Plus: Rick Veitch, Noah Van Sciver, Jeff Smith, Coagula and the infamous Hall H line!
Conventions | Both Voice of San Diego and ICv2 report on the workers’ strike at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego, which is adjacent to the convention center where Comic-Con International is held every year and where many CCI events and panels are held. According to Voice of San Diego, workers and management have been negotiating for months, but could not come to an agreement.
A round-up of comics publishing news from Image, Marvel, Top Shelf and more.
Slugfest is a roundup of cool announcements about projects coming to a shelf near you from comics creators, publishers and more. Hit the links for more information.
The Massive-verse — that’s the collection of titles headed up by Kyle Higgins that include Radiant Black, Inferno Girl Red and Rogue Sun, among others — will expand in August with a new title, The Dead Lucky.
Melissa Flores, French Carlomagno, Mattia Iacono and Becca Carey are the creative team for the new title.
This year’s Cartoon Crossroads Columbus will be a hybrid event, with some events hosted online and some in-person.
Cartoon Crossroads Columbus has announced that this year they plan to return to hosting live crowds, as this year’s event, scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 3, will feature both in-person and online events.
Like most comics festivals and conventions, CXC went all virtual for its 2020 show due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CXC said some events this year will be online only, including the CXC Expo, and several of the in-person events will be broadcast online. They plan to follow the city of Columbus’s health guidelines and the recommendations of its programming sponsors when determining any necessary precautions. More details on programming and locations are forthcoming.
“Every Fall the art community in Columbus comes together for CXC, and once again we’ve put together an incredible guest list of creators,” said Bone creator Jeff Smith, CXC’s co-founder and artistic director. “Whether in person or online, we have events and activities planned for anyone who likes cartoons. Which is everyone!”
Plus: A new graphic novel looks at Japanese Americans who resisted internment.
The Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar is in trouble with the law again. Police in the state of Kedah have summoned him to appear before them on May 7 (the original date, given in the linked article, was May 2 but it was rescheduled) for violating the country’s sedition law, a much-criticized relic of its colonial past, with a cartoon criticizing the Kedah state minister’s decision to cancel the traditional Tamil Hindu festival of Thaipusam.
Zunar got into lots of trouble during the tenure of Prime Minister Najib Razak, whom he mocked endlessly for his corruption; Razak was not amused and his government repeatedly raided Zunar’s studio, confiscated his books, banned him from traveling, and brought charges against him that could have led to lengthy prison sentences. The pressure eased once Najib was voted out.
Ironically, Zunar’s latest skirmish coincides with World Press Freedom Day, which was Monday; several national and international groups have criticized the Malaysian government for its repressive stance.
The creator of ‘Bone’ and ‘RASL’ is crowdfunding two volumes of his latest project.
Jeff Smith, creator of one of the best-ever kid’s comics of all time, Bone, and the science fiction romp RASL, is crowdfunding his next project — the resurrected Tuki: Fight for Fire.
As longtime fans of the creator know, Tuki started life as a webcomic back in 2013. It grew from Smith’s love of fantastic heroes of pulp fiction, mythical lost realms and human evolution.
“I’ve always been fascinated by evolution,” Smith writes on the project’s Kickstarter page. “I visited Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, the famous archaeological site occupied by many early humans over time. Standing down amongst the rocks and dirt, looking up at the swaying trees above the gorge, I had a vision of multiple human species walking around and interacting with each other. It was almost like seeing an echo of something that really happened.”
See what the Smash Pages crew has checked off their ‘to read’ list lately.
Like I said last week, summertime is the right time for crossovers and comics. This week brought us a taste of Empyre, Marvel’s big crossover event featuring the Avengers, The Fantastic Four, the Kree, the Skrulls, the Blue Area of the Moon, the Swordsman and all that crazy cosmic space action Marvel fans have come to know and love. You can see Carla’s thoughts on it below, along with a list of comics Shane has been buying for his kids and Tom’s thoughts on two politically minded books from DC.
You can tell us what you’ve been reading in the comments below or on social media.
Lately my kids have started wanting to read more comics. My little one has always been into them, but now the older kids are as well. So I let them pick out their own comics to read on comiXology Unlimited.
My 9 yr old son picked Amazing Spider-Man: The Red Goblin by Dan Slott and Stuart Immonen, and he loves it. He wouldn’t stop commenting on how crazy scary Norman Osborn is, how it was gross when Carnage bit the head off a rat, and during one issue when the Goblin had a captive and was interrogating him, he wondered aloud over who it was, making guesses and gasping when he found out who it was and that Norman knew who Spider-Man was. It’s great seeing him get excited at things that are old hat for me. It made me appreciate those moments more.
Get shirts, hats, phone cases and more featuring artwork by Frank Miller, Jeff Smith, Mike Allred, James Kochalka, Jim Lee and many others.
Over the years comic creators have donated artwork to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund for use on membership cards, T-shirts and other premiums. Many of them quickly sold out and haven’t been available for a while — until now. CBLDF has launched a Threadless shop, offering shirts and other items featuring some of their “retro” artwork.
The award celebrates ‘the significant contributions of cartoon artists who embody the talent, innovation and humanity of Charles M. Schulz.’
Last Saturday Bone creator Jeff Smith became the latest recipient of the Sparky Award during a visit to the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Library
Named in honor of Peanuts creator Charles “Sparky” Schulz, the Sparky Award is presented on behalf of the Cartoon Art Museum and the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Library. The award celebrates the significant contributions of cartoon artists who embody the talent, innovation and humanity of Charles M. Schulz.
Plus: Roxane Gay thoughts on diversity, Jeff Smith, Cully Hamner, public-domain comics and more!
Excited for the increasing spotlight on Black Panther with the feature film coming out in 2018, retailer Fantom Comics in Washington, D.C. hosted a unique event known as Move or You Will Be Moved: A Black Panther Fashion Show over the weekend. The haute couture show included cosplay and Wakandan street fashion, and a marketplace of local black creators selling their jewelry, clothing and other Afrofuturist fashion accessories. Plus of course, Black Panther comics and paraphernalia.
“Where’s all the Black Panther merchandise? We’re less than a year out, and we don’t have any Happy Meal toys or anything we can just get on hand,” Sellars asked, introducing the concept to the crowd. “So with that came this idea of what about an Afro-futuristic showcase of what it means to be great? Of what it means to be in Wakanda.”
Spurred on by an invitation (and offer of free room and board) from festival director Tom Spurgeon, my friend Joe McCulloch I attended the Cartoon Crossroads Columbus festival, held in Columbus, Ohio, last weekend.
If you want a full blow-by-blow account of our trip, check out the latest episode of Comic Books Are Burning in Hell (shameless plug). What follows however, is a (somewhat) brief photo diary of my adventures. It was a good time.