What Are You Reading? | X-Factor, Jughead, Suicide Squad and more

See what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately.

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately — including comics from past centuries and some from the past week.

Let us know what you read this week in the comments or on social media.

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Sunday Comics | Protests, Eisner winners and more

Check out recent comics on the web by Erica Eng, Ben Passmore, Paul Guinan and more.

Here’s a round up of some of the best comics we’ve seen online recently. If we missed something, let us know in the comments below.

How do you dress for a protest, and what should you bring? Ben Passmore shares some tips in this piece for the New York Times’ “Diary Project.”

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Two laureates team up for ‘The Exquisite Triumph of Wormboy’

James Kochalka and poet Sydney Lea bring you the adventures of a worm with a human face.

The first Cartoonist Laureate of Vermont has teamed up with a former Vermont Poet Laureate for a new book called The Exquisite Triumph of Wormboy.

James Kochalka drew the new book, while poet Sydney Lea added verse to describe the adventures of the tiny invertebrate hero.

“I drew a wordless 50 page story about a worm with a human face, which was versified as an ekphrastic epic by Vermont Poet Laureate Sydney Lea,” said Kochalka on Tumblr. “And it really is an incredible piece of work, unlike any graphic novel you’ll find anywhere.”

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Chris Schweizer shares an unfinished ‘Crogan’s Escape’

The Crogan Adventures creator posts a PDF version of the fourth book to his Patreon, saying it’ll never be finished.

Chris Schweizer, creator of the Crogan Adventures series of graphic novels that were published by Oni Press, has shared an unfinished version of a planned fourth volume on his Patreon.

“It’s not finished, and it’s not going to be finished, but I thought that I would put together a digital book sharing what I have: a finished version of an unfinished book,” Schweizer wrote about Crogan’s Escape. “It’s got (almost) finished pages, pencils, roughs and synopses, enough to get a sense of the overall book, as well as a few design bits and an introduction to contextualize the whole thing.”

Crogan’s Escape would have followed Crogan’s Vengeance, Crogan’s March and Crogan’s Loyalty, which were published between 2008 and 2012. Each volume focused on a different member of the Crogan family tree — which is filled with pirates, legionnaires, gunfighters, private eyes, flying aces, lion tamers and more. The first volume starred “Catfoot” Crogan, a sailor turned pirate, while this unfinished fourth volume starred Daniel Crogan and is set in 1920s China.

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‘LaGuardia’ wins the Hugo Award

In the “Best Graphic Story or Comic” category, the Berger Books title by Nnedi Okorafor, Tana Ford and James Devlin took home the award.

LaGuardia by Nnedi Okorafor, Tana Ford and James Devlin has won the 2020 Hugo Award in the “Best Graphic Story or Comic” category.

This is the second major award for the comic in the past two weeks, as it follows the book’s Eisner win in the “Best Graphic Album”—Reprint category.

Set in an alternative world where aliens have come to Earth and integrated with society, LaGuardia features a pregnant Nigerian-American doctor who has just returned to New York with an illegal alien plant named ”Letme Live” through LaGuardia International and Interstellar Airport’s customs and security. There, she and Letme become part of a growing population of African and shape-shifting alien immigrants, battling against interrogation, discrimination and travel bans.

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James Tynion IV launches a new horror magazine

‘Razorblades’ features comics, prose and artwork by a variety of contributors.

Batman writer James Tynion IV has launched not only a new webstore, but also a horror magazine containing comics and prose. Tynion is curating the stories with Steve Foxe, and also contributing some work of his own.

The magazine includes two new comics by Tynion: “Washing Machine” with artist Andy Belanger and a preview of “The Adventures of Killboy” with artist Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, which Tynion says he plans to serialize in the future. Other contributors include Sam Johns, DaNi, Michael Dialynas, Marguerite Bennett, Werther Dell’Edera, Lonnie Nadler, Jenna Cha, Michael Walsh, and more.

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‘Doctor Aphra’ wins a GLAAD Media Award

The Star Wars comic featuring an original character created for the comics also featured a same-sex relationship.

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra has won a 2020 GLAAD Media Award, in the “Outstanding Comic Book” category. The awards were announced by GLAAD on Twitter.

The comic features the adventures of Doctor Chelli Lona Aphra, a character created specifically for comics. She is a lesbian, having a same-sex relationship with Magna Tolvan, a member of the Imperial army when they first meet.

Aphra was created by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca, but the comics that were nominated were created by a large cast of creators who GLAAD recognized on Twitter: Simon Spurrier, Emilio Laiso, Andrea Broccardo, Wilton Santos, Caspar Wijngaard, Marc Deering, Don Ho, Walden Wong, Chris Bolson, Scott Hanna, Elsa Charretier, Rachelle Rosenberg, Chris O’Halloran, Stephane Paitreau, Lee Loughridge, Edgar Delgado, Jim Campbell, Joe Caramagna.

The announcement video also included some words from Spurrier on the win:

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Smash Pages Q&A: Sarah Mirk

The writer, editor and journalist discusses her two most recent projects — ‘Year of Zines’ and ‘Guantanamo Voices.’

Sarah Mirk is mostly known as a writer and editor for her work at Bitch Media, and for her books like You Do You and Sex From Scratch. She’s also written comics for The Nib and Symbolia, and has done cartoons for The New Yorker.

This year, though, she has two major projects coming out that show the breadth and depth of her work and her talent. Year of Zines is out now. The book collects 100 of the comics that Mirk made in 2019 where she made literally a zine a day. In the fall, Abrams is publishing Guantanamo Voices, which Mirk wrote and edited, telling the stories of veterans, prisoners, lawyers and government officials, with a number of artists.

Taken together, the books show off the inventiveness, skill and roving mind of a creator who is clearly just getting started. More recently, Mirk has been covering the protests in Portland in work that can be seen on her Twitter and Instagram. Mirk was kind enough to chat about her work.

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Aja + Nocenti’s ‘The Seeds’ will wrap up this December

A trade paperback collecting the entire story arrives just in time for Christmas.

The long-delayed ending to writer Ann Nocenti and artist, colorist and letterer David Aja‘s ‘The Seeds’ will arrive in December. Dark Horse has announced that the entire story will be collected and released as a trade paperback.

The Seeds was announced back in 2017 as one of the launch titles in the Berger Books line, which is spearheaded by veteran editor Karen Berger. Originally intended as a four-issue miniseries, only two issues were published.

“I’m so thrilled to finally to share our hopeful dystopian tale The Seeds with everyone,” Nocenti said. “Grateful for the patience of the readers for our slow-growing Seeds. At this point the characters feel like family, even our nasty aliens. And who knows? Maybe all the world needs is a love story between an alien and a human to lead us someplace better…”

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