Comics Lowdown | A Charlie Hebdo survivor speaks

Plus: Lost Charles Schulz comics emerge, new graphic novel from Nnedi Okorafor and Tana Ford, and more!

The New York Times profiles cartoonist Corinne Rey, who was working in the offices of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on January 7, 2015, the day that two masked gunmen massacred the staff; Rey, who uses the pseudonym Coco, was just leaving the offices of Charlie Hebdo when two masked gunmen arrived and forced her to unlock the door. Her new graphic novel, To Draw Again, recently published in France, depicts that moment and its aftermath. Rey is now the resident cartoonist at the newspaper Libération, the first woman to hold that post.

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Mail Call | ‘That Texas Blood’ returns with a new story arc in June

Today’s round-up includes announcements and previews from Marvel, DC, Skybound, Image, Dark Horse and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.

That Texas Blood, the excellent small-town noir series by Chris Condon and Jacob Phillips, returns next month from Image Comics with a new story arc that delves into Ambrose County’s past, “blowing off some of that desert dust and seeing what lurks beneath,” Phillips said.

That Texas Blood #7 will arrive in comic shops on June 30.

“Returning to Ambrose County and these characters is like going home in many ways. They feel like old friends more than old creations and none more so than Sheriff Joe Bob Coates. I’m beyond excited to explore a bit of Joe’s past in this next story arc as we travel back in time to 1981. We’ll see new places, meet new people, and explore ideas we haven’t before. I’ve always believed that the beginning years of any decade are the hangover of the previous one, and I am absolutely thrilled that we are allowed to dissect this over the next six issues with our merry band of Ambrose Countians,” said Condon. “But don’t be fooled, we aren’t viewing the past through rose-colored glasses. I’ve said before that Texas is America’s mystical land, but every fantasy world has a minotaur lurking in the dark or a dragon breathing through smoking nostrils over armor-clad corpses. Our Texas is no different. The shadows there stretch to the horizon, devouring all light. But there are some who see the darkness and strike a match to light the way. I hope that you’ll join us on our trip down Highway 90, into the heart of Ambrose County and into the dark depths of the past. But don’t you fret, we’re not out of matches yet.”

Check out the first issue’s covers:

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Marvel will debut the new character Somnus in ‘Marvel’s Voices: Pride’

Steve Orlando, Claudia Aguirre and Luciano Vecchio bring the new character to life.

The Marvel’s Voice: Pride anthology arrives in June, and when it does, it will bring the debut of a new character — Somnus, who will appear in a story written by Steve Orlando and drawn by Claudia Aguirre.

“Somnus, Carl Valentino, is inspired not only by my own family history, but by my experiences with past generations of LGBTQ+ folks from across the country, people I wouldn’t have met without comics,” Orlando said. “While there is still plenty of work to do, we’ve also come a long way as a community. Somnus is a chance to explore how my own late queer relatives may have felt, living in more prejudiced times. He’s also a chance to celebrate past generations as a whole and acknowledge the strides we’ve made that they may not have lived to see.”

The character was designed by artist Luciano Vecchio, who also provides a variant cover featuring Somnus:

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Mail Call | New release dates for the Milestone revival

Catch up on news and announcements from Dark Horse, Vault Comics, DC, Z2 and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.

DC Comics has modified their plans for the upcoming Milestone Media relaunch. The three launch titles — Static, Icon and Rocket, and Hardware — will no longer arrive digitally before they come out in print. Instead, they’ll be released in both formats on the same day, as well as on DC Universe Infinite. Both Static and Icon and Rocket will come out later, but Hardware will be published earlier than originally announced. The new dates (and creative teams for each title) are:

  • Static: Season One, written by Vita Ayala, with layouts by CHRISCROSS, finishes by Nikolas Draper-Ivey with covers by Khary Randolph launches in print and digital on June 15.
  • Icon and Rocket: Season One, co-written by Reggie Hudlin and Leon Chills, with art by Doug Braithwaite and covers by Taurin Clarke launches in print and digital on July 27.
  • Hardware: Season One, written by Brandon Thomas, with art by Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz with covers by Mateus Mahanini, launches in print and digital on August 10.
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Marvel announces ‘Marvel’s Voices: Pride’ #1

The anthology will feature new stories by Kieron Gillen, Olivier Coipel, Steve Orlando, Anthony Oliveira, Tini Howard, Vita Ayala, Kris Anka, Javier Garrón and more.

Marvel has announced their plans for Pride Month, which include a new issue of their Marvel Voices featuring their “first-ever queer-centered special spotlighting Marvel’s growing tapestry of LGBTQ+ characters.” They also plan to have a series of variant covers drawn by Phil Jimenez.

Contributors to the anthology issue include Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung, Kieron Gillen, Olivier Coipel, Steve Orlando, Anthony Oliveira, Tini Howard, Vita Ayala, Kris Anka, Javier Garrón and Luciano Vecchio, who provides the issue’s cover.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Sara Century and S.E. Fleenor

Learn more about ‘Decoded,’ a daily anthology for Pride Month featuring comics and fiction from a wide range of LGBTQ+ creators.

Sara Century is a writer and artist who’s written for Bustle, The Los Angeles Review of Books, SyFy, and one of the creators behind the webcomic. S.E. Fleenor is a freelance writer who’s contributed to Electric Literature, them, Vice and is a managing editor at Bella Media Channel. Together, the two host one of the best podcasts about comics that there is, Bitches on Comics.

Their current project is Decoded, a daily anthology for Pride Month featuring comics and fiction from a wide range of LGBTQ+ creators. The work coming out runs the gamut from fantasy to horror to science fiction to superheroes, from long stories to short ones, from prose to comics. This year Pride will be a virtual event because of the pandemic, and in the anthology and their podcast, Century and Fleenor are doing a great job of centering queer voices and perspectives in a way that is exciting to see. They were kind enough to answer a few questions.

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Image reveals Pride Month variant covers for ‘Deadly Class,’ ‘Shutter’ and more

All proceeds from these variant covers will go to the Human Rights Campaign.

As previously announced, Image Comics will celebrate their 25th anniversary and Pride Month in June with a series of variant covers that pay tribute to the LGBTQ community. All proceeds from the sales of these variants will go to the Human Rights Campaign.

Earlier in May Image revealed the covers for The Walking Dead, Redneck and several others, while today they share five more — for Crosswind, The Old Guard, Deadly Class, Black Magick and Shutter.

Check them out below:

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Image to donate June variant cover proceeds to Human Rights Campaign

The publisher celebrates Pride Month with variant covers on ‘Walking Dead,’ ‘Redneck’ and more.

Image Comics will continue to celebrate their 25th anniversary — as well as Pride Month — in June with a series of variant covers that pay tribute to the LGBTQ community. All proceeds from the sales of these variants will go to the Human Rights Campaign.

“We are so thankful for the opportunity to support the LGBTQ community during Pride Month this year by partnering once again with the Human Rights Campaign,” said Eric Stephenson, Publisher at Image Comics, in a press release. “It’s never been a secret that Image Comics is supportive of creative freedom, but it’s important that we also make it clear that we stand for inclusivity, diversity and equality, now more than ever. We hope these variants will serve as a positive display of that ongoing commitment.”

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