‘The Magic Fish,’ ‘Lore Olympus’ and more win 2021 Harvey Awards

The awards were given out this year in conjunction with the New York Comic Con.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 Harvey Awards, which were announced tonight in conjunction with the New York Comic Con.

The Harvey Awards were given out in the six categories they reintroduced in 2018, as chosen by a nominating committee of “diverse industry voices including creators, publishing professionals, retailers, educators and librarians.” The winners were chosen by creators and other industry professionals.

Check out all the winners below:

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Can’t Wait for Comics | Things get spooky in this week’s new releases

New comics arrive this week from Steve Orlando, Cian Tormey, John McCrea, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Christopher Sebela 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. And this week things get spookier than normal as your favorite comic companies start releasing all sorts of horror and Halloween-themed comics. I’ve even got previews of a couple of them.

Check out a few highlights below, or visit Diamond’s website for this week’s almost complete list of new comics arriving in stores. You can visit Lunar Distribution’s home page to see DC’s releases, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally.

I should also add that the list of what is actually arriving at your local shop can vary from what’s on anyone’s official website for a myriad of reasons — so always check with your comics retailer for the final word on availability.

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The ShortBox Comics Fair is in full swing

During October, you can purchase digital comics from Emily Carroll, Kiku Hughes, Joe Sparrow, Ben Sears and more.

ShortBox, the UK-based independent comics imprint run by Zainab Akhtar, is holding an online comics fair all this month and has added more than 40 comics to their online store.

ShortBox Comics Fair features new digital comics by the likes of Ben Sears, Sas Milledge, Becca Tobin, Joe Sparrow, Kiku Hughes and Emily Carroll, among many others. There is likely a comic here for everyone, from a sequel to the Little Mermaid fairytale to the story of a ghost looking for a job. There are several horror stories available — it is October, after all — as well as science fiction romances, slice-of-life comics and clowns.

Many of them have a set price, but some are using the “pay what you want” model that lets you decide what you’ll pay.

Here are a few of them that jumped out at me, if you’re looking for recommendations:

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D + Q will publish Michael DeForge’s ‘Birds of Maine’ next year

Honorable librarians rejoice: DeForge’s award-nominated Instagram comic is coming to print.

Michael DeForge’s Birds of Maine will migrate from Instagram to print next year, as Drawn and Quarterly have announced plans to publish it as a graphic novel in the Spring of next year.

DeForge has been posting comics featuring a post-apocalyptic reality where birds live their best lives after the fall of humanity — until the last-remaining human crash lands from the moon.

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ComiXology will publish Phillips + Krause’s ‘We Only Kill Each Other’

The gritty series featuring 1930s gangsters will arrive in November.

ComiXology Original’s newest comic will pit gangsters against Nazis in the 1930s, courtesy of Stephanie Phillips, Peter Krause, Ellie Wright and Troy Peteri.

We Only Kill Each Other will debut on the digital comics platform in November, followed by a print release from Dark Horse Comics next April.

We Only Kill Each Other is the kind of story I love telling,” Phillips said in a press release. “It’s got a historical setting and flawed heroes, in this case Jewish gangsters who are opposing Nazis in New York City in the 1930s. It’s based on actual events but, at the same time, it unfortunately feels very contemporary as America wrestles with division in our streets. This feels like the right time to tell this story, and I couldn’t be happier to team with Peter, Ellie, Troy and Dave to tell it.” 

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Comics Lowdown | Action Lab accused of lack of payment and more by their creators

Plus: Joe Bennett, Ninja Turtles, Substack and more!

Action Lab Entertainment, the publisher of Spencer & Locke, Princeless, Jupiter Jet, Midnight Tiger and Molly Danger, among many other titles, has come under scrutiny on social media by a long list of creators for the terms of their contracts, soliciting comics that are never published, lack of payment to creators and poor communications.

At Women Write About Comics, Claire Napier rounds up a number of these allegations against the publisher, from creators like Jeremy Whitley, John J. Peréz, Tom Rogers and Nick Marino, among others. Napier focuses a good portion of her article on Gordon McLean, writer of Supermom: Expecting Trouble, who went missing in December of 2019 around the time that the first issue of his comic was supposed to come out — but according to sources, the comic was canceled and McLean was never told.

Action Lab President Bryan Seaton spoke with Bleeding Cool in a very brief interview on the subject. He talks about many of the speed bumps the company hit during the COVID crisis, but as folks pointed out on Twitter, many of these issues predate the pandemic. Seaton did note he has set up an email address, alecreator@actionlabent.com, that creators can use to contact them directly about any outstanding issues regarding a title.

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ComiXology Submit will stop accepting submissions Sept. 15

As comiXology transitions to an Amazon storefront, Submit creators will need to transition to Kindle Direct Publishing.

Following the news earlier this week that comiXology would transition from their current website to Amazon.com, many creators have taken to Twitter to share that they’ve been informed that comiXology Submit will stop accepting submissions later this month.

According to the posted letter, comiXology Submit will stop taking submissions after Sept. 15. Readers who own copies of previous Submit titles will still be able to access them, but creators will need to begin using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, or KDP, system instead — and re-upload their existing Submit titles through that system. There’s an FAQ about it up on comiXology’s site.

If you aren’t familiar with it, comiXology Submit allowed pretty much any comics creator to upload and sell their comic through the popular online digital comics platform. It launched back in 2013 with Submit titles featured prominently on the comiXology home page at the time.

The FAQ lists some of the benefits of the Kindle system over Submit:

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Substack will integrate their comics into the Panels app

The newsletter platform announces that comics available through their premium services ‘will soon be readable’ via the iOS app.

If you’ve been looking at some of the comics creators who are publishing comics on Substack and wondering, “Am I going to have to read these things in my email?” then wonder no more — Substack has announced plans to make their comics available through Panels, an iOS comics reader app.

The bummer for Android users is that Panels is only available via the Apple App Store, and I can’t find any indication that they’re working on anything for Android — yet, anyway.

“Readers can have their comics subscriptions appear directly in the Panels app simply by linking their Substack account to the app,” Substack’s post reads.  “Readers using Panels will also be able to easily download comics, save their progress, and enjoy a richly featured and customizable reading experience. Panels Premium users will have even more reading options, such as panel view and vertical scroll.”

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A new comiXology experience is coming this fall

The digital comics platform announces changes to its app and more integration with Amazon.

In a letter to customers, comiXology co-founder and CEO David Steinberger today announced several changes coming to the digital comics platform — changes that include a redesigned app and more integration with their parent company, Amazon.

According to the email, the changes you can expect include:

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Jeff Lemire joins the Substack Revolution, will syndicate ‘Fishflies’ through the service

Subscribers will also receive access to new Black Hammer stories.

Jeff Lemire is the latest creator to announce he will move his online newsletter to the Substack premium model, with plans to post comics and more through the service.

As part of his premium service, he plans to begin posting his next big project. Fishflies, through Substack, along with short stories set in the world of Black Hammer.

“I don’t even know what to call it really, ‘newsletter’ seems much too limiting for what I hope to do on this platform,” Lemire wrote in his, er, newsletter. “My intention here is to create something akin to an online studio; a new platform to publish new comics and a meeting place to share all my work in progress with you and also offer lots of exclusive new material. I want to create a direct link between me and my readers. So, this will be a place that I can share each step of my creative process with you and a platform to actually create and publish new comics too.”

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Young reveals new artist, Substack plans for ‘I Hate Fairyland’

Brett Parson joins Young on the ongoing series from Image Comics, while Substack premium subscribers will receive short stories set in the ‘I Hate Fairyland’ universe.

I Hate Fairyland creator Skottie Young has detailed his future plans for the comic, which he wrote and drew from 2015 to 2018.

Those plans include a new artist, Brett Parson, for the ongoing series, plus a series of short stories by various artists that he plans to post for premium subscribers to his Substack mailing list.

“In 2015 I launched my first creator owned book at Image Comics called I Hate Fairyland,” Young wrote.  “I was nervous that something as wacky and over the top as IHF wasn’t going to find a place with readers but man, was I wrong! Over the next few years, the book sold really well, I received tons of fan art, photos of tattoos and a wild amount of IHF cosplay. I was blown away!”

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Hickman plans to leave X-Men after ‘Inferno’

The architect of the Krakoa era of the X-titles will move on to something new for Marvel after ‘Inferno.’

After relaunching the X-Men titles back in 2019 and writing some of the books over the course of the last two years, Jonathan Hickman told Entertainment Weekly that the upcoming Inferno will be his last X-book for now.

Hickman said that wasn’t his plan initially, but came about because of how well the current storyline has been received by the creators he’s been working with .

“Oh, plans have changed entirely,” Hickman told EW. “When I pitched the X-Men story I wanted to do, I pitched a very big, very broad, three-act, three-event narrative, the first of which was House of X. And while this loosely worked as a three-year plan, I told Marvel upfront that I honestly had no idea how long the first part would last because there were a lot of interesting ideas that I had seeded that other creators would want to play with, and so, we left this rather open-ended. I was also pretty clear with all the writers that came into the office what the initial, three-act plan was so no one would be surprised when it was time for the line to pivot.”

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