Comics Lowdown | Texas school district bans ‘The Breakaways’

Plus: Scout Comics launches Latinx imprint, Marvel’s legal battles, New York Comic Con and more!

Cathy G. Johnson’s The Breakaways joins the list of banned graphic novels making headlines over the past few weeks after Spring Branch Independent School District in Texas banned it from school libraries.

Spring Branch Independent School District, which serves part of Houston, told the Houston Chronicle that the graphic novel was removed from schools because it was “not age appropriate nor was it appropriate for its intended educational use.” A committee decided to ban it after receiving a letter from a parent.

The graphic novel is about a diverse 8th-grade soccer team that includes a trans character.

“The book includes kids of all sorts of identities to reflect the world that is around us,” creator Cathy G. Johnson told the Chronicle. “There is a transgender student who comes out in the book. He is just one of many characters who make up my book, as well as one of the identities that make up the world.”

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‘White Ash’ returns this fall from Scout Comics

The next chapter in the series by Charlie Stickney, Conor Hughes and Fin Cramb picks up right after the first series.

Season two of White Ash, a crowdfunded comic about a small town in Pennsylvania where elves and dwarves live in secret,will kick off Nov. 17 from writer Charlie Stickney, artist Conor Hughes, colorist Fin Cramb and publisher Scout Comics.

White Ash has been an ambitious undertaking from the start,” said Stickney, who is also the co-publisher of Scout Comics. “The scope of the world I was looking to build, the timeline I was looking to cover and the breadth of characters and themes I wished to explore, was a daunting proposition. With Conor, I not only found an incredibly skilled storytelling partner, but one who rather shirking from the challenge, said, ‘but what if we also add…’  And from that moment I knew, I’d found a kindred sprit, with whom I look forward to together, creating many years of White Ash adventures.”

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Mail Call | ‘X-Men: Inferno’ teasers say ‘Trust No One’

Check out news, announcements and previews from DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Image 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.

Marvel has released three teasers for X-Men: Inferno, the upcoming X-Men crossover event that shares a name with a 1989 X-Men crossover event (not to be confused with The Trial of Magneto, another X-Men event that kicks off in August and also shares a name with a 1980s X-Men storyline.)

The teasers all build on the concept of trust, suggesting that you pretty much can’t trust anyone on Krakoa these days:

“An homage to the original house ads for 1989’s milestone X-Men crossover Inferno, Silva’s artwork presents all the major players of the upcoming saga and teases the day of reckoning that will soon be upon them,” Marvel.com says about the teasers. Inferno is written by Jonathan Hickman with artwork by Valerio Schiti, R.B. Silva and Stefano Caselli.

“I’m very excited that we’re finally getting to share with everyone the follow-up to House of X/Powers of X,” Hickman said. “The story is 160 pages over four issues drawn exquisitely by Valerio Schiti, R.B. Silva and Stefano Caselli. I cannot wait for people to read it.” 

Inferno #1 arrives Sept. 29.

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Mail Call | Scout Comics combines trading cards + digital comics with Comic Tags

Check out news and announcements from Marvel, Image, First Second, 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.

Scout Comics has announced a new digital publishing initiative called Comic Tags, which they describe as “a  way to both distribute and collect digital comic books that addresses some of the biggest problems that comic publishers and comic collectors face.”

These comic/trading card hybrids are limited edition collectible cards, but the kicker is that each of them comes with a scratch-off code to download a PDF copy of the graphic novel featured on the card.

“They’re attached to hangable backers that open, close, and look like a mini-comic book,” the press release reads. “These backers have interiors that are pulled right from the comic, giving you a glimpse at what you’re getting and a fun art piece to hang on to along with the collectible card.”

Don Handfield, a member of the Scout Comics board of directors, said, “I always felt like digital sales for comics were not near the numbers they should be. Digital comics should be for comic publishers what the CD was for the music labels or DVDs were for film studios. But digital comic sales account for less than 8-9% of overall sales industry wide. I think this is because collectors want something they can touch and feel. Collectors want to collect.”

You can find more information on them at the Comic Tags website. Scout Comics is selling several of them for $6.99 each, for titles like Mindbender, The Source, Solar Flare and more.

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Comics Lowdown: Archie goes day-and-date on ComiXology Unlimited

Covid, ComiXology, and ‘Contradictions.’

Big news from Archie Comics, which this week began releasing all its comics on the ComiXology Unlimited service the day they come out. This is the first time a publisher, other than ComiXology itself, has put its comics on the all-you-can-read platform on the publication date. The Beat has a good piece putting this move into perspective, noting that Archie has been publishing fewer single-issue comics of late, and that these comics are also available day-and-date on the free (to the user) library service Hoopla.

IDW Entertainment has set up a new initiative within its Kids, Family, and YA division that will focus on developing original material for young readers. Erika Turner has been named senior editor of original content at IDW Publishing; she comes to IDW from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, where she was senior editor of their Versify imprint. On the IDW Entertainment side, Jeff Brustrom is the new vice president of kids, family, and animation, and Daniel Kendrick is the director of animation; both will work on developing animated properties.

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Mail Call | DC announces a new monthly digital catalog

Plus: Criminal’s ‘Cruel Summer,’ Green Lantern, a ‘Wynd’ trailer and more.

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

Now that they’re using multiple distributors, it makes sense that DC Comics would launch a new means for communicating distribution information vs. just limiting it to Diamond’s Previews. That seems to be DC Connect, a new, downloadable catalog they announced this week. It contains information on upcoming comics and graphic novels, with plans to expand it to include “talent interviews, preview pages from upcoming stories, behind-the-scenes looks at projects in development, multimedia content and more.”

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