Quick Hits | Massachusetts police officer searched an 8th grade classroom for a copy of ‘Gender Queer’

Plus: News on IDW, Fantagraphics, Joe Sacco, Jim Lee, Chris Gooch and more.

In a chilling chapter in the ongoing culture war against LGBTQ+ books and graphic novels, several sources reported that a plain-clothes police officer searched an eighth grade classroom for a copy of the graphic novel Gender Queer in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

The officer notified the school he was coming and was accompanied by the principal as he searched for the memoir by Maia Kobabe, which has topped the most banned book list for the last couple years. The search reportedly took place after school hours and was the result of a single complaint by a community member.

“Police going into schools and searching for books is the sort of thing you hear about in communist China and Russia. What are we doing?” Ruth A. Bourquin, senior and managing attorney for the ACLU of Massachusetts, told the Berkshire Eagle.

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Slugfest | Martinbrough + Greene take Red Hood back to ‘The Hill’

Plus: News and announcements on Marvel’s Godzilla series, John Carpenter’s Toxic Commando, Ultimate Spider-Man, Sinister Sons and more.

Slugfest is a roundup of cool announcements about projects coming to a shelf near you. Hit the links for more information.

Shawn Martinbrough will return to write Jason Todd again next year with Red Hood: The Hill, a miniseries that follows his work on the character’s previous series. Sanford Greene will draw the six-issue series.

Here’s how DC describes the series:

In Gotham City’s early days, The Hill was one of Gotham City’s most dangerous neighborhoods, one that required the residents to band together to keep themselves safe when the police – and sometimes even Batman – wouldn’t.

Now, as the Hill finds itself gentrifying, old habits die hard as the vigilante known only as Strike works with her team to keep the town safe—but she’s not alone. Jason Todd, one of the Hill’s newest residents, is more than happy to don the visage of Red Hood to help Strike keep his new home safe. But a new villain is emerging from the shadows. Will Red Hood, Strike and the Hill’s small militia of vigilantes be able to keep their home safe? This series features a main cover by series artist Greene, with a variant cover by Tirso Cons.

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Rafael Grampá is editing an anthology for Fantagraphics

‘Braba’ will collect 13 stories from 16 Brazilian comic creators.

Rafael Grampá, the artist of Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child and the creator of the upcoming DC Black Label series Batman: Gargoyle of Gotham, will co-edit an anthology of Brazilian creators for Fantagraphics and Brazilian publisher MINO.

Grampá will work with Brazilian comics editor Janaina de Luna on Braba, which will feature “13 short stories created by 16 pioneering Brazilian cartoonists captures the vibrant and daring nature of the Brazilian comics scene.”

“I discovered many artists I love through anthologies,” Grampá said. “I have always dreamed of working with Fantagraphics, and I’m happy to be able to share this opportunity with some of the most talented Brazilian comic artists today. I hope BRABA will impact more readers around the world with the vibrant and powerful comic scene happening in Brazil.”

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Second volume of ‘My Favorite Thing is Monsters’ by Emil Ferris will arrive next year

Fantagraphics will publish book two of the critically acclaimed, award-winning graphic novel series.

Good news for Monsters fans — Emil Ferris’ award-winning, much beloved graphic novel My Favorite Thing is Monsters is getting a sequel next year. Fantagraphics will publish the second book next April, continuing and concluding the tale of Karen Reyes.

“I am as thrilled today with the completion of My Favorite Thing is Monsters Book Two as I was in 2015 when I read this uniquely executed and groundbreaking work for the first time,” said Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth. “Emil has spent years honing this concluding volume to her exacting standards and those of you who have been excitedly anticipating it will not be disappointed. The full range of Emil’s skills that made the first volume such an aesthetic triumph —the dense, multi-layered story, the dazzling draftsmanship, the seamless combination of text and drawings— is on full display on every page of this book.”

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Thomas Woodruff withdraws his work from Eisner consideration

‘Francis Rothbart! The Tale of a Fastidious Feral’ and the creator himself received widespread criticism since the nominations were announced.

After criticism on a number of points related to his graphic novel Francis Rothbart! The Tale of a Fastidious Feral, Thomas Woodruff has removed his work from consideration for the Eisner Awards.

The quick version:

  1. Thomas Woodruff received nominations in four categories in the 2023 Eisner Awards, including “Best Graphic Album—New” and “Best Painter/Multimedia Artist.”
  2. Many people, including his former students, raised an issue with his nominations, with the points of contention being a) accusations of mistreatment of students while he was the head of the illustration and cartooning departments at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and b) that the work itself, about a feral child with brown skin, has racist overtones. A petition aimed at the Eisners was started to have his nominations withdrawn.
  3. After Woodruff and his publisher, Fantagraphics, released statements mid-week defending the work, Woodruff has since withdrawn himself for consideration for the awards.

So what’s this all about? Let’s break it down …

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Fantagraphics announces a series of Atlas Comics collections

The publisher will work with Marvel to bring the 1950s comics line back into print.

Fantagraphics and Marvel have announced a series of hardcover volumes collecting comics from Marvel’s 1950s Atlas Comics line. Fantagraphics plan to release collections of individual titles and compilations of a single artist, starting with Adventures Into Terror and artist Joe Maneely.

Edited by Atlas scholar Dr. Michael J. Vassallo, the comics were scanned “directly from the original printings and meticulously restored with a wealth of detail never seen before.” Fantagraphics will publish five volumes a year, with the first two volumes coming this fall.

“It is with great pleasure that I reintroduce modern audiences to this hidden gold and Marvel’s talented 1950s creators, many of whom would go on to fame in the silver age and beyond,” Vassallo said.

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Fantagraphics will publish a new Daniel Clowes graphic novel this fall

The creator of ‘Ghost World’ and ‘Wilson’ returns to comics with ‘Monica’ later this year.

Fantagraphics has announced a new project by Daniel Clowes that will arrive in stores this fall — Monica, the life story of a woman that the publisher describes as “mysterious, uncategorizable and quintessentially Clowesian.”

The award-winning creator of Ghost World, The Death-Ray, Wilson, Patience and more took about six years to finish the new project, which will no doubt be one of this year’s biggest releases.

“Daniel Clowes had already created what might well be my favorite body of work in the medium’s history,” said Fantagraphics’ Eric Reynolds. “But Monica raises his own bar even higher, as both a writer of fiction and as a cartoonist. It’s a masterpiece that is both utterly Clowes and unlike anything else I’ve ever read.”

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Slugfest | Scholastic outlines their plans for the new ‘Dog Man’ book

Plus: The Oloris, Poison Ivy, The X-Cellent, Whistleblowers, Patrick McDonnell and more.

Slugfest is a roundup of cool announcements about projects coming to a shelf near you. Hit the links for more information.

The graphic novel phenomenon Dog Man will return at the end of the month with a new book, Dog Man: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea, continuing the adventures of our hero, Li’l Petey, 80-HD and the rest of the gang.

Scholastic has announced their promotional plans for Dav Pilkey’s latest, which include a Free Comic Book Day issue, the return of Dog Man: The Musical and Dog Man Day celebrations.

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Fantagraphics will publish Maria Bamford + Scott Marvel Cassidy’s ‘Hogbook and Lazer Eyes’

The new graphic novel will arrive in stores in June.

Fantagraphics has announced Hogbook and Lazer Eyes, a new graphic novel from actress and comedian Maria Bamford and painter Scott Marvel Cassidy.

The two creators, who were married in 2015, met through the dating app OK Cupid, as chronicled on the quasi-autobiographical Lady Dynamite! show on Netflix. The graphic novel will recount their story through the eyes of their pug housemates.

“As a dog lover, and as a comics fan, I was immediately charmed by Hogbook and Lazer Eyes from almost the first page,” said Fantagraphics Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds. “Maria and Scott have crafted something as sweet and beautiful as it is laugh out loud funny.”

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Quick Hits | Rest in peace, Tim Kennedy, Aline Kominsky–Crumb

Plus news on Hunter Gorinson, Steve Ditko, Anders Nilsen, Angoulême and more.

Archie Comics artist Tim Kennedy, who collaborated artistically with his twin brother Pat, has passed away. No cause of death has been reported.

The Kennedy brothers began working for Archie in the late 1980s, after graduating from the Joe Kubert School of Cartooning and Graphic Design. They’ve been regular contributors ever since, drawing classic Archie stories as well as projects like the popular Life With Archie, which showed two alternate takes on Archie marrying Betty and Veronica.

“For decades, the Fabulous K Bros have dazzled fans around the world, bringing some of the funniest and most difficult stories from idea to the page,” said Archie Comics President and Editor-in-Chief Mike Pellerito. “No matter the challenge of illustrating a difficult scene with a giant Ferris wheel, intricate architecture, spaceships, car chases or any other wild story idea, they handled it seemingly with ease. Over the past decade or so I think their work has become some of the best and most versatile at Archie.”

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Fantagraphics launches their Cyber Monday sale early

Get 40% off almost everything on their website for today only.

Technically Cyber Monday is next week, but Fantagraphics doesn’t care — they’ve launched their Cyber Monday sale today, offering 40% off on “just about everything” on their website, plus free USPS media mail shipping on orders over $75.

It includes both backlist titles and new releases, including Jordan Crane’s incredible Keeping Two, Barry Windsor Smith’s award-winning Monsters, their collection of Liniers’ Macanudo comic strip and more from Daniel Clowes, Megan Kelso, Simon Hanselman, Jim Woodring, the Hernandez Brothers and lots of other wonderful creators.

That’s it — that’s the post. Go check out the sale, which ends at 11:59 p.m. Pacific.

Fantagraphics gets spooky in a new collection of Ray Bradbury’s EC Comics stories

Almost 30 stories by the author, drawn by some of EC’s finest artists, will arrive in stores later this month.

EC Comics will also hold a special place in the hearts of comics fans, as they brought together some of the best creators of the time to create comics featuring horror, science fiction, war and other genres — names like Wally Wood, Frank Frazetta, Joe Orlando, John Severin and Al Williamson, among many others. Just in the past week EC Comics was referenced by both Scott Snyder and D.G. Chichester in their respective newsletters.

One name that might not immediately come to mind, though, is Ray Bradbury. The author of Fahrenheit 451, The Halloween Tree, Something Wicked This Way Comes and more was a prolific short story writer, and EC adapted many of those stories into comics — 28 of them, in fact, which are being collected later this month by Fantagraphics.

Home to Stay includes every Bradbury story that EC adapted between 1951 and 1954, including “Home to Stay”— a combination of two Bradbury science fiction stories that Bradbury himself proclaimed topped his originals, combined by scripter Al Feldstein and artist Wally Wood.

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