Smash Pages Q&A: Alex Segura on ‘The Dusk’

The editor, author and comics writer discusses his current project that’s up on Kickstarter, as well as his next comics-themed novel, Micro-Face and more.

Alex Segura has many irons in many fires on any given day. He serves as co-president of Archie Comics, where he has also been known to write comics featuring the flagship character meeting bands like the Ramones and the B-52s. And when he’s not in Riverdale, he’s working on his own projects, whether that’s novels like the Peter Fernandez mystery series and Poe Dameron: Free Fall, or comics like The Black Ghost and The Dusk.

It’s the latter that’s occupying a lot of his time right now. It’s a new comic he’s made with Elizabeth Little, David Hahn, Ellie Wright, Taylor Esposito and Joseph Illidge, and it currently has 10 days left in its Kickstarter campaign. It’s about a lawyer/divorced dad by day, superhero by night who tries to take a different approach to fighting crime.

Segura was kind enough to speak with me about this project, as well as his next novel, Secret Identity, and an upcoming comic he’s made with the folks at NPR’s Planet Money podcast, among other topics.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Abraham Riesman on ‘True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee’

The author and journalist discusses his new book on the life and career of longtime Marvel editor and publisher Stan Lee.

True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee is, I would argue, the best book written about the longtime Marvel editor and publisher Stan Lee. It is a thoroughly researched look at Lee’s life, his family history, his business dealings at Marvel and afterwards.

Lee’s defenders have been attacking or dismissing the book since before its publication, because it dents the myth of Stan Lee that he and others built. Unfortunately much of the conversation around the book has been around whether Lee is given too little credit for Marvel’s success in the 1960s instead of seriously addressing a lot of the issues that author Abraham Riesman uncovers and writes about at length.

Abraham Riesman is a journalist best known for his work at New York Magazine’s Vulture. He’s written extensively about the comics industry over the years, but in this book, Riesman writes a story of assimilation, of the fantasy of success and the brutality reality of it, of corporate criminality. Lee was beloved by many; he is a complicated figure at best.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Mat Groom on ‘Inferno Girl Red’

The co-writer of Marvel’s ‘Ultraman’ discusses his latest graphic novel, which is currently up on Kickstarter.

After writing Self/Made and working with Kyle Higgins on Marvel’s Ultraman comics, Mat Groom is focusing his love for tokusatsu superheroes and boarding school dramas into a new project — Inferno Girl Red, which is currently up on Kickstarter and has already surpassed its goal just two days in.

The 100-page graphic novel is about a pragmatic girl named Cássia with a secret legacy and a magical dragon bracelet that gives her the means to stop the ancient cult attempting to offer her home, Apex City, to their demonic dark lord. Unfortunately, the bracelet is powered by belief, and Cássia doesn’t have much of that to spare.

Groom has teamed up with artist Erica D’Urso, colorist Igor Monti, letterer Becca Carey and design group For The People, with Higgins serving as editor. We spoke about the project, how it came together and what the best boarding school dramas are.

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Smash Pages Q&A: G Romero-Johnson on ‘SFSX: Terms of Service’

The artist of the newest volume of the queer science fiction tale discusses her process and approach to creating the new story.

Sfsx (Safe Sex) was a stunning book when it was published in 2019. Writer Tina Horn was new to comics, but the journalist and podcaster took to the language of comics in a really exciting way. The queer science fiction tale was like nothing else in comics. The dystopic series is returning in a new graphic novel coming out from Image Comics. Writer Tina Horn and editor/designer Laurenn McCubbin and other members of the team are back with a new artist, G Romero-Johnson.

SFSX: Terms of Service is currently being kickstarted and G Romero-Johnson was kind enough to take a few minutes to talk. A cartoonist and illustrator, she’s made comics like Sweet Insecurity and The Red Side of The Moon and her work has appeared in anthologies including Stratos and the upcoming Nectar.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Dean Haspiel on ‘The Red Hook: Blackout’

The versatile creator talks about the ending to his latest Webtoons series, how it fits into the broader New Brookyln saga, his theater work and more.

Dean Haspiel has always made a wide range of comics, from personal stories to cosmic epics, from realistic tales to superhero stories in books like The Alcoholic, The Fox, The Quitter and The Thing: Night Falls on Yancy Street. For the past few years he’s been writing and drawing The Red Hook at Webtoon. The story of Sam Brosia, a boxer turned super thief turned superhero and bartender. Over four seasons Sam Brosia, aka The Red Hook, has gone through a lot of changes

This week Haspiel wraps up his fourth series at Webtoon, The Red Hook: Blackout, and we spoke about Brooklyn, where things stand and his next chapter in the Red Hook saga, PTSD: Post-Traumatic Superhero Disorder.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Justin Jordan on ‘Breaklands’

The writer of ‘Urban Animals,’ ‘Luther Strode’ and many other comics discusses the second season of the comiXology title, world-building, writing a digital title and more.

Justin Jordan is the writer behind comics series like The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, Dead Body Road, Reaver, Spread, Strayer and many others. He writes the Webtoon series Urban Animals, which is wrapping up its third season now. He wrote the upcoming Summoner’s War: Legacy comic launching in April.

Meanwhile the second season of his series with artist Tyasseta, Breaklands, is coming out on comiXology now, with the fifth and final issue out March 23. The first season has just been collected into a trade collection from Dark Horse Comics.

We spoke about the appeal of post-apocalyptic fiction, his approach to world-building, writing for digital vs. print, and more.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Tim Foley on adapting Dan Rather’s ‘What Unites Us’ into comics

The accomplished illustrator discusses working on his first graphic novel for First Second’s World Citizen Comics imprint.

Tim Foley has had a long, accomplished career as an illustrator for a wide range of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and in books like the Who Was and What Was book series for Penguin Young Readers. But this year brings his first graphic novel.

For First Second Book’s World Citizen Comics imprint, Foley adapted the book What Unites Us by Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner. The book of essays explored what Rather saw as what it means to love this country, the values that shaped it and the role of citizens. Foley is far from a beginning artist, but to make a long-form comic like this is a unique challenge, one that he makes look easy. He was kind enough to take the time to talk about What Unites Us, how he worked and wanting to make more comics.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Crystal Skillman and Fred Van Lente on ‘King Kirby’

The two collaborators discuss adapting their play about Jack Kirby as an audio drama.

Fred Van Lente is well known to comics readers for his many comics, including The Incredible Hercules and Archer and Armstrong, his novels The Con Artist and Ten Dead Comedians, and a string of great comics he’s made with Ryan Dunlavey including Action Philosophers, The Comic Book History of Comics and The Comic Book History of Animation. Crystal Skillman is a playwright and scriptwriter best known for the plays Open and Rain and Zoe Save the World and the musical Mary and Max

The two have collaborated in the past by writing the Webtoon series Eat Fighter, and they wrote the play King Kirby, about the legendary Jack Kirby. Originally produced in 2014, the play is currently being released as a four-part audio drama from the Broadway Podcast Network. Edited and with original music by Bobby Cronin, King Kirby stars Steven Rattazzi, Amy Lee Pearsall, Nat Cassidy, Joseph Mathers and Timothy McCown Reynolds.

The fourth episode of King Kirby is out today, a day before the release of issue #4 of The Comic Book History of Animation by Van Lente and Dunlavey, and tonight is the live reading of Pulp Verite, a new play written by Skillman. We spoke recently about Jack Kirby, theatricality and working in audio drama.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Tim Fielder on ‘Infinitum’

The creator of ‘Matty’s Rocket’ talks about his latest graphic novel, Afrofuturism, what he’s working on next and more.

Tim Fielder had been working as an artist and animator for years before making a splash a few years ago with Matty’s Rocket. A stunning Afrofuturist graphic novel, the book was a dynamic artistic triumph on so many levels.

His new book is Infinitum: An Afrofuturist Tale, which was just released by Harper Collins’ Amistad Press. It’s an original Afrofuturist graphic novel published by a major American publisher, and Fielder admits that he understands the significance — just as he understands what it means to find this success after working for decades and becoming an overnight sensation.

Infinitum is an epic in every sense of the word, about a warlord from the dawn of civilization cursed to live forever. Beyond that, as the book moves ahead centuries and millennia, are a lot of twists and turns that make it difficult to talk about it without spoiling anything, but I was thrilled to talk with Fielder again about this new project.

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