Smash Pages Q&A: Gerardo Alba

The cartoonist and editor discusses his work on ‘Guantanamo Voices,’ working at the Latin American division of Webtoon and much more.

Gerardo Alba is a cartoonist who has had a busy year. He colored the recent graphic novel Fault Lines in the Constitution, which was adapted and drawn by his wife the artist Ally Shwed. He is one half of Little Red Bird Press, which released the anthology Votes for Women earlier in the year. Alba recently took a new job as editor at the Latin American division of Webtoon.

Alba is one of the artists on the recent book Guantanamo Voices, a great and important work of comics journalism, where he drew one of the key early chapters of the book. Alba was kind enough to take time out to talk about Guantanamo Voices and his many projects. 

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Comics Lowdown | UCS will no longer distribute DC Comics starting in January

Plus: News on Terrific Production, Archie Comics, Rebellion, L.A. Comic-Con and more.

Distributors: UCS Comics Distributors, one of the two comics distributors that began working with DC Comics during the COVID-19 industry shutdown earlier this year, has told retailers they will no longer distribute DC’s books as of January 2021. Their accounts will be serviced by Lunar Distribution, the other distributor for DC that came into being during the pandemic. UCS was formed by retailer Midtown Comics, while Lunar was formed by Discount Comic Book Service.

So is UCS going away? Not according to the email they sent to retailers, which you can read over at The Beat. It says “UCS is not closing. We will be offering other exciting items that stores can use!” So it’ll be interesting to see what they offer in the future. John Jackson Miller has additional commentary.

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NYCC: Archie announces Line Webtoon deal, South Side Serpents comic

The ‘Beyond Riverdale with Archie Comics’ panel during NYCC’s Metaverse brought news on upcoming comics releases.

Archie Comics announced several new comics projects today in conjunction with the virtual New York Comic Con, including a new partnership with the popular webcomics site Webtoon, a South Side Serpents one-shot and more details on the upcoming Riverdale: The Ties That Bind graphic novel.

The virtual version of the New York Comic Con, a.k.a. Metaverse, kicked off today, with virtual panels, exclusive merchandise and more. You can join in on the Metaverse website or on the New York Comic Con YouTube page, where all of today’s panels are available.

You can watch their panel in full below:

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Smash Pages Q&A: Ned Barnett

The creator of ‘Social Distancing – Life in the COVID-19 Pandemic’ discusses the pandemic, T.E. Lawrence and more.

Ned Barnett has made a series of graphic memoirs in recent years like No Rest for the Anxious, Hallo Spaceboy and last year’s Dreamers of the Day, which is part autobiographical journey and part exploration of the life of T.E. Lawrence. In these books and in short comics for a variety of outlets and anthologies, Barnett has shown a great talent for historical detail and capturing those small human elements that are often glossed over, giving readers a different and deeper look at the people and the era in the comics.

More recently Barnett made Social Distancing – Life in the COVID-19 Pandemic, which ran on Line Webtoon. From day to day the comic has taken different forms and approaches, but it is very consciously an effort to make a document of these times, of the elements of this crisis that are unique and that have precedent. He and I exchanged e-mails recently about the pandemic, T.E. Lawrence and thinking about what’s next.

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Science comic ‘Planet DIVOC-91’ launches on Webtoon today

UK science organizations come together to fund a webcomic inspired by COVID-19.

Several UK-based scientific organizations have funded a new webcomic that debuted today on the webcomics platform Webtoon. Planet Divoc-19 is a nine-part series featuring the work of many different creators, including Charlie Adlard, Alex Paknadel, Hannah Berry, James Devlin, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, Elsa Charretier and more.

As you might have guessed if you held the title up to a mirror, Planet Divoc-19 is inspired by COVID-19 and is billed as a sci-fi satire.

“Although the topics we’re discussing in the series are incredibly serious, Planet Divoc-91 is full of humor and is occasionally ridiculous,” said Sara Kenney, who wrote the first chapter. “We’re aiming for more of a District 9 or The Good Place feel than, say, Star Trek.”

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Sunday Comics | Comic strips pay tribute to COVID-19 essential workers

Check out new comics by Louise Simonson, Jan Duursema, Ali Fitzgerald, Roger Langridge and more.

Here’s a round up of some of the best comics we’ve seen online recently. If we missed something, let us know in the comments below.

Comic strips from Dick Tracy to Doonesbury are celebrating medical personnel on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis today, as the Sunday strips feature six “hidden” items like a microscope and a medical mask that relate to essential workers during the pandemic. The idea for it came from Rick Kirkman, who is one of the creators of the comic strip Baby Blues.

Maria Scriven provides a look at the six items:

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Comics Lowdown: MoCCA postponed due to coronavirus

Plus: News about WonderCon, Jim Lee, Webtoon, Dark Horse and more!

Events: New York’s MoCCA Arts Festival, originally scheduled for April 4-5, is the latest event to be postponed due to the novel coronavirus, which has now been declared a pandemic.

“While New York is not officially calling for events of large gatherings to be canceled, many have been and we do not know what the next few weeks will entail. We recognize the amount of work and finances our exhibitors put into their tables and are trying to minimize the burden on them,” The Society of Illustrators, who puts on MoCCA every year, said in a statement.

They added, “In the meantime, we have made the decision to move forward and continue to judge the Awards of Excellence. In addition to the cash prize and Wacom tablets for Gold and Silver medalists, the Society will feature the award winners in an exhibition at the onsite Gallery we build at MoCCA Fest.”

A new date for the two-day festival has not been announced. It joins the Emerald City Comic Con, South by Southwest, E3, the London Book Fair and countless other events that have been impacted by COVID-19.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Monica Gallagher

The writer and artist discusses her webcomic ‘Assassin Roommate,’ collaborating on ‘The Black Ghost’ and much more.

Monica Gallagher has been writing and drawing print and web comics for years. People might know her for work like Gods and Undergrads, Bonnie N. Collide, Lipstick & Malice, Part-Time Princesses, Glitter Kissor many other projects. The past year thought has been a particularly busy and productive one for Gallagher, who has been writing and drawing multiple projects.

She’s been making the weekly webcomic Assassin Roommate; drew the weekly webcomic Boo! It’s Sex, which was written by Danielle Corsetto (Girls with Slingshots); co-wrote the podcast Lethal Lit; and has co-written the new comics miniseries The Black Ghost with Alex Segura, which is being released by comiXology Originals. The first issue is out now and the second issue comes out Oct. 16.

Additionally Gallagher is running a Kickstarter campaign to collect the first year’s work of Assassin Roommate. We spoke recently about her many projects.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Dean Haspiel on ‘Starcross’

The prolific creator discusses the next chapter in his New Brooklyn universe.

Dean Haspiel has always been a creator doing many things and making many kinds of projects. From drawing books at Vertigo including The Quitter and The Alcoholic, to helping to launch webcomics first at the collective act-i-vate to the series Street Code that he made at DC’s Zuda imprint. He received an Emmy Award for designing the titles to the HBO show Bored to Death, co-wrote and drew The Fox for Archie Comics, and drew the children’s book Mo and Jo, which was written by Jay Lynch. In recent years he’s written three plays which have been produced in New York City and just launched the podcast Scene by Scene with fellow artist Josh Neufeld.

In recent years he’s been making The Red Hook, a superhero saga that he’s been serializing on Line Webtoon in two volumes, the first of which has been published in a print edition by Image Comics. Over the course of two volumes, the focus has gone from the titular character to other characters, and that focus continues to expand in this third volume in interesting ways. The third Red Hook story, Starcross, is being serialized starting this week, and we sat down to talk about the book.

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