Tag Archives: lion forge comics

Review: Love Letters to Jane’s World

Love Letters to Jane's World

Growing up in the generation I did, though we thought of ourselves as progressive, we harbored some old-fashioned views. My generation grew up in the 1980s where crack cocaine was king and AIDS was still a taboo.  Time and education have done their best to dispel some of that ignorance but many long-held beliefs endure. One of those myths was that anybody who belonged to the LGBTQ community was the most at risk to such health concerns.

As we know I now these views are both dangerous and untrue. Stories told by Armistead Maupin and Ilene Chaikin made their way onto television and eventually into the mainstream where the world watched their stories serializations as they were both eye-opening and contained excellent storytelling. Many writers before them and since them have created a bird’s eye view of worlds they did not know that was right in front of them. One of those creators, Paige Braddock did it with her Jane’s World comic and the good people at Lion Forge has found a way to combine Braddock’s fan mail with some of her best comic strips in Love Letters to Jane’s World.

In the introduction by Howard Cruse, he gloriously fanboys Braddock’s impact on the LGBT community and comics as a medium. In “Amazon Island,” a boat trip leads our protagonist, Jane, and her friend Michelle, to an island full of women, where it turns out to be one fevered dream. In “Close Encounters,” Jane decides to ditch work for a road trip to Memphis, which leads to them out of all places, an alien ship. In “Camp Disaster,” Jane, Ethan and Dixie who has been turned into a chimp, go on a camping trip, one where the band of friends endures one mishap after another. “The Great Trailer Escape,” sees Ethan flies with Jane to pick up a Jeep she purchased on eBay, a trip that makes hers and Ethan’s bond stronger and sparks a possible romance. In “Road Trip,” faces some long lying demons about her current existence, and where she wants to be. In “Quest For Love,” Jane feels the need to find a romantic connection, as her escapades in love leaves her both hopeless and hopeful.  In “New Frontier,” Ethan and Jane have a break in their relationship, a respite that proves to be fruitful for both. In the last story I’ll highlight “Fools Rush In,”  Jane gives an earnest effort in pouring out of her heart to her one true love, Dorothy, one that leaves these two lovebirds in harmony.

Overall, an important and entertaining collection of stories from a landmark series that not only made an instant impact when it debuted but has earned more fans as time has gone by. The stories by Braddock are funny, heartfelt, true to life, and immensely enjoyable. The art by Braddock is captivating. Altogether, a treasure trove of stories that will make you fall in love with this protagonist and her lovable group of friends.

Story: Paige Braddock Art: Paige Braddock
Story: 10 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Ezra Claytan Daniels’ Upgrade Soul Gets an Updated App and Original Vinyl Soundtrack

Upgrade Soul

Ezra Claytan Daniels‘ graphic novel debut Upgrade Soul has been a hit earning praise and accolades since release. It has won widespread praise and award nominations for the comic book industry’s top honors, including The Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics and the Eisner, Ignatz, Harvey, and ‘Ringo Awards.

Timed for Halloween, Upgrade Soul gets an innovative, and updated, app as well as the release of an original vinyl soundtrack. Both the app and the soundtrack will be available for purchase October 25th, 2019.

Daniels spent a decade writing and drawing the graphic novel before it was published last year by Lion Forge. It was originally conceived as a digital graphic novel and published as an interactive iOS comic app, launching in 2012, complete with 3D picture-box effects, extra features, and unlockable content. The app was designed by Erik Loyer, a media artist and two-time Webby Awards Official Honoree, whose work has been commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Technology has changed in the years since the original app’s launch. That has enabled the team to finish the project as originally intended, with a rich interactive score, 3D picture-box effects, and seamless navigation. It’s not an enhanced version of the printed graphic novel, it’s its own thing.

The app featured an incredible original score by composer/hip hop producer Alexis Gideon, who is known for his work with the band Princess and his solo Video Musics series of animated operas. Gideon created the music for the Upgrade Soul app to seamlessly flow with and complement the interactive app, creating a wholly unique experience that’s a high water mark for digital comics and a standard-setter for the future of the medium.

And in October, for the first time, the trippy and ethereal soundtrack that accompanied the app’s initial launch will be available to the public outside the app. Chicago’s FPE Records will release the soundtrack in two formats: a regular black vinyl edition and a limited deluxe edition featuring translucent orange vinyl, red markings, and a signed print by Daniels. Of the latter, only 100 copies will be released worldwide. 

Upgrade Soul is the dark and surreal story of an elderly couple who volunteer themselves for an experimental scientific procedure intended to rejuvenate their aging bodies. When the procedure goes horribly wrong, creating physically disfigured but intellectually superior clones of the couple, the scientists, the couple, and their clones must grapple with existential questions of morality—with very real consequences. The book is a profound meditation on identity, and the ways society imposes restrictions based on our age, gender, race and perceived disabilities.

The Upgrade Soul app, which includes the first story’s chapter, is available as a free download. Throughout the month of October, the entire story can be unlocked for $6.99. Beginning November 1, the entire book can be unlocked for $7.99.

The Upgrade Soul Original Soundtrack Standard Edition, with black vinyl, retails for $18.00. The Upgrade Soul Original Soundtrack Limited Edition, featuring color vinyl, is exclusively available through FPE Records’ website, via Bandcamp or directly from Ezra Claytan Daniels at appearances. The Upgrade Soul Original Soundtrack Limited Edition retails for $45.00.

NYCC 2019: Lion Forge and Binc Launch The Forge Fund for Comic Retailers

Forge Fund

At New York Comic Con, David Steward II and Annie Philbrick of the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) greeted a room full of retailers at the Diamond Comics breakfast with the introduction of The Forge Fund, a renewal of their partnership to support direct market retailers and their employees in times of hardship.

Lion Forge has donated $100,000.00 of seed money to Binc to establish this special fund for comic shops. In addition to this initial investment, going forward, 5% of proceeds from select titles will go to Forge Fund, with this week’s release of the Gail Simone written Catalyst Prime series Seven Days to be the first in the program.

This new fund gives the Foundation the ability to assist those working in the comic book industry who are facing financial emergencies today and in the future.

The Binc Foundation provides confidential financial assistance to comic retailers and booksellers, who have a demonstrated need arising from severe hardship or emergency circumstances. Retailers and their families who are suffering from financial challenges due to illness, death in the family, expenses associated with escaping domestic violence, homelessness prevention, natural disaster recovery and more now have a place to call when help is needed.

NYCC 2019: Lion Forge and Oni Reveal Signings and Panels

Ahead of the opening of the exhibit hall at New York Comic Con 2019, Lion Forge and Oni have revealed a full slate of signings, giveaways, and programming at this year’s convention.

Fans will get multiple chances to meet some of their favorite creators throughout the show, with days and times outlined below:

Thursday, October 3
12:00–1:00 p.m.: Daniel Barnes and D.J. Kirkland (Black Mage)
1:00–2:00 p.m.: Emily Whitten and Michelle Nguyen (The Underfoot)
3:00–4:00 p.m.: Gail Simone (Catalyst Prime: Seven Days)
4:00–5:00 p.m.: Sarah Graley and Stef Purenins (Our Super Adventure)
5:00–6:00 p.m.: Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu (Mooncakes)

Friday, October 4
10:00–11:00 a.m.: Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu (Mooncakes)
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.: Jim Zub (Rick & Morty Vs. D&D)
12:00–1:00 p.m.: Mags Visaggio (Morning in America)
1:00–2:00 p.m.: Gail Simone (Catalyst Prime: Seven Days)
2:30–3:30 p.m.: Daniel Barnes and D.J. Kirkland (Black Mage)
4:00–5:00 p.m.: Sarah Graley and Stef Purenins (Our Super Adventure)
5:00–6:00 p.m.: Kristofer Anka, D.J. Kirkland, Josh Trujillo, and Wendy Xu (Dream Daddy)

Saturday, October 5
10:00–11:00 a.m.: Andrew MacLean (Rick & Morty)
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.: Jim Zub (Rick & Morty Vs. D&D)
12:00–1:00 p.m.: Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu (Mooncakes)
1:30–2:30 p.m.: Daniel Barnes and D.J. Kirkland (Black Mage)
3:00–4:00 p.m.: Gail Simone (Catalyst Prime: Seven Days)
4:00–5:00 p.m.: Sarah Graley and Stef Purenins (Our Super Adventure)
5:00–6:00 p.m.: Tess Stone (Not Drunk Enough), Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota (Johnny Wander)

Sunday, October 6
10:30–11:30 a.m.: Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu (Mooncakes)
12:00–1:00 p.m.: Sarah Graley and Stef Purenins (Our Super Adventure)
1:30–2:30 p.m.: Daniel Barnes and D.J. Kirkland (Black Mage)

Lion Forge and Oni-related programming details can be found below.

Thursday October 3
Time: 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
Location: Room 1B03

Uh Oh, It’s Magic: Supernatural Creator-Owned Comics 

Oni and Lion Forge present a panel of some of the year’s most anticipated creator-owned comics and graphic novels just in time for the Season of the Witch! Join editor-in-chief Sarah Gaydos, senior editor Jasmine Amiri, along with Daniel Barnes and D.J. Kirkland (Black Mage), Sarah Graley (Kim Reaper), and Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu (Mooncakes), for a “spirited discussion” on “the craft” of creating some of the most magical comics for teens and adults alike!

Friday October 4
Time: 7:45 PM – 9:15 PM
Location: Room 1C03 

Rick and Morty VS Dungeons & Dragons LIVE PLAY!
5th edition D&D meets Rick and Morty dimension-crashing sass! Dungeon Master Jim Zub (co-writer of Rick and Morty VS D&D) will run a panel of foolhardy gaming and comic guests through an encounter torn from the pages of the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons VS Rick and Morty official RPG adventure. You’ll laugh, you’ll wince, you might even win some prizes – don’t miss it!

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Vampire State Building

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Are You Listening? (First Second) – Tillie Walden’s latest is an intimate and emotional story about friendship, grief, and healing.

Black Terror #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) – Max Bemis takes on the classic character taking readers for a ride through the life of superhero and all the weirdness along the way.

Bury the Lede (BOOM! Studios) – A young reporter gets tied up in a murder mystery.

Catalyst Prime: Seven Days #1 (Lion Forge) – Announced over a year ago, the Catalyst Prime universe comes together for its first event.

Copra #1 (Image Comics) – The indie superhero comic gets a new start. Think an off the rails Suicide Squad where anything can happen.

Dead Eyes #1 (Image Comics) – An old school gangster is back out of retirement. This issue has been a long time coming and we’re intrigued.

House of X #6 (Marvel) – Jonathan Hickman’s reworking of the X Universe begins to wrap up and we want to see how this ends!

Mezo Premier Edition #1 (A Wave Blue World) – This publisher is trying something different with their single issues in that they’re releasing a premium first then you can buy the rest in trade or digitally. The concept is intriguing and we want to see if this has that extra something to hook readers to go along with this new distribution plan.

Nomen Omen #1 (Image Comics) – A new urban fantasy tale of witchcraft is perfectly timed for the Halloween season.

Strange Skies Over East Berlin #1 (BOOM! Studios) – It’s the Cold War and the Soviets have a secret weapon, an alien monster they don’t understand and can’t control.

Thanos: Infinity Ending (Marvel) – The conclusion to Jim Starlin and Alan Davis’ trilogy!

Vampire State Building #1 (Ablaze) – Artist Charlie Adlard goes from zombies to vampires! A group is caught in the Empire State Building as a legion of vampires attacks. It’s a battle to stop them from escaping and getting out of the building alive!

NYCC 2019: Gail Simone’s Catalyst Prime: Seven Days Debuts

Days before the doors open to the convention hall for this year’s pop culture spectacle of New York Comic Con, Lion Forge has announced Gail Simone to attend the show to debut Catalyst Prime: Seven Days, the widely anticipated event which will determine the future of the Catalyst Prime universe!

In comic shops everywhere this week, legendary comic book scribe and Catalyst Prime Universe architect Gail Simone unleashes Catalyst Prime: Seven Days; a series that will unite the heroes of the CPU for seven issues that count down the days of a week that may be the final one in the history of humanity. 

To celebrate, Gail Simone will attend New York Comic Con, where she will be signing daily in the Lion Forge/Oni booth #2028 at the below times:

Thursday, October 3: 3pm – 4pm
Friday, October 4: 1pm – 2pm
Saturday, October 5: 3pm – 4pm

Outside of those times, fans can catch her at her table in artist alley J-34, where she will be signing copies of Seven Days throughout the show!

Lorena Payan was the first to realize a meteor was hurtling towards Earth two years ago. Now, she’s the first to realize the Earth is in danger once more from something equally cosmic but far more sinister. As a mystery figure dubbed, the Obsidian Men, begin appearing silently all over the globe our heroes Noble, Summit, and Accell join together to investigate, kicking off this seven-issue series. 

Catalyst Prime: Seven Days is written by Gail Simone, with art by José Luís, and will debut on shelves of finer comic book shops everywhere this Wednesday.

Catalyst Prime: Seven Days

NYCC 2019: Lion Forge Launches Mooncakes with Signings

Just ahead of the release of an all-new collection of the beloved queer Chinese-American fantasy romance from co-creators Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu, Lion Forge has announced signings and events at New York Comic Con, and a launch event at New York’s Books of Wonder on October 14!

Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu will appear in the Oni/Lion Foge booth #2028 with daily signings throughout the show. Their full New York Comic Con signing schedule can be found below.

Thursday, October 3: 5 PM – 6 PM
Friday, October 4: 10 PM – 11 PM
Saturday, October 5: 12 PM – 1 PM
Sunday, October 6:  10:30 AM – 11:30 AM 

Additionally, fans can see the co-creators in conversation Oni editor-in-chief, Sarah Gaydos and others on the below panel on Thursday October 3: 

Uh Oh, It’s Magic: Supernatural Creator-Owned Comics
Thursday October 3
Time: 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
Location: Room 1B03

Oni and Lion Forge present a panel of some of the year’s most anticipated creator-owned comics and graphic novels just in time for the Season of the Witch! Join Editor-in-Chief Sarah Gaydos, Senior editor Jasmine Amiri, along with Daniel Barnes and D.J. Kirkland (Black Mage), Sarah Graley (Kim Reaper), and Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu (Mooncakes), for a “spirited discussion” on “the craft” of creating some of the most magical comics for teens and adults alike!

Off of the show floor, Books of Wonder will be hosting a tie-in event to New York Comic Con on Sunday, October 6 at 6pm. Details can be found below:

Books of Wonder is thrilled to be hosting a special New York Comic Con at BoW event! Join us on October 6th at our 18 West 18th street store for this fantastic panel with eight amazing authors! Stop by on Sunday, October 6th 6-8pm for your chance to meet Garth Nix for Angel MageMackeni Lee for Loki: Where Mischief LiesJess Rothenberg for The Kingdom, Heidi Heilig for A Kingdom for a StageWendy Xu and Suzanne Walker for Mooncakes, and Zoraida Cordova for A Crash of Fate; moderated by Dhonielle Clayton for The Everlasting Rose.

NEW YORK BOOK LAUNCH EVENT
Tuesday, October 14 @ 6PM
Books of Wonder

Mooncakes

Preview: Bezkamp

Bezkamp

(W) Samuel Sattin (A/CA) Jennifer Hickman

In the village of Bezkamp, laws, land, rituals, and warriors are sacred. The written word is banished. Nem, son of one of Bezkamp’s strongest warriors, shows no signs of fire or strength. Forced to follow in his father’s footsteps, Nem must venture beyond their village walls in order to save land from being corrupted by the dangerous and toxic Crig beasts. As Nem begins to see more of their planet, he’ll begin to uncover the truth behind the village’s lies and start to fight for truth.

Bezkamp

SDCC 2019: Lion Forge Announces Signings and Programming

Lion Forge Comics

Just under two weeks ahead of the opening of the exhibit hall at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Lion Forge has revealed a full slate of signings, giveaways, and programming at this year’s convention.

Fans will get multiple chances to meet some of their favorite creators throughout the show, with days and times outlined below:

Thursday, July 18
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.: Gene Ha (Mae)
12:30–1:30 p.m.: Norm Harper (Haphaven)
2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.: Gail Simone (Catalyst Prime: Seven Days)
3:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m.: Rolled & Told Group Signing
5:00–6:00 p.m.: Michael Uslan & Andrew Pepoy (Dinosaucers)

Friday, July 19
10:00–11:00 a.m.: Ezra Claytan Daniels (Upgrade Soul)
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.: Wendy Xu (Mooncakes)
1:00–2:00 p.m.: Gail Simone (Catalyst Prime: Seven Days)
2:30–3:30 p.m.: Maia Kobabe (Gender Queer: A Memoir)
4:00–5:00 p.m.: Samuel Sattin (GLINTBezkamp)

Saturday, July 20
10:00–11:00 a.m.: Ben Fisher, Michelle Nguyen, and Emily Whitten (The Underfoot)
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.: Gail Simone (Catalyst Prime: Seven Days)
1:00–2:00 p.m.: Maia Kobabe (Gender Queer: A Memoir
2:30–3:30 p.m.: Rolled & Told Group Signing
4:30–5:30 p.m.: Ezra Claytan Daniels (Upgrade Soul)

Sunday, July 21
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.: Ben Fisher, Michelle Nguyen, and Emily Whitten (The Underfoot)


Lion Forge-related programming details can be found below.

The d20 Dames Present: Building Inclusive Gaming Adventures for All, Thursday, 7/18/19, 7:00p.m. – 8:00p.m., Room: 32AB
Are you ready to move past the pre-gen table top adventures and build a nightmare landscape (or delicious pie-scape) for your friends? We’re here to help! Build an Adventure with live-play D&D podcast, d20 DamesJen Vaughn + Kat Kruger plus some mysterious guest NPCs! We’ve written a little bit of everything from D&D adventures to YA novels to comic series. We’ll cover some of the basics on what makes a great RPG/D&D campaign in addition to highlighting some of our favorites from this past year. 

Shirley Special Events Suite @ The San Diego Public Library, 330 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Comics and History in Comics,Friday, 7/19/19, 3 p.m.–4 p.m.
Combining text and image can make complex or abstract subject matter more appealing, winning over even the most reluctant reader. Learn how graphic novels can be used to supplement lessons in STEM and history, and bring awareness to underrepresented and marginalized perspectives.  Panelists include: Jim Ottaviani (Hawking), MK Reed (Science Comics: Wild Weather), Ben FisherMichelle Nguyen and Emily S. Whitten (The Underfoot: The Mighty Deep). Moderated by Tracy Edmunds (Educational Consultant and Curriculum Specialist) Sponsored by CBC Graphic Novel Committee.

A Life Illustrated: Memoirs in Comics, Friday, 7/19/19, 5:30p.m. – 6:30p.m., Room: 8
Spring saw the release of both Genderqueer: A Memoir from Maia Kobabe (who uses pronouns e, em, eir); a moving work of graphic nonfiction detailing eir coming of age and coming out as non-binary, and the first collection of the beloved webcomic, Our Super Adventure from Sarah Graley (Rick and Morty, Kim Reaper) and Stef Purenins; documenting all the weird little everyday flashes of shared absurdity that make up relationships. Join us for a discussion on how and why the comic book medium provides the perfect format for telling the life stories of the people behind them.

SDCC 2019: Katie O’Neill’s Tour Kicks Off July 9 in Seattle with her SDCC Debut

Just ahead of the release of an all-new companion story to the two-time Eisner Award-winning graphic novel The Tea Dragon Society, acclaimed graphic novelist Katie O’Neill ventures down the west coast for five signings in conjunction with her first-ever appearance at San Diego Comic-Con!

Katie is nominated again in this year’s Eisner Awards for her most recent work, Aquicorn Cove, a heartfelt story about learning to be a guardian to yourself and those you love. Her upcoming work, The Tea Dragon Festival, delivers another charming, gentle fantasy story about finding your purpose, and the community that helps you along the way. This highly anticipated follow up to the acclaimed 2017 graphic novel will be released in September.

Katie’s full itinerary can be found below, including signings and programming on site at San Diego Comic-Con!

SEATTLE, WA
Tuesday, July 9 @ 7PM
Third Place Books – Ravenna 

PORTLAND, OR
Thursday, July 11 @ 7PM
Powell’s Cedar Hills Crossing

SAN FRANCISCO
Saturday, July 13 @ 3:30PM
Charlie’s Corner
*with Mai K. Nguyen, author of Pilu of the Woods

SAN FRANCISCO 
Sunday, July 14 @ 12PM
Comix Experience

SAN DIEGO COMIC CON SIGNINGS 
All signings held at the Oni Press booth #1833

  • Thursday, July 18 @ 4:30pm – 5:30pm
  • Friday, July 19 @ 11:30am -12:30pm
  • Saturday, July 20 @ 2:00pm – 3:00 pm
  • Sunday, July 21 @ 2:30pm – 3:30pm

Additionally, fans can catch O’Neill in conversation with her editor at the below spotlight panel on Friday July 19: 

Katie O’Neill Spotlight, Friday, 7/19/19, 1:00p.m. – 2:00p.m., Room: 28DE

Join Eisner Award-winning children’s cartoonist Katie O’Neill(The Tea Dragon Society, Aquicorn Cove) in conversation with her editor Ari Yarwood, as they discuss Katie O’Neill’s evolving career, webcomics, craft, representation in children’s literature, and their favorite Tea Dragons.

LOS ANGELES
Tuesday, July 23 @ 6PM
Gallery Nucleus

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