Smash Pages Q&A: Pamela Ribon on ‘Slam!’

The novelist and screenwriter discusses her work on ‘Slam! The Next Jam,’ the BOOM! Box series that wraps up next week. Check out exclusive artwork from the final issue!

Pamela Ribon has had a long, successful writing career. She’s the author of novels including Going in Circles and Why Moms Are Weird and the memoir Notes To Boys (And Other Things I Shouldn’t Share in Public). She’s a member of the Disney Animation StoryTrust and has written or co-written a number of films including Moana, Smurfs: The Lost Village, and the upcoming Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It-Ralph 2. In 2016 Variety named her one of “10 Screenwriters to Watch” and she is a 2017 Film Independent Directing Lab Fellow.

Ribon also co-created and writes Slam! The series from BOOM! Studios’ BOOM! Box imprint revolves around roller derby derby and two very different women – Jen and Maisie – who become friends through the sport. The first miniseries featured artwork by Veronica Fish, while the second one, Slam! The Next Jam, features art by Marina Julia and covers by Fish.

It’s a series that spends a great deal of care and attention on how the sport works, on injuries, on depicting bodies and body types properly. More than that, it’s a also a comic that takes advantage of being a comic, playing with the form in a number of small but powerful and dynamic ways that demonstrate that Ribon has a deep understanding of how the medium works and what it is capable of doing. But really it’s a story of people and passion and obsession told with care and a great sense of fun.

If that weren’t enough Ribon wrote the just-released Rick and Morty #32, and has a graphic novel coming out next year, My Boyfriend is a Bear. The second miniseries, Slam! The Next Jam wraps up next week, and BOOM! sent an exclusive look at the issue to accompany my discussion with Ribon on roller derby, relationships and Chris Ware.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Tara O’Connor

The creator discusses an expanded edition of her ‘Roots’ comic from Top Shelf and her upcoming book from Oni Press, ‘The Altered History of Willow Sparks.’

Tara O’Connor’s Roots begins with her divorce as she falls into that fugue state familiar to many that accompanies the collapse of a relationship, moving back in with one’s parents and the very specific kind of depression that comes with those life-altering events. It also depicts how O’Connor pulled herself out of this, through work and starting a new project, and what happened when she traveled to Ireland to research her family history. The trip didn’t turn out the way she expected, and neither did the resulting book.

Roots was originally self-published a few years ago, but Top Shelf is now publishing a new, longer version of that story. In addition, O’Connor has The Altered History of Willow Sparks, a fictional graphic novel coming out from Oni Press early next year. Both are about changing one’s life and O’Connor sat down to talk about her work.

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Oni announces ‘Aquicorn Cove’ by Katie O’Neill

The new graphic novel by the creator of ‘Princess Princess Ever After’ and ‘The Tea Dragon Society’ arrives in October 2018.

Oni Press has announced plans to publish Aquicorn Cove, by Princess Princess Ever After and The Tea Dragon Society creator Katie O’Neill.

“As a kid I was obsessed with books about marine biology and ocean creatures. It felt like such a magical world! In this story I wanted to combine aquatic fantasy elements with the feelings I get from the tiny seaside villages in my home country of New Zealand,” O’Neill said. “Marine conservation has always been extremely important here, and I wanted to explore the point of view of a child living in a world where the actions—or inactions—of her guardians already have had environmental consequences, and she must find her own strength in order to protect what’s important to her.”

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Oni Press launches ‘Spectacle’ webcomic

Read Megan Rose Gedris’ supernatural murder mystery on the web for free before it’s collected.

Earlier this year Oni Press announced Spectacle, a supernatural murder mystery by Megan Rose Gedris planned for publication next year. At New York Comic Con, they revealed the series will see life a whole lot sooner than next winter — they’ve actually launched it as a webcomic, which you can start reading now.

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Santa Claus is coming to ‘Dead of Winter’ [Preview]

The second issue of Kyle Starks and Gabo’s horror-comedy miniseries finds our zombie-fighting heroes getting some help from a drunk mall Santa.

I enjoyed the first issue of Dead of Winter, Kyle Starks and Gabo’s horror-comedy miniseries based on the game by Plaid Hat Games. Oni Press has sent out a preview of the second issue, which features our zombie-fighting heroes getting some help from the man in red and white — Santa Claus. Or a drunk mall Santa, to be precise.

You can find the preview and solicit info below. Dead of Winter #2 comes out on Wednesday.

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Comics Lowdown: Police reopen 30-year-old case of murdered cartoonist

Also: Dave Gibbons talks about writing, Dyer and Dorkin discuss ‘Calla Cthulhu,’ and ‘Criminy’ finds a publisher.

Sketch of what the gunman who shot al-Ali might look like now
Cold Case Files: Thirty years after the murder of Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali, London police have appealed to the public for any information they may have on the case. Ali was shot in the back of the neck on July 22, 1989, near the London office of the Kuwaiti publication Al-Qabas, and he died on August 29 of the same year. Police released descriptions of the two suspects and a sketch of what the shooter might look like today.

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The dead of summer brings ‘Dead of Winter’ #1 from Oni Press [Preview]

New comic based on the tabletop game kicks off this week from Kyle Starks and Gabo.

As announced at C2E2 earlier this year, Kyle Starks and Gabo have teamed up for a new horror-comedy mini-series based on the board game Dead of Winter by Plaid Hat Games.

The first issue arrives this week, and publisher Oni Press has shared a preview:

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New season of ‘Kaijumax’ starts on Wednesday [Preview]

Check out a preview of Zander Cannon’s giant monsters-in-prison epic, which returns for a third miniseries this week.

Hard times return for the inmates in Kaijumax prison this week, as the third “season” kicks off with gang tensions, mind-controlled murders and the Creature from Devil’s Creek maybe getting a break. Zander Cannon is in fine form for the latest Kaijumax miniseries from Oni Press, who provided a preview of the first issue.

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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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