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Hire This Woman: Cartoonist Carla Berrocal

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In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”

Cartoonist Carla Berrocal writes, draws, colors, and letters her comics. She has published comics in her home country of Spain and is a contributor to Vertigo's Dial H and CMYK: Magenta anthology. She is currently at work on an original graphic novel.

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Beware the Valkyries: Kate Leth On Organizing Women Comic Book Retailers [Interview]

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Behind the scenes in comics, there are a number of shadowy groups pulling the strings of the industry... Okay, that's not entirely true, but there is a group that operates behind the scenes and affects the industry, and that group is the Valkyries. The Valkyries is a group of women who work in comics retail that have banded together. They push books that they particularly love, and work with creators, publishers, and fans to sell more comics -- to women especially. But above all, the group functions as a private support network for women in the comics retail business, and offers its members help when confronting some of the more unpleasant dimensions of the comic book business and geek culture as they relate to women.

Started by cartoonist and retailer (and ComicsAlliance contributor!) Kate Leth, the group just hit 300 members total.We chatted with Leth about the group, its purpose, and its plans for the future.

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Gwen Stacy As Hero, Not Victim: Latour, Rodriguez & Renzi On ‘Spider-Gwen’ [Interview]

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Gwen Stacy was meant to stay dead. Her death back in 1973 in Amazing Spider-Man #121, by Gerry Conway and Gil Kane, was a mark of maturation for the genre, a sign that superhero comics were ready to embrace more sophisticated storytelling. Her death became as defining to Spider-Man's story as that of his Uncle Ben. It could never be undone.

But there's no such thing as "never" in superhero fiction. Gwen Stacy is back -- sort of. The character's debut as another reality's Spider-Woman in Edge of Spider-Verse #2 by writer Jason Latour, artist Robbi Rodriguez, and colorist Rico Renzi was so well received that the character will spin off into her own ongoing series, Spider-Gwen -- created by the same team, and set in a world where Peter Parker is just as dead as Gwen Stacy is in the main Marvel Universe. ComicsAlliance spoke to Latour, Rodriguez, and Renzi, to find out more about their plans -- and their response to Spider-Gwen's new-found popularity.

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The Mainstream Version Of Everybody Sucks: An Interview With Joshua Hale Fialkov

The Bunker. Art by Joe Infurnari
The Bunker. Art by Joe Infurnari

Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov has been building a positive reputation in the comics industry for years now. His work for Marvel and DC -- including Ultimate FF and I, Vampire -- may be what he’s best known for, but his creator-owned work -- including Oni's The Bunker and The Life After -- has built up its own fanbase.

One of the most interesting things about Fialkov is his serious, business-like approach to even his most creative endeavors. Many comic creators have their own ways of getting work done -- with varying success when it comes to meeting deadlines -- but there’s something particularly fascinating for me as an editor about creators who plan and schedule their time, analyze their own work, and still produce art that is innovative and entertaining. Fialkov's blog, How Fialkov Do, offers a thoughtful and entertaining view into how he gets his writing out into the world. I've spoken to Fialkov about his process a great deal over the years, and I thought ComicsAlliance readers might be interested to read more about it.

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Sidekicked: How Superhero Publishers Are Failing Kids

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Comic readers are often annoyed by the outdated assertion, “but comic books are for kids!” As those of us within this culture know, comics today are usually made for and marketed to adults, especially single issues and superhero comics. However, comics, as a medium, should and can serve a vast variety of demographics. Publishers simply need to be ready to create the books that readers will read.

Most comic readers can point to some great comics for kids, including Smile, Bone, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and Adventure Time -- but for many parents and young readers, there is a huge void in the comics that exist today. There are very few high-quality, positive, superhero comics for kids.

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‘Shaft’ Comics Writer David Walker On The Character’s History In Media [Interview]

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Next month, the world's most famous fictional Private Dick / Sex Machine / Bad MotherSHUTYOURMOUTH will make his first-ever appearance on comic shop shelves, when Dynamite Entertainment releases the premiere issue of Shaft, by the creative team of David Walker and Bilquis Evely. And while John Shaft is a well known figure to moviegoers and soul music listeners worldwide, this title promises to focus on the rough-and-tumble version of the character that originated in Ernest Tidyman's series of novels. We spoke to series writer Walker about the character's long history in multiple media, and his plans for the comic incarnation.

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Hire This Woman: Cartoonist and Publisher Spike Trotman

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In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”

Spike Trotman is probably best known for her webcomic Templar, Arizona which she creates entirely herself, and the sex-positive Smut Peddler anthologies she's published through crowdfunding on Kickstarter.

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The Deadly Power Of Ideas: James Tynion IV And Eryk Donovan Go In-Depth On ‘Memetic’

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Later this month, BOOM! Studios will release the first issue of Memetic, an oversized-format, three-part limited series by the team of James Tynion IV (Batman Eternal, The Woods) and Eryk Donovan (The House In The Wall) with colorist Adam Guzowski that puts a distinctly modern spin on classic apocalyptic fiction formulas. The title is an adjective referring to memes -- self-replicating ideas or entities that start with an individual before spreading to more people and across various media.

The story of Memetic is kicked into motion by the unleashing of the kind of adorable animal image many of us have seen and shared. In this case, it's "Good Times Sloth," and it becomes the most viral piece of internet content in history. Unfortunately, Good Times Sloth turns out to be weaponized meme that leads straight to the end of the human world as we know it.

It's a fascinating and unique concept, and to get a bit more insight, we spoke to Tynion and Donovan about the project's inception from initial idea to finished product.

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Len Wein On Harlan Ellison, Garcia-Lopez And ‘Batman ’66: The Lost Episode’ [Interview]

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On November 19, DC Comics will release Batman '66: The Lost Episode, a bookshelf-format one-shot by writer Len Wein and penciller José Luis Garcia-López -- superhero comics legends, both -- adapting a previously-unknown story that Harlan Ellison wrote for the classic Adam West and Burt Ward TV show: the introduction of Two-Face. The project is a very special companion to DC's popular and critically acclaimed digital-first Batman '66 series. In addition to its prestigious veteran storytellers, the book also features inking by Joe Prado, colors by Alex Sinclair and cover art by Alex Ross, all industry leaders in their disciplines.
At New York Comic Con this past weekend, we had the opportunity to sit down with Wein and discuss the origin of the project, his friendship with Ellison, and the experience of adapting an unfilmed television episode into the comic book format.

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Hire This Woman: Cartoonist Jessica Garvey

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In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”

Cartoonist Jessica Garvey writes, pencils, inks, and colors her own work, which includes her autobiographical comic It Did Happen as well as the webcomic Pink/Blue. She is also a recent graduate of Oklahoma City University with a degree in Studio Art and English.

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