Another week flies by, and, here in London, it’s been nice and sunny outside. Perfect weather to stay indoors and read, for your health.
I’ve regained a semblance of a concentration span in my Mind Palace™, and I’ve been filling every square foot of it with trashy trashy science fiction novels, which have always been a balm during stressful situations.
However, just like XTC, I also read my comics from front to back, and on that note... Here are this week’s links.
Meet you at the place near the thing where we went that time… This week’s news.
• The Doug Wright Awards have announced their nominees for 2020, if you’re looking for reading material while staying home, you can find out the winners on Saturday 9th May, with an online broadcast of the awards ceremony. Congrats to all the nominees, and check out that Hartley Lin poster for the event, lovely stuff.
• The Hugo Awards have also released their lists of nominees for both the 2020 and 1945 retrospective awards, including the ‘Best Graphic Story or Comic’ category - there’s a full list up on their website, with the comics (sorry, graphic story) categories being in the middle of a fairly long roll-call.
• Rick Veitch has been inaugurated as Vermont’s new cartoonist laureate, succeeding Alison Bechdel in the role with a virtual ceremony, which you can watch now; and you can find out more about Vermont’s laureate program on the Center for Cartoon Studies site.
• Following up on last week’s showcase of their micro-grant recipients, Koyama Press Provides have released details of their project grant awardee, with Zanette Singh receiving $1,000 to work on her first book project, Death Wish. KPP also has a new logo, courtesy of Aaron Leighton, with a very serene looking Kickass Annie (which you can see below). Nice.
• On a similar note, Kuš! Comics have announced the selected artists for their next residency, although the exact timings for these are currently up in the air, due to COVID-19. The selected artists are Emma Roulette, Fien Jorissen, Gina Wynbrandt, Marc Bell, Michelle Kwon, Peony Gent, and Ruei-Yi Fang. Congrats!
• The Committee to Protect Journalists has reported on the harassment of Palestinian cartoonist Ismael el-Bozom, following a series of arrests by Hamas-affiliated authorities, which were proceeded by the publication of critical posts and cartoons calling for the release of writer Abdullah Abu Sharkh.
• In comics vs COVID-19 news, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez’s superhero creation La Borinqueña is fronting the Masks for America fundraising initiative, seeking to raise funds to purchase personal protective equipment for front-line healthcare workers.
• In other COVID-19 comics news, we’ll go with the good first - as well as Jim Lee’s ongoing original art auctions, DC are making a lump-sum donation of $250,000 dollars to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation to support stricken retailers; and nouveau publisher Bad Idea are making lemons from lemonade, postponing their scheduled title launch while setting up a $25,000 relief fund for retailers.
• In not very good COVID-19 comics news, while Diamond are restarting payments to vendors, they will only comprise 25% of that which is owed, and the financial difficulties of publishers during this pandemic are continuing to take effect. I took a look at how the market got to this point earlier in the week, and will have another round-up of related stories next week. It’s not a rosy outlook, and I wish everyone in publishing and retail the best of luck during this difficult time.
• If you’re currently hunkering down and looking for a place to discuss comics while doing so, the Comics Studies Society have opened their Listserv to everyone (not just members) who wants to chat about comics, so head on over and sign up, if so inclined.
• On a similar academic front, The Kubert School is waiving its application fee for all students who submit for the 20/21 school year this month, so if you're looking ahead to an education in comics, now's a good time to apply.
• Following last week's online #QuaranzineFest there are a few more upcoming digital conventions in the pipeline, as Saturday April 18th sees the inaugural Comics Relief Festival which you can register for now; April 25th & 26th will bring Mainframe Comic Con to the internet, broadcasting live from Chicago Comics, with guests dialing-in remotely; the East London Comics Art Festival also took to social media to confirm their 2020 edition will be an online affair; and the Queer Comix Expo is now going to be a virtual event, due to the Cartoon Art Museum's closure in compliance with shelter-in-place ordinances. Time to break out the Hackers soundtrack and don your mirrorshades.
• Because I think I’d have my passport revoked if I didn’t flag up big 2000 AD news, there’s a big Dredd character returning soon, and Tharg’s been doing his best to keep it from being spoiled, so if you don’t want to know who, don’t click here, or throw caution to the wind and take a look at a review of this week’s Prog.
• I might have to give auctions their own section in these columns if things carry on the way they have lately, because we've got another predicted big-hitter this week - Bernie Wrightson's original art for the front endpapers illustration from Marry Shelley's Frankenstein is up for grabs, and is expected to rake in around $250,000.
• C. Spike Trotman’s media empire takes the step into multimedia with Iron Circus’ latest crowd-funding effort, an animated adaptation of Tracy Butler’s anthropomorphic bootleggers webcomic, Lackadaisy. The campaign hit its initial target in short order, so now there are stretch goals lining up to be knocked down.
• The Daily Cartoonist brings news that the Overseas Press Club of America has presented their 81st annual awards, with Adam Zyglis of the Buffalo News taking home the best cartoon award. The Buffalo News has a gallery of his work, which previously won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 2015.
• The Daily Cartoonist wrote on the life and work of editorial cartoonist and comics historian Sam Joyner who passed away last month; Multiversity reported on the passing of Dale Crain, comic artist and archivist, as well as the fundraising efforts of his family (met in a thankfully short time) to repatriate his body to the US; AIPT brought together tributes to Metabarons co-crerator, artist and writer Juan Gimenez, who sadly passed away last week; and Steve Ringgenberg remembers pulp comics luminary Hy Fleishman, here at the TCJ, following his death last week.
Proof, if proof be need be… This week’s reviews and previews.
• Joe McCulloch reviews Aubrey Sitterson, Fico Ossio, Taylor Esposito, et al’s take on the fight manga genre with No One Left To Fight.
• Chris Mautner reviews Kim Deitch’s latest collection, Reincarnation Stories, or “the ur-Deitch, if you will”, which I shall.
• Tim Hayes reviews Blutch’s Mitchum, translated by Matt Madden, collecting the 90s serial for the first time in English.
• Hillary Brown reviews Kat Leyh's YA exploration of inner strength, Snapdragon.
• Matt Seneca reviews the 'expert cringe' of John Pham's new collection, J & K.
• Nathan Simmons reviews the absurdist nightmare of Dan Watters, Dani, Aditya Bidikar, et al’s Coffin Bound volume 1: Happy Ashes.
• Ryan Sonneville steps back into the seventies to review Gerry Conway, John Buscema, et al’s run on Asgard’s mightiest champion, collected in the Thor Epic Collection: Into the Dark Nebula.
• Rory Wilding reviews Snyder and Capullo’s farewell to Batman, in the post-apocalyptic Last Knight on Earth.
• Zachary Whittaker reviews Magdalene Visaggio, Becca Farrow, Katarzyna Witerscheim, et al's modernist witch tale, Sex Death Revolution.
• Christopher Franey looks back on 2017's Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse-Makers, Francesco Francavilla's one-man mini-series tribute to the noir hero.
• Morgana Santilli reviews Koiji Kumeta’s (translated by Kevin Gifford) father-daughter slice-of-life/manga industry satire, Kakushigoto: My Dad’s Secret Ambition.
• Gregory Paul Silber reviews James Tynion IV, Werther Dell’Edera, et al’s low-key horror, Something is Killing the Children volume 1.
• Louie Hlad makes up for lost time, and reviews (something I was shockingly late to, as well, so no judgement here), Jeff Smith’s classic adventure comic, Bone.
• John Seven reviews T Edward Bak's environmentally-minded collection of short stories, Not a Place to Visit.
• Robin Enrico reviews Catalina Rufín’s ode to adolescent self-discovery, Slowly But Shirley.
It’s a bumper review week for Andy Oliver, as he casts his eye over (deep breath):
• Rebellion/Treasury of British Comics’ collection of Misty Presents the Jordi Badia Romero Collection, bringing together the creators’ horror comics;
• Howard Chackowicz’s collection of darkly absurdist gag cartoons, Nothing to See Here.
• Avery Hill’s collection of Alabaster Pizzo’s previously self-published, Mimi and the Wolves.
• Kate Charlsworth’s graphic memoir/LGBTQ* history, Sensible Footwear: A Girl’s Guide.
• The latest issue of John-Paul Kamath, et al's long-running British horror anthology, London Horror Comic #8.
• And a 4-page preview of a new Baltimore short story by Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden, Ben Stenbeck, et al, which I like mostly for the accompanying PR line “It’s not King Kong, just a giant ape.” and haven’t we all felt that way about ourselves, one time or another?
Four Color Apocalypse
• It's a double bill of double bills from Ryan this week, as he also brings a pair of reviews looking at Mike Centeno's work, with one looking at his mini-comic on the loss of his Grandmother, Fine; and the other diving into the gross-out humour of The Cutaneous Adventures Of P.L. Dermes.
House to Astonish
Paul O’Brien isn’t going to let a trifling thing like a publication-pause get in the way of reviewing X-books, and takes a look back at issues 1-9 of both Jonathan Hickman, Leinil Francis Yu, et al’s X-Men; Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli, et al’s Marauders; and Tini Howard, Marcus To, et al's Excalibur. COVID-19 is a jerk.
Thomas L Batten has a trio of starred reviews this week, including:
• Gerry Duggan, John McCrea, et al’s Boston crime adventure, Dead Eyes volume 1;
• Robert Kirkman and Chris Samnee’s martial arts mystery Fire Power volume 1: Prelude;
• Declan Shalvey, Gavin Fullerton, at al’s Irish noir Bog Bodies.
• Christopher Chiu-Tabet returns to Julie Maroh’s Blue is the Warmest Color, looking back at the love story ten years after its original publication.
• Elias Rosner reviews the title that started it all, Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball volume 1, translated by Mari Morimoto.
• Gregory Ellner reviews the first volume of Stjepan Sejic's horror-comedy-action-slice of life-adventure, Death Vigil.
• Alexander Jones looks back at a DC superhero noir oddity, Dan Curtis Johnson, JH Williams III, et al's Chase.
CK Stewart reviews DC’s latest YA-oriented offering, Melissa de la Cruz, Thomas Pitilli, et al’s Gotham High.
The New York Times
Alan Gratz reviews Omar Mohamed, Victoria Jamieson, and Iman Geddy’s graphic novel memoir of Omar’s time as a refugee, When Stars Are Scattered.
Chris Galaver reviews the problematic anarchy of Shintaro Kago's Dementia 12, translated by Rachel Thorn.
Steven Heller provides an excerpt from his introduction to the new edition of Art Young’s Inferno, as well as an 11 page preview of the book.
Have capsule reviews of:
• Remy Boydell's darkly funny graphic novel, 920London;
• Robert Mailer Anderson, Zack Anderson, and Jon Sack's 9/11 drama Windows on the World;
• Nick Tapalansky and Kate Glasheen's apocalyptic sci-fi, A Radical Shift of Gravity;
• Jake Hall, Sofie Birkin, Helen Li, and Jasjyot Singh Hans' illustrated history, The Art of Drag;
• MT Anderson and Jo Rioux’ celtic folklore Daughters of Ys;
• Joe Sacco’s comic reportage Paying the Land;
• Garth Stein and Matthew Southworth’s genre adventure The Cloven: Book One;
• Cyprien Matthieu, Remy Benjamin, et al’s slow-burn horror Dog Days (translated by Benjamin Croze);
• Walter Scott’s latest volume of his art-world parody, Wendy, Master of Art;
• Jason Adam Katzenstein’s graphic medicine autobiography, Everything Is an Emergency: An OCD Story in Words and Pictures.
• It’s kid-lit week at Solrad, and Rob Clough reviews the third volume of MariNaomi’s Life on Earth trilogy, Distant Stars.
• Meanwhile, Ryan Carey reviews Ben Sears' latest entry in the Double+ series of adventures, House of the Black Spot.
Tulsa Book Review
Maggie Marshall reviews GG’s illustrated exploration of living with depression, Constantly.
Women Write About Comics
• A pair of X-book reviews, as Kate Tanski looks at the latest crossover between mutants and Marvel’s first family in X-Men/Fantastic Four #3 by Chip Zdarsky, Terry Dodson, et al; while Rosie Knight reviews Logan/Weapon X/James Howlett’s (most recent) new solo series with issue 2 of Benjamin Percy, Adam Kubert, et al’s Wolverine.
• Masha Zhdanova breaks down why CS Pacat, Johanna the Mad, et al’s Fence! doesn’t work in comparison to sports manga.
It’s your cousin, Marvin Berry… This week’s interviews.
• Continuing the Retail Therapy series of interviews, Keith Silva talks to the manager of his local comic store, Earth Prime Comics' Damon Savage, who (amongst other things) gives props to some of the unsung heroes of comics distro - mail-carriers and couriers. Amen to that.
• Cynthia Rose talks to artist Fifi Mandirac about how working and personal lives are changing under the current lockdown in France.
David Brooke talks to Haiko Hörnig and Marius Pawlitza about their new tabletop-RPG-inspired graphic novel A House Divided, which appears to be getting a full court press of promotion on the comics internet this week.
• Matt O’Keefe chats to Curt Pires about his and Antonio Fuso’s Dark Horse mini-series WYRD, who brings along a free digital copy of the series’ first issue for readers. Smart.
• AJ Frost has a conversation with Noah Van Sciver about the new collection of his Fante Bukowski stories, his upcoming book on the Grateful Dead, and what to read during a pandemic.
Monkeys Fighting Robots
Manuel Gomez talks to Ben Marra about what he’s up to, what we can expect next, and his instagram webcomic What We Mean by Yesterday.
Mark Tweedale convenes another Mignolaversity Debrief, this edition looking at issue 5 of Witchfinder: the Reign of Darkness with its creative team.
• Chris Arrant chats with Iron Circus’ C. Spike Trotman about building a publishing empire and branching out into animation via crowdfunding.
• Vaneta Rogers talks to Judd Winnick about finding a new audience with his YA series HILO, and what he’s up to during the COVID-19 lockdown.
• Kat Calamia interviews Mariko Tamaki about her background in performing arts, and breaking into comics.
Rich In Color
This could just as easily have gone in the 'comics to read this week' section, as Crystal's interview with Kim Hyun Sook and Ryan Estrada, ahead of the publication of their graphic novel memoir Banned Book Club (with co-creator Ko Hyung-Jo), takes an illustrated form.
• Jeff Spry previews IDW’s adaptation of Stephen King and Joe Hill’s Sleeping Beauties, including a brief talk with writer Rio Youers and artist Alison Sampson.
• Jacob Oller talks to Brendan Columbus and Al Barrionuevo about their new series for Heavy Metal, Savage Circus.
Women Write About Comics
Sara Century talks to Jessi Zabarsky about the new collection of her webcomic, Witchlight, as well as her early influences.
#StayHomeReadAboutComics… This week’s features and long-reads.
• Joe McCulloch has made his piece The Impossible Hit, My Death & Resurrection, from 2016’s Study Group Magazine #4, available to read ahead of the Easter weekend, looking at gaming, Golgo 13, and death.
• Over at 13th Dimension, Dan Greenfield had a piece up that I enjoyed scrolling while drinking pretentious loose-leaf tea that I’m addicted to - bringing together some top quality Ask the Answer Man columns from DC titles of yore, in celebration of Bob Rozakis’ 69th birthday. Cracking.
• Ritesh Babu continues a deep dive into the evolution of the modern superhero, bringing us part 2 and part 3 of his essay focused on Green Lantern, a superhero that I have a lot of affection for for reasons I’ve never fully been able to nail down.
• Matt O’Keefe has an important piece up over on The Beat, looking at crunch in comics, or the practice of working ridiculous hours to meet ridiculous deadlines, and talks to Jen Bartel, Mike Choi, Rob Guillory, and Jim Zub about their experiences.
• I love Marvel Comics vs DC, as it was one of the first collections I bought with my own money when what mattered most was how many different heroes I’d get to see for my pounds and pence, so Tom Brevoort sharing unused artwork from it will always get my vote.
• Mark Peters continues the Kirbyology series at Comicosity, correctly supposing that the best way to distract yourself from The Horror right now is looking at The King’s artwork. Krackling.
• Speaking of distraction, The Guardian has a piece up at the moment where authors choose their favorite literary comforts, and novelist Marlon James picks House of X, the series that brought him back into the X-Men fold.
• Milton Griepp’s latest World According to Griepp has a timely look back at the comics distribution networks of yesteryear, as the modern iteration grinds to a jarring halt. A solid history lesson.
• Multiversity is shifting their Saturday Morning Panels feature, while there’s a distinct lack of new monthly comics, and this week the team’s picking their favorite panels from first issues; and AIPT are doing similar with their Judging by the Cover feature.
• The New York Review of Books has a piece by Marisa Mazria Katz, featuring artwork by Molly Crabapple, speaking to various guests about how COVID-19 has changed their plans for Passover, including graphic novelist Etgar Keret.
• Shelfdust continues its weekly dives into classic comics, with Charlotte Finn’s take on Astro City #14 (robots!), Samantha Puc revisiting Pretty Deadly #5 (Kant!), Steve Morris’ roulette adventure continuing with Amazing Spider-Man #167 (JJJ!), and Seven Critics of Victory sees Andrea Ayres visit Zatanna #3 (!sdrawkcab).
• SYFY Wire has a couple of new Fangrrls features up, with Sara Century exploring Promethea’s depiction of utopia and compiling Tank Girl’s greatest hits (which I’d argue needs to include the Grange Hill spoof The Immortalist, because it’s amazing, but it doesn’t actually feature Tank Girl, so I’m likely wrong on that point, tbqhwy).
#StayHomeReadComics… This week’s offerings from the web.
• For those diving into the world of digital comics while staying home: Marvel is offering a month of its Unlimited selection for free; Dark Horse have a load of digital collections that you can dive into for free, including a chunk of Mignolaverse titles; and Izneo’s also offering a month’s worth of subscription to their roster of titles for free.
• The New Yorker brings us Postcards from the Pandemic, which includes new illustrations from Adrian Tomine, Rutu Modan, Jun Cen, Ana Galvañ, and Billy Bragg, amongst others.
• Also at The New Yorker, Emily Flake has a new quarantine edition of Parent as a Verb, just chock full of anxieties; and Barry Blitts bids farewell to musician John Prine, who sadly passed away earlier this week.
• Julia Wertz is making comics of hers that would usually be sequestered behind paywalls free-to-read over on her website, including some of her Patreon-only diary comics (which you can donate some money to, if you’d like to support her and see more of them).
• Self-styled “outlaw cartoonist,” John Allison, is serialising the sequel to his supernatural mini-series Steeple online, and who knows where it will go, free from the shackles of publishers.
• Almost two years after the conclusion of his previous instagram daily comic Leaving Richard’s Valley, and following its brief return in Happy New Year, Caroline Frog, Michael DeForge has started a new serialised instagram comic - Birds of Maine.
• Aaron Nels Steinke has hit the nightmare scenario - You’re Quarantined and Your Kid Runs Out of Books to Read.
• Cartoonist Liana Finck has a diary up on The New York Review of Books, as she becomes increasingly invested in the lives of her neighbors (and their dog) during lockdown.
• The Nib has new cartoons up from Vreni (asking if carbon offsetting does what it claims), Joey Alison Sayers (definitely not setting up a Ponzi scheme), and Ben Passmore (asking why are we even paying rent anyway?).
• Solrad Presents’ first title is posting regular installments, with weekly updates from Reilly Hadden’s Kricket the Cat.
• The team behind Image Comics’ horror title The Ice Cream Man are posting all-new weekly mini Quarantine Comix, with half of the profits from sales going to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, to support comics retailers.
• Over at NPR, visual journalist Sarah Mirk has talked to grocery workers about the stresses and strains of their jobs, and how they could be mitigated, during this pandemic.
• Paradise Systems have posted Beijing-based illustrator Tian Ke’s mini-comic Self-Isolation Mind Theater (translated by Xinmei Liu) on the COVID-19 response in China.
• Lucie Ebrey (who, full disclosure, I’ve collaborated with on work before) is previewing her new apocalyptic comic, wherein she finds a baby and decides not to (???) eat it.
• A long(ish)-form XKCD, looking at the human body’s best line of defense - our immune system - and how it responds to pathogens.
• I immediately collapsed into a ball of shared embarrassment on reading Jane Mai’s comic about a forgotten password as I was thinking back on some truly awful MSN screen names which my neuroses find vitally important to recall even during a global pandemic. Cool!
• Si Spurrier receives one of this week’s Golden Good Egg awards, by making free issues of Godshaper, Weavers, and Six-Gun Gorilla available online, providing you enter into his pact to buy them in collected form from your LCS and pass them on to a friend to read once it’s safe to do so again.
• No sooner have I finished the Fante Bukowski collection than a preview of Noah van Sciver’s new project should appear, and it’s a graphic novel origin story of The Grateful Dead, for record store day in June. Remember, if you get confused, just listen to the music play.
[That bit in Gladiator where Joaquin Phoenix sticks his tongue out]... This week’s recommended watching.
• SKTCHD are putting this enforced period of downtime to use, by hosting regular live Q&As over on their Instagram page, the first of which took place last Sunday with comic creator Liana Kangas, and the next coming tomorrow with guest Daniel Warren Johnson.
• Dan DiDio has returned to the spotlight for his first couple of major outings since leaving DC earlier this year, with a livestreamed interview courtesy of the Kubert School with moderators Anthony Marques and Fernando Ruiz
• Later in the week, Anthony Marques and Fernando Ruiz also spoke to comic artist Dan Parent for The Kubert School about creator owned comics, crowdfunding projects, and the state of the industry.
• Your second serving of DiDio content is his appearance on The Original Drink and Draw Social Club, with regulars Dave Johnson, Dan Panosian, Joe Quesada, Jeff Johnson, and Ben DeFeo.
• The Centre For Cartoon Studies has another check-in video, as James Sturm talks to MK Czerwiec, a nurse and cartoonist, author of Taking Turns Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371, and also the Artist-in-Residence at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and a Senior Fellow of the George Washington School of Nursing Center for Health Policy & Media Engagement, so it’s an illuminating (albeit brief) discussion of the current pandemic.
• Inkpulp is back for its 9th season, and when you can’t travel to meet comic creators, you video chat with them - in the first three episodes Shawn Crystal talks to (and draws with) Jim Mahfood and Matteo Scalera, Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad, and Eric Canete and Jeff Dekal.
• Donny Cates and Megan Hutchinson have a new livestreaming project - the AdvoCates book club - covering a range of topics, comics included, natch.
• Drawn & Quarterly are also getting into the livestreaming game, with their new series At Home with D&Q, which starts on Tuesday on their Instagram, with guest Tom Gauld.
• Meanwhile, Fantagraphics handed over the keys of their instagram to Simon Hanselmann for 24 hours yesterday, and you can see what shenanigans ensued on their highlights.
• The Cartoonist Kayfabe train keeps on a-rolling, and this week there are videos on James O’Barr’s The Crow, a big Stephen Bissette interview, Jim Rugg inking a mohawk Storm corner box illo, and a look at Mike Mignola’s Amazing Screw-On Head.
• Gene Luen Yang discusses his new book, Dragon Hoops, and live-draws one of the characters from it.
• What's better than Todd McFarlane teaching you how to draw anatomy? Todd McFarlane teaching you how to draw anatomy while cradling a small dog named Murtaugh, of course!
Middlemen need Ritalin... This week’s easy-listening.
• 13th Dimension have a new podcast starting up this week, The Spectaular Spider-Cast, with hosts Alex Segura and Preeti Chhibber, and this week they’re kicking off the series with a look at Chip Zdarsky, Adam Kubert and Michael Walsh’s Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man Vol. 1.
• 2000 AD’s Nerve Centre is in lockdown, as the UK falls under quarantine too, but that hasn’t stopped Molch-R from interviewing the best and the brightest of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic - this week’s guests include Mike Dorey; Ram V and Dan Lish; Al Ewing, Michael Carroll, and Matt Smith; Rob Williams and Si Fraser, and David Roach.
• Over at The Virtual Memories show, Gil Roth has been recording The COVID-19 sessions, daily mini-episodes with creators on how they’re coping in the pandemic, with recent guests Tom Tomorrow, Peter Kuper, Jim Ottaviani, Kate Lacour, James Sturm, and Michael Tisserand.
• Multiversity’s Comics Syllabus podcast welcomes writer Mark Russell to talk about the political satire of his books Billionaire Island and Second Coming.
• NPR has a brief interview between Aubri Juhasz and Laura Gao about the latter’s comic The Wuhan I know, along with a transcript and excerpts from the story on the show’s episode page
• Newsarama reports on Word Balloon’s John Siuntres having been laid off, due to COVID-19 cutbacks, but the podcast continues as John wants to bring a ‘virtual convention’ to people’s ears - guests this week include Judd Winick, Paul Kupperberg, and Tim Seeley, and you can support the podcast at its Patreon.
• There’s a new episode of Publisher’s Weekly’s Comics World’s More to Come comics podcast, and this week Heidi MacDonald talks to comics editor and founder of the online school ComicsExperience, Andy Schmidt.
• Dan Berry has a new edition of Make It Then Tell Everybody, this time talking to Ryan Estrada about the age-old problem of dealing with too many ideas.
• ShelfDust Presents brings us another look at a comic commentator’s favorite first issue of a series, and this week Matt Lune talks to Sara Century about The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1.
• Off-Panel returns to its regular programming after a week of specials, and this episode sees David Harper talking to C. Spike Trotman about Iron Circus Comics' move into multimedia, and dealing with the current pandemic.
Kids in a fast-lane living for today… This week’s recommendations for younger readers.
• Dr Gemma Sou and John Cei Douglas’ graphic novella After Maria tells the story of Puerto Rican families affected by Hurricane Maria, and explores how comics can be used for disaster impact and recovery representation, the comic is suitable for younger readers, and is available as a free download in English and Spanish, and contains teaching resources for post-reading analysis of the text.
• Kazu Kibuishi, author of Amulet and Copper, has a number of activity sheets and coloring pages available on his website, perfect for children looking for a comics-related challenge.
• For an even bigger coloring challenge, the 5Worlds Team have a 10-page book available for download, to really put those pens and pencils to work.
• Yuko Shimizu has another drawing challenge for budding illustrators, creating amalgam monsters from three drawing prompts - she’s also got an affiliated 2 months free on skillshare, so if you’re looking for even more drawing ideas, then there’s plenty to be getting on with.
• The Kubert School is running free art classes for younger comic artists every Saturday through April on their Facebook page, and the first one is up now with this week’s teacher, artist Fernando Ruiz.
• If you have younger readers who need convincing as to the importance of social distancing, then Axel Scheffler and Julia Donaldson, creators of The Gruffalo, have made a series of cartoons on the subject, showcased this week by The Guardian.
• For fans of The Legend of Korra impatiently waiting for the new comic series, Dark Horse are bringing together the voice cast of the animated series to do a special live-reading of an excerpt from the new series and have a free digital copy of the comic that will be read for people to read along with (suitable for ages 8+).
• DC had a similar event on Thursday, with Batman himself - Kevin Conroy - doing a live-reading of Batman: The Adventures Continue over on DC's Instagram, with free digital copies of chapter 1 of the comic available for reading along with.
• If you’d like some lessons on space travel and the work of NASA from none other than Snoopy, and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t, Peanuts have a set of free activity sheets for children to work through. Good grief!
• The first volume of Dan Hipp and Eric Wright’s Totally Super Squad! Has gone live on the epic! books app, on which you can get a month’s free trial.
• British magazine Scoop have made their Love issue free to read online, which includes comics, short stories, poetry, and puzzles to keep busy minds occupied.
• Koyama Press have made a series of free activity sheets based on various of their young reader titles, which you can download from their website.
• Jamie Smart is posting some of his favorite comics for kids of all ages on his twitter feed, although Looshkin may encourage pure anarchy in those easily influenced by demented cats.
• Dungeon Fun and Pirate Fun co-creator Colin Bell has made 200 pages of his all ages adventure comics free to read online, and collaborator Neil Slorace has made the accompanying coloring book free too.
• First Second Books have started a Sketch School over on their YouTube channel, bringing in graphic novelists to draw characters from their books that you can draw along with - the first episode sees Ngozi Ukazu drawing Eric from her Check, Please! Series.
• Maker Comics: Grow A Garden author Alexis Frederick-Frost has posted a free bonus comic from the book, with details on how to grow your own seedlings from tomato seeds, if you fancy combining burgeoning comics talent with a green thumb.
And that brings this week’s edition to a close. I now have to figure out how to pass the time on today and Monday’s public holidays (here in the UK), sandwiching an already quiet weekend, and [spoiler alert] it will most likely involve a lot of heavy-duty naps.
Stay well, stay home, be kind.