The change of seasons has brought a chill to the air and widely available apple cider once again, but those are merely a prelude to something better: The new issue of The Devastator, our favorite comedy magazine. In previous issues, Devastator's mix of comics, text pieces, graphs and the occasional board game has taken on topics like hipsters, spies, crossovers and even the apocalypse, but this time, the quarterly mag is taking on anime, manga, and even a few video games in the newest Otaku-themed edition. And yes: The graphs are back, in the form of a pretty amazing flow chart helping you to answer the question of "Is This Hentai?"
Contributions to The Devastator: Otaku include a cover by All New Ghost Rider writer and Peepo Choo creator Felipe Smith, a new installment of The Anime Club by Gunshow and Back creator K.C. Green, and a series of ads for an anime sex pillow dating service featuring Brooklyn Nine Nine's Joe Lo Truglio. Seriously. Check out a preview below!
The 2014 Ignatz Awards took place on Saturday evening, and were, by all accounts, a lively affair, topped off with a wedding in which Australian comics star Simon Hanselmann was betrothed to the medium itself! While what's referred to as the independent/small press comics scenes is by no means perfect, it is certainly more progressive, with the changes, representation, and greater equality that's rallied for in mainstream comics already present here to a significant degree, as can be seen reflected in the comics nominated, the nominees themselves, and the winners.
One of the difficulties in keeping up with small press comics -- particularly with readers newly interested in the area -- is that it can be so bitty: a plethora of artists self-publishing with their individual websites and stores, independent imprints releasing books which aren't listed in Diamond's catalogue, and so forth. Comic readers are used to dates shifting around, but this puts the more of an onus on the reader to search out what titles are releasing when -- and that's if they're aware of the publications in the first place. So the launch of Small Press Previews, a website that brings together over 40 small press publishers, allowing them to upload information about what they're releasing each month: information, previews, where-to-purchase deatils, is a very welcome and useful resource.
In celebration of her Ignatz nomination for 'Outstanding Mini-comic,' the fantastic Yumi Sakugawa has made the whole comic, titled Never Forgets, available to read for free -- but you only have until the 14th of September to take advantage of the offer, after which the link will be taken down. And take advantage you should. Sakugawa's a fine, fine illustrator and cartoonist, best known for her comic book, I Think I Am In Friend Love With You, and If you haven't come across Sakugawa's work before, Never Forgets is a great introduction.
Terry Moore writes almost exclusively about women. He self-publishes his work through Abstract Studios, his independent Houston-based imprint, and he's been doing the kind of stuff that's currently inspiring strurm-und-drang in the comics world ever since the Internet first tied up our phone lines.
Today he works on Rachel Rising, a horror story where a pretty young murdered woman wakes up in a shallow grave and decides to take back her life — or, at least, her afterlife — from the otherworldly forces that wrenched it from her. With work ranging from science fiction (Echo) to epic love story (Strangers in Paradise), and even some superhero experience (Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane), Moore cuts a distinctive creative figure in the industry. ComicsAlliance spoke to him at San Diego Comic-Con to discuss female comedians, stories about underdogs, and the future of self-publishing.
The new superhero comic from Autism at Face Value, an advocacy group aimed at promoting autism awareness, is really making a splash.
Face Value Comics, the first issue of which is currently available in comic shops, has completely sold out, according to a blog post from the organization. Autism at Face Value attributes much of the comic's success to a segment on NBC Nightly News that highlighted the comic and its protagonist, Michael, who creators Dave Kot, Angela Kot, and Sky Owens tout as comics' first-ever autistic superhero.
Benign Kingdom fills a niche that lay absurdly open for too long: well designed and curated artbooks from webcomic creators. Somehow, the idea never occurred to me or most anyone for years, despite the absolute cavalcade of talent on display. Who knew Danielle Corsetto, creator of Girls With Slingshots, produced such gorgeous figure drawings? Who knew Yuko Ota, co-creator and artist of Johnny Wander, could fill a page with such whimsy and menace?
One enormously successful Kickstarter later, Benign Kingdom has presented the world with these awesome talents, but also helped demonstrate the viability of self-publishing. ComicsAlliance sought out Evan Dahm, co-founder of the Benign Kingdom project and creator of the webcomic Rice Boy, to discuss a changing industry and their place within it.
Inés Estrada's psychedelic science-fiction epic, Lapsos is releasing next month in a collected, English language edition and it's something that should be on your radar. Published by Swedish imprint, C'est Bon Kultur, and debuting at the Helsinki Comics Festival, the new hardback edition is limited to 1000 copies, and includes the original series in addition to 40 pages of new content. Lapsos follows the adventures of two friends who discover the existence of various dimensions between their home city in Mexico, and the gradual realisation that everything is connected, it's marked with Estrada's signature gross-but-touching humour and vivid characterisation.
If there's one we thing we should establish from the off, it's that my love for dinosaurs is infinite. There is something inherently fascinating about this whole world that existed before us, the completeness of it: the sheer array of lumbering aquatic, flying, and terrain beasts that roamed the Earth; their power and size, the wonderful shapes, colours, and variations, the mystery of their total obliteration, the fact that we're still discovering more about them today.
So when I learned that UK publishers Nobrow Press had teamed up with cartoonist and illustrator Dustin Harbin to produce one of their gorgeous leporellos, this time focusing on dinosaurs, my excitement levels were pretty damn high.
Spike Trotman is a visionary. She sees possibility where others throw their hands up in defeat. She sees innovation where others see stagnation. She is fundamentally optimistic about the future of comics — and why shouldn't she be? Trotman has conducted massively successful Kickstarters — plural — organized some of the best talent in comics into anthologies like Smut Peddler and The Sleep of Reason, made money-producing Poorcraft (a comic about not having money), and, all the while, maintained Templar, Arizona, her long-running and beloved webcomic.
Comics have been good to Spike Trotman, but her success is very much the result of hard work and fresh thinking rather than chance—hard work that has left her one of the most interesting people in the industry. So, naturally, ComicsAlliance tracked down her booth at San Diego Comic-Con to talk Kickstarter foibles, “porn for chicks,” and a new golden age for comics.
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