This week, Boom! Studios announced Curb Stomp, a new four-issue miniseries from the team of Ryan Ferrier, Devaki Neogi and Neil Lalonde. Taking place in a city divided up by four gangs, Curb Stomp shows what happens when the five women who make up one of those gangs, the Fever, are pushed into a war by an act of violence meant to defend their turf. On sale in February, issue one comes with cover art by Tula Lotay, Trevor Hairsine and Marie Bergeron.
Curb Stomp arrives in the midst of comics readers' increasingly vocal desire for more diverse stories featuring women protagonists. Boom! has been attempting to service this audience with books like Lumberjanes, Bee and Puppycat and Butterfly, and Curb Stomp would seem to speak to the call for more strong, action-based heroines in particular. With that in mind we spoke to Ferrier and Neogi about the feeling that they're trying to get from the series, the challenge of designing characters for a life of brutal violence, and just why it is that the gang is called "The Fever."
Next month Boom Studios releases the first issue of Escape From New York, the latest title from the publisher to present a sequel to one of John Carpenter's cult-classic '80s movies -- following on the heels of the popular Big Trouble In Little China series.
The publisher has hand-picked an excellent creative team to follow in the film's footsteps and put Snake Plissken through his post-apocalyptic paces, in the form of Eisner-nominated High Crimes writer Christopher Sebela and acclaimed Irredeemable artist Diego Barreto. ComicsAlliance spoke to Sebela about his plans for the book, his affinity for the source material, and the experience of adapting such a well-loved property to the comics medium.
Jillian Tamaki’s work is a triumph of contradiction. It is lush, yet spare. Emotional, yet understated. Detailed, yet intriguingly simple. It is, at all times, astonishingly good. While reading This One Summer, which she created with her cousin, writer Mariko Tamaki, I found myself regularly putting the book down to better absorb the power of her pen. “Look at this!” I said, thrusting the book at nearby friends. “Look at that ocean! Look at those hands! Look at this part, where she does that flowy thing with the hair!” And my friends would look, and nod, and ask where I’d bought my copy so they could get one too.
As I strolled the aisles of the 2014 Small Press Expo, talk of Tamaki’s work was everywhere. Other creators I interviewed name-dropped This One Summer. Fans referenced Super Mutant Magic Academy, her soon-to-be-print-published webcomic, as a favorite. Aspiring artists called her an inspiration. She became, over the course of the weekend, an Ignatz Award winner. In the midst of this well-earned celebration, ComicsAlliance sat down with her to talk success, adolescence, and what’s coming next.
Archie Comics is on the move. Afterlife with Archie, the horror take on the Riverdale gang, garners acclaim wherever it goes -- after an initial “wait, the comics they sell at Stop N’ Shop?” double take, of course. Its sister book, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, promises to take the teen witch to the heights of 1960s-style psychological horror. Lena Dunham, fresh off her book tour, will pen a series for Archie in 2015. The publisher's new imprint, Dark Circle, will revive classic superheroes. Even dear old Riverdale is getting a shakeup, from Archie’s recent death in the Life With Archie series to a recently announced TV show.
Though the gang’s teen shenanigans endure in every checkout line, their universe stretches far beyond the confines of Pep and Pals n’ Gals. As the publisher’s future grows ever more crowded with plans and announcements, ComicsAlliance sat down with CEO Jon Goldwater and chief creative officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to discuss how they plan to honor their past while building a bold new future.
Takeshi Obata is an icon. His work on the horror manga phenomenon Death Note, with writer Tsugumi Ohba, defined horror for a generation of comic fans. The manga Hikaru no Go, with Yumi Hotta, spurred the ancient board game Go to sudden contemporary popularity in 1998. Another Ohba collaboration, Bakuman -- a manga about the creation of manga -- has over 15 million copies in circulation. Obata also illustrated the manga adaptation of All You Need is Kill, a military science fiction light novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka that was recently adapted for the screen as Edge of Tomorrow.
And Obata's art is gorgeous. He handles Gothic triptychs and domestic scenes alike with incredible skill, bringing sociopaths, pop singers and teen artists to vibrant life. I keep copies of Death Note and Bakuman on my shelf of manga for "people who think they don’t like manga," because his work transcends the boundaries of fandom. He is a master, and he isn't even close to being done.
ComicsAlliance was thrilled to have the chance to speak with him at New York Comic Con 2014 about his work, his influences, and international success.
The Dirty Diamonds booth at this year’s Small Press Expo was impossible to miss, both because of its bright signage and because of its eye-catching display of tote bags, zines about Weird Al Yankovic, and, of course, the Dirty Diamonds all-woman anthology.
Brighter still are its co-editors, Claire Folkman and Kelly Phillips, who were among the most ardent lovers of comics in the room -- and with good reason. The Dirty Diamonds anthology series is their passion project, collecting semi-autobiographical comics by women since 2011, and it's enjoyed particular success of late. Their recent Kickstarter was a hit; the Library of Congress singled Dirty Diamonds out for inclusion in its permanent collection; and the contributor list for the latest volume reads like an Ignatz Award nominations list from 2020.
Eager to learn more, ComicsAlliance hunkered down behind their bustling booth to talk the future of crowdfunding, apartments full of books, and just how rad the women of comics really are.
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.
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.
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.
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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