A Netflix (or perhaps a Spotify) for comics may have arrived.
Scribd, an online depository of books and audiobooks that gives subscribers unlimited access to a massive library for an $8.99 per month subscription fee, announced today that it has added more than 10,000 comics from publishers including Marvel, Valiant, IDW, Top Shelf, Archie, Boom! Studios, Top Cow, and Arcana to its subscription service.
With the publication of March Book Two this week, U.S. Rep. John Lewis and collaborators Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell continue to tell the tale of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s from a personal, relatable perspective.
In the year and a half since the publication of March Book One, the graphic novel has won awards including the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and has become a classroom teaching tool for students in elementary school all the way up to college age. It's a remarkable work by and about a remarkable man, and ComicsAlliance was lucky enough to speak with Rep. Lewis about why he chose to tell the tale via graphic novel, the book's depictions of violence, forgiveness, and much more.
IDW Publishing, the San Diego-based publisher of original series such as Locke & Key and 30 Days of Night and licensed comics including My Little Pony and Transformers, has acquired Top Shelf Productions, the publisher best known for literary works by authors such as Jeff Lemire, Craig Thompson, and James Kochalka, plus many of the recent works of Alan Moore, including League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Lost Girls.
Top Shelf co-founder Chris Staros will remain with the company as editor-in-chief, and the publisher will retain its identity as an imprint of IDW, and its base in Marietta, Georgia. Staros's business partner Brett Warnock has announced his intention to retire from comics.
Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag, creators of the webcomic Strong Female Protagonist, are passion incarnate. They love their readers. They are ecstatic that Top Shelf has decided to distribute the successfully-Kickstarted first print volume of SFP. They are exasperated by the state of women in comics today. And they’re out to do something about it.
Through Alison Green, the eponymous strong female protagonist, Mulligan and Ostertag explore a world of stark imbalance—a world where our heroine, once a superhero, is now a disillusioned college student searching for truth in a complex world. Do powers make the woman? Does strength only come in one form?
ComicsAlliance sat down with Mulligan and Ostertag to discuss these questions, memories of LARP camp, making sure each and every henchman gets a backstory, and more.
For the past two years, Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag's webcomic Strong Female Protagonist has mixed up gender politics, social responsibility, and superheroes into a really compelling package, with excellent art to boot.
Now, after a successful Kickstarter, the creators are partnering with Top Shelf to release a 220-page print version of the comic, collecting the first four issues along with bonus material.
Good news for those of you out there looking for good deals on great comics: Top Shelf announced today that it's launching into the publisher's massive annual sale, offering up virtually all of its pretty amazing catalog for as little as $1.00 for single issues and $3.00 for paperbacks. Basically, it's like one of those big ComiXology sales that we're always watching out for, except this time, you're actually getting physical objects. It's pretty rad.
March: Book One was easily one of the best graphic novels of 2013. Not only did it begin a story of immense historical consequence-- the mid-20th Century fight for civil rights in the American South-- it also told that story from a strong, personal perspective. That perspective came from U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who serves as the reader's guide through some very weighty material.
Now, the pressure's on. Lewis, his co-writer Andrew Aydin, and artist Nate Powell are getting set to release March: Book Two in early 2015, and their challenge is to follow up a lauded text -- one that's been used in a good many classrooms since publication -- with a second chapter that gets more violent and shows just how difficult the struggle for civil rights really was.
ComicsAlliance chatted with Powell and Aydin for a few moments at Comic-Con International in San Diego to talk about that challenge, the difficulties of depicting such intense violence, and creating what's being regarded as an official historical text.
A nomination for a Harvey Award, named for legendary MAD Magazine cartoonist and editor Harvey Kurtzman, is unquestionably the most prestigious honor that has ever been bestowed on a comic book about NASCAR. Seriously. It happened in 2009 with NASCAR Heroes.
The Harvey Awards have released the list of this year's nominees. As you might expect, the usual suspects like Hawkeye and Daredevil were honored, along with other nomination leaders Saga and Quantum and Woody. Archie, Valiant and Image all received a good amount of nominations, but it's BOOM! Studios, along with its Archaia imprint, that earned the most recognition with 26 nominations; well more than any other publisher.
Image Comics' Humble Bundle offer, which ended about two weeks ago, was a notable success with tens of thousands of readers naming their price for contemporary comics. Top Shelf Productions is part of the site's newest book offer, which will benefit Doctors Without Borders and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
Buyers can snag three Top Shelf books through the site: March Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell; From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell and Ed Piskor's Wizzywig.
True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto has claimed that Alan Moore Moore and Grant Morrison were the first writers to excite him about the possibilities of storytelling.
With everyone looking to solve the many remaining mysteries of True Detective, it’s tempting to ask: are comic books the key? Pizzolatto’s spectacular Moore crib aside, I’d go with with a big no. Ain’t nothing going to settle the debate around Carcosa let alone Marty Hart’s hot dating skills, but comics do represent a largely unexplored and appropriately strange route into the show. So without further ado here’s our by no means exhaustive guide to True Detective and weird comic books.
SPOILER WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for True Detective, Top 10, From Hell and some of The Invisibles.
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