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Jon Erik Christianson

Quests of Kaleidoscopic Carnage in Natalie Riess’s ‘Snarlbear’ [Webcomic Q&A]

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Anyone who's ever worked a minimum wage customer service job knows the value of an escapist fantasy. Luckily for one teen grocery store employee, her escapist dreams become reality when she trips into the vibrant and vicious Rainbow Dimension. In her adventures, the teen, dubbed "Snarlbear" after her first felled victim, fights valiantly as a monster hunter — one who fears becoming a monster herself.

ComicsAlliance spoke with Natalie Riess about Snarlbear, challenging herself artistically, and painting crystals.

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Erj Forward: When the Sun Falls in Ty Dunitz and Jenn Lee’s ‘Rising Sand’ [Webcomic Q&A]

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What do you do when the sky is falling and all hope seems lost? You call your representatives. But what do you do when the sky is falling and you live in the webcomic world of Rising Sand? You steal from bandits, amass vast quantities of material wealth, and beat the gastric juices out of a nomad with your mecha-templar suit, that's what. In the chaotic and complex world of Erj, anything goes.

ComicsAlliance spoke with Rising Sand creators Ty Dunitz and Jenn Lee to discuss costume design, transforming a tabletop game into a webcomic, and what to do when the sun starts falling out of the sky.

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Comics Alliance Gift Guide: Gays in Space Edition

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Friedrich Nietzsche once had a famous quote about gazing into the abyss and the abyss gazing unto you in return. I don't know Nietzsche, but I can only assume he actually meant that if you gaze into the abyss (space), the gays will gaze back at you — because space is filled with gays and they don't appreciate your rude staring.

If you know someone who is all about gays in space (cue the Saturday Night Live theme song, though maybe not the rest of the skit) or cosmic queer folk, from #Stormpilot to Mass Effect, consider these holiday gifts. Retrograde Earthen ideas of love and gender most certainly not included.

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Comics Alliance Gift Guide: What to Buy Someone Who Loves Coffee Shop AU Stories

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Warm up your body and soul this season with a steaming hot mug of feelings and coffee. Stories like the fabled "coffee shop AUs (alternate universes)," where licensed characters are imagined in low-key, romantic settings, have been derided by some as lacking drama or conflict, and to that I say: thank god. We don't need to fantasize about conflict or drama in all our fiction when we can just greet what's waiting on our front door. Sometimes, the soul just needs kindling. Share the gifts of feeling and warmth with this coffee shop AU gift guide.

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Girl Meets Giant in Tyrel Pinnegar’s ‘Imago’ [Webcomic Q&A]

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The world of Imago is rendered in clean lines, subtle patterns, and a muted palette. It acts as home to mysterious mechanical golems, emotive wildlife, spiraling trees, and a mask-adorned tribe of curious figures. Tyrel Pinnegar, the series creator, spoke to ComicsAlliance about Imago's enigmatic and intriguing story, the inspirations behind it, and the battle wounds incurred during the artistic process.

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Cookbooks, Craft, and Cannibalism: Natalie Riess Dishes on Space Battle Lunchtime [Interview]

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Whether it's to a Lisa Frank-ian medieval fantasy dimension or a dish-or-die intergalactic cooking competition, artist and writer Natalie Riess knows a thing or two about sending unwitting Earthlings to dangerous and dazzling new locales. Riess herself is the first person (Earthling or otherwise) to have a project greenlit through 2015's Oni Press open submissions program, where she landed Space Battle Lunchtime, an eight-issue miniseries about an Earthen pastry chef brought to compete for her life in not one, but two cooking competitions. Riess is also known for Snarlbear, her four-year-old comic about a monster slayer in the violent yet vibrant Rainbow Dimension.

ComicsAlliance sat down with Riess at the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo where, minutes before the interview, she had just won the day's Iron Cartoonist competition. It turns out creating comics about cooking-themed competitions prepares you to compete in them too.

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Comics Alliance Gift Guide: What To Buy Someone Who Loves Sparkles!

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Need a distraction? Of course you do. We all do. So let something shimmery, sparkly, glittering, and bright steal your gaze. Rip yourself away from apocalyptic headlines, if just for a minute, and embrace your inner magpie. Attach these baubles to your ensembles, station them at your work, and use them to banish away the encroaching darkness. But don't hoard these precious treasures and jewels; the idea here is to share them with your friends and family this holiday season!

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Face It Hannah, You Hit the Jackpot: ‘Spidey Zine’ Creator Shares Why Fan Work Works [Interview]

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In Hannah Blumenreich's Spider-Man fan comics, Peter Parker disentangles Gilmore Girls relationships while helping Aunt May knit, falls asleep on the couch to the tune of I Love Lucy, and gushes about Cowboy Bebop while shielding a woman from street harassment. Blumenreich's Spidey Zine and other Peter Parker fan comics explore a quieter, more introspective take on the iconic character, drawn with the physicality of a realistically young, potato-esque teenager.

ComicsAlliance attended the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo and sat down with Blumenreich to discuss fan work, arachnophobia, and evil Disney lawyers.

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Upgrading Cyberpunk in Iris Jay’s ‘Crossed Wires’ [Webcomic Q&A]

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Sometimes hacking takes you to sprawling conspiracies. Sometimes it takes you to suggestive Mickey Mouse-inspired roleplay. In Iris Jay's Crossed Wires, it could go either way. ComicsAlliance chatted with Jay about their webcomic, the meaning of "cyber-postpunk," and the challenges of orchestrating the current Kickstarter for the project.

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Vanessa Stefaniuk Takes Us Backstage With The Band For ‘Radio Silence’ [Webcomic Q&A]

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Vanessa Stefaniuk's webcomic Radio Silence is the story of a British rock band on the rise. In the latest of our interviews with webcomic creators, ComicsAlliance spoke to Stefaniuk about her influences, her decision to work in webcomics, her planned crossover with Agents of the Realm, and how she's drawn on her own characters to create her own alternate universes!

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