Welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading?, where today we welcome special guest Ron Marz. Marz has written everything from Green Lantern to Witchblade, and you can currently find him working on comics like Artifacts, Prophecy, Blackburn Burrow and The Ride: Southern Gothic. He also writes the column Shelf Life for Comic Book Resources and can be found on Twitter.
To see what Ron and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Today our special guests are the creative team behind the upcoming self-distributed indie comic LP, Curt Pires and Ramon Villalobos. You can read more about the comic in the interview Tim O’Shea did with Curt earlier this week.
And to see what they’ve been reading lately, click below.
Awards | Big Questions by Anders Nilsen has won the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize for 2012, the second such award given by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book. The organization also named four honorees: Freeway by Mark Kalesniko, Habibi by Craig Thompson, Life with Mr. Dangerous by Paul Hornschemeier and Zahra’s Paradise by Amir and Khalil. The awards will be presented during a ceremony at Penn State later this year. [Pennsylvania Center for the Book]
Publishing | IDW Publishing has promoted Dirk Wood to vice president of marketing. Wood joined IDW in 2010 as director of retail marketing. [IDW Publishing]
Conventions | Misha Davenport previews this weekend’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo. [Chicago Sun-Times]
I’ve been a fan of Mark Kalesniko‘s work for several years now, ever since I came across his wrenching 1997 graphic novel Why Did Pete Duel Kill Himself?, an all-too painful observation of adolescence starring his most regular character the dog-faced animator Alex.
Kalesniko followed up that book with the acclaimed Mail Order Bride, and then a collection of his earlier Alex stories, but he’s been quiet since then. As he notes in the interview below, however, he hasn’t given up on comics, but working on his latest comic, the soon-to-be-released from Fantagraphics book, Freeway.
As the title hints, Freeway finds Alex stuck in a seemingly endless L.A. traffic jam, where, as his nerves begin to fray, he re-examines his life, particularly his supposed “dream job” as an animator with a legendary studio, and imagines what his life and career might have been like if he had been born several decades earlier.
Kalesniko keeps a number of different narrative threads and timelines going here, segueing back and forth from the past to the present and from Alex’s imagination to reality. What’s impressive is how he’s able to keep all those plot lines together without confusing the reader or losing track of his larger themes. Freeway is an impressive book from an underrated talent and I was happy for the opportunity to talk to Kalesniko about the book and his working methods.