It’s Friday, time to get ready for the weekend and settle down for a taste of this week’s comics news, as seen by Joe and Richard. Enjoy the latest Stuff (& Possibly Nonsense) …
Gina Gagliano announced as head of new Random House Graphic Novel Imprint
Biggest comics news of last week in my opinion. Random House Children’s Books are planning a new graphic novel line, Random House Graphic. And they’ve got one of the best in the industry to head it. Gina Gagliano, has a long and illustrious career at First Second Books, the graphic novel line of Macmillan Publishing.
According to EW, Random House Graphic will specialise in children and YA titles. RH is no stranger to great graphic novel lines, as it already publishes the huge hit series Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm and Matt Holm, as well as Rickety Stitch and the Gelantinous Goo by Ben Costa and James Parks, and 5 Worlds by Mark Siegel and Alexis Siegel, with art by Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, and Boya Sun.
In the EW piece, Gagliano is quoted as saying that the imprint will focus on…
“all genres and all age categories. Kids need to grow up with graphic novels and publishers need to provide a complete reading experience. We need to add to the breadth of the comics medium in order to transform the U.S graphic novel market.”
Jack and Lucy, an exploration of young people’s mental health issues.
Last Saturday (12th May) saw the publication of Jack and Lucy, a comic dealing with the issues surrounding young people’s mental health. It’s written by the excellent Rachael Smith, illustrated by Jacob Phillips, designed by James Devlin and edited by Tim Pilcher. The project was funded by Wellcome Trust and Carnegie UK Trust for Oldham Libraries. Free copies should be available from area libraries, but check out the links below for the comic.
Getting Goofy with Lew Stringer and more.
Published by Marc Jackson, the new comic debuts Saturday June 23rd. Here’s a little of what he has to say about GOOF!
“GOOF! harks back to the good old days of comics for children (especially in the UK) that had a sense of craziness, anarchy and all-out fun whilst embracing the modern age. It’s a monthly, 30 page digital comic that costs just £1 per issue (£12 for the year maths fans) that you can subscribe to and read online at www.goofcomic.co.uk on the first Saturday of every month, you’ll receive a link to read it in your inbox, just like that.”
Amongst the lineup, you’ll be seeing Lew Stringer’s Derek The Troll, Ken Niimura (I Kill Giants) has a one-off exclusive drawing for issue 1, Tor Freeman (Observer comics prize winner 2017) provides ‘Spells in the Forest’ as well as material from Luke McGarry, Lorenzo Montatore, Emmeline Pidgen, Dan Moynihan, Fulton Beal, Jessica on Paper, Jim Boswell, Andrea Bell, Genie Espinosa, Joe Matthew, and the legendary Fred Hembeck!
Check out Michael Carroll’s new Rusty Staples blog.
Always good to see writers of comics writing about comics. And Michael Carroll is one of the best. His 2000AD Dredd work has been a highlight of recent years, and now he’s writing about comics at his new blog, Rusty Staples. Go look, it’s good stuff.
The return of Birmingham Zine Fest – mark your diary – 1st July 2018 – BRUM ZINE FEST
“Birmingham Zine Festival: A New Chapter | After a 6 year hiatus, we’re delighted to be bringing a zine festival back to the city of Birmingham, building on the great work of Lizz Lunney, Antonio Roberts, Andrew Owen Johnston and more from 2010 to 2012.”
Set up in 2010 by Lizz Lunney and her team, Brum Zine Fest ran from 2010 to 2012, showcasing the best of the zine and comic scene in a variety of locations and events throughout the city of Birmingham. I was there in 2010 and loved the show. Lunney’s now in Berlin, but has given her blessing and support to a brand new BRUM ZINE FEST, happening on 1st July 2018.
The full story, announcement and links at Illustrated Birmingham.
John Porcellino interviewed at the Comics Journal.
Dammit, I miss the print Comics Journal. But the online version of the magazine is still there, publishing some truly great material. One thing it does perhaps better than anywhere else is the long form interview. And by long, I mean long… 40,000 words long in the case of this in-depth interview with John Porcellino by Rob Clough.
John Porcellino photo by Phoebe Gloeckner
“When I first approached John Porcellino to do an interview back in 2012, he said that he really wanted to talk about his work. None of his previous interviews had ever simply zeroed in on the actual content of his long-running King-Cat zine. Now that his latest collection, From Lone Mountain, has been released, I thought it was time to finally conduct that interview. Since releasing the collection Map Of My Heart, Porcellino has been open about the ways in which mental health issues, particularly Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), have impacted his work and his life. This interview covers the entirety of his career, from King-Cat #1 to King Cat #77, assorted side projects, as well as tangents into other areas. Knowing that we had a chance to do something special in this interview, I was grateful for not only John’s time, but the thoughtful way he considered each question.”
Samuel C Williams has a new mini comic coming out, his first for two year. Daddy Day is about the changes you go through when you become a parent, and then even more changes and challenges when you are living apart from your family. Details and ordering info on the Good Comics webstore here.
Batman Adventures – the board game?
Over at io9 they have the news that one of the best Batman series ever, Batman Animated, is getting its own tabletop game.
It’s over 25 years since Batman: The Animated Series, and this autumn, IDW Games is releasing a miniatures tabletop board game based on the series.
“Gotham Under Siege lets one to five players take on the role of Batman and his friends as they fight against the forces trying to destroy Gotham. During each round, players have to balance story card missions while keeping the streets of Gotham free of crime. Villains like The Joker will need to be stopped, of course… but if our dark knights neglect the city, there won’t be anyone left to save.”
Bad news Star Wars fans – You’re not going to live to see the end of the franchise
Ok, so it’s an article from 2015, but for some reason it popped up on my feeds this week. So what the hell, it’s worth heading over to see just for the fabulous interactive Ulises Farinas artwork.
Over at WIRED, there’s some bad news (although bad news that, if you ever thought about it, was pretty inevitable)…
“… if the people at the Walt Disney Company, which bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012, have anything to say about it, the past four decades of Star Wars were merely prologue. They are making more. A lot more. The company intends to put out a new Star Wars movie every year for as long as people will buy tickets. Let me put it another way: If everything works out for Disney, and if you are (like me) old enough to have been conscious for the first Star Wars film, you will probably not live to see the last one.
It’s the forever franchise.”
Yep, so it is.
In more recent Star Wars news though, Iron Man director Jon Favreau, who is executive producing the live action Star Wars television series for Disney, let a tiny sliver of information out at a recent junket for the Han Solo movie. While details are still mostly wrapped in the usual layer of secrecy, Favreau did confirm where the TV series will fit on the established Star Wars timeline: basically just after the original trilogy, leading on from the end of Return of the Jedi.
As SyFy Wire notes there is a good thirty year gap between the end of Jedi and the Force Awakens, so there is potentially a huge amount of missing history to play with: what did the Rebels do after their victory, what happened to the remaining (presumably still fairly potent) Imperial forces, how did a new Republic come into being, how did the First Order rise in those years leading to Force Awakens? No word yet on whether this will include existing characters and if so, will they be played by new, younger actors (given they will be playing much younger versions of those characters), but I’m sure we’ll get more breadcrumbs dropped as work progresses.
And one more bit of Star Wars related news, check out some behind the scenes shots in this very short featurette for the forthcoming Solo movie (via Live for Film):
Margot Kidder, RIP
Heartbroken to hear that we lost Margot Kidder at the age of 69. Margot will forever be the strong, independent, feisty and yet emotionally warm Lois Lane for a generation of us who really wanted to believe a man can fly. That original 70s Superman movie may look odd in the light of today’s blockbusters (although it helped pave the way for them all and showed superheroes could be huge box office gold), but it just has so much heart, and Margot and Chris’s Lois and Clark were the warm soul of it. (via the BBC)
Isao Takahata Remembered
The great Isao Takahata was remembered this week by his friends and colleagues, some of the great and good of Japanese animation, with the wonderful Hayao Miyazaki among those paying tribute to his friend, with whom he co-founded Studio Ghibli. How many millions of us all around the world have been delighted, enchanted and moved by the work Takahata, Miyazaki and their colleagues have crafted? Otakujp on Twitter has a segment with some of the tributes from his clearly emotional friends as they remembered Takahata and his life and work, Miyazaki (surely not just a national treasure but a world treasure) remembering first meeting his future friend some 55 years ago just after the rain and how he thought he would have been with them longer.
Otakujp also has several photos and they are very emotional to see. Takahata was behind works like the remarkable Grave of the Fireflies and My Neighbours the Yamadas. His last film as director was The Tale of Princess Kaguya, which used a very different style from the normally very recognisable Ghibli style, more like traditional Japanese folk art and book illustration; it was utterly gorgeous, magical and I became totally lost in it. Such lovely work to leave to future audiences, yet to discover this magic…
SyFy unveils a trailer for another comics-to-screen adaptation, this time a series based on the Image comic Deadly Class by Rick Remender, Wes Craig et al, a “twistedly humorous story of a group of damaged teens enrolled in a secret high school, training to become the world’s greatest assassins.”
Searle Archive Online
Perpetua, the Ronald Searle tribute blog, reports that the Wilhelm Busch Deutsches Museum für Karikatur & Zeichenkunst has put the first part of their huge archive of Searle’s work online to browse. There are almost a thousand images to check out, including rare and even unpublished works, all photographed from the museum’s originals – the menu is in German but it’s still fairly easy to navigate to check out this huge treasure trove of artwork by one of the greats. (via Comics Reporter)
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow
Ladies, gentlemens, small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri, allow us to brighten your day by offering you Ryan Reynolds in a unicorn mask, singing Tomorrow from Annie on a Korean show King of Masked Singer (via Live for Film):
Tom Gauld on literary blocks for Guardian Review:
Stephen Collins on the ABBA reunion in the Guardian: