‘Monstress’ takes home another Hugo; Takeda named best artist

In the “Graphic Story” category, Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s fantasy series beats out ‘Saga,’ ‘Black Bolt’ and more to win the award.

Monstress, the fantasy series written by Marjorie Liu, drawn by Sana Takeda and published by Image Comics, has again won the Hugo Award in the “Graphic Story” category. In addition, Takeda also won in the “Best Professional Artist” category.

Presented annually since 1955, The Hugo Awards recognize the best science fiction in books, comics, movies, TV and more. The Hugo Awards are voted on annually by members of the World Science Fiction Convention. The Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story has been awarded annually since 2009, with previous winners including Saga, Ms. Marvel, Girl Genius and The Sandman: Overture. Other nominees in the category this year included Saga, Paper Girls, My Favorite Thing is Monsters, Bitch Planet and Black Bolt.

The 2018 Hugo Awards were presented this evening at a ceremony at the 76th World Science Fiction Convention in San Jose, California.

Monstress has been racking up awards left and right over the last year, winning an NCS Divisional Award, a British Fantasy Award and several Eisner Awards, among others. Congratulations to Liu, Takeda and the whole Monstress team.

Graphic Medicine Conference: Whit Taylor’s keynote and a lightning round of cartoonists

Susan Merrill Squier, Ian Williams, Morgan Sea, Rachel Lindsay and more presented at the second day of the Graphic Medicine Conference in Vermont.

The big news of the Graphic Medicine Conference came Friday evening, at Susan Merrill Squier’s keynote address: Graphic Medicine is going to seek 501(c)(3) status, making it officially a nonprofit organization. When co-director Ian Williams told me this the next day, I thanked him -— up until now, I haven’t ever been sure what noun to use to describe Graphic Medicine. Is it a movement? A community? Now it will be a nonprofit organization, although there are still many details to be hammered out.

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Not Safe for Con explores the darker side of comics and fandom

Comics, cosplay, and burlesque comes together for a ‘nerd culture festival’ with an adult twist.

Today is Not Safe For Con, also known as NSFCon, a festival that brings together comics with 18+ nerd culture. The festival’s purpose is to create a space that allows for the greatest freedom of expression that still remains within legal limits. The festival boasts a comfortable and safe atmosphere for vendors and creators of more adult-themed comics and artwork, mixed with workshops, live music and burlesque.

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Netflix announces next Millarworld title ‘Prodigy’

Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque re-team for a new title about Edison Crane, a “Nobel-Prize winning scientist, a genius composer, an Olympic-level athlete and an expert in the occult.”

Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque will team up on a new title starring “world’s most exceptional man,” Netflix announced via press release.

Prodigy re-teams the creators of Huck on the second Millarworld title to be announced since the streaming giant bought the publishing line, following The Magic Order. What’s great is that this very comic book-y press release is up on Netflix’s media center, stuck right there between announcements that Fastest Car has been renewed and their CFO stepping down. Comics, am I right?

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Dispatches from the Graphic Medicine Conference: Day 1

Brigid Alverson reports from the scene of the 2018 Graphic Medicine Conference in Vermont, which is focused on graphic novels that describe the experience of illness and of being a patient.

I’m up in White River Junction, Vermont, home of the Center for Cartoon Studies and, for this weekend only, the Graphic Medicine Conference. Actually, the conference has two venues—it starts at CCS and moves to the Dartmouth medical school on Saturday.

Stephen Bissette giving the opening address at the Graphic Medicine Conference

The term “graphic medicine” may conjure up an image of a comic about healthy eating or the wonderful world of the circulatory system, but graphic medicine in this case has a more literary bent. It’s part of the field called medical humanities and focuses not on educational comics but on graphic novels that describe the experience of illness and of being a patient, embracing titles as disparate as Jennifer Hayden’s The Story Of My Tits, Ellen Forney’s Marbles and Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (I wrote a short primer on the topic for School Library Journal recently.)

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DC Comics goes nuclear this Christmas

‘DC Nuclear Winter Special’ features 10 holiday stories set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

DC Comics will continue their holiday on-shot tradition, albeit with a somewhat radioactive theme this year — DC Nuclear Winter Special will arrive in comic shops and bomb shelters in November.

Like in previous years, the holiday special will feature various characters from the DC Universe, all in stories featuring a “nuclear winter” theme. The release says it’ll include stories starring Batman, Superman and Flash, while the cover also shows Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn and Kamandi (the latter of which makes perfect sense).

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Layman + Chan blast off into the ‘Outer Darkness’

Skybound presents a new title in November that combines science fiction and horror.

We are living in a post-Chew world, as John Layman and Rob Guillory’s epic foodie tale wrapped up almost two years ago now. Depressing as that thought is — I still miss Tony and the gang — the silver lining is that both creators have new projects to fill the void. Have you read Farmhand, Guillory’s new title? The first two issues were awesome. Not to be outdone, Layman has two new comics out this year: Leviathan with Nick Pitarra, which kicked off last month, and the just-announced Outer Darkness, which arrives in November.

Layman is working with Afu Chan, artist of Immortal Iron Fists, on the sci-fi/horror title.

“Thanks to Afu Chan and Skybound, we’ve succeeded in making Outer Darkness as perfect and beautiful as I’d envisioned it to be since finishing Chew,” Layman said in a press release. “I’m so unbelievably excited that Outer Darkness is being announced to the world. I’m absolutely in love with this book.”

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Top Shelf brings ‘Supers’ to America this fall

Frédéric Maupomé and Dawid’s award-winning kids’ graphic novel arrives in November.

Top Shelf will publish an English version of the award-winning Supers by French creators Frédéric Maupomé and Dawid this November.

The winner of the 2016 ACBD Youth Prize, Supers is the story of three alien kids — Mat, Lili, and Benji — abandoned on Earth as they start school. Check out a preview below.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Jen Bartel on ‘Crystal Fighters’

The artist of the forthcoming ‘Blackbird’ talks about her early work on ‘Crystal Fighters,’ which will be collected by Dark Horse Comics in September.

Jen Bartel’s artwork has become familiar to many comics readers. She’s drawn dozens of covers for BOOM! and Marvel, IDW and Archie, Valiant and more. She’s drawn issues and stories for comics like Jem and the Holograms and Mighty Thor, and contributed to anthologies including The Secret Loves of Geek Girls.

Her first comic as co-writer and artist was Crystal Fighters. First published digitally on Stela, a print edition of the webcomic is in stores Sept. 5 from Dark Horse Comics. If that’s not enough, in October, Bartel and writer Sam Humphries are launching a new ongoing series from Image Comics, Blackbird. This coming weekend, Bartel will be a special guest at Flame Con in New York City, and we reached out to ask her a few questions about the experience of putting together her first book and what comes next.

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