Comics Lowdown: ‘Jem and the Holograms’ wraps, Alex Hallatt on World Oceans Day

Plus: La Borinqueña, Gemini Comix, ‘Fu Jitsu,’ San Jose comic shops and more.

The End of Jem? Jem and the Holograms comes to an end with issue 26, but writer Kelly Thompson and artist Gisèle Lagacé still have a lot to say, and a new Jem/Misfits crossover series, Infinite, will be launching at the end of this month. At CBR, Thompson and Lagacé talk about what it’s been like working on the critically acclaimed series, and what we can expect in the future.

Oceans’ State: Yesterday was World Oceans Day, and Alex Hallatt, the artist behind the comic strip Arctic Circle, has some real talk about the environment. Her strip has been around for ten years, and she’s dismayed at the lack of action during that time: “One thing that surprises me is that I am still writing about the same environmental issues that I was at the beginning,” she says. “I thought most of us would be on the same page by now, in terms of acting against climate change, for example.” Hallatt has worked as a biochemist and in the pharmaceutical industry, and she has little patience with people who don’t accept science:

President Trump’s political base, she says, “has been ill-informed by media outlets like Fox News, who still act as if there is debate to be had about climate change.”

“The science is settled,” she continues. “The climate is changing and increased carbon emissions are responsible for it. The evidence is in front of our very eyes.”

Interviews and Profiles

Superhero Scuttlebutt: Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez discusses his Afro-Puerto Rican superhero La Borinqueña and the issues he hopes she will bring to the fore. The second issue of the comic will be out in December with a cover by George Perez.

Babymouse Moves On: On the PW KidsCast, the sister-brother team of Jennifer and Matthew Holm talk about moving their iconic hero Babymouse from elementary to middle school in their new series, Babymouse: Tales from the Locker.

He’s No Angel: Writer James Stafford talks about his comic, The Sorrowful Putto of Prague, which you can read online and has just been published in a print edition in Czech. Fun fact: The book got a favorable Tweet from Samuel L. Jackson, but it was a headache for the translators to figure out how to render “Dope ass” as a compliment in Czech.

Local Heroes: The Capital Times profiles Madison, Wisconsin, comics startup Gemini Comix, which started out with a bunch of people who signed on to a different project and then stayed together after their funding source just up and disappeared. They decided to just make their own damn comics, started a GoFundMe page, and now have released their first comic, Sergei the Spider, digitally—and there’s more to come.

Comics and Graphic Novels

Tall, Dark, and Deadly: It is impossible to improve on the blurb for Jai Nitz and Wes St Clair’s Fu Jitsu, so I’m just going to leave it here:

From Einstein and the Wright brothers, to Gandhi and Johnny Unitas, Fu has met everyone in history while protecting Earth from Robert Wadlow, the world’s tallest man, and his dangerous magi-science.

Fu exiles himself to Antarctica to try to forget the painful break up with his ex-girlfriend, Rachel. Meanwhile, Wadlow returns from the far-flung future and sends James Dean, his ultimate assassin, to kill Fu at the South Pole. And you thought your teenage years were tough?

Nitz goes on to tell Heidi Macdonald that the comic’s selling point is that it’s not a thinly disguised movie pitch, but honestly, that blurb does the job pretty well.

Remembrance of War: The Nerve Center in Derry, Northern Ireland, is creating a graphic novel about the World War I Battle of Messines, which was fought in 1917. Soldiers from both sides of the Irish Question, unionists and nationalists, fought side by side in the battle, and the graphic novel tells the story from the point of view of two local men.

Reviews, Roundups, and Commentary

Literary License: Michael Tisserand, the biographer of Krazy Kat creator George Herriman, has a fascinating bit of analysis on a couple of Krazy Kat strips that may have been inspired by Mark Twain, and if so, what it all means.

Yabba-Dabba-Doo! Charles Pulliam-Moore explains, with examples, why Mark Russell and Steve Pugh’s The Flintstones (which just ended with issue #12) is one of the best comics of the year.

Image from 18 Days, a retelling of the Mahabharata by Grant Morrison and Mukesh Singh

First Manga, then BDs, now Chitrakatha?: The Times of India presents an intriguing slideshow of ten must-read Indian graphic novels.

Read It Again, Dad: With Father’s Day just around the corner, Mark West recalls the joy of listening to his father reading the Sunday funnies—and suggests contemporary dads read comics with their kids as well.

The Biz

Retailing, Part 1: Santa Clara County, which includes San Jose, has 10 comic shops, and Alyssa Loredo talks to some retailers, customers, and non-customers about where the business is heading and how they feel about it.

Retailing, Part 2: Meanwhile, in Memphis, Tennessee, the owners of 901 Comics are feeling pretty good as they celebrate their first anniversary, although other local retailers take a more pessimistic view of the business as a whole.

Job Board: Dynamite Entertainment is looking for a marketing manager.

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