Tag Archives: isabelle melancon

Mildred Louis Discusses Agents of the Realm

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 4.31.02 PMEarlier this month, writer and artist Mildred Louis took her webcomic Agents of the Realm (a comic about college-aged magical girls) to Kickstarter to fund the printing of physical copies. The project hit its funding goal in less than a week, but will remain on Kickstarter until March 2. I spoke to Mildred about her project and the transition from web to print comic.

Graphic Policy: First of all, thanks for taking the time to talk to me, and congratulations on hitting your Kickstarter goal already! Did you expect this kind of response when you posted the project?

Mildred Louis: Not at all! I am honestly floored at the positive response I’ve been getting over this. I consider myself a tiny little bean in the comic world, still very new to the game and not a big established name. Being able to see so many people feel like what I’m doing is worth supporting has been incredibly encouraging and also very humbling.

GP: Agents of the Realm has been a webcomic for a while now. When you first started publishing it, did you have any idea that it would get as big as it is now?

ML: Oh gosh, no. The Webcomics game is kinda dicey when you get down to it. There’s no real clear way to figure out what’s going to do well and what isn’t. I also was nervous since I originally imagined this series to be like your typical monthly installment floppies, so I’ve been worried about how well doing the page by page update would translate. I thought for a while that the pacing would just be off and brutal but I’m learning to enjoy it and am glad my readers seem to be, too!

GP: What has been the most rewarding aspect of this project for you?

ML: Getting to see my readers responses to the updates. I think when you spend so much time working on a story idea, you start to wonder if other people will actually be invested in it like you are. So being able to see my readers reactions and see that they’re interested and involved in the story has been very encouraging.

GP: As you’ve said before, Agents of the Realm is inspired by magical girls. Were you inspired by any particular series, and do you have comic books that inspire you as well? (Favorites?)

ML: I think the big ones are definitely Sailor Moon (of course) and Magic Knight Rayearth. I’ve also been inspired quite a bit from the original Young Justice comic series from back in the late 90s. I just honestly love stories that are about a group of people, how they interact with one another and the complexities that come from creating a team that has to work together.

GP: Can we expect to see print versions of Agents of the Realm in stores, or is the book version only available through Kickstarter?

ML: I’d definitely love to get it in stores! I know I’ve gotten some interest from a few places so fingers crossed it’ll happen. But regardless, the books will still be available post-Kickstarter at conventions I’ll be at throughout the year!

GP: What are you most excited for readers to see when the book comes out in print?–Is there anything you got to do with the book that you couldn’t do with the webcomic?

ML: I’m very curious to see people’s reactions when they’re able to read the entire thing at once. There’s also going to be a special chapter that I’m adding to the books that I won’t be releasing online and I am extra excited to see people’s reactions to it!

GP: Can you tell us a little about the awesome rewards that come with backing the Kickstarter?

ML: There’s a ton of stuff being offered currently! I have postcards that have been illustrated by a number of great artists, including Nilah Magruder (M.F.K), Victoria Grace Elliott (Balderdash!), and Isabelle Melancon (Namesake). I’ve also got two prints that’ll be available that will be foil stamped that I’m also very excited over. There were also a number of specialty items including Acrylic Replicas of the girl’s amulets but those went very quick!

GP: Is there anything else you’d like to talk about that I didn’t ask you?

ML: Not that I can think of!

GP: Thank you again for your time!

Agents of the Realm is available to buy digitally or in print on Kickstarter, and available to read digitally here.

Dark Horse to Publish The Secret Loves of Geek Girls

Dark Horse Comics has announced plans to publish the highly anticipated anthology The Secret Loves of Geek Girls. Editor Hope Nicholson has assembled a dazzling mix of prose, comics, and illustrated stories about love, dating, and sex featuring more than fifty creators, including Booker Award–winning novelist Margaret Atwood, Mariko Tamaki, Trina Robbins, Gisèle Lagacé, Marguerite Bennett, Marjorie Liu, and Carla Speed McNeil. It also features a foreword by Kelly Sue DeConnick and a new cover by Noelle Stevenson.

The anthology was originally funded through Kickstarter and will be published through Dark Horse in October 2016.

The Secret Loves of Geek Girls includes:

  • Cartoons by award-winning novelist Margaret Atwood that detail her personal experiences as a young woman
  • A comic by Fionna Adams and Jen Vaughn about what it’s like being a trans woman trying to figure out romantic and sexual inclinations while entrenched in comics
  • A story by Mariko Tamaki and Fiona Smyth in which a seventeen-year-old Tamaki dreams of being Montreal’s first chubby Asian Frank N. Furter
  • A story by Marguerite Bennett about fandom and how it allows us to say what we feel to our loved ones
  • New comics by Meaghan Carter, Megan Kearney, ALB, Meags Fitzgerald, Gillian G., Diana Nock, Roberta Gregory, Laura Neubert, Sarah Winifred Searle, Natalie Smith, Jenn Woodall, and Irene Koh
  • Illustrated stories by Janet Hetherington, Sam Maggs and Selena Goulding, Megan Lavey-Heaton and Isabelle Melançon, Cherelle Ann Sarah Higgins and Rachael Wells, Annie Mok, and Stephanie Cooke and Deena Pagliarello
  • Prose stories by Brandy Dawley, Diana McCallum, Jen Aprahamian, Katie West, Adrienne Kress, Soha Kareem, Loretta Jean, J. M. Frey, Trina Robbins, Twiggy Tallant, Hope Nicholson, Crystal Skillman, Emma Woolley, Gita Jackson, Natalie Zina Walschots, Alicia Contestabile, Tini Howard, Cara Ellison, Jessica Oliver Proulx, and Erin Cossar


Review: The Final Plague #2, Princeless: Tales of Family Ashe, Princeless: Tales of Girls Who Rock, Skyward #2

The Final Plague #2

final-plague-2-artThe Final Plague continues! A mutated rabies virus continues to spread across the planet, infecting, killing, and re-animating animals both great and small. Can mankind survive? And what will happen when the first humans are infected? Will they fall, only to rise again?

I’m not the biggest fan of horror movies. It’s taken me a long time to get into them, and it wasn’t until I was well into my 20s before I really got to enjoy them. Good horror can freak me the fuck out. The Final Plague is good horror.

I don’t know what it is, the story, the art, the combination of the two, something really clicks with this series as I find myself squirming as I read through each of the issues. Maybe it’s because it’s rats involved? Possibly because it’s realistic?

Whatever it is, it works. It works really well since I find myself struggling to make it through reading the issue without freaking out. A great story elicits emotion and this does just that.

The fact that I struggled to make it through, like a good horror tale, shows that it’s a solid comic and the fact it’s done that two issues in a row makes it great. This is easily one of Action Lab: Danger Zone’s best comics and one of the best horror comics on the market right now.

Story: JD Arnold Art: Tony Guaraldi-Brown
Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Princeless: Tales of Family Ashe

Princeless-tales-of-the-family-Ashe-coverWhile Adrienne is having the adventure of her lifetime, her family is getting pulled into the fray! Learn what happens to the ethereal Angelica in the aftermath of Adrienne’s rescue attempt! Shudder to learn what horrible fate has befallen Adrienne’s next sister, Angoisse!

And learn the rest of the tale of the young King Ashe, ensnared in the trap of the fiendish elves.

Serving as an epilogue to the second volume, this one-shot covers some of what happens after Angelica’s rescue as well as serves up what I can only assume is the next sister we get to meet Angoisse.

Like the main series, there’s some amazing writing here and great humor that can be enjoyed by both adults and kids.

The fact is, Princeless is one of the few series that features strong female leads, that are relatable, and on top of that minorities. It’s a comic you can be proud to hand off to people to show what comics can be.

This one-shot is a must for fans of the series and those wanting to find out about events after the end of the second volume. For the rest, you need to do yourself a favor and start from the first volume to read what is one of the best comic series on the market.

Story: Jeremy Whitley Art: Adriana Blake, Jessi Sheron, Isabelle Melancon
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy

Princeless: Tales of Girls Who Rock

Princless-tales-of-girls-who-rockPrincess Adrienne is on the loose again, and this time she brought some friends! While Adrienne may be the first runaway princess, she’s certainly not the only girl who rocks! Come join Adrienne, Bedelia, Sparky, Tempest, and some brand new friends in Princeless: Tales of Girls Who Rock, a one-shot sure to introduce you to your next comics obsession!

They can’t all be winners and for a series that’s been as solid as this, there eventually had to be one issue that didn’t quite work. This one-shot that expands the Princeless universe a bit is entertaining, but as far as stories and flow, something was off for me and didn’t quite click.

What’s amazing is the series has been so good, comparing this one-shot to the rest is almost unfair, but even to the normal comics off, this one didn’t quite speak to me as I expected.

Thinking about what didn’t quite work, I don’t think it’s Whitley’s writing which is entertaining. I can’t say it’s the art, which is good as well. Neither are quite as strong as past issues or one-shots, but they’re all still good. I think the plots themselves didn’t quite seem as enjoyable as past releases.

There’s nothing bad about this at all, and as an addition to the overall Princeless universe and volume it’s nice to see the world expanded a bit. But, the stories at this point don’t seem to add a whole lot for me, which I guess caught me off guard. There’s a lot of potential here though and I’d love to see more of a world formed.

If you’re looking for a place to start with Princeless, this isn’t it, but it is a nice step in a great direction that I’m hoping for more of.

Story: Jeremy Whitley Art: Tara Abbamondi, Jen Vaughn, Agni Shearstone
Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Skyward #2

02skyward00-_cover-p_300_colorsThe chase is on as an unlikely group of villagers race to catch up to Quinn, who is on the run from the assassin Slog-Riders. Yikes!

Reading the first issue of Skyward, I did wonder one thing, where was the kick-ass female lead. With a proper introduction of Abigail, here we go and more evidence that Action Lab is a publisher that gives a crap about diversity.

Gone is the predictable plot points from the first issue, instead we get very relatable characters (there’s that word again) that draw you further into the fantastical world creator Jeremy Dale has come up with.

And in that relatable department is Abigail, a strong female character who is there for more than to just look at. She has a strong personality and great abilities when it comes to fighting and tracking. She’s every bit as capable and more-so than some of the other male characters. The fact is, she’s a strong female protagonist, something that’s awesome to see.

The issue has great pacing and quickly leads back into and follows up from the events of the first issue. Dale has put together a fantasy series that’s fun and easy to get into for long time fantasy fans and new readers. It’s also fun for old and young alike. A solid series that I hope finds the following it deserves.

Story: Jeremy Dale Art: Jeremy Dale
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Action Lab Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review