Image Comics pulls ‘Divided States of America’ #4 cover after widespread criticism

After criticism from creators and fans, Image Comics announced that they would not use the controversial cover to Divided States of America #4 that was originally solicited. Instead, they will use the planned cover for issue #6 on issue #4.

The quick version:

1. Released with Image Comics’ September 2017 solicitations, the original cover to Divided States of Hysteria #4 featured an image of a Pakistani man being lynched, his pants down with his genitals mutilated, and a name tag with the slur “Paki” on it.

2. The cover was met with criticism from creators, fans and critics; these reactions followed quickly on the heels of negative reactions to the first issue and its portrayal of a trans sex worker being attacked.

3. Image Comics released a response over the weekend, which included the announcement that they would not use the original cover, replacing it with what would have been the cover for issue #6.

So what’s this all about? Let’s break it down …

[NOTE: The original cover to Divided States of America #4 is pretty graphic, but I’ve included it below and have attempted to hide it … but given differences in browsers, there’s no telling if the code doing so will work as intended in every browser instance. So, please be warned.]

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Comics Lowdown: Manga pirates can’t go legit

Plus: ‘Check Please’ goes to First Second, ‘Infini-T’ Force goes to Udon, Jill Thompson, Red Planet and more.

A Pirate’s Life… Ain’t what it used to be. Cecilia D’Anastasio talks to several former scanlators (including NJT, who set up MangaHelpers back in the day) about their struggles to go legit, and she also talks to some legitimate translators about what they do. While scanlators defend what they do as providing a service by fans, for fans—no ugly profit involved—it’s also true that publishers may not want to license a series that is already being widely read on bootleg sites. Also, they are finding that publishers don’t want to hire them, and the pay isn’t enough to let them quit their day jobs. Because, as Kodansha Comics’ Ben Applegate observed, “Whenever there’s a large group of people giving away their labor for free, it’s going to depress pay for those who are trying to do things legitimately.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Transience and forgotten memories

Do you remember yesterday? I often barely remember where I parked but I more or less know what I do day to day. In Transience, Leo Johnson and Ricardo Mo have assembled a collection of stories that build a world wrecked from amnesia.

In a unique science fiction premise, they’ve imagined a world where a series of biological attacks have left cities and towns around the world without the ability to form new memories. Each morning, people wake up with the previous day lost to them. Each story is set in a different city around the world where years have passed since the attack.

The creative teams tackling these stories often come from the location of their story, and make up an international team of collaborators that helped form this world.

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Fund Me Friday: ‘A Perfect Circle,’ Elizabeth Beier and more

Plus: ‘Blocked: Stories from the World of Online Dating,’ Chris Samnee, Craig Rousseau and the Killer Bees!

As crowdfunding continues to be a viable method for creators to fund their creative endeavors and connect directly with fans, comic-related projects flourish on sites like Kickstarter, Patreon and IndieGoGo. Here’s a look at a few recent campaigns that caught our eyes.

A Perfect Circle minicomic

Creators involved: Writer Eric Esquivel and artist Ryan Quackenbush
Deadline: July 22
Goal: $150 (Funded!)

What to know: Esquivel shared where the story idea for this eight-page minicomic came from on Tumblr. “I got dumped at the tail end of October last year. It was, as these things often are, horrible,” he wrote. “To cope with my confusion, I did what I always do: wrote a comic about it. Specifically: a comic book about a guy who–after realizing that the last three decades of his life have been essentially a repeat of the same sad story over, and over, and over again– embarks on an epic journey to find a supernatural means with which to obliterate his personality, and start fresh.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Eleanor Davis on ‘You & A Bike & A Road’

The creator of ‘How To Be Happy’ discusses her latest book from Koyama Press, which details her cycling trip from Arizona to Georgia.

In 2014, Fantagraphics published How To Be Happy, a collection of short comics by Eleanor Davis, which immediately established the cartoonist as one of the major figures of her generation. In the book, Davis jumped between styles and approaches, telling different kinds of stories ranging from the fantastic to realistic. Since then she made a children’s book with Drew Weing, Flop To The Top, for Toon Books. She also made the comics novella Libby’s Dad, which came out last fall from Retrofit Comics, and was recently awarded the Slate Book Review 2017 Cartoonist Studio Prize for Best Print Comic.

Davis’ new book, out now from Koyama Press, is You & A Bike & A Road. The book is a series of comics about a bike trip that Davis undertook from Tucson, Arizona, where she grew up, to her home in Athens, Georgia. We spoke recently about the book, the journey, agitprop and more.

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Archie returns to his ‘classic’ style in ‘Your Pal, Archie’ #1

Check out a preview of the first issue, due out July 26.

This past spring Archie Comics announced that their “classic-style” Archie would return in a new series by Ty Templeton and Dan Parent … with a small twist. Parent and Templeton have tweaked the artwork a bit, noting it “will be influenced from the styles and fashion of The CW’s hit new Riverdale TV series, but will remain familiar for fans of the classic style.”

The company has now released a preview of the first issue, which looks and feels more like the traditional Archie, but with the twist they noted in their release. The first five issues will feature connecting variant cover by Les McClaine, and there’s also an Incredible Hulk #181 tribute cover featuring Archie vs. Jughead that’s exclusive to Stadium Comics.

Check the preview out below.

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DC Comics teases another Colonel Sanders comic

Worlds collide again as a third DC/KFC comic arrives in July.

The comic book/fast food crossover event of the decade is set to continue, as DC Comics teases a third comic featuring KFC mascot Colonel Sanders teaming with anyone and everyone in the DC Universe. The last two comics were pretty insane, so who knows what they have in store this time — we only have the promise that he’ll go where “no colonel has gone before.”

If you missed the first two issues, never fear — you can download both of them for free, courtesy of the DC Entertainment app and, of course, KFC. So don’t miss out on The Colonel of Two Worlds or The Colonel Corps. Be warned: they may make you hungry for chicken.

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Gumby tackles fashion in this complete story by Kyle Baker

In advance of the first issue of ‘Gumby’ coming next week, Papercutz shares a story from that issue by one of comics’ greats.

NBM’s kid-friendly comics imprint Papercutz announced a new comic series starring everyone’s favorite bendable green guy, Gumby, earlier this year, and now in advance of its July 5 release they’ve shared a full story from the first issue by the wonderful Kyle Baker, who does not disappoint.

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Read Tom Scioli’s ‘director’s commentary’ for his ‘Super Powers’ stories

The creator shares more about his creative process for the back-up that ran in ‘Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye.’

Tom Scioli’s recent revival of DC’s Super Powers drew heavily not just from the source material, but from “The Source” as well, as he dove deep into DC lore, particularly Jack Kirby’s contributions, to tell a crazy new story. With that material being collected in the Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye trade paperback, Scioli took to his blog to share his commentary on his approach to the new story.

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