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Publishing | Archaia founder Mark Smylie will leave the company he founded in 2002 to focus on his writing career. Creator of Artesia and author of the 2014 novel The Barrow, sold the company in 2008 to Kunoichi Inc., but remained as an acting principal. BOOM! Studios then purchased Archaia in 2013, transforming it into an imprint of the publisher. [press release]
Conventions | Filmmaker John Waters says the organizers of Shock Pop Comic Con, which took place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on the weekend of Feb. 14, owe him $6,250 — and they have told him they don’t intend to pay. Waters said the con seemed legit, if lightly attended, and they paid the first half of his fee up front. “I didn’t think that they were gonna – in a very short time – send a letter from a lawyer that basically was just like, ‘Don’t bother even trying,’” he said. But that’s what they did: The letter said the company that organized the event “had to close their doors and had no assets within which to satisfy its debts.” Freelance talent manager Shade Rupe said the con had “an incredible lineup,” but it was poorly organized; he got stuck with the limo bill for one of the people he represents, actor Danny Trejo. [Broward/Palm Beach New Times]
Mark Smylie is important to comics for a couple of reasons: Not only does he make Artesia, an epic series of lushly drawn and intricately detailed military fantasy comics, but he also created the company Archaia in order to publish the series. He contributed a story to the Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard anthology and has provided illustrations for collectible card and role-playing games, including the Artesia RPG he designed himself.
Last week, Smylie added to his accomplishments with the release of The Barrow, a prose novel set in the world of Artesia and published by Pyr.
Today is the first day of the Comix Institute series of workshops at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver. As part of its Continuing Studies program, ECUAD is hosting a variety of speakers for “a week of intensive workshops, panels, public lectures and events.” Guests include Scott Hampton, Chris Moeller, Brian Stelfreeze, Mark Smylie and various Dark Horse editors, among many others.
The workshops all go from today through Thursday and are:
On Friday, the university will host a Comics Industry Day with editors from Dark Horse.
While the workshops are designed as bona fide Continuing Education courses — and the prices reflect that — the week finishes up with Emily Con, a free, public event on Saturday, Sept 29. Intended to “invite the public to engage with the comic book community,” the convention will feature exhibiting comics artists from Vancouver and beyond (Ed Brisson and Rebecca Dart, to name two), how-to panels, an open comics jam, and a live taping of the Inkstuds podcast.
Other comics courses available at ECUAD include:
The Contemporary Comic with Julian Lawrence, Sept 12 – Oct 31
A History of Graphic Novels with Miriam Libicki, Oct 15 – Dec 10
Expression and Character with Julian Lawrence, Oct 25 – Dec 13
Narrative Structures in Graphic Novels with Robin Thompson, Nov 10 – Dec 15
Awards | The Visual Effects Society has named Stan Lee as the recipient of the VES 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors individuals whose “lifetime body of work has made a significant and lasting contribution to the art and/or science of the visual effects industry by way of artistry, invention and/or groundbreaking work.” Previous recipients include George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ray Harryhausen and James Cameron. The award will be presented Feb. 7 at the 10th annual VES Awards. [press release]
Organizations | The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund reports it raised $12,500 last weekend at New York Comic Con. [CBLDF]
Awards | Comic-Con International has opened nominations for the The Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, which awarded to “an individual retailer who has done an outstanding job of supporting the comics art medium both in the community and within the industry at large.” [CCI]
Awakening creators, writer Nick Tapalansky and artist Alex Eckman-Lawn, are two storytellers eager to get the word out about the return of their project (which recently returned to the market from an 18-month hiatus as its publisher [sorted out business challenges [as explained here]). As announced in late September, Tapalansky and Eckman-Lawn are in the midst of a four-stop tour to generate support and interest in their Archaia hardcover horror book, Awakening. The tour opened on October 10 and in the course of this email interview, the details of the remaining dates are revealed (including this Staturday’s stop at Upstate Comics). The story “takes place in the once-peaceful city of Park Falls, where a series of gruesome murders and missing persons has put the town on edge, and Cynthia Ford, known as the town ‘crazy,’ finds retired police detective Derrick Peters and relates to him her belief about what’s going on. Her explanation: Zombies. Unable to ignore Cynthia’s information, though not sharing her beliefs, Derrick and others in the town explore the mystery as weeks turn to months and the death toll rises. Could Cynthia be right or has she finally gone insane?”
Tim O’Shea: During the 18-month publishing hiatus, was there ever any point you wanted to give up on the project or you always believed it would come back?
Nick Tapalansky: I don’t think we ever even considered giving up on it. Besides already having so much blood invested in it, the story is one which I’m really excited to tell since it’s been percolating in my mind for the last five years. It was just a matter of being patient and seeing how everything resolved itself at Archaia.
Alex Eckman-Lawn: No way! There were some scary days in there, but I don’t think we ever once discussed giving up on the book. It was always, “How can we make this happen?” and luckily for us, all we really had to do was wait it out.