Smash Pages Q&A: Brian Azzarello and Sierra Hahn

The writer and editor of Faithless from BOOM! Studios discuss the lead character, working with artist Maria Llovet and more.

Faithless is a new miniseries written by Brian Azzarello, and it’s a somewhat different project for him.

It’s the story of a young woman who is playing around with magic, and by the end of the first issue, it’s clear that she’s in much deeper than she thought. Which admittedly, structurally sounds like a lot of the crime stories that Azzarello has written.

I spoke recently with Azzarello and Faithless editor Sierra Hahn. The two have known each other for years but never worked together, and we spoke about how this project came together, working with artist Maria Llovet, and Dante Alighieri.

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Comics Lowdown: C2E2 thief thwarted; Dawson on Somalia airstrikes

Plus: People moves, promotions, podcasts and more!

Crime Does NOT Pay! Stephen Bowles of Remington, Indiana, learned that the hard way: He was nabbed for allegedly stealing $9,000 worth of comics at C2E2 this past weekend, after a vendor caught him on video. The vendor had set up a camera at his booth to keep an eye on sales, and when he noticed Bowles acting sketchy he reviewed the footage and observed the 51-year-old man apparently taking comics from several booths. The vendor called the cops and they arrested Bowles, who had some of the comics on him. Three vendors reported that comics had been stolen from them.

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Gillen + Mora team for ‘Once and Future’ from BOOM! Studios

Family secrets and Arthurian legends collide in a new miniseries coming in August.

Writer Kieron Gillen has been on a roll lately, with the popular The Wicked + The Divine continuing to turn heads, and the newly minted Die and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt garnering attention and good reviews. Now he’s teaming up with Dan Mora (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) for a new miniseries from BOOM! Studios that sounds like it’s right in his wheelhouse: Once and Future, which will involve Arthurian legends, monster hunting and a kick-ass grandma.

“I’ve been chewing over how the classic explorer adventure serial could operate in the twenty-first century for a while. Doctor Aphra transplanting the genre to space was one conclusion. Once and Future is another, taking a genre whose core has barely changed since the 19th century, and updating it for the now,” Gillen said. “Adventure, romance, supernatural horror and too much bloody research, as always. When BOOM! Studios told me one of the most talented action artists of his generation was interested in collaborating, I knew that we had all the ingredients we needed to create gold. Gold which, inevitably, our heroes will steal.”

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Comics Lowdown: Eric M. Esquivel fired from ‘Nightwing,’ ‘Border Town’ cancelled

Plus: Free Comics Book Day, George Freeman, Marie Javins and more!

Although it wasn’t yet announced, DC Comics has said Eric M. Esquivel will no longer co-write Nightwing. The news that Esquivel was writing the book was to be revealed today in DC’s January solicitations.

The news follows the cancellation of Border Town, a well-reviewed series Esquivel wrote with artists Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain. Both Villalobos and Bonvillain announced on social media they had quit the title after allegations of sexual abuse against Esquivel became public. In a piece titled “X, my experience with my abuser,” toy designer Cynthia Naugle detailed a history of abuse by a co-worker at a comic shop, who has since been identified as Esquivel.

Neither DC Comics nor Vertigo have commented directly on the abuse allegations. Esquivel, who had changed his Twitter account to private following the allegations, has now made it public again and posted several tweets in response. At Book Riot, writer S.W. Sondheimer says she will no longer cover Vertigo titles as a result of their silence on the matter.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Lilah Sturges on ‘Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass’

The writer of ‘Jack of Fables,’ ‘Everafter’ and more discusses her work on an original graphic novel based on BOOM! Studios’ popular title.

Lilah Sturges has been writing comics for more than a decade. People may remember her long runs co-writing Jack of Fables and writing House of Mystery. At DC she worked on Blue Beetle, Justice Society of America and many other titles. More recently she’s written Fables: The Wolf Among Us, Muirwood, Everafter and other comics. She’s also the author of the novels Midwinter and The Office of Shadow and has written the graphic novel The Magicians: Alice’s Story, which has been announced and will be released next year.

Her new project is Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass, an original graphic novel that she wrote and is illustrated by the Austrian artist Polterink. The standalone story is centered around an orienteering activity, a cursed compass, and Mal and Molly’s relationship. The story has a member of Her Majesty’s Club for Lady Explorers, Adventurers, and Other Die-Hard Womanly Sorts, fully articulated gear-driven, flywheel-powered service automatons (not robots) and more craziness, but it’s the relationship between Molly and Mal and in particular Molly’s fears over being alone and that her relationship might destroy her friendships is what gives the book its emotional weight. Sturges was kind enough to chat about the book and her work.

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Comics Lowdown: Mark Waid’s attorney asks for dismissal of Richard C. Meyer’s lawsuit

BOOM! Studios cancels ‘Husband and Husband’ collection after plagiarism charges! Image stops selling DRM-free digital comics directly! Chicago Sun-Times drops two pages of comics! Plus: Chip Zdarsky, NaNoWriMo, best of 2018 lists and more!

Mark Waid’s legal representative has asked the U.S. District Court for the Western district of Texas to dismiss the lawsuit filed against him by Richard C. Meyer. The civil lawsuit was filed in September and claims “tortious interference with contract and defamation.” You can read the motion on Newsarama.

“[Meyer] asserts claims against Mr. Waid for tortious interference with contract and defamation. These claims are completely meritless. But the problem at the outset, and which is proper to address, is that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Mr. Waid,” reads the motion. “Plaintiff’s Complaint fails to identify any allegations or facts establishing any connection between Mr. Waid and Texas. Instead, Plaintiff merely alleges a single phone call between Mr. Waid, who was in California at the time, and a San Antonio publishing company. That is far short of the necessary substantial connection with Texas to justify personal jurisdiction.”

Mark Waid and Richard Meyer have GoFundMe campaigns going to pay for their legal fees, both of which have reached their goals.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Gustavo Borges on ‘Petals’

The Brazilian creator discusses the American printing of his wordless tale, his webcomics and more.

Petals, the new book out from BOOM! Studios, isn’t a new release. Gustavo Borges, who wrote and drew the book, originally published it in his native Brazil in 2015. The book is presented as an oversized hardcover and the wordless tale owes as much to picture books as it does to comics. The story of three characters – two foxes and a bird – dealing with a hard winter, it manages to be both sweet and fable-like, but also serious. It’s a story about three people coming together to survive a long, difficult winter and the result is a book that is truly striking and moving.

This is Borges first book to be released here in the United States, but he’s been making comics for many years. He’s made webcomics like Edgar and A Entediante Vida de Morte Crens, and books like Escolhas and Até o Fim. Borges was kind enough to answer a few questions about the book.

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Bellaire, Mora put a stake in BOOM!’s new ‘Buffy’ title

BOOM! Studios will relaunch ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ in January in stories set at Sunnydale High.

Following the announcement that BOOM! Studios obtained the license to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the publisher announced this weekend that writer Jordie Bellaire and artist Dan Mora will work with Buffy creator Joss Whedon on the title.

“Buffy has brought my life so much joy and to be part of that now is ridiculously overwhelming on many levels,” Bellaire said. “My very favorite aspect of Buffy is how we have a wide group of characters that love each other, hurt each other and sometimes, they even kill each other. I can’t wait to dabble within that universe to find new stories, explore older ones and forever maintain the theme of self discovery and growing up, whatever that means.”

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BOOM! to publish R.L. Stine’s ‘Just Beyond’ graphic novel series

Stine will team with artists Kelly and Nichole Matthews on “The Scare School,” due out next year.

R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps have already made the jump to comics, but now the creator is going all in with a new line of original graphic novels from BOOM! Studios.

The first Just Beyond OGN, subtitled “The Scare School,” will debut in September 2019 with artwork by Kelly and Nichole Matthews (Pandora’s Legacy) and featuring a cover by Julian Totino Tedesco (Life of Captain Marvel).

“Kids spend a lot of time in school. So it’s the perfect place for scares. What if everything you thought you knew about your school was wrong?” Stine said in a press release. “What if your school held a secret so terrifying it could threaten your life? That’s where the idea for The Scare School began. Where the story ended surprised even me!”

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