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What Are You Reading? with Austin English

Hot Dog Beach

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly rundown of what comics and other stuff we’ve been checking out recently. Today our special guest is cartoonist Austin English, creator of the graphic novel Christina and Charles and publisher of Domino Books.

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

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C2E2 2012 | Saturday Photodiary

Typically, I’ll spend most of Saturday in panels, but the first one I was interested in wasn’t until later in the morning, so I killed time taking in some of the more offbeat exhibitors, like Ben the Bubble Guy, a businessman who hires himself out for birthday parties, corporate events, funerals. Okay, maybe not funerals.

When it was time, I headed up to the fourth floor for the AV Club‘s panel on the Future of Superheroes.

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What Are You Reading?

Saga #1

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what the Robot 6 crew have been checking out recently. To see for yourself, click below …

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Welcome to Saucer Country #1

All politicians have skeletons in their closet, but New Mexico Governor Arcadia Alvarado has something even weirder and scarier than a skeletons in her closet, she’s got aliens.

If you don’t recognize the name, it’s not because you haven’t been paying enough attention to state politics in the southwestern United States, but because she’s the fictional governor of New Mexico, and the lead character in the new Vertigo series Saucer Country.

Susana Martinez is still the actual, real-life, female Latina governor of New Mexico, but she wouldn’t make as good a protagonist for a comic book series like this, as she is not currently running for president of the United States nor, to my knowledge, has she ever been abducted by aliens.

I am curious how much Martinez may have inspired writer Paul Cornell in his creation of Alvarado—Ryan Kelly didn’t seem to take any visual inspiration from Martinez in his character design—although I’m a bit more curious how heavily former Arizona Governor John Symington might have weighed in Cornell’s mind.

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Food or Comics? | Saga or saganaki

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Saga #1

Graeme McMillan

If I had $15 this week, I’d rush to the store as quickly as possible to ensure that I’d be able to get a copy of Saga #1 (Image Comics, $2.99) before it completely sells out. It’s been far, far too long since Brian K. Vaughan has been doing comics, and Fiona Staples is one of those artists who just continually gets better even after starting pretty damn impressively in the first place. It’s not the only must-read launch this week, either; I’m also very excited about Saucer Country #1 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99), Paul Cornell and Ryan Kelly’s mash-up of The West Wing, The X-Files and – judging by this first issue, which I’ve had a sneak peek at – The Invisibles, which pretty much ensures I’ll be on board for awhile. There’s also Marvel’s Avengers Assemble #1 ($3.99), which I’m… curious about more than excited for, in large part because I’ve already seen Bendis’ take on the team for the last few years, so this feels more like “More of That Thing You’ve Already Read!” than “First Issue of A New Series!” but… well, it might be better than I’m expecting, who knows?

If I had $30, I’d think about putting Avengers back on the shelf before picking up Journey Into Mystery: Fear Itself Fallout Premiere HC (Marvel, $19.99), the second collection of Kieron Gillen’s remarkably great Thor spin-off. I’ve only recently caught up with the first collection, and loved it, so I’m looking forward to more of the same with this one.

There’s really only one choice to splurge on this week for me: The Womanthology: Heroic hardcover (IDW, $50.00). Not only do I have friends with work in the book, but I was pretty much signed up for this one as soon as I heard about it online. I love well-done anthologies, and I’m ready for this to be one of the best I’ve read in a long time.

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Ryan Kelly teases a tasty new webcomic called Cocotte

Cocotte

Ryan Kelly, artist of Local and the upcoming Saucer Country, has posted a teaser on his blog for a new webcomic he’s doing with writer/chef Kat Vapid. Titled Cocotte, a word with a double meaning, Kelly describes it as a “frank, humorous, and often soul-crushing look into the world of cuisine and the professional kitchen environment, as well as a love letter to life in Minneapolis.” No word yet on when it launches, but we’ll keep you posted.

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Previews: What Looks Good for March

The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist

It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes and first issues so that we don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “Batwoman is still awesome!” every month. And we’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.

One cool change this month and for the foreseeable future: I’m joined by Graeme McMillan who’ll also be pointing out his favorites.

Finally, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell us what we missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.

Abrams Comicarts

The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist – I admit, I tend to run hot and cold on Clowes’ output, but I’m a sucker for coffee-table career retrospectives, so the idea of taking 224 pages to look back at his career to date (with, of course, the traditional little-seen artwork and commentary) seems like a must-look at the very least. [Graeme]

Abstract Studios

Rachel Rising, Volume 1: The Shadow of Death – Terry Moore’s latest series gets its first collection and I love the premise of a woman’s waking up in a shallow grave with no memory of how she got there and needing to figure out who tried to kill to her. [Michael]

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NYCC | A round-up of Friday news

New York Comic Con picked up steam in its second day with announcements from Vertigo, Dark Horse, Marvel, IDW Publishing and Image, and the possibility of Sesame Street comics. Here are some of the highlights:

• Following in the footsteps of DC Comics: The New 52, most of Vertigo’s titles will be available digitally the same day as print.

• Geoff Johns announced that work is about to get under way on a Robot Chicken DC Comics special that will skewer the company’s superheroes in the same way that the show tackled Star Wars. The episode, written by Johns and MAD‘s Kevin Shinick, is set to air next summer.

• Confirming last-minute speculation, Ed Brubaker announced that he and frequent collaborator Sean Phillips (Sleeper, Criminal, Incognito) will release their next project through Image Comics. Called Fatale, the series blends noir elements with the supernatural world. “I’ve been wanting for a while to do something with a more supernatural element to it,” Brubaker told Comic Book Resources. “So Fatale mixes what we do and all the ways we’ve poked fun at the noir genre. If Incognito was us doing ‘What if Doc Savage, Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler had all existed in the same universe?’ then this is a weird combo of James M. Cain and Lovecraft. It’s got a real horror element to it — the first time I’ve really tried to do anything with horror — but it’s also got this really epic story to it.”

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NYCC | Cornell, Kelly to visit Saucer Country

Saucer Country

Demon Knights and Stormwatch writer Paul Cornell is teaming with New York Five and Local artist Ryan Kelly for a new Vertigo series, Saucer Country. Announced at the New York Comic Con today, Cornell described the book on his blog as “The West Wing does The X-Files.”

The story centers on Arcadia Alvarado, the governor of New Mexico, who Cornell said is ‘abducted by aliens’ on the even of her announcement that she’s running for president

“Those speechmarks are because she’s not exactly sure what happened. But she’s going to use all her staff and resources to find out. What happened to her might also be a threat to U.S. security,” he said on his blog. “Saucer Country is a trip through UFO mythology, a subject I’ve always been fascinated with. It’s a dark, suspenseful, serious thriller with, I hope, some warm, very human characters at the heart of it. Between arcs that feature Arcadia and her staff venturing into the murky worlds of flying saucer lore, we’ll be featuring one-off ‘true story’ issues, a short version of which already appeared in the Strange Adventures one-shot earlier this year.”

Watch for it in 2012, and you can see some previews pages over on Blastr.

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Ryan Kelly’s Funrama #2 is almost ready

Ryan Kelly has announced that Funrama #2, the next issue in his self-published superhero series will be available later this year at conventions and on his website. Where the first issue featured the villainous Mutant Punks, this one will focus on the heroic Raccoon and her friends Freakshow and Flora. Kelly’s offering an 8-page preview ashcan at SpringCon before the full 32-page book is ready.

NYCC ’10 | Vertigo officially announces Anthony Bourdain’s Get Jiro!

"Get Jiro!" art by Langdon Foss

Vertigo confirmed at New York Comic Con this afternoon that it will release a graphic novel by Anthony Bourdain, the acerbic chef, author and host of the Travel Channel’s No Reservations.

Revealed last month by Bourdain himself, Get Jiro! is a futuristic action thriller set in a world where food and the secrets of its preparation are the source of all power, leading master chefs to fight over a mysterious sushi chef named Jiro. Bourdain has described the graphic novel as “Yojimbo meets Big Night and Babette’s Feast, an ultra-violent slaughter-fest over culinary arcana.”

Get Jiro! is written by Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential, Medium Raw) and friend and novelist Joel Rose (The Blackest Bird, Kill Kill Faster Faster), and illustrated by artist Langdon Foss (Heavy Metal). The book is expected to be released sometime in 2011.

During today’s “Vertigo: On the Edge” panel, the DC Comics imprint also announced:

  • The Annotated Sandman, a four-volume collection by Leslie S. Klinger, editor of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes and The New Annotated Dracula, working closely with Neil Gaiman.
  • The reunion of the 100 Bullets team of Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso on “a top-secret Vertigo project for 2011.”
  • The New York Five, a four-issue sequel to The New York Four, Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly’s 2008 Minx graphic novel. The miniseries debuts in January.
  • Delirium’s Party, Jill Thompson’s follow-up to 2001′s The Little Endless Storybook, will debut in March.
  • Mentioned at Comic-Con International, the six-issue Cinderella: Fables are Forever will debut in February from the Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love team of Chris Roberson and Sean McManus.

Look for a full panel report at Comic Book Resources.

What Are You Reading?

Tara Normal

Tara Normal

Welcome once again to What Are You Reading? This week our special guest contributor is comics writer Dwight L. MacPherson, who you might know from Sidewise, currently running on Zuda; the pirate story Dead Men Tell No Tales; or Kid Houdini and The Silver-Dollar Misfits, among other works.

To see what Dwight and the rest of the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click on the link …

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C2E2 | Funrama debuts, I Rule the Night print, tats, Dark Horse and more

C2E2, the new Chicago convention brought to you by the makers of the New York Comic Con, will hold its inaugural convention this weekend at the Lakeside Center at McCormick Place. Our buddy Kiel spoke with Lance Fensterman of Reed Exhibitions about the show yesterday, if you’re curious about Reed’s plans for it.

If you’re exhibiting at the show, debuting a new comic or just have some exciting plans for attendees you’d like to share, drop me an email and I’ll run it in one of the many round-ups we’ll be doing between now and Friday.

And if you are attending the show, here’s some stuff to add to your agenda/buy list …

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funrama

Artist Ryan Kelly will debut his self-published book Funrama at the show. He’ll be in Artist Alley at booth K-9. You can also purchase it online for a couple dollars more.

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Straight for the art | Lanterns of all colors by Ryan Kelly

Red Lanterns by Ryan Kelly

Red Lanterns by Ryan Kelly

Artist Ryan Kelly shares four sketches he’s selling on his blog, featuring various Lanterns of various colors. He plans to use the money for travel expenses and to print a personal project he’s working on called Funrama.

Ryan Kelly’s side project: Funrama Presents

The Mutant Punks by Ryan Kelly

The Mutant Punks by Ryan Kelly

Over on his blog, Local artist Ryan Kelly announces a “personal side project in every sense of that definition” called Funrama. The first two stories he’s working on under the Funrama Presents banner are Funrama Presents: The Mutant Punks (shown above) and Funrama Presents: Raccoon. He says both of them are short stories that build toward a bigger story he’s got planned.

“This is not a webcomic, per se,” he says. “This is a personal side project in every sense of that definition. The FUNRAMA PRESENTS stories will be combined into a promo book that I hope to have available this summer with superstar pin-up art extras. The end goal is a set of 3 graphic novels. It could take years. Print on Demand..Unless a publisher wants to magically come forward and publish it. Anyway, More to come. I will be making a process Tumblr blog too.


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