New edition of ‘Banana Sunday’ adds a sprinkle of color

Rian Sygh colors Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin’s classic, all-ages comic about a girl and her primates.

Before creating the award-winning Bandette, the husband and wife team Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover collaborated on the black-and-white comic Banana Sunday, an all-ages story about a woman and her pet primates. Originally released in 2006, Banana Sunday will return in October from Oni Press in full color.

For the new edition Tobin and Coover have teamed up with colorist Rian Sygh. It’ll also feature a new introduction by Tobin (who wrote it under the pseudonym Root Nibot) and previosuly uncollected artwork by Coover. Coover also said it has been “revised and edited for today’s readers.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Ilan Stavans

The essayist, translator, editor and scholar discusses his latest work, an autobiographical graphic novel with artist Santiago Cohen.

Ilan Stavans does so many things that most of his readers likely struggle to keep track of them. Stavans is a renowned essayist, translator, editor and scholar. The publisher of Restless Books, he was the General Editor of The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature. He’s written or co-written dozens of books including Quixote: The Novel and the World, Singer’s Typewriter and Mine: Reflections on Jewish Culture, Octavio Paz: A Meditation and Gabriel García Márquez: The Early Years, the first of a two-volume biography. He’s the producer and host of the podcast In Contrast, a fiction writer and playwright, and his debut volume of his own poetry, The Wall, comes out this year as part of the Pitt Poetry series.

Stavans is also a lover and writer of comics. He’s collaborated with Lalo Alacaraz on two books (Latino USA: A Cartoon History and A Most Imperfect Union: A Contrarian History of the United States) in addition to writing graphic novels like Mr. Spic Goes to Washington and El Iluminado. His new book, a collaboration with artist Santiago Cohen, is Angelitos.

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‘Pope Hats’ collected (finally!) in May

Hartley Lin drops his ‘Ethan Rilly’ pseudonym for the release of ‘Young Frances,’ which collects his award-winning comic.

AdHouse Books brings some long-awaited news — the award-winning Pope Hats by Hartley Lin, a.k.a. Ethan Rilly, will be collected in May. In addition, the creator is dropping his “Ethan Rilly” pseudonym and will begin using his real name.

Young Francis collects the series, which AdHouse has been publishing since 2009. Lin received a Xeric Foundation Grant in 2008 to create the series, and it has since won a Doug Wright Award, an Ignatz Award and a Joe Shuster Award, and has been nominated for an Eisner Award.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Trungles on ‘Twisted Romance’

The comics artist discusses his work with Alex de Campi on the Image Comics anthology, how he came into comics and more.

Trungles is coming off a busy 2017. His Fauns and Fairies: The Adult Fantasy Coloring Book was published by Limerence Press, he was a contributor one of the year’s best anthologies, Mirror Mirror II, and he’s been making the webcomic Vampire Buddy. His new project is “Treasured”, the main story in the fourth and final issue of Twisted Romance, which is out this week from Image Comics. I reached out to ask him about romance stories, fairy tales, and finding ways to subvert expectations and tropes.

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Image reveals many, many new titles at Image Expo

New projects announced from Matthew Rosenberg and Tyler Boss, Rob Guillory, J.H. Williams and Haden Blackman, Sam Humphries and Jen Bartel, Annie Wu and more.

As they’ve done in previous years, Image Comics dropped a metric ton of announcements at their Image Expo event, held today in Portland, Oregon.

The line-up of announcements this year includes five new titles from Todd McFarlane’s camp, new titles from Chew creators John Layman and Rob Guillory, two comics from Christoper Sebela, the fact that they’ll publish the Netflix/Millarworld titles starting with The Magic Order and much more. No doubt there are interviews aplenty dropping around the internet on all these new projects, so I’ll start with the text of the press release, then add art and commentary as I find it.

So let’s get to it …

Blackbird by Sam Humphries & Jen Bartel
Sam Humphries and Jen Bartel team up to co-create Blackbird, a modern fantasy story best described as Harry Potter meets Riverdale. It follows a young woman named Nina who discovers a neon-lit world of magic masters in Los Angeles. Now they’ve kidnapped her sister, and Nina is the only one who can save her.

“Blackbird is a labor of love, a coming of age story and beautiful people doing insane things with magic,” said Humphries.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Anuj Shrestha flies high with ‘National Bird’

The creator talks about his latest project, a story for Fantagraphics’ ‘Now’ anthology.

In the second volume of the anthology Now, editor Eric Reynolds has assembled another great lineup of creators including Dash Shaw, Joseph Remnant and Sammy Harkham. One of the standout stories has to be the striking short comic National Bird from artist and illustrator Anuj Shrestha.

Shrestha has been making short comics and illustrations for a number of years now. He’s made short comics for a number of anthologies including 4Panel, Alternative Comics, and Future Shock 0. He also produced a number of very moving short comics illustrating the stories of refugees for the Syrian Refugee Project. We spoke about contributing to Now and his work.

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Comics Lowdown: Looking at the big picture

Comics retailers discuss the comics market, Lion Forge profiled and more.

The Biz, Part I: It’s generally agreed that 2017 was a lackluster year (at best) for comics retailers. Publisher’s Weekly’s Shannon O’Leary went to the source, asking retailers in the direct market and bookstores with a large graphic novel section to discuss what’s going wrong—and right—in the comics market. There’s lots to chew on here, with commentary about Marvel, Image, and the structural issues in the direct market.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Whit Taylor on ‘Ghost Stories’

The award-winning cartoonist discusses her new book, her work at ‘The Nib’ and more.

Whit Taylor has been making a number of award-winning and nominated comics and mini-comics for years including Watermelon, Boxes and Ghost. She’s written for The Comics Journal and Publishers Weekly, and has contributed to The Nib where she’s written about race, Chris Christie, pandemics, health care and hair.

Ghost Stories, which was just published by Rosarium, is her first book. It collects three stories, each made in a different style and approach, that deal with questions of memory in different, interesting ways. I read Ghost when it was first published and like a lot of people thought it was her best work to date, and while none of the stories are ghost stories in that way, each involves hauntings in interesting ways. Taylor was kind enough to answer a few questions about the book and her work.

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Keatinge + Clark serve up some ‘Flavor’ in May

A true ‘Hunger Games’ hits comics as chefs compete in a high-stakes competition.

Shutter writer Joe Keatinge and Megagogo creator Wook Jin Clark will spice up the Image Comics line this May with Flavor, the story of a young chef in a closed-off metropolis who enters a high-stakes cooking tournament — and discovers a mystery along the way.

Flavor is a book with a lot of ingredients; we’re cooking up a comic unlike anything else I’ve collaborated on before,” said Keatinge. “I’ve long desired to work with each and every person on this creative team, and I could not be happier with the results.”

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