Zdarsky, Anka + Wilson reunite for new fantasy miniseries

The two-issue ‘The White Trees’ miniseries kicks off in August.

For one hot minute back in 2016, Chip Zdarsky, Kris Anka and Matt Wilson teamed up on Marvel’s Star-Lord, but the title seemingly ended almost as soon as it began. Which is a shame, because they seemed to be having a lot of fun on it.

Cut to 2019, and the team’s back together — this time on an Image Comics miniseries called The White Trees.

“I’m beyond thrilled to be working with Kris and Matt again!” bellowed Zdarsky. “Are they thrilled to be working with me again? It really doesn’t matter as I tricked them into signing a contract by using the words ‘hot fantasy.’ Legally, they have to illustrate this tale of fraught relationships forged in war and the complexities of fatherhood. Or suffer the consequences.”

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Smash Pages’ favorite comics of 2018

See what the Smash Pages’ staff enjoyed reading this past year.

With 2018 winding down, Smash Pages’ contributors take a look back at some of their favorite comics of the year, from Hey Kiddo and Spectacular Spider-Man #310 to Wet Moon and The Secret Voice.

Brigid Alverson

Silver Spoon, by Hiromu Arakawa (Yen Press)
Arakawa is best known as the creator of Fullmetal Alchemist, but you couldn’t get any farther from that series than Silver Spoon, a comedy about a city boy who goes to agricultural school in rural Hokkaido. Yuugo Hachiken worked hard and did everything he was told, but he still didn’t get into an elite high school, so he takes what he thinks is the easy way out by going to a school that’s not academically focused—or so he thinks. In fact, the students at Ooezo Agricultural High School are very knowledgeable in their fields, but those fields are things like genetics and animal husbandry. The rubber really hits the road in the practical lessons, though, and Hachiken quickly realizes he is out of his depth when it comes to herding chickens, riding a horse, or fetching a stray calf. There’s a lot of city mouse-country mouse comedy in this series, but it’s also a fascinating look at where our food comes from (at least in Japan), and the different agricultural models espoused by different farmers. In fact, like Hachiken’s classmates, this book is very smart and sophisticated in addition to being endlessly entertaining.

Meal, by Blue Delliquanti and Soleil Ho (Iron Circus)
The idea of eating bugs may elicit an “Eeeww” from most people, but Delliquanti and Ho go beyond the ick factor in this romance about an insect cuisine enthusiast and a chef who wants to start a new restaurant based on the dishes of her youth—dishes that include ants, grasshoppers, and tarantulas. There’s a love story woven in there as well. Yarrow has just moved to a new city in hopes of getting a job in the kitchen of Chandra Flores, insect chef extraordinaire, who is about to launch a new restaurant. Milani, her neighbor, is friendly and helpful but the two have a little trouble making it click. At the same time, Chandra suspects that Yarrow is only into insect cuisine because it’s sensational, while to her, it’s part of her heritage. There’s a lot in this slim volume: Love, food, bugs, and bugs that are food, and the creators even include a couple of recipes at the end of the book.

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Zdarsky, Checchetto head to Hell’s Kitchen as the new ‘Daredevil’ creative team

New team takes over in February.

Writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Marco Checchetto will chronicle the adventures of Daredevil starting February, Marvel.com revealed this week.

The new team follows Charles Soule and Phil Noto’s run on Matt Murdock’s alter-ego — a run that ends with a storyline called The Death of Daredevil.”

“A lot of writers in the past have left Daredevil in terrible situations at the end of their runs,” Soule said in a promotional video released by Marvel in September. “Brian Michael Bendis put him in prison for Ed Brubaker to handle; Mark Waid, who preceded me, had Daredevil in San Francisco, his secret identity was blown, he wasn’t a lawyer anymore. I had to handle all of that. So, I wanted to carry on in the tradition of leaving Daredevil in the worst spot imaginable, and letting the next writer somehow deal with this impossible problem that Matt would never get out of. And I wanted to make mine the biggest one that has ever been done.”

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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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Comics Lowdown: Stan Lee speaks out on elder-abuse allegations

Patti LaBoucane-Benson appointed to Canada’s Senate! Finding Olivia James at CXC! Plus: Grant Morrison, Matthew Thurber and why we love Spider-Man so dang much!

People: In an interview subtitled “Those I Trusted Betrayed Me,” Stan Lee speaks to The Daily Beast about elder-abuse allegations against his daughter and the removal of several of his associates from his life.

“There really isn’t that much drama,” Lee said. “As far as I’m concerned, we have a wonderful life. I’m pretty damn lucky. I love my daughter, I’m hoping that she loves me, and I couldn’t ask for a better life. If only my wife was still with us. I don’t know what this is all about.”

People: The Outside Circle comic writer Patti LaBoucane-Benson has been appointed to Canada’s Senate by Prime Minister Trudeau.

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Marvel revives ‘Invaders,’ ‘Marvel Comics Presents’ as part of their 80th anniversary

Chip Zdarsky, Carlos Magno, Butch Guice and more dip into Marvel’s past to help celebrate the future.

With their 80th anniversary coming up next year, Marvel is reviving two titles in January — the anthology Marvel Comics Presents, and Invaders by Chip Zdarsky, Carlos Magno and Butch Guice.

Marvel Comics Presents ran as a bi-weekly anthology series from 1988 until 1995. Some of the highlights of the original run included the first published work of Scott Lobdell (including a clever story about Reed and Sue Richards living in the suburbs); Barry Windsor Smith’s “Weapon X” serial, one of the first stories to detail Wolverine’s origins; and the first appearances of characters like Cyber, Damage Control and Nth Man. There was also a very wonderful Colossus story, Colossus: God’s Country, written by Ann Nocenti. The series returned in 2007 for a 12-issue run.

The new volume will feature the works of Charles Soule, Greg Pak, Ann Nocenti, Tomm Coker and Paulo Siqueira, telling stories about Namor, Captain America and of course Wolverine, who appeared in many issues of the first volume.

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The original Defenders return at Marvel

One-shots starring the Silver Surfer, Hulk, Doctor Strange and Namor due out this December.

Marvel’s original non-team is taking back their name and returning in a series of one-shots by several different creators, as The Defenders — Hulk, Dr. Strange, Namor and Silver Surfer — reunite this December.

The Defenders first banded together back in Marvel Feature #1 in 1971. They moved to their own title in 1972, which lasted 152 issues and featured several other reoccurring members like Nighthawk, Valkyrie, Hellcat and Gargoyle. They’ve since returned in various incarnations. The most recent Defenders series took its inspiration from the Netflix TV series of the same name and included Luke Cage, Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist.

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The 2018 Joe Shuster Award Nominations

Awards celebrate excellence in the Canadian comic creators and publications.

The nominations for the 2018 Joe Shuster Awards have been announced this week.  Commonly nickednamed “The Shusters”, they are Canada’s national comic book awards that honours and raises the awareness of Canadians that create, self-publish and sell comic books, digital comics and graphic novels.

The award winners will be chosen by a jury vote to ensure every nominee is given adequate consideration.

The ceremony will take place at the Montreal Comic Con July 6-8, 2018 at the Palais des congrès, Montreal, QC.

And the nominees are:

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Comics Lowdown: Rest in peace Sam Glanzman, George Romero

Plus: teen romance, and Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and others become Disney Legends

Sam Glanzman (1924-2017): Navy veteran and and Eisner Award-nominated comic artist Sam Glanzman, 92, passed away July 12. Over the span of his 75-year career in comics, Glanzman worked for Marvel, DC Comics, Charlton, Harvey and Dell, among others, on titles like G.I. Combat, Sgt. Rock, Hercules, Jonah Hex, Fightin’ Army, Savage Tales, Semper Fi, Zorro and Kona, Monarch of Monster Isle. Marvel published his A Sailor’s Story graphic novel in 1987, a personal account of his time on the U.S.S. Stevens during World War II. A sequel followed. New stories about his time on the U.S.S. Stevens appeared in DC’s Joe Kubert Presents six-issue anthology limited series, and those stories, along with the two volumes of A Sailor’s Story, were collected in U.S.S. Stevens: The Collected Stories, which is nominated for the Eisner Award this year. A successful Kickstarter campaign to bring Red Range, a story drawn by Glanzman and written by Joe R. Lansdale, recently wrapped up.

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