Comics Publishing Archives | Robot 6 | The Comics Culture Blog

Drew Ford on ‘Red Range,’ and preserving comics history with It’s Alive!

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Two years ago, editor Drew Ford launched a line of graphic novel reprints for Dover Publications, starting with “A Sailor’s Story,” Sam Glanzman’s account of his service on a ship in World War II, which received aglowing review in The New York Times. Since then, Ford has demonstrated a knack for finding interesting titles and bringing them back in enhanced editions: David Michelinie and Bret Blevins’ “The Bozz Chronicles,” Chuck Dixon and Gary Kwapisz’s “Civil War Adventure,” and Steven Murphy and Michael Zulli’s “The Puma Blues,” which has been nominated for an Eisner Award.

Now Ford has left Dover and set up his own publishing house, It’s Alive!, to continue producing high-quality reprints of classic comics. His launch title is “Red Range,” by Joe R. Lansdale and Sam Glanzman, which was originally published in 1999 in black and white. The new edition has been colored and includes a new afterword by Stephen Bissette. A Kickstarter to fund the project has just reached its initial goal, but Ford has some stretch goals as well. His next project will be Trina Robbins’ “Dope.”

We talked with Ford about his plans to preserve the history of comics by bringing classic comics back into print as graphic novels.

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R.I.P.: Art comics publisher Alvin Buenaventura

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Word circulated this morning via Tom Spurgeon of the sudden passing of acclaimed art comics publisher Alvin Buenaventura. Over the course of the new Millennium, the comics published by his Buenaventura Press and Pigeon Press labels left an indelible mark on the comics art form.

Just last week, Buenaventura was recalling his earliest connection to the comics industry – his time as a teenage Daniel Clowes fan chatting up the artist at San Diego Comic-Con in the late ’90s. From those humble beginnings, Buenaventura Press grew in the mid-2000s to be one of the most forward-thinking comics publishers of the decade with memorable titles like Johnny Ryan’s Comic Book Holocaust and Vanessa Davis’ Spaniel Rage.

But the Press’ best known contribution to the form will likely be the two volumes of Sammy Harkham’s Kramers Ergot anthology it shepherded into being. 2008’s Kramers 7 (pictured above) was literally a massive undertaking with a 16″ by 21″ page size that mimicked the newspaper comics of the early 20th century. The contributor list to the issue included the likes of Clowes, Matt Groening, Seth, Gabrielle Bell and Jaime Hernandez, and Buenaventura’s personal supervision of its overseas printing helped make the book a legitimate cultural event.

Due to a legal and financial emergency, Buenaventura Press was forced to close in 2010, but its publisher continued on undeterred by founding Pigeon Press. In that iteration, Buenaventura continued to publish new works by the likes of Charles Burns, Simon Hanselmann and others while also contribution comics sections to The Believer. The publisher had plans to release Nick Maandag’s The Oaf later this year.

Our thoughts go out to Buenaventura’s family, friends and collaborators. See a brief selection of online tributes below.

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NBM Publishing marks 40 years by unveiling new logo

nbm-logo2-socialPioneering graphic novel publisher NBM Publishing has kicked off its 40th anniversary with a new logo and a redesigned website.

Along with those changes comes the news that the company has dissolved its ComicsLit literary imprint, with those titles becoming part of the NBM brand.

“The former NBM logo, with a design akin to comics panels, has served valiantly for decades,” NBM founder Terry Nantier said in a statement, “but nothing lasts forever and it’s time for a cleaner, lighter, more modern look.”

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NYCC: Dynamite hires former Marvel, DC editor Rachel Pinnelas

dynamite logoDynamite Entertainment has hired former Marvel and DC Comics editor Rachel Pinnelas as associate editor.

After serving in 2008 as an intern at Marvel, Pinnelas was hired as an assistant editor, working on such series as Avengers Academy, Secret Warriors and The Punisher. She moved in 2013 to DC, where she was an assistant editor in the collected editions department until the company completed its move to Los Angeles.

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Magnetic Press, Darby Pop kick off new deal with ‘Side-Kicked’

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Magnetic Press has inked an imprint partnership with Darby Pop Publishing that will launch in October with the release of the first collection of Side-Kicked.

Written by Russell Brettholtz and illustrated by Miguel Mendonca, the comic centers on a group of superhero sidekicks who decide it’s time they received the respect they deserve.

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Z2 announces new line of creator-owned comics

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Z2 Comics, publisher of Paul Pope’s Escapo, Dean Haspiels’ Fear My Dear and Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland,  will branch out from graphic novels into periodicals with a new line debuting this fall.

Formerly Zip Comics, the New York-based boutique publisher will start with three creator-owned titles: Welcome to Showside, by Bravest Warriors comic artist Ian McGinty; Carver, by Pope protege Chris Hunt (12 Reasons to Die); and Allen: Son of Hellcock, the comics debut of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver writer Will Tracy.

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IDW and Marvel team for ‘Star Wars’ Artist’s Editions, fun packs

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IDW Publishing has expanded its partnership with Marvel to include Artist’s Editions and Micro Collectors Fun Packs for the classic Star Wars comics.

Launched in 2010, the Artist’s Edition hardcover line presents complete stories scanned from the original art and printed at full size. IDW previously teamed with Marvel to produce Artist’s Editions for Walter Simonson’s The Mighty Thor, John Romita’s The Amazing Spider-Man, John Byrne’s Fantastic Four and David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil: Born Again.

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Oni Press reveals its open submissions guidelines

ONI_PRESS_LOGO-CAMPAIGNFollowing the announcement last month that it will begin accepting unsolicited submissions and pitches, Oni Press has released detailed guidelines that not only cover what to send, but also what not to.

Among the things to avoid, “Superheroes! They have their place but their place is not with us,” and “long-form series or stories in oversaturated genres such as supernatural noir, zombies, vampires and gritty detectives with a dark past.” Also, “delicate subjects such as rape and sexual abuse as fodder for exposition in genre stories.”

Oni’s submission periods will operate on a two-months open, two-months closed schedule, with the first window opening from May 1 to June 30.

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DC says goodbye to New York, Marvel responds perfectly

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When DC Comics bid farewell this morning on Twitter to New York City, its home since the founding of National Allied Publications in 1934, it may not have expected the touching reply from its biggest competitor.

“Thanks, NYC, for being part of DC Comics’ history for so many years,” the publisher tweeted as the last of its staff makes the move to Burbank, California. “And special thanks to everyone who’s worked here over those years.”

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Oni Press to open submissions in May

ONI_PRESS_LOGO-CAMPAIGNAt a time when most major publishers don’t accept unsolicited submissions, Oni Press is bucking convention.

The Portland, Oregon-based publisher announced this morning that it will begin accepting electronic submissions and pitches in May, not only from artists but from writers and colorists as well. More details are promised in May.

Founded in 1997, Oni publishes comics ranging from Scott Pilgrim and Stumptown to The Bunker and the upcoming Invader Zim.

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DC editor Rickey Purdin moves to Marvel as talent manager

B_WWzyHWEAACbOQ.jpg_largeWith the move of DC Comics’ editorial department from New York City to Burbank, California, rapidly approaching, Wednesday brought news of one DC editor who’s staying on the East Coast while switching publishers: Rickey Purdin, a DC Comics associate editor, has moved to Marvel as the company’s new talent manager.

“I can’t express how thrilling it is to join Marvel after so many years of reading these comics and being shaped by the characters, stories, and creative teams,” Purdin said in a statement. “Aiding Marvel’s extremely talented editorial team is a dream come true and incredible developments are already in the works.”

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IDW to collect Tom Scioli’s ‘American Barbarian’

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IDW Publishing will release a hardcover collection of American Barbarian, Tom Scioli’s Jack Kirby-inspired post-apocalyptic adventure.

Debuting in 2010, the webcomic chronicles the saga of Meric, who sets off across New Earthea to seek revenge against Two-Tank Omen, a half-tank/half-mummy creature who murdered his family. Along the way, the young barbarian — the last American — faces all sorts of threats, ranging from the risen dead to mutant motorcycle gangs to robotic dinosaurs.

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Lianne Sentar on marketing to the ‘female gaze’

sparklermag-mar2015-371x543Lianne Sentar is a member of the generation that came to comics through manga and stuck with it, moving from reading to creating to publishing. The author of Tokyo Demons, she was writing Sailor Moon novels for Tokyopop when she was still a teenager and later worked as an adaptor and editor.

Two years ago, Sentar teamed up with former Tokyopop senior editor Lillian Diaz-Przybyl and two other women to create Chromatic Press, an independent publisher of comics, fiction and audio dramas. Their flagship publication, Sparkler Monthly, is a digital magazine that is based on the Japanese model of serialized stories. They caught the attention of manga fans immediately by getting the rights to one of the best-regarded graphic novels from Tokyopop’s global manga line, Jen Lee Quick’s Off*Beat. Their lineup also includes Christy Lijewski (RE:play) and rem (Priscilla Hamby), who won the Japanese Morning International Manga Competition for non-Japanese creators. Jason Thompson just dedicated his weekly “House of 1000 Manga” column to an in-depth review of the magazine.

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Jamie S. Rich joins Vertigo as senior editor

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As DC Entertainment continues to staff its Burbank, California, headquarters, prolific writer Jamie S. Rich announced he’s been hired by Vertigo as senior editor. He began work there Wednesday.

“Lots of exciting things in the works,” he wrote on Twitter. “Stay tuned.”

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WildStorm remembered: An oral history is in the works

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For many reading comics today, WildStorm may be a small footnote in the history of DC Comics or a pit stop in Jim Lee’s path to becoming one of the most powerful figures in comics. For those of a certain age it was something more. If you’re more than a casual fan, someone who perhaps knows what the “C.A.T.” in WildC.A.T.s stood for or always wondered what Aegis Entertainment was, there’s a new project you should know about: WildStorm Oral History.

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