There are few cartoonists more admired than Jeff Smith. Inspired himself by the serialized newspaper strips he read as a child, Smith went on to create a string of acclaimed, inspirational comics works that have not only proved evergreen in terms of story, but have brought in generation after generation of new excited cartoonists to make their own comics.
Five Stars spoke to Smith about his career in comics through five milestone works, tracing a career through self-publishing, work-for-hire, and webcomics, and exploring the inspirations that inform his work.
When preparing for the first day of school, having the correct supplies is essential. Are your pencils of the number two variety? Do you have a glue stick that dries clear? Are your supplies sentient and hell-bent on world domination? That last question should've been answered with a "no," unbeknownst to Albert, Earth's first exchange student from space.
ComicsAlliance sat down with Albert the Alien creators Trevor Mueller and Gabo to discuss their Harvey Award-nominated webcomic, alienation as an alien, and Saturday morning cartoons.
It's tough being a kid. It's also tough being a kid who's considered "different." It's exceptionally tough being a kid who's being chased by a secret organization because you're considered "different" by virtue of your mythological heritage.
In Cait May and Trevor Bream's Irregular, themes of isolation and alienation bloom big as six children deemed "monsters" run away from adults who more closely fit that description. ComicsAlliance spoke with May and Bream about their webcomic, cryptozoology, and growing into one's power.
Characters dubbed the "chosen ones" in their stories are always surprised at the moments when their destinies are revealed to them, but arguably no character could be more caught off-guard than Sister Claire, who was abruptly interrupted in the nunnery lavatory when a mermaid rose from the toilet. Not everyone can get a letter from an owl.
ComicsAlliance sat down with creators Yamino and Ash to discuss the zany world of Sister Claire, gay nuns, and kittens inspired by Sailor Moon.
Sarah Stern is an up-and-coming talent in the world of comics. She primarily provides color art for comics like Goldie Vance and Brave Chef Brianna, but she's also created storyboards for animation, and recently created a webcomic, Cindersong, which she writes, illustrates, and colors herself.
ComicsAlliance had the chance to talk to Stern at Emerald City Comicon, where we nerded out about how the heck colorists create magic on the page, and talked about fantasy worldbuilding and making friends in the comics world.
So you find out you’re sick. Like, really sick. And then a guy pops up in your home saying he’s a demon here to talk to you about some business before you die. This is the bleak scenario facing protagonist Anthea Chambers in Mikaela B.'s dark comedy Brain Damage.
When many people see outer space, they envision something cold, apathetic, maybe sterile or unforgiving. If there's civilization out there, it definitely looks like the Apple Store, or the interior of a tin can. When Tillie Walden sees space, she envisions something warm, inviting, and definitely dotted with trees.
ComicsAlliance spoke with Walden about her webcomic On a Sunbeam; why she embraces space, but feels at odds with conventional science-fiction; and the use of fish as space travel.
GodSlave is a webcomic about a young woman who goes to a museum only to have her entire life change. And not in one of those hokey, “oh, she saw something inspirational” ways --- more in the, “she set free a God and now has his powers and also he’s a sardonic talking... dog, maybe?” It's Buffy meets... Egypt.
The Strong Female Character trope is in some ways as damaging as the Damsel in Distress; an archetype that rejects the feminine, and thus presents new limits to what a woman can be. Alison Green, the actual protagonist of Strong Female Protagonist, is indeed physically strong --- the strongest on Earth --- but she transcends the trope. She’s just a girl, standing in front of a world, asking it to let her live a normal life.
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