TCAF: Translator stopped at Canadian border

While en route to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF), translator and agent Anne Ishii was detained at Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto for over two hours yesterday as Canadian customs officers questioned her and went through every book in her luggage to determine whether she was bringing comics illegally into the country.

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Comics’ coming-of-age party at TCAF this weekend

My, how we’ve grown! This year’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival, which takes place this weekend in the Toronto Reference Library, will include a number of significant anniversaries.

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Retrofit/Big Planet announces Spring line and new Kickstarter

Retrofit Comics has just announced a Kickstarter to fund their spring line. Here’s the lineup:

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Make Mine Mini: Kraftwerk saves the world

The indy comics festival MoCCA took place last weekend, and as usual, it was a glorious event, with lots of great people and great comics. Here are three minicomics that I picked up that I particularly enjoyed. You can view or purchase each one at the link in the title.

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Birdcage Bottom benefit backs ACLU

Publisher/distributor J.T. Yost shares more on his current fundraiser.

Birdcage Bottom Books, which publishes minicomics and distributes for other small presses and individuals, is running a fundraiser through the month of February: 50% of the sales of selected comics will go to the ACLU. This is a great opportunity to pick up minicomics by rising and accomplished creators such as Glynis Fawkes, Whit Taylor, Hazel Newlevant, Kevin Budnik, and Jonathan Baylis, and help a great cause at the same time.

I checked in with J.T. Yost, who runs Birdcage Bottom and publishes his own comics there, to find out more about the fundraiser—and ask for some personal recommendations!

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Reading for Resistance: “Rolling Blackouts”

Brigid Alverson kicks off a new column highlighting comics that explore issues in the news, starting with an interview with Sarah Glidden.

Reading for Resistance is a new column highlighting comics and graphic novels that shed light on issues in the news.

On Saturday, everyone was talking about refugees. Six years ago, Sarah Glidden made a journey through parts of Turkey, Iraq, and Syria with a group of independent journalists who were focusing on refugees and their situation throughout the region; they were accompanied by a veteran of the Iraq War who was recording his own reflections. Last September, Drawn and Quarterly published Glidden’s graphic memoir of that trip, Rolling Blackouts.

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Interview | 5 Minutes with Emi Gennis

The creator talks about her SPX debut from last year, “Baseline Boulevard,” and more in an interview from last year’s show.

Emi Gennis does short comics on fascinating topics, usually quirky stories from history. I first discovered her work when I picked up her minicomic on trepanation (warning: includes graphic images of people drilling holes in their skulls) at TCAF last year. Her other work includes The Radium Girls, about women who were exposed to radium while working in a watch factory in the 1930s; and Franz Reichelt: The Flying Tailor, the story of a man who invented a parachute suit and died testing it on himself. The latter is one of Gennis’s comic adaptations of stories from Wikipedia’s list of unusual deaths.

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Interview | Sophia Foster-Dimino

Multiple Ignatz Award winner Sophia Foster-Dimino says Small Press Expo is “like a summer camp for cartoonists.”

With Small Press Expo just over a month away, I thought it would be a good time to post this interview, which was done at last year’s SPX.

Sophia Foster-Dimino

Sophia Foster-Dimino was one-third of the reason that women creators swept the 2015 Ignatz Awards: She won three out of the nine awards, taking the Outstanding Series award for Sex Fantasy, Outstanding Minicomic for Sex Fantasy #4, and the Promising New Talent Award. I spoke to her on the exhibit floor the day after the Harveys.

Can you tell us a bit about Sex Fantasy?

Sex Fantasy is a series that I have been doing for about two years now. They are small format zines, 4 x 4 inches. The first three were kind of like a stream of consciousness explanation of different ideas, and then the next three, 4 through 6, have been more structured narratives. I’m trying to explore things in this series that I wouldn’t want to tackle in a larger book. Like kind of a safer space to play around with new ideas in a small format.

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Check out this preview of Paul Buhle and Noah Van Sciver’s ‘Johnny Appleseed’

Paul Buhle and Noah Van Sciver explore the historical John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, in a new graphic novel due out this fall.

The popular image of Johnny Appleseed is a sort of crazy guy who promoted healthy eating by planting apple trees and went around with a pot on his head. But there’s a lot more to him than that, and this fall (just in time for apple season!), Alternative Press will be publishing Paul Buhle and Noah Van Sciver’s Johnny Appleseed.

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