Tag Archives: Indie comics

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Review: Ginseng Roots #1

Ginseng Roots #1

As a child of immigrants, it’s never lost on me about the sacrifice they made. My parents came from different parts of the world to only meet in the “greatest city in the world”. Storybook romances only happen in the movies, but my parents came close. For children who have had to listen to hours of stories by their parents growing up, the main lesson we were to learn was, that “our life is easier”.

My mother used to talk about how hard it was growing up poor in the Philippines. As my father would tell us how he had to work the sugar cane fields on Trinidad. While we did not grow up rich, we were far from well off. In the debut issue Ginseng Roots #1, Craig Thompson connects his childhood to the geopolitics of America-China relations which start right in his backyard.

We find a younger version of our author and his brother, Phil, waking before dawn, as their summer camp, this particular year, was not with their friends but on a Ginseng garden, where he and his brother will toil for the rest of the day, harvesting roots. As we find out that this particular farm in Marathon, Wisconsin, was the largest producer of American ginseng in the world in 1980. As we soon find our narrator and his brother discovering comic books this particular summer but having the naiveté of children, that they reveled in the fact they would get paid for what they did, no matter the weather. By issue’s end, Thompson would give us a history of the root and its supply chain while endearing it to the summer he worked at this ginseng garden.

Overall, Ginseng Roots #1 is a vast and inherently heartfelt love letter to “working-class guilt” and the survivor’s remorse we often feel after rising above our station. The story by Thompson is simply, beautiful. The art by Thompson is striking. Altogether, Thompson proves with this book, how masterful a storyteller he is and how some trials we go through, make us who we are.

Story: Craig Thompson Art: Craig Thompson
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Purchase: Uncivilized Books

Those Two Geeks Episode 102: Talking Tessellation With Mike Phillips

Alex and Joe chat with Mike Phillips, the creator of the comic Tessellation, launching on Kickstarter for February 17th.

As always, Alex and Joe can be found on twitter respectively @karcossa and @jcb_smark if you feel the need to tell them they’re wrong individually, or @those2geeks if you want to yell at them together on twitter, or by email at ItsThose2Geeks@gmail.com.

Save with comiXology’s Small Press Sci-Fi Sale!

Discover new comics with the Save with comiXology’s Small Press Sci-Fi Sale! It’s currently running on comiXology and features 340 comics all on sale now!

There’s something for everyone with this sale which features some comics as low as $0.49!

You have until February 1st to save!

This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Save with comiXology’s Small Press Sci-Fi Sale!

Discover new comics with the Save with comiXology’s Small Press Sci-Fi Sale! It’s currently running on comiXology and features 340 comics all on sale now!

There’s something for everyone with this sale which features some comics as low as $0.49!

You have until February 1st to save!

This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Comics Deserve Better Episode 19: Papaya Salad by Elisa Macellari

On the penultimate episode of Comics Deserve Better Season 2, Brian, Darci, and Logan discuss the historical fiction/biography/magical realism comic Papaya Salad by Elisa Macellari. This 2020 release is a Thai/Italian comic about Macellari’s great-uncle as he goes from rural Thailand to serving in the military in Europe on the eve of World War II and gives a unique perspective on this historical conflict. Also, there’s the usual news chatter including new Image comics by Guillem March and James Harren, upcoming books Brindille and Chef’s Kiss, and Dan Rather working on a graphic novel. There’s also a discussion of Grant Morrison doing an origin story for Atomahawk, more R-rated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and finally, an obituary for legendary cartoonist, Richard Corben. Other comics mentioned on the podcast were Homunculus, Gonzalo, Minotaar, Cry Wolf Girl, Under the Dead Oak Tree, Karmela Krimm, Phonogram: Singles Club, Ronin Island, The Picture of Everything Else, and Reckless. (Episode art by Elisa Macellari)

Comics Deserve Better Episode 16: 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank by Matthew Rosenberg, Tyler Boss, and Thomas Mauer

On this episode of Comics Deserve Better, Brian and Logan geek out about the darkly comedic, crime comic 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank by Matthew Rosenberg, Tyler Boss, and Thomas Mauer.

They break down the cast of annoying, yet endearing middle-school-aged characters, their favorite sequences, and the connections that this Black Mask Studios masterpiece has to other works of pop culture. Brian and Logan also discuss the latest indie comics news, including Graham Coxon‘s comic Superstate from Z2, the announcement of Vault‘s queer monster love story Hollow Heart and Geoff Johns and Gary Frank‘s creator-owned series Geiger, and a new ordering format from Scout Comics. They also talk about the upcoming Black Hammer: Visions and their dream creators on the miniseries. Other comics mentioned on the show are We Only Find Them When They’re Dead, Getting It Together, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, and 12 Reasons to Die. (Episode art by Tyler Boss)

Comics Deserve Better Episode 12: Beyond the Demon, The Sea by Ben Goldsmith, Davy Broyles, and Justin Birch/Burning Tree by Nuna

On this week’s Comics Deserve Better, Brian, Darci, and Logan discuss a couple of horror one-shots from Source Point Press. The comics are the maritime scarefest Beyond the Demon, The Sea by Ben Goldsmith, Davy Broyles, and Justin Birch and the almost-silent Gothic horror book Burning Tree by Nuna. They also chat about indie comics news like Heavy Metal‘s Magma Comix imprint, Abbott 1973, TKO‘s third wave of graphic novel, and Dark Horse Comics‘ Halloween sale. Other comics mentioned on the show include Culdesac, Blood on the Tracks, Die, Bitter Root, Death of the Horror Anthology, and Maids. (Episode art by Nuna)

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:

Small Press Expo Begins to Announce Its Virtual Panels

Small Press Expo

With the Small Press Expo canceled this year, the convention is going virtual. Along with a virtual Ignatz Awards, the beloved convention will have a full slate of programming to go with it.

Some of the panels have already been announced which you can see below and check out here for the full schedule. New panels are being revealed daily. Panels can be viewed on the SPX Youtube page during their times.

September 12

September 12, 2020 11:00 am – 11:50 am

Balancing parenting with creating art can be difficult under the best of circumstances. In a time when parents also have to cope with a global pandemic, economic turmoil, injustice and oppression, and naked racism, how are cartoonists who are parents coping with this? How is it affecting not only their output, but the content of their work? Moderator Rob Clough (High-Low, SOLRAD) will discuss these questions and more with Keiler Roberts (Chlorine Gardens), Tyler Cohen (Primahood: Magenta), Whit Taylor (Fizzle, The Nib), and Luke Howard (Our Mother).

September 12, 2020 1:30pm – 2:20 pm

Take a tour and listen to the behind-the-scenes workings of Ann Arbor’s Diskette Press! Publisher Carta Monir will lead a discussion with two of the artists she publishes, Emma Jayne (Trans Girls Hit The Town) and Casey Nowak (Girl Town, Duh Ha Ha). Diskette’s ace employee and Risograph tech whiz Renée Cymry will also provide details on the nuts and bolts of running a self-contained publishing house.

September 12, 20202 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Combining comics, storytelling, statistics, and facts, Knight makes the case that America’s biggest problem is its inability to have a frank and honest discussion about race.

Knight’s presentation is designed to provoke constructive dialogue amongst people young and old, left and right, of all colors and orientations.  The presentation has been a hit at schools, churches, and workplaces across the United States and beyond.

Keith will also be answering questions about Woke, the new Hulu series inspired by Knight’s life and comics. All episodes of the first season drop 9/9/20.

September 12, 2020 6:45 pm – 8:00 pm

A seamless tapestry of comics, radio play, and live theatrical performance, The Future Without You is a collection of six short pieces from Tulsa Artist Fellow and Ignatz-award winning comics creator Sophie Goldstein and Tulsa Artist Fellow Carl Antonowicz, starring actors Kara Bellavia and Javier Sagel. Moderator Rob Clough will have a brief discussion with Goldstein and Antonowicz after the performance airs.

September 13

September 13, 2020 11:00 am – 11:50 am

One thing lacking in many art school curriculums is how to approach signing a book contract. What considerations should an artist consider in negotiating a contract? How do factors like copyrights, media rights, licensing, reversion rights figure into a contract? Join moderator Rob Clough and the interim Executive Director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Jeff Trexler, as they answer these and other frequently asked questions. Trexler will also discuss how he sees the CBLDF providing resources for these issues in the future.

September 13, 2020  12:15 pm – 1:05 am

Cartoonists GB Tran (Vietnamerica) and Erin Williams (Commute) join this roundtable with moderator Qiana Whitted and other scholars from the International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF) to discuss the ways that audience, reception, and “relatability” affect how comics are created, particularly those by women and people of color. How do these artists render hidden on painful experiences on the page in a manner that resonates with readers, while also realizing their own vision for the stories they want to tell? Co-sponsored by the International Comic Arts Forum

September 13, 2020 1:30 pm – 2:20 pm

While comics have always provided a space for the provocative modification of the human body, in recent years cartoonists have returned to the horror genre to twist it with their new visions of terrifying human figures. Grounding their approach to horror in the body itself, these artists excavate intimacy, desire, fantasy, and community care as they explore the human body in all its wonder and grotesqueness. At the intersection of the body, horror, and comics, they conjure alien lifeforms, create impossible anatomies, and pillage historical plagues and contemporary blights, all the while transforming the language of comics and pushing towards new heights of horror storytelling. Join moderator Dr. Rachel Miller as she explores these ideas with Kate Lacour (Vivisectionary), Ezra Claytan Daniels (Upgrade Soul, BTTM FDRS), Julia Gfrörer (Vision), and Sloane Leong (Prism Stalker).

September 13, 2020 3:00 pm – 3:50 pm

Moderator J.A. Micheline will engage in conversation with Ignatz-award winning cartoonist Bianca Xunise (Six Chix, Say Her Name) about punk rock, goth, and her comics career.

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