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Early Review: POS

Swiss comic book publisher and writer Pierre Paquet and artist Jesus Alonso deliver Paquet’s second graphic memoir POS (An abbreviation for “Piece of Shit”) about his early days as a publisher, his friendships, relationships, hangovers, party fouls, and most of all, his relationship with his dog, Sonny. This bond between Pierre and his mixed breed runt of the litter man’s best friend is the emotional anchor point for Paquet’s  episodic autobiographical narrative. But memories in real life are non-linear and fragmented, and Alonso’s quick and nasty pen strokes “fill in the gaps”. Paquet leans on his talents to tell a range of stories from a court room drama about Pierre suing one of his artists JD, who took out advances and didn’t finish his comics to a silly anecdote about Pierre and a friend going on their first online date with a tall German girl, whose height is shown by Alonso’s use of three gutters for her body.

The scenes in POS that Pierre spends with Sonny definitely left the biggest mark on me, and the story adds a layer of gravitas and feeling when the pooch is introduced as a problem dog that has had five foster families and is afraid of everyone. I think that Pierre (and Paquet by extension) saw a lot of himself in Sonny, and some of Paquet’s narration towards the end of the graphic novel and the use of a ghostly dog as a kind of framing narrative seem to confirm this. Throughout the comic, Pierre has romances and sexual relationships with different women and despite all the drama and legal stuff, finds success as a publisher, but Sonny is always on his mind. For example, there’s a scene where he’s sitting with Anna, a woman that he probably loves, and she asks what he’s thinking about, and Sonny pops up in his word bubble. Pierre is afraid to be vulnerable and real around her, taking an out of the way flight to see her in Zurich, Switzerland, and making no effort to get back with her. But, then, he starts crying around his new intern when Sonny has one of his many illnesses that always add a spike of drama to the narrative.

However, Paquet and Alonso pepper parts of the narrative of POS with well-realized relationships. In the early going, Pierre’s best friend is David, who I initially thought was going to be the butt of fat jokes and the physical comic relief by Alonso’s art style, but he ends up being a total hedonist. David got a big inheritance from his dead father and spends it on fancy wines, weekend trips to Florence, escorts, strip clubs, and basically being the lead of the Swiss version of Entourage. But, there is a tragic side to David’s pursuit of pleasure, and he ends up passing away early in the book leading to the second or third saddest page in the comic where Pierre thinks about his own father’s passing when he was 11 (The subject of his previous graphic memoir A Glance Backward.). He realizes that the fact that both he and David were fatherless sons helped get them through some tough times even though most of their “good times” ended up with Jesus Alonso doing cinematic dissolves of Pierre’s post-hangover Alka-Seltzer turning into strippers.

Possibly because Paquet himself is a publisher as a well as a comic book writer, POS  is sympathetic and realistic about the plight of a comic book publisher and has many scenes showing that Pierre is very serious about his job and about the comics medium. One of the first pages has him putting his phone away and reading a comic on a tablet for a second before running out with his dying dog’s leash and collar to throw in the water, and he takes a Greyhound bus from New York to Woodstock to meet one of his artist idols, a reclusive, cross dressing cartoonist, who lives in a trailer deep in the woods. Alonso uses thick lines to show the stress that Pierre has trying to get his publishing company off the ground and goes a little stir-crazy when Pierre is in legal conflict with one of his artists, who was ripping him off. This sequence shows that sometimes artists, not companies, are the unscrupulous ones and has some character growth for Pierre, who with the help of an old friend, endures through the trial and is vindicated even though some comics creators won’t work for him. And the margins of POS are filled with the trials of comic conventions, like the famous Angouleme Festival, including after-con drinking, weird sleeping arrangements, and of course, the all encompassing con crud, which allows Alonso to explore the more grotesque side of his color palette.

Pierre Paquet and Jesus Alonso have a gift for finding the funny, tragic, and just plain relatable in the life of comics publisher Pierre over the years in POS. They hold their protagonist responsible for his inability to form meaningful relationships outside while still making him likable and vulnerable and take their time digging into Pierre’s feelings via flashbacks, cartooning tricks, or well-placed caption box instead of moving him from dramatic to humorous situation. POS is naturally paced and has too many feelings for own (It’s the damn dog, guys.), and I really hope that Lion Forge continues to publish artistically brilliant and emotionally authentic graphic memoirs and bande desinee like it.

Story: Pierre Paquet Art: Jesus Alonso Translation: Jeremy Maloul
Story: 9.0  Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.3  Recommendation: Buy

Lion Forge provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Lion Forge Launches Syndicated Comics, LLLC and Acquires The Beat

Owner and publisher at St. Louis–based comics and graphic novel publisher The Lion Forge, LLC has formed a sister company, Syndicated Comics, LLC, that has acquired the widely recognized, authoritative voice of the comic book industry, The Beat, and announced a strategic partnership between Lion Forge and Syndicated Comics to support The Beat and its editor-in-chief, Heidi MacDonald.

Established in 2004, The Beat has been covering the world of comics, graphic novels, comic cons, and pop culture daily to an audience of both fans and industry influencers. It is a two-time nominee for the Will Eisner Award in the Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism category and the winner of the Shelf Dorf Award for Best Comics Blog. In 2017, The Beat was added to the Library of Congress’s historical archives.

The Beat isn’t the first comic blog/news site to be owned by the subjects they cover. The Comics Journal is owned by Fantagraphics. Bleeding Cool is owned by Avatar. Comic Vine/Gamespot is owned by CBS Interactive.

On her site, MacDonald wrote:

I’m a little sad that everything I write about Lion Forge comics will now have to be labeled as hype and sponsored content, but I’m going to have the same standards for covering them as I have for every other company. They put out some good comics, and I want to help people know about that, as I always have.

We’ll have to wait and see how that disclosure about the relationship will happen going forward. Both TCJ and Comic Vine feature their owners in small text at the bottom of their front page. Bleeding Cool features no disclosure on the front page.

Lion Forge’s CubHouse to Publish Samuel Sattin and Ian McGinty’s Glint: Loon’s Army

Lion Forge continues to make good on the promise of “Comics for Everyone” as another new title is announced in it’s growing younger readers imprint. The company will publish co-creators Samuel Sattin and Ian McGinty‘s Glint: Loon’s Army through their CubHouse banner in the coming year!

Glint: Loon’s Army is the introductory volume of a three-part series that pulls from elements of comics, manga, science fiction and fantasy to create a story of family, social conflict, and resilience.

The planet Mora is hurtling through space, from solar system to solar system, looking for a star it can finally call home. It’s also about to be mined to death, losing the last of its energy-producing, planet-sustaining mineral Glint. But shhh, that part’s a secret. A secret that will send a young, headstrong miner named Loon and his hoverhog-riding grandma on an epic journey for survival, for the sake of not just their families, but the very world they hold dear.

Glint tackles big themes with colorful, stylized cartooning, humor, and a fast-paced, emotional narrative. Readers of all ages will find themselves immersed in the story as the main characters strive to save their loved ones (and their planet) by harnessing the optimism of youth, outsmarting the establishment, and trying to understand what it means to do good.

Written by Samuel Sattin, and penciled and inked by Ian McGinty, Glint: Loon’s Army will be colored by Kendra Wells, for release in February 2019. Subsequent volumes will follow close behind in October 2019 and April 2020.

Andrea Colvin Has Been Promoted To Lion Forge VP–Executive Editor

Lion Forge kicks off their road to Comic-Con International with news that Andrea Colvin, formerly Senior Editor of Roar Comics and CubHouse Comics, has been promoted to Vice President ­– Executive Editor, following the transition of Executive Editor Mark Smylie to Contributing Editor.

Andrea Colvin was previously VP of Content, Book Division, for Andrews McMeel, where she co-founded the AMP! line of Middle Grade graphic novels; Director of Publishing Operations for Open Road Integrated Media; as well as Executive Managing Editor for ABRAMS. She served as an Adjunct Professor in NYU’s Graduate Publishing Program in 2011 and completed the Yale University Publishing Course in 2013.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

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!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

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

Joe

Top Pick: Deathstroke #21 (DC Comics) – This new team is super intriguing, and this run has already been great. The inclusion of Kid Flash intrigues me, as I’ve been reading Teen Titans too. DC has done a wonderful job of their universe and having things carry over to other books, and this is a great example of that.

Extremity #5 (Image Comics) – Johnson has crafted a fun and beautiful looking sci-fi/fantasy tale following our main character, who lost their drawing arm. The art is awesome, the action is great, and I recommend this book in single issue or the inevitable trade that will follow soon.

Batman #26 (DC Comics) – The “War of Jokes and Riddles” part two comes out this week, and I cannot wait. These versions of Joker and Riddler are fun, and I’ve enjoyed King’s run, even if it has been polarizing.

Superman #26 (DC Comics) – One of my favorite Rebirth comics. Tomasi and Gleason have weaved a fantastic series of arcs that have set up some fantastic things, including pulling in pieces of the new 52 run. I dig every issue.

Seven to Eternity #7 (Image Comics) – Remender’s crazy fantasy tale following the rag-tag group of misfits as they travel across a world that is enslaved by the God of Whispers. Highly recommended.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Motor Girl #7 (Abstract Studios) – Terry Moore’s series is one of the most entertaining out there and my favorite debut of the year so far. It’s a fantastic mix of sci-fi, humor, and tons of heart in a way that’s rare in today’s comic market. Add in the fact the main character Sam has a brain tumor, is kick-ass, served in the military, and her best friend is a talking ape, you also have one of the best characters of the year.

Catalyst Prime: Noble #3 (Lion Forge) – The Catalyst line of comics from Lion Forge has been one of the freshest universe debuts in a while. The characters and voices are diverse and its lead title Noble has sucked me into this new world leaving me wanting more.

The Unsound #2 (BOOM! Studios) – Cullen Bunn is a fantastic horror writer and the art from Jack Cole enhances the creepy atmosphere set up in this new series.

The Walking Dead #169 (Skybound/Image Comics) – All these issues in writer Robert Kirkman has shaken things up a lot and shaken some characters. I’m sucked in as to where it’s all going to go from here!

X-Men: Gold #7 (Marvel) – It’s taken quite some time but Marvel’s X-Men line is back and as reminding me of some of the classic runs I loved reading as a kid.

 

Alex

Top Pick: Bloodshot’s Day Off (Valiant) – Eliot Rahal is one of the most exciting writers in comics today. Bloodshot is an awesome character. A winning combination?

Batman #26 (DC Comics) – So.. Tom King has been on a winning streak lately. Here’s hoping he can continue on with that this week.

Listen to Catalyst Prime & Comics Diversity with Guests Christopher Priest, Joe Illidge, & Desiree Rodriguez on Demand

On demand: iTunes ¦ Sound Cloud ¦ Stitcher ¦ BlogTalkRadio ¦ Listed on podcastdirectory.com

“Diversity” has turned into a marketing buzzword in comics and few deliver that behind and on the page. Lion Forge Comics‘ new Catalyst Prime universe of comics is actually delivering that in every sense with new characters we’ve never seen and a group of creators who bring varied perspectives to the page. Talking about this exciting new universe are guests Christopher Priest, Joe Illidge, and Desiree Rodriguez.

Christopher Priest is the legendary comic writer who has written for Marvel, DC, Valiant, and more. He was part of the group of creators who launched Milestone Media. Along with Illidge, Priest oversees the Catalyst Prime line of comics.

Joseph Phillip Illidge is a public speaker on the subjects of race, comics and the corporate politics of diversity. In addition to his coverage by The New York Times, CNN Money, the BBC and Publishers Weekly, Joseph has been a speaker at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Digital Book World’s forum, Digitize Your Career: Marketing and Editing 2.0, Skidmore College, The School of Visual Arts, Purdue University, on the panel “Diversity in Comics: Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Sexual Orientation in American Comic Books” and at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art in New York City. Illidge is the Senior Editorial Manager for Lion Forge Comics.

Desiree Rodriguez is a pop culture critic who has written for Women Write About Comics, The Nerds of Color, is the co-host for the DC TV Classics podcast, and editorial assistant for Lion Forge’s Catalyst Prime initiative.

Catalyst Prime & Comics Diversity with Guests Christopher Priest & Joe Illidge Live Tuesday

“Diversity” has turned into a marketing buzzword in comics and few deliver that behind and on the page. Lion Forge Comics‘ new Catalyst Prime universe of comics is actually delivering that in every sense with new characters we’ve never seen and a group of creators who bring varied perspectives to the page. Talking about this exciting new universe on Graphic Policy Radio are guests Christopher Priest and Joe Illidge.

The show airs LIVE this Tuesday at 7pm ET.

Christopher Priest is the legendary comic writer who has written for Marvel, DC, Valiant, and more. He was part of the group of creators who launched Milestone Media. Along with Illidge, Priest oversees the Catalyst Prime line of comics.

Joseph Phillip Illidge is a public speaker on the subjects of race, comics and the corporate politics of diversity. In addition to his coverage by The New York Times, CNN Money, the BBC and Publishers Weekly, Joseph has been a speaker at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Digital Book World’s forum, Digitize Your Career: Marketing and Editing 2.0, Skidmore College, The School of Visual Arts, Purdue University, on the panel “Diversity in Comics: Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Sexual Orientation in American Comic Books” and at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art in New York City. Illidge is the Senior Editorial Manager for Lion Forge Comics.

Tweet us your question @graphicpolicy.

Listen to the show LIVE this Tuesday.

Lion Forge’s Catalyst Prime Partners with the National Down Syndrome Society for a Hero with Down syndrome

It’s finally been announced that Lion Forge has teamed up with the National Down Syndrome Society for a new superhero who also happens to have Down syndrome. This was something we were privy to way back when the line was first announced around New York Comic-Con, and it’s wonderful to see the news finally break as it’s something truly special and unique.

The series Superb is part of the Catalyst Prime line of superhero comics launched this week. So, you can check out the excellent first issue Noble and the Free Comic Book Day comic.

Superb, written by David F. Walker and Sheena C. Howard, with art by Ray-Anthony Height, LeBeau L. Underwood, and Veronica Gandini is being released and created in partnership with the National Down Syndrome Society.

The story follows the teenager Kayla Tate who is forced to move back to her hometown Youngstown, Ohio, an “Event” designated Level 5 impact zone. Compared to her new life, returning to Youngstown is a step backwards. She has a strained relationship with her childhood friend, Jonah Watkins, school is a nightmare, and everyone is talking about the mysterious superhero and sensation, “Cosmosis,” and his nighttime battle against the supposedly-benevolent corporation Foresight.

The comic will be released in stores and digitally July 19, 2017.

Review: Catalyst Prime – FCBD and Nobel #1

CATALYST PRIME – FCBD 2017

Writers – Christopher J. Priest and Joseph P. Illidge

Artists – Marco Turini and Will Rosado

This is what FCBD is suppose to be about. An introduction into a world of comics for beginners who only know what their geek other has dragged them to on opening night, up to the longtime reader who knows the difference between adamantium and vibranium. And not just a stand alone, one shot gimmick but something that will bring that reader back to a comic store to buy the next issue. The book itself is also the launch of a new line of comics which have promised to not only entertain, but address problems the industry faces on the page and in the back offices.

The Catalyst Prime writing team of Priest and Illidge, hit all the right notes; great starting point for new readers, technobabble without deep diving into a Ph.D. program to follow, quick glimpses into the future of the upcoming books as well as planting the big conspiracy seed for the overall story arc. And a comic wouldn’t be a comic without the art, which Turini and Rosado provide with a style that blends into a realistic sci-fi noir, from the school bus to the space station, it all works visually.

If you know your comic place runs out of the free stuff quick on FCBD and you need to be online at 7:00am, then hit those sheets early on Friday or hope they put this in the collected trade. Recommendation cop this.


NOBLE – #1

Writer- Brandon Thomas

Artist- Roger Robinson

Issue 1 of Noble jumps right in with a very brief and redacted file giving us the highlights, the who and what’s. We don’t get the “spider bite“ but Thomas picks up one year from where the FCBD Catalyst Prime left off, and gives us close to 24 pages of action showcasing Nobel’s powers.

People will finally see what Robinson can do with his art. A long time ago I was a clerk at DC Comics and got to see his original art, somewhere in the printing process the ink and colors got super muddy and took away from the work that he put in. This time around whatever was messing his art up is out the way and his work shines.

These two books make for an amazing jump point for readers new and old.


George Carmona 3rd is an Artist/Writer, former Milestone Media Intern, former DC Comics paper pusher, current book lover, and lifelong comic geek. You can find his work at FistFullofArt.com or follow him on twitter at GCarmona3.

Exclusive: Lion Forge Reveals Interconnecting Variants for Superb #1 and Incidentals #1

We’ve got the exclusive reveal of two variant covers for Lion Forge‘s Superb #1 and Incidentals #1, two new debuts for their Catalyst Prime line of comics. The variants are part of a series of interconnecting series of covers being released.

Superb follows teenager Kayla Tate who is forced to move back to her hometown of Youngstown, Ohio where the mysterious superhero “Cosmosis” battles the supposedly-benevolent corporation Foresight. The superhero, Jonah has Down Syndrome and Lion Forge will be working with the National Down Syndrome Society on the portrayal of the character and will include educational material for readers.

Superb is written by David Walker and Sheena C. Howard with art by Ray-Anthony Height, LeBeau Underwood, and Veronica Gandini.

Incidentals follows billionaire Bo Vincent Chen who brings together a superhero team after The Event. Things don’t go according to plan.

Incidentals was created by screenwriter Ramon Govea who’ll also serve as the story consultant, will also bring on Larry Stroman (Penciller), Rob Stull (Inker), Snakebite Cortez (Colorist), and Saida Temofonte (Letterer) to work with writer Joe Casey.

Below are the 1:25 variants by Phil Jimenez.

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