Tag Archives: independent comics

Comics Deserve Better Episode 9: Copra Round One by Michel Fiffe

In the penultimate episode of this season of Comics Deserve Better, Brian, Darci, and Logan talk about the re-release of the Scott Pilgrim beat ’em up and the Little Bird prequel. However, the main attraction is a lively chat about Michel Fiffe‘s ass-kicking Silver Age-Ditko-meets-Bronze-Age-Ostrander pastiche, Copra. Other comics mentioned, include On the Stump, Klaus Hargreeves’ solo comic, Slaughterhouse-Five, Flower of the Deep Sleep, and Heavy #1.

And the 2020 Ignatz Award Winners Are…

The 2020 winners for the annual Ignatz Awards have been announced during this year’s virtual Small Press Expo. The Ignatz are a celebration of outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning.

The Ignatz, named after George Herriman’s brick-wielding mouse from his long running comic strip Krazy Kat, recognizes exceptional work that challenges popular notions of what comics can achieve, both as an art form and as a means of personal expression. The Ignatz Awards are a festival prize, the first of such in the United States comic book industry. The 2020 Ignatz Awards are sponsored by Politics & Prose, a D.C. based independent bookstore devoted to cultivating community and strengthening the common good through books, programs, and a respectful exchange of ideas.

The winner for each category is in bold below. Congrats to all of the winners and nominees!

Outstanding Artist

  • Ana Galvañ – Press Enter to Continue
  • Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
  • Tianran Qu – Slices of Life 100 Comic Montage
  • Michael DeForge – Familiar Face
  • Katie Hicks – Guts

Outstanding Anthology

  • Dates III – edited by Zora Gilbert & Cat Parra
  • Be Gay, Do Comics – edited by The Nib
  • LAAB Magazine #4 – edited by Ronald Wimberly & Joshua O’Neill
  • The Anthology of Mind – Tommi Musturi
  • Sweaty Palms Volume 2 – Sage Coffey

Outstanding Collection

  • GLEEM – Eddy Carrasco
  • Glenn Ganges in: The River at Night – Kevin Huizenga
  • Inappropriate – Gabrielle Bell
  • Slices of Life: 100 Comic Montage – Tianran Qu
  • The Complete Works of Fante Bukowski – Noah Van Sciver

Outstanding Comic

  • Cosmoknights – Hannah Templer
  • My Dog Ivy – Gabrielle Bell
  • Cry Wolf Girl – Ariel Ries
  • Theth Tomorrow Forever – Josh Bayer
  • Mooncakes – Wendy Xu & Suzanne Walker

Outstanding Graphic Novel

  • Hot Comb – Ebony Flowers
  • Pittsburgh – Frank Santoro
  • Skip – Molly Mendoza
  • How I Tried to be a Good Person – Ulli Lust
  • This Was Our Pact – Ryan Andrews

Outstanding Minicomic

  • The Gulf – Nguyen Nguyen
  • Chapter Two – Keren Katz
  • Canvas – Theo K. Stultz
  • I Feel Weird #4 – Haleigh Buck
  • Black Hole Heart – Cathy G Johnson

Outstanding Online Comic

  • I Exist – Breena Nuñez
  • Like the Tide – Isabella Rotman
  • SUPERPOSE – Joe Seosamh & C. Anka
  • Gabby Schulz (@gabbyschulz)
  • Witchy – Ariel Ries

Outstanding Series

  • The Misplaced – Chris Callahan
  • Fizzle – Whit Taylor
  • SUPERPOSE – Joe Seosamh & C. Anka
  • kuš! – kuš! komiks
  • Frontier – Youth in Decline

Outstanding Story

  • The Lab – Allison Conway
  • The Hard Tomorrow – Eleanor Davis
  • The Weight #9 – Melissa Mendes
  • “Little Red Riding Hood” – Inappropriate – Gabrielle Bell
  • BTTM FDRS – Ezra Daniels & Ben Passmore

Promising New Talent

  • AJ Dungo
  • Sylvia Nickerson
  • Theo Stultz
  • Emil Wilson
  • Andrew Lorenzi

You can watch the ceremony below:

The Small Press Expo Announces the 2020 Ignatz Award Nominees

The Small Press Expo (SPX) has announced the 2020 nominees for the annual presentation of the Ignatz Awards, a celebration of outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning.

The Ignatz, named after George Herriman’s brick-wielding mouse from his long running comic strip Krazy Kat, recognizes exceptional work that challenges popular notions of what comics can achieve, both as an art form and as a means of personal expression. The Ignatz Awards are a festival prize, the first of such in the United States comic book industry. The 2020 Ignatz Awards are sponsored by Politics & Prose, a D.C. based independent bookstore devoted to cultivating community and strengthening the common good through books, programs, and a respectful exchange of ideas.

The nominees for the ballot were determined by a panel of the best of today’s comics professionals, Scott Cederlund, November Garcia, Malala Gharib, and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell. Voting beings August 31 and continues until September 9. Register to vote via the SPX website. Everyone registering to vote after the initial ballots are mailed on August 31 will be emailed ballots soon after registration.

Outstanding Artist

  • Ana Galvañ – Press Enter to Continue
  • Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
  • Tianran Qu – Slices of Life 100 Comic Montage
  • Michael DeForge – Familiar Face
  • Katie Hicks – Guts

Outstanding Anthology

  • Dates III – edited by Zora Gilbert & Cat Parra
  • Be Gay, Do Comics – edited by The Nib
  • LAAB Magazine #4 – edited by Ronald Wimberly & Joshua O’Neill
  • The Anthology of Mind – Tommi Musturi
  • Sweaty Palms Volume 2 – Sage Coffey

Outstanding Collection

  • GLEEM – Eddy Carrasco
  • Glenn Ganges in: The River at Night – Kevin Huizenga
  • Inappropriate – Gabrielle Bell
  • Slices of Life: 100 Comic Montage – Tianran Qu
  • The Complete Works of Fante Bukowski – Noah Van Sciver

Outstanding Comic

  • Cosmoknights – Hannah Templer
  • My Dog Ivy – Gabrielle Bell
  • Cry Wolf Girl – Ariel Ries
  • Theth Tomorrow Forever – Josh Bayer
  • Mooncakes – Wendy Xu & Suzanne Walker

Outstanding Graphic Novel

  • Hot Comb – Ebony Flowers
  • Pittsburgh – Frank Santoro
  • Skip – Molly Mendoza
  • How I Tried to be a Good Person – Ulli Lust
  • This Was Our Pact – Ryan Andrews

Outstanding Minicomic

  • The Gulf – Nguyen Nguyen
  • Chapter Two – Keren Katz
  • Canvas – Theo K. Stultz
  • I Feel Weird #4 – Haleigh Buck
  • Black Hole Heart – Cathy G Johnson

Outstanding Online Comic

  • I Exist – Breena Nuñez
  • Like the Tide – Isabella Rotman
  • SUPERPOSE – Joe Seosamh & C. Anka
  • Gabby Schulz (@gabbyschulz)
  • Witchy – Ariel Ries

Outstanding Series

  • The Misplaced – Chris Callahan
  • Fizzle – Whit Taylor
  • SUPERPOSE – Joe Seosamh & C. Anka
  • kuš! – kuš! komiks
  • Frontier – Youth in Decline

Outstanding Story

  • The Lab – Allison Conway
  • The Hard Tomorrow – Eleanor Davis
  • The Weight #9 – Melissa Mendes
  • “Little Red Riding Hood” – Inappropriate – Gabrielle Bell
  • BTTM FDRS – Ezra Daniels & Ben Passmore

Promising New Talent

  • AJ Dungo
  • Sylvia Nickerson
  • Theo Stultz
  • Emil Wilson
  • Andrew Lorenzi

Small Press Expo Wants You to Register to Vote… for the Virtual 2020 Ignatz Awards

Ignatz 2020 logo design by Ebony Flowers
Ignatz 2020 logo design by Ebony Flowers

Small Press Expo’s 2020 Ignatz Awards, recognizing this year’s outstanding achievements in comics by small press creators, will be held online for the first time. In past years the Ignatz Awards have been a festival prize to be voted on only by attendees of the show, this year’s virtual event will open voting to all who have registered. 
Please register to vote by following this link.

Key dates for the 2020 Ignatz Awards

August 11 – Voter registration begins
August 26 – Announcement of Ignatz 2020 Nominees
August 28 – Voting begins with ballots emailed to all registered voters
September 4 – Voter registration ends
September 5 – Voting for the 2020 Ignatz Awards end
September 12 – Online Presentation of Ignatz Award winners

Everyone registering to vote after the initial ballots are mailed on August 28 will be emailed ballots soon after registration.

The Ignatz Awards ceremony will be live-streamed on Saturday night, September 12 at 8PM Eastern Time over the SPX Youtube channel.

Comics Deserve Better: Episode 3: Daytripper by Fábio Moon, Gabriel Bá, Dave Stewart, and Sean Konot

In this week’s Comic Deserve Better, Brian, Darci, and Logan discuss Fábio Moon, Gabriel Bá‘, and Dave Stewart‘s life and death masterpiece, Daytripper, and get emotional and occasionally personal while breaking down the craft of this great title. They also chat about a plethora of recent indie releases ranging from Singaporean newspaper comics about Covid-19 and self-published comics about going to movie theaters (Remember those!) to Vault ComicsFinger Guns, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips Pulp, and the manga, Yona of the Dawn. There’s something for everyone in this episode! (Episode art by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá.)

Comics Deserve Better is a New Podcast Focused on Indie Comics

Graphic Policy contributor Logan Dalton, Darci Meadville, and Brian Stafford have teamed up for the new podcast “Comics Deserve Better.”

The podcast focuses on indie comics (non-Big Two), non-licensed comics, and news.

The first episode is available now and discusses the memoir/road trip story American Dream? by Malaysian-American non-binary cartoonist Shing Yin Khor.

You can listen to it on Anchor, Spotify, or right here below!

ShortBox Launches a Kickstarter for their 12th Comics Box

ShortBox has launched a Kickstarter for their twelfth box of exclusive comics and goods, hot from the presses and straight to your door! The box features five debut comics complete with covers, preview pages, and blurbs for your consideration in news coverage. The Kickstarter was funded within a day, and they’re now headed towards stretch goals!

The project ends Wednesday, May 20 2020 6:00 AM EDT and costs £35.

What Is ShortBox

ShortBox is an independent, Eisner-nominated comics publisher based in Yorkshire, England. 

Since 2016, we’ve been publishing a mail-order comics box containing 5 new comics, a limited edition art-print, and some sweets! What’s unique about our box is that everything in it is new- original work created specifically to be released via the box. 

Each box is a vehicle for us to put out a selection of fresh, exciting, independent comics, and mail them directly to your door!

The Box Features

Dead End Jobs for Ghosts by Aminder Dhaliwal 

What happens when we die? In this pithy new satire on the spookiness of capitalism and the culture of working til you drop (and beyond!), Aminder Dhaliwal answers that eternal question, charting the secret history of Spectreworks Inc., and the deal struck between humans and ghosts to build a spectral workforce via automation- with jobs to suit every ghost!

Dead End Jobs for Ghosts

‘Time will tell’ fabric screenprint by Jillian Tamaki

This oversized screenprinted patch measures 20x20cm, and is exclusive to the box (won’t be available at any later point or for individual sale- this is the only way to get one).  We love the idea of a unique fabric piece that can be framed, quilted, sewn in to a jacket or tote, mini-pennant, bunting, or whatever use you come up with!

'Time will tell' fabric screenprint by Jillian Tamaki

She Would Feel the Same by Emma Hunsinger

Chloe and Phoebe’s relationship has ended, amicably. Nobody instigated the breakup, they both felt it was time to move on. So why can’t Chloe stop thinking about it: how neat and civilised it all was? Is it normal to just suddenly stop loving someone who meant so much to you? Is that… it? An unmissable debut comic work from a formidable up-and-coming comics talent.

She Would Feel the Same by Emma Hunsinger

Pippette and Dudley’s Charming Dog Adventure by Charlotte Mei

Micro-influencer and regional princess Pipette is growing tired of her domestic life and virtual duty, and decides instead to participate in an ‘eligible bachelor’s showcase.’ As Pipette spends more and more time with DJ Prince Kyle, her darling dog and best friend, Dudley. begins to act out, feeling increasingly abandoned. Who will Pipette choose, and will their friendship survive?

Pippette and Dudley's Charming Dog Adventure

Interim by Allissa Chan

A star falls in a strange, empty city, but finds itself trapped and unable to escape. As the city shifts and remakes itself, the star joins forces with an indomitable crow in a bid to gain both their freedoms.

Interim

Outspace by Núria Martinez

Outspace is the hot, shiny, new game-of-the-moment, and after being recommended it by a friend, Erin decides to give it a go. Initially sceptical, she soon finds herself engrossed to the point where she real-life and virtual reality begin to blur… Or is she just imagining it?

Outspace

Underrated: Your Local Comics Scene

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week:  Your Local Comics Scene


 

In a slightly different than normal entry to this column (read I forgot to write one and am instead repurposing something else) I wanted to take a look at something that most of us either ignore or are blissfully unaware of, and that’s the comics being published in your local area. Obviously your definition of “local area” will vary depending on where you live; New York City may have a much smaller local sphere than my hometown of Exmouth in the South of Devon, England. The local scene there could more reasonably stretch across the entirety of the county of Devon, much like how I’d consider Atlantic Canada to be my current local comics scene now rather than any specific city or province within the region simply due to the volume of independent comics that I come across. But regardless of the size of your local area, my question to you, dear reader, is how active is your local comics scene, and when was the last time you actively sought out local-to-you comics at your Local Comic Shop?

I’ve found a couple of really interesting stories that way (some are also available as webcomics – such as this one), and some… less interesting. But the thing is, because they’re created by people who visit the same shops as I do across the region, I wanted to give them a shot. And I don’t regret doing that with any of the comics I’ve picked up over the years, whether they are from my region or local to an area I have traveled to. 

There’s a chance that your local area may not have anybody actively creating comics for the mass market, but you can probably find a small pamphlet like comic produced locally in a small corner of the shop or a local convention. And if you do find one, then why not check it out? You’ll be supporting local talent, and who knows? Maybe you’ll find your next favourite series…



That’s all we have for this week, folks. Come back next time  when there’s something else Underrated to talk about.

Small Press Expo Announces Kickstarter Table Grants for SPX 2019

Small Press Expo 2019

In addition to its sponsorship of the 2019 Ignatz Awards, Kickstarter is also directly supporting creators at SPX’s 25th Anniversary. SPX is honored to have Camilla Zhang, Kickstarter’s Comics Outreach Lead, along with Product Designer Jenna Leonardo and Senior Engineer Pritika N. on site to provide SPX creators with dedicated consultation as to how to design and launch the best Kickstarter campaigns possible.

Kickstarter is also directing part of its sponsorship to subsidize tables for a selected group of exhibitors at SPX 2019, which was developed in consultation with members of the SPX Executive Committee.

The following SPX exhibitors will have their tables paid for by this most generous Kickstarter sponsorship, with any monies already paid to SPX to be refunded after this years show:

  • Shortbox/Zainab Akhtar
  • Lawrence Lindell
  • Carla Speed McNeil
  • Hazel Newvalent
  • Laura Knetzger
  • Archie Bongiovanni
  • Claire Connelly
  • Richie Pope
  • Maia Kobabe
  • Christina “Steenz” Stewart
  • Henry Barajas
  • Rhael McGregor

Come to SPX 2019 to celebrate SPX’s 25th Anniversary. There will be 30 special guests, 22 program panels, 14 workshops and over 600 creators/exhibitors, many of whom have used Kickstarter to fund their works.

Small Press Expo Announces Special Events

Small Press Expo 2019

While you’re waiting for Small Press Expo, celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary with these additional events in the Washington, D.C., area.

Small Press Expo takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 14-15, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center and will have over 650 creators, 280 exhibitor tables, 22 programming panels and 14 hands-on workshops to introduce attendees to the amazing world of independent and small press comics.

Wednesday, September 11 

Curated by SPX Executive Director Warren Bernard, the show traces the history of comics on newsprint from Little Nemo in Slumberland to such indie comics publications as Smoke Signals, Magic Bullet and LAAB. See works on newsprint by SPX creators such as Chris Ware, Charles Burns, Lilli Carre, and Ron Wimberly, as well as those by George Herriman, Will Eisner, and Frank King. The show runs through September 27.

Wednesday, September 11 

French artist and illustrator Yann Kebbi, who is a Special Guest at SPX 2019, will give a talk about his collaboration with author Viken Berberian and the story behind their book, The Structure is Rotten, Comrades.

Thursday, September 12

In conjunction with the 25th Anniversary of SPX, the Library of Congress is holding a year-long retrospective of the history of comics. Works from the SPX Collection at the Library of Congress will be displayed from Jaime Hernandez, Bill Griffith, and Raina Telgemeier among others. These works will be shown alongside those of George Herriman, Walt Kelly, Richard Outcault and other historically distinguished comics creators.

Thursday, September 12

Conversation with comic artist Jaime Hernandez, co-creator of the alternative comic Love and Rockets. Hernandez was the winner of the 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for best graphic novel/comic and the 2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award for Best Writer/Artist. He will be interviewed by Gary Groth, founder and president of Fantagraphics, about his work and creative process, representing Latinx experiences in comic art, and changes in the field over the course of his career.

The event is free, but due to expected demand, tickets are recommended, and there may be special restrictions. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Entry is not guaranteed.

Friday, September 13

Join SPX 2019 Special Guest Jérôme Tubiana in for a book talk and panel discussion about Mohammad El-Gharani, who as a child went to Pakistan to study and ended up as one of the youngest prisoners at Guantánamo Bay. Mohammed’s experiences are documented in Tubiana’s book, Guantanamo Kid. This event is hosted by Amnesty International and the Justice for Muslims Collective.

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