Plus: News on #BacktheComeback, TCAF, Heavy Metal, Thought Bubble and the first graphic novel to win the Wodehouse Prize and have a pig named after it.
Diamond Comics Distributor’s parent company has a new president, kind of. Stan Heidmann, the president/COO of Geppi Family Enterprises who took that role about a year ago, will depart the company as Steve Geppi resumes the role. Geppi has been serving as Chairman and CEO since Heidmann joined the company.
“Under my guidance, the executive leadership team will support a comprehensive strategic review to position the enterprise for future growth,” Geppi said in the message posted to the Diamond website. “I feel a tremendous responsibility to our employees and the industry, and I fully intend to set all Geppi Family Enterprise brands on a path for robust growth. I am confident we have the right leadership with talented teams in place and I see enormous opportunities for GFE.”
The creator of ‘Upgrade Soul’ discusses ‘BTTM FDRS,’ his collaboration with Ben Passmore.
Ezra Claytan Daniels is a writer, illustrator and designer who made a huge splash in comics when Upgrade Soul first came out. It may have made a huge impact on a lot of readers and critics, winning the Dwayne McDuffie Award in 2017 and being nominated forseveralawards over the past few weeks, but it was a hard sell to publishers and started out as an app.
Fantagraphics just published his second book, a collaboration with Ben Passmore. BTTM FDRSis a horror story in a very best tradition of the genre. The story of gentrification in a Chicago neighborhood tackles race and class, and involves a monster that is linked to an old building. It’s thoughtful and funny, disturbing and shocking, and Daniels was kind enough to answer a few questions about the book and his process.
Publisher announces new titles by Michael DeForge, Keiler Roberts, Patrick Kyle, GG, Ben Passmore and Connor Willumsen.
Coming out of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival this weekend, Koyama Press has announced their lineup of titles for this coming fall and winter, including new books by Michael DeForge, Ben Passmore, Keiler Roberts and more.
“Fall 2019 / Winter 2020 is a mixture of humor and horror, love and pain. The realities of being a part of society, and wanting not to be a part of that society, or being incapable, are explored by a collection of incredibly talented cartoonists of varying style and authorial voices in a season we can’t wait for you to see,” the publisher posted on their website.
Here’s how Fantagraphics describes the book: “Once a thriving working-class neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, The ‘Bottomyards’ is now the definition of urban blight. When an aspiring fashion designer, Darla, and her image-obsessed BFF, Cynthia, descend upon the neighborhood in search of cheap rent, they discover something far more seductive… and deadly.”
“Writing BTTM FDRS was a very therapeutic way to work through my feelings about issues like cultural appropriation, gentrification and representation. By reinterpreting these ideas through a candy-coated lens of body horror and snarky dialogue, they became, for me at least, a little less intimidating,” Claytan Daniels said.
The creator of ‘Your Black Friend’ discusses his work for Fantagraphics’ ‘Now’ anthology, The Nib, his influences and much more.
Ben Passmore’s short comic Your Black Friend was a sensation when it was published in 2016. It was nominated for an Eisner Award, won an Ignatz Award, was on NPR’s 2017 list of 100 Favorite Comics and Graphic Novels, and was turned into an animated short film. Passmore has become a regular contributor to The Nib and many other outlets, but for people who have been reading Passmore for years, this recent political work has been something of a departure for him. He first came to notice with Daygloayhole, which is a very different kind of comic, but shares a lot of the same sensibilities and ideas that motivate his political and essayistic comics.
This year saw the publication of Your Black Friend and Other Strangers, which collects a number of short comics by Passmore. Silver Sprocket is publishing a print version of Daygloayhole, the second issue of which is out this summer. Passmore has a comic in the current issue of the Fantagraphics anthology Now and has a comic in the June/July issue of The Believer.
Publisher/distributor J.T. Yost shares more on his current fundraiser.
Birdcage Bottom Books, which publishes minicomics and distributes for other small presses and individuals, is running a fundraiser through the month of February: 50% of the sales of selected comics will go to the ACLU. This is a great opportunity to pick up minicomics by rising and accomplished creators such as Glynis Fawkes, Whit Taylor, Hazel Newlevant, Kevin Budnik, and Jonathan Baylis, and help a great cause at the same time.
I checked in with J.T. Yost, who runs Birdcage Bottom and publishes his own comics there, to find out more about the fundraiser—and ask for some personal recommendations!