It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes and first issues so that I don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “ Mouse Guard is still awesome!” every month. And I’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.
Also, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell me what I missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.
Explorer: The Mystery Boxes - With the Flight anthologies done, the all-ages version, Flight Explorer has morphed into this. I expect it to be as lovely as its predecessors and especially like the Mystery Box theme.
Jinx – J Torres and Rick Burchett’s graphic novel aimed at tween girls.
Kevin Keller, Volume 1 and Kevin Keller #1 – Archie collects the first appearances and mini-series of their major, gay character and also launches his ongoing series.
Flash Gordon: Vengeance of Ming – The third volume in Ardden’s Flash Gordon series.
CBR’s Alex Dueben interviewed Flight editor Kazu Kibuishi about the release of the eighth and final volume in the much-acclaimed anthology series this week, and Kibuishi talked a bit about why he and his editor decided to bring it to an end:
While “Flight” continues to be very successful for an anthology, it doesn’t sell enough copies to be considered a hit in the mainstream book publishing world, and our sales numbers were not rising. My goal with the project was to reach new readers and bring them into comics, but I was seeing that we weren’t doing a good enough job of it. I think much of the blame can be placed on the size and price of the books. It’s just a bit much to ask someone who has never read the other “Flight” books to spend $27 on a paperback. So I realized that the time spent on the series could be better spent helping the artists begin working on their own books. We’ll revisit the project again, but it will probably show up in a different form.
As comics shift more and more into a graphic novel model, Kibuishi’s words are worth thinking about. Book publishers and comics publishers have different ways of doing things, and apparently the Flight books, as great as they are, didn’t fit neatly into either category. On the other hand, they launched a lot of artists who did go on to make successful graphic novels.
And there’s a bit of good news in the article: Flight 8 is the last volume of the numbered series, but Kibuishi is also working with editor Sheila Keenan on one more volume of the all-ages Flight Explorer anthology, and he will be applying the lessons learned to this new book.
Since a Xeric Foundation grant back in 2002 first allowed him to self-publish, comics creator Sonny Liew has created a series of stories starring Atari and Oliver, two street urchins who steal bicycles, watch giant robot movies and get into trouble in a futuristic city filled with robots. The stories have appeared in various comics and anthologies over the years, and this August Image Comics will collect them into one volume titled Malinky Robot.
Liew, whose body of work includes the Vertigo series My Faith in Frankie and Minx book Re-Gifters with writer Mike Carey, Marvel’s Sense and Sensibility adaptation with writer Nancy Butler, and SLG’s Wonderland with writer Tommy Kovac, shared some details on the new collection with me via the magic of email. Based in Singapore, Liew is also working on a few new projects, as he shares below.
JK: What stories are included in the new collection and where did they originally appear?
Sonny: The collection begins with “Stinky Fish Blues,” which was first conceived in David Mazzucchelli’s Graphic Storytelling class at the Rhode Island School of Design. Xeroxed copies of the story ended up in a couple of comic stores in the Boston area, before a Xeric grant allowed to me to try my hand at self-publishing. Later on a colored version appeared in Liquid City vol 1. “Bicycle” was originally released as a one-shot from SLG Comics, and the other stories, “Dead Soul’s Day Out,” “New Year’s Day” and “Karakuri” appeared in various editions of the Flight anthologies edited by Kazu Kibuishi.
Ever-present story-breaker Variety has the scoop that Warner Bros. and Will Smith have picked up the rights to Flight founder Kazu Kibuishi‘s graphic novel series Amulet, tapping screenwriter Rob Edwards (The Princess and the Frog) to adapt the three-volume series. Will Smith will co-produce the film series and is rumored to be looking at the two key roles of brother Navin and sister Emily for his son Jaden (The Karate Kid) and daughter Willow (I Am Legend). In fact, Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith could find themselves in the film as well as the two siblings in the story chase after their parents.
Variety is framing this as a potential live-action vehicle, but I could see this going over better as an animated film in the vein of How To Train Your Dragon or owing to Kibuishi’s own Hayao Miyazaki influences. Still, great movies start from great stories, so a feature adaptation of Amulet is starting off on the right foot.
Originally debuting as a graphic novel back in 2008, Kibuishi’s graphic novel series has gone on to two further installments with a fourth scheduled for September 2011.
Hello and welcome once again to What Are You Reading?, where the Robot 6 crew talk about the comics and graphic novels that they’ve been enjoying lately. Today our special guest is Chad Nevett, who talks about comics in several different places around the web — at his personal blog GraphiContent, at our sister blog Comics Should Be Good!, as a reviewer for Comic Book Resources and on the Splash Page podcast. He also writes about wrestling for 411mania.
To see what Chad and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click the link below.
The state of California, in what is looking like a perpetual budget crisis, is contemplating huge cuts in school libraries, but school librarian Marie Slim and bookseller Pat Nelson are ganging up on them. The two have asked a number of prominent illustrators to help advocate their cause, and one of those who has responded is Kazu Kibuishi, creator of Copper and Amulet. His piece features Miskit, the toy rabbit from Amulet, and can be downloaded, along with illustrations by Aliki, Brian Selznick, and other illustrators, from the SLA Advocacy page.
While webcomics have certainly come into their own as a medium unto themselves, most creators eventually produce a print volume, either on their own or through a major publisher. Print publishers may put up part of a volume as a preview, or they may post an entire volume (as Viz does on its SigIKKI website) and then pull it down when the print edition arrives. Webcomics creators, on the other hand, generally leave the entire comic up on the web, which begs the question: Why pay for the book when the comic is free?
I recently received review copies of print editions of two well known webcomics, Cyanide & Happiness and Copper (links are to the web versions). In both cases, I had read the comic from time to time but didn’t follow it regularly. And in both cases, I felt that the print edition did indeed present extra value over the webcomic. Read on to see why.