Eynd of Empyre

Carla Hoffman looks back at Marvel’s Empyre, both as a game-changing “event book” and from a story perspective.

With the world in flux, we can at least count on a major summer event to remain a constant for comic fans. Neither rain nor sleet nor dark of night will keep our Big Two from their appointed rounds of throwing their entire universe (or multiverse, as the case may be) into flux to determine the definitive path for their respective companies. At least until next year.

Let’s look at this year’s Empyre by Dan Slott, Al Ewing and Valerio Schiti, and see if a comic can rock our world harder than real life already has. WARNING: spoilers ahead for the basics of the main Empyre series, so if you’ve read all six issues, grab your comics and read along!

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‘Avengers,’ ‘Battlestar Galactica Counterstrike’ win at the 2020 Dragon Awards

Congratulations to this year’s winners.

The 2020 Dragon Awards were announced this past weekend, recognizing science fiction and fantasy books, movies, video games and comics. The awards are typically given out during Dragon Con, which was held virtually this year.

The awards, which have been presented annually since 2016, recognize comics in two categories — “Best Comic Book” and “Best Graphic Novel.” Winners were selected in an open vote from the general public.

The winners are:

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Smash Pages Q&A: George O’Connor

The creator of the ‘Olympians’ series discusses his work on ‘Unrig: How To Fix Our Broken Democracy,’ the first book released under First Second’s World Citizen Comics publishing line.

George O’Connor is the acclaimed cartoonist behind the Olympians series of graphic novels retelling the Greek myths. Readers may know him for his earlier comics like Journey into Mohawk Country and Ball Peen Hammer, but his new book, Unrig, is something of a departure for him. 

Unrig: How To Fix Our Broken Democracy is the first volume of a new publishing line at First Second Books called World Citizen Comics. O’Connor worked with Daniel Newman, the president and co-founder of Maplight, a nonprofit that reveals the influence of money on politics. The book looks at how money has influenced American politics, how people and organizations with money have changed the system, and how individuals and local organizations have been fighting back. It’s an important book for many reasons, and I reached out to talk with George about the challenges of the project and what he learned from working on the book.

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Fund Me Wednesday | ‘Some Strange Disturbances,’ ‘Skin Horse,’ ‘Ghost Band’ and more

Check out projects by Shelly Bond, Craig Hurd-McKenney, Jason McNamara, Ronald Wimberly and more.

Crowdfunding continues to serve as a viable method for creators to fund their creative endeavors, as comic-related projects flourish on sites like Kickstarter, Patreon and IndieGoGo. The internet also allows creators to sell their creations direct to fans, through sites like Gumroad, Big Cartel and of course their own websites. If you’re looking to buy something from or support a creator directly, you’ve come to the right place. And that’s a good thing to do, now more than ever.

Send any suggestions of your own to jkparkin@yahoo.com.

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The Justice League at 60, Part 7: Pantheon

With the team’s first appearance arriving in December of 1959, Tom Bondurant looks back at the different eras that have defined the Justice League over the last 60 years. This time around: JLA!

Check out part one, part two, part three, part four, part five and part six of this series!

Throughout the 1960s, Justice League of America was the standard-bearer for DC Comics’ superhero teams. In the 1970s, the series boasted an expanded roster and solid, steady Dick Dillin art. The 1980s brought sweeping, lasting changes, from Detroit to the JLI; and the early ’90s turned the League into a franchise. Still, was any of that ever really cool?

I can’t tell you for sure, but I can say this: starting in the summer of 1996, the Justice League was cool enough for Wizard. The breathless self-appointed arbiter of mainstream superhero comics’ cutting edge was all over JLA in the series’ early years, including a 1997 special issue devoted entirely to the title. It was a super-high concept executed by Grant Morrison, one of the era’s hottest writers. Of course Wizard was going to notice.

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DC names Daniel Cherry III as SVP and general manager

The hire will allow Jim Lee to focus on ‘the overall DC brand.’

DC Comics has announced that they’ve hired Daniel Cherry III, who previously served as Chief Marketing Officer for Activision Blizzard Esports, as their new SVP and General Manager.

This is a new role for the company, but one that Jim Lee referenced a few weeks back. According to the report, Cherry will be responsible for business affairs, editorial, talent services, marketing, sales, brand and direct to consumer for DC. Like Lee, he’ll report to Pam Lifford, Warner Bros. global brands and experience president.

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IDW names Nachie Marsham as their new publisher

Company also promotes Veronica Brooks to vice president of creative affairs.

IDW Publishing has named Nachie Marsham as their new publisher. Marsham brings about 25 years of experience in the publishing industry to his new job, following roles at Disney Publishing, where he also worked on their Marvel Press imprint, and before that at DC Comics and Wizard Entertainment.

“Working collaboratively to create powerful stories has always been my passion,” said Masham. “IDW is home to some of the most beloved IP in the business and I couldn’t be more excited to join them in furthering these stories and expanding their creative direction across all platforms.”

In addition, IDW announced that Veronica Brooks has been promoted into the role of vice president of creative affairs.

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Malaka Gharib wins an Arab American Book Award

‘I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir’ took home the award in the Children/Young Adult category.

Malaka Gharib‘s I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir has been awarded an Arab American Book Award, in the Children/Young Adult category.

“It’s tremendous that my experience as a Filipino Egyptian American is being recognized & lifted up by the Arab American community,” Gharib said on Twitter.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Rob Kirby

The creator and editor discusses his new Patreon, his graphic novel ‘Marry Me a Little’ and much more.

Rob Kirby is the acclaimed creator of the long-running comic strip Curbside and many other comics. He’s a critic and interviewer for publications like Publisher’s Weekly and The Comics Journal. And in a series of anthologies like QU33R, The Book of Boy Trouble, The Shirley Jackson Project and What’s Your Sign, Girl? has demonstrated that he’s one of the best comics editors around.

Kirby recently launched a Patreon, and I reached out to ask about his current project, Marry Me a Little; why he decided to make a graphic novel after all this time; taking advice from cartoonist life coach MariNaomi; and our shared dislike of “romance.”

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