Smash Pages Q&A: Tracy Butler

The creator of ‘Lackadaisy’ discusses her new Kickstarter for an animated version of the popular webcomic.

Tracy Butler has worked as a game designer and illustrator, but for many of us, Butler is the best known as the person behind the webcomic Lackadaisy. Set in St. Louis during Prohibition, the comic has followed a band of anthropomorphic cats in story involving speakeasies, bootleggers, jazz musicians. It manages to both simultaneously romanticize the past, while never straying into sentimentality. Butler depicts the hardships, the violence, the sacrifices, the tough choices and losses that characters face along with many of the real life details and complexities that marked that period.

Butler’s new project is an animated version of Lackadaisy. To help her, she’s enlisted Fable Siegel, an animation veteran that Butler is co-directing the film with, and C. Spike Trotman, the woman behind Iron Circus Comics. The Kickstarter for the project launched this week and hit its goal in a matter of hours, but Butler answered a few questions about the project and offered us a look at some of the design work for the film.

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Free Comic Book Day postponed

The annual event will occur later in the summer.

Diamond Comic Distributors has announced that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Free Comic Book Day will be postponed “to a later date in the summer.” FCBD 2020 was originally scheduled for May 2.

“The severity and timing of the impact of the COVID-19 virus can’t be predicted with any certainty, but the safety of our retailer partners and comic book fans is too important to risk. As always, we appreciate your enthusiasm for and support of the comic industry’s best event and look forward to celebrating with you later in the Summer,” said Diamond Founder and CEO, Steve Geppi.

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Worlds collide when Archie meets Flash Gordon in new one-shot

Jeff Parker, Dan Parent and Rich Koslowski bring the pulp legend to Riverdale in June.

Mongo and Riverdale will collide in June as Archie Comics presents Archie Meets Flash Gordon in a one-shot by Jeff Parker, Dan Parent and Rich Koslowski.

“I’m now a pretty big believer that the Riverdale gang can fit with practically any other characters and genres,” Parker said, “but it’s best when they get to really flex and go way outside their zone like say, the planet Mongo with Flash Gordon, King of the Impossible. This of course coincides with the sad passing of cinema great Max Von Sydow who was the most memorable Ming the Merciless, and wait until you see our take on the Emperor of Mongo.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Disa Wallander

The creator of ‘The Nature of Nature,’ ‘Remember This?,’ and ‘Help Yourself’ discusses ‘Becoming Horses,’ her latest graphic novel from Drawn and Quarterly.

In recent years, Disa Wallander has been crafting a small but deliberate and brilliant body of work in comics like The Nature of Nature, Remember This?, Help Yourself, and in her webcomic, Slowly Dying. Her new book, Becoming Horses, which was just released by Drawn & Quarterly, is her longest work to date, and perhaps her best.

In the book she uses collage, mostly watercolors and photography, overlaid with a precise but delicate linework that’s been compared to Jules Feiffer. Like Feiffer, Wallander is interested in shape, gesture and an interest in dialogue, but the similarity ends there. In this book Wallander is crafting a series of conversations about art and life, which doesn’t sound exciting or visually interesting when phrased that way, but in Wallander’s hands, these conversations are at the center of this stunning and moving dream-like journey.

There are scenes and images form the book that have stayed with me through multiple readings, and I was so thrilled that Wallander agreed to answer a few questions over email about existentialism, how she works and Tove Jansson’s influence.

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Can’t Wait for Tuesday: Going the (social) distance

Check out what’s hitting comic shops this week from DC, BOOM!, Dark Horse and more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Wednesday Tuesday, our look at the comics and graphic novels hitting stores this week. And what a weird week it is, as we adjust to a new life of “social distance.” Whether your comic shop is actually open probably depends on where you are and your location’s situation. Several counties in California’s Bay Area, including my own, are implementing a “shelter in place” order that begins Tuesday, which is going to be hard on local small businesses like comic shops. There’s a lot of great comic shops in this neck of the woods, and my heart goes out to all of them.

You can see the complete list of this week’s releases over at The Comic List, and I encourage you to share what you’re planning to get in the comments below. My thanks to Tom Bondurant and Shane Bailey for sharing their picks this week.

Update: Per Newsarama, Diamond has given retailers permission to start selling comics on Tuesday this week instead of Wednesday, to try to avoid any potential quarantines or “shelter in place” orders that may be issued this week.

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Emerald City Comic Con rescheduled for Aug. 21-23

Ticket holders for the March event can transfer their badges to the August show.

After postponing this weekend’s show due to the coronavirus pandemic last week, ReedPop, which hosts the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, has announced their new dates for later this year — Aug. 21-23, which is one day less than the original show.

If you had tickets for this weekend’s show, you can transfer your registration to August using this form. You’ll need to do this by March 27, or else you will automatically receive a refund. If you do transfer a four-day badge, you’ll receive a refund for that extra day.

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de Campi + Henderson sink their fangs into ‘Dracula, Motherf**ker’

Do you bite your mother with that mouth?

Alex de Campi and Erica Henderson head to California and Austria for a “psychological horror story” called Dracula, Motherf**ker this fall.

The graphic novel with the naughty title will tell a story across two timelines — 1889 Vienna and L.A. circa 1974 — in an action-filled take on the popular Bram Stoker character.

“Most people who know my work are aware that I love pulp/exploitation cinema so me doing a book called Dracula, Motherf**ker shouldn’t really surprise anyone,” said de Campi. “Another thing I wanted to bring to this pulp fantasia was a sensibility from horror anime, with its love of transformation and of the noncorporeal, to push the element of man-as-monster in directions specifically suited to sequential art. Things like the abstract portrayal of Alucard (or Pride in FMA: Brotherhood), and the use of Superflat art in Madoka Magica were tremendously inspirational in this book, especially as that use of flatness dovetails nicely with the work of Gustav Klimt in with the book’s 1889 prologue, and with late-1960s pop art and the psychedelic liquid-light projections of the Joshua Light Show.”

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‘Savage’ returns at Valiant from Bemis + Stockman

Kevin Sauvage returns in a new miniseries this June.

Valiant has tapped Max Bemis and Nathan Stockman to tell the next chapter in the story of Savage, a Kazar/Tarzan-esque boy who grew up on a remote island populated by dinosaurs and other terrifying things. The new miniseries will kick off in June.

Savage is the biggest story I’ve ever told. As in it’s my aesthetic turned up to eleven and crammed into the skin of a summer blockbuster film,” Bemis said in a press release. “If you dig the more fun and up-tempo stuff I’ve done like Worst X-Man Ever, this is the book you’ve been waiting for.”

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Yang + Ruan + Tan team for ‘Shang-Chi’ in June

The miniseries will feature Shang-Chi going up against his super villain father, Zheng Zhu.

Marvel has announced a new miniseries starring martial arts master, former Avenger and current Agents of Atlas member Shang-Chi, by the team of Gene Luen Yang, Dike Ruan and Phillip Tan.

“I mean, it’s Shang-Chi,” Yang told the New York Times. “He’s probably the most prominent Asian — I guess he’s Asian-American now since he’s moved over here — Asian-American superhero.”

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