The creator of Plus Man and Hank discusses his latest book, ‘House of the Black Spot,’ working with Annie Koyama, designing covers and more.
Comics creator Ben Sears is known for his brilliant use of design, color and composition. His Double+ series of graphic novels feature all-ages adventures about two characters, Plus Man and Hank, and their various escapades as treasure hunters, breaking into haunted houses and old tombs.
His new book House of the Black Spot from Koyama Press is something of a departure for Sears. The wild adventures take a backseat as Hank’s uncle, who raised him, has died under mysterious circumstances, and the two go back to Hank’s hometown to try and solve the mystery. The art in this book manages to be as exciting and dynamic as anything Sears has made.
While the story is a lot quieter than his previous books, Sears makes it as engaging and intense an experience as his previous narratives. It’s his best work to date, and I was thrilled to talk with Sears about how his work has changed, Patreon and working with Annie Koyama.
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Publisher announces new titles by Michael DeForge, Keiler Roberts, Patrick Kyle, GG, Ben Passmore and Connor Willumsen.
Coming out of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival this weekend, Koyama Press has announced their lineup of titles for this coming fall and winter, including new books by Michael DeForge, Ben Passmore, Keiler Roberts and more.
“Fall 2019 / Winter 2020 is a mixture of humor and horror, love and pain. The realities of being a part of society, and wanting not to be a part of that society, or being incapable, are explored by a collection of incredibly talented cartoonists of varying style and authorial voices in a season we can’t wait for you to see,” the publisher posted on their website.
More details on each book can be found below …
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Three new kids titles and “rich gothic horror” highlight the publisher’s spring 2019 season.
Koyama Press has announced their line-up for spring 2019, which includes three graphic novels aimed at kids and a new Emily Carroll project.
Chris Kuzma, Aaron Leighton and Ben Sears each have a kids-oriented project in the line-up, while Carroll’s book is described as “a truly modern horror feast preying on the psyche of today’s youth.”
Earlier this year publisher Annie Koyama announced she planned to close Koyama Press in 2021, to focus on providing “direct financial support” to artists. So this will be one of the final seasons of books coming from the publisher.
You can find more details on the four projects below.
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Coming out of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival this past weekend, Koyama Press has announced seven new projects that will see publication in the fall. The line-up includes graphic novels from Michael DeForge, Keiler Roberts, Mickey Zacchilli, Patrick Kyle and Nathan Gelgud, as well as two all-ages titles by Britt Wilson and John Martz.
“Familiar and fresh faces fill out our Fall season, which is chockfull of the diverse selection of artists and stories you’ve come to expect from Koyama Press,” the publisher writes on their blog.
Here’s a rundown of what to expect …
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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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‘In some ways it does feel like 10 years when I look back on the over 100 titles published. In other ways, the years have passed quickly, perhaps due to the large learning curve I faced since I had to learn my job from scratch.’
It’s been a decade since Annie Koyama launched Koyama Press. By now her story has become something of comics legend. After a successful career, Koyama was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, and after risky surgery and playing the stock market, Koyama made some changes in her life and began working with artists. She’s published comics and books and more, mostly with younger artists who aren’t quite as established. There’s no aesthetic that links all the work she publishes. The best known artists she’s published – and one who has established his reputation because of that work – is Michael DeForge. Koyama has also published Jessica Campbell, Eleanor Davis, Julie Delporte, Dustin Harbin, Aidan Koch, Jane Mai, Keiler Roberts, Maurice Vellekoop, Julia Wertz, Eric Kostiuk Williams and many more.
Koyama is always looking ahead, working with new talent, interested in different voices and has been key in this past decade in helping to build a comics community that encourages these individuals and build a new industry. Annie and I are friends on Facebook, have interacted online and know many people in common, but we’ve never done an interview, and I asked if she would be willing to answer a few questions about what she does. Talking with someone who’s always looking ahead seemed a good way to mark the end of the year.
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The Canadian cartoonist discusses her latest project, published by Koyama Press.
GG is the pen name of a Canadian cartoonist who in recent years has produced a small but beautiful body of work. In a series of short comics like Semi-Vivi, Valley, Don’t Leave Me Alone and I’m Crazy she’s established herself as an amazing talent. GG’s artwork is clean and precise, and the clarity of the art stands in sharp contrast to her writing, where she leaves the meaning of the narrative up to the reader. There’s a way in which her comics are very quiet and yet simultaneously unsettling and off-putting. They’re tales of transformation, disruption, and told in a way that the reader is never instructed what to think, how to react or how to feel. The result can be unsettling and strange and a difficult read, as every panel should be scoured to understand what’s happening. It can also be transcendent and brilliant.
This year Koyama Press published I’m Not Here, GG’s longest work to date and her first book. It is arguably her best work to date. The book features a young woman who is caretaker for her mother and walks around town taking photographs. What happens next, well, that depends on the reader. As someone who has been a caretaker and likes to walk, I have my own take on what happens and what it means – which is no doubt different from many readers and no doubt different from GG – but that is precisely the response she wants to create. That sense of narrative uncertainty requires readers to engage with the story differently. I’m Not Here is quite simply one of the most affecting and best comics of the year and GG was kind enough to open about the book and how she works.
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Koyama’s spring 2018 line-up includes new graphic novels from Jessica Campbell, Michael Comeau, A. Degen, Michael DeForge, Ben Sears and Fiona Smyth.
Koyama Press announced their Spring 2018 releases over the weekend in conjunction with the Small Press Expo, including new books from Jessica Campbell, Michael DeForge and Ben Sears, among others.
According to the publisher, it’s “our biggest season, in terms of page count, ever! We are immensely excited to bring such a spectacular selection of comics to you this Spring!”
Here’s a rundown of what to expect …
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DC announces their Writers Workshop participants, First Second unveils their Spring 2018 books, Viz licenses some new media, and Mimi Pond talks about her new book—and getting dropped from ‘The Simpsons’ because she was a woman
The Big Reveal: DC announced the names of the six writers who will take part in this year’s DC Writers Workshop: Magdalene Visaggio (Kim & Kim, Quantum Teens Are Go), Sanya Anwar (1001), Joey Esposito (Pawn Shop, Captain Ultimate), Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Last Sons of America, Warlords of Appalachia), Robert Jeffrey (Route 3, Radio Free Amerika) and Ryan Cady (Big Moose). Batman writer Scott Snyder will lead the workshop.
“It’s 13 weeks, and we meet for two, two-and-a-half hours online in a Brady Bunch-style box of windows. I teach it in such a way that it’s all superhero writing for DC. I try and make each week a lesson about a particular technique,” Snyder told Heat Vision. “My job is not to teach you how to write by formula for DC. It’s for you to come in and write the stuff you’re passionate about in your own way. I don’t care if that’s funny political, light-hearted, dark, whatever. Your job is to come in and have something to say. My job is to help you fit it into the rubric of superhero calculus and to help you maximize that story: look at where you should beef things up, slow it down, be aware of pacing. You need to come here and have something to say.”
At the end of the workshop, DC works with the writers to place them in writing slots for DC comics.
Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: All is revealed!”