Nominees announced for this year’s NCS divisional, Reuben awards

Daniel Acuna, John Allison, Greg Smallwood, Rick Geary, Brenna Thummler and more receive nominations.

Nominees have been announced for the National Cartoonists Society’s annual awards program, which includes their divisional awards and the “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year” award, a.k.a. The Reuben.

Four of the five Reuben nominees mirror last year’s line-up, as Lynda Barry, Stephan Pastis, Hilary Price and Mark Tatulli have all been nominated again. Joining them is Brain Basset, creator of the comic strips Red and Rover and Adam @ Home. Glen Keane won the award last year.

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Smash Pages Q&A: W.T. Frick

The creator of “Ipsum Lorum” discusses her issue of “Ley Lines,” which focuses on the writing of Ursula Le Guin.

W.T. Frick has made comics for Ink Brick and other publications, but she’s likely best known for her webcomic Ipsum Lorum, a remarkable work about the experience of creating and experiencing art, about doppelgängers and what that means for people. In so much of her work, Frick is less interested in narrative than she is with studying characters and exploring ideas. At one point she described her process as intuitive and her work could be described in those terms, but it also feels much too solid, too involved to ever be dreamlike, or seem unreal.

Frick is also the cartoonist behind the new issue of Ley Lines. The quarterly series is focused on crafting a dialogue between comics and the world of fine art. In the 18th issue, which was just released, Frick interrogates the writing of the late Ursula K. Le Guin along with the work of a number of visual artists. It’s arguably her best work to date and a striking introduction for those who have never encountered her work before.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Julie Sondra Decker

The writer of ‘The Invisible Orientation’ discusses her two webcomics, her process, world building and more.

Julie Sondra Decker is a writer and artist who is best known for her nonfiction book The Invisible Orientation, but she’s also a webcartoonist. Negative One has been coming out weekly since 2005 and So You Write has been updated occasionally since 2012, though usually monthly. The two comics are very different from how they look, the stories they tell and how Decker makes them.

So You Write is painfully familiar for any writer or creative person, full of insane questions from other people and the excuses we tell ourselves. Negative One is a comic that Decker described as “text heavy,” but it’s also an immersive and strange tale with a large cast that doesn’t look and feel like most comics. It’s an impressive piece of world building, and I reached out to Decker to ask about her two projects and how she thinks about the differences between prose and comics.

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Hannah Templer’s ‘Cosmoknights’ lead the rebellion at Top Shelf

Templer’s first solo graphic novel will debut as a webcomic in March.

Hannah Templer of Jem and the Holograms fame is creating her first graphic novel, Cosmoknights, which will be released first as a webcomic and then as a graphic novel by Top Shelf.

Top Shelf decribes it as “a thrilling galactic adventure set in a world where mech-suited warriors duel over the daughters of the aristocracy, and a fledgling resistance of lady knights aim to bring down the system from within.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Amanda Lafrenais on ‘FTL, Y’ALL’ and more

The creator of ‘Love Me Nice’ discusses her newest anthology project for Iron Circus, her own webcomics and more.

Amanda Lafrenais is the creator behind the webcomics Love Me Nice and Titty Time. She’s one of the co-hosts and editor of the Dirty Old Ladies podcast. She’s also an editor who worked on the Iron Circus anthology Tim’rous Beastie and the new anthology FTL, Y’ALL: Tales from the Age of the $200 Warp Drive. The anthology has an incredible premise that attracted creators who readers will know, along with plenty of newcomers.

Lafrenais’ webcomics show a range of artistic and storytelling influences. She clearly understands comics and it’s been fascinating to see her guide two very different anthologies, overseeing very different artists than herself. Lafrenais is a great talent and I took the opportunity to ask her about the new anthology, the graphic novel she’s drawing and her own comics.

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‘Pooot!’: Kathryn and Stuart Immonen have a new Instagram comic

‘Grass of Parnassus’ is described as “‘Never As Bad As You Think’ — in space!”

Grass of Parnassus is the new comic by the team of Kathryn and Stuart Immonen — and you can follow along on Instagram.

The husband and wife duo have worked together in the past on Never As Bad As You Think, Moving Pictures and Marvel’s Hellcat. The first teaser post on the account described the new story as “Never As Bad As You Think — in space,” so if you’re familiar with their previous work, you have an idea of what they’re planning. They’ve been posting three to five panels each week for the past five weeks, so there’s a good chunk of story to read right now.

Here are a few of my favorite panels thus far, and you can see more on Instagram:

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Comics Lowdown: Mark Waid’s attorney asks for dismissal of Richard C. Meyer’s lawsuit

BOOM! Studios cancels ‘Husband and Husband’ collection after plagiarism charges! Image stops selling DRM-free digital comics directly! Chicago Sun-Times drops two pages of comics! Plus: Chip Zdarsky, NaNoWriMo, best of 2018 lists and more!

Mark Waid’s legal representative has asked the U.S. District Court for the Western district of Texas to dismiss the lawsuit filed against him by Richard C. Meyer. The civil lawsuit was filed in September and claims “tortious interference with contract and defamation.” You can read the motion on Newsarama.

“[Meyer] asserts claims against Mr. Waid for tortious interference with contract and defamation. These claims are completely meritless. But the problem at the outset, and which is proper to address, is that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Mr. Waid,” reads the motion. “Plaintiff’s Complaint fails to identify any allegations or facts establishing any connection between Mr. Waid and Texas. Instead, Plaintiff merely alleges a single phone call between Mr. Waid, who was in California at the time, and a San Antonio publishing company. That is far short of the necessary substantial connection with Texas to justify personal jurisdiction.”

Mark Waid and Richard Meyer have GoFundMe campaigns going to pay for their legal fees, both of which have reached their goals.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Sophie Labelle

The creator of ‘Assigned Male’ discusses the long-running webcomic, her upcoming tour and more.

Sophie Labelle has been making the webcomic Assigned Male for years online and in collections like Nice Gender! Did your mom pick it out for you? and Dating Tips for Trans and Queer Weirdos. Labelle described the comic as “a bunch of very sarcastic and sassy trans and queer teenagers.” Which is true.

The adventures of Ciel, Stephie, Frank, Eirikur and others are funny and relatable, but they’re also thoughtful and poignant. Labelle has been making three and four panel comics for so long that she clearly understands the rhythm and style of them, but doesn’t necessarily deliver a punchline at the end of every strip. Sometimes she wants to make a dramatic point, other times she wants she to shock us. There are strips that have punched me in the gut and there are strips that have made me laugh out loud in public.

Labelle is touring the United States this fall and she has a novel coming out next year, and we spoke recently over e-mail about the strip, how she works and community.

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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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