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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Smash Pages Q&A: Mark Fertig on ‘Take That, Adolf!’

Alex Dueben talks to Mark Fertig about his latest book from Fantagraphics, World War II, graphic design and more.

In his recent book Take That, Adolf!, Mark Fertig looks at Golden Age comics and how World War II transformed the industry and the content. While for many people, the appeal of the book may be the hundreds of comic book covers that feature Adolf Hitler being punched and Nazis thwarted, the highlight is Fertig’s long essay.

In that piece Fertig examines race and gender; he looks at how the comics industry was changed, the ways that it’s impossible to think about the business and many characters without the influence of the war, and many more issues. Fertig is an Associate Professor at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, where he teaches graphic design, and we spoke about the book, World War II, graphic design and comics in the classroom.

I enjoyed the book – who doesn’t like seeing Hitler get punched repeatedly? When you conceived the book, I’m sure you never imagined that the media would be discussing when it’s acceptable to punch nazis.

Yeah, I did a Twitter search the other day, and the book showed up. I don’t think the book has really worked its way into the public consciousness on any level, and yet it showed up in a political tweet where somebody had linked to the book and said, “This is our book.” I thought that was pretty fascinating. When I wrote it I thought I was writing it for comic book people and World War II people, but if it’s interesting to other people, that’s fine by me.

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Fantagraphics to collect Michel Fiffe’s ‘Zegas’

One of the first projects by the creator of ‘Copra’ returns in a new collection this November.

Before Copra came Michel Fiffe’s Zegas, the title that started his self-publishing operation, Copra Press, back in 2011. Fiffe sold single issues of the title through his Etsy store, but they’re long gone at this point, so it’s good news then that “all the out-of-print stories previously lost to the ages” will be collected by Fantagraphics this November.

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Fantagraphics to launch ‘Now’ anthology in September

Eric Reynolds to edit the three-times-a-year publication; first issue will feature Sammy Harkham, Rebecca Morgan, Dash Shaw, Noah Van Sciver, Gabrielle Bell and more.

Fantagraphics is bringing back a reoccurring alt.comics anthology with the launch of Now this September. Like MOME, the quarterly anthology that ran for 22 issues about 10 years ago, Now will be edited by Fantagraphics Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds.

Reynolds spoke with The Comics Reporter’s Tom Spurgeon about why now is the time for Now:

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