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Best Comic Books Ever (This Week): New Releases For May 27, 2015

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The question most often asked of the ComicsAlliance staff is a variation of, "Which comic books should I be reading?" or, "I'm new to comics, what's a good place to start?" The Wednesday deluge of new comic books, graphic novels and collected editions can be daunting even for the longtime reader, much less for those totally unfamiliar with creators, characters and publishers, and the dark mysteries of comic book shopping like variants, pre-ordering, and formats.

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Chris Sheridan’s ‘Motorcycle Samurai’ Is Coming To Print From Top Shelf In July

Motorcycle Samurai by Chris Sheridan

You know that scene in Road House where Dalton talks about how a certain phrase is just two nouns put together to elicit a response? That's the way I feel about Chris Sheridan's Motorcycle Samurai. Except, you know, in a good way.

Described pretty accurately as "Mad Max meets Kill Bill," the series originally ran digitally at Thrillbent, and in July, it's coming to print. Top Shelf will release Motorcycle Samurai Vol. 1: A Fiery Demise, a softcover clocking in at 176 pages, telling the story of the White Bolt and how she delivered a bounty to a town called Trouble, and if you haven't already read it, it's going to be something you'll want to pick up.

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Good Trouble, Necessary Trouble: John Lewis Talks ‘March’ on the Daily Show

Jon Stewart and Congressman John Lewis

The inspiring national treasure that is Georgia Congressman John Lewis appeared last night on The Daily Show to talk to Jon Stewart about March Book Two's release as well as his experiences in the Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the march in Selma, in which Lewis participated and received a fractured skull for his troubles. As the last year has shown through events such as the killing of Michael Brown and the subsequent treatment of protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, racism and injustice are still very present in American society, and the March books by Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, couldn't be more timely or more necessary.

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Scribd To Add Over 10,000 Comics To Subscription Service

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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.

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Making It Plain: U.S. Rep. John Lewis Discusses His New Civil Rights Graphic Novel, ‘March: Book Two’

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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.

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IDW Acquires Top Shelf Productions; Chris Staros Remains As Top Shelf Editor-in-Chief

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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.

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Do Powers Make The Woman? ‘Strong Female Protagonist’ Creators On Superheroes And LARPing

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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.

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Top Shelf To Release ‘Strong Female Protagonist’ Print Collection

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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.

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Cheap Comics Alert: Our Shopping List For Top Shelf’s Massive Annual Sale

Top Shelf Annual Sale

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.

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Filed Under: , Category: News, Top Shelf

Correcting The Record: Nate Powell & Andrew Aydin Talk ‘March: Book Two’ [Interview]

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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.

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