Axel-In-Charge: Navigating the "Civil War II" Landscape, Bringing DMC to Marvel
Danish animator Rune Ryberg made a splash in Europe last year with the release of his comics debut Gigant, a raucous — and award-winning — fantasy-comedy about a guy who attempts to free his girlfriend from the stomach of a thousand-eyed monster.
And this weekend, Ryberg sets out to do it all over again, as Gigant makes its U.S. debut at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland.
Ahead of his first appearance at SPX, Ryberg spoke with ROBOT 6 about the success of Gigant in Europe, his approach to the comic, and how the AdHouse Books edition came about.
Stuart and Kathryn Immonen‘s Russian Olive to Red King will headline a boisterous lineup of books coming in the spring from AdHouse Books. The slate, announced on The Comics Reporter, features Ignatz winner Sophie Goldstein’s new book The Oven in April, the Immonens’ long-gestating graphic novel in May, and the fourth issue of Ethan Rilly’s Pope Hats in June.
In 2010 Stuart Immonen spoke briefly to ROBOT 6 about Russian Olive to Red King, calling it a “tortured love story” featuring “petroglyphs and plane crashes and bad dogs and angry people.”
UR collects a variety of Eric Haven‘s stories previously published in various anthologies, and draws upon many influences, including his love of classic comics, while swimming deep in the waters of absurdist humor.
Haven spoke with ROBOT 6 about what went into arranging this collection, how it landed at AdHouse, his hatred of dancing, and the comedic truism: “Explosive diarrhea is always funny.” AdHouse is offering a preview of the book, which will be released in December.
It is fair to say a newlywed couple experiences a honeymoon like no other, on myriad life-changing levels, in writer/artist Jesse Jacobs‘ new Koyama Press book Safari Honeymoon — and jungle madness is only the beginning of what transpires. Jacobs’ art belies any description that accurately conveys the complexity and intoxicating absurdity of his work.
In this interview, I gain insight into his creative approach, among other areas of interest.
As I noted in the intro to the first round of HeroesCon 2014 Day 1 photos, I tried to cover a lot of ground in taking photographs. It turns out I got around to so many people on the first day that I needed to split the photos into two posts. Now on with part II!
“Is Noah Van Sciver the finest cartoonist of his generation?”
That’s the question I posed a few months ago on this very blog. Anyone who’s been following his work, whether via his one-man, self-published anthology Blammo, various minicomics like The Death of Elijah Lovejoy or his critically acclaimed graphic novel about Abraham Lincoln The Hypo would likely be asking something similar. While there is plenty of competition among Van Sciver’s peers for the “finest cartoonist” title, over the past few years he’s consistently made a case for wearing that crown by methodically building a body of work that was engaging, funny, featured sharply detailed characters and encompassed a variety of genres.
Now AdHouse has published Youth Is Wasted, a collection of short stories taken from Blammo, and various other anthologies. It’s a good introduction to Van Sciver’s world for newcomers, as well as a reminder to Hypo readers that he’s not some one-hit wonder.
In honor of the book’s release, I recently chatted with Van Sciver about the new book, as well as his new mini from Oily Comics, The Lizard Laughed.
If you haven’t checked out Duncan the Wonder Dog, Driven by Lemons, Pope Hats or any of the other comics and graphic novels they have on sale from Jim Rugg, Farel Dalrymple, Stuart Immonen and Joey Weiser, among others, head on over there and grab them while they’re cheap.
The sale runs through May 25.
Her narrative focus has shifted from Nurse Nurse‘s futuristic sci-fi vibe to the motorcycle road trip (and accompanying drama as well as conflict, plus a few nuns) of Operation Margarine. It was a delightful surprise to learn her new work’s connection to Roland Barthes’ Mythologies.
Before that fancy Street Angel hardcover arrives, AdHouse will release Noah Van Sciver‘s Youth Is Wasted in June — which unfortunately was left out of the current issue of Previews.
As Publisher Chris Pitzer says on the AdHouse blog, “we are still printing it on time and we need to get copies sold.”
“Youth Is Wasted collects several of Noah Van Sciver’s most outstanding short stories from his critically acclaimed, award nominated comic book series Blammo as well as various anthology submissions,” the publisher’s site states. “Noah’s previous work was Ignatz nominated and featured in Best American Comics 2011.”
Retailers can still order the book from Diamond, though, using Diamond Order Code: FEB14 8208. The 112-page collection retails for $14.95.
AdHouse will collect Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca ‘s classic Street Angel into a fancy 176-page hardcover. According to The Comics Reporter, the collection will resemble AdHouse’s Afrodisiac volume (which was, indeed, pretty fancy). It also looks like the publisher is releasing a slipcase version so you can house your copies of Afrodisiac and Street Angel in one place.
If you’ve never experienced Street Angel, originally released by SLG Publishing, here’s the description from AdHouse’s site:
AdHouse announced last summer their plans to publish a collection of Operation Margarine, Katie Skelly’s follow-up to the delightful Nurse Nurse, one of my favorites from 2012. And now it’s got a release date — April 2014.
Like Nurse Nurse, Operation Margarine began life as a series of self-published comics. Here’s a synopsis from the publisher’s site: “Trouble tuff girl Bon-Bon and rich girl runaway Margarine make a motorcycle escape from the mean streets of the city to the desolate roads of the desert, holding their own against the elements, biker gangs, and each other.”
Check out a preview of the book below.
New York-based cartoonist Gregory Benton has had a whirlwind of a year, with his self-published graphic novel B+F winning the 2013 MoCCA Award of Excellence and getting picked up for a joint French/English publication.
However, the ideas for what became B+F were created in the middle of Benton losing almost everything. The characters of B+F (“B” is the yellow dog and “F” is the woman) were first dreamed up by him in the aftermath of a massive storm in 2011 that flooded his studio, washing away years of his most precious art. That very real conflict of man versus nature lit a fire in Benton, leading him to doodle those two characters.
Fast-forward to today and Benton is back on top, with AdHouse Books and Éditions çà et là partnering to publish the mostly worldless graphic novel with its scheduled premiere in a matter of days.
B+F follows the titular dog and human as they trek across an otherworldly landscape of mountains, monsters, and fiery fauna. B and F face many obstacles, and find unique ways to overcome them — even sometimes involving dying and being reborn.
ROBOT 6 spoke with Benton about the unique path B+F took to creation, and how he won MoCCA’s Award of Excellence but was too busy printing the book to attend the awards ceremony.
Last weekend I went to Comic Arts Brooklyn. I bought a lot of comics. Here are six that I think are really good, and I think you should try to find as well.
Jim Rugg is an interesting and fun guy to talk to. The Pittsburgh-based cartoonists, whose resume includes such diverse genre work as Street Angel, Adventure Time and the Plain Jane series for DC’s late Minx imprint, is someone who has clearly studied comics -– and certain comic artists specifically -– very closely, and has a genuine fascination and curiosity for what makes the medium work and what doesn’t. If you want to talk comics, he’s the guy to corner at the bar after the convention (be polite and introduce yourself first though, please).
Rugg has a new comic out, a magazine-formatted, one-man anthology of sorts from AdHouse titled Supermag, which features a number of short stories done over the past few years as well some illustrations and other new material. It’s a pretty nifty package.
I chatted with Rugg over email about Supermag, his frequent collaborations with writer Brian Maruca and the podcast he hosts over at Boing Boing, Tell Me Something I Don’t Know. I look forward to the opportunity when I get to talk to him about comics some more.
How did the idea for Supermag come about and how did the initial concept change (if at all) as you started to put it together?
Supermag began as an early- to mid-90s period comic. My plan was to create an Afrodisiac comic using the processes, materials, storytelling vernacular, and style of that era – a comparison would be something like 1963. As we worked on that idea, I struggled to make all the elements work the way I wanted. As I continued to work on it, it morphed into a magazine/comic/art project.
It’s not every month that we get to discuss a new issue of Ethan Rilly‘s Pope Hats, but here we are. This month, AdHouse is releasing Pope Hats 3 and giving readers a chance to enjoy the latest in the unique lives of law clerk Frances Scarland and her pal Vickie (among many other distinctively engaging characters).
In an interview with Robot 6, the Toronto-born/Montreal-based storyteller talks about his view on creating covers, the impact of winning a 2008 Xeric Grant, and his inclusion of the late, great Spalding Gray in his latest issue. As much as I enjoyed reading Issue 3, as a longtime fan of Gray’s writing, I was apoplectic when I found Rilly had worked him into a strip in the latest Pope Hats installment.
Tim O’Shea: First off, a little historical perspective. Last year the Xeric Grants came to an end for comics. You won a Xeric Grant back in 2008. How instrumental was the grant to getting Pope Hats off the ground?
Ethan Rilly: It seems like 10 years ago … Of course it was a great help. It covered printing and shipping costs for the first issue. I can’t say at that point I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the series as a whole, but the seeds were there, and the grant definitely helped get the ball rolling. It’s rare as a cartoonist to receive any financial support for this type of personal work, so I was fortunate. I sometimes do freelance illustration and I get a taste of things going in the other direction—bending your creative energies toward a pre-established need. Doing your own weird exploratory thing is always best.