‘Space Riders’ team reunites for pulpy, ‘satanic noir’ graphic novel

Fabian Rangel Jr., Alexis Ziritt and Evelyn Rangel team for ‘Tarantula’ from AdHouse Books.

Fabian Rangel Jr. and Alexis Ziritt turned a few heads with their work on the imaginative, chaotically fun comic called Space Riders, and now they’ve reteamed for a new graphic novel called Tarantula from AdHouse Books.

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Lorena Alvarez’s stunning artwork highlights ‘Nightlights’ graphic novel

Check out a preview, courtesy of Nobrow.

The fine folks at Nobrow have shared a preview of one of their latest books, Nightlights by Bogotá-based cartoonist and puppeteer Lorena Alvarez, who has done work for BOOM!’s Adventure Time books as well as for Disney and Nickelodeon.

The story revolves around a little girl who creates imaginary (maybe?) friends out of the tiny lights that appear in her room, and the new student at school, Morpie, who seems to know something about them. According to reviews, it sounds creepier than it actually is, and as you’ll see below, the artwork is absolutely gorgeous.

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‘Street Angel’ returns at Image Comics

Brian Maruca and Jim Rugg’s seventh-grade kung fu master battles the Ninja Kid and a school dance in a new hardcover.

Brian Maruca and Jim Rugg’s much-beloved “eternal underdog” returns to the printed page in April with the Street Angel: After School Kung Fu Special hardcover from Image Comics.

The graphic novel pits the homeless, seventh-grade kung fu master against the Ninja Kid and a school dance. If you’ve never read Street Angel before, fear not — just skateboard down to your local comic shop and grab a copy of the Street Angel collection from AdHouse Books, which collects her previous miniseries (originally published by SLG). And if your skateboard is broken, you can always check out her adventures online.

Check out a preview of the new book below.

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Reading for Resistance: “Rolling Blackouts”

Brigid Alverson kicks off a new column highlighting comics that explore issues in the news, starting with an interview with Sarah Glidden.

Reading for Resistance is a new column highlighting comics and graphic novels that shed light on issues in the news.

On Saturday, everyone was talking about refugees. Six years ago, Sarah Glidden made a journey through parts of Turkey, Iraq, and Syria with a group of independent journalists who were focusing on refugees and their situation throughout the region; they were accompanied by a veteran of the Iraq War who was recording his own reflections. Last September, Drawn and Quarterly published Glidden’s graphic memoir of that trip, Rolling Blackouts.

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Hacker fights for the future in Wren McDonald’s ‘SP4RX’

Check out a preview and the trailer for the upcoming graphic novel from Nobrow Press.

You can count on Nobrow Press to bring out a lot of interesting and cool comics and graphic novels, and their fall/winter slate, which I detailed back in June, is no exception. One of the projects that jumped out at me back back in June when I was putting that post together was SP4RX.

Wren McDonald‘s science fiction/social commentary/political thriller is about a hacker in a dystopian future who discovers a big secret about a cybernetic implants program being run by Structus Industries. McDonald’s artwork is the big draw for me here; it has a dynamic quality with huge amounts of detail packed into it, where you want to examine every panel further just to see what you missed.

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Bryan Lee O’Malley’s next graphic novel is ‘Worst World’

Planned trilogy by the creator of ‘Scott Pilgrim’ focuses on two new characters in Los Angeles.

Just as the Snotgirl ongoing series debuts this week by Bryan Lee O’Malley with artist Leslie Hung, Entertainment Weekly reveals more details on O’Malley’s next graphic novel, coming at an undisclosed date from Ballantine Books.

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Take a look at Nobrow’s fall/winter catalog

New books from Luke Pearson, Wren McDonald, Lorena Alvarez, Luke Healy and Dilraj Mann will arrive starting in September.

The fine folks at Nobrow have released their fall/winter catalog, which includes several new graphic novels from Luke Pearson, Wren McDonald, Lorena Alvarez, Luke Healy and Dilraj Mann. It’s an impressive line-up that features several strong debuts.

Here’s a rundown of what to expect:

Hilda and the Stone Forest, by Luke Pearson. Due in stores in September.

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I’ve got a young kid at home, so I’m constantly looking for fun, age-appropriate comics and graphic novels I can introduce him to. Recently we read through Nobrow’s Free Comic Book Day offering, and the preview of Hilda and the Stone Forest was a big hit. The Stone Forest is the fifth Hilda book, so we have plenty of catching up to do before it arrives this fall. Here’s the publisher’s description:

The city of Trolberg has some dark secrets to reveal and Hilda is about to discover them! Hilda may be grounded, but that won’t stop her from heading off on another daring adventure! But everything is thrown off course when her mother catches her and is dragged along for the ride. Furious with each other, the bickering pair find themselves lost in the land of the trolls, forced to embark on a dangerous journey to make their way home. And to make matters even more difficult, Hilda has to do so . . . as a troll? Buckle your seatbelts for a crazy body-swapping adventure!

In addition, Nobrow will release a paperback version of Hilda and the Bird Parade in November.


How to Survive in the North, by Luke Healy. Due in November.

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The debut graphic novel from Healy, who has published several minicomics and worked as the coloring assistant on Lucy Knisley’s Something New. Here’s the publisher’s description:

A unique graphic novel telling the stories of real and fictional Arctic castaways struggling to survive the long Northern winter.

With stunning narrative skill, this compelling graphic novel intricately weaves together true-life narratives from 1912, 1926 and a fictional story set in the present day. How To Survive in the North is an unforgettable journey of love and loss, showing the strength it takes to survive in the harshest conditions.

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Locomotion, by Golden Cosmos. Due in December.

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The latest in Nobrow’s “leporello” line of concertina books sees the return of Daniel Dolz and Doris Freigofas, a.k.a. Golden Cosmos, the German duo whose High Times remains one of Nobrow’s most popular titles (I wonder how many people thought they were getting something besides a book about planes, based on the title?). Locomotion, meanwhile, isn’t about the popular dance craze that once ruled the Earth, but is focused on trains.

Here’s the publisher’s description:

A stunning double-sided panorama measuring 54 inches on the history of trains printed in glorious spot color!

The beautiful concertina book folds out to a stunning 54 inch panorama detailing the history of trains and locomotives from the very first railroads and machines to sustainability in the twenty-first century and beyond! A brilliant wraparound cover details the notable benchmarks in the history and mythology of trains.

Golden Cosmos was set up in 2010 as a collborative moniker for German artistic couple Daniel Doltz and Doris Freigofas. Their deep knowledge of traditional printmaking techniques and experiences in self-publishing that have won them widespread critical acclaim in illustration circles made them the perfect choice for our trademark concertina series. Their bold use of color and adeptness for shape and form recall the bold patterns and geometry of early Russian constructivism, with a nod to mid-century French commercial art. There is no doubt that this will be a beauty!


SP4RX, by Wren McDonald. Due out in December

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This is the follow-up to Cyber Realm, McDonald’s previous book from Nobrow, which was a part of their 17×23 series of comics. Here’s a description:

SP4RX is the story of mankind clawing for survival. Set in a future where a class system has emerged, the world is divided into five levels, with the elite ruling from the extravagant top level. An abandoned ground level is used as a garbage dump. No living organisms are permitted there. But that doesn’t stop SP4RX, an extremely young hacker who lives off grid, eluding the military force that governs the other levels. He hacks into corporations and sells stolen data to wealthy buyers on the black market—just your average thief.

Structus Industries introduces a welfare program called the “Elpis Program”, which allows the working class to apply for Cybernetic implants to make workers more efficient. On the surface, it seems like a program to empower the poor and allow them to rise to the ranks of the elite. But SP4RX soon discovers all is not as it seems. The welfare program is a highly politicized and intelligent ploy to destroy the working class and replace them with highly effective technology. SP4RX and Structus are set on a collision course with the fate of humanity at stake in Wren McDonald’s latest sci-fi tale of survival and corruption!

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Dalston Monstazz, by Dilraj Mann. Due in February.

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Hipsters battle monsters in this new one by the Puck Collective member. Here’s the publisher’s description:

A gripping graphic novel set in the heart of East London’s trendy center as it falls prey to monstrous calamity.

Dalston, East London . . . sometime in the future. Below the city’s creaking pavements, where the slabs sag from the weight of soulless new glass fronted apartment blocks, chain coffee shops and hoards of real estate agencies, the earth is beginning to crack. And from these fissures, like woodlice crawling from under ancient stone, the Monstazz emerge . . .

Roshan and K had heard about the shadowy Monstazz that were emerging from the foundations beneath Dalston’s recent hyper-development. But they didn’t expect to be tangled up in its murky underbelly; fighting gangsters, megalomaniacal property developers and amongst themselves. Not in the least because of a girl. Even if she is the most badass girl in town.

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Nightlights, by Lorena Alvarez Gomez. Due next March.

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Gomez is a Bogotá-based cartoonist and puppeteer; she’s done work on BOOM!’s Adventure Time books as well as for Disney and Nickelodeon. Here’s the publisher’s description:

A beautiful, mysterious graphic novel about fear, insecurity and creativity, from the enchanting imagination of Lorena Alvarez Gomez.

Every night, tiny stars appear out of the darkness in little Sandy’s bedroom. She catches them and creates wonderful creatures to play with until she falls asleep, and in the morning brings them back to life in the whimsical drawings that cover her room.

One day, Morpie, a mysterious pale girl, appears at school. And she knows all about Sandy’s drawings…

Nightlights is a beautiful story about fear, insecurity, and creativity, from the enchanting imagination of Lorena Gomez.

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New graphic novel answers the question, ‘What if only Black people had superpowers?’

Kwanza Osajyefo, Tim Smith 3, Jamal Igle, Sarah Litt and Khary Randolph launch a Kickstarter to bring ‘Black’ to life.

Kwanza Osajyefo, Tim Smith 3, Jamal Igle, Sarah Litt and Khary Randolph have teamed up to create a new graphic novel called Black: “In a world that already fears and hates them – what if only Black people had superpowers?” They’re looking to raise a little under $30,000 via Kickstarter to bring it to life.

Here’s a description of the story:

After miraculously surviving being gunned down by police, a young man learns that he is part of the biggest lie in history. Now he must decide whether it’s safer to keep it a secret or if the truth will set him free.

“With Black, we’re looking to tell a great story, but we’re also purposefully challenging the pop culture status quo, which is dominated by a White male aesthetic,” Osajyefo said in a press release. “Black tackles the very real and palpable issue of race, which is at the forefront in America and around the world. We are trying to confront the issue of race head-on by creating a world in which only Black people are superheroes — and the Black superhero trope isn’t subtly cast under a label of mutant, inhuman, or meta-whatever. It is also both thrilling and liberating to create the superheroes we’ve always wanted to see — and, frankly, be — outside of the entrenched publishing system.”

If funded through the Kickstarter campaign, Black will be available digitally to backers as DRM-free PDFs in monthly installments, starting in mid-2016. The limited edition print run of the six-chapter Black graphic novel is due out late in 2016. The campaign runs through Feb. 29. For more information, check out the Kickstarter page, their web site or this Washington Post article.

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McNamara, Hinkle slither over to Image for new edition of ‘The Rattler’

Creators Jason McNamara and Greg Hinkle discuss the new edition of their crowdfunded graphic novel, coming from Image Comics in May.

Late last year Jason McNamara (The Martian Confederacy, First Moon, Continuity) and Greg Hinkle (Airboy) announced their crowdfunded horror graphic novel The Rattler had found a new home at Image Comics.

Inspired by true events from McNamara’s own life, the graphic novel will hit stores in March with a new cover and one new page. I spoke with McNamara and Hinkle about the new edition, how the Kickstarter campaign went and the potential for a sequel.

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Smash Pages: For those who don’t already know, can you share what The Rattler is about?

Jason McNamara: Ten years ago Stephen Thorn watched helplessly as Catherine, the love of his life, was kidnapped, never to be seen again. In the years since, Stephen has reinvented himself as a passionate and bitter victims rights advocate. But when Stephen receives a message that may or may not be from Catherine, he embarks on a grisly journey to be reunited with his lost love.

In a nutshell, it’s John Carpenter meets Americas Most Wanted.

Smash Pages: It’s been almost two years now since you launched the Kickstarter campaign for The Rattler. We spoke about it during the campaign, but let’s talk a little bit about what happened next. The campaign was obviously successful; how did fulfillment go? What did you learn along the way?

Greg: Jason had the campaign planned out backwards and forwards, with redundancies and contingencies. It was really something to see. By the time we finished the campaign, there was very little left for us to do aside from writing a check and uploading files to the respective printers. Jason already had the packaging and postage calculated by the time the books actually arrived.

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Jason knows exactly, but I think we got the book to our backers a couple of months ahead of schedule. It was really satisfying to connect with our backers on this book. Connecting directly to the people willing to give our story a chance was amazing.

Jason: What I hadn’t anticipated was how emotional running a Kickstarter would be. We were asking people to assign a perceived value to our work. To see it play out in real time with all the analytical tools inspired a lot of ups and downs. The middle part of the campaign, where nothing happens, was especially depressing.

I understand why campaigns offer more stretch goals, sometimes more than they can deliver, to keep excitement going. But I refused to introduce any goals that could delay fulfillment. Our campaign was very cut and dry, which is what I thought a comic book Kickstarter needed to be at that time.

Smash Pages: Would you do a Kickstarter again, if you had the right project?

Greg: I won’t rule anything out, but I’d probably only do something like this again with Jason. I like the idea of having an entire project ready before funding it, in order to get it in the hands of backers as soon as possible. But completing an entire story before even launching a campaign has the potential to stress out a relationship. If Jason and I hadn’t already known each other I don’t imagine it would’ve turned out the way it did.

Jason: I would do another one because I really valued the interactions I had with backers. I also love project managing and solving production problems, I geek out on that stuff. But to do another Kickstarter, the way I want to do it, to create the experience I want backers to have, would take at least a year of planning and pre-production before we launched. And it would all have to be self financed on the gamble that it would be worth it in the end. That’s a lot of external pressure to put on a writer/artist partnership.

Smash Pages: How did the deal with Image come about?

Jason: Within two months of the Kickstarting concluding we were completely sold out of copies and demand was increasing. So, it was clear we needed someone else to pick up the book and introduce it to a larger audience. Image was our first choice for obvious reasons; we created the book completely on our own, just the two of us and we were adamant about retaining 100 percent ownership.

After completing The Rattler Greg immediately jumped onto Airboy with the great James Robinson. Not a bad career trajectory right? Anyway, Greg enjoyed his relationship with image enough to put The Rattler in front of them and a deal was struck. We asked Joel Enos to join us as an editor and he’s been critical in preparing the new edition for print.

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Smash Pages: What will be different about the Image release compared to the Kickstarter edition?

Greg: There’s a new cover, and I got to go back and draw a deleted page that didn’t make the original cut, which was a blast. It’d been more than a few months since I’d finished The Rattler, so it was cool getting to revisit some familiar faces with more practice under my belt.

Jason: I made some small dialogue tweaks, nothing major.

Smash Pages: Jason, you mentioned plans for a sequel in a recent message to your Kickstarter backers. Do you already have a story mapped out, and if so, can you tell us in broad terms what it might look like?

Jason: Working with Greg inspired me to keep writing and creating characters for this world (editor Joel Enos and I call it the Hinkle-Verse). The next book in the series is a period piece taking place in 1993 and follows Emma, a 15 year old prodigy with a unique medical condition who becomes the target of a serial killer. Like The Rattler it has a lot of twists and turns and deals with some pretty dark situations but it will be more of a detective story. It will connect with, and compliment, The Rattler but will also be its own thing. Similar to how Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul co-exist.

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Smash Pages: For one of the prize tiers for the Kickstarter, you offered fans the chance to have dinner at your house, Jason. How did that go?

Jason: It was kind of a strange actually. We confirmed a date, sent a reminder and cooked up a feast. But they never showed up.

I hope they’re okay.

The Rattler arrives in March from Image Comics. Check out the cover for the new edition below:

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