Smash Pages Q&A: Terry Blas on ‘Lifetime Passes’

The writer and artist discusses his new graphic novel ‘Lifetime Passes’ from the Surely imprint at Abrams Books.

Terry Blas has been writing and drawing comics for years. A member of Helioscope Studio, he’s written graphic novels like Hotel Dare and Dead Weight, and made the webcomic Briar Hollow.

His new book Lifetime Passes, which he made with Claudia Aguirre, is the debut book from the Surely imprint at Abrams Books. Curated by Mark Tamaki, the imprint publishes LGBTQIA+ stories by LGBTQIA+ creators, and this book feels very much of a piece with Blas’ other work, while also being deeper and powerful in really interesting ways. It’s a darkly comedic premise that is thoughtful and moving and in Jackie, the main character, Blas and Aguirre have created one of the great teenage characters in comics.

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Marvel + Scholastic send Black Panther + Shuri ‘Into the Heartlands’

Roseanne A. Brown, Dika Araújo, Natacha Bustos and Claudia Aguirre present a new graphic novel starring the brother and sister duo.

Marvel and Scholastic have announced another graphic novel in their ongoing partnership, this one featuring T’Challa, the Black Panther, and his sister Shuri.

Shuri and T’Challa: Into the Heartlands will follow the Miles Morales and Ms. Marvel graphic novels that have already been released (I saw both at my kid’s book fair today, flying off shelves alongside the new Cat Kid Comic Club book). It’s by YA author Roseanne A. Brown and illustrators Dika Araújo, Natacha Bustos and Claudia Aguirre.

The story will be one of sibling rivalry, as Shuri deals with an older brother who will one day be king and an invention that goes awry, causing her mother to become sick.

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Marvel will debut the new character Somnus in ‘Marvel’s Voices: Pride’

Steve Orlando, Claudia Aguirre and Luciano Vecchio bring the new character to life.

The Marvel’s Voice: Pride anthology arrives in June, and when it does, it will bring the debut of a new character — Somnus, who will appear in a story written by Steve Orlando and drawn by Claudia Aguirre.

“Somnus, Carl Valentino, is inspired not only by my own family history, but by my experiences with past generations of LGBTQ+ folks from across the country, people I wouldn’t have met without comics,” Orlando said. “While there is still plenty of work to do, we’ve also come a long way as a community. Somnus is a chance to explore how my own late queer relatives may have felt, living in more prejudiced times. He’s also a chance to celebrate past generations as a whole and acknowledge the strides we’ve made that they may not have lived to see.”

The character was designed by artist Luciano Vecchio, who also provides a variant cover featuring Somnus:

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Smash Pages Q&A: Magdalene Visaggio

The writer of ‘Eternity Girl,’ ‘Vagrant Queen,’ ‘Kim & Kim,’ ‘Morning in America’ and more discusses ‘Lost on Planet Earth,’ her latest series from comiXology Originals.

In the span of just a few years, Magdalene Visaggio has shown herself to be one of the most original, dynamic and inventive writers in comics. 

She’s written books for different companies from Marvel (Dazzler: X-Song) and Valiant (Doctor Mirage) to IDW (Transformers vs. The Visionaries) and Humanoids (Strangelands). The Eternity Girl miniseries from her and Sonny Liew is simply one of the strongest (and strangest) books that DC has published in recent years and I think the best book to come out of the very impressive Young Animal imprint.

For the most part, though Visaggio has written creator-owned miniseries. That in and of itself is hard to do, but the wide variety of what she’s made is impressive. To name just a few, Visaggio has written three Kim & Kim series, Calamity Kate, Morning in America, Quantum Teens Are Go!, Sex Death Revolution, two Vagrant Queen miniseries. Yes, the same Vagrant Queen that was adapted into the current SyFy Channel TV show.

So much of her work is about change and about the emotional journey of transforming ourselves, growing up and finding a new path, rejecting what’s laid out for us when it would be easier to accept it. In a medium that specializes in stories of transformation and adventure, Visaggio has found a place for queer stories and misfit stories that break so many molds and expectations, crafting something that is different, sometimes startlingly so. Her stories reject grand narratives, hero journeys, chosen one sagas, for something messier, something harder. Something a little more realistic and relatable. They are stories about the lives that we build and shape ourselves, with the emotional and psychological stories far more important than the larger narratives.

Her current project is Lost on Planet Earth, the second issue of which comes out from Comixology today. A collaboration with Claudia Aguirre, the two have worked together often over the years. The book and its themes come out of a lifelong obsession with Star Trek (something we both share), but the story that she’s written is uniquely hers, something that one doesn’t need to be a Trek fan to understand or relate to, and something truly unique. 

Visaggio and I met last year at the Queers & Comics Conference, and we spoke recently about working with artists, the Federation and more, while comiXology provided a preview of the new issue. 

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Smash Pages Q&A: Claudia Aguirre

The artist of ‘Lost on Planet Earth’ shares some early character designs for the comic and discusses her process for creating characters, working with Magdalene Visaggio and more.

Claudia Aguirre has been working in comics for years as an artist and colorist on books like Morning in America, Hotel Dare, Kim & Kim and Open Earth. She’s one half of Boudika Comics with Eva Cabrera. Her new project is the comiXology Originals series Lost on Planet Earth, which she made with her longtime collaborator Magdalene Visaggio.

The slice-of-life science fiction tale launched last month and with issue #2 coming out on May 19, I asked Aguirre a few questions about how she works, and she provided some character designs to show how she thinks – and give a first look at a character appearing in the new issue.

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‘Lost on Planet Earth’ coming from comiXology Originals on Wednesday

The ‘Kim & Kim’ team of Magdalene Visaggio and Claudia Aguirre team up again for a five-issue miniseries.

There may not be much new stuff arriving on comiXology right now deu to the coronavirus, but here’s something to look forward to — this Wednesday they’ll release the latest in their comiXology Originals line, Lost on Planet Earth.

The Kim & Kim team of Magdalene Visaggio and Claudia Aguirre team up again for a five-issue miniseries set in the year 2381, featuring “a conflicted lesbian relationship in a socially reactionary future.”

“This is a series about the ones who stay behind, the ones who don’t like what they see. It is an examination of choice and self-determination and self-knowledge,” said Visaggio. “At its heart, Lost on Planet Earth is a sci-fi slice-of-life comic about a burgeoning group of friends making their own way in a world that has no place for them.” 

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