Smash Pages Q&A: Nick Thorburn on ‘Penguins’

The Canadian musician discusses his first graphic novel.

Nick Thorburn is a Canadian musician who has fronted the bands The Unicorns, Islands, Mister Heavenly and others. He’s composed music for various projects, including the film Ingrid Goes West and the podcast Serial.

His new project is the book Penguins, which is out now from Fantagraphics. A wordless book that inventively tells short tales of penguins in stories that are mundane and fantastic and inventive and strange. It’s an inventive and darkly comic debut, and Thorburn was kind enough to answer a few questions about the book.

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Nuff Said: Stan Lee passes away at 95

The face of Marvel Comics leaves behind a lifelong legacy of superheroes and sequential art

On the morning of Nov. 12, legendary comic creator Stan Lee was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he passed away. The news was broken by TMZ, who spoke with his daughter, J.C. Lee.

It feels weird to write an obituary on a man many comic fans know so well already.

Stanley Martin Lieber’s career in comics started when he was only 17 years old as an assistant at Timely Comics. His duties included refilling inkwells and erasing pencil lines. Two years later, using Jack Kirby’s and Joe Simon’s Nazi-fighting war hero, Lieber got his chance to write his first story called “Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge.” Lieber used the pen name “Stan Lee.” The story was only a two-page text story in Captain America #3, but it was the story where Captain America first used his iconic shield-throwing maneuver. Two issues later, Stan Lee got his first comic break with “Headline Hunter, Foreign Correspondent,” which also showed Lee’s love for names with alliteration. Lee’s first superhero co-creation was Destroyer in Mystic Comics #6 (1941).

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Smash Pages Q&A: Lilah Sturges on ‘Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass’

The writer of ‘Jack of Fables,’ ‘Everafter’ and more discusses her work on an original graphic novel based on BOOM! Studios’ popular title.

Lilah Sturges has been writing comics for more than a decade. People may remember her long runs co-writing Jack of Fables and writing House of Mystery. At DC she worked on Blue Beetle, Justice Society of America and many other titles. More recently she’s written Fables: The Wolf Among Us, Muirwood, Everafter and other comics. She’s also the author of the novels Midwinter and The Office of Shadow and has written the graphic novel The Magicians: Alice’s Story, which has been announced and will be released next year.

Her new project is Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass, an original graphic novel that she wrote and is illustrated by the Austrian artist Polterink. The standalone story is centered around an orienteering activity, a cursed compass, and Mal and Molly’s relationship. The story has a member of Her Majesty’s Club for Lady Explorers, Adventurers, and Other Die-Hard Womanly Sorts, fully articulated gear-driven, flywheel-powered service automatons (not robots) and more craziness, but it’s the relationship between Molly and Mal and in particular Molly’s fears over being alone and that her relationship might destroy her friendships is what gives the book its emotional weight. Sturges was kind enough to chat about the book and her work.

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André Lima Araújo remixes the Dark Knight in Tokyo

Meet Takeshi, Junko, Commissioner Saito and Shishio — the Superman.

Generation Gone and Black Panther: Long Live the King artist André Lima Araújo shared an impressive but unused pitch for an “Old Man Peter Parker” story earlier this year, and now he’s back with another fun concept — “Batman Tokyo.”

“And now for something different: a quick concept called #BatmanTokyo,” he writes on Tumblr. “Here’s the design collection: Takeshi, The Batman. Junko, Takeshi’s housekeeper. Commissioner Saito. And Shishio, the Superman.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Jordan Crane on ‘We Are All Me’

The creator of ‘Uptight’ and ‘The Last Lonely Saturday’ discusses his latest from TOON Books, cartooning and design, the forthcoming ‘Keeping Two’ and more.

Jordan Crane is the Ignatz Award-winning cartoonist and designer behind comics like The Last Lonely Saturday and The Clouds Above. He was the editor and publisher of the anthology NON. In recent years he’s been making the series Uptight.

His new book is something of a departure for him. We Are All Me was just released by Toon Books, and it’s a picture book, but it’s also a design project. It’s an abstract visual poem that tries to express this idea of the interdependence and interconnectedness of all things. It is beautifully designed, thoughtful, and moving. I was thrilled to talk with Crane about the book and his other comics projects.

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‘Pooot!’: Kathryn and Stuart Immonen have a new Instagram comic

‘Grass of Parnassus’ is described as “‘Never As Bad As You Think’ — in space!”

Grass of Parnassus is the new comic by the team of Kathryn and Stuart Immonen — and you can follow along on Instagram.

The husband and wife duo have worked together in the past on Never As Bad As You Think, Moving Pictures and Marvel’s Hellcat. The first teaser post on the account described the new story as “Never As Bad As You Think — in space,” so if you’re familiar with their previous work, you have an idea of what they’re planning. They’ve been posting three to five panels each week for the past five weeks, so there’s a good chunk of story to read right now.

Here are a few of my favorite panels thus far, and you can see more on Instagram:

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Vault Comics’ Myriad line will include comics by Tobin, Coover and more

‘Wrassle Castle,’ ‘Bonded’ and ‘Unfinished Corner’ will be released over the next two years.

Fledgling publisher Vault Comics has announced a new line of young adult/middle grade comics, Myriad, along with three titles by Colleen Coover, Paul Tobin, Dani Coleman and more.

“The idea is simple: Tell stories just as daring, just as beloved, and just as relevant as those coming out of Vault, but for an even wider audience,” said Adrian Wassel, Editor-in-Chief at Vault. “Current Vault fans will enjoy the selfsame care and craft in Myriad—and now their kids can, too. These are hilarious, heartbreaking, jaw-dropping stories for everyone.”

The line will include:

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Smash Pages Q&A: Carolyn Nowak’s ‘Girl Town’

The Ignatz Award-winning creator discusses her latest project from Top Shelf.

Carolyn Nowak might be known to many comics readers for her work drawing Lumberjanes, but she’s also the Ignatz Award-winning creator behind comics like Radishes and Diana’s Electric Tongue. Those two stories, plus two more, along with a brand new story, have been collected in the new book Girl Town, which was just released from Top Shelf.

My feelings to the stories were similar to when I read Nowak’s comic Girl Town years ago. It was a beautifully drawn and thoughtful tale of three women who “got kicked out of astronaut school for being too good-looking to be sent to space. Now we try to make a living raising beans and cabbages, cleaning houses and curating erotic zines about staying on Earth.” It’s a funny opening, but the story itself is strange in a different way. It’s complicated and fraught, about trying to understand the emotions someone else causes in us. About getting older and trying make sense of whether this feeling is love or lust, hate or loneliness, and complexity of relationships and friendship. Nowak half-jokingly described the book as “my twenties” and for those of us who survived those years, that description will resonate in so many ways.

Besides the Lumberjanes collections that Nowak drew, she also wrote and drew the new book Buffy the Vampire Slayer: New School Nightmare, but Girl Town is the work of a masterful artist who has found her voice. Nowak was kind enough to answer a few questions about her work.

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Comics Lowdown: Mark Waid’s attorney asks for dismissal of Richard C. Meyer’s lawsuit

BOOM! Studios cancels ‘Husband and Husband’ collection after plagiarism charges! Image stops selling DRM-free digital comics directly! Chicago Sun-Times drops two pages of comics! Plus: Chip Zdarsky, NaNoWriMo, best of 2018 lists and more!

Mark Waid’s legal representative has asked the U.S. District Court for the Western district of Texas to dismiss the lawsuit filed against him by Richard C. Meyer. The civil lawsuit was filed in September and claims “tortious interference with contract and defamation.” You can read the motion on Newsarama.

“[Meyer] asserts claims against Mr. Waid for tortious interference with contract and defamation. These claims are completely meritless. But the problem at the outset, and which is proper to address, is that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Mr. Waid,” reads the motion. “Plaintiff’s Complaint fails to identify any allegations or facts establishing any connection between Mr. Waid and Texas. Instead, Plaintiff merely alleges a single phone call between Mr. Waid, who was in California at the time, and a San Antonio publishing company. That is far short of the necessary substantial connection with Texas to justify personal jurisdiction.”

Mark Waid and Richard Meyer have GoFundMe campaigns going to pay for their legal fees, both of which have reached their goals.

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