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Dennis Culver And Denis Medri’s ‘Ursa Minor’ Is The High Concept You’ve Been Waiting For

Ursa Minor, Dennis Culver and Denis Medri
Ursa Minor, Dennis Culver and Denis Medri

Earlier this week, Dennis Culver emailed me to tell me that he had a new comic coming out, and when I found out what the premise was, I sent him back an email that was literally just all-caps cussing. It's called Codename: Ursa Minor, and the high concept is that there's a government agent from the height of the Soviet Union who has the power to shrink down and become a tiny little grizzly bear, because a tiny little grizzly bear is the perfect assassin.

And if you're not cussing right now, then folks, I don't know what to tell you. I can barely even handle that idea.

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Good Thing: The Nazi-Hunting Arab Hero Of Ibrahim Moustafa’s ‘Jaeger’

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There might never be a more perfect time to read Jaeger, the digital comic by Ibrahim Moustafa, published on the Stela app. It's a spy story in the mold of James Bond, only its protagonist is an Arab chasing down the Nazis who imprisoned him.

The Nazis talk of the myth of Der Jaeger --- The Hunter --- even as our hero Idris tracks them one by one, leading up to the man he hates the most, Kammler. It's a therapeutic, heart-wrenching, white-knuckle story that moves at breakneck pace.

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Racing for the Top: Coleman Engle on ‘Victory Mountain’

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Coleman Engle's Victory Mountain debuted last week on the Stela Unlimited app, with Chapter Two out tomorrow. It tells the story of Doily Obsidian and her best friend Corey Berry, who both decide to compete on Victory Mountain USA, a wildly popular show where contestants fight their way up an artificial mountain for championships, glory, and the thing Doily's family needs most, money.

We sat down with writer/artist Coleman Engle to talk about his influences and inspirations for this new project.

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Weekender: Strip Panel Naked, ‘The Sword Interval’, and Smouldering John Barrowman

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The weekend is here! Take a look back at what’s happened in the past seven days. New comics, new stories, new podcasts, new art being made — it’s all part of the ComicsAlliance Weekender!

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Looking for Loot in Kelsey Wroten’s ‘Dungeon Punchers’ from Stela [Exclusive Preview]

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A warrior, a valkyrie, a magic user, and an elf fighting monsters in dungeons? Obviously, that's going to remind most people (most nerds anyway) of fantasy gaming. But surely I’m not the only one who immediately thinks specifically of the classic ‘80s game Gauntlet? “Wizard needs food badly!”

But Kelsey Wroten’s Dungeon Punchers takes the familiar in a new and rather less serious direction. It’s still the story of these four archetypes on a monster-filled adventure, but there’s a thick layer of self-aware irony that’s all too rare in fantasy, and Wroten’s art gives everything a fun, playful air that’s impossible too take seriously, but equally impossible not to enjoy.

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Weird Fiction Comes to Stela with ‘Calla Cthulhu’ by Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, and Erin Humiston

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The latest comic from Stēla blends the world of HP Lovecraft with a little Buffy the Vampire Slayer to arrive at Calla Cthulhu. The comic is written by Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer with art by Erin Humiston. The title character is a teenage girl with the blood of Lovecraft's Great Old Ones in her veins. She must struggle against the forces of darkness, many of whom she's related to, and prevent the rise of her namesake, the Great Cthulhu himself.

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Living in Space: Sandra Lanz on Her New Stela Comic, ‘House Girls’ [Exclusive]

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The comics smartphone app Stēla is launching exciting new comics every week, all of them exclusive to the app and optimized for the phone-reading experience. The newest title is House Girls, a science fiction comic written and drawn by Sandra Lanz. It tells the story of a group of women who are serving as civil engineers for a human colony on an alien planet, who must conduct their own investigations when a mysterious force begins altering equipment, and possibly people.

We sat down with Sandra Lanz to talk about her influences and her ambitions for the series.

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Farts from Beyond the Veil: Caleb Goellner and Wook-Jin Clark Discuss ‘Ghost FM’

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Ghost FM is one of the newest and most exciting comics on Stela. Written by Caleb Goellner of Task Force Rad Squad (and Eisner-winning former editor of this very site) with art by Wook-Jin Clark of Adventure Time, Ghost FM tells the story of Wesley, a kid who finds a magical radio and gets stuck with the job of helping ghosts resolve their issues on Earth. ComicsAlliance sat down with Goellner and Clark (also known as Hunter) to discuss this fun new project.

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Weekender: Small Press Day, Ron Wimberley and ‘Full Circle’

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What a week! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to sit back and read some comics. The weekend is finally here, and the world can relax and rest once more — but the comics industry has been busy too, and the last seven days have seen a flurry of comics-based news and announcements fly past at high speed.

ComicsAlliance has got your back with a look at some of the stories you may have missed. New comics, new stories, new podcasts, new art being made — it’s all part of the ComicsAlliance Weekender!

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What the Future Holds: Exploring Stela’s First Wave of New Digital Comics

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Stela is a new smartphone app that offers original, exclusive comics optimized for the phone-reading experience. Chapters release every week, and you can read them all for a flat subscription fee of $5 a month. Reading the comics in Stela is smooth and intuitive. Each chapter is read via a downward scroll, and it totally works. Stela moves beyond Comixology's Guided View technology to offer comics that were born to be read on phones, and the result is extremely effective and, at its best, beautiful. However, there are some things about the app that I don't love.

All I want is to look at a simple list or menu of the titles available, but Stela doesn't want to give me that, just a sliding visual menu along the bottom of the screen. Also when I was reading a comic, I wanted to be reminded of the title, and there seems to be no way to bring that up without exiting the reading experience. But let's take a look at opening wave of comics available so far to help give you a sense of what Stela has to offer.

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