Smash Pages Q&A | Mike Dawson

The creator of ‘Troop 142,’ ‘Angie Bongiolatti’ and more discusses the second book in his ‘The Fifth Quarter’ series.

Mike Dawson is the Ignatz Award-winning cartoonist of books including Freddie & Me, Troop 142 and Angie Bongiolatti. He’s a comics essayist whose work has been in Slate, The Nib and many other publications, some of which were collected into his 2016 book Rules for Dating My Daughter. Dawson also contributed a comic to the Rutgers University Press anthology New Jersey Fan Club.

Recently he’s been making The Fifth Quarter, a series of middle grade graphic novels about basketball – something which he admits came as a shock to him, having hated sports when he was younger, but having come to appreciate the game when his daughter started playing. The second book in the series, Hard Court, is out now from First Second Books, and I spoke with Dawson about the series, what it has in common with his earlier books, and finding a way to make personal work.

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‘The Girl from the Sea’ wins a British Fantasy Award

The awards recognize fantasy and horror lit across a variety of categories.

The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag and published by Graphix has won a British Fantasy Award in the Best Comic/Graphic Novel category.

The British Fantasy Awards recognize fantasy and horror literature across a range of categories, including the “Best Comic/Graphic Novel” category. You can see the complete list of winners across all categories on the British Fantasy Awards website.

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Wagner + Dark Horse will release a Master’s Edition of his early Grendel work

Wagner has redrawn and expanded ‘Devil by the Deed,’ the introductory story of Hunter Rose.

In honor of the 40th anniversary of his much-beloved, long-running comic Grendel, Matt Wagner and Dark Horse will release a “Master’s Edition” of “Devil by the Deed,” the introductory story of Hunter Rose that originally appeared as a back-up in Mage.

The project was announced at the Grendel 40th Anniversary Panel at the Rose City Comic Con earlier this month.

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Sunday Comics | An AI-generated comic about conservation and the apocalypse

Check out comics from T. Kingfisher, Katie Skelly and Ben Fleuter.

Here’s a round up of some of the most interesting comics we’ve seen online recently. If we missed something, let us know in the comments below.

T. Kingfisher, aka Ursula Vernon, is a multiple award-winning author and comics creator, whose books include The Hollow Places, The Twisted Ones, A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking and many more. She’s also the creator of the award-winning webcomic Digger.

Her most recent work, though, is A Different Aftermath, a comic she posted to Twitter that she made with the help of th Midjourney AI. When I first scrolled by the post and saw the artwork, I never would have guessed it was AI generated, and the story itself is very lovely — it’s about what happened to the wildlife, like bees and such, after the collapse of society.

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King + Fornés + Stewart tell you how to get to ‘Danger Street’ in December

The DC Black Label miniseries will bring back concepts from the 1970s series ‘DC First Issue Special.’

The creative team behind DC’s Rorschach series will reunite in December for Danger Street, a new DC Black Label miniseries featuring a variety of DC characters in a “deeply layered crime drama.”

Tom King, Jorge Fornés and Dave Stewart are pulling their line-up for this one from an obscure 1970s title, DC First Issue Special. This was an oddball series where every issue was a first issue, introducing a brand new concept or re-imaging a dormant one that, conceivably, could then be spun off into its own series (although that only happened in a couple of cases).

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‘Laila Starr,’ ‘No One Else’ and more win 2022 Ignatz Awards

The annual awards honoring excellence in independent comics, graphic novels and minicomics returned in person at the Small Press Expo.

For the first time since 2019, the annual Ignatz Awards returned to a live, in-person event at the Small Press Expo last night, presenting awards in 10 categories to small press creators.

The Ignatz Awards, which have been handed out since 1997, celebrate the outstanding achievements of independent comics, graphic novels and alternative political cartoons. They are named for the mouse that appears in the Krazy Kat comics by George Herriman.

Nominees were determined by a jury that included Cuyler Hedlund, Breena Nunez, Josh O’Neil, Alex Hoffman and Hazel Newlevant. Anyone could vote on the winners, which was done over email rather than in person at the show, like it’s been in previous years.

Congratulations to this year’s winners, marked in bold below:

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‘Dead Boy Detectives’ are on the case in December

Pornsak Pichetshote and Jeff Stokely bring Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine back for new adventures.

One of the many beloved concepts to come out of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman were the Dead Boy Detectives, Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine, who debuted in Sandman #25 and won over our cold, dead hearts with their cold, dead bodies.

Now they’re coming back for a new series, The Sandman Universe: Dead Boy Detectives by writer Pornsak Pichetshote (The Good Asian, Infidel) and artist Jeff Stokely (The Ludocrats).

“The genius of Sandman is how seamlessly it fits different genres, histories, and folklores together, something that definitely inspired Jeff and I for Dead Boy Detectives,” said Pichetshote. “As a Thai-American, I grew up around all this wonderful Thai folklore that’s never made it to American pop culture, so by introducing some of my favorite Neil Gaiman characters to the truly terrifying and bizarre world of Thai ghosts, we will give horror and Sandman fans something new.”

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Paul Levitz makes his Marvel for the first time

Levitz and Alan Davis team up on a new Avengers miniseries next year.

Paul Levitz, the veteran DC executive and current BOOM! Studios board member, will make his Marvel Comics writing debut in January with Avengers: War Across Time.

Levitz will work with another veteran creator, Alan Davis, known for his work on Excalibur, The Nail, Captain Britain and countless others, on a tale set in the Avengers’ past. The story will be set in the team’s early days, circa issue #11 by Stan Lee and Don Heck, with Kang as the villain.

“I learned much of my writing craft from The Avengers, and it’s been a delight to pay homage to my old friends Stan, Jack and Don by trying to do something that might have been an extended issue #11.1,” Levitz explained. “We’ve been cooking this up for a long time, and I hope readers have as much fun with it as I did.”

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Orlando + Pichelli conjure up a new ‘Scarlet Witch’ title

The Scarlet Witch gets a new status quo as she runs a witchcraft shop aimed at helping the hopeless.

Wanda Maximoff will once again take the spotlight in a new solo ongoing series by Steve Orlando, Sara Pichelli and Matt Wilson.

The Scarlet Witch will feature Wanda taking a new role — as the proprietor of a witchcraft shop that appears to those who need it the most.

“Since I first stepped into the House of Ideas, the Scarlet Witch has been with me—in fact, she was the star of my first Marvel work ever, kicking ass, weaving spells, and humbling Doom in Darkhold! So, there was no way I could pass up the chance to work on Scarlet Witch,” Orlando said. “Wanda Maximoff has finally broken free of the shadows she’s wrestled with for years. And now? Sara Pichelli, Russell Dauterman and I are unveiling the next chapter of her powerful, improbable, magical life. When you have nowhere else to turn…you turn to the Scarlet Witch. And God help anyone who gets in her way.”

Dauterman provides the first issue’s cover and also redesigned the Scarlet Witch’s outfit

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Can’t Wait for Comics | Kate Beaton is back

This week also brings new comics and graphic novels from Faith Erin Hicks, Jason Shiga, Jackie Morrow, Sarah Andersen, Mark Waid, Mahmud Asrar, Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino 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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‘Action’ #1050 kicks off a new era for Superman

Lex Luthor targets the Superfamily in this oversized anniversary issue.

With Clark Kent returning to Earth to reunite with Jon and Lois, DC has announced that Action Comics #1050 will be an oversized issue featuring the creative teams of Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Mike Perkins, Tom Taylor and Clayton Henry, and Joshua Williamson and Nick Dragotta.

The comic will come out on the last Tuesday of the year and will introduce a new era for the Superfamily, following the events of Warworld, Dark Crisis and everything else that’s been going on in the DCU over the past few years. Also, Lex Luthor seems to be retaking his rightful place as Superman’s no. 1 villain.

“Writing Action Comics for the past two years has been one of the most rewarding writing experiences I’ve ever had, and everything that’s happened in that time—Future State, Superman: Son of Kal-El, The Warworld Saga, and Kal-El Returns—has all been building to Action Comics #1050,” said Johnson. “Clark Kent has returned to Earth stronger than ever, Jon has fully come into his own, and the Superfamily is poised to make Metropolis the true City of Tomorrow. It’s no overstatement to say Action Comics #1050 is a NEW BEGINNING for Superman, and the era that’s about to begin is as bright and fun and exciting as anything fans have ever seen at DC Comics.”

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Party like it’s the end of the world in ‘It’s Only Teenage Wasteland’

A high school party goes apocalyptic in a new series by Curt Pires and Jacoby Salcedo.

Y0uth writer Curt Pires and Angel Boy artist Jacoby Salcedo are throwing an epic rager at Dark Horse this winter, and everyone’s invited. Colorist Mark Dale and letterer Micah Myers are bringing the beer.

It’s Only Teenage Wasteland is the story of Javi and his friends, who decide to throw a party when his parents go out of town. And then the world ends.

“I’m so excited to be back at Dark Horse telling this story with Jacoby and our amazing team,” Pires said. “I started my career almost 10 years ago with them, when they agreed to publish Pop and things have only gotten better from there. This story is a spiritual sequel to Youth in a lot of ways, and I think fans of my work new and old will be pulled into this massive world and mystery we’re building here. This is just the first of many more exciting collaborations to come between myself and Dark Horse.”

Based on the cover, things seem to get out of hand for Javi and his pals:

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