‘Monstress,’ ‘My Favorite Thing is Monsters’ win NCS Divisional Awards

Glen Keane honored with the Reuben as 2017’s ‘Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year,’ while John Allison and Gemma Correll win in the webcomics categories.

My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris and Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda continued their winning streaks this weekend, as the National Cartoonists Society honored both with divisional awards. Ferris’ work won for “Best Graphic Novel” while Monstress won for “Best Comic Book.”

In addition, John Allison was honored for his work on Bad Machinery in the “Online Comics – Long Form” category, while Gemma Correll won in the “Online Comics – Short Form” category.

The Daily Cartoonist reports that Academy Award-winning animator and Disney Legend Glen Keane won the 2017 Reuben Award, presented to the NCS’s pick for “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year.”

The Reuben Awards ceremony took place Saturday at the National Cartoonists Society’s annual get-together in Philadelphia. The complete list of nominees, with the winners in bold, can be found below:

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‘Green Monk’ returns from Image Comics

Brandon Dayton’s minicomic turned webcomic about a monk and his blade of grass gets a graphic novel in September.

I first read Brandon Dayton‘s Green Monk back during Indy Comic Book Week, when a Diamond Comics Distributors skip week gave a bunch of independent comics creators a opportunity to promote their books to comic retailers and fans. It’s a beautiful minicomic that landed on YALSA’s “Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens” in 2011, and now it’s getting a graphic novel sequel, courtesy of Image Comics.

“So excited to be bringing the Green Monk to a wider audience through Image,” said Dayton in a press release. “This is a book that has all the things I love to see in comics. It’s a mix of quiet, contemplative moments with surreal, and sometimes explosive, action. I hope it can provide a real sense of journey and discovery.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Megan Rose Gedris on ‘Spectacle’

The longtime webcomics creator discusses her latest collaboration with Oni Press.

Megan Rose Gedris has been making comics for years. From Yu+Me to I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space to The Lady Eudora Henley and Darlin’ It’s Betta Down Where It’s Wetta, Gedris has been producing thousands of comics pages nonstop and more than a dozen series online and in print in many genres.

Her current project is Spectacle, an ongoing series published by Oni Press about Anna, a fortune teller and an engineer working at a traveling circus. In the first issue her twin sister Kat is murdered, though she lingers as a ghost, which comes as a shock to the scientifically minded Anna. The series is about finding Kat’s murderer, but it’s also about exploring the people who made up the circus and examining their lives. It is not just a beautifully drawn book, but a strikingly insightful look at a community of outsiders and performers.

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Smash Pages Q&A: A. David Lewis on ‘Kismet, Man of Fate’

The writer and comics scholar shares more about his webcomic collaboration with Noel Tuazon that brings a 1940s character into the present.

A. David Lewis is a comics scholar who’s written books like American Comics, Literary Theory and Religion: The Superhero Afterlife and co-edited many books including Muslim Superheroes: Comics, Islam and Representation, and Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels. Lewis is also the founder of CYRIC, Comics for Youth Refugees Incorporated Collective, which makes and distributes comics for children.

Lewis has written comics, but it wasn’t until recently that he wrote a superhero. Kismet, Man of Fate was a character originally created in 1944 as part of the wartime comic boom. An Algerian operative fighting the Nazi occupation in the original stories, Lewis along with artist Noel Tuazon (Elk’s Run, Tumor) has brought the character into the present in a series of new stories. After making some standalone short comics, the two have been serializing a new longer story. Kismet wraps up today and will be collected later this summer. I reached out to Lewis to talk about his many comics and comics-related projects.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Julia Kaye on ‘Super Late Bloomer’

The cartoonist and animator discusses the first collection of her webcomic ‘Up and Out.’

Julia Kaye had been making comics for years – and making the webcomic Up and Out for years – before she transitioned. What had been a humor strip made in full color then became something else as Kaye used the strip to document her own life and trying to adjust to life as a woman. Her first book is Super Late Bloomer: My Early Days in Transition. The book collects six months of strips from 2016. They range from funny to absurd to heartbreaking as Kaye captures her changing life three panels at a time.

Kaye is currently working at Disney Animation and continues to draw Up and Out. With Super Late Bloomer out this week, we sat down to talk about the book, her work and how it’s changed over the years.

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Keren Katz, Michael DeForge win 2018 Cartoonist Studio Prize

Created in conjunction with the Center for Cartoon Studies, the program offers $1,000 to each winner.

Slate has announced the winners of their annual Cartoonist Studio Prize, which awards $1,000 to the year’s best print comic and webcomic.

This year’s winner in the print catgeory is Keren Katz for The Academic Hour, published by Secret Acres.

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‘A Star Wars Comic’ explores ‘small moments’ from the epic saga

Jim Mello, Alex Ray and Tony Ray bring their interpretations of various Star Wars characters to the web once a month in six finely crafted pages.

I came across the site “A Star Wars Comic” in my Tumblr feed recently, and at first thought that Lucasfilm or Marvel had started up some sort of webcomic project — but as it turns out, it’s actually a fan-made site featuring various comics that spotlight “the small moments, characters, and themes of a galaxy, far far away.” And it’s very impressive.

The comics — there are 19 of them right now, plus an annual — cut across the Star Wars mythos, featuring main characters like Luke and Rey, as well as lesser-explored characters like Mon Mothma, Plo Koon and even “Gonk” the power droid. All the comics are done by Jim Mello, Alex Ray and Tony Ray. Each story (except the annual) is six pages, so they’re very quick, in and out, looks at these characters, and they’re posted once a month on the 25th.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Victor Santos

The creator of Polar discusses ‘Rashomon: A Commissioner Heigo Kobayashi Case,’ which was recently released by Dark Horse, as well as his webcomic ‘Guts,’ Jack Kirby, the Spain comics scene and more.

Victor Santos’ work might be more familiar to American comics readers than his name, though that is quickly changing. The man has put out a wide and varied body of work. He’s drawn comics and graphic novels, masterfully going from Filthy Rich to Mice Templar, Furious to Black Market, Godzilla to Sleepy Hollow. He’s currently drawing Violent Love, which is published by Image Comics. Santos is also the man behind Polar, the webcomic that he wrote and drew, which was collected in three volumes by Dark Horse.

In addition to Violent Love, Santos has two projects, one new and one old, that are out this fall. He’s launched a new webcomic, Guts, that’s available on polarcomic.com which he’s making monthly as a complete short story. The second story was released in early November. Dark Horse has just published Rashomon: A Commissioner Heigo Kobayashi Case, which collects two books that Santos made for the Spanish market. There are two more graphic novels that Santos is drawing and coloring coming out next year, as well as a film adaptation of Polar in production. Despite this busy schedule, he was kind enough to talk about his work.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Melanie Gillman

The creator discusses ‘As the Crow Flies,’ now available from Iron Circus Comics, as well as the upcoming ‘Stage Dreams,’ Colorado, colored pencils and more.

Since it launched in 2012, As the Crow Flies has been a webcomic beloved by many people. Drawn in colored pencil by Melanie Gillman, the comic tells the story of Charlie, a black queer 13 year old on an all-white Christian youth backpacking trip. It is not just a striking beautiful comic that looks like nothing else, but it tells an important story in a thoughtful, nuanced way. It is a story of identity and religion, community and discrimination with a cast of real, relatable and beautifully drawn characters.

Gillman just finished writing a run of Steven Universe comics for BOOM! Studios and has already announced their next project, Stage Dreams, a graphic novel that Gillman described as a “queer western romance adventure story.” The first half of As the Crow Flies was just published in a print edition by Iron Circus Comics and Gillman was kind enough to talk about writing, life, Colorado and colored pencils.

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