When she isn’t drawing comics like Batman or The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, Becky Cloonan is self-publishing her own awesome minicomics like The Mire and Wolves. Her latest, Demeter, is now available for pre-order on WereHouse.ca, a site that also features work by Karl Kerschl and Andy Belanger.
Cloonan said she decided to move from her previous storefront at Big Cartel to the new site because of the response she’s received to her self-published comics.
Free Comic Book Day is once again upon us, the day that current and hopefully potential comic fans flock to their local comic shop to sample a buffet of comic choices from publishers large and small. There’s a lot to sink your teeth into this time around, from previews of new or upcoming stuff — like Marble Season and Superman: The Last Son of Krypton #1 to first issues of brand new comics — like The Strangers #1 and Aphrodite IX #1. There are original comics, licensed comics, kids comics, anthologies … basically something for everyone.
Some retailers will offer all-you-can-eat options, while others might have limits on what you can get … so if you have to make a choice, here are six comics we’re particularly looking to sink our teeth into.
Graphic novels | April was a slow month for new graphic novel releases, so the BookScan Top 20 had plenty of room for some backlist titles. The Walking Dead dominated, of course, but the 10th volume of Sailor Moon was there for a second month and actually moved up a notch. And the first volume of Saga came in at No. 12, perhaps because people were curious as to what all the fuss is about. [ICv2]
Editorial cartoons | Nick Anderson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist for the Houston Chronicle, has responded to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s criticism of Jack Ohman’s cartoon with a cartoon of his own. [Comic Riffs]
Conventions | Jeff Smith, Brian Wood, Sean Murphy and Raina Telgemeier are the headline guests at the Maine Comics Arts Festival in Portland on May 19. [Foster's Daily Democrat]
While we eagerly await the preview of The True Lives of the Fabulous Kill Joys, the new series from Gerard Way, Shaun Simon and Becky Cloonan, as part of next month’s Free Comic Book Day offerings, Dark Horse further whets our appetite for the title’s June debut with a look at Way’s own variant cover for the first issue. That premiere issue also boasts covers from Cloonan and Way’s Umbrella Academy collaborator Gabriel Bá.
Here’s the official description: “Years ago, the Killjoys fought against the tyrannical megacorporation Better Living Industries, costing them their lives, save for one—the mysterious Girl. Today, the followers of the original Killjoys languish in the Desert while BLI systematically strips citizens of their individuality. As the fight for freedom fades, it’s left to the Girl to take up the mantle and bring down the fearsome BLI or else join the mindless ranks of Bat City!”
Way’s cover is a 1-in-50 variant. The True Lives of the Fabulous Kill Joys #1 goes on sale June 12.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly about her early involvement with comiXology Submit, the new digital comics platform for independent creators, Becky Cloonan finally reveals details about her new minicomic Demeter, which she teased in January.
“It’s a short story, about 27 pages,” she tells the website. “I can’t say too much about it without giving away the huge spoiler at the end. It has a little bit to do with the Greek myth of Demeter, the god of the harvest. It follows a fisherman’s wife as she kind of waits for her husband to return from sea. She tends to the crops and the animals. While she’s doing this, things start to bubble to the surface.”
Cloonan’s previous two minicomics, Wolves and The Mire, are now available from comiXology.
Although Becky Cloonan has been hard at work on The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, the upcoming miniseries that teams her with Gerard Way and Shaun Simon, she’s somehow found time for a new minicomic called Demeter.
The announcement this morning wasn’t accompanied by any details, but if this minicomic is anywhere near as good as her two previous ones, Wolves and The Mire, it will be well worth keeping an eye out for. The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys will be previewed May 4 as part of Dark Horse’s Free Comic Book Day lineup before launching in June; Demeter will arrive “later this year.”
Tokyopop has come back to life, sort of: The manga publisher unveiled its revamped website a few days ago, and the company is once again selling books, in partnership with Right Stuf (for print) and Graphicly (for digital). The only Japanese manga available on the new site is Hetalia; Tokyopop’s licenses for other series lapsed, and most of them probably aren’t coming back, although CEO Stu Levy dangled the possibility of some new licenses in a panel last week at Anime LA. What’s left is a good-sized collection of Tokyopop’s Original English Language (OEL) manga and a few graphic-novel imports from countries other than Japan.
Although Tokyopop’s OEL line earned a fair amount of derision at the time, many of the books were actually pretty solid. In addition, they provided paying work for many young and veteran artists. Here’s a look at six that are of interest either because of the creators or because they are so strong (or both).
East Coast Rising: Becky Cloonan’s first full-length graphic novel, this urban-pirate story earned a nomination for Best New Series in the 2007 Eisner Awards. Alas, there was never a second volume.
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 (big “if” this week!), I’d take a break from the struggles of adult life and find sanctuary in the pages of high mythology thanks to Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic’s Thor: God of Thunder #4 (Marvel, $3.99). Aaron and Ribic have really build up an excellent foil for Thor in the God-Killer, and also snuck in the idea of Young Thor and Old Thor – something I’d love to see expounded upon in their own series or one-shot (hint-hint). Second up would be the startling potent promise of Star Wars #1 (Dark Horse, $2.99). I never thought I’d see Brian Wood do a Star Wars comic, but I’m so glad he is – and seemingly doing it on his own terms. Thinking of him writing Princess Leia, and the potential there specifically has been rolling around in my brain for weeks. Third, I’d get two promising artist-centric series (at least for me) in B.P.R.D.: Hell On Earth — Abyss Time #1 (Dark Horse, $3.50) and TMNT: Secret of the Foot Clan #1 (IDW, $3.99). James Harren and Mateus Santolouco, respectively, are two artists I’ve been keen on for the past year and both of these books look like potential breakouts to a bigger stage. On the TMNT side, I’ve always thought Shredder and the Foot Clan to be one of the most overlooked great villains in comics, so I’m glad to see some focus on that and some potential answers.
If I had $30, I’d continue my super(comic)market sweep with Womanthology: Space #4 (IDW, $3.99). This series has two things I love: new, young creators and a space theme. I’ve been on a space opera/sci-fi kick for a while now thanks to Saga and re-reading some Heinlein, so this anthology series comes to me most fortuitously. Next up would be Legend of Luther Strode #2 (Image, $3.50). Luther Strode is a real down-and-out kind of hero, like some sort of action-based Charlie Brown. Tradd Moore’s artwork really makes this sing, too. Finally, I’d get two Marvel books with Secret Avengers #36 (Marvel, $3.99) and Wolverine and the X-Men #23 (Marvel, $3.99). I’m gritting my teeth on the latter – not because it’s bad, but because it isn’t as good for me as the previous arcs. For Secret Avengers, I feel Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera’s run on this has been sadly overlooked in the wave of Marvel NOW books, but this mega-arc about the Descendents and now Black-Ant has been great. I’d love to see Black-Ant as a permanent part of the Marvel U.
If I could splurge, I’d throw practicality out the door and shell out big bucks for the Black Incal deluxe hardcover (Humanoids, $79.95). There’s few times I’d spend nearly 80 bucks on a comic, but this classic story by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius is one of those once-in-a-blue-moon kind of things. This has been reprinted numerous times (I have an older one), but I’m re-buying the story here for the deluxe treatment this volume has with its large size.
Artist Becky Cloonan points out that this Huffington Post interview with her collaborator Gerard Way includes new art (above) from The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, the writer’s long-awaited followup to 2007′s The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite.
It’s been a long time coming, but Dark Horse has finally announced that The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, written by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way (The Umbrella Academy) and Shaun Simon and illustrated by Becky Cloonan, will launch in June. This isn’t too much of a surprise because, as Kevin noted the other day, the 2013 Free Comic Book Day lineup includes a Fabulous Killjoys comic. The project was announced in 2009 but has been through a lot of changes since then, so these two developments are welcome news — and this nice Becky Cloonan artwork gives us hope it will be worth the wait.
“I think we have created a broad range of characters here,” Simon tells the Dark Horse blog. “A lonely teenage girl hiding from her past in the desert. A couple of android call girls wanting nothing more than to be together. An aging assassin with a secret that could destroy his life. … Even though these characters are living in a bizarre sci-fi world, their struggles are the same we face in our own.”
Following Thursday’s announcement of the gold titles for Free Comic Book Day 2013, Dark Horse has revealed the rest of its lineup, which includes the long-awaited debut of The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, by Gerard Way, co-writer Shaun Simon, artist Becky Cloonan and colorist Dave Stewart.
Announced in 2009, the follow-up to the acclaimed Umbrella Academy originally was described by the frontman of My Chemical Romance as “almost like a strange kind of love letter to the really great comics of the ’90s that kind of pushed things.” However, in the three years since the announcement, a lot changed.
Fans looking to scratch that itch between between volumes of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, or seasons of HBO’s adaptation Game of Thrones, might be soothed by Witch’s Quarry, a fantasy webcomic by Off*Beat creator Jen Lee Quick that’s being serialized on MangaMagazine.net.
Launched in March, Witch’s Quarry follows a man named Sir Veolynn Moreshire who comes under the control of a powerful witch named Lady Dei. It shows how this hero can be turned with the wiles of an outside force, but also how stereotyped villains may have some redeeming qualities.
Described by Becky Cloonan as “Jane Austen meets Game of Thrones,” the story is told by Quick with a clear line and an unabashed love for plot twists. And this isn’t for kids, as the cartoonist mixes in adult situations from jokes to sexual innuendo and situations, making it something special among the typically all-ages crop of sword-and-sorcery comics online.
Here’s a sample of the first few pages. Click here to read the nine chapters released thus far!
You might not have a Kobo e-reader, but if you’re reading Robot 6, you probably do have some sort of tablet, iOS or Android, or maybe a smartphone, yes? Well, here’s some good news: Kobo is having a half-price sale on graphic novels, and you can get its iOS and Android apps for free. So if you have been holding off on something, and you don’t mind having it in a different app than everything else, this is your lucky day.
Of course, much depends on what you like to read. There are no Marvel or DC Comics to be found, but if you’re a Walking Dead, Star Wars, Doctor Who or Buffy fan, Kobo has you covered. Lots of good indy stuff, too: Adam Warren’s Empowered, Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan’s Channel Zero, and the superb action comic Kill Shakespeare. The publishers most prominently represented seem to be Dark Horse, Image, IDW, Digital Manga (which publishes mainly yaoi manga but also Vampire Hunter D), Top Cow and Devil’s Due.
Before you pay full price for your second graphic novel, though, you might want to do a little comparison shopping; several of the Dark Horse books I checked were much cheaper on the publisher’s own digital app than in the Kobo store, and the Parker book below is only $7.99 at comiXology. Also, the Kobo store carries both single-issue comics and graphic novels, and it’s a bit pricey for the single issues, most of which seem to go for $4.99; Archie comics seem to be the exception to that.
With those caveats, here are a couple of books that I would recommend:
My Chemical Romance’s The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys album may have come and gone, but the Killjoys comic first announced in 2009 has yet to see the light of day. According to a post from Killjoys artist Becky Cloonan, it looks like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for the long-delayed project.
“So this is finally happening!” she posted on her tumblr site. “If you’ll be at NYCC, come to Dark Horse’s Killjoy panel, Saturday at 5PM. I’ll be there along with writers Gerard Way and Shaun Simon! Beyond psyched.”