Men and women working with dogs in military actions has been going on for decades in the United States; the practice actually goes back centuries. And it’s something writer Sheila Keenan and artist Nathan Fox are celebrating in the upcoming graphic novel Dogs of War.
Scheduled to be published this fall from Scholastic’s Graphix imprint with colors by Rico Renzi, Dogs of War follows stories of canine military heroes from World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War, and focuses on the bonds between those animals and their human partners. Fresh off his work on Heavy Metal’s Flourescent Black graphic novel and at Marvel on Dark Reign: Zodiac, Fox is teasing Dog of War on his Twitter page with art, such as the panels above. We dug around and for
two three full pages, shown below.
It takes a hell of a creator to write a graphic novel about dental work that anyone would want to read, but Raina Telgemeier’s Smile: A Dental Drama not only won an Eisner and the Boston Globe Horn Book Award (the first graphic novel to be so honored), it was also a big hit with young readers. Her followup Drama was just named to the YALSA Top Ten Graphic Novels for Teens list and was recognized as a Stonewall Honor book, and it’s a cinch to garner more awards as the year goes on. Both books have spent a lot of time on The New York Times bestseller list; Drama hit the No. 1 spot in January, and Smile made the list recently as well, even though it was published more than two years ago.
So Tuesday’s announcement is big news: Telgemeier has signed with Scholastic’s Graphix imprint (the publishers of Drama and Smile) for two more books. The first one, due out next year, will be called Sisters and, like Smile, will be autobiographical, dealing with the relationship between Telgemeier and her younger sister. That’s all we know for now; Telgemeier is working on the book and shared a penciled drawing on her blog. The second book doesn’t have a title yet, but it will also be a graphic novel.
That sound you hear is the collective gasp of millions of J.K. Rowling fans as Scholastic unveiled the new cover for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by none other than Kazu Kibuishi, the acclaimed creator of Copper, Daisy Kutter and Amulet.
The cover is the first of seven illustrated by Kibuishi for the U.S. trade paperbacks commemorating the 15th anniversary of the U.S. debut of Rowling’s beloved fantasy series. According to Scholastic, each of the covers will depict a memorable moment from the respective book. The entire collection will be released in September as a boxed set. The American softcover editions have sported Mary GrandPré’s covers since 1998.
Publishers Weekly reports that Craig Thompson, creator of Blankets and the much-discussed Habibi, has signed with Scholastic to do a children’s graphic novel called Space Dumplins. In a (NSFW) blog post last December, Thompson said he was working on three books: a children’s graphic novel, a nonfiction book about “global trade,” and an erotic graphic novel. Apparently this one has taken over, for now.
Thompson’s agent, PJ Mark, describes the book as the story of “a little girl and her misfit friends who set out to rescue her father from the belly of a planet-eating space whale.” Sounds like fun, and if there’s anyone who can market the heck out of this book, it’s Scholastic, which also publishes Jeff Smith’s Bone, Raina Telgemeier’s Smile and Drama, Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet series, and Doug TenNapel’s Bad Island and Cardboard.
Leo Geo and His Miraculous Journey Through the Center of the Earth
By Jon Chad
Roaring Brook Press $15.99.
This is a clever, literally slim book, designed as skinny as possible in order to highlight its central conceit. You see, the running gag here is that you have to turn the book sideways to follow Leo on his downward trek to the Earth’s core, and then turn it another 180 degrees as he heads back up.
The book combines science with fantasy, with Leo discovering lost worlds filled with crazy monsters while spouting out science facts like “Some countries like New Zealand and Iceland harness the awesome power of lava for their own uses in heating and generating electricity. Though the juxtaposition of fantasy and hard facts seems a bit jarring, it actually adds to the book’s charm. There’s something about a guy standing on a giant underground ogre while discussing thermal generators that’s too silly to dislike.
Though Leo himself is one step up from a stick figure, Chad fills the pages with as much detail as possible and his ornate underworld scenes take on a “Where’s Waldo”-like mania at times, especially as he eschews panel borders to instead depict various versions of Leo crawling across a wide (but narrow) vista. Basically, it’s a fun introduction to geology that the elementary-school set will really dig (sorry, couldn’t help the pun).
Scholastic has premiered a new trailer for Bone: Quest for the Spark, by Tom Sniegoski and Jeff Smith, ahead of the release of the second volume on Feb. 1.
The prose trilogy, which includes illustrations by Smith, follows a new generation of Bone characters into the Valley. Here’s the description of Vol. 2:
The Nacht, the evil dragon that threatens to destroy both the Dreaming and the Waking World, is growing stronger, and twelve-year-old Tom Elm is the champion the Dreaming has chosen to defeat it. Along with Roderick the raccoon, Percival Bone and his nephew and niece, Randolf, Lorimar, and the two stupid Rat Creatures, Tom must race to find the missing pieces of the Spark. This leg of the journey introduces him to a trio of scheming bears and takes him into the depths of a dangerous beehive. And, on top of everything else, a traitor might be among them.
In related news, comiXology is offering the entire Bone series — individual issues and collections alike — at half the download price through Thursday. You can even get the first issue for free.
Legal | Susie Cagle, the cartoonist covering Occupy Oakland who was tear-gassed last month, was arrested early Thursday morning during the protests in Oakland. According to her father, cartoonist Daryl Cagle, Susie was being held at Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County, Calif. and was charged with unlawful assembly, even though she was there covering the event and had a press badge. Update: According to her Twitter account, Susie Cagle is out of jail and was charged with a misdemeanor, “present at raid.” [Fishbowl LA]
Legal | Tom Spurgeon offers more details on comic artist Steve Rude’s Halloween altercation, which led to the Nexus creator’s arrest that same night. According to Rude’s wife by way of Spurgeon, Rude was in costume handing out Halloween candy to kids trick-or-treating when his neighbors’ dogs began barking. Rude threw rocks at the neighbors’ fence, which led to a confrontation with them. Rude tore the neighbor’s shirt and pushed him, leading to the assault charges. Rude suffered physical abuse during the arrest and in jail before posting bail. [The Comics Reporter]
To find out what Andrew and the rest of the Robot 6 crew are reading this week, click below …
With the cost of comics seemingly always on the rise, we’ve revamped our old Can’t Wait for Wednesday columns around cover price. Hence, welcome to our second Food or Comics? column, as we look at comics that’ll be in shops tomorrow.
Every week we’ll tell you what comics we’d buy if we had $15 to spend, if we had $30 to spend and if we had some “mad money” (like a gift card) to blow on what we’re calling a “Splurge” item. This week Chris Mautner and Brigid Alverson join Kevin Melrose and myself in our trip to the hypothetical comic shop, following our trip to the imaginary ATM machine.
You can play along as well in our comments section; check out Diamond’s shipping list for tomorrow to see what will be in shops.
If I had $15, I’d buy …
Batman & Robin #13 ($2.99)
Starstruck #11 ($3.99)
Godland #32 ($3.99)
Boys #44 ($3.99)
These are just about all the comics I’m currently reading in floppy form, minus a title or two. In fact, I’m relatively certain my LCS will be holding copies of these for me when I stop by this weekend. Three involve superheroes. One is a knotty sci-fi saga. One will almost certainly involve someone’s blood being sprayed across a room. That, or a bathroom joke.
Hotwire Comics Vol. 3
Edited by Glenn Head
Fantagraphics Books, 138 pages, $22.99
Once again, Hotwire returns to attempt to fill in that edgy alt-comix niche that was so prominent in the 80s and early 90s and has seemingly been eclipsed by the more literary, rarefied indie comics of today (sort of). If for no other reason, this anthology should be lauded for giving folks like Mary Fleener and Mack White the opportunity to showcase their work, since no one else seems to be interested in doing so these days. There is always the occasional dull or misguided piece (David Paleo and David Sandlin’s work continues to fail to interest me), but the stellar work by folks like Michael Kupperman, R. Sikoryak, Onsmith, Johnny Ryan, Tim Lane and Mats!? make this well worth your time.
The thing that strikes me the most about Smile is how utterly and completely normal it all is. Telgemeier’s chronicle of her dental problems and general angst during her junior high and high school years, though entertaining, and certainly fraught with melodrama, wouldn’t exactly fall under the realm of trauma, on the same level that, say, Stitches does. And while few of us have had our front teeth knocked out and spent our formative years in a variety of dentists offices, most of have had the other sort of problems Telgemeier narrates, like trouble in school, unrequited crushes, dysfunctional friendships, etc.
Perhaps the most striking thing is how Telgemeier handles these occurrences with relative intelligence and grace. Not that she doesn’t fret mind you, but rather that she so rarely trips herself up on the way to adulthood. So congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Telgemeier. You raised your daughter right.
The noted children’s book publisher Scholastic has had great success with their comics-oriented Graphix imprint, mainly thanks to their colorized volumes of Jeff Smith’s Bone. And it looks like they’re going to continue their publishing onslaught this year. Already we’ve seen the release of Copper by Kazu Kibuishi and Missile Mouse by Jake Parker. Want to find out what’s coming up next. Read on, read on …
Like the Sunday newspaper, it’s time once again for another round of What Are You Reading. Our guest this week is Ryan Sands, who can be found over at the Same Hat blog, recommending and even translating (Tokyo Zombie) some great, and occasionally bizarre manga (and I mean that in a good way).
To see what Ryan and the rest of us are reading this week, click on the link below. Then let us know what books you’re enjoying and want to recommend (or not) in the comments section.
Nancy Vol. One
by John Stanley
Drawn and Quarterly, 128 pages, $24.95.
When faced with the challenge of adapting Ernie Bushmiller’s classic comic strip to longer comic book format, John Stanley’s response was simple and economical: Turn her into Little Lulu.
That’s the only conclusion I can come to after reading this collection of stories in D&Q’s ongoing “John Stanley Library” project. Nancy is pretty much Lulu with frizzier hair, Sluggo is a thinner and slightly more benign Tubby. There’s even a snotty rich kid and bratty little boy similar to Wilbur and Alvin. Stanley even repeats one of his Tubby stories involving a burglar almost note for note.
That doesn’t make Nancy a bad book by any stretch of the imagination. Mediocre Stanley is still miles above most people’s best work. The best stories here though are the ones involving Oona Goosepimple, an odd, Wednesday Addams-type girl who supernatural antics cause no end of anxiety for poor Nancy. It’s those stories where Stanley — freed of the Bushmiller formula — really gets inventive and inspired. If the ratio of Oona stories increases as the volumes do, then I’ll keep buying these books as long as D&Q are able to get them out.
Reviews of Moomin, Amulet and more can be found after the jump …