Cartoon Art Museum presents Jeff Smith with the Sparky Award

The award celebrates ‘the significant contributions of cartoon artists who embody the talent, innovation and humanity of Charles M. Schulz.’

Last Saturday Bone creator Jeff Smith became the latest recipient of the Sparky Award during a visit to the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Library

Named in honor of Peanuts creator Charles “Sparky” Schulz, the Sparky Award is presented on behalf of the Cartoon Art Museum and the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Library. The award celebrates the significant contributions of cartoon artists who embody the talent, innovation and humanity of Charles M. Schulz.

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It’s ‘Evolution,’ Baby: Four writers team up for Skybound’s new horror title

James Asmus, Joseph Keatinge, Christopher Sebela and Joshua Williamson team with artists Joe Infurnari and Jordan Boyd on a story about evolution gone wrong.

Skybound is bringing together six creators — James Asmus, Joseph Keatinge, Christopher Sebela, and Joshua Williamson with artists Joe Infurnari and Jordan Boyd — for their new title, Evolution. Taking place all over the world as humanity starts to rapidly evolve, the series follows three characters who notice the transformation and attempt to fight it.

“For a story as expansive and world-changing as Evolution, we knew we couldn’t tell the story in a normal way so this book includes a murderer’s row of not just one writer, but four writers working together to tell one cohesive story,” said editor Jon Moisan. “This writing team has to be one of the best creative teams ever assembled. Telling the story of a doctor in Philadelphia desperately trying to warn the world, Christopher Sebela has written a frantic race against time. In Rome, James Asmus and Joshua Williamson show us the internal struggle of a nun questioning her faith in the face of the new species. And finally, in Los Angeles, Joseph Keatinge has built a heartrending story of what happens when old relationships are torn to shreds by forces beyond all control. Separately, any one of these stories could anchor their own book but when told together this team has assembled something that has rarely been seen in comics and the results are nothing short of extraordinary.”

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Zatanna heads back to school in ‘Mystik U’

New miniseries by Alisa Kwitney and Mike Norton re-imagines several of DC’s mystical characters as college students.

Everybody’s favorite backwards-talking sorceress is gearing up a return to college in Mystik U, a prestige-format limited series by Alisa Kwitney and Mike Norton that “will reimagine the lives of four of DC’s magic users in spectacular new ways.” It sounds like it could the spiritual successor to Gotham Academy, which recently wrapped up.

Mystik U is about a sheltered show biz kid (Zatanna), a bitter rebel (Sebastian Faust, son of Felix), a split personality (Enchantress), a competitive premed student (new character Pia Morales), and an awkward prodigy (Sargon the Sorceror) all discovering that they have the capacity to perform real magic,” Norton said. “They’re enrolled at a university for the magically gifted, where the world’s most powerful practitioners of magic will mentor their fledgling talents…and try to discover which of them is fated to betray the others and become a powerful force of evil.”

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‘March,’ Emil Ferris among 2017 Ignatz Awards nominees

Cathy Malkasian, Anya Davidson, Box Brown, Dustin Harbin, Jillian Tamaki, Ed Piskor, Leslie Stein and many more up for this year’s awards

The Washington Post shares this year’s slate of Ignatz Awards nominees, which are presented annually at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland.

Named after the brick-throwing mouse from Krazy Kat, the awards are selected by a jury of five creators and voted on by attendees of the show. The jurors for this year’s nominations were Neil Brideau, Glynnis Fawkes, Sara Lautman, Trungles and David Willis.

Check out the complete list below.

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Craig & Cypress file with ‘The Gravediggers Union’

New Image Comics series will feature “steroid zombies, monster gods, swamp vampires, ghost storms and space monkeys.”

Deadly Class artist Wes Craig and Rodd Racer creator Tobey Cypress are teaming up for a 10-issue horror series, The Gravediggers Union, a new comic “chock-full of steroid zombies, monster gods, swamp vampires, ghost storms and space monkeys.” They’ll be joined by colorist Niko Guardia (The Last Contract, Hit 1957) and letterer/designer Jared Fletcher (Paper Girls).

“With The Gravediggers Union, I tried to create an environmental horror story that mixes EC Comics, H.P. Lovecraft’s horror and a lot of dark humor,” Craig said in a press release. “I’m so proud of what we’re creating, and what Toby, Niko and Jared are doing together is some of the most original looking comics I’ve ever seen.”

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Cosmo returns from Archie Comics

1950s humor title returns from writer Ian Flynn.

Along with the news last week that Mighty Crusaders will return and Betty & Veronica are joining a biker gang came another announcement from Archie Comics that slipped by me — the return of Cosmo, The Merry Martian.

If you don’t know who Cosmo is, well, that’s not surprising. It was a very short-lived humor/science fiction comic published in the late 1950s created by Bob White, who also worked on The Fly and a few other Archie properties. The new comic will be written by Ian Flynn, who is also spearheading the Crusaders revival.

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Seeley & Molnar’s ‘Imaginary Fiends’ is coming to get you this November

New six-issue Vertigo series features aliens, murder and the creepy ‘Polly Peachpit.’

Hack/Slash and Nightwing writer Tim Seeley returns to horror for a new miniseries from Vertigo, Imaginary Fiends, which pits a young woman against a “hungry spectral alien” parasite that made her try to kill her best friend. Seeley will be joined by Star Trek artist Steve Molnar on the title.

Imaginary Fiends is a return to horror for me … a chance to tell a story about a broken person and her monster friend,” Seeley said in a press release. “But Fiends is darker, scarier and more fanatical than anything I’ve ever done. Stephen Molnar is providing some amazing artwork, and his Polly Peachpit is one of the creepiest monsters I’ve ever seen. I’m proud to bring this book to Vertigo and work with my friend and editor Molly Mahan—who is, fortunately, as far as I know, not imaginary.”

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‘Monstress’ takes home a Hugo Award

In the “Graphic Story” category, Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s fantasty series beats out ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Saga,’ ‘The Vision’ and more to win the award.

Monstress, the fantasy series written by Marjorie Liu, drawn by Sana Takeda and published by Image Comics, has won the 2017 Hugo Award in the “Graphic Story” category.

Presented annually since 1955, The Hugo Awards recognize the best science fiction in books, comics, movies, TV and more. The Hugo Awards are voted on annually by members of the World Science Fiction Convention. The Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story has been awarded annually since 2009, with previous winners including Saga, Ms. Marvel and Girl Genius. The Sandman: Overture won last year.

Other nominees in the category this year included Saga, Paper Girls, Black Panther, Ms. Marvel and The Vision. Takeda was also nominated for best professional artist, a category won by Julie Dillon.

You can see the complete list of winners here.

‘Mighty Crusaders’ returns from Archie Comics

Ian Flynn and Kelsey Shannon team up on the new series featuring The Shield, The Comet, The Web and many others.

Archie Comics will bring back its flagship superhero team, Mighty Crusaders, this December in a new series by Ian Flynn and Kelsey Shannon.

You may be asking yourself, “Wait – Archie published superhero comics?” Why yes, yes they did (and still do). Characters like The Web, The Shield, the Comet and many others appeared in comics back in the 1960s, eventually forming a team called the Mighty Crusaders. They’re appeared several times since then, under Archie’s “Red Circle” banner in the 1980s, as part of the Impact line from DC Comics in the 1990s and even as a part of the DC Universe circa 2010. Archie launched New Crusaders as a digital series back in 2012, by Flynn and Ben Bates, which was followed by the Dark Circle line a few years later, which features new takes on The Fox, Black Hood and The Shield, among others.

“I’m really excited to return to the Dark Circle heroes and pit them against the greatest challenges they’ve ever faced,” said writer Ian Flynn. “I think fans of the classic and newer Crusaders will enjoy our new, high-paced approach to their world!”

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