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A Lifetime Girl Scout: New ‘Lumberjanes’ Artist Carey Pietsch on Building Character and Earning Badges


As the latest guest artist to head out to camp with the Lumberjanes, Carey Pietsch is well qualified. Not only does she know her way around a campfire, but her previous comic work includes a series of self-published mini-comics that combine exactly the sense of grandly fantastical and intimately personal that has made Lumberjanes one of the most important hit comics of the past couple of years.
Pietsch joins writers Shannon Watters and Kat Leyh for the latest Lumberjanes arc, featuring an encounter with a possible werewolf, starting with issue #21, in stores this week. ComicsAlliance chatted to Pietsch to find out how she landed the gig, and what sort of experience she has in the wilderness!

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Sweden’s Peow Launches its 2016 Line-Up Through Kickstarter [Interview]


The launch and rise of Peow, a Swedish publisher that was nominated for three Ignatz Awards this year, is one of the most encouraging success stories of 2015. Founded by Patrick Crotty, Olle Forsslöf and Elliot Alfredius, the studio started with three artists and a risograph machine, but has now established a reputation for bright, vibrant, and funny works that are unlike anything else in the industry.

Peow has now turned to Kickstarter to fund its Spring/Summer 2016 line-up, featuring new work from creators including Guillaume Singelin, Wai Wai Pang, Mathilde Kitteh, Luca Oliveri, Mackenzie Schubert,and Patrick Crotty himself. It looks as though next year will see Peow grow even further, so we sat down with Crotty to take a closer look at the publisher's history and its hopes for the future.

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We’re Straight Up Idiots: Chip Zdarsky Talks ‘Kaptara,’ Action Figures And Soap Operas

Kaptara, Chip Zdarsky and Kagan McLeod

Over the course of its first five issues, Chip Zdarsky and Kagan McLeod's Kaptara introduced readers to an alien world where science, sorcery and barbarians collide for one of the year's weirdest adventures. What you might not realize, though, is how much the journey across the strange planet owes to General Hospital. Fortunately, Zdarsky is here to explain.

With the book on the verge of closing out its first arc with this week's fifth issue, I spoke to Zdarsky about the origins of the project, how he and McLeod fleshed out the increasingly bizarre world in the story, the complicated storylines he'd play out with his action figures that formed the basis of the project and, of course, the time he went to a mall to see his favorite soap opera star and was laughed at by "a room full of housewives."

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Filed Under: , , Category: Image, Interviews

Leaping into Asian Myth with ‘Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales’ [Back Pages]


The Cautionary Fables and FairyTales project has been running for several years now; an anthology series that tells stories based around the fairy tales, myths and legends of a different continent each time, starting with Europe, then Africa, and now Asia. The anthology is the work of editors and cartoonists Kel McDonald and Kate Ashwin, and features work from a number of creators both new and established --- including Gene Luen Yang, Meredith McClaren, Nilah Magruder and Carla Speed McNeil.

As with the previous volumes, the team has to Kickstarter to fund the 200-page, black and white Asia anthology. Asia is a particularly wide topic to handle, so ComicsAlliance spoke to both Ashwin and McDonald about how the series has grown over time, what stories will be featured in their latest collection, and how Kickstarter has helped bring the whole thing together.

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Vertical Horizon: Stela Aims to Shake Up the Digital Comics Platform


There hasn't been much innovation in the digital comics market since the iPhone arrived in 2007. Even with the debut of the iPad and competitive operating systems like Android and Windows Mobile, the formula for what makes comics work in the digital format hasn't changed drastically over the past eight years. Where once there were numerous apps all vying for the attention of the consumer and publishers, the format for reading remained almost identical across the board. You open the book, you tap an edge or swipe to turn the page, and you can zoom in and out accordingly to get a better look at the action and art. That's pretty much been the default nearly every app has gone with simply because it makes sense and it works.

However, as great an experience as that kind of reading is on tablets, it doesn't hold up quite as well on mobile phones. Constantly pinching and zooming around isn't quite conducive to an enjoyable reading experience. As people have become more reliant on the phones for day-to-day content consumption, it only made sense that some developers would find a way to make comic reading more comfortable and compatible with smartphones. That's where Stela (pronounced Steel-ah) hopes to make its mark. Developed by BreakoutBit, and spearheaded by former Ubisoft manager Ryan Yount and former Dark Horse editor Jim Gibbons, Stela doesn't see the limitations of a phone as a problem, but as an answer to getting comics to hundreds of millions of people.

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Filed Under: Category: Digital Comics, Interviews

Writer Mike Garley Loads Up ‘The Kill Screen’ [Back Pages]


The Kill Screen is a comic that shows a world where computers have run rampant --- not on society, as you might expect, but rather within society. As a virus. Created by Mike Garley, Josh Sherwell and letterer Mike Stock, the series sees computers literally infecting people and places into digitised oblivion, glitched and broken. It's sci-fi horror as social commentary, but it puts characters before anything else --- which is what has made it such a success on the UK comics scene over the last few years.

When the world goes to hell in the weirdest way imaginable, how would society try and move on? Having put out the entire story as single issues, the creative team has now come to Kickstarter to seek funding for the oversized hardcover collection of the story. As part of our ongoing spotlight series on Kickstarter projects worth your attention, ComicsAlliance spoke to writer Mike Garley about how the series came together, and what backers can expect from the completed comic.

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Giving Back Some Happy Lesbians: Talking to the Creators of ‘Honey and Venom’


Imagine, if you will, being a goddess of ancient Rome. You've got power, supplicants, luxurious raiment, a devout young priestess you've fallen in love with. Suddenly it's 2,000 years later, and while you're still doing your thing --- with the horns and the robes and the lack of understanding of electricity --- the rest of the world is all gas station minimarts and doric columns on the sides of 'We Are Happy To Serve You' coffee mugs. You do, at least, find your priestess, resplendent as ever in the denim shorts and crop top she's traded in her toga for. But...she doesn't know who you are. She doesn't understand why you're dressed they way you are. She's lost her memory of what you meant to each other entirely.

Such is the tale of the goddess Axiothea and her priestess Caelia, the subject of Payton Francis and Megan C.'s recently-launched webcomic, Honey And Venom. Eager to get the details on this charming new read, ComicsAlliance sat down with them to talk collaboration, Euripedes, and Dionysian cults.

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It’s Dumb and Tickles Our Funny Bones: John Layman on the Home Stretch for ‘Chew’ [Interview]

Art by Rob Guillory.
Art by Rob Guillory.

For five years, Chew has been one of the most funniest, most surprising comic books on the stands. Rob Guillory and John Layman's series about a police officer who gets a psychic impression from anything he eats --- and the bizarre supporting cast that surrounds him --- has introduced readers to everything from government conspiracies to cybernetic killer roosters.

With the recent release of the 51st issue, Chew is closing in on its big issue #60 finale --- so ComicsAlliance took the opportunity to sit down with John Layman to discuss his plotting for the series, how he balances comedic highs with tragic lows, and how a chicken became the breakout star of the book.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Image, Interviews

‘Hex11′ sees Futuristic Tech-Witches Get Tangled up in Black Market Magic [Back Pages]


Tech-witches living in the future. That's what comics are bringing us now. Hex11 is a series created by the HexComix team of writer Kelly Sue Milano, artist Lisa K. Weber, and editor Lynly Forrest. Set in a world where magic not only exists but has been commodified by giant corporations, the series focuses on Elanor Kent, an apprentice witch who accidentally gets herself wrapped up in a larger conspiracy that hurtles her into the dangerous world of black market magic.

The series has already wrapped volume #1, and the team has headed to Kickstarter to fund a print collection. They're also looking to set up funding to help produce the second volume of their story as they seek to build up HexComix as a new studio publisher. Nominated for the inaugural Dwayne McDuffie Award for Divisity this year, Hex11 seems like a project well-worth taking a closer look at, so we spoke to the entire Hex11 team.

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Perspectives On A Crime: Tom King And Mitch Gerads On ‘The Sheriff Of Babylon’

Sheriff of Babylon, Vertigo/DC

Tom King might have the most impressive résumé in comics. Long before he became one of the breakout stars of superhero comics with books like Grayson and Omega Men, he specialized in counter-terrorism, including working for the CIA in Iraq. Now, he's drawing on those experiences for The Sheriff of Babylon, a new ongoing series from Vertigo with artist and co-creator Mitch Gerads.

To find out more, I spoke to King and Gerads about the origins of the project, their approach to research, and the three characters taking center stage in their crime story.

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