Dark Horse will bring Neil Gaiman’s ‘Anansi Boys’ to comics

Marc Bernardin and Shawn Martinbrough will bring the story of Anansi’s twin sons to comics.

Dark Horse Comics will continue their line of adaptations of Neil Gaiman’s prose stories with Anansi Boys, an eight-issue miniseries based on the 2005 fantasy novel.

Writer Marc Bernardin, artist Shawn Martinbrough, colorist Christopher Sotomayor and letterer Jim Campbell will bring the story of the trickster god Anansi and his twin sons.

“Despite having many Neil Gaiman collections on my bookshelf, surprisingly I had never read The Anansi Boys,” Martinbrough said. “When Dark Horse approached me to illustrate this adaptation, I jumped at the chance to tell this funny, fantastical story full of rich and charming characters. Designing the larger than life figures of Papa Nancy and Spider has been a delight, but my favorite by far, was capturing the endearing quirks and idiosyncrasies of Fat Charlie.”

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Destiny and Mystique are goin’ to the chapel in ‘X-Men: The Wedding Special’

Kieron Gillen, Tini Howard, Wyatt Kennedy, Tate Brombal and more will contribute to the special.

The relationship between Mystique and Destiny has been explored and tested in the X-Men titles over the past few years, between Immortal X-Men and the recent X-Men Origins Blue special that cleaned up Nightcrawler’s origin. But now the two of them will take the center aisle in X-Men: The Wedding Special.

Immortal X-Men writer Kieron Gillen will write a story that sees the two mutants renew their vows.

“They’ve been through hell, mainly at my pen. Finally, giving these two a happy day? How can I say no,” Gillen told Marvel.com.

The comic serves as this year’s Marvel’s Voices: Pride special, and will feature additional stories by LGBTQIA+ talent like Tini Howard, Wyatt Kennedy, Tate Brombal and Yoon Ha Lee, among others.

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Ennis + Burrows bring ‘deeply disrespectful humor’ to the fantasy genre in ‘Babs’

The new miniseries debuts from Ahoy Comics in July.

Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows’ partnership is going on about 20 years now, having started at Avatar with 303 and continued into Crossed, Punisher: Soviet and the upcoming Get Fury. But the duo will head into a different direction this summer in Babs, a sword-and-sorcery satire coming from Ahoy Comics.

This sounds like something that will appeal to fans of Ennis’ work on titles like Hitman and Dicks.

“Writing Babs was an absolute hoot,” said Ennis. “The character is one of my favorite types—good at the job but crap at life, with a lousy attitude to boot—and the world of ‘Sword & Sorcery’ provides endless opportunities for deeply disrespectful humor. Having our heroine smash her way through goblins, ogres, imps, incels and other vermin was extremely satisfying; nobody’s going to be Making Middle Earth Great Again while she’s around.”

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Smash Pages Q&A | Zac Atkinson on ‘The Omega Eleven’

The artist talks about his inspiration for the project, creating his own versions of well-known characters and more.

Last week James Aquilone and Zac Atkinson’s Kickstarter for The Omega Eleven #1 launched, making short work of its goal in a matter of hours. The comic series stars history’s greatest thieves in a time travel heist, as they attempt to steal the Philosopher’s Stone from Merlin.

I spoke with Aquilone about the project when it launched, and today I’m happy to share my interview with Atkinson. We talk about his inspiration for the idea behind the series, his character designs for well-known characters like Merlin and Artful Dodger, and more.

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Emgård + Aira bring eldritch horror to a new battleground in ‘Beyond the Pale’

The four-issue miniseries kicks off from Dark Horse Comics in June.

Christofer Emgård and Tomás Aira, who previously combined eldritch horror with war stories in Dark Horse Comics’ The Secret Land and The Whispering Dark, will once again team for Beyond the Pale. Letterer Maguro Mantella joins them on the new miniseries, which brings their trademark “impending doom” approach to the Vietnam War.

“The senseless insanity of the Vietnam War lends itself especially well to tales of inexplicable horror,” Emgård said. “Beyond the Pale is my humble attempt to capture some of that madness onto the page, and Tomás has outdone himself in depicting the moist, suffocating jungle and the young, forsaken soldiers lost in its dark embrace.”

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Nominees announced for this year’s L.A. Times Book Prize

Sammy Harkham, Derek M. Ballard, Emily Carroll and more were nominated this year.

The Los Angeles Times has announced the finalists for this year’s L.A. Times Book Prize, which includes a category for Graphic Novels/Comics. The prize recognizes books published in 2023.

The Los Angeles Times has given an award in the graphic novel category since 2009, when Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli won the award. Other previous winners include The Love Bunglers by Jaime Hernandez, Duncan the Wonder Dog by Adam Hines, Beverly by Nick Drnaso, Tillie Walden’s On a SunbeamThe Hard Tomorrow by Eleanor Davis and R. Kikuo Johnson’s No One Else. Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith’s Wash Day Diaries won the award last year.

The winners will be revealed on April 19. Check out the finalists below.

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Quick Hits | Whatever happened to ‘Tales from the Quarantine’?

Plus: A ‘Doonesbury’ controversy (maybe?), Image launches a retailer award, and a Seattle comic shop’s staff unionizes.

Crowdfunding | Broken Frontier has a lengthy article up where they talk with many of the creators involved with Tales from the Quarantine, a project spearheaded by Frazer Brown of Red Cabin Comics that was funded in the early days of the pandemic and was meant to raise money for the Hero Initiative and other charities. The anthology was supposed to feature comics by a long list of creators, including Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Rachael Stott, Charlie Adlard, Jim Zub and Max Dunbar, among others. Almost four years after being funded, the anthology has yet to materialize in print, with many angry backers wanting to know what happened and creators left with little answers themselves.

“It was a damaging situation for our individual reputations,” said one of the anthology’s contributors, Lucy Sullivan. “The way the project was marketed suggested we were all complicit in its concept and production rather than, the reality, that we all gave our time and expertise for free in aid of charity. The only recourse was to publicly state this. Of course that put me on the blocked list, off the contributors’ emails and potentially amongst those threatened with police investigation. It was really quite stressful.”

Visit Broken Frontier to read more.

Comic strips | A former Iowa State Representative went to social media to question why this Sunday’s Doonesbury strip didn’t appear in any Gannett papers over the weekend. The strip in question featured a Florida teacher sharing facts about the Civil War, while one student questions if it is still legal for her to do so — a very real issue in the state.

But did Gannett actually remove the strip because of the content, as Cracked.com suggests? The Daily Cartoonist says another factor may be in play here — Gannett previously announced plans to limit the comic strips offered to their papers to a set 34, and Doonesbury isn’t on the list.

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Marvel announces ‘Blood Hunt’ one-shots for Magik, Psylocke, Jubilee + Wolverine

The X-Men will enter the vampire apocalypse, just not all together.

Four of Marvel’s mutants are getting one-shot tie-ins to this summer’s big Blood Hunt crossover event, including Psylocke, Magik, Jubilee and Wolverine — no, not him, the other Wolverine, Laura Kinney.

According to Marvel.com, the reason for the solo one-shots is story driven –“This bloodbath of terror couldn’t come at a more dire time for mutantkind. Currently scattered after the fall of Krakoa, the X-Men won’t be able to strike from a united front.”

So instead, four of them will go solo — one who is a former vampire, and three who are really good at stabbing things. But all of this is happening after Fall of the House of X and, it sounds like, before the launch of the Tom Brevoort-edited X-Men: From the Ashes, which we don’t really know anything about except that it’ll be previewed on Free Comic Book Day.

Anyway, here’s a rundown of the four one-shots, which leaves us with two as-yet-unrevealed one-shot tie-ins that’ll be announced tomorrow.

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Gary Phillips’ ‘Cold Hard Cash’ debuts on Comixology

The crime fiction writer brings his prose character Martha Chainey to comics.

Crime writer/novelist Gary Phillips is no stranger to comics, having written titles like Angeltown, High Rollers and The Rinse, among others. But today he brings one of his prose characters, Martha Chainey from High Hand and Shooter’s Point, to the comics page in the Comixology Originals title Cold Hard Cash.

Phillips has teamed up with artist Adriana Melo, colorist John Kalisz, letterer Tom Napolitano and editor Greg Lockard on the five-issue series, which had a surprise launch today on the digital comics platform.

“I’m thrilled to bring my tough as nails protagonist Martha Chainey to the pages of a comic,” Phillips said. “Seeing her navigate the gritty streets of L.A. and the high-end tech world in this fast-paced crime thriller illustrated by Adriana is surreal, and I hope people dig it.”

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EC Comics will return this summer

Oni Press has announced a publishing partnership that will bring new EC material to print for the first time since the 1950s.

EC Comics, the notorious and influential publishing house from the 1950s headed up by William Gaines that was at the forefront of Dr. Fredric Wertham’s campaign against comics, will return as an imprint of Oni Press this summer.

Oni Press has partnered with William M. Gaines Agent, Inc. to bring Entertaining Comics, or EC Comics, back from the dead. The publisher of Tales from the Crypt, Two-Fisted Tales, Weird Science and more has not published new comic books since the 1950s — with MAD Magazine, probably their most famous publication, being the exception.

“There are few things more sacred to the canon of comic book history – and global pop culture – than EC Comics. The company’s audaciously inspired sensibilities have continuously echoed through nearly all facets of entertainment – like pieces of shrapnel embedded in American imagination,” said Oni Press President and Publisher Hunter Gorinson. “It’s both a huge honor and immense responsibility to be entrusted to work alongside the Gaines family in inhabiting EC’s indomitable spirit for a new generation. At a moment when we find ourselves confronting the same reactionary forces – injustice, inequality, and of course, censorship – that EC challenged head-on, we intend to write a new and powerful chapter that honors and expands one of the most important legacies the comic book medium has ever produced.”

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Scarlet Witch returns to her own solo title in June

Steve Orlando and Jacopo Camagni reopen the door for new adventures starring the magical Avenger.

Following her current five-issue team-up with her brother in Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, Wanda Maximoff will return to her own solo title in June, courtesy of Steve Orlando and Jacopo Camagni.

Orlando has been writing the character since Marvel’s Darkhold event in 2021, which was actually delayed because of the pandemic, so his tenure with the character goes even further back. In her previous solo title, Orlando established her as the proprietor of a shop that will open itself to souls in need — leading to all sorts of adventures for her and her partner in magic, Darcy Lewis.

Camagni, meanwhile, is known for his work on X-Men Red and Longshot Saves the Marvel Universe, among other titles.

“The news is out and I couldn’t be more excited,” Orlando said. “Scarlet Witch has been a dream job, and getting to return to her once again and continue Wanda’s adventures is something I could never say no to. And Wanda’s going to keep climbing! Here, we’ll be bringing the blockbuster storytelling of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver to the focused, personal journey Wanda began in Darkhold and Scarlet Witch. And standing in her way? Only one of Marvel’s most powerful and climactic entities, bent on destroying everything Wanda stands for.”

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Can’t Wait for Comics | Spawn reaches its 350th issue

Check out new comics and graphic novels arriving this week by Todd McFarlane, Carlo Barberi, Brett Booth, Jonathan Hickman, Marco Checchetto, Mirka Andolfo, Dan Mora, Mark Waid, Sarah Mai, Zac Thompson and more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Comics, your guide to what comics are arriving in comic book stores, bookstores and on digital.

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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