Smash Pages Q&A: Disa Wallander

The creator of ‘The Nature of Nature,’ ‘Remember This?,’ and ‘Help Yourself’ discusses ‘Becoming Horses,’ her latest graphic novel from Drawn and Quarterly.

In recent years, Disa Wallander has been crafting a small but deliberate and brilliant body of work in comics like The Nature of Nature, Remember This?, Help Yourself, and in her webcomic, Slowly Dying. Her new book, Becoming Horses, which was just released by Drawn & Quarterly, is her longest work to date, and perhaps her best.

In the book she uses collage, mostly watercolors and photography, overlaid with a precise but delicate linework that’s been compared to Jules Feiffer. Like Feiffer, Wallander is interested in shape, gesture and an interest in dialogue, but the similarity ends there. In this book Wallander is crafting a series of conversations about art and life, which doesn’t sound exciting or visually interesting when phrased that way, but in Wallander’s hands, these conversations are at the center of this stunning and moving dream-like journey.

There are scenes and images form the book that have stayed with me through multiple readings, and I was so thrilled that Wallander agreed to answer a few questions over email about existentialism, how she works and Tove Jansson’s influence.

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L.A. Times announces 2020 Book Prize nominees

Works by Eleanor Davis, Michael DeForge, Jaime Hernandez, Keum Suk Gendry-Kim, Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell received nominations.

The Los Angeles Times has announced the nominees for their annual Book Prize awards, which includes a graphic novel category. Three Drawn and Quarterly releases received nominations, along with one each from Fantagraphics and First Second.

The L.A. Times has given an award in the graphic novel category since 2009, when Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli won the award. Other previous winners include The Love Bunglers by Jaime Hernandez, Duncan the Wonder Dog by Adam Hines and Beverly by Nick Drnaso. Tillie Walden’s On a Sunbeamwon the award last year.

The nominees in the “Graphic Novel/Comics” category are:

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Comics Lowdown: Chuck Wendig says Marvel fired him because of negative tweets

After posting a controversial interview, Bleeding Cool gets a new editor in chief! Plus Steve Ellis, Alex Ross, MAD Magazine and more!

Comics writer and novelist Chuck Wendig says he has been fired from Marvel “because of the negativity and vulgarity that my tweets bring. Seriously, that’s what Mark [Paniccia], the editor said. It was too much politics, too much vulgarity, too much negativity on my part.” Wendig had just been announced as the writer of Shadow of Vader, with artist Greg Smallwood, and said he had another as-yet-unannounced Star Wars comic in the works.

In addition to various Star Wars comics, Wendig also wrote Star Wars: Aftermath, a novel that included LGBT characters and was one of the first books published after Lucasfilm ended the “expanded universe” Star Wars books. After it was published, Wendig said he received “TONS” of harassment online — “harassment that has gone on for years, harassment that has required me to contact local police and warn them of SWATting attempts, harassment across all corners of the Internet, here, FB, Reddit, YouTube. Some of it was bot stuff, obviously, or sock puppets, but some of it was pretty creepy, and very personal.”

This story has been reported on widely, with stories from Deadline, io9, the Verge, Vulture and more. Update: Wendig has a post answering many of the questions he’s received since he went public with this news.

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D + Q to publish Rumi Hara’s ‘Nori’

The Ignatz Award-nominated story about a girl and her grandmother gets the graphic novel treatment in 2020.

Drawn and Quarterly has announced plans to publish Nori, the the debut graphic novel from Rumi Hara, in the spring of 2020.

Nori is quietly enchanting, drawing you into the adventures of this little girl,” Drawn & Quarterly Publisher and acquiring editor Peggy Burns said. “At times it’s surreal and haunting yet simultaneously a light-hearted depiction of childhood and friendship. Rumi’s draftsmanship is gorgeous and she draws in many folkloric elements in the standalone stories.”

Nori’s story began in a series of minicomics. “It started as a minicomic first printed in 2016 about a little girl and her grandma’s encounter with an army of bats,” Hara said on her website. “I couldn’t stop thinking about this little sassy girl, and now there are 3 minicomics completed in the series.”

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Drawn + Quarterly announces 2019 titles

At Comic-Con International, Drawn and Quarterly announced new titles by Lynda Barry, Vanessa Davis, Eleanor Davis, Yoshiharu Tsuge and more.

Canadian publisher Drawn and Quarterly announced many of their upcoming 2019 graphic novels in San Diego earlier this month, revealing new titles from Lynda Barry, Yoshiharu Tsuge, Kevin Huizenga, Vanessa Davis and more.

Take a look at what they have planned below, and note that none of the cover art is final …

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For the first time, a graphic novel makes the longlist for the Man Booker Prize

Nick Drnaso’s ‘Sabrina,’ published by Drawn and Quarterly and Granta Books, up for the prestigious prize this year.

Nick Drnaso’s Sabrina, published by Drawn and Quarterly and Granta Books, has been nominated for the Man Booker Prize — the first such nomination for a graphic novel.

A baker’s dozen of books made the prize’s longlist, with the shortlist due out in September. The final winner will be announced in October.

The Man Booker Prize is awarded every year for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the UK. Established in 1969, the award includes £50,000 in prize money as well as the £2,500 awarded to each of the shortlisted authors.

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Leslie Stein’s ‘Present’ wins the L.A. Times Book Prize

Stein’s collection of short comics from Vice.com wins in the “Graphic Novel/Comics” category.

Leslie Stein’s Present,published by Drawn and Quarterly, has won this year’s Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the “Graphic Novel/Comics” category.

Called “her best work to date” by our own Alex Dueben, Present collects short comics that originally appeared on Vice.com.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Anneli Furmark on ‘Red Winter’

‘It’s like all the characters in the book have their own universe.’

Anneli Furmark’s Red Winter is a stunning book. It is a love story where the grand romantic scene and gesture happens in the opening pages. It is a narrative that is fractured told from multiple points of view, none of whom understand everything that’s happening. It’s about the politics of 1970’s Sweden and how they intersect with people’s lives. It is an impression of a time and of a place that is rendered and colored beautifully that lingers lost after one finishes reading he last page.

Furmark was kind enough to answer a few questions about her book and how she works.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Leslie Stein is ‘Present’

Over the course of five books, Leslie Stein has established herself as one of the great cartoonists of her generation. One reason is the way that her work defies characterization, avoids cliches and tropes, and instead forges its own idiosyncratic path. Some of her work can seem simplistic, but it’s quickly apparent that the choices Stein has made are complicated and thought out, and that the simple choices she’s made are effective and precise. She is a skilled artist, an inventive letterer and possesses an eye for color and composition that are like very few people in comics. Stein is also quite simply one of the funniest and most philosophical cartoonists working right now.

She’s an artist who is always experimenting, and her new book is no exception. Present, which came out from Drawn and Quarterly earlier this year, is her best work to date. The book collects many of the short comics that have been serialized in recent years on Vice.com, and she was kind enough to answer a few questions.

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