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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

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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

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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

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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

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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’

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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

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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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Bunn and Hurtt slap (faux) leather with ‘Sixth Gun’ collections

Brian Hurtt's New York Comic Con "Sixth Gun" print

Brian Hurtt’s New York Comic Con “Sixth Gun” print

We’re taking a break from ROBOT 6’s exclusive new serialized Sixth Gun tale for a brief chat with creators Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt about, among other topics, the release last week of the oversized-hardcover collection of their Oni Press supernatural Western.

Given that the book includes the Christmas short story “Them’s What Ails Ya!” and the strip on ROBOT 6 takes place during the holiday, I was curious to learn what draws them to that setting. Sixth Gun fans will also be happy to learn there’s a new limited series planned, and, more immediately, The Sixth Gun: Sons of the Gun trade paperback arrives next week.

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Robot 6 exclusive | Read Part 2 of a new ‘Sixth Gun’ tale

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Even as The Sixth Gun, Vol. 1, oversized hardcover arrives today in stores, creators Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt and Bill Crabtree return to ROBOT 6 with the second part of an exclusive new serialized tale set between issues 35 and 36 of the supernatural Western. Last week’s debut installment can be read here.

Published by Oni Press, the hardcover edition collects the first 11 issues of the series, complete with a cover gallery, never-before-seen pitch artwork, and the previously online-exclusive Christmas story “Them’s What Ails Ya!” For those following along on a monthly basis, The Sixth Gun #36 arrives Dec. 11.

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Robot 6 exclusive | A new ‘Sixth Gun’ story begins here

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Fans of The Sixth Gun, the supernatural Western by Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt and Bill Crabtree, know the set-up well: In the darkest days of the Civil War, some wicked cutthroats came to possess six pistols of unimaginable power. But then the most dangerous of all the weapons, the Sixth Gun, vanished, only to resurface in the hands of an innocent girl, reawakening dark forces. And when men long thought dead set out to retrieve the pistol and kill the girl, only shadowy gunfighter Drake Sinclair stands in their way.

Newcomers will have a chance to acquaint themselves with the story next week, when Oni Press releases The Sixth Gun, Vol. 1, an oversized hardcover edition collecting the first 11 issues of the series (there’s plenty for longtime fans, too, including a cover gallery, never-before-seen pitch artwork, and the previously online-exclusive Christmas story “Them’s What Ails Ya!”).

To mark the premiere of the deluxe edition, ROBOT 6 is exclusively serializing a brand-new Sixth Gun story by Bunn, Hurtt and Crabtree over the next few weeks. Read the first installment below, and check back next Wednesday for the second.

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Oni Press to release a second volume of ‘Bad Machinery’

bad machinery-v2Oni Press has announced it will publish a second collection of John Allison’s acclaimed webcomic Bad Machinery in March.

Launching in September 2009 in the wake of Allison’s previous comic Scary Go Round, the mystery/comedy centers on two groups of schoolchildren in fictional Tackleford, England, who compete to solve mysteries in their West Yorkshire town.

Released in April, Bad Machinery, Vol. 1: The Case of the Team Spirit, was named by Publishers Weekly as one of the best children’s books of 2013. The webcomic also won the British Comics Award last year for Best Comic.

Bad Machinery, Vol. 2: The Case of the Good Boy collects the 2010 story involving a curious pet “dog.”

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