Smash Pages Q&A: Eva Cabrera

The artist of ‘Kim & Kim’ discusses most of her recent comics work, Boudika Comics and much more.

Kim & Kim artist Eva Cabrera has been on a lot of people’s radar since 2016 for her skill at drawing body language and emotion; conveying complex emotions in a loose, cartoony style; and the ways that she manages to dynamically draw action sequences. Her action sequences are all the more impressive because often there aren’t many major fights or moments of violence. Her skill is at how she’s able to capture those moments before and after, at suggesting so much and depicting the buildup and the aftermath that it feels as though the reader has experienced it alongside the characters.

Besides all three Kim & Kim series, Cabrera drew most of the series Betty and Veronica: Vixens; drew the Oni/Limerence graphic novel Open Earth, a much quieter book with sex scenes instead of fight scenes; filled in on Oh Joy, Sex Toy; had a story in the anthology Dead Beats; and worked on #Guardian, the first issue which was released in January. She’s one half of Boudika Comics, a studio consisting of her and artist Claudia Aguirre (Morning in America, Hotel Dare).

I’ve been reading Cabrera for years ,and her artwork and design work are always excellent and always a joy, so I reached out to see if she would answer a few questions about her work.

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Oni Press launches a pop-up shop in lieu of ECCC

Get deals on convention-exclusive items.

Due to growing concerns about COVID-19, a.k.a. the coronavirus, the Emerald City Comic Con made the decision last week to postpone their convention, which was originally scheduled for next weekend. Many publishers and creators who were planning to attend have been left with extra inventory — comics, graphic novels and other items they were planning to sell at the con.

One of those publishers is Oni Press, who had made the decision not to attend even before ECCC was officially cancelled. They have launched a pop-up store on their website, offering the comics, trades and merch they would have had at ECCC at a discount, with free shipping.

“While the decision not to attend was difficult for many reasons, one of our first considerations was supporting the creators and books we had planned to promote there,” said Oni Press publisher James Lucas Jones in a press release. “We realize many of our creators depend on convention income, and want to do our part to help where we can through sales of their books and merchandise. Additionally, we want to bring as much of the convention experience to fans as possible, despite our lack of a presence on the show floor.”

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Comics Lowdown: Chinese government upset by Danish coronavirus cartoon

Plus: Changes at Kodansha, Cullen Bunn goes ‘Rogue’ and whatever happened to Lion Man?

Editorial Cartoons: A cartoon in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, depicting the Chinese flag with the stars replaced by coronaviruses, has, predictably, angered the Chinese government. (Jyllands-Posten is the same paper whose cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad caused an uproar in 2005.) The Chinese Embassy in Copenhagen has demanded an apology, but Jyllands-Posten editor Jacob Nybroe has refused, and the Danish prime minister is backing him up.

The Biz: Restructuring at Kodansha USA means a promotion for Alvin Lu, previously the general manager of Kodansha Advance Media. Publishers Weekly reports that Kodansha’s subsidiaries, including its digital arm Kodansha Advanced Media and the manga and novel publisher Vertical Inc., will be folded into Kodansha USA. Lu will be the CEO, and Ivan Salazar, former public relations and events specialist at ComiXology, has been hired as senior marketing director.

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Comics Lowdown: Who owns Atlas Comics?

Plus: Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award recipients, Paige Braddock, Frank Santoro, Dr. Gene Luen Yang and more!

Who exactly owns Atlas Comics? That seems to be the question raised in two articles from The Hollywood Reporter. Earlier this month Steven Paul, producer of the Ghost Rider film, announced via a press conference that he had bought the rights to the Atlas Comics and planned to work with Paramount to turn the properties into movies. Not so fast, said Dynamite Entertainment, who followed up by telling THR that they own the name “Atlas Comics.”

Many of you may be wondering “What the heck was Atlas Comics?” while others might be thinking, “Wait, wasn’t Atlas the company that eventually evolved into Marvel Comics in the 1960s?” And still others are wondering, “Didn’t he learn his lesson after Ghost Rider?”

But getting back to Atlas, yes, there was an Atlas Comics in the 1950s that grew out of Timely Comics and eventually became Marvel Comics. It was owned by publisher Martin Goodman, and it put out comics in a variety of genres like horror, crime, espionage and even a few superhero titles featuring characters like Captain America and the Human Torch, who had previously been published under the Timely banner. However, this isn’t that Atlas Comics.

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Comics Lowdown: Oni Press, Lion Forge announce merger, restructuring, layoffs

Plus: Patrick Gleason, Emily Carroll, awards and more!

Oni Press and Lion Forge will merge in order to “strengthen their library of original comics and graphic novels and help them to leverage their characters on other media platforms, including animation and film,” according to a story in the New York Times. The new publishing company will fall under the Polarity umbrella, a media entertainment entity launched by Lion Forge co-founder Dave Steward II last year.

The new company’s combined publishing efforts will be overseen by Oni Press publisher James Lucas Jones, who will be president and publisher. “We’re going to take a look at efficiencies and identify a number of areas of growth as well,” said Steward. The Beat details several layoffs that have already occurred at both companies, including Andrea Colvin, Lion Forge’s editor in chief, and Oni’s Desiree Wilson. According to Publisher’s Weekly, Joe Nozemack, founder of Oni Press, will join the new entity’s board and serve in an advisory role.

As far as their publishing lines go, Lion Forge Senior Publicist Jeremy Atkins tweeted that Oni Press “will be the publisher of all creator-owned books going forward,” while company-owned IP, like the Catalyst Prime universe, will fall under the Lion Forge banner. This one is still developing, so no doubt more information on the new structure and publishing entity will be forthcoming.

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Sarah Gaydos named editor-in-chief for Oni Press

After joining Oni last April as editorial director of licensed publishing, Gaydos will now oversee Oni’s entire line.

Oni Press has named Sarah Gaydos as its new editor-in-chief, a role that’s been vacant at the publisher since James Lucas Jones was named publisher a year ago.

Gaydos joined Oni Press last April as editorial director of licensed publishing, taking on titles like Rick and Morty. Before that, she worked at IDW and for DC’s Wildstorm imprint.

“In less than a year, Sarah has had a profound effect on Oni Press,” Jones said in a press release. “Her taste is impeccable and broad. Her network of colleagues both love and respect her. Her dedication to comics and the people who create them is virtually unmatched. There is no other person better suited to lead our editorial team and oversee the creation of amazing new comics for all types of readers.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Sophie Campbell on ‘Wet Moon’

The creator of the seven-part graphic novel series discusses the final volume from Oni Press.

I have read Sophie Campbell’s work since the beginning of her career, and as I told her, I still have a battered first edition of Wet Moon Volume 1, her debut as a writer and artist. Since that book came out in 2005, she’s worked on a number of projects. She wrote and drew the graphics novels The Abandoned and Water Baby, in addition to two Shadoweyes books. She’s drawn Glory at Image, Jem and the Holograms at IDW and many issues of TMNT. For some people, her best work, her most intimate and personal work, has been Wet Moon. Oni Press just published the seventh and final book of the series. It’s been a long time coming, but it is a beautiful and perfect ending to the series.

The book doesn’t get enough credit or attention, but I’m far from the only person who loves the books so passionately. Campbell was able to write characters, to craft mysteries with such precision, and she was able to make a series that for the most part was plotless slice-of-life stories about a few months in the lives of these characters and make them so compelling. It is an immense work and even today stands out for so many reasons. Campbell and I have spoken a few times over the years, and I wanted to mark the book’s release by talking with her again.

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Oni Press launches a webcomics hub

Webcomics by Colleen Coover, Sarah Graley, Megan Rose Gedris and more can be found on the site.

Oni Press has launched a webcomics portal that highlights some of the publisher’s recent projects, including Sarah Graley’s Kim Reaper, Megan Rose Gedris‘s Spectacle, Colleen Coover’s Banana Sunday and Oni’s Draw Out the Vote site, which encourages voter registration.

“Expanding the volume of Oni Press comics available on the web has been a long-held goal of mine,” commented publisher James Lucas Jones. “We see this as just the opening salvo in a campaign to bring the work of our astounding creators to more readers with as few barriers to entry as possible. We can’t wait to add both new titles and new functionality to this evolving platform.”

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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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