Comics Lowdown | A look back at this weekend’s big comics events

Check out the news from both DC FanDome and NCS Fest, both of which had sessions you can still watch online.

This past weekend was filled with comics events of all shapes and sizes, from DC FanDome — which was about way more than comics, but they still had a strong presence — to the annual NCS Fest, which again went virtual and incorporated content from both the National Cartoonists Society and the Lakes International Comic Arts Festival in the UK.

In case you missed any of it, here’s the lowdown …

DC FanDome

This year’s FanDome was much shorter than last year’s, as DC opted for one day of livestreaming content rather than two. And it was better for it. The production was very tight, and I haven’t seen any issues raised about connection issues or the sorts of problems that can plague events like this.

Most of the news focused on movies, TV and video games — you can find all the various trailers and special features on them on the DC FanDome site — but here’s a recap of the comics news:

  • Milestone Media had several reveals during their short segment on Saturday, which featured both Reggie Hudlin and Denys Cowan discussing the imprint. The biggest was the announcement of The Milestone Initiative, a new talent development program aimed at writers and artists. Old-school Milestone fans will also be pleased that Blood Syndicate is coming back next year, and the imprint is also planning a Black History Month anthology for next February.
  • The Monkey Prince, a character who debuted in DC’s Asian-American Pacific Islanders anthology earlier this year, will get a maxi-series next year from Gene Luen Yang and Bernard Chang.
  • DC has been building up the Wonder Woman side of their house over the last few years, with the debut of the new Wonder Girl, the return of Nubia and a prominent Justice League role for Queen Hippolyta. All of these Wonder Women will come together next year in the event series Trial of the Amazons.
  • Finally, Superman’s catch phrase is getting a much-needed update, as Publisher Jim Lee announced that his new motto will have him fighting a never-ending battle for “Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow,” dropping “The American Way” that was first introduced in the 1950s.

NCS Fest

This year’s NCS Fest again went virtual, which means even if you missed it, you can find many of the sessions on their YouTube page. Some sessions to check out include:

The National Cartoonists Society also announced their annual NCS Divisonal Awards and the 2021 Reuben Award winners. Ray Billingsley, creator of the comic strip Curtis, is the first Black man to win the award. French cartoonist Boulet won the Sergio Aragones International Award for Excellence in Comic Art. Winners of the divisional awards included:

  • Comic book: Ragnarok: The Breaking of Helheim by Walt Simonson
  • Graphic novel: Kodi by Jared Cullum
  • Online comic, long form: Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Siddell
  • Online comic, short form: Bird and Moon by Rosemary Mosco
  • Editorial cartoons: Bruce MacKinnon
  • Newspaper panels: Off the Mark by Mark Parisi
  • Newspaper comic strip: Macanudo by Liniers
  • Gag cartoons: Ellis Rosen

The Lakes Festival in the UK was a live event, in addition to the virtual parts that were included in NCS Fest, and the BBC covered it this weekend.

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