Jim Rugg ends working relationship with Ed Piskor

The announcement follows recent allegations of misconduct against Piskor.

Jim Rugg has shared he has ended his professional relationship with Ed Piskor, who was accused of inappropriate behavior by multiple women this past week.

“In light of this past week’s shocking revelations, I find it necessary to reevaluate my professional associations to ensure they align with my values of respect and integrity,” Rugg wrote on Instagram. “Therefore, I have ended my working relationship with Ed Piskor.”

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Exclusive Preview | Introducing Archie’s newest rival, Daisy Thunder

Check out a preview of next week’s ‘Archie & Friends: Hot Rod Racing.’

Next week Archie Andrews might need a tune-up as his “oldest rival” returns in Archie & Friends: Hot Rod Racing, which introduces Daisy Thunder to the cast.

The Southside Serpent has a bone to pick with Archie because once upon a time, he ruined her art contest drawing, and now she’s back for revenge. Daisy challenges the Archie gang to a race that’ll go through all the different areas of Riverdale, as the racers pass landmarks like the Mighty Legends of Justice Museum and the haunted Igor Estates.

“Racing and cool cars are such a big part of childhood fantasies and part of Archie lore, and we wanted a new character who evoked that feeling with a little bit of danger,” said Archie Comics Editor-in-Chief Mike Pellerito, who added that the character’s look was inspired by “Evel Knievel, Pinky Tuscadero and Penelope Pitstop.” 

The new story is by Craig Boldman and Steven Butler, and will be accompanied by several classic racing stories.

“Daisy Thunder is a childhood friend of the Riverdale gang — or should we say frenemy? — who moved away when they were very young. Now she’s back!” Boldman said. “In the intervening years, she’s had an amazing life, owing to her father’s career as a globe-hopping professional race car driver. He’s ready to settle down and enjoy a slower pace, but it turns out Daisy’s not wired that way.”

Check out a preview of the new story below, along with a classic racing story by George Gladir and Bill Vigoda.

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Marvel celebrates 10-ish years of Skottie Young variant covers with a new series of Skottie Young variant covers

Marvel will also release Young’s ‘Giant-Size Little Marvels’ in print.

If there’s one artist who has become synonymous with Marvel variant covers, it would have to be Skottie Young, who has been drawing his “Little Marvels” versions of their characters for more than 10 years now. Gentle Giant even released statues based on his art.

Marvel plans to celebrate that milestone with a new poster, the print release of the Giant-Size Little Marvels Infinity Comic in June and, you guessed it — a series of variant covers.

“It’s hard to believe that we’re celebrating 10 years of my Young Variants,” Young said. “It’s easier to believe that we’re celebrating 10 years of my covers on the 12th year of me doing them. I mean, it’s Marvel Comics. Everyone’s crazy busy and it’s hard to keep track of every anniversary. And hey, we love playing fast and loose with numbering of things, right? Joking aside, it’s a been such a fun 12 years of getting to make people smile and laugh with my take on the Marvel Universe. Here’s to 10-ish or 12-ish more!”

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‘A Guest in the House,’ ‘Blackward’ among the nominees for the 2024 Lambda Literary Awards

The annual awards recognize LGBTQ+ books, poetry, comics and more.

The finalists have been announced for the 36th annual Lambda Literary Awards, which celebrate and recognize outstanding LGBTQ+ literature. The awards include an “LGBTQ+ Comics” category.

The finalists were selected by more than “70 avid readers, critics and literary professionals” from more than 1,300 submissions. Both First Second and Drawn & Quarterly received two nominations, while Silver Sprocket rounded out the category. Previous winners in the comics category include Sas Milledge’s Mamo, Lee Lai’s Stone Fruit and Bishakh Som’s Apsara Engine.

And the finalists are …

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The ‘Minor Threats’ universe expands again this summer with ‘Barfly’

Kyle Starks and Ryan Browne team up the tale of a humanoid mutant fly.

Kyle Starks and Ryan Browne are two creators who I would have sworn had worked together before doing a quick Google search to discover that no, I’m apparently wrong. I do think they have similar sensibilities, if you look at their previous work, from Browne’s collaborations with Charles Soule on Cursed Words and 8 Billion Genies to Starks’ Assassin Nation or Sexcastle, as both go out with wild ideas and even wilder executions … so maybe you can see why I thought that.

So I am pleased to see that will soon change, as they’ll team up on another Minor Threats spin-off at Dark Horse Comics, titled Barfly — which is about a humanoid mutant fly. Minor Threats is the 2022 miniseries by Patton Oswalt, Jordan Blum and Scott Hepburn that has produced a previous spinoff and a sequel miniseries that begins in April, and that universe will keep expanding this summer.

“I’m so excited to be invited to add to the tapestry that is the wonderful, super-powered world of Minor Threats that Jordan Blum and Patton Oswalt have brought to comics,” Starks said. “To get to do it with incredible, unequaled Ryan Browne is an unbelievable cherry on top of an already delicious great comic ice cream sundae. I truly think people are going to fall in love with the lovable loser Sh*teater – a sweet little fella who’s just trying to find his place in the world after years of being a nameless minion!”

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Ed Piskor gallery showing ‘indefinitely postponed’ after misconduct allegations

Multiple women have accused the creator of ‘Hip Hop Family Tree’ of inappropriate behavior, including grooming an underage artist.

A planned exhibit of Ed Piskor’s artwork from Hip Hop Family Tree has been “indefinitely postponed,” according to the Pittsburgh City Paper, following allegations of misconduct that were revealed this past weekend.

The exhibit was scheduled to begin in April at the 707 Penn Gallery in Pittsburgh and would have run through August.

“The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust learned yesterday of allegations of misconduct made by an individual against artist Ed Piskor, whose work was scheduled to be on exhibition at 707 Penn Gallery starting April 6, 2024,” a spokesperson for the Trust told Pittsburgh City Paper. “The Trust takes the allegations very seriously and has decided to postpone the exhibition indefinitely.”

Both Hip Hop Family Tree and Piskor’s Red Room were published by Fantagraphics. When Smash Pages reached out to the publisher, they shared this statement: “Fantagraphics has no future projects in the works with Ed Piskor.”

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‘Joker: The World’ will feature creators from 13 countries

The anthology will arrive in September, just in time for Batman Day.

Back in 2021, DC’s Batman: The World anthology brought together Batman stories by creators from around the world. DC has announced a similar project for this September titled Joker: The World, which will again bring together international creators to tell stories about the Clown Prince of Crime.

The book will include stories by creative teams from 13 different countries, with contributions from Geoff Johns, Satoshi Miyagawa, David Rubin, German Peralta, Alvaro Fong Varela, Jason Fabok and more. In the press release, DC said the stories will be “tailored to the authentic style, tone and cultural sensibilities of different nations around the world.”

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Greg Pak + Diego Galindo bring ‘Lawful’ to BOOM! Studios

The new series explores the difference between what’s right and what’s the law.

Imagine if the rules Pinocchio lived by applied to a whole city, but instead of their noses growing when they lied, they slowly transformed into monsters. That’s the premise behind Lawful, a new series coming from BOOM! Studios this summer.

Greg Pak of Incredible Hercules and Mech Cadet Yu fame and Diego Galindo, artist of Stranger Things: The Voyage, team up for a new series about a city where breaking the law comes with an interesting price.

Lawful may be simultaneously one of the most personal and fantastical stories I’ve ever written, and I’m so grateful to be working with this brilliant team to bring it to life,” Pak said. “If you’re a fan of gorgeous, lush, organic art that takes you somewhere you’ve never been and tales of young heroes struggling to do the right thing in a world of impossible mandates, this book is for you.”

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Can’t Wait for Wednesday | Batman enters a ‘Dark Age’

Check out new comics and graphic novels arriving this week by Mark Russell, Mike Allred, Todd McFarlane, Eric Powell, Tim Seeley, Tony Fleecs, George O’Connor, Jonah Newman, Jay Hosler, Mirka Andolfo, Celeste Bronfman, Steve Foxe and more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Wednesday, your guide to what comics are arriving in comic book stores, bookstores and on digital. This week Batman gets the Elseworlds-style treatment by Mark Russell and Mike Allred, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire and X-Men ’97 both get comic book prequels and George O’Connor turns his attention to a new pantheon of gods. And much, much more!

I’ve pulled out some of the highlights below, but for the complete list of everything you might find at your local comic shop and on digital this week, you’ll want to check out one or more of the following:

As a reminder, things can change and what you find on the above lists may differ from what’s actually arriving in your local shop. So always check with your comics retailer for the final word on availability.

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DSTLRY announces ‘The Big Burn’ by Joe Henderson + Lee Garbett

The new series begins in July.

Hell is a casino in the new series The Big Burn, coming this summer from DSTLRY. And what better place for a couple of condemned thieves to try and break into, to steal their souls back?

Joe Henderson and Lee Garbett, who worked together on Skyward and Shadecraft at Image Comics, will bring this new vision of the underworld to life.

“Creating these worlds with Lee is always an absolute dream, and I’m excited to introduce readers to our unique and deeply twisted take on Hell this summer,” Henderson said. “While The Big Burn features a darker tone than our previous work, the emotional journey of our star-crossed thieves Owen and Carlie maintains the same heartfelt storytelling we’re known for. It’s exciting for us to challenge ourselves with this book, and I always love a good heist.”

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Gerard Way, Shaun Simon + Chris Weston check into a care center for the bizarre this summer

‘Paranoid Gardens’ combines ‘Kafkaesque nightmares with sweet Silver Age reveries.’

Gerard Way and Shaun Simon return to comics this summer with Paranoid Gardens, a six-issue miniseries coming from Dark Horse Comics. The writing team behind The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem team with Judge Dredd artist Chris Weston on the series, which Weston said “combines Kafkaesque nightmares with sweet Silver Age reveries.”

“I’m excited to be back with my incredibly handsome and talented brother-from-another-basement Shaun Simon penning a story that’s really special to us, and honored the masterful Chris Weston joined us to create a visually powerful and emotionally tangible physical object that is this comic,” said Way. “I’m now more complete getting to share something we’ve wanted to for a very long time, and working with this fantastic group of individuals in the process.”

They’re joined by Hellboy colorist Dave Stewart and letterer Nate Piekos on the new series about a care-home filled with aliens, ghosts and superheroes recovering from psychotic episodes.

“Most people dream of rubbing shoulders with someone who is cool, talented, mega-successful and who enjoys a wild rock’n’roll lifestyle. Luckily for Gerard Way the dream came true when he got to work with me on Paranoid Gardens,” Weston said. “It must have been quite daunting for him at first, but once he could see past my notoriety and discover I’m just an ordinary joe who shares his love for the ’60s TV show The Prisoner, we were able to form a joyous union.” 

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Time travel + Dick Wolf: Posehn, Trohman + Johnson team up for ‘Rifters’ from Image Comics

The new series begins in June.

Comic writer and comedian Brian Posehn and Fall Out Boy guitarist Joe Trohman are co-writing a new series coming from Image Comics this summer. They’re joined by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles artist Chris Johnson for the “time-traveling comedy romp” that’s described as a cross between Time Cop and Law & Order.

“Joe and I are having a blast with Rifters. We put time travel and police procedurals in a comedy blender, we had underwear on our head and we yelled ‘Dick Wolf‘ three times,” said Posehn.

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