Smash Pages Q&A: NireLeet

The illustrator and teacher discusses the story “Not Alone,” which was part of Decoded’s Pride Month anthology.

NireLeet is a teacher and illustrator, and this year for Decoded, the annual story-a-day anthology for Pride Month, she made the short comic “Not Alone.” A quiet and perfectly told story, it’s a story about a witch that’s about loneliness in a way that will resonate with people more than the story would have previously.

This year’s collection of Decoded has been released as a full color PDF, and NireLeet just launched Malic’s Deep, a new webcomic on Tapas. We spoke recently about art, fantasy and the joys of teaching art in elementary school.

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‘Batman ’89’ is not content to just be a continuation of the film

Tom Bondurant shares his thoughts on the first two issues of Batman ’89, which continues the story started in the first Tim Burton ‘Batman’ film.

The more I think about the current Batman ’89 miniseries, the odder it seems.

Tim Burton’s Bat-movies don’t fit easily into any one category. Weird as they are, they’re not full-on “Tim Burton” movies, because they’re beholden to at least a nominal amount of source-material lore. That weirdness also sets them apart from other action-movie blockbusters. Today, after a decade or two of superhero movies becoming more faithful to the comics, Burton’s efforts seem almost primitive, with a dreamlike quality – far from the hard edge of Christopher Nolan’s urban crime stories or the DCEU’s CGI-enabled spectacle.

However, Batman ’89 – written by Sam Hamm, drawn by Joe Quinones, and colored by Leonardo Ito – isn’t really interested in translating Tim Burton to comics. Although writer Sam Hamm penned the Burton movies’ original drafts, both were revised to varying degrees by subsequent writers, especially Daniel Waters on Batman Returns.

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Archie celebrates the holidays with ‘Archie’s Holiday Magic Special’

The anthology will feature stories by Micol Ostow, Michael Northrop, J. Torres, Gretel Lusky and more.

Archie and the gang will be simply having a wonderful Christmastime this December in the Archie’s Holiday Magic Special.

The anthology will feature three new stories by Micol Ostow, Michael Northrop, J. Torres, Gretel Lusky, Arielle Jovellanos, Dan Schoening and more. It’ll feature stories set in the worlds of “Little Archie” and “Life With Archie.”

“We were definitely inspired by the Archie reboot series from Mark Waid and Fiona Staples, and feel-good Hallmark movies for this fun and heartwarming anthology,” Archie’s Senior Director of Editorial Jamie L. Rotante said. “We think it’s a perfect way to celebrate 80 years of Archie by taking a trip through different eras of Archie’s life as he ultimately rediscovers the importance of friendship and community during the holiday season.

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Lee Lai, Michael DeForge, Pa-Luis and more win 2021 Ignatz Awards

Annual awards typically presented at the Small Press Expo honor excellence in independent comics, graphic novels and minicomics.

The Small Press Expo, or SPX, has announced the winners for the 2021 Ignatz Awards.

The Ignatz Awards, which have been handed out since 1997, celebrate the outstanding achievements of independent comics, graphic novels and alternative political cartoons. Named for the mouse that appears in the Krazy Kat comics by George Herriman, the logo changes each as a new artist draws the mouse and his weapon of choice, the brick. This year’s logo was created by Theo Stultz, last year’s winner in the “Most Promising Newcomer” category.

Nominees were determined by a jury that included Sunmi, Daniel Elkin and Nguyên Khôi Nguyễn. Anyone could register online to vote for the winners.

Congratulations to all the winners:

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Smash Pages Playlist: Happy Batman Day

Get ready to dance — Batdance! — with a list of songs about your favorite millionaire vigilante.

Break out your cape and cowl and get ready to do the Batusi — it’s Batman Day, as declared by the fine folks at DC and Warner Bros., so we’re back with another Smash Pages playlist featuring songs about the Dark Knight, his partners and even his villains.

So maybe skip going to the movies with your parents today and instead stay in and jam to songs about Bill Finger and Bob Kane’s most famous creation. Enjoy, and let us know if we missed any of your favorite Spider-tunes in the comments below.

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‘Stray Dogs’ returns in December with ‘Dog Days’

Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner return to tell short stories about the characters introduced in ‘Stray Dogs.’

This December you’ll be able to learn more about the different canines who appeared in Image Comics’ recent Stray Dogs miniseries.

Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner’s litter of dogs — who also appeared in one of Image’s Free Comic Book Day titles this year — will return for a two-issue miniseries, Stray Dogs: Dog Days. It’ll feature short stories about each of the dogs.

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‘World of Krypton’ will feature Jor-El, catastrophe — and puppy Krypto

Robert Venditti and Michael Avon Oeming present stories about Krypton before the planet-wide cataclysm.

DC Comics has announced a new six-issue World of Krypton miniseries, focusing on Superman’s homeworld before the events that destroyed it and sent him rocketing into space.

Robert Venditti and Michael Avon Oeming will shine “new light on the famous characters of Krypton’s past—including Jor-El, General Dru-Zod and even a young Kara Zor-El,” aka Supergirl. They also promise an appearance by Krypto as a puppy.

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‘Shadows of the Bat’ will follow ‘Fear State’

DC Comics reveals more details on Mariko Tamaki and Ivan Reis’s ‘Detective Comics’ story that kicks off in January.

Although Fear State is just getting underway in the Batman titles, DC has already announced a story line that will follow in its wake, beginning in January — ‘Shadows of the Bat.”

The 12-week event will run though Detective Comics, beginning with a “prelude” story in the 2021 annual, which comes out in November. Then, in January, the story will continue in Detective Comics #1047 by Mariko Tamaki, Ivan Reis and Danny Miki.

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IDW jumps to Penguin Random House for direct market comics distribution

IDW joins Marvel in moving away from Diamond, who will still offer IDW comics as a wholesaler.

IDW Publishing and Penguin Random House Publisher Services have announced that Penguin will exclusively distribute IDW’s comics and graphic novels to the direct market, beginning June 1 of next year.

The news follows Marvel’s similar announcement from earlier this year. IDW joins both Marvel and DC in moving away from Diamond Comics Distributors as their single path into comic shops.

“IDW succeeds when the Direct Market succeeds,” said IDW Publisher Nachie Marsham. “No matter how amazing our comics and graphic novels may be, it’s the retailers that are connecting readers with our stories. Because of that, I couldn’t be more excited about our future with Penguin Random House and I have the utmost confidence that every store, no matter the size, will see the benefits of the high levels of care and service that PRHPS brings.”

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Learn what Sabretooth’s been doing underneath Krakoa this January

“Whatever you think a Sabretooth story will be, this’ll be that plus *extra*.”

Author Victor LaValle, whose books include The Ecstatic, Big Machine, The Devil in Silver and The Changeling, will write a new Sabretooth series for Marvel that kicks off in January.

LaValle will team with artists Leonard Kirk and Rain Beredo to show readers what the mutant psychopath has been doing since being exiled to the “pit” underneath the island of Krakoa.

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Marvel returns to the wastelands with five one-shots this December

Wolverine, Star-Lord, Black Widow and more get new tales set in the alternate future from ‘Old Man Logan.’

Marvel’s just-released solicitations reveal five new one-shots that spin out of the “Old Man” titles Marvel has made for the last several years. A variety of writers and artists are returning to the wasteland first introduced in the classic “Old Man Logan” storyline from Wolverine.

Previous “old man” versions of Wolverine, Hawkeye, Star-Lord and Doctor Doom will each get a one-shot, while Black Widow will make her debut in this alternate future world originally created by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven.

Here’s the rundown:

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Lemire + Mahnke send Swamp Thing to ‘Green Hell’ in December

Alec Holland fights for the last humans alive in the new Black Label miniseries.

Jeff Lemire, Doug Mahnke and David Baron will take Swamp Thing to the end of the world in a new DC Black Label series, as Alec Holland fights for the fate of humanity in Swamp Thing: Green Hell.

The three-issue “prestige” series will debut Dec. 28.

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