Comics Lowdown: Olivia Jaimes to appear at CXC

Plus: Kazu Kibuishi, Katie Green, Zunar and more!

Olivia Jaimes, the pseudonymous artist who has revitalized the comic strip Nancy, will be a guest at the Cartoon Crossroads Columbus comics festival in Columbus, Ohio, next weekend. There has been considerable speculation about Jaimes’s real identity, and CXC will be asking the 40 or so lucky attendees at her panel to check their phones at the door to protect her privacy.

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DC Universe app debuts Sept. 15

New streaming service, which includes access to comics, TV shows and more, rolls out on Batman Day.

DC’s upcoming streaming/comics service, DC Universe, will launch on Sept. 15 — “Batman Day,” appropriately enough. As previously announced, the service will cost $7.99 a month and will include comics, in an “all you can eat” subscription model similar to Marvel Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Jen Bartel on ‘Crystal Fighters’

The artist of the forthcoming ‘Blackbird’ talks about her early work on ‘Crystal Fighters,’ which will be collected by Dark Horse Comics in September.

Jen Bartel’s artwork has become familiar to many comics readers. She’s drawn dozens of covers for BOOM! and Marvel, IDW and Archie, Valiant and more. She’s drawn issues and stories for comics like Jem and the Holograms and Mighty Thor, and contributed to anthologies including The Secret Loves of Geek Girls.

Her first comic as co-writer and artist was Crystal Fighters. First published digitally on Stela, a print edition of the webcomic is in stores Sept. 5 from Dark Horse Comics. If that’s not enough, in October, Bartel and writer Sam Humphries are launching a new ongoing series from Image Comics, Blackbird. This coming weekend, Bartel will be a special guest at Flame Con in New York City, and we reached out to ask her a few questions about the experience of putting together her first book and what comes next.

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DC Universe service to cost $7.99 a month

Pre-order the service to get a full year for $74.99.

At Comic-Con International this week, DC Comics released more details on the DC Universe streaming app, which will include movies, TV shows, comics and more.

You’ll be able to subscribe to it for $7.99 a month. Right now they’re offering a pre-order price through July 22 of $74.99 for the entire year on the new service’s website; you’ll also be entered into a drawing to attend the premiere of the Aquaman film.

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DC Universe app to offer comics as well

The new app will include ‘decades of comics creations’ via a subscription service, in addition to new TV shows, classic movies, a community forum and more.

DC Comics has been talking about their forthcoming digital app for a while now, announcing that it will be the home of new TV shows like Teen Titans, Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing and a new season of the animated Young Justice animated series, among others. But today they announced it will be more than a streaming service — it will also feature comics.

While Marvel Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited both offer “all you can eat” subscription models through their services, DC Comics has yet to offer a similar service for their comics. But the new service, DC Universe, will change that.

“DC Universe is so much more than a streaming service. It’s a welcoming place for everyone to immerse themselves in their own level of DC fandom, with the epic characters, stories and experiences they have come to expect from DC,” said Jim Lee, chief creative officer and publisher, DC Entertainment. “We are investing in and creating original, high-quality shows including the new Titans series, and curating the most beloved nostalgic content, while at the same time elevating the comic reading experience to new heights. Nothing this robust has ever been offered to fans before.”

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Faerber + Montenat team for ‘pilot’ issue of ‘Glacier City’ from Panel Syndicate

New series stars a cop with no back-up in a secluded Alaska town.

Jay Faerber (Copperhead, Noble Causes) and Michael Montenat (Dead Squad, The Fallen) have teamed up to produce a “pilot” issue of a new comic from Panel Syndicate — and if it’s well-received, they plan to do more.

Glacier City, which is available now on the Panel Syndicate website, tells the story of Police Chief Wes Cutter, the only law enforcement in a secluded Alaskan town “where everyone has a secret and his closest backup is hours away.”

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Comics Lowdown: ‘XIII’ creator William Vance passes away

Plus: Police investigate Mangamura, the world’s largest comics collection and more.

Passings: The Belgian artist William Vance, creator of the French-language series XIII, has died at the age of 82 from Parkinson’s disease. Born William van Cutsem in Belgium in 1935, Vance served a year in the military and then studied for four years at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. He began working for Tintin magazine (not the eponymous series, as stated in one obituary) in 1962, drawing four-page stories, and then launched the his first series, Howard Flynn (written by Yves Duval). He also was the artist for Bruno Brazil, and then he took over as the artist of Bob Morane, a series that had been started by Dino Attanasio. In 1984, he and Jean van Hamme launched XIII, a complex series partially inspired by Robert Ludlum’s Bourne character. Vance illustrated 18 volumes of XIII, which sold over 14 million volumes and was adapted into a television series. In 2010 he announced his retirement due to Parkinson’s disease.

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Holiday shopping deals from comiXology, Drawn & Quarterly, Skybound and more

Get Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on comics, merchandise and more.

With the arrival of Black Friday come several opportunities for comic fans looking for that perfect gift or just a good deal. Here’s a rundown of some comic-related things to check out today, over the weekend and on Monday (which is Cyber Monday).

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‘Harvey Kurtzman’s Marley’s Ghost’ debuts for $2.99 on comiXology

Gideon Kendall, Josh O’Neill and Shannon Wheeler complete a long-lost Kurtzman adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol.’

MAD Magazine creator Harvey Kurtzman once planned to adapt Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol into a graphic novel, but the project never came together — until now. Using Kurtzman’s original pages, thumbnails and notes, comiXology and the Kurtzman Estate teamed up to finish the project more than 50 years after Kurtzman first started on it, with the help of artist Gideon Kendall and writers Josh O’Neill and Shannon Wheeler.

Harvey Kurtzman’s Marley’s Ghost is now available on comiXology as part of the comiXology Originals line, for the introductory price of $2.99 — or you can read it for free if you’re a comiXology Unlimited or Kindle Unlimited subscriber.

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