Nominees announced for the 2018 Russ Manning Award

Annual award for the “Most Promising Newcomer” comic artist will be presented during the Eisner Awards in July at Comic-Con International.

The nominees have been announced for the 2018 Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award, named for the creator of Magnus, Robot Fighter and illustrator of the Tarzan and Star Wars comic strips.

Presented annually since 1982, the award recognizes an artist who, early in his or her career, “shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics.” Previous winners include Dave Stevens, Eleanor Davis, Jeff Smith, Marion Churchland, David Petersen, Tyler Crook, Dan Mora and Anne Szabla.

Congratulations to this year’s nominees:

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DC’s Black Label debuts in September, adds ‘beloved existing titles’ to the line

Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo’s ‘Batman: Damned’ miniseries kicks the imprint off in September.

DC Comics’ new Black Label imprint promises standalone, out-of-continuity comics from “top talent” like Frank Miller, John Romita Jr., Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Ridley and many others — and it looks like we’ll see the first new output from the line in September.

DC revealed that Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo’s Batman: Damned miniseries will run for three bimonthly issues starting on Sept. 19. It will be followed by Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.’s Superman: Year One three-issue miniseries in November, and John Ridley’s The Other History of the DC Universe, a seven-issue series, in December.

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‘Iceman,’ ‘Unstoppable Wasp’ get a second life from Marvel

Two canceled series return this fall from Marvel, as Jeremy Whitley once again writes ‘Unstoppable Wasp’ and Sina Grace returns to ‘Iceman.’

Two canceled Marvel titles are getting a second chance at life, as the company has announced that Unstoppable Wasp and Iceman will both return in new series.

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For the first time, two women comic writers will receive this year’s Bill Finger Award

Joye Hummel Murchison Kelly and Dorothy Roubicek Woolfolk, two comic book pioneers who kicked off their careers in the 1940s, will receive the award during the Eisners ceremony at Comic-Con International.

Comic-Con International has announced the recipients of this year’s Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Writing, which goes to writers who have not been given due recognition for their work.

Joye Hummel Murchison Kelly and Dorothy Roubicek Woolfolk, two comic book pioneers active in the 1940s, will be the first women to receive the award.

“We’re really excited about this one,” committee chair Mark Evanier said in a statement. “The comic book industry employed too few women in its early decades. Back when this year’s honorees were active, their gender was horribly unrepresented among the creative talents that made the comics—and what few there were went totally unrecognized. The work of these two extraordinary ladies deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Van Jensen + Amber Bellerjeau on ‘Walk Together’

Jensen and Bellerjeau discuss making a comic book about Stacey Abrams, who is running for governor of Georgia.

Stacey Abrams is running for governor of Georgia in November. Abrams’ campaign is historic and notable for many reasons, but her campaign did something really dynamic and interesting – they made a comic book. It’s not the first time someone has used comics for a campaign or for educational purposes, but Walk Together was a striking project and I reached out to writer Van Jensen and artist Amber Bellerjeau to talk a little about the project.

Van Jensen is perhaps best known to comics readers as the writer of Flash, Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer, and the new publisher of the website ArtsATL. Bellerjeau is an artist and illustrator. Both are Georgia residents and were kind enough to answer a few questions about the project.

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King + Mann’s ‘Heroes in Crisis’ focuses on the human side of DC’s heroes

The new miniseries debuts in September.

Fresh off an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, where he talked about Mr. Miracle and Batman’s upcoming nuptials to Catwoman, Tom King will next turn his attention to the human side of superheroes with a new miniseries — Heroes in Crisis. Teaming up with Clay Mann, the duo will tell the story of “a crisis center for superheroes who spend their lives fighting villainy and protecting others.” It’s also a murder mystery.

“I feel like I’m part of a rolling generation of people who spent their 20s overseas fighting terrorism,” explained King. “Millions of people cycle through that machine and come home to America. And I think that sort of experience of violence is shaping who we are as a culture, and as a country. And I want to talk about that. I want to talk about that experience, the experience of what violence can do to a person, to a community, to a nation, to a world.”

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Cab drivers and monsters collide in the 1970s in ‘MCMLXXV’

‘It’s about creating a new kind of folk hero that speaks to where we all are right now. Oh yeah… it’s also about smashing monsters into the pavement with an enchanted tire iron.’

Joe Casey and Ian MacEwan are heading back to MCMLXXV — that’s 1975 to you and me — for a new series about a Manhattan cab driver/badass monster-fighter.

In MCMLXXV, you’ll meet Pamela Evans during “the year of her greatest adventure.”

“This series is all about creating brand new iconography,” Casey said in a press release. “It’s about creating a new kind of folk hero that speaks to where we all are right now. Oh yeah… it’s also about smashing monsters into the pavement with an enchanted tire iron.”

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Ellis + Howard team for ‘relentless’ action comic ‘Cemetery Beach’

New series from the creators of ‘Trees’ debuts from Image Comics in September.

The creative team behind Trees is heading back to the beach for what Warren Ellis says might be “the most relentless action book I’ve ever written.” Cemetery Beach, by Ellis and artist Jason Howard, debuts in September from Image Comics.

“In Cemetery Beach, Warren wrote the perfect book for me as an artist,” Howard said. “It’s an insane world filled with old future tech, cool characters, big explosions, and enough heart to make you care. It’s the kind of comics I love reading and REALLY love drawing.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Beth Evans on “I Really Didn’t Think This Through”

The webcomics creator discusses the release of her first book, her influences and process, Eurovision and more.

Beth Evans has been posting comics online for a few years now. In the comics, which range in length, she uses a fairly simple style to tackle anxiety and depression in ways that range from the strange to the funny to the disturbingly true.

Evans’ first book, I Really Didn’t Think This Through: Tales From My So-Called Adult Life came out this month. The book is part memoir and part self help guide, part comics and part prose, Evans talks in depth about her own life and details her struggles with mental illness and ways to cope and find stability.

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