Weekender: Malik Sajad, Stephanie Hans, and the Immortal Nadia Greene
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.
NEW AND UPCOMING COMICS
My favorite comic of the week was from imminent superstar Jamal Campbell, who has decided to combine ancient mythology with baseball bat-wielding kids. The webcomic The Immortal Nadia Greene only kicked off recently, but already it stands out with its quick-paced dialogue and Campbell's off-kilter art style. It's a little like Frazer Irving, but more rounded, smoother... less like an acid trip, basically. This is one to watch.
They're still making Asterix books, it turns out, and the latest one will feature a character based on Julian Assange. To the publishers' admitted shame, the character is not called Wikileax.
AfterShock Comics, the company overseen by editor Mike Marts, this week announced Brian Azzarello and Juan Doe as the creative team for the series American Monster.
Malik Sajad started making comics when he was 14. By 16 he'd already enraged the Indian army with his anti-Government satire. Clearly, he is a talent.
This profile from Sneha Vakharia tells his story, and offers a look at the perspective that has made the now-adult Sajad one of the pre-eminent comic creators of his generation. He's lived a life, and he knows how to put that life into comics; his works are careful, smart, and hugely imaginative. His autobiographical debut graphic novel, Mannu: A Boy from Kashmir, was released earlier this year, and we're hugely excited to see what the future holds for him.
Kodansha was one of the big winner of NYCC 2015, at least in terms of expansion and spotlight. But Viz also took a share of the glory over the weekend, announcing seven new strips that will appear in Shonen Jump in the near future. Manga's getting in the news, people! The slow burn has finally started to boil over, and people are listening as the kettle whistles. Does that metaphor make any sense? As you can see above, we're also getting close to the release of the third volume of One Punch Man.
There was a lot of talk this week about 'scanlations', a phenomenon deeply ingrained in manga fandom. There's a mini-industry of readers who translate manga into English and post the comics online for free. It's a form of bootlegging, and because translation is a very particular skillset, a lot of these scanlations aren't very good, as Zach Logan at One Piece Podcast notes of some One Piece scanlations.
For an educational approach to manga, the non-profit Nippon Foundation in Japan is setting up a project to collect 100 Manga stories that are considered to be especially educational. If such a project interests you and your unstoppable need for education, you can find the list at the foundation's website.
In convention news, The Beat looks at Silicon Valley Comic-Con, created by Stan Lee and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, to ask if the show is using Stan Lee's name to gouge exhibitors on stall fees.
Cartoonist Matt Bors has a story that may shock even Stan and Steve. After drawing a comic that made fun of noted pharmaceutical crook Martin Shkreli, Bors somehow found himself coming into contact with a Shkreli defender who offered to buy the piece for a cool $10,000 --- as long as 90% went to charity. Bors duly obliged.
Noah Van Sciver is this week's artist-in-residence over at The Comics Journal, meaning lots of comics about making comics. Unsurprisingly, this is a common subject when artists take to the internet, as making comics is a life-consuming job.
If you'd like it to consume your life as well, then Alenka Figa has helpfully set up a how-to guide for making your own zine over at WomenWriteAboutComics. Watch the days fade into nothingness!
Speaking of zines, Broken Frontier has found out about a new one called Identity, which will feature Julia Scheele, EdieOP, Lizz Lunney and more.
Let's move from a fade into nothingness to a fade into... somethingness. French supernova Stephanie Hans, previously seen on Journey Into Mystery, Angela, and various cover projects at Marvel and elsewhere, was the latest to come on for an issue of The Wicked & The Divine. As a cap to that issue --- which was lush as heck --- she shared a ten-part look at her coloring process over on her Tumblr.
Right here on ComicsAlliance, Elle Collins offered a dreamy look at Sophie Campbell's Wet Moon. It's in Wet Moon that you see Campbell's style really develop and change.
Over at The Hooded Utilitarian Anthony Easton compiles a thoughtful piece called 'Comics and High Art: Not a Juxtaposition'. (It's quite good fun when they are, though, innit?)
The chosen podcast of Panels.net, Oh, Comics!, this week reached its fiftieth episode. The show has been the backbone for the site, which has looked to grow in a very different direction to any other on the internet. It's nice to have these offbeat approaches to comics, and the calm, inviting tones of hosts Preeti Chhibber and Paul Montgomery have proven an excellent trap for unsuspecting listeners, luring them back towards the comics store, where they will undoubtedly spend all their money on amazing new comics.
Alexander Lu catches the best story of New York Comic Con, as it appears that art supply company Winsor & Newton, having leftover stock at the end of the weekend, simply decided to give everything away for free to the various artists gathered. This led to quite a scrum, which was inevitably won by Rocket Girl artist Amy Reeder.
Have a great weekend, everybody!