Smash Pages Q&A: Sebastian Girner

The editor-in-chief of TKO Studios discusses their approach to making comics, their second year of publishing and the ‘relentless hopelessness’ of his own writing.

Sebastian Girner is the editor-in-chief of TKO Studios, where he’s overseen the publisher’s launch, its approach to publishing, and its diverse lineup of talents and approaches that we’ve seen over the past few years.

Previously Girner worked at Marvel Comics and has edited various creator-owned comics. He’s also written comics, including two projects that came out this year. The Devil’s Red Bride is a miniseries coming out from Vault Comics, and The Father Of All Things is one of the books in TKO’s inaugural line of TKO Shorts.

We spoke recently about his eventful year, about the tone that unites these two different projects, and how he uses the supernatural.

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Marvel debuts a new suit for Spider-Man

Dustin Weaver designs a new costume for the webslinger.

Marvel has revealed the variant covers for Amazing Spider-Man #62 and #63 — both of which feature a brand new costume for Spider-Man designed by Dustin Weaver (Paklis, Avengers).

“This design was really a collaborative effort between Nick Spencer, Editor Nick Lowe and I. They reined in the weirder and more tech-y features I was bringing and helped create something that I think is simple and both futuristic and classical,” Weaver said. “I can’t wait to see Patrick Gleason really bring it to life!” 

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Smash Pages Q&A: Tea Fougner

The editorial director of comics at King Features talks about their website Comics Kingdom, legacy comic strips, finding new creators and more.

Tea Fougner is a writer, editor, cosplayer and currently the editorial director of comics at King Features. In this job she oversees a wide variety of strips ranging from Beetle Bailey to Zippy the Pinhead, Prince Valiant to Macanudo, Mark Trail to Rhymes with Orange.

Fougner loves comics and comics history, and in recent years has been introducing new artists, new voices and new ways to pay tribute to characters and strips like Flash Forward, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Flash Gordon movie.

Fougner and I attended college together many years ago, and we spoke recently about Comics Kingdom, newspapers and getting at the heart of legacy comic strips.

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Delsante + Caracuzzo put a contract out on Mussolini in ‘World War Mob’

The two creators hope to crowdfund and self-publish their World War II epic.

A long-dormant project by Vito Delsante and Giancarlo Caracuzzo, World War Mob, is finding new life after a seven-year absence.

Originally this four-issue miniseries was being published by New Paradigm Studios, with only two issues making it out onto comiXology before going out of business. Delsante says on their Kickstarter page that they now have the rights back to it, so they’ve turned to crowdfunding to finally finish it.

“Without getting into finger pointing or blame laying, the original publisher went out of business and pre-orders were not great. The book was three-quarters complete and just lay dormant. Until now,” he said. “Now, with all rights reverting back to the creators, we are looking to finish the FINAL issue. And there’s not much that needs to be finished either!”

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Can’t Wait for Comics | Should auld acquaintance be forgot

New comics arrive in the last week of the year by Ron Marz, Andy Lanning, Christopher Cantwell, Salvador Larroca, Magdalene Visaggio, Matt Furie, James Stokoe, Howard Mackie, Javier Saltares, Colleen AF Venable, Stephanie Yu and more.

The last week of the year is traditionally a light week, volume wise, for comics, and this week is no exception. Not that there aren’t plenty of reasons to head to your local comic shop this Wednesday, as you’ll see below. And if you’re lucky, maybe they’ll be having an end-of-year sale.

Here’s a look at what’s arriving in comic shops, bookstores and on digital this week. Check out a few recommendations below, or visit ComicList for this week’s list of new comics arriving in stores, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally.

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‘Dragon Age: Dark Fortress’ arrives in March

Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, Fernando Heinz Furukawa, Michael Atiyeh and Sachin Teng return for another volume that ties into the popular video game franchise.

Dark Horse has announced another Dragon Age series in their series-of-miniseries approach to the franchise, reuniting the same team that created Dragon Age: Blue Wraith earlier this year.

And that’s good news, as the team has been knocking these miniseries out of the park, with new characters and adventures that help grow the world of Thedas. Writers Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir, who also worked on Dark Horse’s Knight Errant and Deception miniseries, return for Dragon Age: Dark Fortress, joined again by artist Fernando Heinz Furukawa, who also drew Knight Errant, and colorist Michael Atiyeh. Sachin Teng will again provide the covers.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Jeff Trexler on the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

The interim director of the CBLDF discusses the importance of the organization, their areas of focus and more.

Jeff Trexler is best known to comics fans as a writer and commentator. The lawyer has been writing about comics for years for The Beat, The Comics Journal and Newsarama, explaining legal issues around many of the court cases that have captivated comics fans. The Yale Law School graduate took on a different role earlier this year when he became the interim director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

The actions of the former director have been well documented, and we did not discuss that in our recent conversation. Besides talking about Trexler’s background and his thoughts about concerns in the comics world that will be important in the coming years, he also makes the case for the continued importance of the CBLDF, mistakes that have been made in the past, and what else the group can and should do going forward.

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Scholastic to publish ‘Magical Boy’

The award-winning webcomic created by The Kao will be compiled into print for the first time next fall.

Scholastic has announced plans to publish Magical Boy, the award-winning webcomic created by The Kao. The comic appears on the webcomics site Tapas.

“I am absolutely thrilled and honored to have Magical Boy be part of the Scholastic library and so thankful to Tapas for continuing to find ways to share my story,” said The Kao, aka Vincent Kao, who also creates Mondo Mango on the Tapas site. “As someone who spent my childhood reading Scholastic books, this is truly a dream come true. I can’t wait for readers everywhere to meet Max and join him on his journey of self-acceptance and magical misadventures. I hope Magical Boy will capture the hearts and imaginations of readers the same way that I was inspired by Scholastic stories when I was a younger reader.”

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Comics Lowdown | Waid/Meyer lawsuit settled

Plus: Court rules Dr. Seuss/Star Trek mash-up book not protected by fair use, ‘Batman’ #1 auction and more!

Legal: Comics creator Richard Meyer has dropped his lawsuit against Mark Waid, according to Waid’s legal defense GoFundMe page. The suit began in 2018 after Meyer announced that Antarctic Press would publish his comic Jawbreaker. The publisher reversed that decision after a phone call from Waid, however, and Meyer successfully crowdfunded the comic instead. He also sued Waid for “tortious interference with contract and defamation.”

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