INTERVIEW: Gail Simone Guides 'Blockbuster Update' of Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah Thoris
Conventions | The standalone Stumptown Comics Fest may be history, but an event has popped up to help fill the void: Linework NW, organized by Zack Soto and Francois Vigneault, a free, one-day show that will take place April 12 in Portland, Oregon. Michael DeForge has been announced as a special guest for the event, which will include such exhibitors as Fantagraphics, Koyama Press, Oni Press and Top Shelf Productions. [The Comics Reporter]
Creators | Scott Snyder is the subject of a glowing profile in The New York Times, which states the writer has “reinvented Batman in the past two years, deepening and humanizing the Dark Knight’s myth — in the making since 1939 — like no one since Frank Miller in the 1980s.” [The New York Times]
USA Today’s writers-about-comics Brian Truitt, David Colton and John Geddes list the best graphic novels and collections of the year:
• Before Watchmen, by various (DC Comics)
• Comics About Cartoonists, edited by Craig Yoe (IDW Publishing)
• The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme, by Joe Sacco (W.W. Norton)
• John Byrne’s Fantastic Four Artist’s Edition (IDW Publishing)
• S.H.I.E.L.D. by Steranko: The Complete Collection (Marvel)
• Battling Boy, by Paul Pope (First Second Books)
• The Black Beetle, Vol. 1: No Way Out, by Francesco Francavilla (Dark Horse)
• Journey, by Aaron Becker (Candlewick Press)
• Saga, Vol. 2, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image Comics)
• The Thrilling Adventure Hour, by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker (Archaia)
USA Today’s Pop Candy blogger Whitney Matheson gets into the spirit of the season with her own rundown of the best comics and graphic novels of 2013. However, she cautions this isn’t a “definitive” list, as “I can only read so much!”
Her commentary on each entry can be found at the link.
MAD joins in the end-of-the-year insanity next week as only the venerable humor magazine can, with its rundown of the “20 Dumbest People, Events and Things of 2013.” It’s a list that includes the best and brightest — or is that worst and dimmest? — from the worlds of politics, sports and entertainment, from President Obama and the U.S. Congress to Miley Cyrus and Paula Deen.
Coming in at No. 6, as MAD has reveals exclusively to ROBOT 6, is Manti Te’o’s dead ‘girlfriend.” As you may recall, the former Notre Dame linebacker rose to prominence not because of his Heisman Trophy candidacy but for the revelation that his girlfriend, who had battled leukemia only to die after a car crash, never existed. It turns out she was the creation of one of Te’o’s acquaintances, who admitted to orchestrating the hoax.
“It’s unclear if Te’o was in on the scam,” the magazine writes, “or just a gullible romantic who got got catfished — but either way, the whole thing is hard to swallow.”
The full list can be found in MAD #525, which goes on sale Dec. 18.
A day after revealing its picks for the top mainstream and superhero comics of the year, The A.V. Club returns with a rundown of the 10 best graphic novels and art comics, led by Charles Forsman’s Celebrated Summer.
Once again, you can visit The A.V. Club for commentary on each of the selections.
With only a relative handful of pages left on the calendar, The A.V. Club has released its picks for the year’s 20 best mainstream and superhero comics, prefaced with a bit of commentary about the state of publishing.
Continuing the march of best-of-the-year lists, the School Library Journal’s Good Comics for Kids blog has compiled its list of the Top 10 graphic novels for kids in 2013. It’s a pretty diverse group, ranging from historical fiction to fantasy to biography, with Abrams, First Second and Top Shelf well-represented:
Follow the link to read about the Good Comics For Kids bloggers have to say about each of the selections.
On the heels of Time magazine, National Public Radio has released a substantial list of the best books of 2013, which includes a dozen comics and graphic novels among its more than 200 titles (although, granted, not all of them are strictly “comics”). A handful of the selections should by now be familiar from previous best-of lists:
The parade of best-of-the-year lists continues apace, with critic Douglas Wolk selecting Time magazine’s Top 10 Comics and Graphic Novels of 2013:
Visit Time to read Wolk’s comments about each title.
It’s December, which means best-of-the-year lists, both large and small, will begin appearing at a mind-boggling pace. And while not all of them are comics-specific, many include a smattering of graphic novels and collections. Here are three of the most recent offerings:
• For the Best Graphic Novel of 2013, GoodReads members selected Beautiful Creatures: The Manga (Yen Press), Cassandra Jean’s adaptation of the bestselling young-adult novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. It beat out such contenders as March Book One, Boxers & Saints and Saga, Vol. 2.
• Slate’s list of the Overlooked Books of 2013 includes critic Tammy Oler’s recommendation of Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life As a Weapon (Marvel), by Matt Fraction, David Aja and Javier Pulido. “Fraction’s smart writing comes to life in stunning art and innovative panel layouts,” Oler writes, “making Hawkeye deeply entertainingly and moving.”
• At Salon, Laura Miller recounts 10 unforgettable graphic novels from 2013: Boxers & Saints, by Gene Luen Yang; Calling Dr. Laura, by Nicole J. Georges; The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, by H.P. Lovecraft and I.N.J. Culbard; Encyclopedia of Early Earth, by Isabel Greenberg; How to Fake a Moon Landing, by Darryl Cunningham; Opera Adaptations, by P. Craig Russell; RASL, by Jeff Smith; The Freddie Stories, by Lynda Barry; The Property, by Rutu Modan; and When David Lost His Voice, by Judith Vanistendael.
Conventions | Although convention organizers rolled out an altered name — WonderCon Anaheim — and logo when they confirmed two weeks ago that the event will return to Anaheim, California, again next year, they insist they haven’t close the door on San Francisco. “We still want to get back to the Bay Area. […] We are in touch with [the Moscone Center organizers] fairly regularly and we have an open dialogue,” says David Glanzer, director of marketing and public relations. “They haven’t given up on us, either.” The convention was uprooted from the Moscone Center in 2012 first because of remodeling and now because of scheduling conflicts. WonderCon Anaheim will be held April 18-20. [Publishers Weekly]
Digital comics | I spoke with Archie Comics Co-CEO Jon Goldwater and iVerse Media CEO Michael Murphey about the new “all-you-can-eat” digital service, Archie Unlimited. [Good E-Reader]
Goodreads has released the semifinalists for its 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards, which, as the name suggests, is a list of the best books of the year as selected by the website’s readers. The nominees for best graphic novels and comics are:
Lagging behind the rest of its list, Publishers Weekly has released its rundown of the best children’s books — split into fiction and nonfiction — which, unsurprisingly, includes a smattering of graphic novels. They are:
• Bad Machinery: The Case of the Team Spirit, by John Allison (Oni Press)
• Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant, by Tony Cliff (First Second)
• Boxers & Saints, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)
• Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, by Lucy Knisley (First Second)
You’ll undoubtedly notice that three of the four books are from First Second, which, while it’s still early in the best-of season (sure, it’s a season), is off to a strong start: Relish and Boxers & Saints, along with Paul Pope’s Battling Boy, also made it onto the Amazon list, while Yang’s book(s) appears twice on PW’s best of 2013.
Shortlisted just last month for the National Book Award, Boxers & Saints is shaping up to be a strong contender for the big graphic novel of the year, too.
Of course, comics weren’t limited to that one section: While Gilbert Hernandez’s Marble Season was named the best book in Comics & Graphic Novels, it also appeared at No. 71 on the editors’ rundown of the Top 100 of 2013, alongside Rutu Modan’s The Property (No. 80). Here’s the full Comics & Graphic Novels list: