Nominees announced for this year’s NCS divisional, Reuben awards

Daniel Acuna, John Allison, Greg Smallwood, Rick Geary, Brenna Thummler and more receive nominations.

Nominees have been announced for the National Cartoonists Society’s annual awards program, which includes their divisional awards and the “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year” award, a.k.a. The Reuben.

Four of the five Reuben nominees mirror last year’s line-up, as Lynda Barry, Stephan Pastis, Hilary Price and Mark Tatulli have all been nominated again. Joining them is Brain Basset, creator of the comic strips Red and Rover and Adam @ Home. Glen Keane won the award last year.

Continue reading “Nominees announced for this year’s NCS divisional, Reuben awards”

Hannah Templer’s ‘Cosmoknights’ lead the rebellion at Top Shelf

Templer’s first solo graphic novel will debut as a webcomic in March.

Hannah Templer of Jem and the Holograms fame is creating her first graphic novel, Cosmoknights, which will be released first as a webcomic and then as a graphic novel by Top Shelf.

Top Shelf decribes it as “a thrilling galactic adventure set in a world where mech-suited warriors duel over the daughters of the aristocracy, and a fledgling resistance of lady knights aim to bring down the system from within.”

Continue reading “Hannah Templer’s ‘Cosmoknights’ lead the rebellion at Top Shelf”

‘The Highwayman’ hits the road in May

Koren Shadmi’s latest rolls into town this spring from Top Shelf.

Top Shelf will publish The Highwayman, a new graphic novel by Love Addict and The Abaddon creator Koren Shadmi, this May.

The science fiction tale features a loner, The Highwayman, who “travels through the vastness of North America searching for the source of his condition” — immortality. “Bound to the road and at the mercy of whomever will give him a ride, he encounters people who reflect the rapidly changing world around him,” the publisher said in a statement. “Moving through centuries of change, he watches humanity’s precarious trajectory towards an unknown future.”

Continue reading “‘The Highwayman’ hits the road in May”

‘Tales of the Music Makers’ to include two Harvey Pekar stories

New graphic novel from Z2 Comics will benefit the Music Maker Relief Foundation.

Z2 Comics, which has published a number of graphic novels with musical themes, has a new one queued up for February: Tales of the Music Makers, by Gary Dumm.

The graphic novel is a benefit project for the Music Maker Relief Foundation, which is a bit like a music version of the Hero Initiative: It “provides resources to elderly, southern musicians living in poverty and keeps southern, musical culture alive by recording albums, arranging concerts and museum exhibitions, and publishing books.”

Continue reading “‘Tales of the Music Makers’ to include two Harvey Pekar stories”

Smash Pages Q&A: Duncan Tonatiuh on ‘Undocumented’

The children’s author discusses his first book aimed at adults, which is about the daily battles that undocumented worker face.

Duncan Tonatiuh has been writing and drawing picture books for children for many years, but his new book Undocumented is something very different. The book for adults is designed in an accordion format, in a way that calls to mind Mixtec codex. Throughout his career, Tonatiuh has been influenced by pre-Columbian art. His children’s books have looked at the lives of Diego Rivera and Amalia Hernandez, re-imagined legends, and looked at how Sylvia Mendez and her family helped to end segregated schools in California.

Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight is about the daily battle that so many workers in the country face and is both an inspirational story of people coming together to create change and improve their lives, and a guide to how people can organize. It’s more important and timely than ever, and one of the year’s most important books. He was kind enough to answer a few questions about his work.

Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Duncan Tonatiuh on ‘Undocumented’”

Smash Pages Q&A: Carolyn Nowak’s ‘Girl Town’

The Ignatz Award-winning creator discusses her latest project from Top Shelf.

Carolyn Nowak might be known to many comics readers for her work drawing Lumberjanes, but she’s also the Ignatz Award-winning creator behind comics like Radishes and Diana’s Electric Tongue. Those two stories, plus two more, along with a brand new story, have been collected in the new book Girl Town, which was just released from Top Shelf.

My feelings to the stories were similar to when I read Nowak’s comic Girl Town years ago. It was a beautifully drawn and thoughtful tale of three women who “got kicked out of astronaut school for being too good-looking to be sent to space. Now we try to make a living raising beans and cabbages, cleaning houses and curating erotic zines about staying on Earth.” It’s a funny opening, but the story itself is strange in a different way. It’s complicated and fraught, about trying to understand the emotions someone else causes in us. About getting older and trying make sense of whether this feeling is love or lust, hate or loneliness, and complexity of relationships and friendship. Nowak half-jokingly described the book as “my twenties” and for those of us who survived those years, that description will resonate in so many ways.

Besides the Lumberjanes collections that Nowak drew, she also wrote and drew the new book Buffy the Vampire Slayer: New School Nightmare, but Girl Town is the work of a masterful artist who has found her voice. Nowak was kind enough to answer a few questions about her work.

Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Carolyn Nowak’s ‘Girl Town’”

Smash Pages Q&A: L Nichols on ‘Flocks’

The ‘Ley Lines’ creator discusses the collected edition of ‘Flocks’ from Secret Acres, music, engineering and more.

L Nichols has been serializing Flocks for years, working on the comics memoir in between other projects, including overseeing the acclaimed quarterly comics series Ley Lines. Flocks is out now in a collected edition from Secret Acres. Also out now is the new issue of Ley Lines, which is written and drawn by Nichols. Nichols and I have met at various shows over the years but never sat down to talk.

Flocks is an immense achievement, but it’s also striking how well Nichols made the individual issues stand on their own and how well they work as chapters of a book — and how well it comes together into a thoughtful and emotional story arc. It is one of the best of the year, but also deserves a place among the very best graphic memoirs ever made. We spoke recently about Beethoven, engineering and religion.

Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: L Nichols on ‘Flocks’”

1.5 million copies of new Raina Telgemeier graphic novels coming next year

A how-to guide to creating comics and a new memoir called ‘Guts’ will arrive in April and September, respectively.

Scholastic/Graphix has announced two new Raina Telgemeier graphic novels for 2019, including a new OGN and a “how to” book for creating comics.

Share Your Smile: Raina’s Guide to Telling Your Own Story will be released April 30, with a print run of 500,000 copies. Schlastic says it’s for “readers interested in writing, drawing or both” and “will guide readers in brainstorming ideas, making lists, featuring their personal photos and using their imagination as a catalyst for storytelling. For additional inspiration, Share Your Smile also features a behind-the-scenes look at Telgemeier’s work, including a teaser to her new memoir.”

Continue reading “1.5 million copies of new Raina Telgemeier graphic novels coming next year”

Gentrification and body horror collide in ‘BTTM FDRS’

Ezra Claytan Daniels and Ben Passmore’s new graphic novel set to debut from Fantagraphics next summer.

Fantagraphics has announced plans to publish BTTM FDRS by writer Ezra Claytan Daniels (Upgrade Soul) and artist Ben Passmore (Daygloayhole) next summer.

Here’s how Fantagraphics describes the book: “Once a thriving working-class neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, The ‘Bottomyards’ is now the definition of urban blight. When an aspiring fashion designer, Darla, and her image-obsessed BFF, Cynthia, descend upon the neighborhood in search of cheap rent, they discover something far more seductive… and deadly.”

“Writing BTTM FDRS was a very therapeutic way to work through my feelings about issues like cultural appropriation, gentrification and representation. By reinterpreting these ideas through a candy-coated lens of body horror and snarky dialogue, they became, for me at least, a little less intimidating,” Claytan Daniels said.

Continue reading “Gentrification and body horror collide in ‘BTTM FDRS’”