Smash Pages Q&A: Pamela Ribon and Cat Farris on ‘My Boyfriend is a Bear’

‘This is a story for people who can relate to falling in love with someone they least expected.’

My Boyfriend is a Bear is about a woman dating an American black bear. As a woman in East Los Angeles, it’s far from her worst relationship, and the two navigate a new relationship and its many challenges in ways that are bizarre but also touching. It is quite possibly the most touching interspecies relationship since Gonzo and Camilla started dating on the Muppets. Written by Pamela Ribon and drawn by Cat Farris, the book is also one of the funniest and most emotionally honest romance stories of the year.

Pamela Ribon is best known in comics for writing Slam! at BOOM! Studios and for writing Rick and Morty at Oni, though she’s also a well-known novelist, screenwriter, memoirist and filmmaker. Cat Farris has drawn a number of comics including Emily and the Strangers, the minicomic series Flaccid Badger and her webcomic The Last Diplomat. They answered a few questions about why they made a romance story involving a nameless bear who likes to wear an Arcade Fire T-shirt.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Eleanor Davis on ‘Why Art?’

The creator discusses her latest graphic novel from Fantagraphics, political activism, PowerPoint and much more.

In her new book Why Art? Eleanor Davis tackles some of the questions around what art is, how we respond to it, how artists think about it and try to use it. Which may sound dry and perhaps dull but in Davis’ hands the idea becomes something strange and unexpected and at times laugh out loud funny. Davis describes one character in the book, “If she were a bad artist her art would be a lie and people would hate it. Instead, somehow she has made the statement into her truth.” This statement could be applied to Davis and her work. For many of us over the past few years she has become one of the essential cartoonists working right now.

Davis has also become very political active and currently serves as the membership coordinator for Athens for Everyone. We spoke recently about her book, political action, finding one’s artistic voice and coming to understand that everything is easy. She also mentioned the graphic novel she’s working on now and she answered, why art?

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‘Criminy’ gets a release date + cover

Ryan Ferrier and Roger Langridge’s graphic novel will arrive from Dark Horse this fall.

Ryan Ferrier and Roger Langridge’s Criminy has gone from concept to a graphic novel, and now Dark Horse has announced more details about the project — including a publication date.

The publisher says that the “humorous, absurd tale about a family on the run” will land in stores Septe. 19. They also revealed the book’s cover:

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Keren Katz, Michael DeForge win 2018 Cartoonist Studio Prize

Created in conjunction with the Center for Cartoon Studies, the program offers $1,000 to each winner.

Slate has announced the winners of their annual Cartoonist Studio Prize, which awards $1,000 to the year’s best print comic and webcomic.

This year’s winner in the print catgeory is Keren Katz for The Academic Hour, published by Secret Acres.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Anneli Furmark on ‘Red Winter’

‘It’s like all the characters in the book have their own universe.’

Anneli Furmark’s Red Winter is a stunning book. It is a love story where the grand romantic scene and gesture happens in the opening pages. It is a narrative that is fractured told from multiple points of view, none of whom understand everything that’s happening. It’s about the politics of 1970’s Sweden and how they intersect with people’s lives. It is an impression of a time and of a place that is rendered and colored beautifully that lingers lost after one finishes reading he last page.

Furmark was kind enough to answer a few questions about her book and how she works.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Tee Franklin on ‘Bingo Love’

Following a successful Kickstarter, Franklin discusses how the graphic novel landed at Image Comics.

Last month Bingo Love came out from Image Comics. Written by first-time graphic novelist Tee Franklin and illustrated by Jenn St-Onge, it’s a realistic love story that jumps from 1963 to the present before ending in 2038. It tells the story of two women, Hazel and Mari, who meet when they’re young and are reunited decades later. It’s a story with a happy ending, which is not to say that the book is not also a fraught and complicated journey for the characters.

Franklin is known to many in the comics community for her journalism. She’s written short comics for various anthologies, but after a successful Kickstarter, the book looks to be one of the breakout comics of the year. The book has already gone into a second printing before it was ever published, and Image isn’t run by fools; Franklin announced her next project at Image Expo shortly after Bingo Love hit the shelves.

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Comics Lowdown: Looking at the big picture

Comics retailers discuss the comics market, Lion Forge profiled and more.

The Biz, Part I: It’s generally agreed that 2017 was a lackluster year (at best) for comics retailers. Publisher’s Weekly’s Shannon O’Leary went to the source, asking retailers in the direct market and bookstores with a large graphic novel section to discuss what’s going wrong—and right—in the comics market. There’s lots to chew on here, with commentary about Marvel, Image, and the structural issues in the direct market.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Sophia Foster-Dimino on ‘Sex Fantasy’

The creator of the minicomic-turned graphic novel discusses the new collection from Koyama Press, process and much more.

Sophia Foster-Dimino has been making comics for years. A designer who worked at Google for years, she crafted a number of the famous google doodles, in addition to other projects. She’s drawn the webcomic Swim Thru Fire, which was written by Annie Mok, and a number of short comics, but Foster-Dimino is best known for her minicomic series Sex Fantasy. The series manages to both live up to and not fulfill all the expectations that the name implies in different ways. Each issue of the comic was different but there were thematic links that tied the issues together in different ways.

Last year Koyama Press published a collection of Sex Fantasy. The collection is a small brick of a book, containing the eight issues that had been published in addition to two comics exclusive to the book. I reached out to Foster-Dimino to talk about the book, how the stories are connected and the ways she thought about the 10-issue structure.

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An end, and a new beginning, for ‘Astro City’

With the final issue of the current volume due out in April, writer Kurt Busiek reveals the title’s future.

DC Comics’ solicitations for April 2018 reveal that the latest volume of Astro City, currently published as a part of their Vertigo imprint, will end with issue #52. But don’t panic: writer Kurt Busiek says Astro City will be back, as a graphic novel rather than a comic series.

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