Smash Pages Q&A: Spike Trotman and MK Reed

The duo discuss their comiXology Originals title ‘Delver,’ the fantasy genre and much more.

Spike Trotman is the woman behind Iron Circus Comics, one of North America’s best comics publishers. She is also the creator of the webcomic Templar AZ and the book Poorcraft, the writer of Yes, Roya and Iris and Angel, and cohost of the podcast Dirty Old Ladies. MK Reed is the writer of many comics including Americus, Palefire and Science Comics: Dinosaurs, and the co-writer of The Castoffs.

The two have teamed up with artist Clive Hawken on Delver, a new series coming out from comiXology Originals. It’s the story of Temerity, whose life and town is changed when a portal opens, and the town and the region becomes overrun with adventurers. It’s a story that takes a look at the fantasy genre in a different way and asks a few of the questions that sometimes bother those who like the genre. The second issue is out tomorrow, and they were kind enough to answer a few questions about the series.

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Marvel announces ‘Silver Surfer: Black’

New miniseries by Donny Cates and Tradd Moore debuts in June.

The Silver Surfer might be gone — sucked into a Black Hole or something in the new Guardians of the Galaxy series — but he is not forgotten. Galactus’ former herald will get a new miniseries by Guardians writer Donny Cates and artist Tradd Moore titled Silver Surfer: Black.

“When Donny Cates wrote the first issue of the new Guardians of the Galaxy series, we both agreed that Silver Surfer’s adventure wasn’t going to end there, that there was still more story to be told about what happened to all the cosmic heroes that got sucked into the Black Order’s wormhole,” said editor Darren Shan. “But Donny’s imagination really kicked into gear when artist Tradd Moore signed on! Readers won’t realize it, but Silver Surfer: Black is a culmination of everything Donny has been writing since his Thanos run. And Tradd Moore is delivering some of the craziest visuals seen in a Marvel Comic today!”

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Miller + Romita Jr.’s ‘Superman: Year One’ lands in June

Frank MIller and John Romita Jr.’s Black Label project gets a release date; DC reveals the covers for all three issues.

DC Comics has revealed the release date for another of its Black Label projects, Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.’s Superman: Year One. The first “large-format ” issue is scheduled to arrive in June.

The series will run for three issues, with the last two arriving in August and October. A collected edition will arrive in November.

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Matt Wagner’s Grendel prepares for launch in October

Grendel heads into a space in a new miniseries.

With the Mage saga wrapped up, it only makes sense that Matt Wagner would return to his other most famous creation, Grendel. First appearing in 1982 from publisher Comico, the character has gone on to star in various series and miniseries over the years at Dark Horse Comics.

This fall, colorist Brennan Wagner and letterer Dave Lanphear join Wagner on Grendel: Devil’s Odyssey, which sees the titular character head into space.

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Slate announces 2019 Cartoonist Studio Prize shortlists

Winners of the annual award by Slate and the Center for Cartoon Studies will be announced April 12.

The Slate Book Review and the Center for Cartoon Studies have announced the nominees for its annual Cartoonist Studio Prize, which awards $1,000 to the creator of one print comic and one webcomic.

Slate began the program in 2012 in conjunction with the Center for Cartoon Studies. Previous winners include Noelle Stevenson for Nimona, Chris Ware for Building Stories, Taiyo Matsumoto for Sunny, Winston Rowntree for Watching, Carol Tyler for Soldier’s Heart: The Campaign to Understand My WWII Veteran Father, Eleanor Davis for Libby’s Dad and Keren Katz for The Academic Hour.

This year’s print nominees include:

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The first prez fights imposters in ‘Washington Unbound’

Jason Lex’s graphic novel arrives from AdHouse in May.

AdHouse Books will unleash the fury of George Washington in May, as they radically ratify Jason Lex’s Washington Unbound. Washington will bring the veto down on an imposter trying to take over the White House after an abduction attempt. Oh, and there’s a cat!

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‘Farmhand’ gets a soundtrack from Skies Speak

Experimental album from Skies Speak will drop March 20.

Rob Guillory’s excellent new Image series Farmhand is getting a soundtrack, thanks to Guillory’s friend Skies Speak.

“The FarmhandOriginal Music Score started out as just a crazy idea between two buddies,” Guillory said in a press release. “Jordan (Skies Speak) and I have been friends for many years, and I’m beyond thrilled he was game to craft this special album for fans of the book. The initial idea was very simple: use my art to inspire his art. He devoured the first arc of the book, and from that he created a unique, immersive experience that adds a little something extra to the world of Farmhand.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Cathy G. Johnson

The creator of ‘Gorgeous’ and ‘Jeremiah’ discusses her new book, ‘The Breakaways.’

Cathy G. Johnson is the cartoonist behind books like Gorgeous and Jeremiah. Her new book, coming out this week from First Second Books, is The Breakaways.

It’s larger than Johnson’s previous books in many regards. The book has an ensemble cast, and it manages to find ways to reveal how each girl is much more complex than they initially seem or than they try to present. It is a beautifully made and thoughtful book that avoids a lot of the cliches around sports stories. They don’t win. They are bad at soccer. But that’s not what’s important. And the ways that this is shown in small, relatable ways, eschewing a melodramatic or sentimental approach, is what makes the book resonate in so many ways.

Johnson is a teacher and podcaster who is one half of Drawing a Dialogue with e jackson, and she was kind enough to talk about the book and her work.

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Lemire + Deodato Jr. unleash ‘Berserker Unbound’

Dark Horse Comics will kick off the urban fantasy miniseries in August.

Jeff Lemire and Mike Deodato Jr. are teaming up for a new urban fantasy series that brings a barbarian into the modern age — and of course, chaos ensues. Berserker Unbound will debut in August.

“As soon as I had a chance to work with Mike Deodato on Thanos at Marvel I knew it would be the start of a beautiful partnership,” Lemire said. “We immediately started talking about the potential of teaming up for a creator-owned series. Mike is an incredible artist and, with Berserker Unbound, I tried to model a story to all of his many strengths. Berserker Unbound is many things. It has magic, action, and blood, but it also has heart. And it’s not at all what it first appears to be. We’re both very excited to be working together at Dark Horse, with Frank Martin and Steve Wands, to build the worlds of both Berserker and the world of Cobb, his unexpected companion.”

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