much of her time working in communications for New York Magazine, but the illustrator and cartoonist has a long list of credits she’s accumulated over the past few years, in addition to the work she posts on her own Instagram. From The Believer to Outside, The HotPod newsletter to The New York Times Book Review to The Cut to Vox, she’s managed to establish her own voice and style.

Her comics are especially personal works that manage to gain their poignancy by the ways that she draws connections between people and objects and places. Not by how they define us or describe us, but by the ways that we invest them with meaning, often at a cost.

White said that she fancied herself a poet in college, and though she laughed at that ambition today, the turns of phrase in her comics, the ways that she draws connections between people and places and objects, reframing and recontextualizing those relationships in different ways, show that poetic sensibility at work. In her new comic The Toothbrush Dilemma, which is in the December 2019/January 2020 issue of The Believer, on stands now, White tells the story of a relationship and a toothbrush. We spoke recently about that comic and her work.

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Exclusive Preview: ‘Cayrels Ring’

Shannon Lentz, Alchemichael, Farel Dalrymple and more come together to tell a unique science fiction story.

It’s been about three years since Shannon Lentz launched a Kickstarter for the first issue of Cayrels Ring, a science fiction comic that chronicles life in a far-off galaxy colonized by humans. Since then he’s produced and crowdfunded more than 130 pages of his anthology, working with artists like Farel Dalrymple, James Stokoe, Alchemichael, Simon Roy and more to tell the story of an aging scientist looking for his long-lost granddaughter.

Earlier this month Lentz announced that the anthology will be collected by A Wave Blue World, publisher of comics like Dead Beats, All We Ever Wanted, Mezo and many others. As a backer of the original Kickstarter, it’s cool to see this come to fruition, and I’m happy to post an exclusive preview from the anthology, courtesy of the publisher.

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Mail Call | Off and Running

News from Random House, BOOM! Studios, IDW and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we received from publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.

Congratulations to Random House Graphic, which officially launched this week! RH Graphic is a new line of graphic novels for young readers, spearheaded by Gina Gagliano, former marketing director for First Second.

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Exclusive Preview: ‘Cosmo the Mighty Martian’ #3

Check out preview pages from next week’s issue featuring the galaxy’s mightiest little Martian.

After a 60-year hibernation, Archie Comics’ Cosmo, the mightiest little martian in the galaxy, returned in 2018 with a refreshed look and a new lease on life. His first miniseries was successful enough to warrant a follow-up, which is in full swing now.

Courtesy of Archie Comics, take a look at an exclusive preview from next week’s issue of Cosmo the Mighty Martian, the third of five in the little guy’s second miniseries. It features the work of Ian Flynn, Tracy Yardley, Matt Herms and Jack Morelli, who are joined this issue by Evan Stanley, who drew the pages shown below.

You can also catch up on his adventures at comiXology.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Danny Fingeroth

The writer and editor discusses his unauthorized biography of ‘the most famous person in comics.’

Danny Fingeroth has been working in comics for decades. A longtime editor at Marvel, Byron Preiss and Visionary Media, Fingeroth wrote comics like Darkhawk, Dazzler, Venom: Deathtrap – The Vault and Deadly Foes of Spider-Man, and wrote nonfiction books including Superman on the Couch and Disguised as Clark Kent. He’s also known to a lot of convention goers as one of the people who runs a lot of panels — interviewing and celebrating the creators who helped to invent comics at dozens of labels across the country. At the end of 2019 he came out with his biggest book to date, A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee. 

The biography of the late Stan Lee is unauthorized but affectionate, and tries to capture the man that Fingeroth got to know later in his life with the young man who has been written about at length. After reading the book, I asked Fingeroth a few questions about the project and how it fits in with his other work, including serving as chair of Will Eisner Week.

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