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Drawn and Quarterly

Best Comic Books Ever (This Week): New Releases For June 24 2015

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The question most often asked of the ComicsAlliance staff is a variation of, "Which comic books should I be reading?" or, "I'm new to comics, what's a good place to start?" The Wednesday deluge of new comic books, graphic novels and collected editions can be daunting even for the longtime reader, much less for those totally unfamiliar with creators, characters and publishers, and the dark mysteries of comic book shopping like variants, pre-ordering, and formats.

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Trick or Treat Yo’ Self: Free Comics Revealed for 4th Annual Halloween ComicFest

Photo from Halloween ComicFest 2014 At Collector's Corner
Photo from Halloween ComicFest 2014 At Collector's Corner

For the fourth year in a row, Diamond is holding their Halloween ComicFest, where comic shops will have special Halloween-related events and offer a bunch of free comics. Basically, it's like a Halloween-themed Free Comic Book Day, which seems like a fun deal all around. Plus, some shops will be selling mini-comic packs of 25 comics that people can give out to trick-or-treaters! There are 21 free comics available this year, and you can check them all out below!

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This One Summer School: Cartoonist Jillian Tamaki on ‘SuperMutant Magic Academy’

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This One Summer's artist Jillian Tamaki's next book was just released, and it's very different to her collaborations with her cousin Mariko, which also include 2008's Skim. The Drawn and Quarterly-published SuperMutant Magic Academy collects Tamaki's webcomic of the same name, featuring a cast of characters of unusual abilities, backgrounds and appearances, who all attend the same private school. What is perhaps most extraordinary about the characters --- who include fox spirit Wendy, immortal Everlasting Boy, and aggressive performance artist Frances --- is just how familiar they all are under their unfamiliar surfaces.

SMMA is a comic about a special school full of special kids, but it focuses on the parts of them that aren't special... or at least, the parts that they have in common with us. Which, of course, helps makes the comic special. Tamaki is currently touring to promote SMMA. We took the opportunity to talk to her about her work.

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Drawn & Quarterly Celebrates 25 Years, Continues to Shape Comics for the Better

What It Is, Lynda Barry D&Q 2008

Drawn & Quarterly recently celebrated its 25th anniversary at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF). Making the occasion especially poignant was the revelation that Chris Oliveros was stepping down and leaving the company in the hands of longtime associate publisher Peggy Burns and her partner, former D&Q creative director, now executive editor, Tom Devlin. Megan Purdy looks back over Olvieros's accomplishments and celebrates D&Q's contributions to comics.

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Best Comic Books Ever (This Week): New Releases For May 20, 2015

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The question most often asked of the ComicsAlliance staff is a variation of, "Which comic books should I be reading?" or, "I'm new to comics, what's a good place to start?" The Wednesday deluge of new comic books, graphic novels and collected editions can be daunting even for the longtime reader, much less for those totally unfamiliar with creators, characters and publishers, and the dark mysteries of comic book shopping like variants, pre-ordering, and formats.

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The Best Comic Books Of 2014

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The last twelve months offered comic book readers a wide variety of work ranging from the most crowd-pleasing superhero epics to the most idiosyncratic of indies, and the return of old favorites to the emergence of exciting new talent. It was a busy and productive year for the industry, and one we’re pleased to celebrate with what we’re certain will be an uncontroversial, unenumerated list of awards that will prompt only resounding agreement and unbroken fellowship amongst our readers in the comments below.

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Deconstructing The Horrific And The Humane In Kerascoet & Fabien Vehlmann’s ‘Beautiful Darkness’

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It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoët's Beautiful Darkness has been one of the undisputed standouts in the not unglorious year of comics 2014. Originating from the mind and sketch/notebooks of Marie Pommepuy (she, and partner Sébastien Cosset collaborate under the pen-name Kerascoët), the story of a group of tiny people springing from the body of a dead girl in the woods and the vicious lengths and efforts they go to to survive is appreciable on several, complex levels. One of the facets of great art is that it lingers in the mind, burrows and shifts, dredging up thought and questions, analyses, re-evaluation, and Beautiful Darkness is no different. And so, to accompany my original review, I've compiled a deconstruction of sorts presented here as various questions (answered and unanswered) and theories that dig further into the text and its potential readings.

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Ant-Man: Cartoonist Michael DeForge On His Graphic Novel ‘Ant Colony’ [Interview]

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A prophetic child, full of microscopic earthworms and coated in pollen by bees. The child's nihilistic, sociopath of a father. A cowardly police officer. A pair of homosexuals beginning to drift apart. An infertile female. These are the ants of Michael DeForge's graphic novel Ant Colony, the collected, book form version of his once-serialized strip Ant Comic.

Readers follow them through the weird, black comedy of the waning days of their home colony—some of which is caused by the ants themselves, most of which is due to a war with a colony of red ants—as these survivors wander away and consider forming their own, new colony.

DeForge's ants are his own, centaur-shaped, many-legged creatures with human-ish faces of bright, primary colors and visible organs shining through their black exoskeletons. Their world is full of strangely-designed insects, ranging from bees shaped like the sort a young child might draw, and a giant, human-shaped, scary H.R. Giger goddess of a queen ant.

Despite their shapes, his ants live, think and act like humans...or is human life maybe not so different from that of ants? That's one of the many existential questions one can meditate on while reading Ant Colony, when one's not digging the semi-psychedelic character designs or the razor sharp sit-com gags (Typical punchline? "Should we kill this baby?").

DeForge is currently touring in support of the book, and we took the opportunity to ask him where these his strange insects came from, how his gag strip about ants evolved into a sweeping epic and how he learned to draw like Michael DeForge.

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The Best Comic Books of 2013 [Master List]

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The last twelve months offered comic book readers a wide variety of work ranging from the most crowd-pleasing superhero epics to the most idiosyncratic of indies, and the return of old favorites to the emergence of exciting new talent. It was a busy and productive year for the industry, and one we’re pleased to celebrate with what we’re certain will be an uncontroversial, unenumerated list of awards that will prompt only resounding agreement and unbroken fellowship amongst our readers in the comments below.

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Gilbert Hernandez Wins PEN Center Award, Drawn & Quarterly Announces ‘Bumperhead’

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Gilbert Hernandez is unquestionably one of the greatest cartoonists of the last 30 years. As such, he continues to receive several accolades and awards, with the latest coming today, as it was announced that he is the recipient of the prestigious PEN Center USA's Graphic Literature Award for Outstanding Body of Work. Coinciding with that announcement, publisher Drawn & Quarterly revealed plans to publish Bumperhead, a follow-up to Hernandez's critically praised graphic novel Marble Season, in Fall 2014.

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