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Crime | Sigolène Vinson, a writer for Charlie Hebdo, gives her account of the Jan. 7 shootings that killed 12 at the French satire magazine’s headquarters. Vinson was in the kitchen and heard brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi shoot her coworkers; she hid in a colleague’s office but came face to face with Saïd Kouachi, who told her “Don’t be afraid, calm down. I won’t kill you. You’re a woman, we don’t kill women. But think about what you do, what you do is bad. I’m sparing you and because I’ve spared you, you will read the Qur’an.” (However, Chérif killed writer Elsa Cayat, the only female victim of the attack.) [The Guardian]
Awards | This year’s grand prix de la ville d’Angoulême, the lifetime achievement award given every year at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, won’t be given to the staff of Charlie Hebdo, despite a petition started by jury president Gwen de Bonneval that garnered 1,200 signatures plus significant support on Twitter and Facebook. Two Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, Wolinski, who was killed in the Jan. 7 attack, and Willem, who wasn’t in the office that day, have been awarded the grand prix in previous years. The festival has announced a special Charlie Hebdo award that will go to a cartoonist whose work embodies resistance to oppression and censorship, and organizers will also publish a special album of cartoons drawn in response to the attacks. [France Inter]
Paul Allor is turning 35 on Oct. 3, and he’s celebrating by giving a few presents — to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and The Hero Initiative. “It’s my birthday present to two of my favorite service organizations,” Allor says.
The CBLDF helps defend free-speech cases involving comics, while The Hero Initiative provides a safety net for creators who are in need of financial help.
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.
Joining us today is writer Robert Venditti, who you know from X-O Manowar, Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps., Demon Knights, the graphic novel adaptations of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Homeland Directive and The Surrogates
Now let’s get to it …
Being a judge in the Eisner Awards meant making hard choices. It’s like being an admissions officer at Harvard: You could make a top-notch set of picks, throw them away, and still have a strong field for the second set. With six judges each having a different voice, sometimes a book that one or two of us think is the greatest thing since sliced bread doesn’t make the final cut.
Here’s my short list of comics that, if it were up to me, would have gotten Eisner nominations.
Best Limited Series
One of my favorite series of 2011 was Spontaneous, by Brett Weldele and Joe Harris. It’s a great crypto-mystery about spontaneous human combustion, with a nerdy know-it-all played off against an aggressive reporter. The story has its flaws, but I couldn’t put it down.
Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)
Nina in That Makes Me Mad: We had an unusually strong field of children’s books, even after we split the category into two age groups, but this book was my first choice for a nomination. The writing is sharp and perceptive, and Hilary Knight’s illustrations are amazing. Even the page layouts are awesome. This is a book that speaks directly to children, in a voice they can understand, yet does it with an elegance that adults can appreciate as well.
Hey kids, it’s time once again for What Are You Reading?, a weekly look into the reading habits of your Robot 6 bloggers. This week our special guest is Rik Offenberger, comics journalist and public relations coordinator for Archie Comics.
To see what Rik and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
As noted at the book’s website, the 12 stories in writer Paul Allor’s Clockwork Volume 1 “defy genre lines, taking you on a journey from the Old West to outer space, from death row to a child’s home … Allor is joined by some of today’s most exciting artists, including JM Ken Niimura, Brett Weldele and Nikki Cook”. After being introduced to the work online, I wanted to email interview Allor about the first volume of his project (with the second volume in development) as well as his work with Comics Experience and the writers group, The Brutal Circle.
Tim O’Shea: When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a project like the 12 short comics in Clockwork, Vol. 1?
Paul Allor: Last year I took a comics writing course through Comics Experience, which is run by former Marvel and IDW editor Andy Schmidt. In that class, Andy told us that writing a strong and complete five-page comic is actually harder than writing a longer work.
I really took that to heart. So, after the class ended, I decided to continue honing my craft on stand-alone five-page stories. Clockwork, Volume 1 features 12 of them, and another 12 are currently in production for Clockwork, Volume 2.
Oni Press sent over their big list o’ items they’ll have at their booth, which includes shirts, prints and other items. They’ll also debut two very ambitious and awesome-sounding graphic novels, One Soul by Ray Fawkes and Petrograd by Phil Gelatt and Tyler Crook. They’ll also have copies of the first two issues of Spontaneous (you can read the first issue right here on Robot 6!)
Oni will also conduct portfolio reviews for artists; check out the details at the end of the post.
Oni Press is in San Diego for San Diego Comic-Con 2011! July 20th – 24th we’ll be strutting our stuff at booth #1833. Come by and check out our eclectic library of titles including the premiere of:
By Ray Fawkes
*Every copy purchased at the show comes with a limited edition signing card*
From visionary cartoonist Ray Fawkes comes one of the most original and thought-provoking graphic novels of all time! A unique and poetic narrative, One Soul takes the experiences of 18 individuals and weaves them into the spiritual journey of a lifetime. Gracefully flowing from character to character, moment to moment, Fawkes has crafted a stunning mosaic that takes advantage of the medium of sequential art in a way few creators dare.
The people at Sea Lion sure seem to know how to reel in major outside talent; from their earlier days at Dabel Brothers enlisting Orson Scott Card and Laurell K. Hamilton to today’s news of a new 12-volume series from a producer of one of the biggest animated movie franchises ever. Longtime DreamWorks producer Aaron Warner is coming in for his first comic ever, Pariah, and is set to debut at this year’s Comicon International.
According to a press release sent out by Sea Lion, Pariah follows a group of genetically engineered super-smart teens who find that the outside world may not be prepared for their abilities. After a terrorist attack on a laboratory leads to a biological attack, its these teens — dubbed ‘Vitros’ by the media — that become the target for the world’s scorn and retaliation.
Warner & Sea Lion are making this story real with veteran comic artist Brett Weldele (The Surrogates, The Light), whose had hsi share of Hollywood team-ups working on comic spinoffs of Southland Tales, Halloween and others. Look for more as the days count down to SDCC.
Courtesy of our friends at Oni Press, we’re really pleased to present the Free Comic Book Day edition of Spontaneous #1, the new series by writer Joe Harris and artist Brett Weldele. Here’s a description of the book:
Driven to discover the truth regarding his father’s mysterious death many years prior, Melvin Reyes seeks to prove the existence of Spontaneous Human Combustion after fresh outbreaks of the phenomenon reveal a pattern only he can see, a predictability model only he can read, and the terrifying realization that whatever phenomenon consumed his father is also boiling inside of him, just waiting for release.
The first issue will be available again — this time for purchase — in July, when the second issue also comes out. But you can check it out after the jump …