I live north of Boston, and as I write, my front door is snowed shut (don’t worry, the neighbor kid is shoveling it out) and my car is immobilized behind a large berm of snow. The nameless blizzard of ’13 didn’t wreak any major damage in my area, but I’m going to be staying in for a while.
This doesn’t bother me; I grew up in Northern Indiana, where you could count on being completely snowed in at least once a winter, and we sort of liked it. It clears a space in your life; when you can’t go out and most of the activity in the outside world has stopped, it’s a great time to light a fire, pour the drink of your choice (for me it’s hot tea) and hunker down with a good book. Here are six graphic novels that evoke that winter feeling, all of which are equally enjoyable whether you are reading them by a snowy window or on the beach.
Chikyu Misaki | This three-volume manga, published many years ago by the now-defunct CMX, is a charming all-ages story about two children who find a shape-shifting lake monster in their country town. It’s structured like a caper movie, but one of the things I really enjoy about it is Yūji Iwahara’s wonderful art, which perfectly evokes the feeling of a country house on a snowy day. You’ll have to pick it up used or from the library, though, as it’s long out of print.
Happy Labor Day, Americans, and welcome, everybody, to What Are You Reading? Today our special guest is Paul Allor, writer of IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles spinoff, Fugitoid, as well as his own anthology Clockwork.
To see what Paul and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below:
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Our special guest this week is Alex Dueben, who you probably know from his interviews for the main site, Comic Book Resources, as well as for sites like Suicide Girls.
To see what Alex and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Creators | The Hero Initiative offers an update from colorist Tom Ziuko, who was hospitalized earlier this year for acute kidney failure and other health conditions, and then returned to the hospital for emergency surgery about a month ago. “I can’t impress upon you enough how frightening it is to actually come up against a life-threatening medical situation (not to mention two times in less than a year), and not have the financial means to survive if you’re suddenly not able to earn a living. Like so many other freelancers out there, I live paycheck to paycheck, unable to afford health insurance. Without an organization like the Hero Initiative to lend me support in this time of dire need, I truly don’t know where I would be today,” Ziuko said. [The Hero Initiative]
Publishing | CNN asks the question “Are women and comics risky business?” as Christian Sager talks to former DC editor Janelle Asselin, blogger Jill Pantozzi, Womanthology organizer Renae De Liz and others about the number of women who work in comics, the portrayal of female characters and why comic companies don’t actively market books to women. “Think about it from the publisher’s point of view,” Asselin said. “Say you sell 90 percent of your comics to men between 18 and 35, and 10 percent of your comics to women in the same age group. Are you going to a) try to grow that 90 percent of your audience because you feel you already have the hook they want and you just need to get word out about it, or b) are you going to try to figure out what women want in their comics and do that to grow your line?” [CNN]
As I was going through the folders I’d set up on my hard drive for my yearly trek to the San Diego Comic Con, seeing what needed to be cleaned out and what was still on my “to do” list, I realized I was sitting on a huge stockpile of art that Oni Press had given me after their panel on Friday. I’d asked Oni’s Cory Casoni for the artwork they showed from Rascal Raccoon, the new book they announced at the show, and he gave me everything they showed during their presentation.
And there was a lot of stuff. Granted, a lot of it you’ve probably seen before — Chris posted some preview art from Power Lunch last week, for instance, and they had a lot of pages from The Sixth Gun that came from various issues of its run — but I figured why not share it all? And this seemed the week to do it, since they showed a lot of pages from Phil Gelatt and Tyler Crook‘s Petrograd, which hits shops this week.
So, after the jump, you’ll find the covers for some upcoming books like the second Black Metal and Spell Checkers volumes, as well as pages from One Soul, Petrograd and many other Oni books. For more on the panel itself, I’ll direct you to John Scarff’s report over on CBR.
Oni Press sent over their big list o’ items they’ll have at their booth, which includes shirts, prints and other items. They’ll also debut two very ambitious and awesome-sounding graphic novels, One Soul by Ray Fawkes and Petrograd by Phil Gelatt and Tyler Crook. They’ll also have copies of the first two issues of Spontaneous (you can read the first issue right here on Robot 6!)
Oni will also conduct portfolio reviews for artists; check out the details at the end of the post.
Oni Press is in San Diego for San Diego Comic-Con 2011! July 20th – 24th we’ll be strutting our stuff at booth #1833. Come by and check out our eclectic library of titles including the premiere of:
By Ray Fawkes
*Every copy purchased at the show comes with a limited edition signing card*
From visionary cartoonist Ray Fawkes comes one of the most original and thought-provoking graphic novels of all time! A unique and poetic narrative, One Soul takes the experiences of 18 individuals and weaves them into the spiritual journey of a lifetime. Gracefully flowing from character to character, moment to moment, Fawkes has crafted a stunning mosaic that takes advantage of the medium of sequential art in a way few creators dare.
It’s certainly not uncommon for comic writers to work in a variety of media, whether it’s writing novels, television scripts or for film in addition to creating comics. One writer who joins their ranks is Phil Gelatt, co-creator of Labour Days and the upcoming Petrograd, who makes his film writing and directing debut next week.
Called The Bleeding House, here’s the synopsis from the Tribeca Fim Festival site, where the film will debut: “On the surface, the Smiths are an average American family, with a happily married mother and father, a moody 16-year-old daughter, and a distracted 18-year-old son. But patriarch Matt Smith appears a bit on edge, and the family is eerily damaged by something in its past. One night when a sweet-talking preacher carrying a briefcase arrives at their home after his car is disabled on a nearby road, it seems like this Christian man’s presence may be just the breath of fresh air the family needs. But are the Smiths are ready for the atonement this neighborly guest has in store?
“This creepy thriller, set in the deep woods of Texas suburbia, moves at a steady pace and culminates in an unexpected reckoning of the family’s dark and horrific past. The ensemble cast of newcomers helps keep the story taut with suspense, while first-time director/writer Philip Gelatt creates a haunting portrait of a family that may not deserve to escape its sins.”
I spoke with Gelatt about the film and how the process of creating it was different from his comics work.
This is one we’ve been excited about for awhile now … at their WonderCon panel yesterday, Oni Press announced that Petrograd, Phil Gelatt and Tyler Crook’s graphic novel about the murder of Gregorii Rasputin, arrives in stores Aug. 3.
I first spoke to Gelatt about the project back in 2009, when it was announced at the San Diego Comic Con.
“The root of the idea came from some reading I was doing, a few years ago at this point, about the Russian revolution,” Gelatt told me back then. “And I encountered this strange rumor that has been floating around since Rasputin’s death that there were British spies involved in the assassination and that the British government had a stake in this man’s death for various reasons. It’s a rumor that’s been around since 1917 but more recently some forensic evidence has made it seem that this might actually be what happened. So the potential in that idea really grabbed me and stuck with me. What the hell were the British doing assassinating a Russian holy man? Who was this British agent charged with this monumental task? How the hell would any of that actually work?”
You may know Gelatt from the pair of Labour Days books he did with Rick Lacy for Oni; Crooks, meanwhile, is the recently announced replacement for Guy Davis on the B.P.R.D. comics. He’s also drawing issue #14 of The Sixth Gun.
The $29.99 two-color hardcover comes in at 274 pages. Check out a gallery of preview pages after the jump.