Three Things | Steve Lieber, ‘Griz Grobus,’ newts

Here are three things to know, to read and to support today.

Three Things is a new column that spotlights, as the title states, three things from comics today. It’ll be three things with links, no more, no less. This is the second one, and a big bwahahaha to everyone who thought I’d only ever do one of them.

1. To Know: Steve Lieber’s alt.text skills are unparalleled

Earlier today DC revealed that the Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen: Who Killed Jimmy Olsen? team of Matt Fraction, Steve Lieber, Nathan Fairbairn and Clayton Cowles have reunited for a new story featuring Perry White as part of a one-shot that’s coming out next month.

While you can visit my original post from today to see what the final cover will look like, Lieber took to Twitter to show off an alternative cover he had created for the issue:

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Nick Pitarra’s ‘Ax-Wielder Jon’ chops through its crowdfunding goal

The new graphic novel is available now through the crowfunding site Zoop.

Ax-Wielder Jon is a new graphic novel by Nick Pitarra, artist of The Manhattan Projects, The Red Wing and more, and just a few days into its crowdfunding campaign it has more than doubled its stated goal of $25,000.

The graphic novel is currently available through the comics crowdfunding Zoop, where it has raised more than $65,000. The 148-page graphic novel is complete, according to the campaign page, and it’s about “a ruthless killer in a world of monsters and mayhem” who “makes a precious discovery and learns what a man is willing to lose to protect what he loves most.”

Pitarra’s hyper-detailed art is a thing of beauty, and this project looks like it puts it under a much-deserved spotlight.

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‘Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds’ anthology supports Ukraine relief efforts

A comics anthology featuring an impressive line-up of talent that’s being offered through Zoop will benefit Operation USA.

A new anthology featuring the works of Walt Simonson, Kurt Busiek, John Layman, Rob Guillory, Stan Sakai, Sergio Aragones, Dave Gibbons and more will benefit relief efforts in the war-torn Ukraine.

Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds can be purchased in several variations from the comics crowdfunding website Zoop, which will donate proceeds to Operation USA. The charitable organization is raising money to support Ukrainian refugees on the ground in Poland and other nearby countries.

The project is being edited by Scott Dunbier, who currently works at IDW and heads up the Artist’s Edition line. The campaign ends in May, when funds will be collected and sent to Operation USA, and delivery of the final books is expected to be wrapped up by December.

“Like everyone, I have been sickened by the atrocities perpetrated on the Ukrainian people for nearly two months,” said Dunbier, “and I had to do something, anything, to try and help. The comic-book community is full of good and caring people who have stepped up to say, ‘I stand with Ukraine,’ and to contribute to this book.”

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Smash Pages Q&A | Otava Heikkilä

The Finnish cartoonist discusses the latest volume of ‘Letters for Lucardo,’ which is currently being crowdfunded by Iron Circus Comics.

Otava Heikkilä has been making the series Letters for Lucardo in recent years, and this week Iron Circus Comics will be crowdfunding the third volume in the series, Letters for Lucardo: The Silent Lord.

The series is about the relationship between a vampire and a mortal, and Heikkilä has brought a unique take and sensibility to the project. It’s a beautiful drawn and very delicately told love story with explicit sex scenes and it’s been striking to see how Heikkilä has grown as an artist and storyteller.

I’ve spoken with Heikkilä in the past, and we spoke briefly about this third volume, which is being crowdfunded starting today through April 28.

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Smash Pages Q&A | Nate Cosby on ‘Alter Ego’

The writer and editor discusses his latest graphic novel, which is now being crowdfunded on Kickstarter.

Nate Cosby has been writing and editing comics for years His work has included from Cow Boy, Pigs and other projects, including his latest graphic novel, Alter Ego.

Alter Ego stars Hollywood stuntman Ace Adams as two different superheroes. Cosby mentioned the late great Gene Kelly as one inspiration for their hero, and it’s easy to see the balletic acrobatics of Kelly’s The Three Musketeers in Ace Adams’ moves as artist Jacob Edgar depicts the character’s double duty as the heroes Whiz-Bang and The Black Dog.

The graphic novel is currently being kickstarted and Cosby answered a few questions about the book and his inspirations.

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Smash Pages Q&A | Ryan Claytor on ‘A Hunter’s Tale’

The minicomics creator and comics professor discusses adapting a poem by his grandfather into comics form.

It’s been at least 10 years since I first met Ryan Claytor on the floor of the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco, where he was selling copies of his self-published minicomics. Claytor was living in San Diego at the time, working on his Master of Fine Arts degree.

Since then, Claytor has relocated to Michigan, where he’s now the coordinator of the Comic Art and Graphic Novel Minor and an assistant professor at Michigan State University where he teaches comics studio courses. But he’s still making comics, and his latest, A Hunter’s Tale, is currently up on Kickstarter.

Claytor’s previous work falls into the autobiographical and non-fiction arena, but this project is different — in A Hunter’s Tale, Claytor has adapted a poem written by his grandfather, Charles Kermit Claytor, into a comic. I spoke with Claytor about his approach to adapting his grandfather’s writing, how it helped connect him to his grandfather and more.

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Fund Me Friday | ‘X-Maschina : The Futuristic Holiday Horror Comedy Comic’

Help bring a story about Santa fighting killer robots to life.

Ho ho ho, and Merry Christmas Eve! With Santa’s big day just one day away, there’s no better time to support X-Maschina : The Futuristic Holiday Horror Comedy Comic and help bring it to life on Kickstarter.

Steve Urena, Misty Graves and Lane Lloyd are telling that classic holiday story about Santa’s battle with a bunch of angry, homicidal robots in this science fiction/horror/comedy comic.

“Teaming up with Lane Lloyd and Misty Graves has made this Grinch love Christmas,” Urena said. “Together we combined our favorite things: horror, humor, science fiction and Christmas to create the perfect holiday concoction that we hope turns into a Holiday tradition.”

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Fund Me Tuesday | ‘Foulbrood’ by Christopher Sebela and Claire Roe

Help fund a comic about crime and beekeeping.

If you’re looking to back a Kickstarter project with (no, don’t say it) literal buzz (ugh, I said it), then check out Foulbrood, a new comic by Christopher Sebela (.Self, Crowded, Dead Dudes) and Claire Roe (Darkhold: Wasp, Bury the Lede).

The duo previously worked together on the queer reincarnation thriller We(l)come Back, and this time around they’re telling a crime story set in the world of beekeeping — if my cheesy lede didn’t spell that out for you.

Their campaign is to fund the first two issues of a six-issue series. They’re looking for $15,000 to bring them to print, and you’ve got until Dec. 11 to help them avoid the sting that comes with not getting funded.

(Sorry, I’ll stop now, I promise).

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Smash Pages Q&A | Greg Pak on ‘Cooking Will Break Your Heart’

The prolific writer of ‘Planet Hulk’ and ‘Mech Cadet Yu’ cooks up a different kind of project for his latest Kickstarter.

Greg Pak is an acclaimed comics writer best known for a long series of projects at Marvel Comics, including writing the “Planet Hulk” storyline, co-creating Amadeus Cho, and writing Weapon X and Incredible Hercules. That’s in addition to writing the ongoing Firefly series, Darth Vader, Stranger Things and John Wick. Pak’s incredible creator-owned projects include Ronin Island and Mech Cadet Yu (currently being developed as an animated series for Netflix). There’s also his picture books (Princess Who Saved Herself) and his films (Robot Dreams). Greg Pak is, simply, a very busy person.

Those of us who follow Pak on social media, though, know another side to him: he loves to cook. More than just being a good writer about food and a good recipe writer, he often writes about his connections to food. As he describes the Kickstarter for his new project, Cooking Will Break Your Heart – “A Korean American Midwestern Texan cookbook and memoir about food, family, memory, love, joy and grief.”

The campaign runs through Nov. 22 and Park was kind enough to answer a few questions about family and food.

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New comic finally answers the question, ‘Does Bigfoot know karate?’

Yes. Yes, he does.

If you’re looking for a comic that combines karate, cryptids, Cthulhu and all-out action, then Bigfoot Knows Karate may be the book for you.

David Price, the book’s co-writer and artist, is currently crowdfunding the first chapter on Kickstarter. Although he’s already surpassed his modest $1,000 goal, you can still get in on the fun from now until Nov. 12.

The Kickstarter page describes the project as “a two-fisted slugfest akin to Godzilla Vs. Kong mixed with a healthy dose of martial arts and outright carnage in the vein of Kill Bill, as Bigfoot squares off with KUNG FU ‘THULHU (that’s right. There’s a freaking Cthulhu!).  Add a solid, meaty twist at the end and get ready to follow a gentle, cryptid warrior as he finds his way in a world where anyone can be a hunter and everyone can be the prey. If you enjoy cryptids, kaiju, psychological thrillers, over the top action and a little mystery, get ready for Bigfoot Knows Karate!” 

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Fund Me Thursday | ‘Stray Volume 3: Requiem’

Help bring the third volume of Vito Delsante and Sean Izaakse’s indie superhero to life by contributing by Nov. 24.

Stray, the teen sidekick-turned superhero introduced by Vito Delsante and Sean Izaakse in 2013, is back with a new Kickstarter campaign.

You can help fund Stray Volume 3: Requiem #1 by contributing to the crowdfunding campaign by Nov. 24. This time around artist Marcelo Mueller joins Delsante on the title, while Izaakse provides covers. They also plan to include back-up stories by Daniel R. Faust and Mat Major each issue, focusing on “different Strays in the multiverse.”

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Fund Me Tuesday | ‘Outrage’ by Fabian Nicieza + Reilly Brown

Help bring the Webtoon comic to print by pledging by Nov. 12.

Fabian Nicieza and Reilly Brown’s creator-owned comic Outrage started life as a webcomic on Webtoon, and now a print collection is being crowdfunded via the publisher Rocketship.

Outrage Volume 1 will collect the entire 26 chapter run of the first season of the Outrage webcomic, running 150 pages. As they have with other collections of webcomics, Rocketship has redesigned the pages for print.

“After our years on Marvel’s Cable & Deadpool comic, Reilly Brown and I had been looking to work together again and we both thought the silliness and seriousness of Outrage would be a perfect fit,” Nicieza said on the project’s Kickstarter page. “The digital comic debuted on Webtoon in the fall of 2018 and was an instant success among readers with slightly unhinged inclinations.”

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