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NYCC 2018: Katie Green Makes Her First Stateside Appearance

Lion Forge has announced artist Katie Green in her first-ever consumer convention appearance stateside at New York Comic Con!

Katie Green’s 2017 Lion Forge graphic novel is nominated for the Harvey Award for Book of the Year, with the award to be given out on Saturday, October 6.

Lighter Than My Shadow is a hand-drawn story of struggle and recovery, a trip into the black heart of a taboo illness, an exposure of those who are so weak they prey on the weak, and an inspiration to anybody who believes in the human power to endure and to eventually find happiness.

Lighter Than My Shadow, Green’s moving memoir, will be available for purchase in the Lion Forge booth, with signings throughout the show. Days and times are outlined below:

Thursday, October 4
Health and the Challenges That Inspire Authors
Many graphic memoirs share a common theme of mental health issues that the subject has encountered as a spouse, child, or family member, or that they have overcome or continue to deal with. This session will explore the ideas that inspired these creators to share this experience. How can educators and librarians use these stories as a way to either instill compassion and empathy or to help that reader find a way to resolve their own challenges?
Time: 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Location: New York Public Library, 476 5thAve. – Trustees Room
Speakers: Lys Galati, Andi Green, Katie Green, Tracy White, Ezra Claytan Daniels, Chris Hunt

Friday, October 5 
Lighter Than My Shadow signing (Booth #1936)
Time: 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 6
Lighter Than My Shadow signing (Booth #1936)
Time: 3:00–4:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 7
Lion Forge Presents: Representation in Graphic Storytelling—From the Comic Shop to the Tabletop 
Lion Forge Comics strives to publish comics and more that everyone—regardless of background, ethnicity, or gender identification—can connect with. With multiple imprints, including an entire line of books for younger readers and one of the most diverse superhero universes in comics history, the St. Louis publisher makes good on that promise every Wednesday. Join Lion Forge’s Senior Publicist Jeremy Atkins, Rolled & Told editor Christina “Steenz” Stewart, Katie Green (Lighter Than My Shadow), writer and artist Joel Christian Gill (Strange Fruit), writer David F. Walker (Superb), and McDuffie Award winner Ezra Claytan Daniels (Upgrade Soul) for a discussion on what inclusivity and representation truly means for the worlds of comics, gaming, and pop culture at large.
Time: 3:45–4:45 p.m.
Location: 1A02
Speakers: Jeremy Atkins, Christina “Steenz” Stewart, David F. Walker, Katie Green, Ezra Claytan Daniels, Joel Christian Gill

Ezra Claytan Daniel’s Upgrade Souls is Optioned by Aperture Entertainment

Just ahead of the release of Ezra Claytan Daniels’ Upgrade Soul, for which he was the recipient of the 2017 McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics, Lion Forge has announced that the moving work of interactive science fiction will be developed by My Friend Dahmer producer Adam Goldworm’s Aperture Entertainment, with Ezra Claytan Daniels to serve as an executive producer.

Upgrade Soul is the story of an elderly couple who become the guineapigs of a visionary procedure that aims to revivify them by filtering toxins from their bodies on a molecular level. When the procedure experiences a fatal complication, the couple is faced with severely deformed, though intellectually superior, duplicates of themselves. Soon, it becomes clear that only one version of each individual can survive, and the psychological battle for dominance begins.

Upgrade Soul will be released in finer bookstores everywhere on September 18.

Lion Forge Partners with Fantasy Books Inc. and Star Clipper for Crit for Compassion

Lion Forge continues a mission of comics and gaming for everyone, partnering with all of Fantasy Books Inc. locations, including the Eisner award-winning Star Clipper for a weekend of fun for a good cause, Crit for Compassion to benefit the Megan Meier Foundation.These retailers will host events throughout the weekend of September 7-9 at four different locations in the St. Louis area.

During the Crit for Compassion Anti-bullying Event you can play various games and make donations for extra dice rolls, additional card draws or special buffs that will help during your game. If gaming is not for you, any purchase made can be rounded up to the nearest dollar, or you can make a direct donation to the cause. All proceeds from these various forms of donations will go to the Megan Meier Foundation and a percentage of all weekend sales at Fantasy Books Inc. will be donated to the Foundation.

Your support will help raise money for Megan Meier’s programs including leadership workshops, speaking engagements and resource center that touch over 75,000 children, parents, educators and professionals throughout the year.

Each year, 13 million children are bullied or cyberbullied in the United States, and the consequences can be devastating.
Proceeds from the event will help support:

  • Students (Elementary School, Middle School, High School, & College) who are suffering the traumatic consequences of bullying or cyberbullying, some of which include depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicidal ideations.
  • Parents who are seeking resources for their child who is being bullied or cyberbullied.
  • Educators & Professionals (such as law enforcement and counselors) who play a key role in bullying situations and who should continue to be educated and brought up to speed on how to address situations.

The full schedule and details for Lion Forge sponsored events can be found below.

Heroic Adventures, Edwardsville will host an adventure on Saturday Sept 8 at 3pm and Sunday Sept 9 at 2pm.

D&D One-Shot Encounter 3:00 pm
Shortform Tomb of Horrors or Rolled & Told

  • Prize for survivors
  • Buff 1: $1 Reroll
  • Buff 2: $1 Gain advantage
  • Buff 3: $1 Give someone disadvantage
  • Buff 4: $3 Healing potion
  • Buff 5: $3 Refresh spell slots/powers
  • Buff 6: $5 Extra life, revive and come back at 10hp

D&D One-Shot Encounter 2:00 pm
Shortform Tomb of Horrors or Rolled & Told
Prize for survivors

  • Buff 1: $1 Reroll
  • Buff 2: $1 Gain advantage
  • Buff 3: $1 Give someone disadvantage
  • Buff 4: $3 Healing potion
  • Buff 5: $3 Refresh spell slots/powers
  • Buff 6: $5 Extra life, revive and come back at 10hp

Star Clipper will host Rolled & Told No. 0’adventure “The Thunderlock Barcrawl” on Saturday Sept 8.

Star Clipper’s extended schedule
Friday Sept 7 -Friday Night 
6-10 PM
$15 draft
$5 adds a pack you personally get to add to your pool, proceeds go to charity

Saturday Sept 8 – Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition 
2 PM – 8 PM
Rolled & Told Adventure

  • $1 Get a copy of Rolled & Told #0:
  • $1 Advantage on any roll:
  • $1 Benefit from a short rest:
  • $1 Pick your character sheet:
  • $1 Increase an ability score (up to 20):
  • $1 Add a spell of any level up to your casting level to your known spells:
  • $5 Roll your character yourself:
  • $5 Gain a level (up to level 6):
  • $5 Benefit from a long rest:
  • $20 Turn any attack roll into a critical hit:

Sunday Sept 8 – Smash Up
1 PM – 5 PMSmash Up

  • $10 Get a Titan promo pack proceeds go to charity
  • $50 Get the Titan promo playmat proceeds go to charity
  •  $1 Draw a card
  • $5  Take back your turn
  •  $10 Kill someone’s minion
  • $15 Get a victory point (only usable once per game)

Fantasy Books & Games, Fairview Heights will host D&D Rolled & Told Special Module at 3PM on Saturday Sept 8

  • $1 Get a copy of Rolled & Told #0:
  • $1 Advantage on any roll:
  • $1 Benefit from a short rest:
  • $1 Pick your character sheet:
  • $1 Increase an ability score (up to 20):
  • $1 Add a spell of any level up to your casting level to your known spells:
  • $5 Roll your character yourself:
  • $5 Gain a level (up to level 6):
  • $5 Benefit from a long rest:
  • $20 Turn any attack roll into a critical hit:

Fantasy Books in Belleville will host a Rolled & Told adventure on Sunday Sept 9 from 11 am to 4pm.

Full schedule and details for the weekend’s events can be found onlineRolled & Told is released using the Open Gaming License Version 1.0a and you should read and understand the terms of that license before using this material.

Andrew Gaska Joins Lion Forge as the Senior Development Editor

Lion Forge expands in original content development for both publishing and entertainment with the announcement that franchise continuity and development veteran Andrew E.C. Gaska has joined the company as senior development editor.

Gaska has worked behind the scene with the company over the past year contributing to and creating several bibles for projects in development at Lion Forge. In this newly created position, Gaska will be responsible for the creation and development of new intellectual properties at Lion Forge. He’ll work with the creative teams and studios involved to ensure the vision isn’t lost in translation. Gaska will also bring his background to the company working with the licensing team as well as help bring historical and educational projects to life as graphic novels.

With two decades of experience in the comics and video game industries, author Andrew E.C. Gaska is the senior development editor at Lion Forge LLC. Having previously freelanced for Lion Forge’s Labs division as a script, pitch, and proposal writer, he now generates original IP for the brand, developing both comics and animation projects while working closely with creative teams to guide their vision to fruition.

He is founder/creative director of the guerrilla integrated media studio BLAM! Ventures and has worked as a freelance franchise consultant to 20th Century Fox for the past three years, writing series reference bibles, maintaining continuity, streamlining in-universe canon, and creating detailed timelines for the legacy franchises of Alien, Predator, and Planet of the Apes. Andrew was a production assistant and colorist for Vanguard Productions, where he restored valuable comic and genre artworks for archival reproduction. He was also a sequential storytelling instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and he served as a visual consultant to Rockstar Games for seventeen years on the Grand Theft Auto series, Red Dead Revolver, and all other releases.

His graphic novels and prose works include Critical Millennium: The Dark FrontierSpace: 1999—Aftershock and AweClassic Space: 1999—To Everything That WasHAWKEN: Melee,Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Draconian Fire SagaConspiracy of the Planet of the ApesPlanet of the Apes: Tales from the Forbidden Zone, and the upcoming novel Death of the Planet of the Apes.

Lion Forge Launches a Tabletop Gaming Imprint Quillion

Lion Forge has been a market leader and champion of authentic representation across genres, from the proprietary superhero universe of Catalyst Prime to multiple imprints encompassing comics for readers of all ages. Today, the St. Louis publisher announces plans to move into the gaming space with a new imprint and flagship hybrid publication: Rolled & Told!

The first release under the Quillion banner will be Rolled & Told, a publication combining the thrill of tabletop role-play with the storytelling of comics in a monthly comic book format. Rolled & Told brings a ready-to-play, fun adventure for one of gaming’s favorite tabletop role-playing games, alongside beautiful illustrations, comics coinciding with each full adventure, as well as instructive articles. Rolled & Told enhances gameplay for new and old game masters alike.

Fans of comics and gaming alike will get their first taste of this exciting new publication at Comic-Con next month, where Rolled & Told will premier in a special free issue No. 0, featuring a “barcrawl” like no other! It’s not every day you find a tavern with a dungeon challenge built in its basement! “The Thunderlock Barcrawl” puts players in an adventure that is part proving ground, part extreme sporting event, in the hope of adding their names to the illustrious “Wall of Crawlers.”

Rolled & Told No. 1 will be solicited in Diamond’s July dated PREVIEWS catalog, to be released in September, just in time for back-to-school Friday night gaming!

Lion Forge Adds Jill Gerber as a Director of Education Outreach and Collections

Lion Forge has a reputation of being one of comics publishing’s most forward-thinking companies, with a focus on growing comic book readership across markets and their commitment to “comics for everyone.” This guiding principle has garnered the publisher tremendous success in the book trade, libraries, and in the core business of the comic book specialty market.

Today, the publisher adds Jill Gerber, longtime veteran and advocate of comic books as tools for education in a new position dedicated to providing teachers and librarians support for adding comics to their collections and curriculum. Gerber’s experience and expertise will also serve to develop and find content that will allow Lion Forge to expand its catalog in new and exciting ways.

Jill L. Gerber is an award-winning and Teaching All Kinds of Minds–certifiededucator of twenty-five years, and longtime advocate of graphic literature in curriculum. She began her career in education in 1993, moving into the classroom on a full-time basis in 1997. Since then, she has been published numerous times and presented at conventions in conferences around the country. Gerber is a University of Chicago graduate and a recipient of the following awards: Richard B. Kobusch Humanities Endowed Chair (2017), Emerson Electric Excellence in Teaching (2002), ISSL Teacher of Distinction (2002), and Office Depot, Teacher Success Stories (2002).

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.

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