See you in the funny papers: Sunday Press joins IDW

Sunday Press, the publisher of such classic newspaper comics as Krazy Kat and Little Nemo in Slumberland, is now a part of IDW.

Here’s another of the cascade of announcements coming from Comic-Con International: IDW has acquired the small publisher Sunday Press, which specializes in high-quality collections of old newspaper strips. How high is the quality? Sunday Press has racked up 17 Eisner nominations, that’s how high (including this year’s nomination for their Thimble Theatre and the Pre-Popeye Comics of E. C. Segar).

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Not at SDCC? Fantagraphics has a consolation prize

Fantagraphics has some solace for those of us who can’t be at Comic-Con this year: Their annual 20% off sale. The Smash Pages crew picks some of their faves if you’re in the mood to buy some comics.

While Fantagraphics goes to Comic-Con every year, they also have a little something for those of us who can’t be there: Their annual Comic-Con weekend sale. Any books you buy through the Fantagraphics Store are 20% off with the promo code SDCC. As they say in the ad, “It’s all the excitement of Comic-Con, without the sweaty cosplayers!”

OK, that was hyperbole, but there are some pretty good deals here, whether you’re interested in something new or catching up with a classic. Here are some of our top picks.

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Drawn + Quarterly announces new 2020 releases

At Comic-Con International, the Canadian publisher announced new books from Adrian Tomine, Lisa Hanawalt and more.

At Comic-Con International yesterday, Drawn & Quarterly announced several new graphic novels for 2020, including new work from Adrian Tomine, R. Sikoryak, Leslie Stein and Walter Scott, among others.

Check them out below.

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Random House Graphic will launch its graphic novel line in 2020

The new imprint reveals four projects for early 2020, with several others in the works.

Random House Graphic is a new imprint of Penguin Random House “dedicated to publishing graphic novels for kids and teens of every age and interest, fiction and nonfiction.” It was officially announced last year, and leading into Comic-Con International, they’ve revealed their debut line-up.

Their first books will hit shelves in January, under the guidance of Publishing Director Gina Gagliano, formerly with First Second.

“Random House Graphic is dedicated to publishing the best in kids and YA graphic novels,” Gagliano said. “It’s an incredibly exciting time for the graphic novel medium—with more readers coming to these stories, and new groundbreaking books being published, the category is expanding by leaps and bounds. We can’t wait to share our contributions to it with readers, booksellers, comic book sellers, educators, librarians, and everyone who loves books and comics.”

Their four debut titles are:

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Bedside Press to launch mentorship and publishing programs for new comics creators

Innovative small press publisher Hope Nicholson is making big waves to shake up the Canadian comics industry

Bedside Press, the Winnipeg-based small publisher, made a big announcement in the Hollywood Reporter today introducing a collaborative project to boost books and comics that have strong potential but no current access to the market.

Publisher Hope Nicholson formed Bedside Press in 2014 and spent the last five years navigating the comics publishing world and beyond, using already established publishers, Canadian arts grants and internet crowdfunding sites to help bring her books to print. Bedside Press is responsible for many books coming to print, including Margaret Atwood’s Angel Catbird, The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, and two Eisner Award-nominated anthologies: Enough Space for Everyone Else and Trina Robbins’ A Bunch of Jews (and other stuff) with various artists.

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MAD Magazine to stop newsstand distribution after 67 years

Mad will cease to be available on newsstands, with new material only available in the year-end specials.

After 67 years of publishing, MAD Magazine will cease to be available on newsstands, with new material only available in the year-end specials.

The last surviving title of the EC Comics line and the most culturally significant American satire magazine, MAD, will undergo a major transformation as newsstand distribution ceases. It will only be available to the direct market and subscribers, will reprint old content from their 67-year library and only create new material for the year-end specials.

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Joe Hill to oversee pop-up imprint at DC

Hill House Comics brings new work from Mike Carey, Peter Gross, Kelley Jones and more.

Locke & Key co-creator Joe Hill is making a big return to comics with House Hill Comics, a pop-up imprint from DC. House Hill Comics will launch with five miniseries this fall, according to Entertainment Weekly.

“I’ve always been a comic book writer first,” Hill told EW. “When I started writing comics, I felt almost instantly that I had discovered my element. It was the version of writing I liked best. I felt, when I worked in comics, that my strengths were amplified, and the stuff I struggled with as a writer almost completely vanished. Working on Locke & Key was one of the most satisfying creative experiences of my life. But it’s tremendously exciting to get back into it: scripting again, working with artists, working with other writers. Working in comics is the closest you can get as a storyteller to feeling like what it must be like to be in the Rolling Stones.”

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DC announces new YA/DC Kids projects at ALA

New titles for 2020 and 2021 announced at the American Library Association’s annual convention.

Although they may be dropping the DC Ink and DC Zoom (the latter is still a better name than DC Kids) brands, DC has announced a slew of new projects and updates for their young readers line at the American Library Association’s annual convention this weekend.

Of note in this latest list are several new Teen Titans Go! books; with the comic cancelled as of September, it’s good to see that the young reader-friendly material based on the show will continue. You’ve also got new material by Jeffrey Brown, Art Baltazar and Franco, Louise Simonson, Mariko Tamaki and Leila del Duca. And finally, John Constantine, of all characters, will finally make the leap into a YA title, courtesy of Ryan North and Derek Charm.

Check out the full list below.

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DC rebrands its publishing; Vertigo to go away at end of the year

Black Label will survive as Vertigo, DC Ink and DC Zoom all get the axe.

Rumors of Vertigo’s demise have proven to be true, as DC Comics has announced a rebranding of its content into three age-specific labels: DC Kids, DC and DC Black Label. The Vertigo imprint will be “sunset” at the end of the year, along with the DC Zoom and DC Ink labels.

“We’re returning to a singular presentation of the DC brand that was present throughout most of our history until 1993 when we launched Vertigo to provide an outlet for edgier material,” said DC Publisher Dan DiDio in a press release. “That kind of material is now mainstream across all genres, so we thought it was the right time to bring greater clarity to the DC brand and reinforce our commitment to storytelling for all of our fans in every age group. This new system will replace the age ratings we currently use on our material.”

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