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First Second

Morality Is A Social Constuct: Jason Shiga Conjures His ‘Demon’

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Demon, the webcomic about a nihilistic body-jumping killer from the twisted, brilliant mind of Jason Shiga, recently wrapped up its 720-page, five-days-a-week schedule with an announcement: First Second will publishing the complete work in four voumes rolling out this year. To accompany the reveal of the cover to volume two, ComicsAlliance sat down with Shiga to talk about panel layouts, morality, and planning ahead.

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Filed Under: , Category: Art, First Second, Interviews

Weekender: Angelo Lopez, ‘Rise from Ashes’, And Mama Cass

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What a week! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to sit back and read some comics. The weekend is finally here, and the world can relax and rest once more — but the comics industry has been busy too, you know, and the last seven days have seen a flurry of comics-based news and announcements fly past at high speed.

ComicsAlliance has got your back, though: when it comes to comics, we never slow down, so here’s a look back and just what’s been going on. New comics, new stories, new podcasts, new art being made — it’s all part of the ComicsAlliance Weekender!

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Gene Luen Yang To Release Non-Fiction Basketball Graphic Novel ‘Dragon Hoops’ In 2018

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Gene Luen Yang is one of the most popular and sought after cartoonists in comics, and his original graphic novels, including American Born Chinese and Boxers and Saints, have gained him both critical and commercial acclaim, but it has been nearly three years since his last solo work.

However, revealed today via The Washington Post, Yang is set to release a new original graphic novel titled Dragon Hoops in 2018, which tells the real-life story of a high school basketball team's 2015 season.

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Filed Under: , Category: First Second, News

First Second’s Tenth Year: Editor Calista Brill On What Makes First Second Special [Interview]

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In 2006, First Second Books emerged as a fledging publisher with a distribution deal with Macmillan. Over the subsequent ten years the publisher has introduced American readers to international talents; promoted the work of new cartoonists to a wide audience; and produced some of the most talked-about books of recent years, including Laika,Boxers and Saints, The Sculptor and This One Summer.

All this week we've been speaking to some of the cartoonists associated with First Second about their last ten years in the industry, including Sara Varon, George O'Connor, and James Sturm. Today, however, we're talking to one of the architects of First Second's continued success, senior editor Calista Brill, about how she came to the company, what her job involves, and what it is that defines First Second.

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Faith Erin Hicks Offers A Glorious Tour Of ‘The Nameless City’ [Review]

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The rise of Faith Erin Hicks and Jordie Bellaire in the last decade is easy to explain. Both women are insanely talented and ridiculously prolific. Bellaire's racked up hundreds of credits as a colorist alone since 2010. And since Hicks' webcomic Demonology 101 began in 1999, she's written and/or drawn everything from her own graphic novels like Friends With Boys and the Eisner-winning The Adventures of Superhero Girl to works by other writers like Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong (written by Prudence Shen) and an upcoming OGN with best-selling YA author Rainbow Rowell.

Now two of the hardest-working creators in comics unite with The Nameless City, the first in a trilogy of original graphic novels from Hicks' longtime publisher, First Second, as part of its tenth anniversary slate of books. How lucky we are as readers to get this incredible story full of sweeping detail, beautiful artwork and endearing characters.

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First Second’s Tenth Year: James Sturm’s Decade of Adventures in Cartooning [Interview]

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As original graphic novel publisher First Second celebrates its tenth anniversary, we’re talking to some of the cartoonists and creators associated with the publisher to reflect on their work over the last ten years.

Today we speak to James Sturm, one of the most established and respected cartoonists in the business. Sturm's comics include early '90s work for Fantagraphics and Drawn and Quarterly and acclaimed graphic novels such as The Golem's Mighty Swing, Market Day and Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow. In the last decade, he has become known as much for being an educator of cartoonists as for being a cartoonist himself, having co-founded the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont in 2005. His work for First Second includes the Adventures In Cartooning series, created with two of his CCS student.

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First Second’s Tenth Year: George O’Connor’s Journey from ‘Mohawk Country’ to Mount Olympus [Interview]

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As original graphic novel publisher First Second celebrates its tenth anniversary, we're talking to some of the cartoonists and creators associated with the publisher to reflect on their work over the last ten years.

Today we talk to George O'Connor, who has been working with First Second since shortly before there even was a First Second. O'Connor is best known for his sweeping Olympians series, which devotes a volume to each of the major gods of Greek mythology. The series is in many ways quintessentially First Second; it's at educational non-fiction, but compulsively readable, beautifully illustrated and, of course, all-ages. The irony is that it started life at a different publisher, as O'Connor explains.

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First Second’s Tenth Year: Sara Varon Looks Back On Her Comics Decade [Interview]

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To mark First Second's ten year anniversary, ComicsAlliance is spending this week talking to cartoonists, creators and talents associated with the publisher, to look back at their own past ten years in the industry.

Today we speak to Sara Varon, a cartoonist, children's picture book author, and illustrator who has been with First Second since the publisher's inception. She created two original graphic novels for First Second, Robot Dreams and Bake Sale; she collaborated with writer Cecil Castellucci on another, Odd Duck; and First Second just republished a new version of her short story collection Sweaterweather, and will publishing Varon's next work as well. In addition to her comics work, Varon has published two picture books for Scholastic Press: Chicken and Cat and Chicken and Cat Clean Up.

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Weekender: Chris Claremont, ‘Muddler’s Beat’, and M. Victoria Robado

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What a week! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to sit back and read some comics. The weekend is finally here, and the world can relax and rest once more — but the comics industry has been busy too, you know, and the last seven days have seen a flurry of comics-based news and announcements fly past at high speed.

ComicsAlliance has got your back, though: when it comes to comics, we never slow down, so here’s a look back and just what’s been going on. New comics, new stories, new podcasts, new art being made — it’s all part of the ComicsAlliance Weekender!

Read More

There Is No Greater Thrill Than Making Something That’s Yours: An Interview with Faith Erin Hicks

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In interest of full disclosure: I am an unabashedly biased about Faith Erin Hicks, whose work I’ve loved for more than ten years now. Every since I found a mini-comic called Zombies Calling in the submissions when I was editor-in-chief at SLG (Slave Labor Graphics) Publishing, I knew she was a cartoonist who was going somewhere. I went on to edit the graphic novel, as well as Hicks’ second graphic novel The War at Ellsmere.

Hicks’ newest graphic novel is The Nameless City, a young adult graphic novel set in a fictional world based on 14th-century China, and the first in a trilogy. A boy from the provinces eager to learn more about the mysterious city and a scrappy girl who grew up within its walls forge an unlikely friendship, despite the rift between their people.

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