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Dean Haspiel and Gregory Benton on Hang Dai and Seth Kushner

BWT_DeanHaspielHang Dai Editions is the imprint of Hang Dai Studio, the Brooklyn collective formed by Dean Haspiel, Gregory Benton, Josh Neufeld and the late Seth Kushner. All of them were already well known, Haspiel as a prolific independent cartoonist as well as the artist for Archie Comics’ The Fox, Benton as the creator of B+F, which won the MoCCA Festival award last year, Neufeld as the creator of A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge and the artist for The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media, and Kushner, who died in May, as a talented photographer and writer whose works included Leaping Tall Buildings, for which he photographed many prominent comics creators, and Schmuck.

The first titles to be published by Hang Dai were minicomics that the creators hand-sold at shows, but recently the collective announced a slate of comics that will be distributed to a wider audience this fall through Alternative Comics.

In an interview with ROBOT 6, Haspiel and Benton talk about the evolution of Hang Dai, the new fall line and the loss of Kushner. They also shared some art from their upcoming books Beef With Tomato (Haspiel) and Smoke (Benton).

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Comics A.M. | Comiket 87 draws 180,000 on opening day

Comiket 87

Comiket 87

Conventions | About 180,000 people flocked to the Tokyo Big Sight on Sunday for the first day of Comiket 87, the world’s largest convention dedicated to self-published comics. That’s an increase of about 10,000 from the opening day of the summer edition — Comiket is held twice yearly, in August and in December — and about the same as last winter’s event. Comiket continues through Tuesday. [Anime News Network]

Comics | Kevin Drum does some very loose calculations to check the claim that millennials are addicted to comics, and he reckons that given the current size of the market, about 2 percent of millennials are comics readers. [Mother Jones]

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de Campi and Broxton turn Smoke into Ashes

In 2005, writer Alex de Campi burst into the comics world with the IDW series Smoke. Illustrated by then-recent New X-Men artist Igor Kordey, it burst through the sea of work that year to earn an Eisner nomination — no small feat for such a new entry into comics. Since then she’s done a handful of OEL manga and BD comics but has largely fallen off the grid in favor of directing music videos. But now she’s coming back, and she’s coming back with a sequel to the book that made her name in the industry.

de Campi is working with artist Jimmy Broxton on Ashes, a graphic novel sequel to Smoke that she’s aiming to fund via Kickstarter. Described by the author as “a bullet ride through the brain of dystopian Britain into the dark heart of the American psyche,” it follows Smoke leads Rupert Cain and Katie Shah as the retribution for bringing down a government comes calling.

And they’re offering not only the typical incentives that come with a Kickstarter campaign, but also have listed the European trade rights, North American trade rights and film rights for it as incentives as well. “You can buy the trade rights and the film rights, right there on Kickstarter. Why not? The few book-to-film agents for comics that I’ve come across really have not added any value to the process. I’ve had agents at two of the major agencies as well as having worked with independents and nobody really did anything. Publishing and filmmaking will only continue to decentralise from their legacy past as groups of elite insiders based in NY and LA who required an agent to gain you access.,” de Campi told Bleeding Cool.

Aiming for a goal of $27,000, de Campi and Broxton have raised over $3,000 in just one day into the drive with just under two months to go. Notable backers at this point including comics creators Kieron Gillen and Dean Haspiel as well as editors Janelle Asselin and Tim Beedle. If you see something you like, add your name to the list.

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