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Toronto Comic Arts Festival announces 2012 lineup

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival, one of the high points of the indy comics year, has announced the first round of guests for this year. It doesn’t seem to be up on the TCAF site just yet, but Tom Spurgeon has the rundown at The Comics Reporter, and it’s an impressive list: Jeff Smith, Alison Bechdel, Guy Delisle, and Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon are the headliners. Smith will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Bone, while Bechdel’s Are You My Mother? and Delisle’s Jerusalem are both due out shortly before the show.

But wait! There’s more! Kate Beaton, German creator Arne Bellstorf, Scottish creator Tom Gauld (whose Goliath is due out soon from Drawn and Quarterly) Gabriella Giandelli, Jennifer and Matt Holm (Babymouse), Jason, Kazu Kibuishi (creator of Amulet and editor of the Flight anthologies), Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim), Gary Panter, Michel Rabagliati, Andy Runton (Owly), Olivier Schrauwen, and Adam Warren (Empowered) will also be gracing the halls of the Toronto Reference Library this May. That’s an amazingly eclectic and talented group. If you have been thinking “Some day I’ll make it to TCAF,” this should probably be the year.

What are you excited about for 2012?

[Note: this post was assembled by both Tim O’Shea and JK Parkin]

This is our final post for our big birthday bash, and what a post it is. No matter how much stuff we line up, people we interview, etc., there are still tons of folks we like to hear from and include in our giant New Year’s/anniversary/birthday activities. So, as we have in past years, we have asked various comics folks what they are excited about for 2012 in comics–something they aren’t working on and something they are.

There’s a lot of great stuff here–hints at new projects and even some downright announcements. Our thanks to everyone this year who responded!

Jason Latour

Loose Ends 4

I’m most anticipating the 30th Anniversary of HEROES CON (June 22-24, Charlotte, NC) . For any convention 30 years is an amazing run, but the fact that Shelton Drum and his extended family have put this show together every year with nothing but blood, sweat and tears is flat out super heroic.

On the personal front, the challenging and exhilarating ride that’s been Loose Ends will come to a close with issue 4. It’ll be bittersweet to send our child off to into the real world but I can’t wait for you guys to see the work Brunner & Renzi are doing.

I’m also super excited to dip my own toes into the Mignola-verse with the BPRD: The Pickens County Horror [March 28, 2012] and to read the end of Jason Aaron & RM Guera’s Scalped, which is my favorite series in years.

Jason Latour is a writer/artist, most recently the writer of Loose Ends. He spoke with Tim O’Shea about the miniseries in July.

Patrick Zircher

This sounds politic, but it’s genuine: what excites me about comics in 2012 is what’s exciting every year, the work of the talent.  Seeing what the best are up to and how the up-n-comers have grown as artists and writers.  In the new year, I’m also excited about illustrating several books and covers that feature my favorite Avengers.

Patrick Zircher is an artist, who explored the 1920s/1930s era of the Marvel universe in 2011 with the five-issue miniseries, Mystery Men. He spoke with Tim O’Shea about the miniseries in May.

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What Are You Reading? with Geoffrey Golden and Amanda Meadows


Season’s Greetings and welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what we’ve been reading lately. Today our special guests are Geoffrey Golden and Amanda Meadows, editors of Devastator: The Quarterly Comedy Magazine for Humans. Their latest issue has a video game theme, with contributions from James Kochalka, Corey Lewis, Danny Hellman and many more. And if you head over to their website between now through Dec. 16, the code ROBOT6 gets you 20 percent off single issues.

To see what Amanda, Geoffrey and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below.

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Previews: What looks good for January

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes

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.

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Books vs. comics: Kazu Kibuishi on the problem of Flight

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.

Creator Q&A | Sonny Liew on Malinky Robot

Malinky Robot

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.

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Kibuishi’s Amulet takes flight as movie with Will Smith and family to star

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.

What Are You Reading?

Daredevil: The Man Without Fear

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.

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Straight for the Art | Kazu Kibuishi’s library illustration

Kazu Kibuishi's pro-library art

Kazu Kibuishi's pro-library art

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.

Unbound: Webcomics in print



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.

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Sneak peek: Flight, Vol. 6, and Daisy Kutter

The cover of Flight, Vol. 6, by Kazu Kibuishi

The cover of Flight, Vol. 6, by Kazu Kibuishi

Kazu Kibuishi shows off his cover for the sixth volume of Flight, due out this summer, and offers a glimpse of his Daisy Kutter story “Phantoms.”

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