Smash Pages Q&A: Victor Santos

The creator of Polar discusses ‘Rashomon: A Commissioner Heigo Kobayashi Case,’ which was recently released by Dark Horse, as well as his webcomic ‘Guts,’ Jack Kirby, the Spain comics scene and more.

Victor Santos’ work might be more familiar to American comics readers than his name, though that is quickly changing. The man has put out a wide and varied body of work. He’s drawn comics and graphic novels, masterfully going from Filthy Rich to Mice Templar, Furious to Black Market, Godzilla to Sleepy Hollow. He’s currently drawing Violent Love, which is published by Image Comics. Santos is also the man behind Polar, the webcomic that he wrote and drew, which was collected in three volumes by Dark Horse.

In addition to Violent Love, Santos has two projects, one new and one old, that are out this fall. He’s launched a new webcomic, Guts, that’s available on polarcomic.com which he’s making monthly as a complete short story. The second story was released in early November. Dark Horse has just published Rashomon: A Commissioner Heigo Kobayashi Case, which collects two books that Santos made for the Spanish market. There are two more graphic novels that Santos is drawing and coloring coming out next year, as well as a film adaptation of Polar in production. Despite this busy schedule, he was kind enough to talk about his work.

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Archie Comics announces new ‘Dick Tracy’ series

Michael Moreci, Alex Segura, Thomas Pitilli and Dee Cunniffe team up to bring the yellow-clad detective back to comic books.

Hold on to your fedora — Dick Tracy will return to comic books next April, courtesy of Archie Comics.

The series will be co-written by Roche Limit and Hoax Hunters writer Michael Moreci and Archie Comics co-president (and crime novelist) Alex Segura, with art by Thomas Pitilli and colorist Dee Cunniffe.

“Dick Tracy has always been a character that stands shoulder to shoulder amongst the best–Superman, The Shadow, Conan the Barbarian, Spider-Man, you name it,” Moreci said in a press release. “There’s been so many great Dick Tracy stories over the past 75 years, and that’s such a testament to his versatility, his amazing–unbeatable–rogues gallery, and what he represents.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Jason Thompson and Jumana Al Hashal on ‘Cartooner’

Jason Bradley Thompson and Jumana Al Hashal discuss going from gamer to creator.

What’s it like to go from gaming to creating your own games?

The husband-and-wife team of Jason Bradley Thompson and Jumana Al Hashal have plenty to say on that topic. Both are serious gamers who are running a Kickstarter campaign to fund their second game, Cartooner: The Fast & Furious Game of Drawing Comics. Cartooner focuses on the creative elements of comics and allows anyone who can draw a stick figure to make their own—while the clock is ticking. We talked to Jason and Jumana about how they created a game that turns the players into comics creators, and they also shared some of the game art by Konstantin Pogorelov.

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‘Black Hammer’ saga continues in ‘Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows’

Artist Max Fiumara joins writer Jeff Lemire on a new miniseries spinning out of the Eisner Award-winning series.

Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s award-winning, best-of-2017 list making and genre-defying Black Hammer returns next year with a new series, but that isn’t the only Black Hammer story to look forward to. Dark Horse has announced another spinoff miniseries, Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows by Lemire, Abe Sapien artist Max Fiumara, colorist Dave Stewart and letterer Nate Piekos

Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows follows the first Black Hammer spinoff, Sherlock Frankenstein & The Legion of Evil, which is out now. The “dual-narrative” story stars Golden Age superhero Doctor Star, an aged crime fighter trying to reconnect with his son, who he hoped would take over his superhero identity.

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Cryptozoic pumps it up with collectible DC high heels

Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, Supergirl and more inspire line of ‘DC Pumps.’

Cryptozoic Entertainment is releasing a line of collectible shoes inspired by “the costumes, props, and personalities of DC’s favorite female heroes and villains.”

The “Pumps” line will include nine 2.25-inch vinyl figures of miniature high-heeled shoes — each with its own “blind reveal” shoebox — finished with pearlescent, metallic and/or glitter paint. The shoes included in wave one are Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, Supergirl, Catwoman, Batgirl, Hawkgirl, Poison Ivy, Mera and Black Canary.

DC Pumps will be available at retailers this month for a suggested retail price of $9.99 each. You can see them “in action” in this unboxing video.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Takeshi Miyazawa on ‘Mech Cadet Yu’

The artist discusses his latest project with writer Greg Pak, involving giant robots, an interstellar war and the teenager in the middle of it all.

Takeshi Miyazawa has been drawing comics for years now. Some of us first noticed his work in Sidekicks and Love in Tights, others noticed his work when he started working for Marvel, with his runs on Runaways and Mary Jane and Ms. Marvel.

His current project, Mech Cadet Yu, is a book he co-created with writer Greg Pak and is about an interstellar war, an alien invasion and the unlikely teenager who finds himself at the center of this. It’s hard to make a book about giant robots that looks and feels new and dynamic, but Pak and Miyazawa have done just that. In every issue they manage to expand and deepen the world they’ve established in fascinating ways.

Next month the fifth issue of the series, and a collection of the first four issues come out, and Miyazawa answered a few questions about the project.

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Comics Lowdown: Comic-Con International wins trademark suit

‘Comic con’ belongs to Comic-Con! Dr. Seuss Enterprises v. ComicMix! Plus Connor Willumson, behind the scenes on comiXology’s Guided View, recent personnel changes and more!

Legal: Comic-Con International won its trademark suit against Salt Lake Comic Con on Friday, when a jury determined that “comic con” is a trademark, and that Salt Lake Comic Con’s use of it was likely to confuse the public. However, the jury did not grant CCI the $12 million in damages that was requested in the lawsuit; stating they did not believe the infringement was intentional, they awarded CCI $20,000 for advertising to clear up any confusion.

Rob Salkowitz lays out the history of the case and the possible implications at Forbes, pointing out that some conventions already pay CCI a licensing fee for the use of the term. He also noted that the organizers of SLCC, Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg, tried to paint themselves as the Davids to CCI’s Goliath and ran a crowdfunding campaign to pay for their legal fees—but they also gave themselves $225,000 in bonuses. At the trial, however, CCI produced a survey that showed more than 70 percent of respondents identified the term “comic con” with the San Diego event.

In a statement released later that day, CCI reiterated that the trademark was theirs and that they had worked for almost 50 years to build that brand. “From the beginning all that we asked of the defendants was to stop using our Comic-Con trademarks,” the statement said. “Today we obtained a verdict that will allow us to achieve this. For that we are grateful.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Rich Tommaso on ‘Spy Seal: The Corten-Steel Phoenix’

The creator of ‘She Wolf’ and ‘Dark Corridor’ discusses the first collection of his all-ages series ‘Spy Seal.’

From The Cavalier Mr. Thompson to Clover Honey, from 8 1/2 Ghosts to Dark Corridor, Viking’s End to She Wolf, to the Eisner Award-winning Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow, Rich Tommaso doesn’t just jump from one genre to another, but plays with tone and approach, style and color, and the result is an expansive body of work.

Spy Seal is a different book for him, but in truth, almost every comic he’s done has been a departure in some way. It’s an all-ages story about a spy who is, well, a seal. Set in the 1960s in a world populated by anthropomorphic animals, it owes a lot to Tintin and any number of cartoons. It’s a very different book than I admit to being used to from Tommaso but I was charmed by its inventiveness and world building – not to mention the fact that Tommaso is clearly having a lot of fun. Image just announced that Tommaso will be returning to his crime fiction roots early next year with Dry County, before returning with another Spy Seal series in the fall. With the collection, Spy Seal: The Corten-Steel Phoenix out next month and Tommaso was kind enough to answer a few questions about how he works.

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Tommaso’s ‘Dry County’ launches in March

New crime series set in the 1990s features a young Gen-Xer looking for his missing girlfriend.

Rich Tommaso, creator of Spy Seal and She Wolf, heads to Miami for a new crime series set in the 1990s.

With the next Spy Seal story, “Flight of the Golden Bells,” now slated for the fall, Tommaso turns to Dry County, which stars “young Gen-Xer Lou Rossi” in a story of love and crime.

“Lou Rossi wants to grow up—he’s finally of legal age to drink, so all he needs now is a steady day job and a serious relationship,” said Tommaso. “He seems to find the latter in Janet Laughton, while out doing his laundry one night. But the drama that comes with his involvement with her turns his new, ordered lifestyle upside down, having to deal with kidnappers, teenage gangsters, threatening letters and Janet’s dangerous ex-boyfriends.”

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