‘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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Comics Lowdown | ‘Prophet Muhammed’ cartoonist dies in accident

Plus: Adrian Tomine named writer in residence at Substack, Justin Wong Ciu-tat apologizes to Hong Kong police, and more.

Photo of cartoonist Lars Vilks
Lars Vilks (OlofE, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Breaking: The BBC reports that the Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks has died in a car accident. Vilks, 75, has been under police protection since his cartoon of the Prophet Muhammed’s head on a dog’s body garnered him both international attention and death threats. He was riding in a police car that collided with a truck in southern Sweden. The two police officers in the car with Vilks were also killed, and the truck driver was injured. The local police say that while they aren’t sure yet exactly what happened, there wasn’t any immediate evidence that anyone else was involved in the accident besides the occupants of the two vehicles.

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Comics Lowdown | RIP Takao Saito

Plus: DC does NFTs, the Uffizi opens its doors to comics, and small publishers discuss distribution.

Cover of Golgo 13, vol. 8, showing a man holding a gun and smoking a cigarette.

Takao Saito, the creator of Golgo 13, died on September 24 at the age of 84. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer. Saito made his manga debut in 1955 and launched Golgo 13, which follows the exploits of a taciturn hitman, in 1968. Volume 202 of the series has just come out in Japan, making Golgo 13 not only the longest continuously running manga series but also the one with the most volumes. Saito has said he would like the manga to continue after his death, and his publisher, Shogakukan, says the series will continue.

Comics at an Exhibition: The Uffizi Gallery, in Florence, Italy, is adding comics to its collection. The museum, which started out in the 1600s as the Medici family’s portrait collection, has commissioned 52 self-portraits by prominent Italian comics artists. The self-portraits will be on display in a special exhibit in Lucca from October 8 to November, 1, then moved to the Uffizio to join its permanent collection.

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Mail Call | Tynion offers first ‘Blue Book’ for free

Check out news and updates from Marvel, Dark Horse, Top Shelf, Image Comics and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of cool things we’ve received in our mailboxes recently from comics publishers, creators and more. Hit the links for more information.

James Tynion IV was one of the first creators out of the gate with his plans for his premium Substack newsletter subscription, announcing a new comic called Blue Book with artist Michael Avon Oeming that he planned to share with paid subscribers.

But even if you aren’t a paid subscriber, you can still check out the first one, which he posted for free a couple days ago.

Blue Book is a passion project for myself and Michael Avon Oeming,” Tynion wrote. “We share a lifelong fascination with UFOs and a lifelong frustration with how those stories have been adapted into other media. There is a strangeness in the original accounts of UFO sightings that usually gets swept aside, but Michael and I want to lean into the strangeness. These are human stories of ordinary people who brush against the unknown and must grapple with what they see there. There is a deeper truth, whether you believe in the accounts or not, that lies in the many ways people tell these stories.”

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Comics Lowdown | Tarzan swings to the web

Plus: Graphic novel sales soar, a look at comics NFTs and more!

Bullish on Manga: Graphic novel sales were up by 4 million units in the first quarter of 2021, compared to the first quarter of 2020, according to news released by NPD BookScan and reported by ICv2. Sales of all print books, including graphic novels, increased by 29% to the highest sales numbers recorded in the first quarter since NPD started keeping track in 2004. The top driver for graphic novel sales was manga, which increased by 80% from the first quarter of 2020.

Watch Out for that Tree! The Tarzan syndicated newspaper strip will end its 92-year run in June, reports The Daily Cartoonist, killed off by two factors: The low number of subscribers, and the fact that the strips, which are reruns from the 1950s (daily) and 1980s (Sundays) are, well, not exactly in tune with today’s readers. That’s not the end of the line for the Lord of the Jungle, though: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., is transitioning Tarzan to a subscription webcomic, with new strips picking up where the old ones left off. (That subscription is a pretty good deal, as it includes a number of other webcomics based on Burroughs’ work.) In addition, Dark Horse will publish collected editions of both the new strip and Roy Thomas’s Tarzan of the Apes: A Classic Adaptation.

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Can’t Wait for Comics | ‘Infinite Frontier,’ ‘Nocterra’ and more

This week brings new comics by Keanu Reeves, Dan Rather, Scott Snyder, Tim S. Daniel, Chris Samnee, Peach Momoko, Kalinda Vazquez, Carlos Gómez, Tyler Boss and more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Comics, your guide each week to what comics are arriving in comic book stores, bookstores and on digital. This week sees a new one-shot setting up the return of DC’s regular titles, more King in Black tie-ins, new comics by Scott Snyder and Keanu Reeves, and much more.

Also this week I’m happy to welcome aboard Brigid Alverson, who will be helping to cover manga and other things she finds interesting each week.

Check out a few highlights below, or visit ComicList for this week’s full list of new comics arriving in stores, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally.

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What Are You Reading? | ‘King in Black,’ ‘Legion,’ ‘Teddy’ and more

See what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately.

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately. We’ve got a packed room today, as we talk about comics from the last few decades or so — including old Spider-Man and Milestone Media, as well as newer stuff like Wretches, Batman/Catwoman and King in Black.

Let us know what you read this week in the comments or on social media.

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‘Attack on Titan’ nears its finale

The popular manga will see its final chapter published in Japan in April and will arrive in the U.S. in October.

Kodansha has announced that the popular manga Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama, the basis for the popular anime of the same name, will end in 2021.

“I’ve been saying for the past eight years that it would be over in three years, and it looks like I’m finally going to be able to finish it,” Isayama said on Twitter. “It’s been a very long time coming, but I hope you can stay with me until the end.” “

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Comics Lowdown | Eisner judges announced

Also: Batman manga coming to Japan, Ohio legislators complain about anime text, and a chat with the creator of the ‘Sickos’ meme

Eisner Awards: The judges for the 2021 Eisner Awards have been announced: Retailer Marco Davanzo, who is the executive director of ComicsPRO); Shelley Fruchey, a member of the Comic-Con Board of Directors; Pamela Jackson, Popular Culture Librarian and Comic Arts Curator in Special Collections and University Archives at San Diego State Universit; Keithan Jones, founder and owner of the independent publisher KID Comics; Alonso Nuñez, executive director, and lead instructor of Little Fish Comic Book Studio in San Diego; and independent comics scholar Jim Thompson.

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Comics Lowdown | Manga gets Naomi Osaka right

Plus: How comics ease quarantine, who buys variant covers and more.

Manga drawing Naomi Osaka

Tennis champ Naomi Osaka is the star of a new story in the Japanese shoujo manga magazine Nakayoshi (which first published Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura, among others), and the creators are taking pains to get her skin tone right. Osaka’s mother is Japanese and her father is Haitian-American, describes herself as “tan,” but an instant-noodle brand that depicted her with light skin caused an uproar last year. This time, the Nakayoshi designers consulted Osaka’s sister Mari Osaka, who is a tennis player and illustrator, for help in getting the skin tones right. The story features Naomi using her tennis skills to battle extraterrestrials in outer space, supported by Mari and her parents. Osaka has drawn some criticism in Japan, where she was born, for her outspokenness on racial matters, but the magazine focuses on her skill and dedication rather than her political statements.

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Comics Lowdown | Paul Rainey wins Jonathan Cape Prize

Plus: New manga licenses, minicomics reviews, and more!

Paul Rainey has won the 2020 Observer Jonathan Cape Comica Graphic Short Story Prize for his story Similar To But Not, a memoir of a chance encounter with a celebrity in a local pub in 1975. Rainey’s story and the runner-up, Ellen Durkin’s The Worm, are both available to read online.

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comiXology Originals, Kodansha to release ‘Shaman King’ digitally

The entire saga — including three volumes never released in English — will hit comiXology on July 28.

Kodansha and comiXology originals announced this week that Hiroyuki Takei’s shonen manga Shaman Kings will arrive on the platform in its entirety on July 28.

“It’s been over 10 years since I’ve completed Shaman King. But finally –– at last –– I can deliver the true ending to the story to the fans in America,” said Shaman King creator Hiroyuki Takei in the press release. “It’s a message from my heart, and I think it’s a particularly important one in this day and age. I hope that it’ll reach the hearts of many comrades.”

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