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Interviews

Inkstuds Spotlight: A Conversation With Comics Scholar Qiana Whitted [Podcast]

Qiana Whitted

Comics as we know it is wide and fractured. There's Direct Market comics, bookstore comics, webcomics, indie comics, manga, Eurocomics, and several more subcultures. I'm curious about what working under the broad umbrella of "comics" is like for creators, publishers, critics, academics, and more. Over the course of this month, I'm going to interview several people whose work, position, or goals I find interesting and attempt to paint a picture of what "comics" means today. I'm speaking to Qiana Whitted, comics scholar, about her experience teaching comics and studying comics history.

For the month of February, I'm taking over the Inkstuds podcast in order to introduce Inkstuds Spotlight, a focused look at what it means to be in comics. A comprehensive look isn't my goal. My goal is to show you several different slices of life in comics, as the people I'm interviewing this month play a wide variety of roles in comics.

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Ant-Man: Cartoonist Michael DeForge On His Graphic Novel ‘Ant Colony’ [Interview]

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A prophetic child, full of microscopic earthworms and coated in pollen by bees. The child's nihilistic, sociopath of a father. A cowardly police officer. A pair of homosexuals beginning to drift apart. An infertile female. These are the ants of Michael DeForge's graphic novel Ant Colony, the collected, book form version of his once-serialized strip Ant Comic.

Readers follow them through the weird, black comedy of the waning days of their home colony—some of which is caused by the ants themselves, most of which is due to a war with a colony of red ants—as these survivors wander away and consider forming their own, new colony.

DeForge's ants are his own, centaur-shaped, many-legged creatures with human-ish faces of bright, primary colors and visible organs shining through their black exoskeletons. Their world is full of strangely-designed insects, ranging from bees shaped like the sort a young child might draw, and a giant, human-shaped, scary H.R. Giger goddess of a queen ant.

Despite their shapes, his ants live, think and act like humans...or is human life maybe not so different from that of ants? That's one of the many existential questions one can meditate on while reading Ant Colony, when one's not digging the semi-psychedelic character designs or the razor sharp sit-com gags (Typical punchline? "Should we kill this baby?").

DeForge is currently touring in support of the book, and we took the opportunity to ask him where these his strange insects came from, how his gag strip about ants evolved into a sweeping epic and how he learned to draw like Michael DeForge.

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Mike Johnson And Yasmin Liang On Gender-Flipping ‘Star Trek’ And The Tie-In Comic’s New Five-Year Mission [Interview]

Star Trek 29 Cat Staggs Cover Main
IDW/Cat Staggs

Much like their (rightly) acclaimed Judge Dredd comics, IDW's handling of the Star Trek license has managed to exceed reader expectations with high production values and an uncanny ability to tell engaging comics stories within the limitations of a tie-in book. Over the last three years, IDW has shifted the comics focus to tell stories from within the world of J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot team's cinematic Star Trek reboot. With the new status quo firmly established, writer Mike Johnson and a team of artists are going to be taking the Enterprise and her crew into all-new directions, starting with a gender-flipped parallel universe. The two-part "Parallel Lives" debuted last week with Star Trek #29 and gives new readers a chance to take a tour with the finest crew in the fleet while seeing them in an all-new light.

We talked to Johnson and artist Yasmin Liang for more information about their two-part Trek adventure, and got an inside look at the ins-and-outs of how they approach working on a license with such heavy fan expectations.

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Inkstuds Spotlight: A Conversation With ‘Five Weapons’ Cartoonist Jimmie Robinson [Podcast]

Five Weapons

 

Comics as we know it is wide and fractured. There's Direct Market comics, bookstore comics, webcomics, indie comics, manga, Eurocomics, and several more subcultures. I'm curious about what working under the broad umbrella of "comics" is like for creators, publishers, critics, academics, and more. Over the course of this month, I'm going to interview several people whose work, position, or goals I find interesting and attempt to paint a picture of what "comics" means today. Today, I'm talking to Jimmie Robinson, creator of Bomb Queen and Five Weapons, on what it means to survive in comics.

For the month of February, I'm taking over the Inkstuds podcast in order to introduce Inkstuds Spotlight, a focused look at what it means to be in comics. A comprehensive look isn't my goal. My goal is to show you several different slices of life in comics, as the people I'm interviewing this month play a wide variety of roles in comics.

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Hire This Woman: Cartoonist Allison Thomas

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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.”

This time our spotlight falls on Allison Thomas. She does everything on her projects from writing to art to lettering.  This manga- and webcomic-inspired cartoonist is currentlyhard at work on a webcomic called Whisper.

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Duane Swierczynski On ‘Judge Dredd’: ‘The Ultimate Police Procedural’ [Interview]

Judge Dredd, IDW

If you're a new fan of the future's toughest cop, IDW's ongoing Judge Dredd series has provided a pretty great place to jump on. In their ongoing story, Duane Swierczynski and Nelson Daniel have given readers a crash course in Dredd's future-shocking world, taking readers on a dizzying tour through Mega City One as it's attacked by renegade robots, murderous clones and more.

Now, with Judge Death and his genocidal, otherwordly cronies waiting in the wings to pronounce a death sentence on the city, I talked to Sweirczynski about his history with the character, his approach to making such a strange and complicated world friendly to new readers (while keeping it decidedly unfriendly to the people who actually live there) and why Judge Dredd is a lot like ROM: Spaceknight.

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Lucy Knisley on Her Upcoming Fantagraphics Travelogues ‘An Age of License’ and ‘Displacement’ [Interview]

Age of License Lucy Knisley

In mid-September of 2011, cartoonist Lucy Knisley and her friend Jane, who worked in the wine business in France, were at a tasting after-party when their host observed they both had unconventional careers. He put this down to the fact that they were in their "age of license," that time in your life when you're young and free enough to experiment.

Knisley took the phrase for the title of her next book, one of the two travelogues that Fantagraphics will be publishing. An Age of License, due this fall, chronicles a 2011 trip to attend a Norwegian comics convention, which Knisley uses to visit friends and family in Europe, and spend an extremely intense time with Henrik, a Swedish boy she had just met in New York. The second book, Displacement, is scheduled for summer of next year, and tells the story of a 2012 cruise with her elderly grandparents.

Both trips took place between the time she had completed Relish, her acclaimed, three-years-in-the-making memoir about food and growing up, but before First Second had published it in 2013,  which seemingly catapulted the young, not-yet-thirty artist into a whole new level of cartooning success than she had been able to achieve with her previous work, like the 2008 travelogue French Milk and her mini-comics and anthology contributions.

The two new travelogues obviously aren't due in comics shops any time soon, but that doesn't mean the announcement didn't get a lot of folks excited, us included. We took the opportunity to talk to Knisley about the books, how they compare to her previously published work and what we can look forward to from them.

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Hire This Woman: Artist Enkaru

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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.”

Today we're talking to Spanish artist Enkaru. She's published comics in her native country, and this week marks the debut of her work on an English-language comic as the new artist on the webcomic Sparkshooter.

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Original ‘Miracleman’ Artist Garry Leach On The Series’ Return: ‘I Figured Someone Had To Get Lucky At Some Point’ [Interview]

Miracleman by Garry Leach
Miracleman by Garry Leach

With Marvel’s publication of Miracleman #1, thirty years of hearsay, hopes, rumors, big announcements, broken relationships, erroneous claims, false starts, and mountains of litigation were finally resolved with a conclusion that once seemed, for all intents and purposes, totally impossible. Now, through the magic of lawyers, digital coloring, and the unlikely cooperation of all parties involved, the derailed train is back on track, and a new generation of readers finally have the opportunity to discover just why Miracleman is so revered.

In celebration of this momentous occasion, original series artist Garry Leach, whose languid concoction of dynamism and sharp-lined realism defined the look of the revisionist superhero, generously took the time to answer a few questions about his legendary work. In addition, Marvel has provided ComicsAlliance with an exclusive preview of Miracleman #2, including a page from "The Yesterday Gambit," presented in color for the very first time.

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Filed Under: , Category: Interviews, Marvel

Hire This Woman: Writer Mairghread Scott

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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.”

This week we're talking to comics and animation writer Mairghread Scott, who is best known for her work on the Transformers property both at Hasbro and at IDW Publishing, where she became the first woman to write an official Transformers comic.

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