New ‘Rat Queens’ creative team announced as Wiebe, Gieni leave to form new studio

Ferrier, Petraites, and Lesko takes over the popular battle maidens-for-hire series

After five years at the helm, Rat Queens writer Kurtis Wiebe announced he will be officially stepping down from the series. Also departing is artist Owen Gieni.

The April 2019 Image solicitation for Rat Queens Special: Swamp Romp announced the new creative team with writer Ryan Ferrier and artist Priscilla Petraites. The solicitation revealed that the pair will be taking over the ongoing series as of issue #16.

Rat Queens Special: Swamp Romp

Any question of why Wiebe is leaving the series he had been on since its beginning was quickly addressed in his blog post:

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George Perez announces retirement from comics

The Eisner Hall of Fame member cites health reasons for his decision.

Over the weekend, Eisner Hall of Fame member George Perez formally announced on his Facebook page that he plans to retire “from the business of creating new comic stories.”

He cited his health as a driving factor in his decision, but also stressed to fans that they need not worry about him. Over the last few years, Perez has suffered from diabetes, heart ailments and vision problems with his left eye. He also noted that the retirement will mean the end to private commissions, while convention sketches will be very limited.

You can read his entire post after the jump:

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Comics Lowdown: Comic books sales up in 2018, Marvel top publisher; stalker sets cosplayer’s car on fire

Plus: ‘Drama’ drama with the Ottawa Catholic School Board! Faith Erin Hicks! Jed MacKay! And more!

The 2018 direct market numbers from Diamond are in and comic sales are ever so slightly up from 2017. Comics saw an increase to sales by 3.3%, but graphic novels were down by 6.6%. The combined sales of the two formats mean a wee increase of 0.6% for the direct market.

Marvel Comics increased their market share slightly to gain an extra 2% over DC Comics, who seemed to have flat lined and lost 0.3% of their market share. This indicates that Marvel’s market share gains mostly come from the expense of small publishers or independent comic sales, with the exception of Image Comics, who also saw a slight increase.

The best-selling graphic novel of the year was Infinity Gauntlet. The 1991 story is enjoying a revival because of the Avengers: Infinity War movie. The best-selling comics was Action #1000, a landmark issue featuring unpublished artwork by legendary Superman artist Curt Swan and the introduction of writer Brain Michael Bendis to the DC universe.

Complete lists and more insight are available on comichron.com.

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2018 Cyber Monday Comic Sales

It is not too late to score some last minute deals!

As the day winds down, it is not too late to score some last minute Cyber Monday sales. It is a good idea to check your own local comic store for deals closest to home. Here are some comic and comic related deals online

Fantagraphics 2018 Cyber Monday banner

Fantagraphics is offering 40% off almost everything!

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Nuff Said: Stan Lee passes away at 95

The face of Marvel Comics leaves behind a lifelong legacy of superheroes and sequential art

On the morning of Nov. 12, legendary comic creator Stan Lee was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he passed away. The news was broken by TMZ, who spoke with his daughter, J.C. Lee.

It feels weird to write an obituary on a man many comic fans know so well already.

Stanley Martin Lieber’s career in comics started when he was only 17 years old as an assistant at Timely Comics. His duties included refilling inkwells and erasing pencil lines. Two years later, using Jack Kirby’s and Joe Simon’s Nazi-fighting war hero, Lieber got his chance to write his first story called “Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge.” Lieber used the pen name “Stan Lee.” The story was only a two-page text story in Captain America #3, but it was the story where Captain America first used his iconic shield-throwing maneuver. Two issues later, Stan Lee got his first comic break with “Headline Hunter, Foreign Correspondent,” which also showed Lee’s love for names with alliteration. Lee’s first superhero co-creation was Destroyer in Mystic Comics #6 (1941).

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Monstress continues to maul the awards circuit with British Fantasy Award win

The Best Comic/Graphic Novel award is the 10th win for the epic fantasy series this year

For the second consecutive year in a row, Monstress has won the British Fantasy Award for Best Comic/Graphic Novel.

Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s epic fantasy story is about a teenaged girl who shares a mysterious link with a powerful monster. Monstress is one of the most decorated comics of 2018, sweeping the Eisners with a whopping five awards, taking home two Hugo Awards, as well as a Harvey Award and a National Cartoonist Society Divisional Award.

Winning was no small feat as the other nominees were Bitch Planet Vol 2: President Bitch (Kelly Sue DeConnick, Taki Soma & Valentine de Landro), Grim & Bold (Joshua Cornah), Tomorrow (Jack Lothian & Garry Mac), and  The Wicked + The Divine Vol 5: Imperial Phase Part 1 (Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie).

The awards were announced at the 2018 FantasyCon in Chester, UK.

GWAR returns to comics with new graphic novel and website launch

Gwar partners with publisher Renegade Arts Entertainment to release ‘The Enormogantic Fail.’

Gwar: Enormogantic Fail
Gwar: The Enormogantic Fail graphic novel

Following the success of the Kickstarter project Orgasmageddon (which had 666 backers), GWAR returns with more mayhem. This time, they are teaming up with publisher Renegade Arts Entertainment, offering the new graphic novel GWAR: The Enormogantic Fail.

The book synopsis promises more GWAR-ish alien adventures: “The Master is at it again in a fierce battle against Cardinal Syn. To get into the Master’s good graces, the Destructo brothers have trapped GWAR in order to interrogate them to find the key to destroying Cardinal Syn once and for all. Will Sawborg and Bozo Destructo get the answers they need? Can GWAR escape their clutches? Will Cardinal Syn destroy them all? And what really happened when GWAR were banished to earth?”

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Small Press Expo announces the 2018 Ignatz Award nominees

The Ignatz Awards celebrates outstanding achievement in independent comics and cartooning.

The Small Press Expo (SPX), celebrates the outstanding achievements of independent comics, graphic novels and alternative political cartoons with the annual Ignatz Awards. The Ignatz Awards have been handed out since 1997 and this year will be presented at the gala Ignatz Awards ceremony held on Saturday, September 15.

Ignatz image by 2017 Promising New Talent winner Bianca Xunise.

The nominees for the ballot were determined by a panel of five of the best of today’s comic artists, Mita Mahato, Carolyn Nowak, kevin czap, Leila Abdelrazaq, and Taneka Stotts.

The votes for the awards will be cast by the attendees during SPX, which takes place in Bethesda, Maryland on September 15-16.

The Ignatz, named after George Herriman’s brick-wielding mouse from his long running comic strip Krazy Kat, recognizes exceptional work that challenges popular notions of what comics can achieve, both as an art form and as a means of personal expression.

And the nominees are:

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‘Pass Me By’ is a beautifully illustrated queer Canadian tragedy on Kickstarter

The risograph-printed series follows an Alberta man dealing with dementia and revisiting his past life with a glam rock band

Although there are only two days left to this Kickstarter project, this gorgeous new comic series is one worth checking out! Newcomer Kyle Simmers dove head first into comic self-publishing. The writer and illustrator, known for their larger than life murals across the city of Calgary, is teaming up with visual artist Ryan Danny Owen, to put out this little gem in Kickstarter called Pass Me By.  The series is an inverted coming of age story about understanding queer identity and what happens to the stories you never tell.

The first book, Pass Me By: Gone Fishin’ is currently available for pledges by backers. The video to promote the Kickstarter is incredibly well constructed. In this eye-catching campaign video, Simmers selectively animated certain panels to bring the story alive.

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