What Are You Reading? | ‘Batman,’ ‘X of Swords,’ ‘Skin Horse’ and more

See what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately.

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately — including two recent big events from the big two, and some fun webcomics.

Let us know what you read this week in the comments or on social media.

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Comics Lowdown: Archie goes day-and-date on ComiXology Unlimited

Covid, ComiXology, and ‘Contradictions.’

Big news from Archie Comics, which this week began releasing all its comics on the ComiXology Unlimited service the day they come out. This is the first time a publisher, other than ComiXology itself, has put its comics on the all-you-can-read platform on the publication date. The Beat has a good piece putting this move into perspective, noting that Archie has been publishing fewer single-issue comics of late, and that these comics are also available day-and-date on the free (to the user) library service Hoopla.

IDW Entertainment has set up a new initiative within its Kids, Family, and YA division that will focus on developing original material for young readers. Erika Turner has been named senior editor of original content at IDW Publishing; she comes to IDW from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, where she was senior editor of their Versify imprint. On the IDW Entertainment side, Jeff Brustrom is the new vice president of kids, family, and animation, and Daniel Kendrick is the director of animation; both will work on developing animated properties.

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Sunday Comics | Award winners, bizarre cowboys and the Scarlet Witch

Check out recent comics from Alex de Campi, Dan Piraro, Kevin C. Pyle and more.

Here’s a round up of some of the best comics we’ve seen online recently. If we missed something, let us know in the comments below.

Comics writer/editor Alex de Campi declared Aug. 28 to be “Nice Day Wanda,” a day when only good things happen to Marvel’s Scarlet Witch. If you’re familiar with the Scarlet Witch’s comic book history, you know that things don’t always go well for her — she’s accidentally destroying the Avengers one day, eliminating mutants the next, finding out her kids aren’t real, watching her husband lose his feelings … #NiceDayWanda was long overdue. To celebrate, de Campi worked with several artist on short comics where “nothing bad happens to the Scarlet Witch.”

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Cullen Bunn digs down into ‘Deepest Catacombs’

The webcomic will debut on his Patreon the week of Aug. 9.

Cullen Bunn will channel those one-page advertisements for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game that used to run in 1980s comics with Deepest Catacombs, a new webcomic he’s launching via his Patreon. He’ll work with different artists for each one-page installment, which together will form a 24-page comic.

“When I was a kid, I absolutely loved the D&D ads that ran in my favorite comics,” Bunn said. “These were one-page comic strips that introduced a band of heroes—Grimslade, Valerius, Saren and Indel—who were adventuring into a dungeon in search of treasure. They met up with werewolves and goblins and green slime and dragons. The story continued from strip to strip, and I was always eager to see what would come next. Sometimes, I was more excited about the ads than the actual comics!”

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Sunday Comics | Bite-sized science comics from TinyView

Check out recent comics from Andrew Neal, Gabrielle Bell, Gary Moloney and more.

Here’s a round up of some of the best comics we’ve seen online recently. If we missed something, let us know in the comments below.

So have you checked out TinyView yet? TinyView is a “platform for bite-sized comics,” offering up content you can scroll through easily on your phone. It was founded/created by the father-and-son team of Rishi and Raj Lalwani, and so far it has offered up nonfiction content — including biographies of scientists, Malachi Ray Rempen’s travel comic and political cartoons by The Nib’s Matt Bors. There’s even a comic about the creation of the app.

Some of the content is free, while some is behind a paywall. Visit their website to elarn more.

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Sunday Comics | 2020, gnomes and Funky Winkerbean

Check out recent comics by Thom Zahler, Tom Kaczynski and more.

Here’s a round up of some of the best comics we’ve seen online recently. If we missed something, let us know in the comments below.

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Sunday Comics | Comic strips pay tribute to COVID-19 essential workers

Check out new comics by Louise Simonson, Jan Duursema, Ali Fitzgerald, Roger Langridge and more.

Here’s a round up of some of the best comics we’ve seen online recently. If we missed something, let us know in the comments below.

Comic strips from Dick Tracy to Doonesbury are celebrating medical personnel on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis today, as the Sunday strips feature six “hidden” items like a microscope and a medical mask that relate to essential workers during the pandemic. The idea for it came from Rick Kirkman, who is one of the creators of the comic strip Baby Blues.

Maria Scriven provides a look at the six items:

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Sunday Comics | Cats + Chaos

Check out new comics by Matthew Dow Smith, Gabrielle Bell, Nate Powell and Rosemary Mosco.

Here’s a round up of some of the best comics we’ve seen online recently. If we missed something, let us know in the comments below.

Here’s a fun one to dive into — creator Matthew Dow Smith has been posting an amazing new comic, Johnny Chaos, on his Twitter feed. He’s currently up to chapter five, with new pages going up every Wednesday.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Gina Biggs

The webcomics creator discusses the science fiction romance ‘Love Not Found,’ Filthy Figments, creating while being isolated and more.

Gina Biggs is best known as the cartoonist behind a great series of webcomics that she’s been making for more than a decade, including Red String, Erstwhile and her current project, Love Not Found. She is also the founder and editor of the website Filthy Figments, which turns 10 this year. Long one of the very best collections of erotic comics on the web, Filthy Figments has published a long list of talented creators, including Megan Rose Gedris, Molly Ostertag, Sarah Searle, Niki Smith and others making comics than aren’t simply inventive and interesting and visually dynamic by the standards of erotic comics, but exciting work by any standard.

Biggs’ current ongoing comic is Love Not Found, a science fiction romance set in a world where physical contact is rare. In the second chapter, one character has a line which has long stayed with me, “Sex is great. Why complicate it with emotions and touching?” In the time since I first reached out to us finishing this interview, that scenario went from science fiction to the norm for so many of us. We spoke over email about her career, Filthy Figments, upcoming plans, and how Love Not Found feels like a very different comic right now.

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