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Celebrate graphic novels, comics legend with Will Eisner Week

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The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation has announced the dates and schedule for the sixth Will Eisner Week, a series of events in more than a dozen cities designed to promote graphic novels, literacy, free speech and the legacy of the late cartoonist. The celebration is scheduled in the week surrounding Eisner’s birthday on March 6.

“This year, Will Eisner Week’s sixth, we are celebrating events in more places than ever,” organizing committee chair Danny Fingeroth said in a statement. “Some amazing people are planning some incredible events to spread the word about how significant graphic novels have become, and to celebrate Will Eisner’s astonishing body of work created over a career that spanned seven decades.”

Check out the schedule below.

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Museum of Flight to host ‘Carol Corps Celebration’ Pre-Emerald City Comicon

captainmarvelmuseumofflightIn 2012, Marvel gave Carol Danvers a promotion from “Ms. Marvel” to “Captain Marvel,” along with a new uniform and her own ongoing series. That move swiftly won over a very passionate, dedicated fanbase, and the “Carol Corps” are gathering to celebrate in Seattle on the eve of this year’s Emerald City Comicon. The venue is high-profile, and fitting given Danvers’ background as an Air Force pilot: The Museum of Flight, the world’s largest private air and space museum.

The event, dubbed “Carol Corps Celebration,” will include appearances from Kelly Sue DeConnick (writer of both the original Danvers-as-Captain Marvel solo series and the subsequent relaunch debuting in March), Ms. Marvel writer G. Willow Wilson and Christopher Sebela, who’s co-written several Captain Marvel issues with DeConnick. Tickets are $20, and will include “the opportunity to meet awesome featured guests, mingle with them and each other, socialize and enjoy the main exhibits in the Museum of Flight,” plus light snacks and beverages. (ECCC admission is not included.) All proceeds will be donated to the Girls Leadership Institute, an Oakland-based nonprofit.

The Carol Corps Celebration happens 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, March 27; Emerald City Comicon takes place March 28-March 30 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

Jaime Hernandez named keynote speaker for LA Zine Fest

thelovebunglersThis year’s installment of the annual LA Zine Fest has named its keynote speaker: alt-comics legend Jaime Hernandez, co-creator of Love and Rockets and a Southern California local.

Hernandez will be in conversation with Charles Hatfield, a CSU, Northridge professor and the author of Hand of Fire: The Comics Art of Jack Kirby and Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature. The festival — a growing show in its third year, dedicated to celebrating independent publishing — is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 16 at Helms Bakery in Culver City, with the list of exhibitors announced Tuesday.

Hernandez’s next release is The Love Bunglers, scheduled for April 2014 from Fantagraphics and starring his long-running Love and Rockets protagonist Maggie. The publisher officially describes the hardcover thusly: “In taking us through lives, deaths, and near-fatalities, The Love Bunglers encapsulates Maggie’s emotional history as it moves from resignation to memories of loss, to sudden violence (a theme in this story), and eventually to love and contentment.”

Belgium’s Ice Magic puts Wolverine, Smurfs and more on ice

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Captain America is back on ice — along with Spider-Man, Hulk, Asterix and many more at the Ice Magic Festival in Brussels, Belgium.

The exhibit spotlights many characters from around the world, including Belgium’s own Smurfs and Tintin. According to the festival’s website, ice sculptors spent three weeks and 420 tons of natural ice building the exhibit, which also includes an ice slide and bar. The pavilion its in is kept at minus 6°C, which is roughly 21° Fahrenheit.

You can see video from the exhibit, which ends Feb. 9, after the jump, and check out images from it here.

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Jack Kirby Museum’s ‘Prototype: Alpha’ opens in New York City

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We’ve written about the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center project a few times before, most recently a week ago when we mentioned it was finally opening a physical presence, in the form of a pop-up in the artist’s native Lower East Side Manhattan called “Prototype: Alpha.” That name strikes me in itself as being a particularly Kirby-esque flourish.

The location opened Monday, and the last few days we finally saw tantalizing glimpses of what to expect on the museum’s walls leaking out via social media (via the museum’s Facebook page and the What if Kirby Twitter account). Here are three behind-the-scenes shots of work being installed into the Delancey Street space:

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Jeff Smith’s ‘Tuki Saves the Humans!’ to debut at CBLDF event

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Not many comics can say they made their debut during a brunch, but then again, not many comics are created by Jeff Smith.

The creator of Bone and RASL will attend a benefit brunch for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s Kids’ Right to Read program at the Society of Illustrators in New York City on Nov. 10, where he will unveil his newest project, an all-ages webcomic called Tuki Save the Humans!. Smith joined the CBLDF board earlier this month, and revealed he was working on the project at WonderCon last spring.

“… this is a story of the first human being to leave Africa, and all the forces of Africa are conspiring to keep him from doing it,” Smith told CBR’s Kiel Phegley at WonderCon. “I think it’ll be fun. There’ll be sabertooth tigers and other humanoids and Gods and things. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The charity brunch begins at 11:30 a.m., and the performance will begin at 12:30 p.m., to be followed by Q&A, an auction and viewing time in the Society’s galleries. More information and ticket pricing can be found on the CBLDF website.

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Woodring & Frisell to combine music & comics in San Francisco

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Art and music collide in San Francisco this weekend as cartoonist Jim Woodring teams with jazz musician Bill Frisell for “a delightful live multi-media collaboration.” Woodring will join Frisell on Saturday for both an evening and matinee performance, in which Woodring will create live digital illustrations, projected on Miner Auditorium’s large video screen, to accompany and inspire the music.

This isn’t the first time the duo has collaborated: Frisell provided the soundtrack for Woodring’s Trosper, published in 2002 by Fantagraphics.

The matinee begins at 2 p.m., and the evening performance at 7:30 p.m. You can find more details on the SFJazz website.

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Ahead of D23 Expo kickoff, Saturday tickets sell out

"Big Hero 6" display at D23 Expo (courtesy of ComingSoon)

“Big Hero 6″ display at D23 Expo (courtesy of ComingSoon)

The doors open in just an hour on the D23 Expo, the official Disney fan gathering held through Sunday in Anaheim, California. Tickets for Saturday are sold out.

While much of the event, of course, caters to Disney devotees — theme-park fans, serious collectors and cinephiles alike — we should expect a decent amount of news that reaches beyond the Magic Kingdom. For instance, today there’s a presentation featuring many of the voice actors from Marvel’s animated television series, and a signing with the producer and director of Big Hero 6, Walt Disney Animation’s first adaptation of a Marvel comic. That movie, based on the characters created by Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau, is getting a promotional push at the event, which features a Big Hero 6 display (above, courtesy of ComingSoon).

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Kids, adults gather at Los Angeles Zoo for Comic Jungle

bettywhiteThe comics scene descended on the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens June 1-2 for the annual Comic Jungle event. Zoo animals received super-powered descriptors, while visitors mingled with comic artists, retailers, art societies and costumed heroes.

All attendees received a free copy of the Bug’s Life book Flik the Inventor as they were led through an array of newly labeled zoo residents. Some animals were described as having superpowers, such as flight, night vision and super-strength: Elephants were designated as super-hearers, while seals had the power to breathe underwater. Aquaman would be so proud!

Free events were plentiful, including a live art demo by artist David Colman at the Giraffe Enclosure, and visitors could pose for photos with Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, Cobra Commander and the 501st Legion Star Wars fan organization.

However, there were also plenty of guests in costume, including an excellent Incredibles family, and a wee Captain America sporting a cape (see photos of both, below).

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TCAF in the rear-view mirror

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People have been saying for years that TCAF is the best comics event of the year, and although this was my first TCAF, I have to say that they weren’t exaggerating.

The reason is simple: TCAF focuses on the comics, nothing else. It is unmarred by superhero-themed cars, screeching videogame sound effects, or giant banners promoting this summer’s movies. What’s more, it’s not at all corporate. The big publishers are entirely absent, because this show is about creator-owned indie comics. Everyone is doing their own thing, not working for The Man (or The Licensor, as the case may be). It’s a show for enthusiasts.

That’s not to say there aren’t big names. In fact, the guest list reads like a Who’s Who of independent comics creators. A quick sample: Art Spiegelman, Seth, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, Taiyo Matsumoto, Ruto Modan, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Hope Larson, Faith Erin Hicks, and Michel Rabagliati, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing for a panel and who won the Doug Wright Award on Saturday evening for his Song of Roland.

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This weekend, it’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival

TCAF 2013 poster

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival celebrates its 10th birthday this weekend with a truly stellar lineup of guests and an amazing array of events. The list of creators who will be there is impressive in both its quality and its breadth: Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, David B., Taiyo Matsumoto, Rutu Modan, Frederik Peeters, Paul Pope, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Hope Larson, Faith Erin Hicks, Derf Backderf, Raina Telgemeier, Dave Roman, a roll call that goes from living legends to plucky creators making their own comics zines by hand.

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Woodblock artist headlines eclectic ‘Star Wars’ event

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We’ve seen all manner of creature and creation in the Star Wars universe, but this is something else.

Subversive woodblock print artist Sean Starwars is showing off a series of Star Wars woodblock prints at the Los Angeles art gallery Coagula Curatorial on May 4, which is both Free Comic Book Day and the unofficial Star Wars fan day “May the Fourth Be With You.” The artist, who legally changed his last name to “Starwars,” is a member of a group called the Outlaw Printmakers, and has taken his passion for George Lucas’ seminal creation and put it down on wood. He will be doing screen-printing live at the event. In addition to Starwars’ work, Coagula Curatorial will also be having Star Wars costume contests, games, screen-printing, puppets and even a comedy show.

Here’s more examples of Starwars’ woodblock prints:

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Comic shops host creators after Boston Comic Con postponed

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With the Boston Comic Con being postponed due to the lockdown that was in place until last night as police searched for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, several area comic shops are holding impromptu events this weekend with various creators. Here’s a rundown if you’re looking for something to do in Boston today, and if we missed any, please let us know in the comments section:

• As noted in CBR yesterday, Larry’s Comics in Lowell, Mass. is hosting a mini-con — Slum-Con? — featuring Mike Choi, Sean Gordon Murphy, Cesar Feliciano and many more. Check out the shop’s Twitter feed for a live stream of the event.

Comicazi in Davis Square, Somerville, has announced that it will host a “Not-The-Boston-Comic-Con Get-Together,” with guests Tim Seeley, Tim Sale, Don Rosa, Agnes Garbowska, David Mack, Ming Doyle, Erica Henderson, and possibly some others on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Friendly Neighborhood Comics in Bellingham will have a meet-the-artists event featuring Carlos Pacheco, Craig Rousseau, Kelly Yates, and others from 12-4 p.m. on Saturday.

• Studios at Porter Mills, in Beverly, will host a Beverly Comic Con from 4-9 p.m. on Saturday. “Tons of artists on hand (including many that would have been at Comic con) and a few special guests!”

Comicopia will host Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb, the artists for the Adventure Time comic, from 1-3 Sunday.

(Hat tip: Brigid Alverson)

Celebrate a comics legend during Will Eisner Week 2013

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This March marks the 35th anniversary of the publication of Will Eisner’s influential graphic novel A Contract with God, and to celebrate, the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation is hosting a 10-day series of events in more than a dozen cities. The theme is one that’s worth getting behind — “Read a Graphic Novel.”

“This year, we will be having Will Eisner Week celebrations in more places than ever before,” said Will Eisner Week Organizing Committee Chair Danny Fingeroth in a press release. “The people doing the events are planning some amazing happenings that will spread the word about how cool graphic novels are, and that celebrate Will Eisner’s astonishing body of work done over a career that spanned seven decades.”

Events will take place across America, from Oregon to Arkansas to New York, and will include panels at cons, guest lectures and readings, and screenings of Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist. Check out the event poster and schedule below.

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