comiXology Originals announces ‘Hailstone’

Rafael Scavone and Rafael de Latorre head to a winter-ravaged Montana for a new horror title.

comiXology Originals and Stout Club Entertainment are teaming up again for Hailstone, a “horror thriller set during the U.S. Civil War,” by Rafael Scavone, Rafael de Latorre, Wesllei Manoel, Bernardo Brice and Bis Stringer Horne.

This is the second comic in a five-title deal between comiXology and Stout Club, following last year’s Funny Creek.

Hailstone presents a story of mystery, mixed with historical, horror and supernatural elements, all seasoned with good old western action,” Scavone said. “If I had to pick only one genre to define it, I’d definitely go for weird-fiction. The characters range from a traumatized Sheriff, unable to help his people, to an arrogant army officer running a military factory in a remote town. Art-wise Rafael de Latorre gave it a beautiful but uneasy atmosphere, his work is a perfect match for the story. The moody ambience he created grows denser as the story goes on poking the characters’ fears with it. All of these elements allowed us to play with sequences and pacing. We hope the readers dig it as much as we did while creating this comic.”

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Comics Lowdown | Zunar is in trouble again

Plus: A new graphic novel looks at Japanese Americans who resisted internment.

Zunar’s cartoon critiquing the minster of the state of Kedah, who canceled the festival of Thaipusam. The cleaver says “No Thaipusam” and the caption on the right reads “Kedah’s inhabitants lived in peace until he came.”

The Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar is in trouble with the law again. Police in the state of Kedah have summoned him to appear before them on May 7 (the original date, given in the linked article, was May 2 but it was rescheduled) for violating the country’s sedition law, a much-criticized relic of its colonial past, with a cartoon criticizing the Kedah state minister’s decision to cancel the traditional Tamil Hindu festival of Thaipusam.

Zunar got into lots of trouble during the tenure of Prime Minister Najib Razak, whom he mocked endlessly for his corruption; Razak was not amused and his government repeatedly raided Zunar’s studio, confiscated his books, banned him from traveling, and brought charges against him that could have led to lengthy prison sentences. The pressure eased once Najib was voted out.

Ironically, Zunar’s latest skirmish coincides with World Press Freedom Day, which was Monday; several national and international groups have criticized the Malaysian government for its repressive stance.

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Vote for the final two in DC’s Round Robin brackets

Four pitches remain in DC’s competition that allows fans to choose their next title.

DC Comics has opened up voting for round three of their Round Robin competition, where fans vote on which comic book concept they’d like to see made and published. They’ve also released preview pages for each of the four concepts to give you a better sense as to what exactly you’re voting for.

The competition started about a month ago, as DC pitted 16 comic book pitches against each other, March Madness style, and let fans vote on the one they wanted to see become a real comic. After two round of voting, they’ve narrowed it down to four pitches:

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Jeff Smith returns with a crowdfunding campaign for ‘Tuki: Fight for Fire’

The creator of ‘Bone’ and ‘RASL’ is crowdfunding two volumes of his latest project.

Jeff Smith, creator of one of the best-ever kid’s comics of all time, Bone, and the science fiction romp RASL, is crowdfunding his next project — the resurrected Tuki: Fight for Fire.

As longtime fans of the creator know, Tuki started life as a webcomic back in 2013. It grew from Smith’s love of fantastic heroes of pulp fiction, mythical lost realms and human evolution.

“I’ve always been fascinated by evolution,” Smith writes on the project’s Kickstarter page. “I visited Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, the famous archaeological site occupied by many early humans over time. Standing down amongst the rocks and dirt, looking up at the swaying trees above the gorge, I had a vision of multiple human species walking around and interacting with each other. It was almost like seeing an echo of something that really happened.”

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‘Guantanamo Voices’ wins the 2021 Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize

The anthology details stories told to Sarah Mirk by the prisoners, lawyers, officials and others connected to the notorious prison.

Guantanamo Voices: True Accounts from the World’s Most Infamous Prison, the graphic novel anthology that tells the stories of several veterans, prisoners, lawyers and government officials with connections to Guantanamo Bay prison, has won the 2021 Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize.

The prize is awarded by Penn State University Libraries and the winner is chosen by a jury. Sarah Mirk wrote and edited the graphic novel, and worked with a variety of artists on the different stories it contains, including Nomi Kane, Hazel Newlevant, Gerardo Alba, Alexandra Beguez, Omar Khouri, Maki Naro, Jeremy Nguyen, Tracy Chahwan, Kane Lynch, Kasia Babis and Chelsea Saunders.

According to the write-up, jurors said Guantanamo Voices provides a “nuanced” look at the prison and the American judicial system:

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Can’t Wait for Comics | ‘Heroes Reborn’ arrives; ‘Die’ begins its final act; Richard Sala’s final work gets collected

New comics arrive this week from Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness, Zander Cannon, Ed Piskor, Charles Soule, Steve McNiven, Stephanie Hans, Kieron Gillen, Richard Sala, Garth Ennis and more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Comics, your guide to what comics are arriving in comic book stores, bookstores and on digital this week. This week brings new comics and graphic novels by Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness, Zander Cannon, Ed Piskor, Charles Soule, Steve McNiven, Stephanie Hans, Kieron Gillen, Richard Sala and more.

Check out a few highlights below, or visit ComicList for this week’s full list of new comics arriving in stores, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally.

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Dark Horse will issue new ‘Sin City’ editions starting in September

‘Frank Miller’s Sin City Volume: 1 The Hard Goodbye’ kicks off a line of softcover editions with new covers and a pinup gallery.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Frank Miller’s Sin City series, Dark Horse will release new softcover editions of each volume starting in September with The Hard Goodbye.

These new editions will be presented at their original size, with new wrap-around cover art and a pinup gallery featuring a variety of artists, including Joyce Chin, Amanda Conner, Klaus Janson, Paul Pope, Philip Tan and Gerardo Zaffino.

“Frank Miller’s association with Dark Horse has flourished for over 30 years,” said Dark Horse founder and publisher Mike Richardson. “The original publication of Sin City was a watershed moment for our company, and we are very pleased to celebrate its 30th anniversary with a brand-new edition. Readers will find that Sin City is just at powerful today as it was the day it was first released, exactly what you would expect from one of comics’ master creators.”

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Rest in peace, John Paul Leon

The artist of ‘Static,’ ‘The Winter Men,’ ‘Earth X’ and many other comics projects passed away at the age of 49.

Multiple sources are reporting that artist John Paul Leon, whose work included Static, The Winter Men, Earth X, Batman: Creature of the Night and the upcoming Batman/Catwoman Special, has passed away. He was 49 when he died.

According to a press release from his family, Leon had battled cancer for 14 years. He is survived by his wife, his daughter and an older brother. Artist Tommy Lee Edwards has set up a Gofundme page in honor of Leon, with proceeds to go to Leon’s daughter’s future education.

DC Black Label editor Chris Conroy shared the news on Twitter. “It seems the news is out. Last night we lost John Paul Leon, one of the greatest draftsmen in the history of comics, the kind of artist that EVERY artist revered,” Conroy wrote. “Those who loved him had some warning, but not enough.”

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What Are You Reading? | ‘Robin,’ ‘Seconds,’ ’20 Fists’ and more

See what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately.

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what the Smash Pages crew has been checking off their “to read” list lately — from older stuff like Night Force and Seconds to more recent releases like Robin, Transformers/My Little Pony and more.

Let us know what you read this week in the comments or on social media.

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Sunday Comics | Rainbow Batman, Conan without Conan and more

Check out free comics on the web and social media by Ben Templesmith, Kerry Callen, Casey Nowak and more.

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

MAD Magazine contributor Kerry Callen shares his latest Super Antics comic strip, where he mines some of DC’s Silver Age stories for fun. As you’ll see at the top of this post, it features the infamous Rainbow Batman costume:

Don’t forget to check out Callen on Twitter and visit his Teepublic shop for some cool T-shirt designs.

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Marvel + Scholastic will release ‘Ms. Marvel: Stretched Thin’ this fall

The middle-grade graphic novel will find Kamala Khan over-committed and fighting a robot.

Marvel has announced that Scholastic’s Graphix line will release Ms. Marvel: Stretched Thin, a new middle-grade graphic novel by Nadia Shammas and Nabi H. Ali, in September.

The story will see Kamala Khan “stretched thin” due to too many commitments while also dealing with a mysterious robot that attempts to infiltrate Avengers Tower.

“A beloved teacher of mine lent me the very first issues of Ms. Marvel when I was in high school, knowing how important it was for me to see a South Asian super hero,” Ali told Marvel.com. “Kamala and her family didn’t feel like stereotypes, nor were they written with a ‘colorblind’ approach; the generational and cultural misunderstandings between Kamala and her parents—as well as how they overcame them—were very true to South Asian experiences among the diaspora. As a Muslim convert, it also meant a lot for me to see openly Muslim characters. I’m honored that I got to explore Kamala’s world and that I’m helping introduce her to new generations of readers like me.” 

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Can’t Wait for Comics | 35 years later, Barry Windsor-Smith’s ‘Monsters’ arrives

This week brings another Ed Brubaker/Sean Phillips joint, a new Robin series, ‘The Marvels,’ new takes on Shadowman and the notorious Clone Saga, and much more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Comics, your guide to what comics are arriving in comic book stores, bookstores and on digital this week. This week brings new debuts from Kurt Busiek, Yildiray Cinar, Cullen Bunn, Jon-Davis Hunt, Joshua Williamson, Paul Cornell and, 35 years in the making, a new graphic novel from Barry Windsor Smith.

Check out a few highlights below, or visit ComicList for this week’s full list of new comics arriving in stores, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally.

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