Comics Lowdown: Stan Lee immortalized at the TCL Chinese Theatre

Plus: Batton Lash vs. Cancer, Donny Cates signs with Marvel, DC Girl Power, Texas Latino Comic Con and more!

Hollywood cannot seem to get enough of Stan Lee. Over the weekend, Lee became a Disney Legend and yesterday, the comic icon had his hands and feet immortalized in cement in front of the TCL Chinese theater.

“I can’t tell you what this means to me. I’m thrilled,” he said. “And if I’m half as good as everybody said I am, I’m far too good to be wasting time with ordinary people. But I seem to be spending my life with ordinary people, who are the best people in the world.”

Meanwhile, Variety continued the love affair and took a look back on the life of Stan Lee.
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From White Knight to Dark Prince: DC announces two-volume Batman graphic novel series

The first volume of ‘Batman: The Dark Prince Charming’ by Enrico Marini will arrive in November.

Last week brought news of White Knight, a new Batman/Joker Elseworlds-like project from Sean Gordon Murphy. Today brings news of another Batman/Joker Elseworlds-like project, this one called Batman: The Dark Prince Charming by European comics creator Enrico Marini.

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Fantagraphics to publish a new edition of Langridge’s ‘The Iron Duchess’

The cartoonists’ self-published “Fred the Clown” collection will get a new edition with more pages in September.

Roger Langridge’s self-published collection of Fred the Clown comics, “The Iron Duchess,” is getting a new home. Fantagraphics will release a new version in September.

“The new edition will contain ten new pages of story material,” Langridge said on his blog. “As many of you have already bought the self-published version from me, I thought it only fair to make this new material available to you, as a free download, by way of saying ‘thank you’ for your support.” Head over to his blog to download the extra pages.

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DC enlists Corinna Bechko, Gabriel Hardman for ‘Green Lantern Earth One’

The ‘Invisible Republic’ team will chronicle the early adventures of Hal Jordan as part of DC’s graphic novel line.

DC Comics has recruited the all-star team of Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman to bring Hal Jordan into their Earth One line of graphic novels. Green Lantern Earth One is scheduled to arrive in March 2018.

“Approaching this as an Earth One story gives us the opportunity to go back to the core concept of Green Lantern and interpret it through the lens of a modern, grounded sci-fi story while still being true to the Silver Age roots of Hal Jordan,” Hardman said in a press release. “Having storyboarded Interstellar, this is an approach I’m comfortable with and have wanted to explore in comics. Realistic sci-fi is only the beginning of this story; we have something much more epic in store.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Keiler Roberts on ‘Sunburning’

The creator of ‘Powdered Milk’ discusses her newest collection from Koyama Press.

In her ongoing self-published series Powdered Milk, Keiler Roberts has been crafting some of the best autobiographical comics being made today. The main characters of the series are her and her daughter Xia, who manages to provide malapropisms and unintentional humor, but for people have read large chunks of Roberts’ work, it’s possible to see Xia growing up in a way that is clear-eyed and unsentimental and familiar, I think, both to people who have children and those of us who do not.

I described one of her comics to Roberts as “funny, relatable and horrifying” and that sums up a lot of her comics – particularly those about parenting. Roberts may sentimentally want to capture these moments, but she depicts everything and everyone – especially herself – without sentimentality. Roberts has crafted something truly outstanding, a portrait of her life at the moment, which, of course, is all too fleeting. It is a striking and singular accomplishment. Roberts won an Ignatz Award for Outstanding Series in 2016, and now Koyama Press has just released Sunburning, a new collection of Roberts’ recent work.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Sophie Yanow

The creator of ‘War of Streets and Houses’ talks about her journalism comics collection, ‘What is a Glacier?,’ and her work translating ‘Pretending is Lying.’

Since her book War of Streets and Houses was published by Uncivilized Books, it seems as though Sophie Yanow has been publishing work on a regular basis. She’s become a significant comics journalist, regularly publishing pieces in The Nib and The Guardian and elsewhere, covering the protests at Standing Rock and the U.S. elections. This year she has two very different comics coming out. The New York Review of Comics has just released Pretending is Lying, a comics memoir by Dominique Goblet that Yanow translated. At TCAF, Retrofit Comics released What is a Glacier, which collects some of Yanow’s journalism comics.

Yanow is currently teaching at the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont and this career model – making nonfiction comics, teaching, translation – has existed among prose writers and poets for generations, but it’s something new to comics. We spoke recently about Goblet, translation, nonfiction and the idea that Pretending is Lying.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Eleanor Davis on ‘You & A Bike & A Road’

The creator of ‘How To Be Happy’ discusses her latest book from Koyama Press, which details her cycling trip from Arizona to Georgia.

In 2014, Fantagraphics published How To Be Happy, a collection of short comics by Eleanor Davis, which immediately established the cartoonist as one of the major figures of her generation. In the book, Davis jumped between styles and approaches, telling different kinds of stories ranging from the fantastic to realistic. Since then she made a children’s book with Drew Weing, Flop To The Top, for Toon Books. She also made the comics novella Libby’s Dad, which came out last fall from Retrofit Comics, and was recently awarded the Slate Book Review 2017 Cartoonist Studio Prize for Best Print Comic.

Davis’ new book, out now from Koyama Press, is You & A Bike & A Road. The book is a series of comics about a bike trip that Davis undertook from Tucson, Arizona, where she grew up, to her home in Athens, Georgia. We spoke recently about the book, the journey, agitprop and more.

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Comics Lowdown: ECCC volunteer suit settled

Plus: the ALA, Jillian Tamaki and more.

The former owners of Emerald City Comic Con will pay $493,227.84 to former volunteers and the attorneys who represented them under a settlement that will keep the matter from going to court. Jerry Michael Brooks, a former volunteer at the con, filed a class action suit on behalf of all volunteers who worked at ECCC in 2014 and 2015, claiming that they were treated like employees and therefore should have been paid for their work. (Seattlish posted the details of the suit when it was first filed.) Under the settlement, Eitane Emerald Corp. and the Demonakos family will pay almost $500,000 to the volunteers, with the lawyers scooping up $123,300 for their troubles, Brooks getting $5,000, and the 250 or so other “volunteers” will divvy up the rest according to how many hours they worked. Although the defendants admit to no wrongdoing, the payments to the volunteers are to be regarded as part wages, part settlement for nonpayment of wages. ReedPOP, which purchased the con in 2015 and ran the 2016 and 2017 events, does not use unpaid volunteers.

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Bear-ing your heart: Oni announces new graphic novel from Ribon & Farris

Due next April, ‘My Boyfriend is a Bear’ features a woman who falls for a 500-pound American black bear.

Oni Press has announced a romantic comedy of a different breed — My Boyfriend is a Bear, by Pamela Ribon and Cat Farris. Fed up with the dating scene, Nora starts dating a 500-pound American black bear. Comedy ensues.

“The comics market right now has a lot of very dark, serious stories,” Farris said in a press release. “I’m really excited to help put a story out there that is silly and sweet. Something that hopefully makes people smile. It’s not every day you get to sell people a book about a girl dating a literal bear, and I hope folks are as charmed by this story as I have been while working on it.”

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