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SDCC | Oni Press rolls out convention exclusives

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As the clock ticks down to Comic-Con International — Previews Night is a week from Wednesday! — Oni Press has announced its full slate of convention exclusives, ranging from the Evil and Collector’s editions of Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 5, and the Official Ramona Flowers Bag to variants of The Bunker and Letter 44.

In addition to creator signings, the Oni Press booth (#1833) will play host to numerous special events, including a Princess Ugg Barbarian Makeover, a kids’ coloring contest and The Bunker Time Capsule. See the full schedule here, and check out the convention exclusives below.

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Comics A.M. | Tunisian court denies cartoonist’s appeal

Jabeur Mejri

Jabeur Mejri

Legal | A Tunisian court denied cartoonist Jabeur Mejri’s appeal of an eight-month sentence on charges of insulting a public official. Mejri was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison in 2012 for drawing cartoons that insulted the Prophet Mohammed, but was pardoned by President Moncef Marzouki earlier this year. Before he was released, however, news leaked that he had also been charged with embezzlement stemming from his time working for the Tunisian railway. Mejri was released from prison in March, but six weeks later he was arrested again, this time on charges of insulting a court official. His support committee said Mejri is being subjected to “judicial harassment” and released a statement saying “It’s clear … that there is a desire not to accept the presidential pardon and to keep Jabeur in prison at all costs, to make him pay dearly for his freedom of expression and deter him from any further attempts.” [Naharnet]

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George R.R. Martin’s Santa Fe theater to screen ‘Sixth Gun’ pilot

sixth gun

Fans of the supernatural Western The Sixth Gun who were upset last year when NBC passed on the television adaptation may want to pack for an impromptu trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico. That may be the only place you’ll be able to watch the unaired pilot.

A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin, who last year bought the Jean Cocteau Cinema in downtown Santa Fe, has announced the venue will stage two screenings of the episode on May 23.

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Comics A.M. | ‘Walking Dead, ‘Saga,’ ‘Titan’ rule bookstores in April

The Walking Dead, Vol. 20

The Walking Dead, Vol. 20

Retailing | While Captain America: The Winter Soldier Ultimate Collection cracked Nielsen BookScan’s Top 20 graphic novels sold in bookstores, making it the first Marvel or DC Comics release since January to do so, the April chart was again dominated by three familiar titles: The Walking Dead, Attack on Titan and Saga, which claimed a combined 13 spots. The horror series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard led the trio with six volumes, followed by Hajime Isayama’s dystopian fantasy with four, and Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ space opera with three. The 36th volume of Masashi Kishimoto’s hit manga Naruto was No. 1 in April. [ICv2.com]

Events | On the eve of the 11th Toronto Comic Arts Festival, The Japan Times looks at both the growing presence of manga, and Dork Shelf talks with festival director Christopher Butcher about its Comics vs. Games 3 showcase. Meanwhile, the National Post is running a series of conversations between artists attending TCAF, beginning with Georgia Webber and Seo Kim, and Réal Godbout and Nick Abadzis. You can read more of its festival coverage here. [Toronto Comic Arts Festival]

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Oni splits with vendor over ties to anti-marriage equality group

oni logoOni Press has ended its business relationship with packaging supply company Uline over its CEO’s financial support of an Illinois group that went to “unseemly lengths” last year to try to block passage of that state’s marriage-equality bill.

In a letter signed by a dozen employees and posted Tuesday on its blog, the Portland, Oregon-based publisher explained that, “While our professional relationship with Uline has been a prosperous one, the fact that Family-PAC is funded in part by Uline’s CEO [Richard] Uihlein, is information we simply cannot abide or ignore.”

The Chicago-based Family-PAC, which describes itself as “the leading pro-family, anti-tax political action committee in Illinois,” was behind robocalls that targeted state Rep. Mike Smiddy for accepting $6,500 in donations from “Chicago homosexuals” and decried the alleged negative effects same-sex marriages have on children.

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Best of 7 | Oni’s 2014 plans, new ‘American Vampire’ and more

best-of-7-march23

Welcome to Best of 7, where we talk about “The best in comics from the last seven days” — which could be anything from an exciting piece of news to a cool publisher’s announcement to an awesome comic that came out.

This week is pretty packed, as we have news, reviews, a con recap and a whole year’s worth of announcements from one publisher. So buckle your seat belts and hold on tight as we aim our DeLorean at the last seven days …

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Oni Press targets bad behavior with convention penalty cards

PenaltyCards-cropped

With convention season getting into full swing — major events Emerald City Comic Con, WonderCon Anaheim and C2E2 arrive in rapid succession over the coming weeks — Oni Press has stepped up to provide what no con-goer will want to be without: convention penalty cards!

“Comic conventions should be bastions of unfettered fun, enthusiasm, and safety,” explains a post on the Oni Tumblr, but lately it seems like nary a con can go by without some complaint of uncouth or downright inappropriate behavior on the part of some attendees. While these cards are by no means a solution to a systemic problem, we hope they might prove useful should one find themselves in the damnable position of encountering said behavior.”

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When ‘Stumptown’ returns, it will be without Matthew Southworth

stumptown-v2-4Last week Oni Press teased the return of Stumptown as an ongoing series, but co-creator Matthew Southworth has revealed he won’t be joining Greg Rucka on the title.

“Thx for all the Stumptown love re: the new series!” the artist wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “One note, tho — @ruckawriter is working w/ diff artist, not me, on this. I’m excited, too!”

Oni hasn’t announced the name of the new artist, or any other information about the series; however, more details are expected by Emerald City Comicon in late March.

Launching in November 2009 as a four-issue miniseries, Stumptown centers on Dex Parios, a private investigator in Portland, Oregon, with a gambling problem. A second miniseries, “The Case of the Baby in the Velvet Case,” debuted in September 2012.

(via The Beat)

Oni Press teases ‘Stumptown’ ongoing series

stumptown-teaser-cropped

Oni Press released an image this afternoon teasing a Stumptown ongoing series by Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth. The accompanying text reads simply: “STUMPTOWN INVESTIGATIONS WILL REOPEN ON AN ONGOING BASIS IN 2014.”

While no more details were provided, Rucka added on his blog, “What’s this? Stumptown Investigations is open for business? The deuce you say!”

Launching in November 2009 as a four-issue miniseries, Stumptown centers on Dex Parios, a private investigator in Portland, Oregon, with a gambling problem. A second miniseries, “The Case of the Baby in the Velvet Case,” debuted in September 2012.

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Oni’s ‘Down Set Fight’ gets early release on comiXology

Down! Set! Fight!

A month before it’s scheduled to arrive in stores, the Oni Press graphic novel Down Set Fight is debuting digitally today on comiXology.

The publisher revealed this morning that the book, by co-writers Chris Sims and Chad Bowers and artist Scott Kowalchuk, will be serialized weekly on the digital comics platform in six installments, priced at $1.99 each, bringing readers to the Feb. 12 release of the print edition.

Announced at New York Comic Con 2012, Down Set Fight follows the adventures of fallen football star Chuck Fairlane in his cross-country battle against an army of mascots gone mad. Here’s the official description:

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‘Bad Machinery’s’ John Allison opens ‘Case of the Good Boy’

bad machinery-v2Cartoonist John Allison surprised many in 2009 when he ended his long-running webcomic Scary Go Round and soon launched Bad Machinery, which follows the adventures of two groups of child detectives in the fictional town of Tackleford, England, he established more than a decade earlier in his first online strip Bobbins.

Allison is the first to acknowledge those first months were rocky for the kids of Griswalds Grammar School, with a number of Scary Go Round readers abandoning the new comic, despite its familiar setting. But four years later, it’s a different story for Bad Machinery, which in 2012 won a British Comic Award; the first print collection, released last spring by Oni Press, was named by Publishers Weekly as one of the best children’s books of 2013.

With a second volume, “The Case of the Good Boy,” set to arrive in March, Allison took some time during the holidays to talk with ROBOT 6 about finding an audience, making the jump to print, returning to Bobbins and what the future holds for Bad Machinery.

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Rich and Christensen take aim this summer at ‘Archer Coe’

archer-coe-tease

Over the past few years, Jamie S. Rich has built up quite the library of original graphic novels with his name on them, teaming up with artists like Joelle Jones, Natalie Nourigat, Marc Ellerby, Nicolas Hitori De and others. Later this year he’ll add another book to the shelf, as he partners with Dan Christensen for Archer Coe, The Mind’s Arrow. The 148-page black-and-white graphic novel is due out in June from Oni Press.

The story involves a stage hypnotist with real psychic powers, mysterious women, secrets, murder, serial killers and talking cats. Rich and Christensen were kind enough to chat with me for our fifth anniversary about the project.

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Preview | Wook Jin Clark talks giant robots, kaiju and ‘Megagogo’

megagogo-vol. 1Atlanta is known as the Jewel of the South, the headquarters of Coca-Cola and CNN, and the home of DragonCon. But what the chamber of commerce doesn’t tell us is that was also a hotbed for kaiju attacks — forcing the city to call upon a giant robot piloted by three fearless heroes. But as time passes and memories fade, what happens to the city (and its protectors) when a new threat rises?

That’s what cartoonist Wook Jin Clark asks in Megogogo, Vol. 1, due on Feb. 24 from Oni Press. It’s a high-octane graphic novel packed with humor, drama, giant-robot action and the perhaps-unexpected menace of the Ku Klux Klan. Here’s the official description:

What do you get when you put a washed up loser, an awkward teen going through puberty, and an immortal being into a giant robot? MEGAGOGO, THAT’S WHAT!! A new ongoing graphic novel series from Wook Jin Clark!

After ten years of peace and quiet, monsters have returned to wreak havoc on the South. Adam, along with a rag-tag team of misfits, must defend the city of Atlanta. But first they’ll have to get past … the KKK!

Clark squeezed in some time during the holidays to answer some questions from ROBOT 6 about his influences and process for Megagogo, and his plans for the second and third volumes. Oni Press, meanwhile, has provided us with a preview.

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How does Charles Soule juggle writing seven comics a month?

thunderbolts-souleIf it’s beginning to feel as if Charles Soule is writing every other comic that Marvel and DC publish, there’s a reason for that: At the moment, he’s penning Superman/Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing, Red Lanterns, Thunderbolts, She-Hulk and Inhuman for those two publishers, as well as working on his creator-owned Letter 44 at Oni Press.

That adds up to seven titles a month … in addition to his day job as an attorney.

So how does Soule do it all? He offers some insight on his blog, breaking down the strategies he uses “to hold things together and make sure the books remain entertaining and deadlines get hit.”

Among them: “Say No. I turn down things all the time. You might not think so, based on the workload, but I do. I just said no to a gigantic project, because I didn’t think I could do that without compromising some of the other work I’m doing. I turn down(some) interview requests, store appearances, convention appearances, social stuff, even clients – this goes back to (3) – I know what I want to achieve, and if I can’t draw a relatively straight line between [x] (a potential obligation) and [y] (a goal), then I just say no. Hmm. It’s possible that I’m coming across as a bit psychotic, but it’s not really that bad – I love doing the work, otherwise I wouldn’t be so focused on trying to do it well.”

There are seven more tips on his blog, along with Soule’s comments about each of the titles he’s writing.

Robot 6 exclusive | The new ‘Sixth Gun’ tale concludes here

sixth gun3-1

The new Christmas-themed Sixth Gun strip by Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt and Bill Crabtree concludes today on ROBOT 6, conveniently coinciding with the release of the collected edition of The Sixth Gun: Sons of a Gun, which delves into the backstories of General Hume’s horsemen.

You can read the first two parts of the serial here and here, along with our interview with Bunn and Hurtt. We hope you enjoyed the story; we want to thank Cullen, Brian and Bill for creating it, and Oni Press and John Schork for arranging everything.

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