Weekender: Olivia Stephens, ‘Sleepless Domain’, and Nomi Kane
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!
Autumn has officially fallen this week, and with it has come wave after wave of new comics announcements from a variety of publishers. Kuš! kicked things off with the launch of its Fall 2016 line, which sees some very weird new work from Michael DeForge, Ville Kallio, Daria Tessler and Anna Sailamaa. Orders opened for the books yesterday, and can be found at the link above, along with previews for each of the four comics. DeForge’s Meat Locker, in particular, seems fairly bananas and fantastical.
Then there’s Koyama Press, which announced its next series of comics this week. Spring 2017 will see the publisher celebrate 10 years with new books from Eleanor Davis, Ben Sears, and Koyama all-stars Jane Mai and An Nguyen. There’s some seriously exciting work going on at Koyama right now, and that essay series from Mai and Nguyen looks wonderfully eccentric. As ever, it’s the mix of familiar and unfamiliar names that makes Koyama Press one to follow.
Finally, Andy Oliver interviewed the folk at Good Comics for Broken Frontier this week, in the process announcing their forthcoming projects. Good Comics call themselves a micropublisher, and have a UK-based setup that will be bringIng comics from people like Faye Spencer and Robin Scott to print over the next few months. Oliver interviews them as a collective, as well as individually, giving a pretty interesting overview of their approach as a whole.
Kentarou Miura's manga series Berserk, serialized in Young Animal, will be going on hiatus until 2017. It will likely return at around the same time that the anime version begins its next season, in spring of 2017.
The day before New York Comic Con --- only a week away, people, gather your blister medication --- has become known for ICv2’s one-day conferences, which have in the past gathered people from all areas in the industry to talk about the current state of things.
Back when I attended in 2013, Jamal Igle gave a fascinating talk, and this year the guest speakers include Karen Berger, Vivek J. Tiwary, Rob Salkowitz, and ICv2’s own Milton Griepp. If you qualify to attend, register yourself here --- but if not, I’ll give you a breakdown of what happened in a future Weekender. Got your back, readers!
Stan Lee’s comics show ComiKaze has been rebranded as "Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic-Con", which will no doubt interest the folks at Comic-Con International who own the copyright to the hyphenated term "Comic-Con."
NEW AND UPCOMING COMICS
I don’t think there’s anybody in comics right now who captures the human spirit like Olivia Stephens. Her webcomic Alone, which has now been running for two years, has seen her grow her characters while never straying from her uncanny ability to make her stories warm, intimate, and empathetic. From her smart use of color to involve the reader in grand sweeping romantic changes in the background of the characters’ lives, to the naturalistic handwritten dialogue, each of the stories contains frequent bursts of emotional development and wit. She’s incredibly talented.
Over on Kickstarter, Travis Horseman and Giancarlo Caracuzzo have been running a campaign for the third volume of their story The Amiculus Trilogy, chronicling the fall of Rome. In their telling of history, Rome collapses for one very specific, targeted reason --- a shadowy figure known as Amiculus, who gives the series its name. Having already successfully brought the first and second volumes to print thanks to crowdfunding, they’re currently partway through their campaign for the final story --- and on their way to funding it, as things stand. This is a series that reminds me a little of 2000 AD; you can sense that subversive edge playing through.
Sleepless Domain is the creation of Mary Cagle, who goes by the name Cube online. It’s a story set in a world that lives under curfew, because every night monsters roam the streets, causing chaos and threatening anyone out of doors after dark. The only thing stopping them? Well, duh, magically powered girls, of course! You really can’t go wrong with all-powerful magic girl heroes, to be honest.
Over on Remezcla, Barbara Calderón offers a profile on Los Bros Hernandez --- Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, the creators of Love and Rockets, which remains one of the seminal texts for comics fans to explore, and the lasting voice of a creative generation. Looking at the works particularly in the way they portray and shift a spotlight on Latinx life and culture, it’s a great profile, which really throws open the doors to show off how accessible their comics are.
It’s only right that every so often we remember the work of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, as in this profile over at The Guardian from David Barnett.
This piece from Nomi Kane looks into her own work as a political cartoonist, in the form of a list that ushers readers through her working process. Being a woman making political work on the internet means that the final point she makes is especially important to think on, but mainly this serves as a very nice introduction to Kane's work.
Finally --- howay for a shameless mention of the fact that earlier this week I was lucky enough to conduct the latest ‘Five Stars’ interview on ComicsAlliance with Karen Berger!
With 2000 AD celebrating its 2000th edition of the Prog this week, it would be an absolute shambles were we not to mention its enduring success. The last week has seen an outpouring of love for the British serial, with everyone from Karl Urban to David Aja joining in. With the news has also come a steady flurry of articles, memories and items of trivia relating to the publication’s long history --- with the one that most caught my attention being over at Pat Mills’ website.
Mills relates the story of how Kevin O’Neill first snuck creative team credits into the Prog --- the first time it had been done, meaning he revealed to the world just who it was that brought us Dredd, Bad Company, Zenith and the like. A small move, but one that had huge, positive ramifications for comics, and the British comics community in particular. Zarjaz!
Have a great weekend, everybody!
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