‘March,’ Emil Ferris among 2017 Ignatz Awards nominees

Cathy Malkasian, Anya Davidson, Box Brown, Dustin Harbin, Jillian Tamaki, Ed Piskor, Leslie Stein and many more up for this year’s awards

The Washington Post shares this year’s slate of Ignatz Awards nominees, which are presented annually at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland.

Named after the brick-throwing mouse from Krazy Kat, the awards are selected by a jury of five creators and voted on by attendees of the show. The jurors for this year’s nominations were Neil Brideau, Glynnis Fawkes, Sara Lautman, Trungles and David Willis.

Check out the complete list below.

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Craig & Cypress file with ‘The Gravediggers Union’

New Image Comics series will feature “steroid zombies, monster gods, swamp vampires, ghost storms and space monkeys.”

Deadly Class artist Wes Craig and Rodd Racer creator Tobey Cypress are teaming up for a 10-issue horror series, The Gravediggers Union, a new comic “chock-full of steroid zombies, monster gods, swamp vampires, ghost storms and space monkeys.” They’ll be joined by colorist Niko Guardia (The Last Contract, Hit 1957) and letterer/designer Jared Fletcher (Paper Girls).

“With The Gravediggers Union, I tried to create an environmental horror story that mixes EC Comics, H.P. Lovecraft’s horror and a lot of dark humor,” Craig said in a press release. “I’m so proud of what we’re creating, and what Toby, Niko and Jared are doing together is some of the most original looking comics I’ve ever seen.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Seth on ‘Palookaville’ #23

The creator discusses the end of ‘Clyde Fans,’ the film ‘Seth’s Dominion’ and more.

In 2010 the cartoonist Seth revived his old comics series Palookaville as a series of hardcover volumes that come out once every year and a half or two years, in the smaller size and shape that Seth used in books like Wimbledon Green and The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists. Palookaville #23 has just been released by Drawn and Quarterly and like the earliest volumes, it contains a few different elements. There is a large selection of paintings that Seth created for two different exhibitions in 2014 and 2015. There’s the third chapter of Nothing Lasts, a memoir that Seth began in earlier volumes, and perhaps most notably, the fifth and final chapter of Clyde Fans.

Clyde Fans began many years ago in 1997 in the original Palookaville series, a followup to Seth’s now-classic graphic novel It’s A Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken. The story went on hiatus along with the series, and finishing the series has been one of Seth’s primary projects in the revived Palookaville series. In the interim he has been keeping busy, with a series of graphic novels, New Yorker covers, design projects like The Complete Peanuts, illustrating the Lemony Snicket series All the Wrong Questions, and making paintings and models for various exhibitions. We talked about what finishing the story means to him, what he’s working on next and some thoughts on the film Seth’s Dominion.

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Comics Lowdown: The impact of ComiXology Unlimited

David Steinberger talks digital comics, Akira Himekawa discuss Legend of Zelda and a Pakistani creator makes the world’s longest comic strip

The Digital Picture: ICv2 posts an interview with comiXology CEO David Steinberger, who talks about the platform’s gradual shift from something resembling a comic shop selling single issues to a more comprehensive service; how the company’s acquisition by Amazon three years ago has changed things; and the impact of ComiXology Unlimited, their all-you-can-read service, in terms of bringing in new readers:

One of the figures we’ve been sharing is that publishers that have been with [ComiXology Unlimited] for the year have seen overall double-digit growth this year. That’s totally opposite to what’s going on in the Direct Market.

One of the keys to their success is “personalization,” letting users tailor the experience and focus on what they are interested in—and, a la Amazon, recommend more items based on what they are reading already.

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Cosmo returns from Archie Comics

1950s humor title returns from writer Ian Flynn.

Along with the news last week that Mighty Crusaders will return and Betty & Veronica are joining a biker gang came another announcement from Archie Comics that slipped by me — the return of Cosmo, The Merry Martian.

If you don’t know who Cosmo is, well, that’s not surprising. It was a very short-lived humor/science fiction comic published in the late 1950s created by Bob White, who also worked on The Fly and a few other Archie properties. The new comic will be written by Ian Flynn, who is also spearheading the Crusaders revival.

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Seeley & Molnar’s ‘Imaginary Fiends’ is coming to get you this November

New six-issue Vertigo series features aliens, murder and the creepy ‘Polly Peachpit.’

Hack/Slash and Nightwing writer Tim Seeley returns to horror for a new miniseries from Vertigo, Imaginary Fiends, which pits a young woman against a “hungry spectral alien” parasite that made her try to kill her best friend. Seeley will be joined by Star Trek artist Steve Molnar on the title.

Imaginary Fiends is a return to horror for me … a chance to tell a story about a broken person and her monster friend,” Seeley said in a press release. “But Fiends is darker, scarier and more fanatical than anything I’ve ever done. Stephen Molnar is providing some amazing artwork, and his Polly Peachpit is one of the creepiest monsters I’ve ever seen. I’m proud to bring this book to Vertigo and work with my friend and editor Molly Mahan—who is, fortunately, as far as I know, not imaginary.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Shannon Wheeler on ‘Sh*t My President Says’

Wheeler discusses his collection of illustrations of U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweets.

Shannon Wheeler has been drawing cartoons that are sardonic, sarcastic, political, angry but also strange and funny with its own unique viewpoint for a long time. Like many people I first got to know his work with Too Much Coffee Man. In the years since then Wheeler has drawn books like God is Disappointed in You, written by Mark Russell, and Oil and Water, written by Steve Duin. He’s also continued to work as a cartoonist contributing to The New Yorker and other publications.

In recent months though he’s been working on a strange project, illustrating Donald Trump’s tweets. The result is a book just out from Top Shelf, Sh*t My President Says. Since the book went to press, though, Wheeler hasn’t stopped. He’s already made a zine supplement and continues to post the comics on – where else – his Twitter feed. We spoke about how he approaches Donald Trump and why the project wasn’t just parody.

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Reading for Resistance: What I Learned from ‘March’

Rep. John Lewis’s memoir of the Civil Rights movement is not ancient history. It’s the guidebook we need today.

I keep coming back to March.

It’s not something I thought would happen. It’s a good book, true, but now more than ever, it’s a necessary book.

It should not be necessary. We were supposed to be reading March, Rep. John Lewis’s memoir of the Civil Rights movement, as history. The final volume ends on a triumphant note, with the passage of the Voting Rights Act. When we closed the book, we were supposed to be closing the book on the terrible history of Jim Crow in America.

Except we haven’t. Before Lewis and his co-authors, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, were even finished with the third volume, the Supreme Court rolled back the protections of the Voting Rights Act. In preparation for the 2016 election, many states closed down registration sites, purged the voter rolls, restricted polling places and hours, and in the case of the North Carolina Republicans, actually sent out a press release bragging about suppressing black votes.

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Comics Lowdown: All is revealed!

DC announces their Writers Workshop participants, First Second unveils their Spring 2018 books, Viz licenses some new media, and Mimi Pond talks about her new book—and getting dropped from ‘The Simpsons’ because she was a woman

The Big Reveal: DC announced the names of the six writers who will take part in this year’s DC Writers Workshop: Magdalene Visaggio (Kim & Kim, Quantum Teens Are Go), Sanya Anwar (1001), Joey Esposito (Pawn Shop, Captain Ultimate), Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Last Sons of America, Warlords of Appalachia), Robert Jeffrey (Route 3, Radio Free Amerika) and Ryan Cady (Big Moose). Batman writer Scott Snyder will lead the workshop.

“It’s 13 weeks, and we meet for two, two-and-a-half hours online in a Brady Bunch-style box of windows. I teach it in such a way that it’s all superhero writing for DC. I try and make each week a lesson about a particular technique,” Snyder told Heat Vision. “My job is not to teach you how to write by formula for DC. It’s for you to come in and write the stuff you’re passionate about in your own way. I don’t care if that’s funny political, light-hearted, dark, whatever. Your job is to come in and have something to say. My job is to help you fit it into the rubric of superhero calculus and to help you maximize that story: look at where you should beef things up, slow it down, be aware of pacing. You need to come here and have something to say.”

At the end of the workshop, DC works with the writers to place them in writing slots for DC comics.

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‘Monstress’ takes home a Hugo Award

In the “Graphic Story” category, Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s fantasy series beats out ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Saga,’ ‘The Vision’ and more to win the award.

Monstress, the fantasy series written by Marjorie Liu, drawn by Sana Takeda and published by Image Comics, has won the 2017 Hugo Award in the “Graphic Story” category.

Presented annually since 1955, The Hugo Awards recognize the best science fiction in books, comics, movies, TV and more. The Hugo Awards are voted on annually by members of the World Science Fiction Convention. The Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story has been awarded annually since 2009, with previous winners including Saga, Ms. Marvel and Girl Genius. The Sandman: Overture won last year.

Other nominees in the category this year included Saga, Paper Girls, Black Panther, Ms. Marvel and The Vision. Takeda was also nominated for best professional artist, a category won by Julie Dillon.

You can see the complete list of winners here.

Smash Pages Q&A: Joe Haldeman and Marvano

The author and artist discuss their comics adaptation of Haldeman’s ‘The Forever War’ from Titan Comics.

Joe Haldeman is a name familiar to most science fiction readers. Best known for his novel The Forever War, the book remains more than forty years after it was published, a brilliant, landmark science fiction novel. Haldeman has been named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America, and has received numerous Hugo and Nebula Awards, in addition to the World Fantasy Award and James Tiptree Jr. Award, for his novels, novellas and short stories including The Hemingway Hoax, Forever Peace, and Camouflage.

Haldeman is also the author of three comics series, collaborations with the Belgian creator Mark van Oppen, who publishes under the name Marvano. Marvano is best known as a creator for his many historical projects like Grand Prix, Berlin, Ver van leper, and La Brigade Juive. Their first collaboration, an adaptation of Haldeman’s The Forever War, is currently being published in English as a six issue miniseries by Titan Comics and the two spoke about their work, together and separately.
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Comics Lowdown: Hello Kitty!

Hello Kitty brings the cuteness to high-energy physics, ‘Korra’ creators talk about the new graphic novel and the ‘Gotham Academy’ team look back on their three-year long school year.

Hello Kitty shows up in a lot of unlikely places, from checkbooks to the sides of airplanes, but this is a first: She’s repping for the International Linear Collider, a proposed particle accelerator that was under discussion last week at the International Conference on High Energy Physics. (CERN, where the Higgs boson was first spotted, is a donut-shaped accelerator; the ILC would run in a straight line.) Japan is one of the possible sites for the ILC, so boosters drafted Hello Kitty to the cause and gave her a new outfit, complete with pocket protector and a fancy L (for Lagrangian) on her bow.

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