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What Are You Reading? with Jay Faerber

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what’s been on our nightstands lately. Our guest this week is Jay Faerber, writer of Dynamo 5, Near Death and Noble Causes. The second Near Death trade just came out this week, and his new comic, Point of Impact, comes out Oct. 10.

To see what Jay and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.

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Winners announced for 2012 Ignatz Awards

Love & Rockets New Stories #4

Love and Rockets New Stories took home three awards tonight at the 2012 Ignatz Awards, which were announced at SPX, the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Md.

Nominees for the awards were chosen by a jury of five creators and voted on by attendees at the show. This year’s jury included Edie Fake, Minty Lewis, Dylan Meconis, Lark Pien and Julia Wertz.

The 2012 Ignatz award winners are:

Outstanding Artist: Jaime Hernandez – Love and Rockets New Stories (Fantagraphics)
Outstanding Anthology or Collection: Hark! A Vagrant – Kate Beaton (Drawn & Quarterly)
Outstanding Graphic Novel: Big Questions by Anders Nilsen (Drawn & Quarterly)
Outstanding Story: “Return to Me,” Love & Rockets New Stories #4, by Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
Promising New Talent: Lale Westvind – Hot Dog Beach (Self-published)
Outstanding Series: Love and Rockets New Stories by The Hernandez Brothers (Fantagraphics)
Outstanding Comic: Pterodactyl Hunters by Brendan Leach (Top Shelf)
Outstanding Mini-Comic: The Monkey in the Basement and Other Delusions by Corinne Mucha (Retrofit Comics)
Outstanding Online Comic: SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki

Kelly Sue DeConnick is writing a comic for you to draw

Collaboration

The writer of Captain Marvel and Ghost explains the whole story on her blog — and you should read it because it’s very sweet and she tells it much better than I’m going to — but the digest version is this: This year at Heroes Con, Kelly Sue DeConnick met a young girl named Winter who likes to draw ninjas. When Winter declared that she and DeConnick should make a ninja comic together, the writer agreed, for reasons the writer explains in her post. Seriously, go read it.

It’s a wonderful story, but it doesn’t end there. DeConnick is going to write the story a panel at a time and will tweet the descriptions with the hashtag #winterstale. That’s how Winter will get her instructions, but it’s also how you can get yours, because she and DeConnick are opening the project up to anyone who wants to join in. You, your kids, your parents, whoever. Simply reply to any #winterstale panel description with a twitpic or a link to your drawing and DeConnick will repost them to the Winter’s Tales Tumblr page. If you don’t have a Twitter account and don’t want one, you can play along via Tumblr instead.

DeConnick’s plan is to print her and Winter’s comic as a “punkzine style” minicomic to sell at next year’s HeroesCon, with all proceeds going to Winter’s college fund. If you turn your own pages into a minicomic, she’ll swap with you.

If you’d like to know a bit more about what you’ll be drawing, they’re calling the comic Ninja Princess Zombie Rockstar and, per Winter’s drawing interests, will fill it with the following:

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Make Mine Mini: The Girl with the Donut Tattoo

I didn’t get a lot of minicomics at Comic-Con International, but I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of The Girl with the Donut Tattoo, by Darlene and Paul Horn

Darlene is a food blogger, and her husband Paul draws the comic Cool Jerk. I’m lucky to even have a copy of this, as according to this article, they printed up 100 copies and they all went fast. (But the good news is they are taking orders for a second printing.)

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What Are You Reading? with Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Our guest this week is Spanish artist Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque, who drew the comic Elle for Soleil. He’s also working on a story for the upcoming Skullkickers #18 with J. Torres.

To see what Alberto and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.

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Comics A.M. | WonderCon still hoping for return to San Francisco

WonderCon

Conventions | David Glanzer, Comic-Con International’s director of marketing and public relations, looks back on this year’s WonderCon, which was held in Anaheim, California, rather than in San Francisco, touches upon the uncertainty about the location for next year’s show — “we just don’t have dates at the Moscone Center yet” — and discusses changes to pro and press registration for Comic-Con. [ICv2]

Conventions | Grant Morrison talks about MorrisonCon, the Sept. 28-30 convention billed as “a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” “It’s not going to be ‘Come here and buy some comics and listen to a few panels,’ ” he says. “After two days you will be a changed person.” Tickets for the Las Vegas show, which is limited to 1,000 attendees, cost $767, and include a two-night stay at the Hard Rock Hotel, access to the guests and after-hours parties. [The Hollywood Reporter]

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Girl Apocalypse shows End Times is no excuse not to be well-dressed

Sex in the City meets The Book of Eli? Not quite, but it’s hard to describe cartoonist Angie Wang‘s Girl Apocalypse without pushing you to actually read it. The 24-page comic stars a group of “hungry and inexplicably fashionable young ladies” roaming a post-apocalyptic wasteland en route to the little hamlet of Bridal Veil, Oregon. Why? You’ll have to read it — either online or in a well-crafted print edition Wang just put on her website.

Hailing from the comics mecca of Portland, Wang balances cartooning with illustration work for such magazines as The New Yorker and Wired. In comics, she’s had stories in anthologies like Dark Horse Presents and Popgun, and has released several well-received minicomics prior to this one.

Check out pages from Girl Apocalypse below.

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My own private Eisners

Being a judge in the Eisner Awards meant making hard choices. It’s like being an admissions officer at Harvard: You could make a top-notch set of picks, throw them away, and still have a strong field for the second set. With six judges each having a different voice, sometimes a book that one or two of us think is the greatest thing since sliced bread doesn’t make the final cut.

Here’s my short list of comics that, if it were up to me, would have gotten Eisner nominations.

Best Limited Series

One of my favorite series of 2011 was Spontaneous, by Brett Weldele and Joe Harris. It’s a great crypto-mystery about spontaneous human combustion, with a nerdy know-it-all played off against an aggressive reporter. The story has its flaws, but I couldn’t put it down.

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)

Nina in That Makes Me Mad: We had an unusually strong field of children’s books, even after we split the category into two age groups, but this book was my first choice for a nomination. The writing is sharp and perceptive, and Hilary Knight’s illustrations are amazing. Even the page layouts are awesome. This is a book that speaks directly to children, in a voice they can understand, yet does it with an elegance that adults can appreciate as well.

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Comics A.M. | Graphic novel sales actually stronger than they look?

Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery Deluxe Edition

Retailing | The retail news and analysis site ICv2 contends sales of graphic novels in the direct market may be better than recent numbers indicate because of the way Diamond Comic Distributors reports those figures. While the distributor’s calculations are based on the wholesale value of shipments, ICv2 based its estimates on the retail value, and found graphic novel sales rose 24.4 percent in March, rather than declined 5.7 percent (versus a year ago), and climbed 27.7 percent in April, rather than just 12.6 percent: “The big differences between the wholesale and retail rates of change in recent months appear to be caused by big increases in the number of graphic novels liquidated through Diamond in March and April.  So retail dollars were up, while wholesale dollars lagged. ” [ICv2]

Conventions | Audrey Gillan previews this weekend’s Kapow! in London by casting a spotlight on organizers Lucy and Sarah Unwin — they’re partnered with Mark Millar — and their efforts to create a female-inclusive comic convention. “We ourselves as women organising the show have been accused of misogyny because of the obviously male guest list, but there is just this lack of female creators and it’s the nature of the industry,” Lucy Unwin said. “There’s no point in taking it to heart because I don’t employ the creators. I would love there to be more women at the show in terms of guests.” [The Guardian]

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My MoCCA photo diary

Note the cell phone barcode thingy on his suitcase

Brigid Alverson will have her own MoCCA report up soon, no doubt, but I thought I’d share my own reminiscences of last weekend’s show, via some pics I took while wandering around the aisles.

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Becky Cloonan debuts final cover for The Mire

Becky Cloonan has premiere the final cover for The Mire, the follow-up to her acclaimed minicomic Wolves. The  self-contained story is set on the eve of a battle as a humble squire is tasked with delivering a letter to a decrepit castle within a swamp. “Met with mysterious apparitions,” the artist writes, “he slowly unveils the truth about why he was sent there, as his past is re-written over the course of twenty-two pages.”

Pre-orders are being accepted now through Big Cartel, with The Mire set to debut May 5 at the Toronto Comics Art Festival. The comic can be purchased for $5; for an extra $20, Cloonan will add a sketch of one of the characters. Check out the full cover below.

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Gabrielle Bell’s The Voyeurs coming in August

The Voyeurs

If you’ve already made your way through Chris Mautner’s recommended reading list for Cecil and Jordan in New York creator Gabrielle Bell and were thinking, “Man, I wish I had more to read,” well, it’s your lucky day. Bell announced on her blog yesterday that The Voyeurs, a collection of stories from her autobiographical mini-comic Lucky, along with 30 unpublished pages. And the announcement is even in comics form, so head over there to read it for yourself.

The collection will be published by Uncivilized Books in August.

Comics A.M. | Matt Groening donates $500,000 for UCLA chair

Matt Groening, by Matt Groening

Creators | The Simpsons creator Matt Groening has given $500,000 toward the creation of a chair in animation at the University of California, Los Angeles. The Matt Groening Chair in Animation at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television will “allow visiting master artists to teach classes” and “bring working professionals with wide-ranging expertise” to work with students. The cartoonist, a graduate of Evergreen State College in Washington, makes an annual $50,000 donation to UCLA to help students who create socially conscious animated shorts. [The New York Times]

Legal | Attorneys for comics retailer and convention organizer Michael George, who’s serving a life sentence for the 1990 murder of his first wife Barbara, made arguments Monday on a motion for acquittal or a new trial — that would make George’s third — on the basis that there was insufficient evidence for conviction, and that the prosecutor raised a new issue in closing arguments. [Detroit Free Press]

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What Are You Reading? with Ao Meng

The Silence of Our Friends

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? This week our special guest is Ao Meng, who writes about comics for the Daily Texan, the University of Texas newspaper, as well as Novi Magazine.

To see what Ao and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …

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Sparkplug to collect Katie Skelly’s Nurse Nurse

Nurse Nurse

Sparkplug Books announced last week that they plan to release a collection of Katie Skelly’s Nurse Nurse minicomics, which she has been creating since 2003. The collection will come out in April, in time for a debut at the Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland, Ore. and the MoCCA Festival in New York.

The eight Nurse Nurse minicomics are set in a future where mankind is attempting to colonize other planets, and star the nurses sent to treat the colonies as they become poisoned by the new atmospheres. In particular, the story is about Gemma, a nurse who travels to her new assignment on Venus where a mysterious substance is having an amorous effect on the Venusians … but is it a conspiracy, or just … science?

The 180 page, black and white paperback will retail for $15.


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