Steven T. Seagle addresses nakedness in new essay collection

Seagle and 19 emerging global cartoonists will “take drawn storytelling into the world of the ‘graphic essay'” with a new collection titled ‘Get Naked.’

Image Comics will publish It’s a Bird writer Steven T. Seagle’s Get Naked, a collection of essays featuring illustrations by a host of artists.

“For most of my life I had massive reservations about getting naked,” Seagle said. “But the more I traveled the world, and found myself in uncomfortable situations, the more it became obvious that the American anxiety of ‘I’m not taking my clothes off in front of anyone else unless it’s to have sex with them’ is unique—and not in a good way—to the US. I started looking into the history of nakedness and thinking about why we’re so uncomfortable with bodies in this country—with me as a lens for that. Comedic essays seemed like the right way to chronicle what I realized, and graphic essays felt like a great new kind of visual challenge for challenging subject matter—nakedness—both physical and emotional.”

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Comics Lowdown: ‘One Punch Man’ tops GN chart

Plus: Another view of Marvel’s Northrop Grumman Comic, Palmiotti and Conner say goodbye to Harley Quinn, and was New York Comic Con too big?

Top Graphic Novels: Viz takes half the slots in the September BookScan top 20 chart, which measures sales of graphic novels in the book channel: Vol. 12 of One Punch Man was the top seller, followed by the all-in-one edition of Death Note (a 12-volume omnibus—yes, it’s a brick). Perennial best-sellers Fun Home, March, and Watchmen all make the chart, as does Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight: Master Race, vol. 3 of Tom King’s Batman: Rebirth, and Avatar’s limited edition of Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows’s Providence: Act 3. Interestingly, there is not a single Image title on the list.

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Image to publish Tee Franklin’s ‘Bingo Love’

The successful Kickstarter project will hit stores just in time for Valentine’s Day.

At this week’s New York Comic Con, Image Comics announced plans to publish Bingo Love, an original graphic novel by Tee Franklin, Jenn St-Onge and Joy San that was successfully Kickstarted earlier this year. The story centers on the love between two black women and explores how coming out at an older age can affect their families’ lives.

“As a woman who was married once upon a time, I understand how it is to come out as a Queer woman to my family,” said Franklin. “Bingo Love was important for me to create for the youth, the LGBTQ youth needs to understand that happily-ever-after’s aren’t only for straight people. If Disney’s Carl and Ellie can grow old together, so can Mari and Hazel.”

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Dark Horse to bring Nintendo’s ‘ARMS’ to comics

Crazy fighting game gets a graphic novel next fall.

Dark Horse Comics will turn ARMS, a fighting game for the Nintendo Switch, into graphic novels beginning next fall, the publisher announced via press release.

If you aren’t familiar with ARMS, it’s a pretty funky game featuring fighters with long, stretchy, Slinky-like arms. Using the Switch’s motion controllers, a player can guide the arms to their target in midflight, among other moves. The game is filled with characters like Spring Man, Helix, Ribbon Girl and Lola Pop, mnay of whom will no doubt have their stories explored more fully in a graphic novel.

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First Second announces new ‘Maker Comics’ series

Robyn Chapman will edit the line that taps into “DIY energy.”

Graphic novel publisher First Second announced today a new series of “DIY”-type books called Maker Comics.

“Comics is THE medium for visual instruction—there is no better way to offer step-by-step directions for complex tasks,” their Tumbler post reads. “For perfect examples, look no farther than the safety brochure on your next flight or the instructions that come with your IKEA furniture. With Maker Comics, we pair visual instruction with narrative. Each volume has its own characters and story. And seamlessly woven into that story are instructions for five to ten fun projects that readers can complete themselves.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Kim Dwinell on ‘Surfside Girls’

The animator discusses her first graphic novel, surfing, the ocean and more.

Kim Dwinell has been teaching and working in animation for years, but this years she’s written and drawn her first graphic novel, Surfside Girls, Book One: The Secret of Danger Point. The book, which is out now from Top Shelf, is a beautifully painted young adult mystery/adventure story. Two 12-year-olds, Samantha and Jade, live in the sleepy beach town of Surfside and become involved in s series of strange occurrences that include the titular Danger Point, ghosts, the town’s history, and a group of boys who find what they think is a baby pterodactyl.

There’s a timeless quality to the adventure, but Dwinell is also threading other more complicated stories in the background, stories of the town, of the history of California, and the result is a book that manages to capture some of that spirit and energy found in Scooby Doo and a lot of other old mystery stories that so many of us fell in love with as kids, and establishing a rich setting. This is Dwinell’s debut book, but the way she uses design and layout throughout show just how much she understands about how comics work. Summer is over, but I reached out to Dwinell to talk about the book, her background in animation, and the ocean.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Étienne Davodeau on ‘The Cross-Eyed Mutt’

The French creator discusses his latest graphic novel from NBM, a very serious comedy about a security guard at the Louvre.

Étienne Davodeau’s graphic novel The Cross-Eyed Mutt, recently published in a translated version from NBM, has a hilarious premise. Fabien is a security guard at the Louvre and when he meets his girlfriend’s family, they tell him that they have a painting from their ancestor. “Would our ancestor’s painting have a spot in the Louvre or is it an insignificant piece of crap?”

The book is the latest in a series of graphic novels published with the Louvre, and Davodeau uses the situation as a chance to tell a story that, like his Lulu Anew and The Initiates, manages to both poke fun at eccentrics and deeply honor unusual ways of looking at the world – sometimes simultaneously. It is a book that is profound and joyful and very funny about what we love about art and museums, about what we remember, how we see ourselves, and in the end, how we live our lives.

The Cross-Eyed Mutt is in short, a very serious comedy, and it is one of the year’s best books. Thanks to Terry Nantier and Stefan Blitz at NBM, I had a chance to speak with Davodeau about spending time in the Musée du Louvre, his own thoughts on art, and whether we might be able to get my great-uncle’s work into the museum.

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‘Plain Janes’ returns in 2019

The former Minx title finds new life in a collection coming from Little, Brown.

Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg still have one more P.L.A.I.N. Janes story to tell, and it looks like it’ll come out in 2019.

According to Publisher’s Weekly, Little, Brown has acquired the rights to Plain Janes, a pair of graphic novels originally published as part of the Minx line by DC Comics. Little, Brown will collect the first two Janes stories and an all-new third story into one volume.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Jennifer and Matthew Holm on ‘Swing It, Sunny’

The duo discuss their followup to 2015’s ‘Sunny Side Up’ from Scholastic’s Graphix imprint.

Jennifer and Matthew Holm have been collaborating for years now on two series of graphic novels for kids, Babymouse and Squish. The two have also made board books and a picture book together, and separately worked on other projects. Matt co-wrote and drew the recent Marvin and the Moths and Jennifer is also a Newbury Honor winning author of prose novels like The Fourteenth Goldfish and Turtle in Paradise.

In 2015, Scholastic’s Graphix imprint published Sunny Side Up, a stand-alone graphic novel about girl spending the summer with her grandfather in Florida. Sunny is back in a new book Swing It, Sunny, which picks up where the first book left off with Sunny facing middle school. I reached out to the duo by e-mail and we spoke about the book’s autobiographical elements, how they work together and what the heck swing flag is.

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