Chris Schweizer shares an unfinished ‘Crogan’s Escape’

The Crogan Adventures creator posts a PDF version of the fourth book to his Patreon, saying it’ll never be finished.

Chris Schweizer, creator of the Crogan Adventures series of graphic novels that were published by Oni Press, has shared an unfinished version of a planned fourth volume on his Patreon.

“It’s not finished, and it’s not going to be finished, but I thought that I would put together a digital book sharing what I have: a finished version of an unfinished book,” Schweizer wrote about Crogan’s Escape. “It’s got (almost) finished pages, pencils, roughs and synopses, enough to get a sense of the overall book, as well as a few design bits and an introduction to contextualize the whole thing.”

Crogan’s Escape would have followed Crogan’s Vengeance, Crogan’s March and Crogan’s Loyalty, which were published between 2008 and 2012. Each volume focused on a different member of the Crogan family tree — which is filled with pirates, legionnaires, gunfighters, private eyes, flying aces, lion tamers and more. The first volume starred “Catfoot” Crogan, a sailor turned pirate, while this unfinished fourth volume starred Daniel Crogan and is set in 1920s China.

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Can’t Wait for Comics | Going ‘MAD’ on a ‘Rogue Planet’

Marvel returns to comic shops this week, as some DC books are delayed.

Another week brings more comics back to comic shops, as this week Marvel will have new print comics in comic shops for the first time in weeks. A couple DC books, however, look like they’re delayed this week, including Flash and Aquaman. Stores getting their books from DC’s other distributors have been asked to not put them on sale yet, according to the report from Newsarama.

If you’re looking for some recommendations on what you should get, here are some thoughts from the Smash Pages crew. You can check the Comic List page to see what’s arriving in your local shop, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally.

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Sebela + Sears conjure ‘Dead Dudes’ this fall

Oni Press will publish the graphic novel in September.

It’s always great when a project gets announced that seems to pull together several of your favorite creators who you might not have ever pictured working together. That’s what Oni Press has done with Dead Dudes, a new graphic novel by Christopher Sebela, Ben Sears, Warren Wucinich and Ryan Hill.

It’s about the hosts of a ghost-hunting reality show who end up becoming ghosts themselves.

“Getting to work with Ben was a bucket list item and I can happily cross it off now,” Sebela said on Twitter. “No idea why he bothered to work with me when he’s an amazing storyteller on his own, but I don’t look gift dreams in the mouth.”

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Oni Press, DC, Binc unite to announce new fund for comics retailers

The Comicbook United Fund will provide one location to make contributions to support comic book shops and their employees.

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation, or Binc, has announced the launch of the Comicbook United Fund, a dedicated relief fund designed to provide financial assistance to comic shops and their employees. Both DC Comics and the Oni Press-Lion Forge Publishing Group joined them in the announcement, with both offering funds to the organization.

The idea isn’t new — last year, the Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group ​teamed with Binc to create the “Forge Fund.” It provides ​monetary support for comic retailers and their employees during times of hardship, like during Hurricane Harvey. The company continues to donate 5% of proceeds from their titles to the fund, and so far have donated $100,000 to the Forge Fund, which is operated by Binc

“The comic industry has a long history of banding together to protect and promote the art form we all love. We hope that this incredible action from DC will inspire a new wave of generosity and support for the great number of individuals and shops struggling through these times,” said James Lucas Jones, President and Publisher of Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group. “Comics is an expansive community that still feels like a close-knit family, and these efforts feel like we are helping family members.”

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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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