Quick Hits | Medar de la Cruz wins the Pulitzer for Illustrated Reporting and Commentary

Plus: Cartoonist sue Google over AI, Civics for All Comics Group celebrates 2 million comics, Mark Evanier on who created Wolverine and more!

Medar de la Cruz has won this year’s Pulitzer Prize in the Illustrated Reporting and Commentary category. The Brooklyn-based illustrator won for the illustrated story “The Diary of a Rikers Island Library Worker,” which appeared in the New Yorker last May. De la Cruz is an artist who also works in New York City jails as a library assistant for the Brooklyn Public Library. Phones and cameras aren’t allowed inside Rikers Island, so his drawings are based on his memories of the prison.

The other finalists in the category this year included Claire Healy, Nicole Dungca and Ren Galeno for “Searching for Maura,” which appeared in the Washington Post; “Is My Toddler A Stochastic Parrot?” by Angie Wang, which appeared in the New Yorker; and Clay Bennett of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, for a “portfolio of deceptively gentle, mostly wordless cartoons full of juxtapositions that ably communicate complex, sophisticated messages.” You can see some of them here. Bennett also recently received a National Headliner Award, which recognizes journalism in a multitude of categories, in the Editorial Cartoon category.

This is the third year now where the Pulitzers have given awards in the Illustrated Reporting and Commentary category. It replaced the Editorial Cartoons category in 2022.

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AMC Networks Publishing will release comics next year by DeConnick, Sienkiewicz + more

Brenden Fletcher, Tula Lotay, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and more will help launch AMC’s new comics line.

Earlier this year AMC, who you probably know as the TV empire behind The Walking Dead shows, Better Call Saul and the excellent Tony Hillerman adaptation Dark Winds, among others, announced a new publishing arm called AMC Networks Publishing. They started out by publishing art books featuring The Walking Dead and Creepshow, but they also plan to publish original graphic novels and comics as well.

And their first three comics will feature some pretty heavy hitters, creator-wise. Oubliette will be written by Brenden Fletcher with art by Tula Lotay, while Nights of Lono comes from Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett and Marcel Feldmar, with artwork by Christine Norrie. Finally, announced today, writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Bill Sienkiewicz will team up on Parisian White.

All three titles will debut in San Diego at Comic-Con International next year, followed by series launches later in the year.

Here’s more info on each series:

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DC celebrates 80 years of Wonder Woman with ‘Nubia and the Amazons’ + more

A new title featuring Wonder Woman’s sister headlines a slate of Wonder Woman projects arriving this fall.

DC Comics have announced several Wonder Woman projects for September and October, when they plan to pull out all the stops in celebrating the character’s 80th anniversary.

Wonder Woman debuted in the pages of All-Star Comics #8, which was published Oct. 21, 1941. Oct. 21, at least according to DC’s marketing department, is now known as “Wonder Woman Day” (although they have celebrated it at other times of the year as well).

October will bring the debut of at least one new Wonder Woman title, featuring her fellow Amazon Nubia, as well as an 80th anniversary special, an oversized issue of her regular title, a previously announced Black Label project, some free comics and more. Check’em out below.

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Mail Call | Mark Waid named publisher of Humanoids

Plus: ‘Snake Eyes: Deadgame,’ ‘Dead Body Road,’ ‘Adventureman!’ and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we received from publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.

Congratulations to Mark Waid, who has been promoted to publisher of Humanoids. Waid has served as Director of Creative Development for the publisher since 2018, and in his new role, will be responsible for “overseeing editorial, sales and marketing; expanding Humanoids’ relationships within the creative community; and deepening its ties to retailers and librarians.”

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Comics Lowdown: A meme story with a ‘fine’ ending

Plus: Fred Perry, Michael DeAdder, Kelly Sue DeConnick and more!

This Is Awesome: We all know the horror story of Pepe the Frog, who despite creator Matt Furie’s best efforts has taken on an unsavory life of his own. At Vulture, Abraham Riesman looks at a meme story with a happier ending, talking to creator KC Green about how he kept control of his “This is fine” comic, and even made some money off it as it went viral. There’s a lot here that other creators may find useful, plus it’s just fascinating to see the backstory of such a well known meme.

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Comics Lowdown: Tom King’s CIA service

Plus: ‘The Arrival’ selected for Hong Kong’s first ‘One City, One Book’ campaign, the obituary Marie Severin should have received, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Phoebe Gloeckner, Diamond Gem awards and more best-of-2018 lists!

Happy New Year from the Smash Pages staff! Coming back from the holiday break, let’s ring out the old and ring in the new with today’s collection of comic book news links.

Let’s start with a weird one: Last week Abhay Khosla, comics critic and past Superman writer, posted about his attempts to confirm with the CIA that Batman and Heroes in Crisis writer Tom King used to work for them. The topic of King’s former employer frequently comes up in interviews related to his Batman work (not to mention King’s Vertigo series The Sheriff of Babylon), and Khosla questioned whether any reporters who interviewed King about it had ever confirmed it. So Khosla sent the CIA a letter back in 2016 asking for confirmation, and the response he received from the agency was inconclusive.

This exchange occurred in 2016, and why Khosla decided to go public with it now isn’t clear. The point of Khosla’s post doesn’t seem to be to call out King as a liar (he starts his post by saying, “I don’t think this is really a story about Tom King”) but is more of a statement about entertainment journalism and fact-checking. He points out similar situations where a past DC writer, Micah Wright, lied about being in the armed services, as well as current Marvel editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski pretending to be Japanese early in his career.

The problem isn’t in asking the question — it’s posting about it without an answer or actually asking King about it. Like verifying facts, that’s also journalism 101. After the post went live, King was quick to respond on Twitter, showing proof that he was, indeed, in the CIA. Bleeding Cool, The Comics Reporter and Nick Hanover have more commentary on this.

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DC Comics reveals new artwork from ‘Aquaman,’ ‘Flash: Year One,’ ‘Three Jokers’ and more

At New York Comic Con, DC Comics has revealed new art for many upcoming projects, including a first look at Robson Rocha’s artwork for ‘Aquaman,’ Gary Frank’s upcoming ‘Doomsday Clock’ covers and more ‘Shazam!’ art from Dale Eaglesham.

With New York Comic Con in full swing, DC Comics has been dropping new artwork from upcoming comics at various panels.

Yesterday the Geoff Johns spotlight panel brought new images from Three Jokers, the writer’s project with Jason Fabok; Shazam! with Dale Eaglesham; and the next couple issues of Doomsday Clock, with Gary Frank.

Today, meanwhile, the DC World’s Finest panel brings new art for the upcoming Kelly Sue DeConnick/Robson Rocha run on Aquaman and the just-announced The Flash: Year One by Josh Williamson and Howard Porter. Check it all out below.

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DeConnick + Rocha to take over ‘Aquaman’

DeConnick promises Zeppelin Aquaman — ‘Powerful. Dangerous. Sexy.’

Over bacon and eggs in San Diego this morning, DC Comics publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee spoke with reporters and shared news about a new creative team for AquamanKelly Sue DeConnick and Robson Rocha.

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Nominees announced for the 2018 British Fantasy Awards

‘Bitch Planet,’ ‘Monstress,’ ‘The Wicked + The Divine’ among this year’s nominees for the comics category.

The British Fantasy Society has announced the nominees for the 2018 British Fantasy Awards, including the “Best Comic/Graphic Novel” category.

The entrants are selected after two rounds of nominations, and votes are tallied from the members of the British Fantasy Society and FantasyCon. Winners will be announced Oct. 21 at FantasyCon 2018. Monstress took home the award last year.

The nominees in the “Best Comic/Graphic Novel” category include:

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DC’s Black Label imprint to offer out-of-continuity comics from ‘top talent’

DC Comics has announced Black Label, a new imprint aimed at giving creators the freedom to create out-of-continuity stories and future “perennially best-selling, critically acclaimed books.”

“Many of our perennially best-selling, critically acclaimed books were produced when we unleashed our top talent on standalone, often out-of-continuity projects featuring our most iconic characters, a prime example being Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns,” DC Entertainment co-publisher Jim Lee said in a statement about the new imprint. “Creating DC Black Label doubles down on our commitment to working with all-star talent and trusting them to tell epic, moving stories that only they can tell with the highest levels of creative freedom.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Sebela & Kambadais serve up crime in ‘Short Order Crooks’

If you read the Eisner-nominated High Crimes, you know Christopher Sebela has a talent for turning crime stories on their head, setting them up in interesting places with compelling characters. With Short Order Crooks, Sebala leaves Mount Everest behind and heads to Portland’s food truck scene, enlisting the talented George Kambadais and Lesley Atlansky to help cook up a story with equal parts comedy, crime and cooking.

With eight days left on the timer, Short Order Crooks passed its funding goal yesterday on Kickstarter. As they look ahead to their stretch goals, I spoke with both Sebela and Kambadais about the project, food trucks and more.

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