BEST BETS: "Jessica Jones," "Big Trouble/Escape from New York" & More October 2016 Highlights
One of the best things about comics conventions is getting creators and marketers to talk about the things that aren’t quite ready for prime time yet, projects that are coming up but haven’t been the subject of a torrent of press releases. I heard about a number of interesting comics at C2E2 this past weekend; here are a few that piqued my interest.
The one that really grabbed me is Dark Horse’s nonfiction graphic novel about the Green River killer, which was first announced in 2009. The Dark Horse folks like to take their time with their books, and marketing director Jeremy Atkins tells me that it is now slated for a September release. The book is written by Jeff Jensen, whose father was a member of the investigative team on the murders. “It’s stories that have never been told before,” said Atkins. “It’s not sensationalized at all. It’s more for a true crime audience than a crime fiction audience.”
If that’s too dark for you, here’s a bit of sweetness and light: Amy Mebberson, whose super-cute art graced the global manga Divalicious (you can read the whole first volume online at the link) and many of Boom! Studios The Muppet Show comics, is not letting any grass grow under her feet: She is one of the artists on Ape Entertainment’s Strawberry Shortcake comics, doing the coloring and some of the pencilling. This increased my interest in Strawberry Shortcake 100%.
You know how a kid’s favorite stuffed animal always looks battered and beat-up? Illustrator Tom Kelly is working on an all-ages comic, The Stuffed Animal Saga, about how the animals get that way; the first arc is titled “Why the Teddy Bear Has One Eye.” Kelly describes it as a bit like Toy Story, in that the animals come to life when the humans aren’t around. The comic will be released digitally by iVerse as part of their children’s app.
At the Diamond booth, Ku Liang pitched me on The Next Day, a graphic novel with an intriguing premise: It is based on interviews with four people who survived suicide attempts. The book ties in with an animated documentary film that will be available online, and it is illustrated by John Porcellino. It will debut at TCAF in May, although the PR says it won’t be available in the U.S. until next fall.
Finally, at every con there is The One That Got Away. I stopped off at the Blind Ferret Entertainment booth to tell Ryan Sohmer how much I was enjoying his webcomic about comics, The Gutters.
(Sohmer really curates the comic, which is written and drawn by a variety of creators.) (CORRECTION: Sohmer writes the comic, which is illustrated by a variety of artists.) He told me that the advance copies of the print edition had just come in, and he had brought two to the show. “I’d show you one,” he said, “but I just gave the last copy to Brian Bendis.”