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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Were it not for the 3D -- a concept I am yet to be sold on in any medium -- it would appear that Study Group head honcho Zack Soto gazed into the musty abyss that is my head-space and fashioned the new Study Group anthology accordingly. At 96 pages, it contains comics by some of the artists I'm most excited by right now: Connor Willumsen, Sophie Franz, Mia Schwarz, Benjamin Urkowitz, Pete Toms, David King, Julia Gfrorer & Sean T. Collins, and more.
It's always the way isn't it? The very day I put in my order for a Spanish edition of Belgian artist Olivier Schrauwen's Mowgli's Mirror, Retrofit announce they'll be publishing it in English next year, as part of their 2015 line-up. That's a really nice acquisition for Retrofit, who have been going from strength to strength since their inception, with their slate for next year looking especially strong with books from Andrew Lorenzi, Kate Leth, Laura Knetzger, Laura Lannes, Maré Odomo, Matt Madden, Sophie Franz, Yumi Sakugawa, and Steven Weissmann.
Listen: Michel Fiffe's Copra is great. If you've been reading ComicsAlliance for any significant amount of time -- or even if you've just been listening to the Every Story Ever segments on the War Rocket Ajax podcast where we've ranked it above stuff like "Robin Dies At Dawn," JLA: Year One and Grant Morrison's first arc on New X-Men -- then you already know that.
But at the same time, you could be forgiven for thinking that maybe, after that first run of twelve amazing DIY comics, Fiffe might've slipped a bit. After all, it's pretty rare for something to stay that good forever, and now that Fiffe's picking up mainstream work from Marvel in the pages of All New Ultimates and Dynamite with Captain Victory, you'd have a good reason to think that Copra would be on the back burner. But if you did, you would be wrong.
If, for whatever reason, you haven't been reading the second act of Copra, where Fiffe turns his attention to spotlighting individual members of the team, then you're missing out on some of the most amazing comics of the year -- and the latest issue, where Fiffe drops a treatise on and rejection of Randian objectivisim in the form of a story about a superhero sent to an interdimensional prison, is the best of the bunch by far.
Those of you who pay attention to such things may have been wondering just what our former senior editor Caleb Goellner has been up to since he left ComicsAlliance earlier this year. Personally, I would've guessed that he'd spent the last few months swimming in a Scrooge McDuckian bin of Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles action figures, but that is not the case. It turns out that he's been working on a new comic, alongside writer Jim Gibbons, the Eisner-winning editor of Dark Horse Presents.
The book is called Birchsquatch, and it is quite possibly the greatest sasquatch-based sci-fi revenge mystery of autumn 2014, and it's available now on Gumroad as a pay-what-you-want download.
Back in July, representatives from Islamic State, the jihadist group sometimes referred to as ISIS, or ISIL, publicly called for the death of Dr. Naif al-Mutawa, the creator of The 99, a Muslim comic about 99 young heroes who reflect the 99 attributes ascribed to Allah in the Quran.
In a column published in the United Arab Emirates newspaper The National, al-Mutawa explained that the calls for his death originated from a fatwa that was issued based on "false accusations and misstatements" from an "ambulance chaser."
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.