Comics Lowdown: Comics will break your heart

Plus: Jillian Tamaki on Q, Comic Nurse compiles HIV stories, Drawn to Change wins, Chris Ware, Captain Harlock returns

Today’s thoughtful read is a painful one: Maggie Umber chronicles the end of her marriage and the struggle to make 2dCloud a successful indy publisher. It’s a reminder that nothing is ever simple when viewed from the inside—she writes poignantly about the part she played in 2dCloud and the tension between that and her own career as a cartoonist, and the strain that put on her relationship with her soon-to-be-ex-husband Raighne Hogan:

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Valiant to release ‘Secret Edition’ versions of ‘Secret Weapons’

Which ones are “Secret” editions? It’s a secret.

If you’re planning to buy Valiant’s Secret Weapons when it arrives June 28, be on the lookout for a special “Secret Edition” version of the first issue.

Valiant Entertainment announced that some versions of the first issue will contain “subtle differences” that will help readers to “decode a major secret at the heart of the Valiant Universe’s most important new series.”

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Lynda Barry climbs ‘through the circle’ to join ‘The Family Circus’

The same weekend she receives the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award, Barry finds herself immortalized in the long-running comic strip.

Lynda Barry received the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Cartoonists Society over the weekend, but that wasn’t the only honor she received — she was also immortalized with a special appearance in one of her favorite comic strips, The Family Circus.

The May 27 strip featured Jeffy introducing his dad to his new friend Lynda:

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‘Wishless: A Graphic Anthology’ debuts on store shelves today

What if Pinocchio’s wish was never granted, and he never became a real boy?

Wishless: A Graphic Anthology
Sho Uehara was at work when he turned to a fellow employee and said, “Hey! I have this great idea! What if Pinocchio never got his wish and he was just an empty immortal wooden puppet forever?” Nick Johnson thought it was brilliant, and the two of them started spit firing ideas back and forth until they realized they had an anthology on their hands. Wishless: A Graphic Anthology was born.

Wishless is independently created by Calgary artists including Nicole Brunel, Jillian Fleck, Jackson Gee, Joanne Leung, Lyndon Navalta, Nick Johnson, Jarett Sitter and Sho Uehara. Today marks their official launch party and book signing at Shelf Life Books in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Wishless creators Nick Johnson and Sho Uehara

“When we realized how intense and how many possibilities there were, I was like, ‘You know, this might be the perfect thing to unify in an anthology,’” Johnson explained. “I wasn’t really into doing anthologies anymore because I had done a bunch already, but by doing one where everyone was tapping that same idea and seeing where they would go with it got us both really excited!”

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Fantagraphics to launch ‘Now’ anthology in September

Eric Reynolds to edit the three-times-a-year publication; first issue will feature Sammy Harkham, Rebecca Morgan, Dash Shaw, Noah Van Sciver, Gabrielle Bell and more.

Fantagraphics is bringing back a reoccurring alt.comics anthology with the launch of Now this September. Like MOME, the quarterly anthology that ran for 22 issues about 10 years ago, Now will be edited by Fantagraphics Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds.

Reynolds spoke with The Comics Reporter’s Tom Spurgeon about why now is the time for Now:

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Shirtless Bear-Fighter loses his pants for ‘Nude Beariant’ cover

We already know from the title of Shirtless Bear Fighter that we’ll see the main character fight bears with his shirt off, but looking at the preview pages for the new Image title, it looks like he will be pants-less as well. That point is driven even further home with the release of a “Nude Beariant” cover for the first issue, which you can find after the jump — NSFW, obviously.

Hey, if you’re already fighting bears without a shirt, who needs pants slowing you down as well?

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Comics Lowdown: Satire comic gets Warsaw Comics Festival in trouble

Plus: profiles on ‘Black’ creator Kwanza Osajyefo and ‘Top Ten’ artist Gene Ha, the Ledger Awards shortlist, and Montreal’s AstroBooks turns to crowdfunding to pay its tax bills.

The Warsaw (Poland) Comics Festival will lose three years’ worth of city subsidies, totaling $44,500, because a comic ridiculing Polish nationalists was distributed at this year’s event. Tomasz Lesniak and Rafal Skarzycki’s Poland: The Champion of Poland, lampooned nationalists, racists and anti-Semites, and that didn’t sit well with the local nationalists, who complained to the city council. The council released a statement saying, “After reviewing the comic we explicitly declare that we do not accept its content,” and announced it would sanction the festival.

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National Cartoonists Society honors Lynda Barry, Ann Telnaes and more

Telnaes takes home the Reuben and Barry receives the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual award presentation.

The Reuben Awards ceremony took place this past weekend at the National Cartoonists Society’s annual get-together.

Lynda Barry was presented with the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award by her old friend, The Simpsons creator Matt Groening. Ann Telnaes received the Cartoonist of the Year award. Ngozi Ukazu took top honors in the Online Comic: Long Form category for OMG Check Please, and Ruben Bolling’s Donald & John won the prize for Best Online Comic: Short Form. John Allison, Max Sarin, and Liz Fleming’s Giant Days was named Best Comic, and Rick Geary’s Black Dahlia won the Best Graphic Novel award.

The complete list of winners can be found below.

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Sunday Comics: Dungeons & Dragons and factory closings

Check out new comics by Ted Closson, Sam Wallman and more.

Every Sunday, we round up the best comics we’ve seen online in the past week. If we missed something, let us know in the comments below.

Rise of the Dungeon Master: Gary Gygax and the Birth of D&D

This isn’t a complete comic, just an excerpt of the full-length graphic novel Rise of the Dungeon Master: Gary Gygax and the Birth of D&D, but it’s a satisfying piece of the story that stands well on its own. It’s basically the origin story of Dungeons & Dragons, showing Gygax developing the idea, testing it on friends and family, and self-publishing it after being turned down by a major game company. The story, which is told in second person (as if Gygax was a D&D player himself) is based on an article by David Kushner than ran in 2008 in Wired, and Koren Shadmi is the artist.

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