Smash Pages Q&A: Sophie Goldstein on ‘House of Women’

The creator of ‘The Oven’ discusses her new book from Fantagraphics, as well as science fiction, her next book and much more.

Sophie Goldstein is best known as the cartoonist behind the book The Oven, and the co-writer and artist of the webcomic Darwin Carmichael is Going to Hell. She’s received multiple Ignatz Awards and her work has appeared in Best American Comics.

Fantagraphics has just released House of Women, the collection of Goldstein’s Ignatz Award-winning series. Goldstein and I have been meeting each other at comic shows for years and I last interviewed her when The Oven was released, shortly after House of Women Part 1 won an Ignatz Award. The new book, which Goldstein designed, is beautiful, and we spoke about the changes in her artwork over the course of making it, science fiction and her next book, An Embarrassment of Witches.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Joseph Remnant on ‘Cartoon Clouds’

The creator of ‘Blindspot’ and artist of Harvey Pekar’s ‘Cleveland’ discusses his first solo graphic novel from Fantagraphics, balancing his work as a storyboarding artist with his own projects, and more.

Like most comics fans I first got to know Joseph Remnant’s work from The Pekar Project. The web project featured the late great Pekar working with a number of artists and Remnant went on to draw Cleveland, a very personal graphic novel written by Pekar that was published after his death.

Remnant was making short work in his comic series Blindspot, in addition to recording music and working on various other projects, but Fantagraphics just released his first solo graphic novel, Cartoon Clouds. The book is about a group of students who have just graduated from art school, and are trying to find their own way and understand their feelings about art. Remnant admits that working on the project over the course of many years has meant that his own feelings about the characters and some of the issues he raises in the book have changed over time, though his linework is masterful throughout.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Roger Langridge on ‘The Iron Duchess’

The cartoonist discusses his latest book from Fantagraphics, as well as ‘Zoot!’, the status of ‘Criminy’ and more.

Roger Langridge has had a long career in comics, crafting a unique body of work that ranges from Fred the Clown to Abigail and the Snowman, The Fez to The Baker Street Peculiars, Art d’Ecco to Snarked. Langridge however is likely best known for a lot of the licensed projects he’s worked on which include Jim Henson’s The Musical Monsters of Turkey Hollow, The Muppet Show, and Popeye. It’s a shame, and not just because people who love The Muppet Show could pick up Fred the Clown and some of his other work and find that same love of wacky characters, vaudeville, silent comedy, music and hijinx.

Fred the Clown: The Iron Duchess shows Langridge’s love for old silent films, in particular those of the late great Buster Keaton. Langridge likes to use Fred as a character the way old silent comedians played the same “character” in one film after another. The book manages to combine a mad scientist, a wealthy man and his daughter, the making of a film, a horse, a pig, a train chase, and much more. It manages to be a madcap adventure, but also a beautifully structured story with multiple threads moving along and leading to some strange and hilarious surprises by the end. The Iron Duchess is out now from Fantagraphics Books, and Langridge has also released Zoot! #1, a new one-man anthology that is a available from his website.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Michel Fiffe on ‘Zegas’

The ‘Copra’ creator revisits its predecessor, which will be collected and released by Fantagraphics.

Today Michel Fiffe is best known for Copra, the acclaimed Suicide Squad-inspired adventure story that he self-publishes. Before he made Copra, Fiffe started self-publishing with the series Zegas. It only lasted three issues, but the stories of siblings Emily and Boston Zegas take place in an unnamed city and combines quiet realistic stories with dynamic styles, wild backgrounds and interacts with the story in interesting ways. I made the comparison to George Herriman’s Krazy Kat who had wild backgrounds and used them to convey a feeling. Zegas doesn’t take place in a science fiction city, but it captures a lot of the energy and craziness that comes from moving to a big city and experiencing urban life for the first time.

Fantagraphics has just published a collection of Zegas, along with a brand new story Fiffe created for the collection. He continues to publish Copra, with issue #31 out now and a fifth collection coming out early next year from Bergen Street Comics, and is creating a new series Negativeland on Patreon. In addition, this week brought the news that Fiffe is working on Bloodstrike, the 1990s comic created by Rob Liefeld. This interview was conducted before that news broke.

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Smash Pages Q&A: And ‘Now’ … Eric Reynolds

The associate publisher of Fantagraphics discusses his new anthology project, which launches this month.

Eric Reynolds is the associate publisher of Fantagraphics, which means that he’s edited some of the best comics in the world. Throughout his career though he’s had a special interest in anthologies.

His new project is Now, a three-times-a-year anthology with cartoonists well known and not, working in a variety of styles from all over the world. The first issue features work by Gabrielle Bell, Noah Van Sciver and a long story by Eleanor Davis in addition to a number of cartoonists people might not know as well. Reynolds wanted to create a relatively cheap ($9.99) project with a feel and approach he didn’t see anywhere else.

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Fantagraphics.com holds 20% off sitewide sale

Get great deals on Fantagraphics’ entire catalog, including their Comic-Con International debuts.

If you’re sitting at home thinking, “Man, I wish I was at Comic-Con so I could get some good deals on graphic novels,” worry no more — Fantagraphics is holding their annual “Not at Comic-Con” sale on their website.

You can get 20 percent off everything on their site from today through July 23. This includes their many Comic-Con International debuts, like Otherworld Barbara Volume 2 by Moto Hagio, Last Girl Standing by Trina Robbins, Johnny Appleseed by Paul Buhle and Noah Van Sciver, Katie Skelly’s My Pretty Vampire and the latest issue of Love & Rockets.

Head over to their site to check it out.

Comics Lowdown: Stan Lee immortalized at the TCL Chinese Theatre

Plus: Batton Lash vs. Cancer, Donny Cates signs with Marvel, DC Girl Power, Texas Latino Comic Con and more!

Hollywood cannot seem to get enough of Stan Lee. Over the weekend, Lee became a Disney Legend and yesterday, the comic icon had his hands and feet immortalized in cement in front of the TCL Chinese theater.

“I can’t tell you what this means to me. I’m thrilled,” he said. “And if I’m half as good as everybody said I am, I’m far too good to be wasting time with ordinary people. But I seem to be spending my life with ordinary people, who are the best people in the world.”

Meanwhile, Variety continued the love affair and took a look back on the life of Stan Lee.
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Fantagraphics to publish a new edition of Langridge’s ‘The Iron Duchess’

The cartoonists’ self-published “Fred the Clown” collection will get a new edition with more pages in September.

Roger Langridge’s self-published collection of Fred the Clown comics, “The Iron Duchess,” is getting a new home. Fantagraphics will release a new version in September.

“The new edition will contain ten new pages of story material,” Langridge said on his blog. “As many of you have already bought the self-published version from me, I thought it only fair to make this new material available to you, as a free download, by way of saying ‘thank you’ for your support.” Head over to his blog to download the extra pages.

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Help ‘shine a light in all this darkness’ by resurrecting Pepe the Frog

Matt Furie attempts to #SavePepe with a new crowdfunded comic about the stoned frog who was hijacked by white supremacists.

The Associated Press reports that Pepe the Frog, like all good comic book characters, is returning from the grave.

Pepe’s redemption will come via Kickstarter, where creator Matt Furie and his brother Jason are attempting to raise money “to positively resurrect Pepe through the creation of a brand new comic in the spirit of the original Boy’s Club.” Per the AP story, Matt’s attorney, Kimberly Motley, is exploring possible litigation against those profiting off Pepe’s image without Furie’s permission.

Pepe the Frog debuted in 2006 as part of the Boy’s Club ensemble, appearing on MySpace and in comics published by Buenaventura Press. Later his chill nature became the subject of many memes. In 2015, the white supremacists in the far right “alt.right” movement co-opted Pepe for their own white nationalism campaigns, leading to the Anti-Defamation League branding him as a hate symbol in 2016. Furie killed Pepe off on Free Comic Book Day earlier this year. Since then, the ADL has worked with Matt Furie to help #SavePepe.

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