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Winners announced for 2014 British Comic Awards

BCA LogoThe winners of the third annual British Comic Awards were announced Saturday at the Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds, England. Two of the four awards went to titles published by Image Comics; all four of the winning works are readily available in the United States. Here are the winners:

Best Comic: The Wicked + The Divine #1 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson and Clayton Cowles (Image Comics)

Best Book: The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg (Jonathan Cape)

Young People’s Comic Award: Hilda and the Black Hound by Luke Pearson (Flying Eye Books)

Emerging Talent: Alison Sampson for her artwork on Genesis (Image Comics) and “Shadows” from the In The Dark anthology (IDW Publishing)

Hall of Fame: Posy Simmonds

Two years ago, when the first awards were announced, there was some discussion about the gender balance of both the committee that chose the books and the nominations themselves. Last year’s awards all went to men. This year, there were more women on the committee and more women on the shortlist, and the awards were split, with Simmonds giving the women the edge.

Discerning the core appeal of ‘Tooth & Claw’

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Often when one runs across an engaging new series, it is fairly easy to identify the prime factor that serves as the appeal/pull for the project. In the case of Tooth & Claw, the new fantasy series (replete with talking animals and magic) by writer Kurt Busiek, artist Ben Dewey and colorist Jordie Bellaire, no one factor can be identified.

For starters–in the “credit where credit is due” department, there would be no series had Busiek not initially conceived the series, prior to seeking out Dewey. Busiek has known since the initial 1994 success of Marvels that no matter how great a writer he may be, the lynchpin to a project’s success or failure is how effectively the artist interprets his script.

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Creative process: Gabriel Hardman’s rejected ‘Kinski’ cover

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Fans of Gabriel Hardman‘s Kinski get a double treat this week, as the original Monkeybrain run of the series wraps up with the digital release of Issue 6, while at the same time Image Comics has collected all six issues in a $14.99 trade paperback.

To mark the occasion, ROBOT 6 reached out to Hardman for any bonus material he was willing to share . He obliged us with a rejected cover. He also offered the following explanation:

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Talking Comics with Tim | Bryan Hitch on ‘Real Heroes’

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Bryan Hitch has been a professional artist for more than a quarter century, so it makes perfect since that after all that time he would want to try his hand at writing as well as drawing a comic. This year saw the premiere of such an effort, the Image Comics six-issue miniseries Real Heroes.

The premise is direct: A group of actors portraying a team of superheroes gets thrust into an alternate universe, where they’re forced to portray actual heroes. Two issues will be released this month (Issue 4 arrives Wednesday, followed Nov. 12 by Issue 5) in an effort to catch up to its its schedule, before the series wraps up on Dec. 10.

In our interview, Hitch discusses how much he enjoyed writing and his intention to write more, and elaborates on his decision to have his last creative word on superheroes be his next project.

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McFarlane pulls back curtain on ‘Spawn’ #248 cover process

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Counting down to the landmark 250th issue of Spawn, Todd McFarlane has given fans a glimpse into the cover process for Issue 248 — “only two more issues until AL SIMMONS returns!!” — penciled by Syzmon Kudranski and inked by McFarlane himself, which goes on sale Nov. 5.

“It’s pretty COOL to see how it all comes together,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “There’s a lot of work that goes into this comic stuff.” He also offered a reminder about the art contest for Spawn #250, noting that he’ll start collecting submissions on Nov. 1.

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Comics A.M. | Alexis Deacon wins Observer/Cape/Comica prize

From "The River"

From “The River”

Awards | Alexis Deacon has won the 2014 Observer/Cape/Comica graphic short story prize for “The River,” “a luscious, tangled, whispering kind of story” that earned him £1,000 (about $1,611 U.S.). The runners-up were Fionnuala Doran’s “Countess Markievicz” and Beth Dawson’s “After Life.” The short-story competition has been held annually since 2007 by London’s Comica Festival, publisher Jonathan Cape and The Observer newspaper. [The Observer]

Publishing | Mark Peters spotlights Archie Comics’ recent transformation from staid to startling, with titles like Afterlife With Archie and the new Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. [Salon]

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Screen Panel announces ‘Revival’ print series

Details of the prints by Randy Ortiz (left) and Angela An

Details of the prints by Randy Ortiz (left) and Angela An

Secret Panel, the Chicago-based screen print collective, is launching a print series based on Revival, the “rural noir” series by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton.

Limited-edition prints by Angela An, Randy Ortiz and Revival cover artist Jenny Frison have been teased on Secret Panel’s Facebook page, but not fully revealed. They’ll be available for $30 each (quantities are limited to 140 copies), or all three, plus an exclusive Secret Panel print, for $90.

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Nate Simpson resurfaces with video game, ‘Nonplayer’ update

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Cartoonist Nate Simpson burst into comics in 2011 with his Image Comics series Nonplayer. He won the prestigious Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award just three months later, sold the film rights to he comic, and then unfortunately broke is collarbone. Now, three years later, he’s back — but not how you might think.

Simpson, who resumed his career in video games, announced on his blog that he created a new game for Uber Entertainment called Human Resources, on which he’s serving as art director.

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Comics A.M. | Square Enix fires back in manga copyright feud

Hi Score Girl, Vol. 4

Hi Score Girl, Vol. 4

Legal | The Japanese publisher Square Enix has filed a counterclaim against SNK Playmore, asking Osaka District Court to rule that its manga Hi Score Girl doesn’t infringe on copyrights held by the video game company. Earlier this year, SNK brought criminal copyright violation charges against Square Enix after learning Hi Score Girl contains more than 100 unauthorized images of characters from SNK Playmore games. The manga has been put on hold because of the dispute. [Anime News Network]

Conventions | Who’s buying, and how much are they spending, at conventions? Rob Salkowitz mines the numbers from a recent Eventbrite poll of convention-goers to get some answers: Most people spend between $100 and $500 per person; cosplayers actually spend a bit more than average; and women shell out more money at conventions, while men spend more online. [ICv2]

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Comics A.M. | The New York Times apologizes for cartoon

The New York Times cartoon

The New York Times cartoon

Editorial cartoons | The New York Times has apologized to readers who were offended by an editorial cartoon about India’s space program that depicted the country as a man in traditional dress, leading a cow and knocking at the door of the “Elite Space Club.” “The intent of the cartoonist, Heng Kim Song, was to highlight how space exploration is no longer the exclusive domain of rich, Western countries,” reads the apology, signed by editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal. “Mr. Heng, who is based in Singapore, uses images and text — often in a provocative way — to make observations about international affairs. We apologize to readers who were offended by the choice of images in this cartoon. Mr. Heng was in no way trying to impugn India, its government or its citizens.” [The New Indian Express]

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‘Southern Bastards’ debuts playlist, Andrew Robinson variant

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As a nice reminder of today’s final-order cutoff deadline for Southern Bastards #5, Image Comics has released Andrew Robinson’s painted variant cover depicting Coach Boss.

Created by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour, the “Southern-fried crime comic” follows one-time local hero Earl Tubb as he returns home to Craw County, Alabama, to take take of family business. In Issue 5, which arrives Oct. 29, the creators dig into the history of Craw County and the fearsome Euless Boss.

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Exclusive: ‘Birthright’ creators go behind the scenes of fantasy series

birthright1In Birthright, the upcoming fantasy adventure by writer Joshua Williamson, artist Andrei Bressan and colorist Adriano Lucas, young Mikey Rhodes goes missing, leaving his father a suspect in his murder, and the rest of his family in shambles. But just mysteriously as he disappeared, Mikey reappears, but he’s changed.

Debuting in October from Skybound/Image Comics, the series centers on a boy who’s kidnapped by fairies and told he’s destined to to defeat a great evil. But once he accomplishes that and returns home, what’s next?

To tell that epic tale, Williamson, Bressan and Lucas not only had to create a war-ravaged otherworld populated by fantasy creatures and untold horrors, they also had to establish a realistic, familiar setting in which the Rhodes family drama unfolds.

The creative team provided ROBOT 6 with an exclusive glimpse into the process, sharing their thoughts on world-building, their approach to the designs of the central characters and the fantasy realm of Terrenos, and the mammoth undertaking of the impressive poster for Birthright.

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Alex Ross’ ‘Tooth & Claw’ #2 variant brings animals home to roost

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With Kurt Busiek and Benjamin Dewey’s Tooth & Claw set to launch in November, Image Comics has debuted variant cover by fan-favorite artist Alex Ross for the series’ second issue, which details a full menagerie for the fantasy series.

“The world in Tooth & Claw is kind of a quasi-medieval fantasy, joined with classical designs,” Ross said in a statement. “That made me think of paintings like The Raft of the Medusa, and I wanted to capture that feeling, with the characters and situations from the series. Although really, the only reference I had was the Pogues album, Rum, Sodomy & The Lash, so in a way, that was my reference and my inspiration.”

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Larsen writes ‘Savage Dragon’ screenplay, talks hopes for a film

TheSavageDragonMini1Savage Dragon is rapidly approaching its 200th issue, and creator Erik Larsen has hit another milestone: He’s written a Savage Dragon screenplay, which he made public earlier today on Facebook and Twitter.

Larsen announced it by simply stating, “As of 2:06 this morning a Savage Dragon screenplay exists. Wish me luck,” but went into more detail on Facebook comments and Twitter replies.

“As far as actors go — I’d rather get a guy with decent acting chops than try to find somebody built like Dragon,” the writer/artist stated on Facebook. “Savage Dragon NEEDS to be constructed. No human being has fists the size of loafs of bread. He can’t just be a normal muscle man and normal muscle men don’t have the comedic timing and acting chops needed to pull off the part.” That said, he also wrote that he doesn’t necessarily think the film needs to go full-tilt CGI: “I would think Dragon could be mostly real — with CG arms and chest.”

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Jock’s Batman art auctioned to benefit 2-year-old with leukemia

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Fans of Batman, and of Jock, take note: The acclaimed artists of such series as The Losers and the upcoming Wytches has donated a page from Detective Comics #871 for an eBay auction to benefit a 2-year-old with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Although Nathaniel’s prognosis is said to be good, he faces a few years of treatment, during which time his parents will have to make regular trips to the hospital.

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