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 The best-selling comics was Action #1000, a landmark issue featuring unpublished artwork by legendary Superman artist Curt Swan and the introduction of writer Brain Michael Bendis to the DC universe.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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Not Safe for Con explores the darker side of comics and fandom

Comics, cosplay, and burlesque comes together for a ‘nerd culture festival’ with an adult twist.

Today is Not Safe For Con, also known as NSFCon, a festival that brings together comics with 18+ nerd culture. The festival’s purpose is to create a space that allows for the greatest freedom of expression that still remains within legal limits. The festival boasts a comfortable and safe atmosphere for vendors and creators of more adult-themed comics and artwork, mixed with workshops, live music and burlesque.

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Monstress and Monsters rule the 2018 Eisner Awards

Diversity wins as ‘Monstress’ sweeps with 5 awards with Liu is the first woman to win Best Writer, and ‘My Favourite Thing is Monsters’ gets 3.

Last night at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel during Comic-Con International, the 2018 Eisner Awards were presented in a passionate and empowering three-hour ceremony.

It was the night for monsters as Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda won five Eisner Awards including best continuing series, best painter/multimedia artist, best cover artist and best publication for teens. Liu made history by becoming the first woman to ever win the best writer award in the 30-years of the Eisners being handed out. Liu was in attendance to receive all of the awards for Monstress, but used FaceTime so Sana Takeda, in Japan, can “be on stage” with her to receive the best continuing series award.

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris won three including best graphic album, best coloring and best writer/artist. “You did it again. You made an old lady cry, ” declared Ferris as she accepted the best coloring award.

Mister Miracle by Tom King and Mitch Gerads, The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill, and the Akira 35th Anniversary Edition each received two of the coveted awards.

The award winners were noticeably diverse as a large number of people of colour, women, and LGBTQ+ creators all received awards.

Surprise celebrity guests graced the stage Nichelle Nichols, Phil Lamar, Cas Anvar, Benedict Wong, and Felicia Day were on hand to present awards.

Check out the complete list of winners and some reactions below.

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