Weekender: Thought Bubble Debuts, Youth in Decline, and Copious Male Nudity
The weekend is here! Put down your paperwork, throw your stationery out of the window, and do a victory spin in your office chair, because it’s time to catch up on that greatest of all media: comics! What’s been going on this week? There’s so much comics that there’s no way anybody can keep up with all of it — so Weekender is here to catch you up on some of the stories you may have missed, and some of the best writing about comics from the past few days.
It was a big week for new comics, with Kuš Komiksi --- the beloved publisher from Latvia --- announcing plans for a series of long-form comics over the next few months, starting with Roman Muradov’s next story The End of a Fence. Kuš is known for its mini-comics and anthology works, so this 100-page book (still released in the smaller style) is a fascinating change of pace. The publisher means business, as evidenced by the fact that Muradov’s comic will be released on November 20th --- next week!
We’ll also have new comics from Youth in Decline in 2016; the collective is putting out four issues of Frontier next year. The line-up of creatives starts with Eleanor Davis, whose issue #11 will feature an “adults-only” story called BDSM; later issues in the year see work from Kelly Kwang, Richie Pope and Rebecca Sugar. As in 2015, the plan is to run a subscription service that will guarantee you all four issues of the solo anthology. Company owner Ryan Sands says he’ll be announcing various other projects for 2016 next month.
Humanoids also came racing out the gate with news for 2016, with what it's calling “The First Truly International Graphic Novel.” The Tipping Point mixes creators known for Manga, bande-dessinee and American-styled comics in one anthology, including Boulet, Eddie Campbell, John Cassaday, Bob Fingerman, Atsushi Kaneko, Keiichi Koike, Emmanuel Lepage, Taiyô Matsumoto, Frederik Peeters, Paul Pope, Katsuya Terada, Naoki Urasawa and Bastien Vivès. I can’t help but notice the lack of female talent in the anthology, though. The book will be published in January.
Re-releases were all over the news this week, in fact, as Oni Press also announced that it's re-releasing Sophie Campbell’s Wet Moon. You might remember that ComicsAlliance spoke fondly of the series only a few weeks back --- so you know we’re excited to see it return! The re-release will come with a new cover from Annie Mok, above, and will publish in April 2016.
With this year’s Thought Bubble Festival kicking off tomorrow --- and admitting my blatant bias towards UK comics --- it seemed only appropriate to devote a segment of Weekender to new comics debuting in Leeds. All of these books will be available at the festival, but you can also get them online and elsewhere! Check links for details.
One of the bigger releases comes from Martin Eden, whose long-running series The O Men returns next year. A superhero soap opera, The O Men feature in a special Ashcan edition at Thought Bubble before the final run of the series in February.
Barry Nugent’s huge Unseen Shadows project will also return this year, with three new comics launching as part of the universe he’s been building over the last few years.
I think this new one from Eleanor Hollindrake looks pretty charming --- an all-ages comic called The Adventures of Dragon Mouse. The festival has comics for all audiences, and you have to imagine there'll be a crowd of families by her table all weekend.
And how about a new zine from Jess Milton, called Red? This one features a story about a young woman who gets lost in the woods on her way to a wedding. It should be a strong new addition to Milton’s growing collection of comics work to date.
There’ll be new Cindy & Biscuit from creator Dan White at Thought Bubble! This is the story of one girl and her dog as they fight monsters and track down fantastic beasts --- while trying to stay on the good side of her parents. This is a properly fun series, but it also has a surprising and heartbreaking depth, which makes Cindy one of the most likeable characters in comics.
Less suitable for children is a new project from Blackout creator PM Buchan called The Object of My Affection; a smutty, subversive look at sexuality and misogyny. I can’t even share the cover on here! Click the link at your NSFW peril.
Joe Decie’s latest will also be available at the festival, calledThere’s No Bath in This Bathroom, detailing a very late night spent in Canada after the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (where the comic debuted). Decie is giving this away for free at Thought Bubble! I’m hoping it’ll be full of hot gossip.
There’ll be several collections at the festival. Sam Chapman will have a first collection of Silversong, which you can read as a webcomic right here. Robin Hoelzemann has a new collection of her webcomic Curia Regis --- issue #6 will be available at T'Bub. Robin Scott has a print edition of his daily Every Life I Ever Lived series, and Injection artist Declan Shalvey will be offering a limited-edition sketchbook for attendees. If you aren’t able to attend, you can get a look at the book, Inkjection, here.
Exciting news for fans of comics criticism, as it turns out Kim O’Conner --- whose work we've praised previously --- has joined forces with Zainab Akhtar for a new recurring column on Comics&Cola. It kicks off with a look at King-Cat #75.
A few interesting profile pieces also popped up across the week, including this one at the Seattle Review of Books on Tatiana Gill. With a focus on body-positive representation of women, Gill’s released a number of books over the last year, including Omnibusted and Plus. She’s one to keep an eye on.
Meanwhile, the NY Times took a look at the long-running King Features Syndicate, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.
Michael Cavna wrote thoughtfully on Veterans Day at the Washington Post, recommending five comics works that represent and feature the lives of war veterans.
Claire Napier at WomenWriteAboutComics took a look at The Goddamned this week, with a particular focus on the way artist RM Guera draws the naked male body throughout the issue. She also asks why a series set in Biblical times seems so dead-set on drawing all the characters with caucasian features.
Graham and Paula Cousins married three years ago, but are not allowed to live in the same country due to a UK law that says a household needs to earn £18,600 a year in order for a foreign spouse to reside in the country. Paula, from Mozambique, has essentially been forcibly separated from her husband, which is insane and horrible.
But this week brought some hope for the pair, as none other than Alan Moore donated £10,000 to the couple in order to help them get past this draconian law. It's not clear if this can fix the problem, but it’s certainly put a spotlight on an extremely unfair situation. We hope that Graham and Paula will be reunited soon.
Have a great weekend, everybody!