Boom Studios has a reputation in the comics industry for publishing an increasingly diverse group of books and creators. This commitment to diversity in genre and people is reflected in an all-new initiative the publisher announced today in Previews with a letter from founder Ross Richie. While 2015 is the 10th anniversary of Boom, the publisher wants to talk about what's next rather than what's come before. They call this discussion of the future Push Comics Forward and they don't want it to be only about Boom.
Push Comics Forward is Boom's way of focusing on the ongoing conversation about diversity and the future of the industry. To learn more about this initiative and what to expect from Boom for the next ten years and beyond, we spoke with Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon.
If you were paying attention back when it was originally solicited, you probably already know that the smash hit Lumberjanes started out as an eight-issue miniseries before it was (thankfully) upgraded to an ongoing on account of uncommon awesomeness. With the last issue, that original first story came to a close, and left us wondering what our favorite campers were going get into next. The answer comes next week, and it turns out that it's a collection of spoooooky stories.
There will also presumably be s'mores.
That's right, everybody! They're gathering around the campfire for a bunch of shorter tales, each told by a member of the Lumberjanes, written by series regulars Noelle Stevenson and Shannon Watters, and illustrated by an all-star cast of amazing artists that includes Faith Erin Hicks, Brittney Williams, Aimee Fleck and more!
Noelle Stevenson is the future. Nimona, her celebrated and fantastical webcomic about a villain's shapeshifting sidekick, will be published as a graphic novel by HarperCollins in 2015; Lumberjanes, the Boom Studios series about a group of girl adventurers that she co-writes with Grace Ellis, has been promoted from miniseries to ongoing; Marvel has just announced that she's writing a story for the upcoming Thor Annual #1; and she's a writer on Disney’s Wander Over Yonder cartoon.
You're going to see a lot of Noelle Stevenson in the coming year. She's an outspoken, accomplished, and driven talent, and it's no surprise that everyone is suddenly taking notice. To better understand one of the industry’s most promising talents, ComicsAlliance sat down with Stevenson to talk about the indie scene, going legit, and the trials of a changing industry.
Some of you may remember that Lumberjanes, easily one of our favorite comics of the year, was originally slated to be an eight-issue miniseries. Fortunately for everyone, it was upgraded to an ongoing by virtue of being completely rad, but next week marks the release of the eighth issue of the series from Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis and Brooke Allen, closing out the first arc of friendship, merit badges, and creepy, creepy woods. And as you might expect for the start of a final chapter, things are not looking so good for our heroines.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.
You would think that after six months of adventures at a summer camp that is constantly being menaced by all manner of monsters and supernatural troublemakers, the Lumberjanes would have enough to worry about without the added stress of trying to pull off a heist. And yet, when Lumberjanes #7 hits shelves next week, from Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke Allen, that's exactly what they're doing, going all Ocean's 11 (or in this case, Ripley's 6), with a log cabin standing in for a casino vault.
A great comic book cover is an advertisement, a work of art, a statement, and an invitation. A great comic book cover is a glimpse of another world through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the past month.
September's covers include masterclass composition from Genndy Tarkakovsky and Noelle Stevenson, some beautiful uses of light, color, and contrast, and some very different portraits of gods, old and new.
It's really starting to look like 2014 is the year of the giant, oversized offbeat anthology comic. Not only have we gotten books like Cosmic Scoundrels and Giant-Size Kung Fu Bible Stories, but today, Boom! Studios announced the latest offering from their creator-owned imprint, the Boom! Box 2014 Mix Tape, and it already looks amazing.
Clocking in at an oversized 8.5 x 11", the Mix Tape is set to include a pretty impressive roster, including covers by Teen Dog creator Jake Lawrence and a new Lumberjanes story written and drawn by Noelle Stevenson, and a new story from the award-winning team behind Adventure Time, Ryan North, Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb. And if that wasn't enough, we have an exclusive look at character designs for four short stories by Rian Sygh, including Teen Prez, which may actually be the Sensational Character Find of 2014.
Lumberjanes is many things: paranormal adventure, ode to friendship, celebration of girlhood, viral success, emblem of a changing industry. A lesser book might have crumbled beneath these ambitions and expectations. It very immediately became not just a highly-anticipated comic, but -- for reasons included the fact that it's written, drawn, colored, lettered and edited by women -- an important comic, and that's as promising as it is dangerous. Privately, I had my doubts—it looked interesting, but I've been burned before by important books and I kept my excitement at a low simmer.
But five issues into the Brooke Allen-drawn series, Boom! Studios/Boom! Box's Lumberjanes has firmly established itself as one of the cleverest, most good-natured comics on the market. The story of a delightfully plucky troop of wilderness girl scouts (not to be confused with the Girl Scouts) and the variously hilarious and supernatural adventures they get into at summer camp, the book is buoyed by the emotions and friendships of early adolescence, and can be enjoyed by neophytes and collectors alike—including, happily, young girls. It is never didactic or (most crucially) boring, and it balances character focus and plot extremely well.It is, simply and uncommonly, fun.
ComicsAlliance sat down with creators Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Shannon Watters to discuss Disney movies, comics on Tumblr, and what's coming next for our favorite hardcore lady-types.
You're all reading Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis and Brooke Allen's Lumberjanes already, right? I mean, of course you are, we've been telling you how great it is since January, and in that time, the action, mystery and friendship have made it one of our favorite comics on the stands. So really, it's not like you need a preview to know that you're going to want to pick up the fifth issue when it hits the stands next week.
But, on the off chance that you want to know what you're in for, we've got good news in the form of an exclusive peek at Lumberjanes #5, with bad dreams and hints at the mystery of the boys across the lake. So get out your yarn and get ready, because it's time to make some friendship bracelets.
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