Oni Press launches voting information site — with comics, of course

‘Draw Out the Vote’ provides guidance and resources for registering to vote — along with a comic for each state.

Comics have always been a natural medium for political commentary and perspectives, whether its political cartoons or even comic books like Captain America and the X-Men. So this new site from Oni Press seems like a natural outgrowth of that decades-old relationship: Draw Out the Vote seeks to educate voters about their state’s voting laws through webcomics.

Each state is represented on the site, along with Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., and each gets it own comic from a different artist. Contributors include Arigon Starr, Jarrett Williams, Melanie Gillman, Rashad Doucet, Janet Lee and many more. In many cases, the cartoonist is from or currently lives in the state they drew a comic for. And in addition to a comic, the page for each state includes links to register to vote and other resources.

“Voting is the first step in civic engagement and something that should be relatively easy for every citizen, but that’s obviously not always the case,” said Oni Press Publisher James Lucas Jones. “With DrawOuttheVote.com, we want to give a platform for cartoonists to explore their passion for participating in the political process and to give voters a quick and easy starter guide on getting registered and making a plan to get their ballot in the box this November.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Dylan Meconis, Ben Coleman and EA Denich’s ‘The Long Con’

The creators of the “comic convention gone horribly wrong” series from Oni Press discuss the series, their own convention experiences and more.

The new Oni Comics series The Long Con is set “Five Years and One Apocalypse” in the future. At the center of the quarantine zone, the Los Spinoza Event Center, where a comic con was in full swing when disaster struck. Victor Lai was a third-rate journalist before the disaster and one of the last people to leave the convention hall before the disaster. Now he’s been convinced to return and finds that everyone inside the convention hall survived – and the convention never stopped.

Meconis is well known to readers for her comics Bite Me!, Outfoxed, and the ongoing webcomic Family Man. She’s currently finishing Queen of the Sea, a middle grade graphic novel coming out next year. Coleman is a journalist and a critic at the Portland Mercury, who has also written for the great radio show Live Wire. Artist EA Denich is know by comics readers for having drawn Yes, Roya, the acclaimed and beloved erotic graphic novel written by Spike Trotman, which was published last year. She’s contributed to various anthologies and comics including Oh Joy, Sex Toy, Rick and Morty, and has a story in the upcoming Smut Peddler Presents Sex Machine anthology, whose Kickstarter recently ended. I spoke to them about the series and Oni provided a look at issue #2, which is out Sept. 5.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Megan Rose Gedris on ‘Spectacle’

The longtime webcomics creator discusses her latest collaboration with Oni Press.

Megan Rose Gedris has been making comics for years. From Yu+Me to I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space to The Lady Eudora Henley and Darlin’ It’s Betta Down Where It’s Wetta, Gedris has been producing thousands of comics pages nonstop and more than a dozen series online and in print in many genres.

Her current project is Spectacle, an ongoing series published by Oni Press about Anna, a fortune teller and an engineer working at a traveling circus. In the first issue her twin sister Kat is murdered, though she lingers as a ghost, which comes as a shock to the scientifically minded Anna. The series is about finding Kat’s murderer, but it’s also about exploring the people who made up the circus and examining their lives. It is not just a beautifully drawn book, but a strikingly insightful look at a community of outsiders and performers.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Pamela Ribon and Cat Farris on ‘My Boyfriend is a Bear’

‘This is a story for people who can relate to falling in love with someone they least expected.’

My Boyfriend is a Bear is about a woman dating an American black bear. As a woman in East Los Angeles, it’s far from her worst relationship, and the two navigate a new relationship and its many challenges in ways that are bizarre but also touching. It is quite possibly the most touching interspecies relationship since Gonzo and Camilla started dating on the Muppets. Written by Pamela Ribon and drawn by Cat Farris, the book is also one of the funniest and most emotionally honest romance stories of the year.

Pamela Ribon is best known in comics for writing Slam! at BOOM! Studios and for writing Rick and Morty at Oni, though she’s also a well-known novelist, screenwriter, memoirist and filmmaker. Cat Farris has drawn a number of comics including Emily and the Strangers, the minicomic series Flaccid Badger and her webcomic The Last Diplomat. They answered a few questions about why they made a romance story involving a nameless bear who likes to wear an Arcade Fire T-shirt.

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C2E2: ‘Rick & Morty,’ ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ cross over this summer

Patrick Rothfuss, Jim Zub and Troy Little bring the two properties together in a four-issue limited series.

The stars of Adult Swim’s popular Rick and Morty will enter the world of Dungeons & Dragons this summer in a comic book crossover by Patrick Rothfuss, Jim Zub and Troy Little.

At this weekend’s C2E2 convention in Chicago, IDW Publishing and Oni Press, who respectively publish the D&D and R&M comic books, announced the four-issue comic book series, which will debut in August.

“I love Rick and Morty with a powerful love, and I’ve played D&D since the fifth grade,” Rothfuss said in the press release. “So when they approached me about writing a story with both of them together? That’s some serious you-got-chocolate-in-my-peanut butter $#!& right there. I’m in. I’m all the way in. I’m gettin’ that chocolate all up in the peanut butter. Like, deep in. All the way in. It’s going to be sticky and delicious.”

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New edition of ‘Banana Sunday’ adds a sprinkle of color

Rian Sygh colors Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin’s classic, all-ages comic about a girl and her primates.

Before creating the award-winning Bandette, the husband and wife team Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover collaborated on the black-and-white comic Banana Sunday, an all-ages story about a woman and her pet primates. Originally released in 2006, Banana Sunday will return in October from Oni Press in full color.

For the new edition Tobin and Coover have teamed up with colorist Rian Sygh. It’ll also feature a new introduction by Tobin (who wrote it under the pseudonym Root Nibot) and previosuly uncollected artwork by Coover. Coover also said it has been “revised and edited for today’s readers.”

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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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