Plus: News on TOON Books, Image Comics, Archie’s new editor-in-chief and more!
Nearly 40 creators have signed on for a class action lawsuit against Action Lab Entertainment and Action Lab president Bryan Seaton. Action Lab has published a long list of titles over the years, including Spencer & Locke, Princeless, Jupiter Jet, Midnight Tiger, Molly Danger and many others.
According to ClassAction.org, the 46-page complaint “contends that although Action Lab promised to print, promote and market creators’ works, report quarterly sales and income numbers, properly maintain social media accounts, and generally make a reasonable effort to sell comics, the company has largely done none of these things and even failed to inform creators when its office shut down ‘without reason.’”
Creators listed in the complaint include David Pepose, Rylend Grant, Jorge Santiago Jr., Jeremy Whitley, Ken Marcus, Tom Rogers and many more. You can read the full legal complaint here.
The title will serve as a sequel to the award-winning ‘March.’
Abrams has announced that the sequel to the March trilogy, titled Run, will arrive in stores Aug. 3.
The graphic novel will continue to tell the story of Representative John Lewis, who passed away last year. The project was originally announced back in 2018.
“In sharing my story, it is my hope that a new generation will be inspired by Run to actively participate in the democratic process and help build a more perfect union here in America,” Lewis said at the time.
Check out new comics by Matthew Dow Smith, Gabrielle Bell, Nate Powell and Rosemary Mosco.
Here’s a round up of some of the best comics we’ve seen online recently. If we missed something, let us know in the comments below.
Here’s a fun one to dive into — creator Matthew Dow Smith has been posting an amazing new comic, Johnny Chaos, on his Twitter feed. He’s currently up to chapter five, with new pages going up every Wednesday.
New graphic novel from Gallery 13 explores crime and racism in the Deep South after World War II.
Van Jensen and Nate Powell will team up on a new graphic novel this fall for Simon & Shuster’s Gallery 13 imprint. Two Dead, according to Paste, is about “crime, conspiracy, racism and insanity in the post-World War II Deep South.”
“Van and I started collaborating on Two Dead before I began drawing the March trilogy, believe it or not, shifting focus over the years and evolving past its genre parameters,” Powell told Paste. “Finding the right approach for this story was in part thanks to those years re-imagining its format, scope, historical relationships, and how it speaks to the world of 2019. Along the way, each book I drew concurrently with Two Dead helped pave the way for its final form—Come Again allowed me to embrace the power of genre, just as March better equipped me to finding the personal focus within a larger historical context. I’m always eager to bring my home state to life through comics, and each book doubles as a love letter to Arkansas in all its contradictory beauty.”
Following his work on the ‘March’ trilogy, the National Book Award recipient discusses his most recent graphic novel, punk rock, politics, his influences and more.
Nate Powell is the only cartoonist to receive the National Book Award. In recent years he’s been busy drawing the March trilogy, and continues to educate and talk about the book series, the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement and John Lewis. Of course Powell had a long career in comics before March, beginning with self-published zines before moving onto a series of Eisner and Ignatz Award winning graphic novels including Swallow Me Whole, Tiny Giants and Any Empire.
Powell’s new book, his first solo graphic novel in many years, is Come Again. A story set at the end of the 1970’s, it’s about a commune that is fracturing, it’s about secrets, it’s about parents and children. At the heart of the book is a supernatural force, but as in the work of Ray Bradbury and others, the force isn’t a metaphor, but it plays a key but muted role in the story, preying on people in a way that is familiar and terrifying. Powell and I have been talking for years – since before he became famous, and we talked about this new book of his, punk and politics, trying to balance personal work like this with collaboration, and the political work – artistic and otherwise – that he’s come to see as so vital.
David Steinberger talks digital comics, Akira Himekawa discuss Legend of Zelda and a Pakistani creator makes the world’s longest comic strip
The Digital Picture: ICv2 posts an interview with comiXology CEO David Steinberger, who talks about the platform’s gradual shift from something resembling a comic shop selling single issues to a more comprehensive service; how the company’s acquisition by Amazon three years ago has changed things; and the impact of ComiXology Unlimited, their all-you-can-read service, in terms of bringing in new readers:
One of the figures we’ve been sharing is that publishers that have been with [ComiXology Unlimited] for the year have seen overall double-digit growth this year. That’s totally opposite to what’s going on in the Direct Market.
One of the keys to their success is “personalization,” letting users tailor the experience and focus on what they are interested in—and, a la Amazon, recommend more items based on what they are reading already.
Rep. John Lewis’s memoir of the Civil Rights movement is not ancient history. It’s the guidebook we need today.
I keep coming back to March.
It’s not something I thought would happen. It’s a good book, true, but now more than ever, it’s a necessary book.
It should not be necessary. We were supposed to be reading March, Rep. John Lewis’s memoir of the Civil Rights movement, as history. The final volume ends on a triumphant note, with the passage of the Voting Rights Act. When we closed the book, we were supposed to be closing the book on the terrible history of Jim Crow in America.
Except we haven’t. Before Lewis and his co-authors, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, were even finished with the third volume, the Supreme Court rolled back the protections of the Voting Rights Act. In preparation for the 2016 election, many states closed down registration sites, purged the voter rolls, restricted polling places and hours, and in the case of the North Carolina Republicans, actually sent out a press releasebragging about suppressing black votes.
“This new arc takes a major shift as the story jumps back to the year 1993 and we follow the last week in the life of Tommy Pike!” Lemire wrote on his blog. “Meet the Pike siblings when they were all just teenagers in the 90’s and the tragedy that will come to haunt their family is still in the future.”