IDW announces new publishing venture, Clover Press

IDW Publishing co-founders Ted Adams and Robbie Robbins will run the boutique publisher.

IDW Publishing co-founders Ted Adams and Robbie Robbins will lead a new publishing venture, Clover Press, focused on “on the book market and direct-to-consumer prestige format publications as a new, progressive, eclectic, boutique publisher.”

“Growing IDW Publishing with Robbie – from where it was 20 years ago to where it is today – has been an incredible ride,” says Adams. “Now with the company in excellent hands, it’s time to focus our attention on new projects. Our small team at Clover Press will be working on outside of the box projects that we are excited about, and we look forward to exploring new markets and getting more beautiful books out into the world.”

Continue reading “IDW announces new publishing venture, Clover Press”

Smash Pages Q&A: Kelsey Wroten

The illustrator and cartoonist discusses her debut graphic novel, ‘Cannonball,’ from Uncivilized Books.

Kelsey Wroten is an illustrator and cartoonist who’s made an impact with her comics like Crimes and her illustrations, which seemed to have appeared almost everywhere in the past few years, from The New Yorker to Vice to Lucky Peach and elsewhere.

Her debut graphic novel is Cannonball, which was just released by Uncivilized Press. The book is the story of Caroline Bertram, a young writer who struggles with failure and goes on to have an even greater struggle with success. The book is more than simply a great character study, but throughout the book, Wroten is also illustrating in very different styles, the stories that Caroline is writing. In the final chapter of the book the story comes to a head not through text, but by utilizing the art as the real world and the world of her novel come crashing together in a striking way.

It’s a brilliant debut, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with Wroten about writing complicated characters, structure, and color – as Avril Lavigne played in the background.

Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Kelsey Wroten”

Exclusive Preview: ‘Riverdale Season 3’ #4

Check out pages from the hit TV show tie-in comic by Micol Ostow, Joe Eisma and Thomas Pitilli.

Calling The CW’s Riverdale a guilty pleasure implies that I feel guilty about watching it, which I don’t — it’s crazy bonkers fun, featuring a great cast and surprising twists. Some weeks I consider giving up all of this (motions at Smash Pages) and just starting a Riverdale recap/fan fiction site to satisfy my cravings for more.

If you feel the same way, then maybe you’re wondering how you can fill the void between now and next fall, when the new season returns and we find out what the heck happens on Spring Break? Luckily Archie Comics has been publishing comic book tie-ins to the show each season, with two more issues still to go on Season 3. Courtesy of Archie, we’re pleased to present an exclusive preview of issue #4, which arrives in stores June 26. It features two different stories, both written by Micol Ostow and drawn by artists Thomas Pitilli and Joe Eisma respectively. We’ve got pages from both.

Check it out below:

Continue reading “Exclusive Preview: ‘Riverdale Season 3’ #4”

Smash Pages Q&A: Marguerite Dabaie

The creator of ‘The Hookah Girl and Other Two Stories’ discusses her latest project, ‘A Voyage to Panjikant.’

Marguerite Dabaie is a cartoonist perhaps best known for The Hookah Girl and Other Two Stories, which was first self-published in two volumes before collected last year in a new edition by Rosarium Publishing. With Tom Hart, Dabaie made the sadly short-lived comic strip Ali’s House, which is available now on gocomics.com. She’s been a contributor to The Nib, The Believer, Electronic Intifada and many other publications, but her current project is the graphic novel A Voyage to Panjikant.

She is also the co-host and co-founder of Pete’s Mini Zine Fest, which will be held again in July in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I’ve long been an admirer of Dabaie’s work, and we recently spoke about her work, research and how she thinks about comics.

Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Marguerite Dabaie”

‘Empowered’ returns for 11th volume from Dark Horse

Adam Warren’s long-running satire gets a new volume this September.

Adam Warren‘s long-running series Empowered will return with a new volume from Dark Horse this fall. The company announced that the superhero/cheesecake satire will see its 11th volume arrive in stores Sept. 18.

The manga-influenced series kicked off in 2007 with its first volume, with new volumes following every 1-2 years. Warren began posting the earlier volumes on the web a few years back, and currently you can read up through volume five on the site. Be careful, as it can be addictive; it looks like a softcore cheesecake superhero story, but it goes deeper than that, with a lot of humor and intrigue. I’ve seen it described as a “guilty pleasure” series, and I’d agree after getting hooked reading the first two volumes this past weekend.

Continue reading “‘Empowered’ returns for 11th volume from Dark Horse”

Zdarsky, Anka + Wilson reunite for new fantasy miniseries

The two-issue ‘The White Trees’ miniseries kicks off in August.

For one hot minute back in 2016, Chip Zdarsky, Kris Anka and Matt Wilson teamed up on Marvel’s Star-Lord, but the title seemingly ended almost as soon as it began. Which is a shame, because they seemed to be having a lot of fun on it.

Cut to 2019, and the team’s back together — this time on an Image Comics miniseries called The White Trees.

“I’m beyond thrilled to be working with Kris and Matt again!” bellowed Zdarsky. “Are they thrilled to be working with me again? It really doesn’t matter as I tricked them into signing a contract by using the words ‘hot fantasy.’ Legally, they have to illustrate this tale of fraught relationships forged in war and the complexities of fatherhood. Or suffer the consequences.”

Continue reading “Zdarsky, Anka + Wilson reunite for new fantasy miniseries”

Comics Lowdown: Who owns Atlas Comics?

Plus: Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award recipients, Paige Braddock, Frank Santoro, Dr. Gene Luen Yang and more!

Who exactly owns Atlas Comics? That seems to be the question raised in two articles from The Hollywood Reporter. Earlier this month Steven Paul, producer of the Ghost Rider film, announced via a press conference that he had bought the rights to the Atlas Comics and planned to work with Paramount to turn the properties into movies. Not so fast, said Dynamite Entertainment, who followed up by telling THR that they own the name “Atlas Comics.”

Many of you may be wondering “What the heck was Atlas Comics?” while others might be thinking, “Wait, wasn’t Atlas the company that eventually evolved into Marvel Comics in the 1960s?” And still others are wondering, “Didn’t he learn his lesson after Ghost Rider?”

But getting back to Atlas, yes, there was an Atlas Comics in the 1950s that grew out of Timely Comics and eventually became Marvel Comics. It was owned by publisher Martin Goodman, and it put out comics in a variety of genres like horror, crime, espionage and even a few superhero titles featuring characters like Captain America and the Human Torch, who had previously been published under the Timely banner. However, this isn’t that Atlas Comics.

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Who owns Atlas Comics?”

King to leave ‘Batman’ for new ‘Batman/Catwoman’ title

Tom King and Clay Mann will launch the 12-issue series in January.

Following rumors earlier this week that writer Tom King would leave Batman earlier than expected, DC Comics has made it official: King’s work on the title continues through December, when the “City of Bane” story will wrap up in Batman #85. A new, as-yet-unrevealed creative team will take over the title in January 2020, when DC will launch Batman/Catwoman by King and artist Clay Mann.

Batman, which currently comes out biweekly, will shift to a monthly schedule in January. Batman/Catwoman is being billed as a 12-issue maxi-series.

“We’re making changes to our comic book publishing line to set DC up for continued success,” said DC’s editor-in-chief Bob Harras. “We’re starting with the bestselling Batman comic after ‘City of Bane’ wraps up in December. ‘City of Bane’ is an incredible story and an integral part of our overall ‘Year of the Villain’ campaign, and a new Tom King and Clay Mann Bat/Cat series in 2020 fills the gap once BATMAN begins to ship monthly.”

Continue reading “King to leave ‘Batman’ for new ‘Batman/Catwoman’ title”

Captain Marvel flies over to IDW’s Marvel Action line

Sam Maggs, Sweeney Boo and Brittany Peer create new Captain Marvel stories aimed at middle grade readers.

Captain Marvel will join IDW Publishing’s Marvel Action line in August. The line of comics is aimed at middle grade readers and already includes comics starring the Avengers, Black Panther and Spider-Man.

The comic will feature Captain Marvel, Spider-Woman and the Flerkens, the race of aliens who look like cats but are so much more.

“I feel so privileged to help launch Captain Marvel’s solo title for Marvel Action,” said writer Sam Maggs. “Carol has always been my favorite super hero; I love how she’s truly come into her own, culturally, and is finally being widely-recognized as the star that she is. Being able to write for Carol is the most exciting and terrifying thing that’s ever happened to me. I can’t wait to share this arc with everyone!”

Continue reading “Captain Marvel flies over to IDW’s Marvel Action line”