Smash Pages Q&A: Dan Schkade on ‘Lavender Jack’

The creator of ‘San Hannibal: The City of Love and Fear’ discusses his latest comic, which is now available on Line Webtoon.

Dan Schkade has been working in comics for a few years now. Readers might remember his artwork from books like Will Eisner’s The Spirit, which Matt Wagner wrote; Battlestar Galactica: Gods and Monsters; or San Hannibal: The City of Love and Fear, which he wrote and drew, among other projects. His new project is Lavender Jack, a new weekly series on Line Webtoon. The titular character is a thief and vigilante exposing the misdeeds of his town’s corrupt and wealthy elite. Desperate the Mayor seeks out the world’s greatest detective, Theresa Ferrier.

Set in a vague time early in the 20th Century, the book is witty and erudite, and feels familiar in many ways even as it strikes its own path as a woman who was once the world’s greatest detective is now older and disillusioned comes face to face with a new kind of adversary in a new kind of century. It’s a book about crime and conventions with a love of design and verbal wordplay. Lavender Jack updates every Tuesday and I reached out to ask Schkade about how he works and the unique but familiar world he’s created.

Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Dan Schkade on ‘Lavender Jack’”

Action Lab announces new kid’s imprint with titles by Baltazar, Chao

‘Powers in Action’ and ‘Alison and Her Rock Awesome Robot’ find at home at the new imprint.

During Comic-Con International in San Diego, Action Lab Entertainment announced a new imprint aimed at kids — Action Lab: Discover. The line will include comics by one of the kings of kid’s superhero comics, Art Baltazar, along with a collection of Fred Chao’s Alison and Her Rock Awesome Robot.

Baltazar is, of course, one half of the amazing duo behind Aw Yeah Comics, Tiny Titans, Superman Family Adventures, Itty Bitty Hellboy and many other titles. His distinctive art style screams “kid friendly,” so having him on board as you launch a new imprint makes a ton of sense. I’m a big fan of Chao’s Johnny Hiro, which came out about 10 years ago now, and was followed by a sequel. He’s been publishing Alison and her Rock Awesome Robot as a webcomic and through Patreon.

You can read Action Lab’s description of each title below. Now ord yet on when they will reach stores.

Continue reading “Action Lab announces new kid’s imprint with titles by Baltazar, Chao”

Drawn + Quarterly announces 2019 titles

At Comic-Con International, Drawn and Quarterly announced new titles by Lynda Barry, Vanessa Davis, Eleanor Davis, Yoshiharu Tsuge and more.

Canadian publisher Drawn and Quarterly announced many of their upcoming 2019 graphic novels in San Diego earlier this month, revealing new titles from Lynda Barry, Yoshiharu Tsuge, Kevin Huizenga, Vanessa Davis and more.

Take a look at what they have planned below, and note that none of the cover art is final …

Continue reading “Drawn + Quarterly announces 2019 titles”

Smash Pages Q&A: Kristen Radtke on ‘The Believer’

The creator of ‘Imagine Wanting Only This’ discusses her role as art director and deputy publisher of ‘The Believer’ magazine.

When The Believer magazine returned last year with a new publisher and a mostly new masthead, one of the new hires was Kristen Radtke. Comics readers know her for graphic memoir Imagine Wanting Only This, which was published by Pantheon in 2017. As Art Director and Deputy Publisher, Radtke has been overseeing the cover, the magazine’s redesign, and the comics section. Originally edited by Alvin Buenaventura, under Radtke the comics section has gone in a different direction. It’s longer, focused on longer-form work, in a way that brings it much more in conversation with the rest of the magazine.

Over the course of a few issues, the magazine has published work by Jennifer Camper, Leela Corman, Danica Novgorodoff and Yvan Alagbe. The June/July issue features work by Ben Passmore, Andrea Tsurumi and Anders Nilsen. I had spoken with Radtke when her book came out last year and asked if we could talk about her job as editor, how she sees the comics section and overseeing the look of one of the few magazines still focused on illustration in this way.

Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Kristen Radtke on ‘The Believer’”

Fiona Staples nominated for a World Fantasy Award

The ‘Saga’ artist adds another award nomination to her long list, just as she and Brian K. Vaughan announce the book will go on hiatus for a year.

Saga artist Fiona Staples has been nominated for a World Fantasy Award, in the “Artist” category. Although other nominees have created comics or comic covers in the past, she’s the only nominee in the category who is known primarily for her comics work.

The winners will be announced at the World Fantasy Convention in November.

Continue reading “Fiona Staples nominated for a World Fantasy Award”

For the first time, a graphic novel makes the longlist for the Man Booker Prize

Nick Drnaso’s ‘Sabrina,’ published by Drawn and Quarterly and Granta Books, up for the prestigious prize this year.

Nick Drnaso’s Sabrina, published by Drawn and Quarterly and Granta Books, has been nominated for the Man Booker Prize — the first such nomination for a graphic novel.

A baker’s dozen of books made the prize’s longlist, with the shortlist due out in September. The final winner will be announced in October.

The Man Booker Prize is awarded every year for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the UK. Established in 1969, the award includes £50,000 in prize money as well as the £2,500 awarded to each of the shortlisted authors.

Continue reading “For the first time, a graphic novel makes the longlist for the Man Booker Prize”

Smash Pages Q&A: Ben Passmore on ‘Daygloayhole’ and more

The creator of ‘Your Black Friend’ discusses his work for Fantagraphics’ ‘Now’ anthology, The Nib, his influences and much more.

Ben Passmore’s short comic Your Black Friend was a sensation when it was published in 2016. It was nominated for an Eisner Award, won an Ignatz Award, was on NPR’s 2017 list of 100 Favorite Comics and Graphic Novels, and was turned into an animated short film. Passmore has become a regular contributor to The Nib and many other outlets, but for people who have been reading Passmore for years, this recent political work has been something of a departure for him. He first came to notice with Daygloayhole, which is a very different kind of comic, but shares a lot of the same sensibilities and ideas that motivate his political and essayistic comics.

This year saw the publication of Your Black Friend and Other Strangers, which collects a number of short comics by Passmore. Silver Sprocket is publishing a print version of Daygloayhole, the second issue of which is out this summer. Passmore has a comic in the current issue of the Fantagraphics anthology Now and has a comic in the June/July issue of The Believer.

Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Ben Passmore on ‘Daygloayhole’ and more”

‘The Champions’ head for Weirdworld in issue #25

The team gets a D&D-esque makeover courtesy of Jim Zub, Sean Izaakse and Max Dunbar.

Remixing superheroes with different genres is a staple of the artform; who can forget Kurt Busiek and George Perez’s classic “Morgan Conquest,” which saw the Avengers recast as knights of the realm? It looks like the Champions will get their day in the sun as well, so I hope that armor breaths. Ms. Marvel and company will head to Weirdworld in issue #25 to save a couple of their teammates, courtesy of Jim Zub, Sean Izaakse and Max Dunbar.

“With two of their teammates having vanished into Weirdworld, the rest of the Champions have no choice but to follow them into that ever-changing landscape,” said SVP and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort in a press release. “However, the changes this will put them through are both profound and unexpected—and will lead to something new on the horizon.”

Continue reading “‘The Champions’ head for Weirdworld in issue #25”

Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Daughters of the Dragon get ‘Digital Originals’ series

Marvel’s Netflix stars get new digital titles aimed at TV binge-watchers.

Following the somewhat stealthy release of Jessica Jones last Wednesday as the first of a new Marvel Digital Originals line, over the weekend Marvel announced via IGN three new digital titles coming later this year.

Jessica Jones will be joined by new titles featuring Luke Cage, Iron Fist and the Daughters of the Dragon. In addition, the already-started Cloak and Dagger digital series by writer Dennis Hopeless and artist David Messina has joined the line-up as well. Given that these comics are aimed at people who discover the characters on television, the titles make sense. I’m guessing at some point we might see Daredevil, Punisher and Runaways join the line.

Continue reading “Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Daughters of the Dragon get ‘Digital Originals’ series”