The new talent development program will provide nine weeks of training for new comic artists and writers.
Milestone Media and DC Comics have teamed up with Ally, an online financial services company, to launch the Milestone Initiative, a new program that’s meant “to identify, support and elevate emerging diverse writers and artists within the comic book industry.”
The program, which was announced yesterday during DC FanDome, will includes a week-long, in-person training seminar in DC’s Burbank, California offices next February. That will be followed by an eight-week virtual technical training course through the Kubert School. The initiative is actually part of a larger effort by DC to develop new talent called Next Generation DC.
DC shares 16 pitches from real creators and asks fans to choose which one will get made.
DC would like your help picking its next new series, and has launched its own version of “April Madness” called 2021 Round Robin Brackets to help make that happen.
They’ve listed 16 possible future titles and their descriptions, and are asking fans to vote on them in various places –including Instagram, Twitter and the DC Universe Infinity Community message boards, depending on the round. Voting for round one goes through April 7, with plans to reveal the creative teams for each pitch coming as round two starts on April 8.
The pitches range from comics focused on DC’s top characters, like Green Lantern and Superman, to some focusing on lesser-known characters, like Nightrunner, the “Batman of Paris” whose debut was marred by racists back in 2010. There’s also a pitch for Asteria, who is probably best known from her appearance in the most recent Wonder Woman movie.
Creators offer commissions, comics and more, with proceeds going to Black Lives Matter and other organizations.
As protests against policy brutality continue around the United States, many comics creators and publishers are currently helping to raise money for Black Lives Matter, the Bail Project, the Minnesota Freedom Fund and other organizations dedicated to this cause or, in some cases, helping the protestors.
Here’s a rundown of several we’ve seen who are drawing commissions or selling their comics, with proceeds going to these organizations. If you see others, let us know on social media or in the comments below.
40 artists turn a Kieron Gillen script into a comic — with interesting results.
So this is pretty cool: artists Stephen Byrne and Declan Shalvey had an idea to showcase the effect a particular artist has on a comic, so they came up with Project Art Cred. Their idea was to have a comics writer — in this case, Kieron Gillen — write a one-page script, then have different artists interpret it in their own styles.
After 200 artists asked for the script, Gillen said in his email newsletter that 40 artists submitted pages, which have been shared on both Twitter and Tumblr. The artistic styles are impressive in their range and voice, bringing Gillen’s words to life in many different ways.
Innovative small press publisher Hope Nicholson is making big waves to shake up the Canadian comics industry
Bedside Press, the Winnipeg-based small publisher, made a big announcement in the Hollywood Reporter today introducing a collaborative project to boost books and comics that have strong potential but no current access to the market.
Publisher Hope Nicholson formed Bedside Press in 2014 and spent the last five years navigating the comics publishing world and beyond, using already established publishers, Canadian arts grants and internet crowdfunding sites to help bring her books to print. Bedside Press is responsible for many books coming to print, including Margaret Atwood’s Angel Catbird,The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, and two Eisner Award-nominated anthologies: Enough Space for Everyone Else and Trina Robbins’ A Bunch of Jews (and other stuff) with various artists.
The 42-year-old colorist died of cancer this past weekend.
Comic artist/colorist Justin Ponsor, whose work graced the pages of comics for Marvel, CrossGen, Image Comics, DC Comics and others over the years, died this past weekend after a long fight with cancer. Ponsor was 42 and shared the details of his medical battles (and a lot of humor) over the last few years on his “Blarg.”
Ponsor began his career in the mid-1990s at Wildstorm, working on titles like Danger Girl, Divine Right and WildCATS. In the early 2000s he went to work on CrossGen’s titles, including Scion and Sojourn. In 2004 he started working for both DC and Marvel, the latter where he’d spend the majority of his career, working on titles like Ultimate X-Men, Gambit, Phoenix: Endsong and Young Avengers, among many others. He touched probably every major Marvel character over the course of his career, working on interiors as well as covers.
The news of Ponsor’s passing was revealed on his Facebook page:
‘Draw Out the Vote’ provides guidance and resources for registering to vote — along with a comic for each state.
Comics have always been a natural medium for political commentary and perspectives, whether its political cartoons or even comic books like Captain America and the X-Men. So this new site from Oni Press seems like a natural outgrowth of that decades-old relationship: Draw Out the Vote seeks to educate voters about their state’s voting laws through webcomics.
Each state is represented on the site, along with Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., and each gets it own comic from a different artist. Contributors include Arigon Starr, Jarrett Williams, Melanie Gillman, Rashad Doucet, Janet Lee and many more. In many cases, the cartoonist is from or currently lives in the state they drew a comic for. And in addition to a comic, the page for each state includes links to register to vote and other resources.
“Voting is the first step in civic engagement and something that should be relatively easy for every citizen, but that’s obviously not always the case,” said Oni Press Publisher James Lucas Jones. “With DrawOuttheVote.com, we want to give a platform for cartoonists to explore their passion for participating in the political process and to give voters a quick and easy starter guide on getting registered and making a plan to get their ballot in the box this November.”
Chris Wisnia’s ‘Diary of a Struggling Comics Artist’ features interviews with a huge list of creators about working in the industry.
For almost a decade Chris Wisnia has been conducting interviews with comics creators for a documentary he’s working on titled Diary of a Struggling Comics Artist. And now via his Patreon, he has begun releasing sneak previews of some of those interviews.
“In 2010 I was thinking about how difficult it is, in so many ways, to try to make a living in comics,” Wisnia said. “Trying to get into the industry, the stress of needing to find new work every month to pay rent, to not have benefits or insurance, the shrinking state of the industry and general public lack of interest in comics, getting your work made into films and other media, decisions about taking work-for-hire in which you get a paycheck but own nothing you create vs. ownership but no guaranteed income and having to promote yourself and your product that no one has ever heard of… Regardless of the level you’re at, it comes with struggles.”
Vertigo editor Jamie S. Rich and artist Benjamin Dewey interview Joelle Jones, Jeff Parker and more in the returning interview series.
Vertigo Editor and comics writer Jamie S. Rich is heading back to the studio for another round of in-depth interviews with comic industry folks. “Back to the Gutters,” a follow-up to the original “From the Gutters” series, will feature both Rich and Autumnlands artist Benjamin Dewey, interviewing creators like Jeff Parker, Joelle Jones and more. The series is produced by Ryan McCluskey.
“Our intent with ‘Back the Gutters’ is to peel back the page a bit and show you the creators behind your favorite comics — both as artists and as people,” Rich said in a press release. “We’re going to dig down to uncover the motivations behind choosing comics as a profession, and the personalities that bring these stories to life, so that we can start to see the art and the artist as a singular unit.”
Rich’s hire mid-shoot as an editor at Vertigo required the team to recruit a new host mid-stream. “We started out interviewing Ben, who is just a terrific talent,” McCluskey said, “and the last three shows are hosted by Ben — because we lost Jamie to Vertigo in the middle of shooting.”
Here’s a list of who you can expect to see:
• Joelle Jones
• Sierra Hahn
• Jeff Parker
• Ibrahim Moustafa
• Robbi Rodriguez
• Randy Bowen (Bowen Designs)
• Emi Lennox
• Steve Lieber
• and Jamie S Rich … interviewed by his frequent collaborator Joelle Jones.