Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Lianne Sentar is a member of the generation that came to comics through manga and stuck with it, moving from reading to creating to publishing. The author of Tokyo Demons, she was writing Sailor Moon novels for Tokyopop when she was still a teenager and later worked as an adaptor and editor.
Two years ago, Sentar teamed up with former Tokyopop senior editor Lillian Diaz-Przybyl and two other women to create Chromatic Press, an independent publisher of comics, fiction and audio dramas. Their flagship publication, Sparkler Monthly, is a digital magazine that is based on the Japanese model of serialized stories. They caught the attention of manga fans immediately by getting the rights to one of the best-regarded graphic novels from Tokyopop’s global manga line, Jen Lee Quick’s Off*Beat. Their lineup also includes Christy Lijewski (RE:play) and rem (Priscilla Hamby), who won the Japanese Morning International Manga Competition for non-Japanese creators. Jason Thompson just dedicated his weekly “House of 1000 Manga” column to an in-depth review of the magazine.
Newly minted indie publisher Chromatic Press has announced two new series for its digital anthology Sparkler, which will launch in July as a monthly magazine: Dire Hearts, a magical-school-battle story by Christy Lijewski, creator of RE:Play and Next Exit, and Gauntlet, an illustrated prose novel written by Ellery Prime and illustrated by T2A.
In addition to that news, Chromatic reached a milestone of sorts last week: It began shipping print copies of the first two volumes of Jen Lee Quick’s Off*Beat, which were funded by a Kickstarter campaign. Off*Beat was originally released by Tokyopop, which stopped publishing original English manga before the third volume was finished. Chromatic bought the rights from Tokyopop and gave the full copyright to Quick; in return, she signed to publish the full series with Chromatic.
Chromatic Press is run by four women with a ton of experience in comics and other media, including former Tokyopop editor Lillian Diaz-Przybyl, freelance writer and editor Lianne Sentar, freelance manga editor Rebecca Scoble, and Jill Astley, who works for a big bank by day and is heavily involved in otome game fandom when she’s off the clock.
Last week Chris Arrant covered former Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Professor Bob Pendarvis’ Kickstarter effort to fund A Girl Called Ana Teaches Kittens How To Draw. In today’s email interview, Pendarvis discusses his aim with the book, as well as Sugar Ninjas, the all-female sequential art anthology series aimed at drawing a spotlight on female creators. My thanks to Pendarvis for his time, and Tom Feister for putting me in contact with Pendarvis. His Kickstarter site gives more background on Pendarvis, including that he “created and taught the first comic book illustration classes at the Savannah College of Art & Design, going on to co-found their comics-based BFA and MFA degree programs (along with writer Mark Kneece and artist Bo Hampton).” If you are interested in helping Pendarvis with his Kickstarter effort, please act now–as there are less than 20 days left to meet the $15,000 goal.
Tim O’Shea: How soon after leaving SCAD did you realize you wanted to develop Sugar Ninjas?
Bob Pendarvis: Sugar Ninjas was originally a project I came up with to showcase the amazing variety of female artists in my classes. In the summer of 2009, as my official association with SCAD was coming to an end (on mutually acceptable terms), I decided to expand the concept of the Sugar Ninjas to include not only SCAD students, but also female artists and storytellers from around the world. All material in the book is copyrighted exclusively to the creators and the books are printed at lulu.com, each one priced at printing costs only—I don’t make a penny from any copy sold (although I encourage the ninjas to add sketches and charge a few dollars more). Volumes 1 and 2 are available right now, and a revised edition of Volume 1 will be back in early 2012.