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What Are You Reading? with Shaun Manning

private eye2-cover

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at the comics, books and whatever else we’ve been checking out lately. Today our guest is Shaun Manning, a former staffer at CBR, occasional convention reporter and comics writer. His current project is a comic called Hell, Nebraska (with artist Anna Wieszczyk), and he’s currently running a Kickstarter to raise funds to publish it. So go check it out.

To see what Shaun and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.

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What Are You Reading? with Allison Baker

nursenursecover-tease

Happy Mother’s Day and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at the comics, books and what have you we’ve been checking out lately. Joining us today is Allison Baker, co-publisher of Bandette, Edison Rex and all the other Monkeybrain Comics you can find on comiXology.

To see what Allison and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.

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What Are You Reading? with Evan Young

Sandman_6-tease

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at the comics, books and whatever else we’ve been checking out lately. Today we are joined by guest Evan Young, an “influential pioneer” of digital literature and creator of the digital graphic novel The Carrier. He’s currently raising funds for his next project, The Last West, via Kickstarter, so head over there and check it out.

To see what Evan and the Robot 6 team have been reading, click below.

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A picture’s worth a thousand words in this Shelf Porn collection

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Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn, our weekly look into the homes of comic fans around the world. Today’s Shelf Porn comes from Louie, a man of few words, but a whole lot of shelves. “I love seeing how people store and display their collections so I thought I’d share mine,” he said in his email.

You can find out how to submit your collection to Shelf Porn right here. And now take a look at Louie’s collection …

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What Are You Reading? with Steven Sanders

Gantz

Gantz

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at the books, comics and what have you that the Robot 6 crew have been perusing of late. Today we welcome our special guest Steven Sanders, artist of such comics as Wolverine and the X-Men, Wolverine, S.W.O.R.D, Our Love is Real, The Five Fists of Science and more. He’s currently using Kickstarter to raise funds for a “Creative Commons art book” called Symbiosis.

“Symbiosis is a world-building art book that tells the story of a woman’s travels through a world where the symbiotic relationship that we have with technology is made much more visceral,” the Kickstarter page reads. “All sources of power are generated by bio-etheric engines, with which the operators share a direct mental link. The story-telling is loose and mostly visual. It will be told with art that uses a variety of media and formats: fully painted, colored line art, black-and-white line art, and comic art. What you do with this story is up to you. Enjoy it on its own merits, or take it and spin it off into any of a million different directions.”

To see what Steven and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below:

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Neil Gaiman debuts Skottie Young’s cover for Fortunately, the Milk

Neil Gaiman has debuted Skottie Young’s cover for the U.S. edition of their upcoming children’s book Fortunately, the Milk. Officially announced in July as part of the author’s five-book deal with HarperCollins Children’s Books, it’s described as “an ode to the pleasure and wonders of storytelling itself.”

Dave McKean was at one point set to illustrate Fortunately, the Milk, which Gaiman referred to in 2011 as “a very silly children’s book” that “was meant to be about the length of The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish, but it’s actually about four or five times as long.”

Gaiman has published 13 novels and picture books through HarperCollins Children’s Books, including the Newbery-winning The Graveyard Book. Fortunately, the Milk is scheduled for release Sept. 17.

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Robot Roulette | Fred Van Lente

Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.

Today we welcome writer Fred Van Lente, who you know from his work on Archer & Armstrong, Action Philosophers, Comic Book Comics, Herc and Incredible Hercules, Marvel Zombies and many more, including upcoming runs on G.I. Joe and Brain Boy.

Now let’s get to it …

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What Are You Reading? with Sonia Harris

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, where we reveal our picks for the best Super Bowl ads … er, where we talk about what we’ve been reading lately. Today our special guest is Sonia Harris, who writes a weekly column – Committed – for Comics Should Be Good, and is a graphic designer on books such as Butcher Baker the Righteous Maker (collected in hardcover now from Image Comics) and upcoming comic books SEX (beginning March) and The Bounce. (beginning May).

To see what Sonia and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.

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Robot Roulette | Chris Samnee

Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.

Today we welcome artist Chris Samnee, who you know from his work on Daredevil, Thor: The Mighty Avenger, Captain America and Bucky,Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom, The Mighty and more.

Now let’s get to it …

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How not to draw manga: Some free advice

How to use how-to books

I’m sitting here looking at a stack of how-to-draw-manga books, and I’m feeling very guilty.

These books were sent to me as review copies, and I feel it’s my duty to review them. They are thoughtfully designed and beautifully produced, and they aren’t cheap. People think being a reviewer is all beer and skittles and free comics, but those comics aren’t free; they carry a serious responsibility with them, and I’m afraid that in the case of these books, I have failed miserably.

The problem is that I don’t believe in the basic mission of these books. I say this as someone who once had aspirations to being a fine artist and who later edited art-instruction books. Let me explain.

When I was in college, I loved the idea of being an artist, but I lacked talent. That didn’t stop me from soldiering through school — I have a BFA and an MFA in studio art — but when I got out into the real world and started trying to make my way as an artist, I realized I lacked both the knack and the spark I needed to be successful.

Nonetheless, I went from being a terrible draftsman to a better-than-mediocre draftsman during that time, and I didn’t do it by reading books. I did it by drawing. So here’s the advice I have for all aspiring comics artists everywhere: Draw from life. You’re better off using those how-to books in an interesting still-life setup and drawing that than copying the illustrations you will find inside.

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Comics A.M. | Turkey lifts ban on thousands of books (and a comic)

Legal

Censorship | At least one comic, alas unnamed, was among the thousands of books removed this week from a Turkish government restricted list. Most of the bans were widely ignored anyway, but Metin Celal Zeynioglu, the head of Turkey’s publishers’ union, pointed out one important effect of lifting them: “Many of the students arrested in demonstrations are kept in prison because they’re carrying banned books. From now on, we won’t be able to use that as an excuse.” [The Australian]

Publishing | Tom Spurgeon’s latest holiday interview is with Shannon Watters, the editor of BOOM! Studios’ children’s comics line, which includes Adventure Time, Bravest Warriors and Peanuts. [The Comics Reporter]

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Robot Roulette | Faith Erin Hicks

Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.

Today Faith Erin Hicks steps up to the wheel. You know her from such works as Friends with Boys, Brain Camp, The Adventures of Superhero Girl, Zombies Calling and The War at Ellesmere, as well as the upcoming The Last of Us and Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong. Check out her website for more information.

Now let’s get to it …

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Ryan North’s To Be Or Not To Be smashes Kickstarter record [Updated]

Illustration from "To Be Or Not To Be," by Anthony Clark

As the final hours tick down on the Kickstarter campaign for To Be Or Not To Be, cartoonist Ryan North’s Choose Your Own Adventure-style take on Hamlet has raised more than $481,000 — that’s 2,405 percent of its $20,000 goal — easily breaking the crowdfunding platform’s record for most successful book project.

As we reported last month, To Be Or Not To Be will allow (adult!) readers to be one of numerous characters from William Shakespeare’s play, including the ghost of Hamlet’s father. “Also,” the Kickstarter page offers, “unlike Shakespeare I didn’t skip over the pirate scene in Hamlet. You get to fight PIRATES. With SWORDS.  And yes OF COURSE you can choose which body part you cut off. Why would you write a book where you can’t do that is my question.” What’s more, North enlisted an all-star roster of artists — ranging from Kate Beaton and Kazu Kibuishi to Vera Brosgol and Dustin Harbin — to illustrate the prose book.

In an article this morning on Wired.com examining the blockbuster success of the campaign, North notes, “No [publisher] would drop hundreds of thousands of dollars on getting this book made because you don’t know if the audience will show up for it, and you have to front all these costs. The better you want to make the book, the riskier it gets. But with Kickstarter, we know the audience is there when we make these decisions.”

Talking with Laura Hudson, Tom Helleberg of New York University Press predicts, “It probably won’t be long until Kickstarter (or something similar) completely replaces the slush pile and agents when it comes to filtering submissions. Then presses are going to have to figure out how on Earth they are going to attract successful authors who are effectively earning 100 percent royalties on self-produced projects.”

Update (11 a.m. PT): Since this post was published, an additional $20,595 was pledged to the project, bringing the tally to more than a half-million dollars. Eighteen hours remain in the campaign.

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What Are You Reading? with Chris Wisnia

Doc Savage: Dust of Death

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Today our special guest is Chris Wisnia, creator of the Doris Danger books.

To see what Chris and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.

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Saturday Shelf Porn | Everything’s bigger in Texas

Legend has it that everything is bigger in Texas, and John E. Petty from Lewisville intends to prove it in today’s Shelf Porn. He sent over his house-wide collection of comics, art, statues and more.

If you have some shelves you’d like to show off, send a write-up and some jpgs to jkparkin@yahoo.com.

And now here’s John …

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