SPX, TCJ, OMG: A Hot Take

Brigid Alverson responds to a recent opinion piece on TCJ.com and shares her thoughts on comiXology/Amazon’s presence at this weekend’s Small Press Expo.

I know that contentious commentary is part of the The Comics Journal brand, but maybe it’s time to drop it. Especially because the latest article isn’t just mean-spirited, it’s straight-up wrong.

I am referring, of course, to RJ Casey’s recent post, ominously titled “A Plague Comes to SPX,” in which he warns that Amazon is poised to ruin comics.

I’m at SPX, and I went to the exhibitors’ reception last night, where, like everyone else, I got a copy of Hit Reblog, the book he disparages:

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Jim Zub, Stuart Immonen and more win 2018 Joe Shuster Awards

Annual awards recognize outstanding achievement in the creation of comic books, graphic novels and webcomics by Canadians.

The Joe Shuster Awards — Canada’s national award that honors and raises the awareness of Canadians that create, self-publish and sell comic books, digital comics and graphic novels — have announced their winners for 2018, which include Jim Zub, Jeff Lemire, Stuart Immonen and more.

Established in 2004, The Joe Shuster Awards are Canada’s national award recognizing outstanding achievement in the creation of comic books, graphic novels and webcomics. Named in honor of Superman co-creator Joe Shuster, the awards recognize the best of the Canadian comics world; nominees must be either Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada. The winners were chosen by a jury.

Winners are below. You can see the complete list of nominees here.

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comiXology adds seven titles to their ‘Originals’ line

New titles by Sam Humphries, Kel McDonald, Tyler Crook, Tim Seeley, Mike Norton and more join the growing line.

In June comiXology released four new titles as part of their comiXology Originals line, as they expanded the program to include creator-owned titles and a print-on-demand option. Today in San Diego, a dapper Chip Mosher, comiXology’s head of content, announced seven new titles coming to the line, four of which are available now.

“When we debuted the first wave of creator owned comiXology Original titles, we launched all five issues of the Superfreaks series in one day so readers could binge read the series at once. No one had ever done that before, and that’s just the tip of what we have planned,” said comiXology’s Head of Content Chip Mosher. “Today we are making history again with Goliath Girls, which is releasing simultaneously in English and Japanese. Going forward we’ll continue to push the envelope with new ways to connect with readers. It’s great to be able to offer the over 100 million Prime members worldwide the opportunity to experience these great books.”

The four book now available on their site include:

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The 2018 Joe Shuster Award Nominations

Awards celebrate excellence in the Canadian comic creators and publications.

The nominations for the 2018 Joe Shuster Awards have been announced this week.  Commonly nickednamed “The Shusters”, they are Canada’s national comic book awards that honours and raises the awareness of Canadians that create, self-publish and sell comic books, digital comics and graphic novels.

The award winners will be chosen by a jury vote to ensure every nominee is given adequate consideration.

The ceremony will take place at the Montreal Comic Con July 6-8, 2018 at the Palais des congrès, Montreal, QC.

And the nominees are:

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Comics Lowdown: Off to a roaring start

Zunar sues his persecutors, Bosch Fawstin is booted (temporarily) from Twitter, and the Best of the Year lists keep rolling in.

Legal: A Malaysian High Court judge has set aside five days in April to hear the cartoonist Zunar’s lawsuit against the Inspector-General of Police and 19 other defendants. Zunar, who has been charged with sedition and is currently prohibited from leaving the country, is suing for damages and wrongful arrest. In December 2016, police stormed the venue where a “Tea with Zunar” event was about to take place and arrested the cartoonist and several other people; they also confiscated books and T-shirts. In the lawsuit, Zunar is asking for monetary damages for wrongful arrest, the return of his merchandise, and a declaration that the defendants had violated his rights.

Twitter: Cartoonist Bosch Fawstin was suspended from Twitter for “hate speech” after one of his Tweets was reported by another user. At first Twitter refused to tell him why, but then they told him his account would be unlocked if he deleted a Tweet reply that read “@NyaDnart1 There are degrees. Muslims who follow in Mohammad’s footsteps mass murder. Christians who follow in Jesus’s footsteps?” They subsequently reinstated his account with a statement that it had accidentally been caught in a spam filter.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Hope Nicholson on ‘Gothic Tales of Haunted Love’ and more

The Canadian writer, editor and publisher discusses her work on Prairie Comics Festival, Bedside Press, Secret Loves of Geeks and her latest Kickstarter.

Hope Nicholson is one of those people working behind the scenes who make the comics industry function. The Canadian writer, editor and publisher is the founder and publisher of Bedside Press, which is responsible for books both new (Window Horses, A Minyen Yidn) and reprints (Fashion in Action, Polka Dot Pirate). She runs the Prairie Comics Festival in Winnipeg, Canada. She wrote the new book The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen about female comics characters. She’s the woman behind The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, is a Kickstarter Thought Leader, and was one of the people selected to be part of Kickstarter Gold, in the company’s words, “for their creativity and ingenuity.”

Nicholson first received notice for spearheading the republication of Canadian comics like Nelvana of the Northern Lights and Brok Windsor. She’s a consulting editor on Margaret Atwood’s Angel Catbird graphic novel series, which is being published by Dark Horse. Nicholson also edits and publishes a wide range of anthologies including Moonshot, Enough Space for Everyone Else, and her current project, Gothic Tales of Haunted Love.

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Fund Me Friday: Zombie cop, gothic romance and more

Check out — and help fund — projects from Felipe Smith, Hope Nicholson, Chris Wisnia and more.

As crowdfunding continues to be a viable method for creators to fund their creative endeavors and connect directly with fans, comic-related projects flourish on sites like Kickstarter, Patreon and IndieGoGo. Here’s a look at a few recent campaigns that caught our eyes.

Death Metal Zombie Cop Issue #1

Creators involved: Felipe Smith
Deadline: Aug. 18
Goal: $22,000

What to know: Smith, who’s previous work includes All-New Ghost Rider for Marvel and Peepo Choo for Kodansha/Vertical, kickstarts his first creator-owned series. He says he’s been working on it for five years. The story revolves around two L.A. police officers, rookie Marco Miranda and his disillusioned training officer, Rhonda Riley. There’s also Death Metal Zombie Cop, “L.A.’s deadliest Urban Legend” who proves to be very real. Smith warns that the book will contain graphic violence and course language.

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Comics Lowdown: Retailer killed in Kansas City robbery

Get today’s comics news and updates in new feature here at Smash Pages.

Top News

• James Cavanaugh, the owner of Clint’s Comics in Kansas City, Missouri, was killed while attempting to stop a robbery at his store on May 12. According to the Kansas City Star, Cavanaugh was chasing a man who had just stolen about 10 or 15 comics from the shop, according to witnesses. He reached the thief’s car and pulled a gun; somehow the passenger side door opened and when the thief drove away, the door hit Cavanaugh, knocking him to the ground and critically injuring him. Police are still searching for the thief, who was described as a bald, 40-ish white man with glasses; the store posted a photo of the car on Facebook.

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