Maris Wicks Leads You Into The ‘Human Body Theater’ [Interview]
First Second is that rare thing in comics: a savvy publisher that is incredibly on the ball with future releases, announcing books up to two years in advance, and getting people excited about titles via promotion that's thorough, yet not in-your-face and bothersome. In that vein, I'm happy to share another of their upcoming books for 2015; Human Body Theater, a non-fiction biology guide by Maris Wicks (Primates), in which she acts as a master of ceremonies, leading readers through a theatrical revue of each and every biological system of the human body. Starting out as a skeleton, the MC in Human Body Theater puts on a new layer of her costume (her body) with each "act." Wicks has long been passionate about science, having worked as as a science educator for elementary and middle-school students; a fact that's clearly evident when she talks about the book and its subject in our chat below -- and now that interest has combined with her artistic credentials to create this comics-format tour of the human body.
NBM Brings Étienne Davodeau’s Award-Winning ‘Lulu: Femme Nue’ To English As ‘Jude: Nude’
For fans of international comics, 2015 is already stacking up very nicely indeed in terms of translated material: the Lastman series, David Rubin's The Hero from Dark Horse, as well as his Beowulf adaptation with Santiago Garcia- to be published by Image, who are also releasing an English edition of Ken Niimura's Henshin; no doubt there'll be another installment of Frederik Peeters' Aama from Self Made Hero, books 3 and 4 of Fabien Vehlmann's and Bruno Gazzotti's Alone, and hopefully more that are yet to be announced. And that's without even touching any manga releases. It looks to be shaping up into another excellent year. Adding to that pile are NBM with an English language release of Etienne Davodeau's award-winning Lulu: femme neu (Lulu: naked woman), re-titled Jude: Nude. Originally published in two volumes in 2008 and 2010, Davodeau's story of a woman who decides to suddenly take off one day after a job interview goes horribly wrong, leaving her husband and children to make time for, and discover, herself. What was a sudden whim to go to the beach turns into a longer journey in which she meets other people, many of whom are living in similarly odd circumstances. Lulu won a host of awards, including the Prize "Essential" at the 2009 Angouleme Festival and was also adapted into a movie of the same name in 2013.
Emily Carroll Takes On The Murder Of Ann Herron In ‘Frontier’ #6
Being a subscriber to Youth in Decline's excellent Frontier series of monographs by artists such as Hellen Jo, Sam Alden, Emily Carroll, and more, doesn't make me any less excited whenever the publisher shares sneak peeks and information about upcoming books. The sixth (and final for 2014) installment of Frontier is a new, original comic work by the amazing Emily Carroll titled 'Ann by the Bed,' and once again promises to be another perfectly executed slice of eerie horror from the cartoonist.
2014 British Comic Awards Nominees Announced
The nominees for the third annual British Comic Awards were announced last Friday, and it's a noticeably more mixed bunch of books than previous years. The awards are divided into five categories: Best Book, Best Comic, Young People's Comic Award, Emerging Talent and Hall of Fame; the latter is decided upon by the members of the committee, whilst the Young People's Comic Award is voted upon by children in participating schools. Winners for the remaining 3 categories are chosen by a panel of judges. The award ceremony takes place on the Saturday evening of Thought Bubble comic convention, one of the UK's premier festivals.
Spanish Filmmaker Adapts Naoki Urasawa’s ‘Mighty Boy’ Into Short Film: Watch For Free
Friends, this is the sort of comic book movie news I enjoy writing about: Naoki Urasawa (Monster, 20th Century Boys, Pluto) can now add the honor of becoming the first manga author to have his work adapted into film in Spain. Spanish director Javier Yañez obtained the rights to one of Urasawa's early short stories, Mighty Boy, from publishers Shogakukan, gaining approval from the master himself in the process. Although the film was largely privately financed, Yañez took the initiative to crowd-funding platform IndieGogo in order to raise the final $10,000 it required, and now it's finished and available to watch in full, for free (subtitled in both English and Japanese). I spent a bit of time trying to track down Urasawa's original story online, with no luck (it's not been translated in English, and was published as part of an anthology volume), so I'm unable to comment on how the adaptation translates, or how faithful it is, but I can tell you what the film is about and if it's any good.
Spotlighting Three Awesome Cartoonists On Patreon: Lauren Monger, Austin Holcomb & Drew Weing
If you've not heard of Patreon yet, it's a service not dissimilar to Kickstarter, in that it allows you to donate money to projects and artists you'd like to support, sometimes for rewards, but largely because it's something you're invested in and would like to see continue. It's also different in that you can pledge ongoing support; giving a certain amount of money each month- say a dollar- although there's the option available to cancel at any time. As you can imagine, these factors make Patreon better tailored for those working and producing art online, as evidenced by the number of more established online artists doing well on there- KC Green, Anthony Clark, Meredith Gran, Ryan North, and more. With so much projects and content to sift through, it's easy to miss some perhaps lesser-known, but equally excellent comics worthy of wider attention, so I thought I'd spotlight three of my favorites here. Regardless of whether you choose to support them or not, at the very least hopefully you'll be introduced to a few great comics that you may not have been aware of.
British Comic Awards Reveal 2014 Judging Panel With Jonathan Ross, Jessica Hynes, More
Here in the UK, the advent of November means one thing to comics folk: Thought Bubble. Britain's premier comics festival will once again see a host of international comic stars -- Jillian Tamaki, Emily Carroll, Scott Snyder, Boulet, Tim Sale, Jeff Lemire, Emma Rios, Becky Cloonan, Jason Aaron, Vanesa R. Del Rey (to name a few) -- rub shoulders with Britain's finest: Joe Decie, Dan Berry, Isabel Greenberg, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, Mike Carey, and more. With it comes the approach of the British Comic Awards, now in their third year and conceived by founder Adam Cadwell with an aim to recognize the very best in UK comics. The awards are an annual celebration that take place on the Saturday evening after the first day of the con, and consist of five categories: best comic, best book, emerging talent, young people's comic award, and the hall of fame.
Amazing James Jean Artwork Inspires Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Toys From Good Smile [NYCC]
I hold my hands up: I've whinged and moaned before about comics sites covering toy news, and here I am doing the very thing (I have nothing against toys/figures/collectibles; I'm just a bit of a snooty purist). Anyway, the news of Japanese 'hobby products' company, Good Smile, teaming up with Nickelodeon to create new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures based on James Jean's illustrations, was simply too good to pass up. The validity of this statement can be gleaned by glancing at the image above. The four individual large-scale models, which will roll out separately beginning with the releases of Leonardo this November, will also have the capacity to combine, creating one huge diorama.The remaining three statues will receive a staggered release over the course of 2015.
‘Blacksad’ Writer Juan Diaz Canales And Artist Ruben Pellejero To Create New Corto Maltese Comic
It never rains but it pours. Hot on the heels of the news that IDW will be publishing the whole of Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese in English for the first time, publishers Casterman have announced that Blacksad writer Juan Diaz Canales and Spanish artist Ruben Pellejero have been tapped to author a new, original Corto Maltese story. Due for release in October 2015, the book will be simultaneously released in French, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish, although there is no news yet of a potential English edition from IDW or anyone else.
‘Akira’ Creator Katsuhiro Otomo Designs Gigantic Ceramic Mural
As one of many thousands of people who keep a vigilant eye out for anything Katushiro Otomo -- author of the seminal Akira, Domu, Memories, and more -- does, it's always interesting to see what projects he does choose to become involved in. I loved the collaborative illustration catalogues he did with Japanese fashion house Comme des Garcons and British comic publishers, Nobrow, although that was mostly with the use of older images, and then there was that amazing Astro Boy cover he produced for an anime magazine, but Otomo is generally known for carefully selecting his work, often with gaps of years before something news of something new crops up. And it looks like he's decided to go big for his next piece: 258 square feet big. Due for completion in March 2015, Otomo's currently working on a vast, as of yet untitled, ceramic mural that will be displayed in the lobby of the terminal building of Japan's Sendai Airport.