Exclusive: Read Morgan Pielli’s story ‘Protection’ from the ‘Pandemix’ anthology

The anthology benefits the Hero Initiative and is available via Patreon.

Last week Dean Haspiel and Whitney Matheson announced Pandemix: Quarantine Comics in the Age of ‘Rona, an anthology of comics about life during COVID-19.

“When COVID-19 sparked a global pandemic and national quarantines, I worried about my creative colleagues,” Haspiel said. “Many of us lost freelance work, and the comic book industry shuttered for a while. But I felt compelled to rally cartoonists to confront the pandemic and make art out of it. Art that can help comic creators in need.”

One of the creators featured in that anthology is Morgan Pielli, whose work has appeared in The New York Times Online, Comixcast, Sundays and Side B, as well as in the pages of the self-published Indestructible Universe Quarterly. We’re pleased to feature his contribution, “Protection,” which you can read below.

If you’re interested in buying Pandemix, it is now available digitally via Patreon. All proceeds benefit the Hero Initiative.

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Cartoonists confront the pandemic for a good cause in ‘Pandemix’

Dean Haspiel and Whitney Matheson spearhead an anthology benefiting the Hero Initiative.

Dean Haspiel and a group of cartoonists have used their downtime during the pandemic to create an anthology for a good cause.

Pandemix: Quarantine Comics in the Age of ‘Rona is a benefit anthology that’s raising money for the Hero Initiative. Haspiel is editing the book along with Whitney Matheson (USA Today’s Pop Candy blog), as well as contributing a story that features his character The Red Hook.

“When COVID-19 sparked a global pandemic and national quarantines, I worried about my creative colleagues,” Haspiel said. “Many of us lost freelance work, and the comic book industry shuttered for a while. But I felt compelled to rally cartoonists to confront the pandemic and make art out of it. Art that can help comic creators in need.”

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So What? Press becomes an imprint of It’s Alive!

The former IDW imprint will help distribute ‘Tales of the Night Watchman.’

A former IDW imprint now has an imprint of its own. Drew Ford’s It’s Alive!, which publishes reprints of out-of-print graphic novels, translations of foreign material, classic comics and other projects, will now distribute Tales of the Night Watchman from So What? Press.

This effectively gets the critically acclaimed indie comic into comic shops via Diamond, which is good news for comic fans and creators Dave Kelly and Lara Antal. The partnership kicks off with a new two-issue miniseries called “The Final Kill,” which will be followed by a crossover with Dean Haspiel’s The Red Hook.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Dean Haspiel on ‘Starcross’

The prolific creator discusses the next chapter in his New Brooklyn universe.

Dean Haspiel has always been a creator doing many things and making many kinds of projects. From drawing books at Vertigo including The Quitter and The Alcoholic, to helping to launch webcomics first at the collective act-i-vate to the series Street Code that he made at DC’s Zuda imprint. He received an Emmy Award for designing the titles to the HBO show Bored to Death, co-wrote and drew The Fox for Archie Comics, and drew the children’s book Mo and Jo, which was written by Jay Lynch. In recent years he’s written three plays which have been produced in New York City and just launched the podcast Scene by Scene with fellow artist Josh Neufeld.

In recent years he’s been making The Red Hook, a superhero saga that he’s been serializing on Line Webtoon in two volumes, the first of which has been published in a print edition by Image Comics. Over the course of two volumes, the focus has gone from the titular character to other characters, and that focus continues to expand in this third volume in interesting ways. The third Red Hook story, Starcross, is being serialized starting this week, and we sat down to talk about the book.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Dean Haspiel on New Brooklyn, his new play and more

The comics creator and playwright discusses The Red Hook, War Cry, his newest play and much more.

Dean Haspiel has always been a busy creator. Right now he’s writing and drawing War Cry, a weekly superhero comic for Line Webtoon, which wraps up next month. It’s a sequel to The Red Hook, which will be published as a print collection by Image Comics in June, part of the New Brooklyn Universe that Haspiel has overseen.

This month Haspiel has the world premiere of his new play in New York. The Last Bar at the End of the World is Haspiel’s third play and his second in two years. Haspiel has been one of those creators doing many things, from making his own comics, drawing books written by other people, working in television and film. This fall The Alcoholic, which Haspiel drew, will be reissued in a 10th anniversary edition. There will also be a collection to Haspiel’s The Fox: Fox Hunt series coming out from Archie Comics.

An Off-Broadway play, an indie superhero, a realistic graphic novel, an Archie superhero – and the fact that Haspiel is able to move from one to other with such ease is just one of the reasons his work has always stood out.

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Image reveals many, many new titles at Image Expo

New projects announced from Matthew Rosenberg and Tyler Boss, Rob Guillory, J.H. Williams and Haden Blackman, Sam Humphries and Jen Bartel, Annie Wu and more.

As they’ve done in previous years, Image Comics dropped a metric ton of announcements at their Image Expo event, held today in Portland, Oregon.

The line-up of announcements this year includes five new titles from Todd McFarlane’s camp, new titles from Chew creators John Layman and Rob Guillory, two comics from Christoper Sebela, the fact that they’ll publish the Netflix/Millarworld titles starting with The Magic Order and much more. No doubt there are interviews aplenty dropping around the internet on all these new projects, so I’ll start with the text of the press release, then add art and commentary as I find it.

So let’s get to it …

Blackbird by Sam Humphries & Jen Bartel
Sam Humphries and Jen Bartel team up to co-create Blackbird, a modern fantasy story best described as Harry Potter meets Riverdale. It follows a young woman named Nina who discovers a neon-lit world of magic masters in Los Angeles. Now they’ve kidnapped her sister, and Nina is the only one who can save her.

“Blackbird is a labor of love, a coming of age story and beautiful people doing insane things with magic,” said Humphries.

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Skottie Young, Tom King, ‘March: Book Three’ and more take home Ringo Awards

Named for artist Mike Mike Wieringo, the awards were presented over the weekend at the Baltimore Comic-Con.

The winners for the first-ever Ringo Awards were announced this weekend at the Baltimore Comic-Con. The awards are named for artist Mike Wieringo, who passed away in 2007.

The Ringos showed Skottie Young’s I Hate Fairyland some love, as the creator took home awards for Best Cartoonist and Best Humor Comic. March: Book Three by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell continued to rack up accolades as it took home the awards for Best Non-fiction Comic Work and Best Original Graphic Novel. And Tom King, writer of Best Series winner The Vision, won for Best Writer. Other winners included Fiona Staples, Sean Murphy, Todd Klein, Laura Martin, Bloom County and Dean Haspiel’s The Red Hook.

The nomination process was open to anyone, while comic professionals voted on the final winners. Check out the full list of nominees below, with the winners in bold.

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