Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
The creator of Skeleton Key and Love Fights, cartoonist Andi Watson has worked in more recent years on his all-ages series Gum Girl and Glister, which are better known in his native United Kingdom than in the United States. However, he’s about to make a big splash with young readers on this side of the Atlantic with Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula, a lighthearted romance with creepy characters to be published in February by First Second.
We asked Watson to talk a bit about the book and where it fits in with the rest of his work.
Brigid Alverson: First of all, can you tell us what Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula is about?
Andi Watson: It’s a spooky-themed romance story about love, responsibility and desserts. Princess Decomposia is princess of the Underworld whose father, the king, has taken sick and demands constant attention. The Princess has to run the Underworld, the palace and take care of her father. It’s all getting too much when the king’s fussy eating habits drive off another chef. Fortunately, Count Spatula gets the job and he helps the princess tackle the Underworld’s problems while they grow closer … only the king’s not too keen on their friendship.
Conventions | The Rhode Island Convention Center exceeded capacity Saturday for what may be the first time in its history, leading the state fire marshal to temporarily bar entry to Rhode Island Comic Con. At one point, about 1,500 attendees were left out in the rain, including some people who stepped out for a minute and couldn’t get back in. Organizers sold a reported 23,000 tickets for a venue that holds just 17,000, and the way the show was configured reduced the capacity to about 15,000. They apologized Saturday afternoon for the “hiccup.” [Providence Journal]
Comics | Joshua Rivera picks the best comics and graphic novels of October. [Entertainment Weekly]
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.
Well done, DC: For the second time, I’m suckered in by your wave of new launches. This week, if I had $15, I’d drop a chunk of that on Dial H #1, Earth-2 #1 and Worlds’ Finest #1 (All DC, Dial H and Worlds’ Finest both $2.99, Earth-2 $3.99). What can I say? I really love the DC Multiverse as a concept, and I’m curious to see what the new Dial H is like.
If I had $30, I’d add some more new launches in there: Jim McCann and Rodin Esquejo’s Mind The Gap looks like a lot of fun (Image, $2.99), as does the first issue of New Mutants/Journey Into Mystery crossover Exiled #1 (Marvel, $2.99). On the recommendation of many, I’m also going to grab The Spider #1 (Dynamite, $3.99) to try out David Liss’ writing; I had a lot of people say good things about his Black Panther, so I’m looking forward to this new book.
Should I feel the urge to splurge, DC have again won the day: Spirit World HC (DC, $39.99)? Genre stories by Jack Kirby from my favorite period of his work that I’ve never seen before, including some that have never been reprinted before? Seriously, there’s no way I couldn’t want this book.
After making a name for himself in the comics community with work like Skeleton Key and Love Fights, cartoonist Andi Watson has been conspicuously absent from comic shelves since the release of the fourth and final Glister issue last year — but no more. Earlier this week Watson announced that he’s doing a new series, Gum Girl, with kids’ book publisher Watson that is set to debut in March with an inaugural volume subtitled Catastrophe Calling. At the same time, Watson recently launched a sequel to his 2008 OGN Princess At Midnight as a webcomic associated with a a line titled “Saturday Morning Webtoons.”
Gum Girl: Catastrophe Calling is outwardly reminiscent of Power Puff Girls, but Watson’s unique storytelling promises a more nuanced approach. According to the publisher’s solicitations, “Gum Girl might be pink, but shes got bite, she’s got bubbles, and she’s not afraid to use them.” The “Catastrophe” in the title is the name of the new town Gum Girl and her father are moving into, and it lives up to its name when it comes to trouble for the budding heroine.
Watson’s a unique figure in comics, and although he’s popped up everywhere from writing Buffy The Vampire Slayer to co-writing Namor with Bill Jemas, he’s kept true to his own work and continues to push it into new areas like this.
J. Torres brings to our attention the premiere of Saturday Morning Webtoons, a new web “channel” linking readers to a lineup of all-ages webcomics from some familiar names: Boo Bear & Flo, by Jack Briglio (Digger & Friends, Scooby Doo) and Agnes Garbowska (Marvel’s Girl Comics, You, Me and Zombie); Gobukan, by J. Bone (Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Owl Magazine), The Little Tales of Otto & Olive, by Stephanie Buscema (Rocketeer Adventures, Pugs in a Bug); Orchard of Laughs, by Eric Orchard (Maddy Kettle, Yo Gabba Gabba: Comic Book Time); and Princess at Midnight, by Andi Watson (Glister, Skeleton Key).
In addition to the stable of weekly and biweekly comics, the site also offers each month a free downloadable comic; first up is Lopopo’s Lost Sock, by Alex Serra (Handy Manny, Teen Titans Go). Next will be Funnies Farm, by J. Torres (Archie & Friends, Disney/Pixar’s WALL-E) and Tracie Mauk (Comic Book Crossfire, Fight).
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.
If I had $15:
I’d surround myself with good-humored, good-natured comics. Sometimes you just gotta do that. My stack would include Veronica #207 ($2.99), which launches the new Kevin Keller miniseries; Donald Duck #367 ($3.99), with a rework of a classic Carl Barks story; Space Warped ($3.99), kaboom’s new Star Wars parody comic (I probably won’t get half the jokes, but it looks like it’s worth checking out); and Love and Capes Ever After #5 ($3.99), just because Love and Capes is such a charming comic. I may be poor, but at least I’ll be happy.
Dark Horse’s anthology series Dark Horse Presents has been through a number of incarnations at this point: First as a print comic that ran from 1986 to 2000 and premiered some of the most outstanding work around; then as a digital comic at MySpace (yes, it’s still there) that ran online for free and was collected into trade paperbacks. The latest version is an 80-page print anthology, and Dark Horse just announced that it will be available in digital form as well, with each issue appearing on Dark Horse Digital a month after the print release. Unlike the MySpace version, it is not free but will cost $3.99 per issue, a considerable markdown from the paper-and-ink version, which retails for $7.99.
Dark Horse has also been revealing some of the creators and content at their blog; JK rounded up some of last week’s announcements, including new work from Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson, and on Friday they announced another addition: A new episode of Skeleton Key by Andi Watson, the creator of Glister and the original writer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.