Comics Lowdown: All is revealed!

DC announces their Writers Workshop participants, First Second unveils their Spring 2018 books, Viz licenses some new media, and Mimi Pond talks about her new book—and getting dropped from ‘The Simpsons’ because she was a woman

The Big Reveal: DC announced the names of the six writers who will take part in this year’s DC Writers Workshop: Magdalene Visaggio (Kim & Kim, Quantum Teens Are Go), Sanya Anwar (1001), Joey Esposito (Pawn Shop, Captain Ultimate), Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Last Sons of America, Warlords of Appalachia), Robert Jeffrey (Route 3, Radio Free Amerika) and Ryan Cady (Big Moose). Batman writer Scott Snyder will lead the workshop.

“It’s 13 weeks, and we meet for two, two-and-a-half hours online in a Brady Bunch-style box of windows. I teach it in such a way that it’s all superhero writing for DC. I try and make each week a lesson about a particular technique,” Snyder told Heat Vision. “My job is not to teach you how to write by formula for DC. It’s for you to come in and write the stuff you’re passionate about in your own way. I don’t care if that’s funny political, light-hearted, dark, whatever. Your job is to come in and have something to say. My job is to help you fit it into the rubric of superhero calculus and to help you maximize that story: look at where you should beef things up, slow it down, be aware of pacing. You need to come here and have something to say.”

At the end of the workshop, DC works with the writers to place them in writing slots for DC comics.

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‘Monstress’ takes home a Hugo Award

In the “Graphic Story” category, Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s fantasy series beats out ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Saga,’ ‘The Vision’ and more to win the award.

Monstress, the fantasy series written by Marjorie Liu, drawn by Sana Takeda and published by Image Comics, has won the 2017 Hugo Award in the “Graphic Story” category.

Presented annually since 1955, The Hugo Awards recognize the best science fiction in books, comics, movies, TV and more. The Hugo Awards are voted on annually by members of the World Science Fiction Convention. The Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story has been awarded annually since 2009, with previous winners including Saga, Ms. Marvel and Girl Genius. The Sandman: Overture won last year.

Other nominees in the category this year included Saga, Paper Girls, Black Panther, Ms. Marvel and The Vision. Takeda was also nominated for best professional artist, a category won by Julie Dillon.

You can see the complete list of winners here.

Smash Pages Q&A: Joe Haldeman and Marvano

The author and artist discuss their comics adaptation of Haldeman’s ‘The Forever War’ from Titan Comics.

Joe Haldeman is a name familiar to most science fiction readers. Best known for his novel The Forever War, the book remains more than forty years after it was published, a brilliant, landmark science fiction novel. Haldeman has been named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America, and has received numerous Hugo and Nebula Awards, in addition to the World Fantasy Award and James Tiptree Jr. Award, for his novels, novellas and short stories including The Hemingway Hoax, Forever Peace, and Camouflage.

Haldeman is also the author of three comics series, collaborations with the Belgian creator Mark van Oppen, who publishes under the name Marvano. Marvano is best known as a creator for his many historical projects like Grand Prix, Berlin, Ver van leper, and La Brigade Juive. Their first collaboration, an adaptation of Haldeman’s The Forever War, is currently being published in English as a six issue miniseries by Titan Comics and the two spoke about their work, together and separately.
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Comics Lowdown: Hello Kitty!

Hello Kitty brings the cuteness to high-energy physics, ‘Korra’ creators talk about the new graphic novel and the ‘Gotham Academy’ team look back on their three-year long school year.

Hello Kitty shows up in a lot of unlikely places, from checkbooks to the sides of airplanes, but this is a first: She’s repping for the International Linear Collider, a proposed particle accelerator that was under discussion last week at the International Conference on High Energy Physics. (CERN, where the Higgs boson was first spotted, is a donut-shaped accelerator; the ILC would run in a straight line.) Japan is one of the possible sites for the ILC, so boosters drafted Hello Kitty to the cause and gave her a new outfit, complete with pocket protector and a fancy L (for Lagrangian) on her bow.

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‘Mighty Crusaders’ returns from Archie Comics

Ian Flynn and Kelsey Shannon team up on the new series featuring The Shield, The Comet, The Web and many others.

Archie Comics will bring back its flagship superhero team, Mighty Crusaders, this December in a new series by Ian Flynn and Kelsey Shannon.

You may be asking yourself, “Wait – Archie published superhero comics?” Why yes, yes they did (and still do). Characters like The Web, The Shield, the Comet and many others appeared in comics back in the 1960s, eventually forming a team called the Mighty Crusaders. They’re appeared several times since then, under Archie’s “Red Circle” banner in the 1980s, as part of the Impact line from DC Comics in the 1990s and even as a part of the DC Universe circa 2010. Archie launched New Crusaders as a digital series back in 2012, by Flynn and Ben Bates, which was followed by the Dark Circle line a few years later, which features new takes on The Fox, Black Hood and The Shield, among others.

“I’m really excited to return to the Dark Circle heroes and pit them against the greatest challenges they’ve ever faced,” said writer Ian Flynn. “I think fans of the classic and newer Crusaders will enjoy our new, high-paced approach to their world!”

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Betty and Veronica re-imagined as biker chicks in ‘B&V Vixens’

New series by Jamie Rotante and Eva Cabrera launches in November.

Archie Comics continues its wave of “re-imaginations” of its characters with B&V Vixens, a take on Betty and Veronica as leaders of a biker gang in Riverdale. The idea for the series came from Archie editor Jamie Rotante, who will be joined by artist Eva Cabrera.

“I couldn’t be more honored and excited for the opportunity to not only let pop culture’s two most recognizable BFFs take center stage, but to give them the opportunity to kick a whole lot of ass along the way,” Rotante said to The Hollywood Reporter. “Betty and Veronica aren’t just two young ladies who happen to like the same boy — they’re two hard-working, intelligent and strong women who maintain a friendship despite their differences; consistently defying all expectations to overcome the odds stacked against them. That’s something I really wanted to explore with this series — and not just Betty and Veronica, many of the female Archie Comics characters will get a chance to tell their own unique stories in a way that’s fun and action-packed.”

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Comics Lowdown: We’re all doomed! Or not!

A writer predicts the demise of Marvel comics, but the DC honchos are bullish on their medium. Plus: Sitting down with Los Bros Hernandez.

Let’s kick things off with some doom and gloom! At the Disney theme park fan site The Kingdom Insider, Thom Pratt asks “Will Disney Stop Publishing Marvel Comic Books?” Pratt makes some good points: The Marvel universe most people are familiar with comes from the movies, not the comics; the comics themselves are not really accessible to most people, both literally (because of the uneven distribution and quality of comic shops) and figuratively (because the storylines cross over and the continuity is complex); and the profits are low relative to what a large corporation like Disney expects. Of course, this is all unvarnished speculation, with no insider knowledge, but there’s food for thought here—and as Pratt points out, Marvel is already outsourcing its digests to Archie and its young-readers Star Wars comics to IDW.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Kim Newman on ‘Anno Dracula 1895: Seven Days in Mayhem’

The prose author discusses his comic book sequel to Anno Dracula, his own comics reading history and much more.

Kim Newman is a beloved and acclaimed cult writer. Comics fans may only know him for his 2015 miniseries Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland, but prose fans know him for his dozens of books which include Professor Moriarty – The Hound of the D’Urbervilles, The Night Mayor, and the Diogenes Club series. Perhaps his best known works are the series Anno Dracula. The 1992 novel is something of a what if – what if Dracula defeated Van Helsing. The resulting novel – and the sequels – mixed real life figures and literary characters in a way that is much more common today than it was when the novel first came out.

The new miniseries from Titan Comics, Anno Dracula 1895: Seven Days in Mayhem, is written by Newman and illustrated by Paul McCaffrey. The comic, which wraps up this week, is a direct sequel to the novel Anno Dracula – and a prequel to the second book in the series Bloody Red Baron, which takes place in World War I. Like the novels this one mixes real and fictional worlds. Newman was kind enough to talk about the miniseries, his novels, and everything from Philip Jose Farmer to possible comics crossovers he’s eager to write.

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Alternative rockers Me Like Bees creating soundtrack for Image’s ‘The Realm’

Each issue of the apocalyptic fantasy series by Seth Peck and Jeremy Haun will coincide with a new single by the band.

When The Realm by writer Seth Peck and artist Jeremy Haun kicks off next month, the series will be accompanied by its own soundtrack, courtesy of the band Me Like Bees.

“Musicians are such natural storytellers,” Haun told Alternative Press. “I’ve always had an obsession with concept albums. You’d have Bowie or Nick Cave or Johnny Cash telling these stories across an album. They were brilliant. Always sparked my imagination. I was as inspired by that as any movie, book or comic story.”

Each issue will coincide with the release of a new single from Me Like Bees, eventually resulting in a new EP from the band. The first single, “The River Divides” is already out and serves as a theme song for the entire series. Check out the video below:

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