Smash Pages Q&A: Maggie Umber on ‘Sound of Snow Falling’

The co-founder of 2d Cloud discusses her latest graphic novel, her essay ‘Getting Divorced in Comics’ and more.

Maggie Umber’s most recent graphic novel Sound of Snow Falling is a wordless painted graphic novel. A beautiful and meditative look at a pair of great horned owls, it may her most recent comic, but in many respects it’s her earliest comics work and is a project that she has been thinking about and working on for many years. It is available now from 2d Cloud.

This book is Umber’s second graphic novel after 2015’s Time Capsule. She is also the co-founder of 2d Cloud and she recently stepped down as Associate Publisher – one of the many hats she wore at the publisher, events that she discusses (among other topics) in her much-discussed essay “Getting Divorced in Comics.” Umber spoke about her book, the essay, her short comic in the upcoming anthology Warmer, which comes out next month.

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Fund Me Friday: Zombie cop, gothic romance and more

Check out — and help fund — projects from Felipe Smith, Hope Nicholson, Chris Wisnia and more.

As crowdfunding continues to be a viable method for creators to fund their creative endeavors and connect directly with fans, comic-related projects flourish on sites like Kickstarter, Patreon and IndieGoGo. Here’s a look at a few recent campaigns that caught our eyes.

Death Metal Zombie Cop Issue #1

Creators involved: Felipe Smith
Deadline: Aug. 18
Goal: $22,000

What to know: Smith, who’s previous work includes All-New Ghost Rider for Marvel and Peepo Choo for Kodansha/Vertical, kickstarts his first creator-owned series. He says he’s been working on it for five years. The story revolves around two L.A. police officers, rookie Marco Miranda and his disillusioned training officer, Rhonda Riley. There’s also Death Metal Zombie Cop, “L.A.’s deadliest Urban Legend” who proves to be very real. Smith warns that the book will contain graphic violence and course language.

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Ferrier & Langridge’s ‘Criminy’ doesn’t have a publisher (yet)

The ‘D4VE’ writer shares pages of “a dream project” that still needs a home.

Ryan Ferrier, writer of D4VE and Kennel Block Blues, shares on social media that he’s been working with Roger Langridge (Iron Duchess, The Muppets) on something new — something so new, in fact, that it doesn’t have a publisher yet.

“Criminy! Roger Langridge & I have been working on a dream project (still needs a home),” Ferrier said on Tumblr. “Can’t help show off his stunning pages. I love this book, and working with Roger has been an absolute ‘pinch me’ experience.”

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Nominees announced for first Ringo Awards

The nominees for the first-ever Ringo Awards have been announced, representing “an aggregate of jury and fan top nominations.” The nomination process was open to anyone, which has led to some unexpected choices. Only comic professionals can vote on the final winners.

The jury includes: John Haines, Jamar Nicholas, Chris Powell, Hannah Means-Shannon and Jose Villarrubia.

Named for artist Mike Wieringo, who passed away in 2007, the award will be presented at Baltimore Comic-Con Sept. 23, the former home of the Harvey Awards.

Check out the nominees below:

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Comics Lowdown: Analyzing gender representation of 34,476 comic characters

Plus: Calexit sells out, climate change comics, Adam West as the Dark Knight, Becky Cloonan, Gerald Way, Jay Baruchel’s thoughts on Canadian superheroes and more!

A fascinating study takes a look at the gender representation of 34,476 comic book characters. Journalist Amanda Shendruk asks, “Female characters appear in superhero comics less often than males — but when they are included, how are they depicted?”

Wonder Woman gif by Nicole Dirksen

She examined 34,476 different characters. The study results were published with a plentiful helping of graphs, graphs, and more graphs looking at everything from the types of powers a character has, to the gender make-up of their superhero team, to the naming scheme and frequency of character’s aliases. Some of the findings include:

  • The data suggest that less-physical powers — such as empathy, intellect, and telepathy — tend to be more represented among female characters. Men however, often have highly physical powers, as well as those that involve gadgets.
  • 30% of all teams have no women, and only 12% have more female team members than male. The majority of those 12%, however, are exclusively female teams.
  • A full 30% of male characters with gendered names get ‘man’ in their name. That number is only 6% for ‘woman’. However, ‘girl’ is the third-most common gendered name for a female character (13%). ‘Boy’ only shows up sixth for males (5%).

The study was then topped with very cute pixel art by Vancouver’s Nicole Derksen.

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Tank Girl strikes again in new comic from Alan Martin and Brett Parson

Titan Comics celebrates the character’s 30th anniversary with four standalone adventures under the banner “The Wonderful World of Tank Girl.”

Just in time for her 30th anniversary, Titan Comics is bringing Tank Girl back in a series of standalone adventures. First up is Tank Girl Strikes Again by Tank Girl co-creator Alan Martin and artist Brett Parson.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Rosanna Bruno on ‘The Slanted Life of Emily Dickinson’

The cartoonist and painter discusses her book, which is about an Emily Dickinson in the present day, complete with Facebook and OkCupid accounts.

In The Slanted Life of Emily Dickinson, Rosanna Bruno imagines a present-day Dickinson, or considers the ways in which the habits of the legendary poet would brush up against how contemporary life works, giving her a Facebook page and an OkCupid account and karaoke lists. It’s not simply poking fun at Dickinson, who despite being one of the great modern poets is often considered a recluse. Bruno clearly has read and knows Dickinson’s work and finds interesting ways to play with those ideas and how we think about poetry. Bruno is a painter by training and she spoke about Dickinson, the book, how comics required a different approach from her paintings and more.

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Final ‘Berlin’ collection due in fall of 2018

First published in 1996, Jason Lutes’ historical comic heads toward its conclusion.

At Comic-Con International, Drawn and Quarterly announced that Jason Lutes’ long-running historical epic Berlin will see its final collection, Berlin: City of Lights, released in the fall of 2018. They also plan to release a deluxe hardcover of the complete trilogy at that time.

Berlin will stand as a singular achievement in comics—an ambitious and detailed exploration of a fascinating time in history by a cartoonist operating at the peak of his talent,” said D+Q Executive Editor Tom Devlin. “I’ve read the numerous chapters of Berlin many times over the years and each time I come away in awe of Jason Lutes’ precision in portraying real people during a time so tumultuous that it could easily overshadow their humanity.”

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Top Cow announces high-concept ‘Port of Earth’ from Kaplan and Mutti

New series sees aliens arrive on Earth — with a business proposition.

During Comic-Con International, Top Cow announced a “gritty new science fiction series” by Eclipse writer Zack Kaplan and Rebels artist Andrea Mutti called Port of Earth.

“After exploring the solar apocalypse in Eclipse—which was just announced to be in development for TV, but more on that later—I’m thrilled to be tackling a very unique alien arrival story with another amazing creative team,” Kaplan said in a press release.

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