There’s magic in the heirs at Marvel’s ‘Strange Academy’

Skottie Young and Humberto Ramos tell the story of the next generation of Marvel magicians.

Several Marvel releases this week featured a preview of the upcoming title Strange Academy, which features Doctor Strange, Doctor Voodoo and other magical characters teaching the next generation of magic users in the Marvel universe.

If you missed them, or you just want to know more, Marvel has released a new trailer that reveals more about the comic’s back story, as writer Skottie Young and editor Nick Lowe discuss the premise and who you can expect to see in it.

“It’s gonna be big and fun and magical and weird and exciting and all the things you want out of a Marvel comic,” Young said.

Watch the trailer below:

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Guibert named Grand Prix winner as Angouleme Festival opens

Robert Kirkman, Catherine Meurisse and Chris Ware also recognized as the festival kicks off.

The Angoulême international comics festival (a.k.a. FIBD Angoulême) opened yesterday with the announcement that French writer Emmanuel Guibert had been awarded this year’s Grand Prix. Guibert is a frequent collaborator of Joann Sfar; the two worked together on The Professor’s Daughter and the Sardine in Space series, and he is also the writer of The Photographer, Alan’s War, and the children’s series Ariol (this last is published in English by Papercutz, while all the others are published here by First Second).

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Smash Pages Q&A: Sophie Campbell

The writer and artist of IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles discusses what she has planned for the series and more.

Sophie Campbell has established herself as one of the great comics voices of her generation. From her dynamic artwork that redefined Jem and the Holograms and Glory, to the seven volume series Wet Moon that she wrote and drew, to the science fiction superhero saga Shadoweyes, Campbell has built a unique body of work and in 2020, she’s trying something different.

Though Campbell has previously written and drawn Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics over the years, she took over writing and drawing the series with issue #101. With issue #102 out in stores this week, we spoke recently about what she has planned for the series, the new status quo she’s overseeing and her journey from fan to creator.

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‘Dune meets Asterix & Obelix’ in ‘Ludocrats’

Kieron Gillen, Jim Rossignol, Jeff Stokely, Tamra Bonvillain and Clayton Cowles team for a ludicrous new series from Image.

It’s been a long and winding road for co-writers Kieron Gillen and Jim Rossignol’s Ludocrats, a comic first announced at the Image Expo in 2015 (that’s the same year Paper Girls and Monstress were announced). Since that time, original artist David Lafuente has been replaced by Jeff Stokely, and the book is now on schedule for an April 1 (no foolin’) release.

“It’s a fantasy adventure,” Gillen said in his email newsletter. “The ‘Dune meets Asterix & Obelix’ is the most accurate way of describing it, which is why we lobbed it in the previews. There’s others. Imagine Pratchett if instead of being a kind and brilliant humanist, he was a complete shithead. Imagine the Neverending Story for adults, if not grown-ups.  Imagine imagining. We can and will go on.”

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Comics Lowdown: Chinese government upset by Danish coronavirus cartoon

Plus: Changes at Kodansha, Cullen Bunn goes ‘Rogue’ and whatever happened to Lion Man?

Editorial Cartoons: A cartoon in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, depicting the Chinese flag with the stars replaced by coronaviruses, has, predictably, angered the Chinese government. (Jyllands-Posten is the same paper whose cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad caused an uproar in 2005.) The Chinese Embassy in Copenhagen has demanded an apology, but Jyllands-Posten editor Jacob Nybroe has refused, and the Danish prime minister is backing him up.

The Biz: Restructuring at Kodansha USA means a promotion for Alvin Lu, previously the general manager of Kodansha Advance Media. Publishers Weekly reports that Kodansha’s subsidiaries, including its digital arm Kodansha Advanced Media and the manga and novel publisher Vertical Inc., will be folded into Kodansha USA. Lu will be the CEO, and Ivan Salazar, former public relations and events specialist at ComiXology, has been hired as senior marketing director.

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Kochalka’s ‘Monkey vs Robot’ celebrates its 20th anniversary

A collection with new material will arrive from Top Shelf in June.

It was 20 years ago that James Kochalka showed the world what would happen when the monkey faced off with its natural enemy, the robot. To celebrate the anniversary of that confrontation, Top Shelf Comix will collect Kochalka’s original story, its sequel and an all-new chapter into one giant softcover.

Monkey vs Robot: The Complete Epic will arrive in June, with a new, final chapter that brings this long-running feud to its natural conclusion: Monkey Vs. Robot in Love. They’ve also added color to the entire saga — just like the original Star Wars trilogy.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Ray Fawkes

The creator of ‘One Soul’ and ‘Possessions’ discusses the process of creating ‘In the Flood,’ his latest release from comiXology Originals.

Ray Fawkes is the writer of a long list of comics series including Constantine, Wolverines, Batman Eternal and Gotham by Midnight, but for many of us, no matter how many comics he writes, he will always be the cartoonist behind a long run of graphic novels and comics series including One Soul, Underwinter, Intersect, Possessions and The People Inside. He’s a creator who seems to effortlessly move between forms and approaches and genres

His new book is In the Flood. A digital comic that’s out now from comiXology Originals, Fawkes made the book with Lee Loughridge and Thomas Mauer, and though it’s hard to talk about the book involving a couple separated by a flood without giving some of the story away, it very much fits in with Fawkes’ other comics which he’s written and drawn. I spoke with Fawkes recently about how the book required a different way to work, how having a messy studio helps him to craft order on the page and his drawing practice.

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‘New Kid’ wins the Newbery Medal

Several graphic novels were honored at the American Library Association’s annual Youth Media Awards.

The American Library Association recognized several graphic novels this past weekend as part of the 2020 Youth Media Awards at their Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. These included the prestigious Newbery Medal, which has been given out since 1922 to “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children;” the Coretta Scott King Book Award; and many others.

The winner of this year’s Newbery Medal was New Kid, the graphic novel by Jerry Craft that was published by HarperCollins Children’s Books. It also won the Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award. It’s interesting to note that these aren’t in a “graphic novel” category or anything like that; The Newbery Medal is the highest honor the ALA gives out every year, and this is the first time a graphic novel has won it outright.

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Mail Call | Archaia to adapt Roxane Gay story

Plus: a new Shonen Jump series, Skybound’s ‘Fire Power’ plans and a new ‘Clone Wars’ series at IDW.

BOOM! Studios announced a new graphic novel, The Sacrifice of Darkness, based on Gay’s short story “The Sacrifice of Darkness.” In addition to Gay, the creative team includes writer Tracy Lynne Oliver, artist Rebecca Kirby, and colorist James Fenner, and the pub date is October 2020.

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