Smash Pages Q&A: Casey Gilly

The writer and journalist discusses her contribution to the ‘You Died’ anthology, working with Raina Telgemeier and more.

Casey Gilly has been working in comics for years. She was one of the writers of She Changed Comics, has written essays for Winnebago Graveyard, Codename: Babushka and elsewhere in addition to writing and editing various comics, including two of the best in Andrea Leigh Shockling’s series Subjective Line Weight. Gilly has a new short comic in the upcoming Iron Circus anthology You Died, which she made with Raina Telgemeier.

Gilly and I have known each other for years, since we worked together at CBR back in the day, and I’ve read her comics work over the years, both published and unpublished, and know how talented she is. I think one of the things that has connected us is simply that we both love comics but we have very different sensibilities and tend to write about different things. The Kickstarter for You Died wraps up today, and I wanted to ask Gilly about how she started writing comics, collaboration and her highest profile project to date.

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Comics Lowdown: Comic books sales up in 2018, Marvel top publisher; stalker sets cosplayer’s car on fire

Plus: ‘Drama’ drama with the Ottawa Catholic School Board! Faith Erin Hicks! Jed MacKay! And more!

The 2018 direct market numbers from Diamond are in and comic sales are ever so slightly up from 2017. Comics saw an increase to sales by 3.3%, but graphic novels were down by 6.6%. The combined sales of the two formats mean a wee increase of 0.6% for the direct market.

Marvel Comics increased their market share slightly to gain an extra 2% over DC Comics, who seemed to have flat lined and lost 0.3% of their market share. This indicates that Marvel’s market share gains mostly come from the expense of small publishers or independent comic sales, with the exception of Image Comics, who also saw a slight increase.

The best-selling graphic novel of the year was Infinity Gauntlet. The 1991 story is enjoying a revival because of the Avengers: Infinity War movie. The best-selling comics was Action #1000, a landmark issue featuring unpublished artwork by legendary Superman artist Curt Swan and the introduction of writer Brain Michael Bendis to the DC universe.

Complete lists and more insight are available on comichron.com.

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1.5 million copies of new Raina Telgemeier graphic novels coming next year

A how-to guide to creating comics and a new memoir called ‘Guts’ will arrive in April and September, respectively.

Scholastic/Graphix has announced two new Raina Telgemeier graphic novels for 2019, including a new OGN and a “how to” book for creating comics.

Share Your Smile: Raina’s Guide to Telling Your Own Story will be released April 30, with a print run of 500,000 copies. Schlastic says it’s for “readers interested in writing, drawing or both” and “will guide readers in brainstorming ideas, making lists, featuring their personal photos and using their imagination as a catalyst for storytelling. For additional inspiration, Share Your Smile also features a behind-the-scenes look at Telgemeier’s work, including a teaser to her new memoir.”

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#GivingTuesday: Support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (and get a pin)

On the official day of giving, the CBLDF offers a pin featuring artwork by Raina Telgemeier and an anthology featuring stories by Neil Gaiman, Jim Lee, Jeff Lemire and many more.

Today is Giving Tuesday, the softer, less crass sibling to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and to help celebrate the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has a few special offers for contributors.

First up is a special pin featuring artwork by Raina Telgemeier, which can be yours for a $10 donation to the fund:

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Comics Lowdown: Trolling the trolls

A cartoonist gets his career back, manga and kids’ comics are booming, and a con veteran offers advice for first-timers

Trolling the Trolls: Your bizarre read for the day is Emma Grey Ellis’s account of the strange career of Ben Garrison, a libertarian political cartoonist who became a sort of real-life Pepe the Frog after alt-right trolls started altering his cartoons to include Nazi imagery and seeded the internet with fake stories:

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‘This One Summer,’ ‘Drama’ top list of most banned books of 2016

‘Big Hard Sex Criminals’ also among the most challenged books, according to the American Library Association.

Mariko and Jillian Tamaki’s This One Summer and Raina Telgemeier’s Drama topped the list of 2016’s most challenged books, according to the American Library Association. Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Big Hard Sex Criminals also landed in the top 10 as the seventh most challenged book of 2016.

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