Variant ‘Redneck’ cover spawns a shirt for a good cause

The Pride Month variant covercby Ed Luce for the Skybound title is now a T-shirt benefiting The Trevor Project.

Redneck #3, the Image Comics/Skybound title about Texas vampires by Donny Cates, Lisandro Estherren and Dee Cunniffe, will help celebrate Pride month this week with a variant cover by Ed Luce. That cover features a vampire wearing a shirt that sports a variant of the LGBT slogan “We’re here. We’re queer. Get used to it.” Only more NSFW:

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Help ‘shine a light in all this darkness’ by resurrecting Pepe the Frog

Matt Furie attempts to #SavePepe with a new crowdfunded comic about the stoned frog who was hijacked by white supremacists.

The Associated Press reports that Pepe the Frog, like all good comic book characters, is returning from the grave.

Pepe’s redemption will come via Kickstarter, where creator Matt Furie and his brother Jason are attempting to raise money “to positively resurrect Pepe through the creation of a brand new comic in the spirit of the original Boy’s Club.” Per the AP story, Matt’s attorney, Kimberly Motley, is exploring possible litigation against those profiting off Pepe’s image without Furie’s permission.

Pepe the Frog debuted in 2006 as part of the Boy’s Club ensemble, appearing on MySpace and in comics published by Buenaventura Press. Later his chill nature became the subject of many memes. In 2015, the white supremacists in the far right “alt.right” movement co-opted Pepe for their own white nationalism campaigns, leading to the Anti-Defamation League branding him as a hate symbol in 2016. Furie killed Pepe off on Free Comic Book Day earlier this year. Since then, the ADL has worked with Matt Furie to help #SavePepe.

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Newlyweds fight boll weevils, drug cartels in ‘Gasolina’

Skybound editor Sean Mackiewicz teams with Niko Walter, Mat Lopes and Rus Wooton for horror-crime series.

Readers of The Walking Dead or Invincible are likely familiar with Sean Mackiewicz, editorial director for Skybound, who can be found on both book’s letters pages. But responses to questions about when Daryl’s going to show up aren’t the only thing Mackiewicz is writing; he’s also branching out and writing a new comic called Gasolina, with artist Niko Walter, colorist Mat Lopes and letterer Rus Wooton.

“So, the pitch: Gasolina is a horror-crime epic set in Mexico, full of gun fights against cartels armed with tanks and perverse creatures… shot through the eyes of newlyweds fighting against a world quickly going to hell, who put a human face on a conflict that’s both harrowing and outrageous,” Mackiewicz wrote on the Skybound site. “The short version: shit goes down.”

The first issue arrives in September. Check out some preview pages for it below.

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‘Scales & Scoundrels’ brings all-ages fantasy to Image Comics

Sebastian Girner, Galaad and Jeff Powell team up to tell ‘the adventure of a lifetime.’

Editor and Shirtless Bear-Fighter co-writer Sebastian Girner trades bears for dragons in Scales & Scoundrels, a new all-ages fantasy title he’s working on with artist Galaad and letterer/designer Jeff Powell. The series debuts in September from Image Comics.

Scales & Scoundrels is a dream project for Galaad, Jeff and myself,” Girner said in a press release. “We are crafting a deep and wondrous world for readers to get lost in, creating heroes, villains and rogues to love and loathe, and spinning tales that will delight and entertain, shock and inspire. A fantasy adventure comic for readers of all ages to escape into, and bring a piece of magic back with them into their lives.”

The series stars a treasure hunter named Luvander who heads into a dungeon crawl called “the Dragon’s Maw.” But, per the release, “what starts out as a road to riches becomes the first step on an epic journey of a much different kind—for Luvander holds a secret in her heart that will shatter the chains of fate and bring light to a world encroached upon by an ancient darkness.”

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Bill Morrison named executive editor of MAD Magazine

The former creative director for Bongo will assume the role as MAD moves to the west coast; current Executive Editor John Ficarra will stay on until the end of the year through the transition.

Just the other day we were wondering about the future of MAD Magazine, and today we know: Bill Morrison has been named incoming executive editor of the long-running humor magazine. Per the press release from DC Comics, longtime and current Executive Editor John Ficarra, along with other key members of the MAD team, will continue to publish the magazine from MAD’s New York offices through the year’s end.

Morrison will report to Hank Kanalz, SVP, Editorial Strategy & Administration and begin to take on the day-to-day operations of the magazine, hire and direct a MAD editorial and creative team for both MAD magazine and MAD books, as well as manage the development and implementation of the annual publishing schedule.

“Joining up with the crew at MAD is thrilling, exciting and an incredible responsibility,” said Morrison. “I don’t know anyone who loves and respects MAD as much as I do. I’ll definitely have my work cut out for me, but I’m dedicated to upholding the high standards of absurd and irreverent humor that the public has come to expect from MAD. I’ve been asked if I will continue to include artist Al Jaffee in the magazine; as soon as I find out who he is, I’ll let everyone know.”

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Quoted: Kate Beaton on the end of ‘Octopus Pie’

As Meredith Gran’s award-winning webcomic ends, ‘Hark! A Vagrant’ creator Kate Beaton reflects on the comic’s run.

Meredith Gran’s long-running webcomic Octopus Pie came to an end earlier this month, and her fellow webcomic creator (and former roommate) Kate Beaton paid tribute to it on Tumblr:

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Bear-ing your heart: Oni announces new graphic novel from Ribon & Farris

Due next April, ‘My Boyfriend is a Bear’ features a woman who falls for a 500-pound American black bear.

Oni Press has announced a romantic comedy of a different breed — My Boyfriend is a Bear, by Pamela Ribon and Cat Farris. Fed up with the dating scene, Nora starts dating a 500-pound American black bear. Comedy ensues.

“The comics market right now has a lot of very dark, serious stories,” Farris said in a press release. “I’m really excited to help put a story out there that is silly and sweet. Something that hopefully makes people smile. It’s not every day you get to sell people a book about a girl dating a literal bear, and I hope folks are as charmed by this story as I have been while working on it.”

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Titan Comics, Bethesda announce three video game adaptations

Titan will create new ‘in-canon’ stories based on ‘The Evil Within 2,’ ‘Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus’ and ‘Dishonored 2.’

Bethesda Software announced several new projects at the big E3 video game show this past month, including The Evil Within 2, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and new downloadable content for Dishonored 2. And all three of those games will have comic book tie-ins, thanks to publisher Titan Comics. All three comics arrive in September.

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Kickstarter ‘Gold’ brings back 7 comic projects

‘Black,’ ‘Plume,’ ‘The Secret Loves of Geek Girls” and more get remixed as they return to the crowdfunding site for another go.

Kickstarter is giving new life to several of their past campaigns, including seven of them from the comics category.

“Kickstarter Gold” brings back projects by creators who were “specially selected for their creativity, ingenuity and past success on Kickstarter,” the site reads. “We’re spotlighting them because they do excellent work — and because creators who repeatedly use Kickstarter to support and sustain creative ventures are an integral part of our community’s ecosystem.”

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