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Comics A.M. | Police face ‘Charlie Hebdo’ suspects in twin siege

 

Crime | Police have surrounded an industrial park in the town of Dammartin-en-Goele, France, 25 miles north of Paris, where the two suspects in Wednesday’s massacre at the offices of satire magazine Charlie Hebdo are believed to be hiding. Police say brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi have taken over a print shop and are holding a hostage, and have reportedly told negotiators they wish to die as martyrs. The Associated Press reports that a second, apparently linked siege at a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris is believed to involve Amedy Coulibaly, suspected of killing a police officer on Thursday. Police say he’s holding at least six hostages. [The Guardian]

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Finalists announced for 2014 Cybils

cybils2014The finalists have been announced for the 2014 Children and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards, better known as the Cybils.

Established to recognize children’s and young-adult authors and illustrators, the Cybils are selected through a process that involves public nominations, publisher submissions and then, finally, a judging committee. The winners will be announced Feb. 14.

Here are the finalists in the graphic novel divisions:

Early and Middle Grades

  • Bad Machinery: The Case of the Good Boy, by John Allison (Oni Press)
  • Bird & Squirrel on Ice, by James Burks (Graphix)
  • El Deafo, by Cece Bell (Harry N. Abrams)
  • Gaijin: American Prisoner of War, by Matt Faulkner (Disney-Hyperion)
  • Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust, by Loic Dauvillier (First Second)
  • The Dumbest Idea Ever!, by Jimmy Gownley (Graphix)
  • Ballad, by Blexbolex (Enchanted Lion Books)

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Comics A.M. | Nostalgia, franchises and the new comics economy

Howard the Duck

Howard the Duck

Analysis | Rob Salkowitz kicks off the new year with big-picture questions about “geek culture”: With the popularity of comics-based movies, will continuity and nostalgia become less important? And will comics themselves become less important? “Putting out comics is a relatively costly and troublesome process with limited revenue potential relative to other ways of exploiting the intellectual property. A fan base that buys licensed merchandise and watches entertainment programming without needing a monthly fix of new art and story is probably considered a feature of the new comics economy, not a bug.” [ICv2]

Creators | Chew artist Rob Guillory, who will appear this weekend at Wizard World New Orleans, talks about the strange comics that he read as a kid (The Adventures of Kool-Aid Man) and the unexpected success of Chew, which will end next year with its 60th issue: “In the beginning, John and I were kind of like, ‘Well, best-case scenario, we can go 60 issues. Worst-case scenario, we can do five and go our separate ways and never speak again.’ I don’t know if we’ve seen the peak of our reception. I don’t think we’ll see how popular we’ve been until it’s over. When it’s wrapped and it’s the complete thing, I think people will start missing us.” [Best of New Orleans]

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Comics A.M. | Questions surround Cherry City Comic Con

Cherry City Comic Con

Cherry City Comic Con

Conventions | Vendors who paid the $60 deposit to exhibit at Cherry City Comic Con are clamoring for a refund after word circulated that the Salem, Oregon, convention won’t happen this spring as planned. (There appears to have been some discussion about the con being canceled on Facebook, but the convention’s Facebook page now states, “A marketing solutions company is helping us start the new year right and get us back on track to make this a successful show everyone can love.” No other posts appear on the page.) This isn’t the first round of controversy for the con: Last May, organizer Mike Martin called an exhibitor “batshit insane” on Facebook when she asked for a refund and expressed concern that the con would not be a “safe place for female cosplayers.” Martin is also the organizer of a craft fair that was canceled; some exhibitors for that event were denied refunds because of “a locked PayPal account.” [KOIN]

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Robot 6’s favorite comics of 2014

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As ROBOT 6’s sixth-anniversary celebration winds down, our contributors look back at some of their favorite comics of 2014, from Ms. Marvel and The Multiversity to Sex Criminals and How to Be Happy.

Let us know what some of your favorites of 2014 were in the comments section.

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Ambitious ‘Borb’ explores the ‘slapstick vagabond archetype’

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Jason Little launched his ambitious webcomic Borb earlier this year, telling the story of a homeless man through a series of four-panel comic strips — an homage to Great Depression-era newspaper strips like Little Orphan Annie and Gasoline Alley. In April, Uncivilized Books will release a 96-page collection of the strips.

Courtesy of Uncivilized Books, ROBOT 6 is pleased to present a preview of Borb. Check out the preview and some additional information from the publisher below.

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Talking Comics with Tim | Jamie Coe on ‘Art Schooled’

ArtSchooled_New-tease

When art school students graduate, they understandably don’t always hit the ground running, creatively. However, in his debut graphic novel from Nobrow, Art Schooled, London-based illustrator (and recent graduate) Jamie Coe found great storytelling fodder with a series of vignettes about a small-town guy who moves to the city in hopes of becoming an artist.

Speaking with ROBOT 6, Coe recalls finding his narrative voice while discovering those of his characters, and why it was critical that this journey from kid to adult be told in full color. Be sure to check out the preview at the end of the interview.

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Preview | Ginette Lapalme’s cutely subversive ‘Confetti’

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Later this year, Koyama Press will publish Confetti, a collection of the comics, paintings, sculptures and more from Toronto-based artist Ginette Lapalme. According to the publisher, “Lapalme uses cartoons and junk culture as raw material to make ‘cute’ subversive and ‘pretty’ punk.”

Check out the preview below, and look for the collection in May. Our thanks to Koyama for all the previews it provided for our anniversary celebration.

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Young delves into Chinese history for ‘Nanjing: The Burning City’

nanjing

Best known for his award-winning “slice-of-life fantasy” webcomic Tails, Ethan Young turns from the semi-autobiographical to historical fiction for his next project. Nanjing: The Burning City, a graphic novel due out later this year from Dark Horse, tells the story of two Chinese soldiers during the night before the Nanjing Massacre.

This will be big for Young; not only will the year see the release of a graphic novel he’s been planning since college, but he and his wife are also expecting their first child. We spoke about the project, fatherhood and more.

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The mystery deepens in David B.’s ‘Incidents in the Night Book 2′

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Following 2013’s well-received Incidents in the Night Book 1 from David B., Uncivilized Books will release Book 2 in April.

The first volume, which was both an Eisner nominee and an LA Times Book Prize finalist, involved the author’s search for a 19th-century journal, Incidents in the Night, which gave details on a plot to return Napoleon to power (and subsequently try to take over the world). The journey involved an immortal publisher hiding in a book and the angel of death, and ended on a cliffhanger. Book 2 collides with another David B. work, Epileptic, as the author’s dead brother, Jean-Christophe, picks up the search for David B. into this conspiracy-ridden, occult-driven world.

Courtesy of Uncivilized Books, we’re pleased to present a preview of what will likely be another “best of the year” list-topper from the acclaimed French artist, as translated by novelist Brian Evenson. The book is available for preorder on the publisher’s website, where it can also be purchased as a set with Book 1. Check out the preview, along with information on the book from the publisher, below.

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Preview | Cunningham’s ‘Age of Selfishness,’ Derf’s ‘Trashed’

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As a part of our sixth anniversary, Abrams ComicArts has provided ROBOT 6 with previews of two more books from its 2015 lineup — The Age of Selfishness: Ayn Rand, Morality, and the Financial Crisis by Darryl Cunningham and Trashed by Derf Backderf.

Tracing the emergence of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism in the 1940s to her present-day influence, Darryl Cunningham’s latest work of graphic-nonfiction investigation leads readers to the heart of the global financial crisis of 2008. Cunningham uses Rand’s biography to illuminate the policies that led to the economic crash in the United States and in Europe, and how her philosophy continues to affect today’s politics and policies.

Announced almost a year ago, Trashed started in 2002 as a comic from SLG Publishing and was revived in 2010 by Backderf as a webcomic. It’s a memoir of the year he spent as a garbageman in his rural hometown, with added fictional characters and situations. As he explained on his website, “It didn’t really happen but, trust me, it’s all too real.”

Check out the previews below. Our thanks to Abrams.

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Fumio Obata’s ‘Just So Happens’ arrives from Abrams in March

just-so-happens-tease

Courtesy of Abrams ComicArts, we’re pleased to present a preview of Just So Happens by Fumio Obata.

The graphic novel tells the story of a Japanese woman living in London who returns to Tokyo for the funeral of her father. While there, she finds herself immersed in the rituals of Japanese life and death — and confronting a decision she hadn’t expected to have to make.

Check out the preview below, and look for the book in stores on March 17.

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End of the world, with cats: Andrew MacLean on ‘ApocalyptiGirl’

AG-Cover-tease

Andrew MacLean is one of many artists I’ve enjoyed following over the past few years, from his self-published work on the two volumes of Head Lopper to his collaborations with writers like Jim Gibbons, Nolan T Jones and Jamie Gambell. This year he’ll be hitting comics in a big way with the release of ApocalyptiGirl, a graphic novel about a girl, a cat and an apocalypse.

Due out May 20 from Dark Horse (and listed in the current Previews), ApocalyptiGirl is both written and drawn by MacLean. I spoke with him about the book, as well as his plans for more Head Lopper.

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Preview | Mummies play hoops (for keeps) in ‘Fantasy Sports’

Fantasy_sports-tease

While basketball season will be over by the time the summer rolls around, fans jonesin’ for some hoops in July can check out Sam Bosma‘s Fantasy Sports, the Nobrow Press expanded edition of his self-published comic Fantasy Basketball.

Previously available directly from Bosma on Gumroad, the new edition expands the original award-winning comic into an oversized hardcover. Combining elements of sports manga, video games and old-fashioned tomb raiding, this new version is in full color, which makes Bosma’s beautiful drawings pop.

Check out a preview, as well as additional information on the book, below.

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Brian shares his Hulk-sized Shelf Porn

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Welcome to Shelf Porn, our weekly trip into the abode of a fan. Today Brian invites us into his home, showing us his graphic novels, toys and much more.

If you’d like to see your collection here, you can find instructions on how to submit it at the end of this post.

Now here’s Brian …

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