Let me put my cards on the table: Sophie Campbell is my favorite comic book artist. She has been at least since the Glory series she did with Joe Keatinge, although I was a fan of her work even before that. I was thrilled when her Jem and Holograms series with Kelly Thompson was announced, and it’s one of my very favorite things on the stands right now.
But my favorite comics work she’s done is Wet Moon, a series of graphic novels from Oni Press, which has been ongoing for over a decade. In Wet Moon, Campbell weaves realism with subtle fantasy and horror elements, and follows a large cast of distinct characters. There are six books currently out, and Campbell has said there are at least two more to come.
Jiro Taniguchi’s The Walking Man is a quiet delight, full of poetic, solitary gentleness and the space between things. Collected in English in a very beautiful padded hardcover by Ponent Mon, it tells the story of a man with a pleasant face who takes neighborhood walks... and that’s the whole book. You should read it, and reflect on it; it's well worth your time. For my part, I couldn’t help but look at it through culture-tinted spectacles. I read it and I thought of Superman, the whole way through.
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.
Beginning May 1st, writer Dave Roman and artist John Green will be serializing their next graphic novel, Teen Boat The Race for Boatlantis as a webcomic. The Race for Boatlantis is a sequel to the creators' 2012 graphic novel, Teen Boat, about a teen who can turn into a boat (yes, really) and his many teen/boat adventures. Readers can give the new story a try via the webcomic, and Roman and Green will interact with their audience as they experience it, with new pages going up every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until the print book debuts in the fall.
ComicsAlliance spoke with Roman and Green about the decision to offer their graphic novel as a webcomic and what readers can expect from this new story of everyone's favorite boaty teen!
Brian Hibbs has put up his great yearly analysis of the Bookscan numbers over at Comic Book Resources, and they reflect a change that's slowly dawning on many people in comics right now: books for women and children are where the money is. Nine of the top twenty books sold and tracked by Bookscan last year were by women, and twelve of the top twenty were books for kids.
The American Library Association (ALA) announced their yearly awards today in conjunction with the ALA Midwinter Conference in Chicago. In a groundbreaking move, a Newbery Honor has been awarded to cartoonist Cece Bell for her graphic novel El Deafo. This is the first time a Newbery Honor has ever been awarded to a comic. At the same awards, Jillian and Mariko Tamaki won a Caldecott Honor and a Printz Honor for their graphic novel This One Summer.
Just as this year's comics-centric Banned Books Week was coming to a close, an Illinois school board has unanimously voted to keep Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel Persepolis on the reading list of a local high school.
According to the State Journal-Register, a Glenwood High School parent complained to Principal Jim Lee (yes, that's his name) about the book, questioning why a teacher would ask students to read a book about Muslims on September 11. The parent also complained about a scene that shows a dismembered body and a man being tortured. Thankfully Lee just plain wasn't having it.
Graphic novelist Ed Piskor grew up in Pittsburgh at the intersection of hip-hop and comics.
That's one of the takeaways from the mini-documentary that accompanied a recent profile of the Hip-Hop Family Tree creator in Pittsburgh Magazine. In it, Piskor visits his childhood home -- now totally dilapidated and overgrown -- and finds his old sketches on the walls. He talks about the playgrounds nearby where hip-hop found a footing in Pittsburgh, and visits the comic shop that helped launch his career.
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.
Koyama Press announced its spring 2015 lineup of graphic novels this week, and the books coming down the pipeline range from personal, diary-format comics to a weird, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pastiche. There's also a surreal deconstruction of superheroes and an effusive celebration of color. Creators include Dustin Harbin, A. Degen, Alex Schubert and Ginette Lapalme.
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