What Are You Reading? | ‘Reckless,’ ‘Thriller,’ ‘Chunky’ and more

See what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately.

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately.

This week is the Smash Pages version of A Christmas Carol, as Tom looks back at a series from the 1980s, Corey talks about three recent graphic novels and Brigid heads into the future with advanced reviews of three upcoming projects. I guess that makes me Jacob Marley.

Let us know what you read this week in the comments or on social media.

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Mail Call | Z2 to publish graphic novel inspired by All Time Low

Plus: news from Image, AdHouse, Dark Horse, BOOM! Studios and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.

Z2 Comics has announced another music-related collaboration, this time with the pop-punk band All Time Low. In June, the publisher will release a graphic novel inspired by the 2017 album Last Young Renegade.

“When we wrote our album ‘Last Young Renegade’ we imagined an entire world separate of our own, almost a “what if” version of All Time Low, both with our musical sound and with the visual narrative we put together around it” says All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth. “Creating ‘Young Renegades’ the graphic novel allows us to tell more stories in the universe we imagined and delve deeper into the mythos and thematic ideas that were at play when we were celebrating that era. ‘Young Renegades’ is another branch, another thread and another look into the LYR continuity through an incredible medium we’ve never collaborated in before. Working with the story-tellers and artists on this project has been an incredible new undertaking and we can’t wait for everyone to enjoy it with us.”

Young Renegades will be written by Tres Dean and Robert Wilson IV, with art by Megan Huang.

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Dark Horse to publish Roye Okupe’s ‘YouNeek YouNiverse’ graphic novels

Dark Horse will publish the first three titles this fall.

Dark Horse Comics and YouNeek Studios‘ founder Roye Okupe will team up to bring Okupe’s self-published graphic novels to a larger audience this fall. Dark Horse will re-publish three of YouNeek Studios graphic novels, which were originally funded on Kickstarter, with plans for new titles as well.

“What we are trying to do over the next few years is create a compelling and immersive universe with our own twist. How? Well, the YouNeek YouNiverse is a massive, interconnected universe of sci-fi, fantasy and superhero content spread across multiple timelines with stories told from an African perspective. Is this ambitious? Yes. Is it impossible? Not at all,” Okupe said. “With this monumental partnership with Dark Horse and the impeccable history, support and infrastructure they bring to the table, we will finally be able to achieve our ultimate goal: create, for a global audience, content that empowers African creatives and storytelling.”

The Nigerian-born creator, who now lives in Maryland, wrote all the books in the “YouNeek YouNiverse,” and teamed with artists from Africa to create the books. This story from the Washington Post earlier this week reveals how the partnership was formed.

“YouNeek Studios is unlike anything in American comics today,” said Dark Horse CEO Mike Richardson. “Roye has brought together a host of amazing African talent telling African stories, and Dark Horse is honored to help further their reach.”

The first three graphic novels Dark Horse will publish are:

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The State of Future State, Part 3

JK, Shane and Tom continue their look at DC’s Future State titles, this time around focusing on ‘Dark Detective,’ Superman/Wonder Woman’ and more.

We’re back with part three of our discussion about of DC’s Future State comics, as Shane Bailey, Tom Bondurant and I talk about the first issues of Dark Detective, Superman/Wonder Woman, Teen Titans, Robin Eternal and Kara Zor-El, Superwoman.

As always, the timeline DC provided helps put the timing of these stories into context:

You can also read part one and part two of our roundtable on other, earlier DC Future State titles.

And away we go …

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Jeffrey Brown sends Damian Wayne to middle school in ‘Batman and Robin and Howard’

The new graphic novel about the Boy Wonder going to class will arrive in November.

Damian Wayne will meet his match in the halls of his local middle school in the upcoming graphic novel Batman and Robin and Howard, by Jeffrey Brown.

The story will feature Brown’s trademark style, which has appeared in books like Incredible Change-Bots, the Sulk trilogy, Space-Time, Lucy & Andy Neanderthal, Clumsy and the Darth Vader and Son line of books from Lucasfilm.

According to DC, the project “offers a down-to-earth look at Gotham’s two most famous heroes packed with laughs, whimsy and clever life lessons sure to please fans of Batman and Brown alike.” DC’s library of titles aimed at middle school kids has been growing exponentially since it was announced a few years ago, and Brown seems like the perfect creator to recruit for their efforts on that front. If this isn’t followed by a Batman and Son book, I’ll be crushed. Money on the table, DC!

“I actually had the basic story kicking around for years—two all-star teenagers who start as rivals but end up becoming friends to save homecoming,” Brown told dccomics.com. “When I had the chance to do a book with DC Kids, that story finally came together in my mind. Robin seemed like the perfect character to throw into the situation—someone used to being the best, only to realize sometimes they were only second best.”

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Nominees announced for the 32nd GLAAD Media Awards

Nominees include ‘Empyre,’ ‘The Magic Fish,’ ‘Far Sector’ and more.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD, have announced the nominees for their 32nd annual Media Awards, which recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBTQ community and the issues that affect their lives.

10 comics and graphic novels have been nominated in the “Outstanding Comic Book” category, including four from DC Comics, three from Marvel, two from BOOM! Studios and one from Random House Graphic. Doctor Aphra, the Marvel comic featuring the character from the Star Wars universe, won the award last year.

The nominees for “Outstanding Comic Book” are:

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Comics Lowdown | Youth Media Awards announced

Plus: Egyptian cartoonist arrested; columnist proposes banning MAGA wear at conventions.

Library Talk: The American Library Association’s Midwinter meeting just ended, and the big event, as always, is the Youth Media Awards—this is when the Newbery and Caldecott medals, and a host of other awards, are announced. For over 10 years, graphic novels have won some of these awards; last year, Jerry Craft’s Class Act won the Newbery Medal, the first graphic novel to be so honored. This year’s awards:

  • Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang, with color by Lark Pien, was a Printz Honor Book (runner-up for the Printz Award for excellence in literature for young adults);
  • When Stars are Scattered, by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, illustrated by Victoria Jamieson, color by Iman Geddy, was a Schneider Family Book Award honor book (for “books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience”);
  • Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio by Derf Backderf and Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh were among the ten winners of the Alex Award for adult books that appeal to teen audiences;
  • Catherine’s War, by Julia Billet, illustrated by Claire Fauvel, and translated from French by Ivanka Hahnenberger, was an honor book for the Mildred L. Batchelder Award for translated books.

On Twitter, librarian Matthew Noe took a tour of the virtual booths of all the comics publishers at the show, with a word or two about each one. If you are interested in learning more about comics publishing and who does what, this is a great place to start!

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Voting for the X-Men: The time is right for Tempo

With Marvel allowing fans to help chose the final member of the X-Men, the Smash Pages crew shares their endorsement(s).

In the grand tradition of voting for the leader of the Legion of Super-Heroes and whether Jason Todd would live or die, Marvel has launched a website where you can vote for the final member of the X-Men.

The campaign ties into the current X-Men storyline, where Cyclops and Jean Grey have decided to recruit a new team of mutants to protect the mutant nation of Krakoa. Marvel has offered up 10 options for fans to choose from: Banshee, Polaris, Forge, Boom-Boom, Tempo, Cannonball, Sunspot, Strong Guy, Marrow and Armor.

Voting is open from now until 11:59 p.m. Eastern, Feb. 2, 2021.

We here at Smash Pages have our own thoughts about who the new member should be — with one dissension — so please read our heartfelt pleas for your vote below.

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Can’t Wait for Comics | New eras for ‘Firefly,’ ‘Monstress’ and more

New comics arrive this week from John Ridley, Giuseppi Camumcoli, Steve Wands, Mark Russell, Steve Pugh, Gene Yang, Greg Pak, Pius Bak, Dustin Weaver, Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda and more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Comics, your guide each week to what comics are arriving in comic book stores, bookstores and on digital.

This week brings another wave of DC’s Future State, as well as the second issue of The Other History of the DC Universe. New story arcs for Firefly and Monstress debut, while Marvel wraps up Shang-Chi.

You know the drill — check out a few recommendations below, or visit ComicList for this week’s full list of new comics arriving in stores, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally.

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