Smash Pages Q&A: Marco Finnegan

The artist of ‘Crossroad Blues’ returns with a new YA graphic novel about the Zoot Suit Riots, family tension and lizardmen.

In the early 1940s, racial tension between the Chicano community and white servicemen in the Los Angeles area led to the Zoot Suit Riots, named for the baggy suits worn by Mexican-American youths at the time.

Lizard in a Zoot Suit is a new graphic novel from Marco Finnegan (Crossroad Blues) that uses these riots as a backdrop for a socially relevant tale of racial tension, family and magical realism. Inspired by playwright Luis Valdez and movies like LA Confidential, Lizard in a Zoot Suit features two sisters who discover a lizardman — a lost member of an underground species who just wants to get home. Amidst the chaos, the sisters do what they can for their new friend in a beautiful tale told in two colors.

I spoke with Finnegan about the book, his inspiration for it and more.

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Terry Moore announces new graphic novel ‘Ever: The Way Out’

The creator of ‘Strangers in Paradise’ and ‘Echo’ reveals his latest project — and teaches you to draw noses — on YouTube.

Terry Moore, who recently wrapped up the Terry Moore-iverse miniseries Five Years, has announced his next project — a graphic novel called Ever: The Way Out. He revealed the new title at the beginning of a YouTube tutorial on “How to Draw Noses.”

Moore, who self-publishes his work under the Abstract Studios banner, said this project would be different from his previous titles, as he’s releasing it as a full graphic novel rather than as single issues.

The 72-page graphic novel is about a half-angel/half-human girl who is turning 18 and finds out she’s “the key to opening the pit of darkness where … all the sinful angels are kept,” Moore said.

Watch the video below:

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‘Virtually Yours’ by Holt + Beals arrives July 14 from comiXology Originals

The new graphic novel is a “rom-com for the digital age.’

ComiXology Originals has announced another new graphic novel that they plan to release July 14 — Virtually Yours, a “rom-com for the digital age” by writer Jeremy Holt and artist Elizabeth Beals, with lettering by Adam Wollet.

“If the quarantine has been an indicator, access to high-speed internet has become society’s lifeline. As connective as this new virtual landscape has and can be, it cannot replace the absence of interacting in a three-dimensional space,” Holt said in the press release. “Particularly when it comes to all stages of a romantic relationship. Virtually Yours focuses on one particular aspect, which is the notion that a simulated online connection can be equally as genuine as a random face-to-face one. In this day and age, I’d argue that they’ve become interchangeable. With the advent of robust chat software, online dating has evolved from simply facilitating an eventual in-person meet up to hosting dates in their entirety. This has dynamically altered our ideas, notions and expectations of courtship because the physicality component has been removed. Creative problem solving is the name of the game, and I for one support the notion of pioneering new and sustainable ways to be human.”

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Koren Shadmi’s ‘Bionic’ coming from Top Shelf this fall

The boy-meets-cyborg story will arrive in October.

Top Shelf will publish Koren Shadmi‘s next graphic novel, Bionic, in October. The coming-of-age tale details the romance between Victor, a geeky teenager, and Patricia, a girl who becomes a cyborg after an accident.

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Chris Gooch heads ‘Under-Earth’ in his next graphic novel

New graphic novel by the promising young talent will arrive from Top Shelf Comix in October.

Top Shelf has announced that the next project by Chris Gooch, Under-Earth, will arrive in October. The 560-page graphic novel is about inmates in an underground prison who “struggle to build meaningful lives in a broken system.”

The publisher released the Melbourne-based cartoonist’s impressive debut, Bottled, in 2017. It’s an unsettling graphic novel about Millennial life and a disintegrating friendship; this one, however, is tackling a different subject.

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Drawn + Quarterly announce their 2021 winter catalog

New works by Aminder Dhaliwal, Darryl Cunningham, Michael DeForge and more are coming next year.

Drawn and Quarterly’s winter 2021 catalog, which they shared last week, includes new work by Aminder Dhaliwal, Darryl Cunningham and Michael DeForge, and new manga collections by Shigeru Mizuki and Yoshiharu Tsuge. They’ll all be released between January and April of next year.

Take a look at them below:

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de Campi + Henderson sink their fangs into ‘Dracula, Motherf**ker’

Do you bite your mother with that mouth?

Alex de Campi and Erica Henderson head to California and Austria for a “psychological horror story” called Dracula, Motherf**ker this fall.

The graphic novel with the naughty title will tell a story across two timelines — 1889 Vienna and L.A. circa 1974 — in an action-filled take on the popular Bram Stoker character.

“Most people who know my work are aware that I love pulp/exploitation cinema so me doing a book called Dracula, Motherf**ker shouldn’t really surprise anyone,” said de Campi. “Another thing I wanted to bring to this pulp fantasia was a sensibility from horror anime, with its love of transformation and of the noncorporeal, to push the element of man-as-monster in directions specifically suited to sequential art. Things like the abstract portrayal of Alucard (or Pride in FMA: Brotherhood), and the use of Superflat art in Madoka Magica were tremendously inspirational in this book, especially as that use of flatness dovetails nicely with the work of Gustav Klimt in with the book’s 1889 prologue, and with late-1960s pop art and the psychedelic liquid-light projections of the Joshua Light Show.”

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Top Shelf to publish Pat Grant’s ‘The Grot’ in May

The creator of ‘Blue’ returns with a new graphic novel about greed and environmental calamity.

Since the release of his well-received debut graphic novel Blue back in 2012, Pat Grant has been busy working on his dytsopian follow-up, The Grot. He’s been serializing the comic online and creating single issues, and come May you’ll be able to get your hands on a printed collection, courtesy of Top Shelf here in the U.S.

Grant is one of several literary cartoonists in Australia who have been catching people’s attention recently and what I’ve read of the webcomic is really strong. So this is one to watch for in May.

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Brubaker + Phillips prepare for next awards season with ‘Pulp’

The new graphic novel is due from Image Comics next May.

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have consistently turned out critically acclaimed, award-winning comics and graphic novels for what seems like decades now, from their work on Fatale and Criminal to this year’s big Eisner winner, My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies.

It looks like that trend could continue in 2020, as Image today announced Pulp, a new Western graphic novel by the duo.

“When Sean and I decided to do something completely new for our next original graphic novel, he planted the idea of a Western in my head… And I found myself drawn to the era where that genre first hit big—the pulp magazines and the Great Depression,” said Brubaker. “I thought about all these writers telling fictionalized versions of the vanishing days of the Wild West, as their own world was going through one of its darkest hours… And suddenly I realized I had the makings of a really great pulp story, but one set in the real world. A story that I really wanted to tell.”

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