The writer, artist and professor discusses his role as director of Megascope, the new publishing imprint at Abrams Books dedicated to publishing comics by and about people of color.
It’s hard to sum up John Jennings’ career. He’s a writer and artist who’s made comics like Blue Hand Mojo and collaborated on books like the recent graphic novel adaptations of Kindred and Parable of the Sower. He’s a fine artist and part of the art collective known as Black Kirby. He’s a Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Riverside. He’s co-editor of The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Blackness in Comics and Sequential Art, curated exhibitions across the country, and co-founded the Black Comic Book Festival at the Schomburg Center in Harlem, and SOL-CON. Jennings also edits the back matter of the Eisner Award-winning comic series Bitter Root.
As if straddling academia and public scholarship, fine arts and comics making wasn’t enough, Jennings is also the director of Megascope. The new publishing imprint at Abrams Books launched this year with After the Rain, an adaptation of a short story by the great Nnedi Okorafor from Jennings and David Brame.
We spoke recently about his work, the imprint and what it means. He also dropped some news and announced another Megascope title in our conversation, an adaptation of Charles Johnson’s National Book Award-winning novel The Middle Passage.
Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: John Jennings”
Annual awards ceremony recognizes ‘the creativity, skill and fun of comics.’
The winners for the 2020 Ringo Awards were announced today, marking the fourth year for the awards program named for artist Mike Wieringo, who passed away in 2007.
The awards were presented virtually as part of the Baltimore Comic Con‘s online programming, and started with an introduction and keynote from Kevin Smith and Geoff Johns. It was also live, which led to some logistical/technical issues as they tried to “cut over” to winners for their acceptance speeches.
Here are the winners, in the order they were presented during the ceremony. They include the “fan favorite” awards, which have a different process than the rest of the awards. You can find more details on the process here.
Continue reading “Ringo Awards winners announced”
The co-creator of ‘Bitter Root’ and ‘On the Stump’ discusses both projects, his background, the Harlem Renaissance and more.
2020 has been a big year for Chuck Brown. Bitter Root, the Image series he makes with David Walker and Sanford Greene, wrapped up its second story arc and received an Eisner Award for “Best Continuing Comics Series.” Brown also launched On the Stump, a new series from Image Comics.
Since it first came out, Bitter Root has been acclaimed as one of the best American comics in recent years, but for Brown its the culmination of many years’ work, and a long friendship and collaboration with Sanford Greene. The two have worked together on different projects like Rotten Apple at Dark Horse and 1000 on Webtoon. That’s in addition to Brown’s other comics work including The Quiet Kind, Godstorm: Hercules Payne and Trenchcoats, Cigarettes and Shotguns.
Bitter Root: Rage and Redemption, the second volume of the series, is out this week. And the first week of November sees the release of the collection of On the Stump. Brown and I spoke recently about his career, these two different books, and using history as setting and subject.
Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Chuck Brown”
The awards have been presented annually since 2016.
The nominees have been announced for the 2020 Dragon Awards, which have been presented during DragonCon since 2016.
The awards include multiple categories for books, media tie-ins like movies and video games, and two categories for comics — “Best Comic Book” and “Best Graphic Novel” (although the “Best Graphic Novel” nominees are mostly trade paperback collections of comic book serials).
The nominees in those two categories are:
Continue reading “Nominees announced for the 2020 Dragon Awards”
The artist and co-creator of ‘Bitter Root’ talks about the series’ origins and how current events are shaping its direction.
Sanford Greene has been drawing comics for years, working on projects that ranged from Wonder Girl and Rotten Apple to Runaways and Galactic. But until a few years ago, he was probably best known for his run on Power Man and Iron Fist with David Walker, and though the series didn’t last long, it showed off Greene’s kinetic figurework, his skill at capturing a sense of place, not bound by the constraints of realism, instead attempting to convey a sense of the world as it feels, in the best tradition of superhero comics.
Greene is currently the artist and co-creator of the acclaimed series Bitter Root, which is his finest work to date. This is the saga of the Sangerye family, who hunt monsters in 1920s Harlem — though as we discussed in our conversation, the story is ultimately about far more, about hate and monstrous behavior and American history. Greene’s artwork manages to capture the era but also depicts its own world in ways that have had me re-reading every page. Issue #9 of the series comes out this week from Image Comics, and I spoke with Greene about the series, his career and how recent events have changed both our understanding of history and the book.
Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Sanford Greene”
Plus: ‘Snake Eyes: Deadgame,’ ‘Dead Body Road,’ ‘Adventureman!’ and more.
Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we received from publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.
Congratulations to Mark Waid, who has been promoted to publisher of Humanoids. Waid has served as Director of Creative Development for the publisher since 2018, and in his new role, will be responsible for “overseeing editorial, sales and marketing; expanding Humanoids’ relationships within the creative community; and deepening its ties to retailers and librarians.”
Continue reading “Mail Call | Mark Waid named publisher of Humanoids”
Plus: Tumblr changes its guidelines, November comics sales drop, Olivia Stephens, Sophie Goldstein, Geoff Johns, Kieron Gillen, Todd Klein, more best-of-the-year lists and more!
The Love Is Love anthology published by IDW Publishing and DC Comics continues to raise money for LGBT organizations; earlier this week IDW announced a donation of $51,000 to The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people. This follows a donation of $165,000 in 2017 to the OneOrlando Fund to assist the victims and families impacted by the deadly attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016.
“This has so exceeded any of my wildest hopes for the amount of money it could raise and the attention it got,” Marc Andreyko, who organized and curated the anthology, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We were able to give $51,000 to the Trevor Project two years out, when the news cycle is so fast people don’t remember what happened five minutes ago. I’m happy and sad that there is an evergreen quality to this.”
The anthology is currently in its sixth printing, available via online booksellers, comic book specialty retailers and through digital platforms.
Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: ‘Love Is Love’ brings in another $51,000 for The Trevor Project”
New title from Image Comics will showcase a family during the Harlem Renaissance protecting the world from supernatural forces.
David Walker, Chuck Brown and Sanford Greene will team up on a new comic set during the Harlem Renaissance, Bitter Root, next year from Image Comics. The new series was announced today at the Rose City Comic Con in Portland, Oregon.
“Bitter Root is going to be unlike any comic book people have seen,” said Walker. “We’re mixing action and horror, with a cast of characters unique to the medium to tell an epic tale of the Sangerye family and the sacrifices they are willing to make for humanity. I’m excited for this series for several reasons. It gives me the chance to work with Sanford again, Chuck, who is a great co-writer, and Image, which publishes some absolutely amazing comics.”
Continue reading “Walker, Brown and Greene harvest a ‘Bitter Root’ next year”