Smash Pages Q&A: Jennifer and Matthew Holm on ‘Swing It, Sunny’

The duo discuss their followup to 2015’s ‘Sunny Side Up’ from Scholastic’s Graphix imprint.

Jennifer and Matthew Holm have been collaborating for years now on two series of graphic novels for kids, Babymouse and Squish. The two have also made board books and a picture book together, and separately worked on other projects. Matt co-wrote and drew the recent Marvin and the Moths and Jennifer is also a Newbury Honor winning author of prose novels like The Fourteenth Goldfish and Turtle in Paradise.

In 2015, Scholastic’s Graphix imprint published Sunny Side Up, a stand-alone graphic novel about girl spending the summer with her grandfather in Florida. Sunny is back in a new book Swing It, Sunny, which picks up where the first book left off with Sunny facing middle school. I reached out to the duo by e-mail and we spoke about the book’s autobiographical elements, how they work together and what the heck swing flag is.

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Skottie Young, Tom King, ‘March: Book Three’ and more take home Ringo Awards

Named for artist Mike Mike Wieringo, the awards were presented over the weekend at the Baltimore Comic-Con.

The winners for the first-ever Ringo Awards were announced this weekend at the Baltimore Comic-Con. The awards are named for artist Mike Wieringo, who passed away in 2007.

The Ringos showed Skottie Young’s I Hate Fairyland some love, as the creator took home awards for Best Cartoonist and Best Humor Comic. March: Book Three by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell continued to rack up accolades as it took home the awards for Best Non-fiction Comic Work and Best Original Graphic Novel. And Tom King, writer of Best Series winner The Vision, won for Best Writer. Other winners included Fiona Staples, Sean Murphy, Todd Klein, Laura Martin, Bloom County and Dean Haspiel’s The Red Hook.

The nomination process was open to anyone, while comic professionals voted on the final winners. Check out the full list of nominees below, with the winners in bold.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Catel Muller and José-Louis Bocquet on ‘Josephine Baker’

The duo discuss their work on the biography of the actress, dancer and Civil Rights activist.

Catel Muller and José-Louis Bocquet have been working together for a number of years, though American readers likely first read them in 2012 when SelfMadeHero/Abrams released Kiki de Montparnasse, which was awarded the Audience Prize at the 2008 Angoulême International Comics Festival. Bocquet is a writer, editor and former journalist with a long list of credits both in and out of comics. Muller, who goes by “Catel” has received a number of awards for her solo work and her collaborations including the 2005 Audience Prize at Angoulême for Le Sang des Valentines, and the 2014 Prix Artémisia for Ainsi soit Benoîte Groult.

The two have set out to tell the stories of great women and their most recent book is a biography of and tribute to one of the great figures of the 20th Century, Josephine Baker. Perhaps more beloved in France than in her home country of the United States, she was a dancer and actress. Baker fought her whole life for Civil Rights and was a member of the French Resistance. At the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, she told the crowd, “I do not lie to you when I tell you I have walked into the palaces of kings and queens and into the houses of presidents, but I could not walk into a hotel in America and get a cup of coffee.”

The result is Josephine Baker, a lengthy book with more than a hundred pages of bibliography and supplemental material. It is also a visual masterpiece and perhaps Catel’s most inventive work to date. The two were kind enough to talk about the project and answered their questioned together. Thanks to Maya Bradford at Abrams for arranging this.

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Kenan Yarar joins Mike Carey on Dynamite’s ‘Barbarella’ comic

New series launches in December.

Dynamite Entertainment has announced artist Kenan Yarar will join writer Mike Carey on their upcoming Barbarella comic.

To coincide with the 55th anniversary of Barbarella, Dynamite will launch the new comic in December. Jean-Marc Lofficier, custodian of the Barbarella brand, will join Carey as supervisor on the project.

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Comics Lowdown: Political cartoonist arrested

Plus: IDW stumbles, SyFy makes a list, and Darryl Cunningham draws another science comic.

Political Cartoonist Arrested: Government authorities in the African country of Equatorial Guinea arrested political cartoonist Ramón Nsé Esono Ebalé on September 16 and are reportedly preparing criminal defamation charges against him, according to Human Rights Watch. Equatorial Guinea’s defamation law, which dates back to its days as a Spanish colony, makes it a crime to criticize the president or other government officials. Ebalé, who no longer lives in Equatorial Guinea but was visiting to renew his passport, frequently caricatures President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo; he visited the U.S. in 2016 to distribute his book, Obi’s Nightmare, which imagines what the president’s life would be like if he had to live as an ordinary person in his country.

25 of the Best: The SyFy folks have done the research (presumably!) and come up with a list of the 25 best comics writers of the past 25 years. If nothing else, this gives everyone something to argue about!

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Smash Pages Q&A: Frederick Aldama on Latinographix

The Ohio State University professor discusses the new imprint, Latin comics, his new website and more.

Frederick Luis Aldama is an Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor at Ohio State University where he teaches in multiple departments. One of his passions has always been comics. He’s written books like Your Brain on Latino Comics: From Gus Arriola to Los Bros Hernandez and co-edited books like Graphic Borders: Latino Comic Books Past, Present, and Future, among many others. His new project is the Latinographix imprint, part of Mad Creek Books at Ohio State University Press.

This month the imprint is releasing its first book, Alberto Ledesma’s Diary of a Reluctant Dreamer, and Aldama also launched a website, The Planetary Republic of Comics. We spoke recently about these projects, the conversations he’s hoping to launch around about Latinx comics and talks about the books he’s publishing in the coming years.

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A knight who never sleeps stars in historical romance drama ‘Sleepless’

Sarah Vaughn and Leila del Duca team for new title from Image Comics this December.

Earlier this year Image Comics announced Sleepless, by artist Leila del Duca, writer Sarah Vaughn, editor Alissa Sallah and letterer Deron Bennett. It’s not about your last trip to Comic-Con; it’s actually an historical romance drama about a knight who never sleeps.

Sleepless is a story that is very dear to me, grown from an idea I would play in my head at night as I tried to fall asleep,” said Vaughn. “It’s wonderful to see the book come to life with Leila, Alissa and Deron. I hope readers enjoy reading about Poppy and Cyrenic and getting a little more romance, costumes and fantasy in their lives.”

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Farel Dalrymple kicks off new ‘psychedelic science fiction’ webcomic

‘Proxima Centuri’ will feature a colorful cast of characters by the creator of ‘The Wrenchies’ and ‘It Will All Hurt.’

If making comics is really like killing dark elves, all Drow should fear Farel Dalrymple. His work on The Wrenchies and It Will All Hurt offered multi-layered, beautifully detailed stories. Now he’s kicked off another comic, Proxima Centuri, which can be found on the Study Group website.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Eli Valley on ‘Diaspora Boy’

The political cartoonist discusses his first book from OR Books.

Eli Valley has been making comics for just over a decade. Unlike most political cartoonists, though, most of his work aren’t single panel comics, but rather long page-size comics intended for a broadsheet publication. In The Forward, +972 Magazine, The Nib and other publications, Valley has been skewering politics and individuals in hilarious, grotesque and inventive ways.

In these longer comics, which show the influence of EC Comics and other horror artists, Valley shows himself a gifted artist, though sometimes his own exaggerations aren’t nearly as grotesque as the actual words spoken by actual people that he’s skewering. Some of his comics have their own shock and awe, as Valley is not afraid to offend people or worry about people’s sensibilities. This has led to problems with some editors, he’s been denounced by individuals, but he refuses to shy away from controversy.

His first book Diaspora Boy has just been released by OR Books with an introduction by Peter Beinart. He took time out to talk about the book and how his work has changed in the past year.

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