Tag Archives: peter kuper

Colleen Doran, Greg Hildebrandt and Joe Jusko Join Comics for Ukraine

Last week, more than three dozen comic-book writers, artists, colorists, letterers, designers, and editors announced a collection of all-new comic-book stories to raise money to aid refugees in Ukraine. Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds, the benefit anthology edited by Scott Dunbier, with all proceeds going to Operation USA, surpassed an initial $35,000 funding goal just twelve hours after the campaign launched, with over $113,000 from over 900 contributors raised to date. The book will be full-color, 96 pages, 8 x 12 inches, and available in both hardcover and softcover editions, with hundreds of supporters on day one. As the campaign enters a second week of funding, it is announced that Eisner Award-winner Colleen Doran, legendary illustrator Greg Hildebrandt, and celebrated cover artist Joe Jusko have joined the project.

These three creators join the incredible roster of comics talent assembled for Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seedsunited under the mission of providing relief to a war-torn Ukraine, which has suffered attacks from neighboring Russia since late February. There will be multiple versions available: a hardcover with a painted cover by Alex Ross, and softcover versions by Arthur Adams, Dave Johnson, and Bill Sienkiewicz. At press time, stories will be created by a virtual who’s who of writers and artists, including Brent Anderson, Sergio Aragones, June Brigman, Kurt Busiek, Howard Chaykin, Joshua Dysart, Mark Evanier, Emil Ferris, Dave Gibbons, Rob Guillory, John Layman, Gabriel Rodriguez, Stan Sakai, Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson, Chris Sprouse, Jill Thompson, Matt Wagner, Mark Waid, and more.

Apart from hard costs (printing, credit-card fees, marketing, etc.) all of the funds raised by Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds will benefit the relief efforts in Ukraine in partnership with Operation USA, so while the initial funding goal has been met, continued support will maximize the impact on the lives of those deeply affected by the ongoing war—improving conditions for Ukrainian refugees in neighboring countries via the provision of emergency grants and in-kind material aid. 

Operation USA supports health and education programs to help children and families at home and abroad recover and thrive in the wake of disasters, disease, violence and endemic poverty.  Every day, they strive to meet the needs of under-served and overlooked populations so that future generations may have the tools they need to create meaningful change in their own communities and lives. Working with partners around the world, they empower communities to recover, build resiliency and thrive in the face of pervasive obstacles during a time of unprecedented global need. Since 1979, OpUSA has delivered $450 million in aid to 101 countries.

Comics for Ukraine

Disclosure: The site founder is a part of this project handling some of the marketing for Zoop

Comics for Ukraine Brings Comic Creators Together for a Cause

More than three dozen comic-book writers, artists, colorists, letterers, designers, and editors have announced a collection of all-new comic-book stories to raise money to aid refugees in Ukraine. Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds is a benefit anthology edited by Scott Dunbier, with all proceeds going to Operation USA. The 96 page graphic anthology will available in both hardcover and softcover editions with multiple cover choices.

The Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds anthology features an incredible roster of comics talent united under the mission of providing relief to the war-torn Ukraine, which has suffered attacks from neighboring Russia since late February. There will be multiple versions available.

Covers:

  • Alex Ross
  • Arthur Adams
  • Dave Johnson
  • Bill Sienkiewicz

Stories:

  • Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, Wade Von Grawbadger, Alex Sinclair, Richard Starkings – New Astro City
  • John Layman, Rob Guillory – New Chew
  • Walter Simonson, Laura Martin, John Workman – New and Exclusive Star Slammers
  • Howard Chaykin, Nitro Yen, Ken Bruzenak – New and Exclusive American Flagg
  • Stan Sakai, Hi-Fi – New and Exclusive Usagi Yojimbo
  • Matt Wagner, Brennan Wagner – New and Exclusive Grendel
  • Mark Evanier, Sergio Aragones, Stan Sakai – New and Exclusive Groo
  • Jill Thompson – New and Exclusive Scary Godmother
  • Louise Simonson, June Brigman, Roy Richardson, Dave Stewart, John Workman – New and Exclusive short story “The Cost of War
  • Dave Gibbons, Chris Sprouse, Kevin Nowlan, Laura Martin, Todd Klein – New and Exclusive short story “Hardrada
  • Mark Waid, Gabriel Rodriguez, Dave Stewart, Todd Klein – A new and exclusive short story
  • Emil Ferris – New and Exclusive short story “Bombings

Additional material by:

  • Joshua Dysart
  • Pia Guerra
  • Peter Kuper

With the exception of hard costs (printing, credit-card fees, marketing, etc.) all of the funds raised by Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds will benefit the relief efforts in Ukraine in partnership with Operation USA.

Operation USA supports health and education programs to help children and families at home and abroad recover and thrive in the wake of disasters, disease, violence and endemic poverty.  Every day, we strive to meet the needs of under-served and overlooked populations so that future generations may have the tools they need to create meaningful change in their own communities and lives. Working with partners around the world, we empower communities to recover, build resiliency and thrive in the face of pervasive obstacles during a time of unprecedented global need. Since 1979, OpUSA has delivered $450 million in aid to 101 countries.

Check out the cover by Alex Ross below.

Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds

Disclosure: I am a part of this project and act as the marketing director for Zoop.

Despair and Hope in “Borderx”

BORDERX

CONTENT WARNING: This graphic novel covers the human rights violations of migrants imprisoned in ICE detention centers. This includes scenes abuse, starvation, neglect, physical violence, and racial slurs, many of which involve children.

SPOILER WARNING: There are spoilers minor and major ahead.

DISCLOSURE: A copy of BORDERX was provided for by a contributor.

Publisher: BORDERX Publishing
Editor and Producer: Mauricio Alberto Cordero
Project Assistance: Roel Torres
Design Assistance: Adriana Cordero
Story & Art: Various Artists


Comics can be more than just escapist entertainment. I don’t just mean the dark, gritty “comics aren’t just for kids anymore” kind of stuff, although I do enjoy a good bit of sex and violence in my panels. Increasingly, the medium has been used to tell real stories about real people. Whether it’s autobiographical comics such as Spinning and Fun Home, or historical comics like Maus or Big Black: Stand At Attica. Many of the latter aren’t just good stories. They provide context to important moments in history and can inspire a sense of urgency to continue on the good fight against racism, homophobia, police brutality, and so much more.

BORDERX is a charity anthology about the current crisis of the injustices against migrants here in the U.S. The goal as stated by publisher and editor-in-chief Mauricio Alberto Cordero is to educate readers about the border crisis and raise money for charity. Not only that, but Cordero hopes to make the focus on the migrants themselves, paint a human picture of them that reminds everyone that these are people–not criminals–who deserve rights and respect.

The cover to this anthology shows a red skeleton approaching a border. This should make it clear the position the anthology has on the crisis. The contributors are not fans of ICE, the Border patrol, or the American government. These groups are clearly placed in the wrong, sometimes artists interpreting agents as vicious dogs or eldritch abominations. If you’re coming into this book hoping for a pro-ICE stance or “both sides” deal, well I suggest you look elsewhere, preferably here:

True Story Behind the 2016 Election Dumpster Fire GIF

However, I must comment that the cover does not set a clear tone. The design here induces dark feelings. It’s a forewarning to content that will be unsettling. Certainly, it is. I would argue though that a cover should clearly match the tone of its content. In that regard, BORDERX is a mix of both darkness and light, something the cover fails to capture. Yes, there are stories in here about horrible human rights abuses, but it also includes hopeful and educational ones as well. Having a cover that reflects only half of your content is insufficient.

I appreciate the anthology’s clearness of intent. There are no meaningless apolitical platitudes found here. It also provides important context to the reader. Introductions by Senator Jeffrey A. Merkley, Warren Binford, and Michael Garcia Bochenak describe the poor conditions migrants experience in the ICE detention centers, the brutal and traumatizing practice of separating families, and the subsequent public responses. From there Cordero chimes in to layout how the anthology addresses the crisis, namely through 5 segments, each with their own purpose:

  1. The Exhibits — views on the border
  2. The Responses — profiles of people and organizations helping migrants
  3. The Context — personal accounts of people whose lives have been touched in various ways by the border crisis
  4. The Ruminations — fictional allegories and satire
  5. The Posters — art pieces

BORDERX is clearly an anthology with lofty goals, clear intent, and what looks like a well thought out plan. Unfortunately, I found the execution to be mixed. Starting with the Exhibits section, there is a conflict between Cordero’s stated intent and the content provided. When he described this segment as “views on the border”, I imagined it would be a series of experts giving their thoughts. Instead, it’s a collection of comics illustrating various accounts from migrants in the detention center. This is not a bad thing. These stories are the meat and potatoes of the anthology. However, it is disappointing that Cordero wrongly stated what the Exhibits would be about when he started off with such a clear plan in mind. I know this is nitpicking, but a work like this tackling such a serious subject matter cannot afford muddling its intent.

As for the comics themselves, these are easily the best in the anthology. Each of the stories are real life declarations from detainees provided by Project Amplify, an organization dedicated to collecting and making their stories available to the public. The creative teams do a fantastic job of transferring the declarations into the comics medium. They all follow the usual formula of filling panels with images and narration captions that correlate with one another. The visuals all vary, ranging from presentational to expressionistic, realism to surrealism. There are even styles that resemble children’s cartoons, no doubt a purposeful subversion to highlight just how horrible these events are. I can’t say that every comic is a work of art, but each one does accomplish its goal of bringing to life the detainees and what they went or still are going through.

The Exhibits is also the most difficult part of BORDERX to read. The stories are brutal. The detainees live in freezing cold buildings, locked up in cages. There are insufficient supplies, terrible food, not enough beds and blankets, insufficient medical care, limited if any times to bath or brush teeth, sickness, abuse and neglect from ICE staff, lights kept on all day and night, and the detainees have no idea what their rights are or what will happen to them. All of these accounts are from children, including newly born babes. Just imagine being separated from your parents and forced to live in these conditions, constantly treated like dirt. These aren’t even all the stories, or even the worse ones.

Reading the Exhibits boiled my blood. An anger that lay dormant from when I, like most Americans, learned about these abuses rose in me, tenfold this time now that I had faces to associate to all those poor children. Which is a good thing. This visceral reaction I experienced should be the end goal of illustrating these stories. Probably the best piece is “Eisegeis” by Lee A. Gooden, Rod Jacobsen, and Dan Demille. It interrupts the regular flow for scenes of two roommates watching the story being told from a T.V. It’s in the point-of-view of the more sympathetic viewer, and a meta challenge to the reader not to forget what is happening here. Outrage and empathy is not enough. Those feelings must fuel action.

The Responses is the shortest segment of BORDERX, and the most consistently educational. We learn about important individuals and organizations supporting migrants. I was surprised to see Peter Kuper in here. For those of you who don’t know, Kuper is a critical-acclaimed indie comics artist, probably most known for his work on MAD Magazine’s “Spy vs. Spy”. He is easily the best artist in his anthology, and I couldn’t help but experience delight as his cartoon animals explained migration law.

Throughout the Responses, I learned about organizations like Safe Passage Project and the Southern Texas Human Rights center, how they help migrants in various ways. I found this not only educational, but also uplifting. After reading about all the abuse in the previous segment, it was important to know about people actually helping immigrants. Links to these organization’s websites are also provided, which is a great way to encourage readers to continue educating themselves long after they’re done reading.

As much respect as I have for this segment, there are deeply flawed pieces. “Crisis in Clint” is about Warren Binford, an activist who helped Project Amplify collect declarations from detainees. It’s an inspiring story, but one told with choppy progression that left me feeling like there was information lost. I get a strong feeling that the creative team struggled to decompress her story properly. I can’t imagine that it was an issue of page limit. Kuper‘s comic gave a clear picture of the Safe Passage Project with 15 pages, and there pieces that tell their narratives with as little as 4. Another piece, “Anime Blue” by Paolo Massagli, is not very educational despite being about Open Arms. It’s an NGO (non-governmental organization) dedicated to search and rescue at sea. I didn’t learn any of that until I googled them. The only thing you learn about them is their name alone.

It’s a shame because the comic itself is amazing, a work of goddamn art I would even argue. It’s a wordless tale about a drowning baby that is lifted to the safety of the surface by the spirits of dead migrants. The visuals are profound in both their beauty and melancholy. I had quite the emotional reaction, tears of both grief and joy running down my facee.

Issues with the anthology continue onto the Context segment, not so much of quality as organization. These are supposed be personal accounts from people whose lives have been touched in various ways by the border crisis. The pieces I read are split between autobiographical and historical. Yes, they do give context to the border crisis, but not in a way completely accurate to Cordero’s statement.

Let me just start off by saying that these pieces are fantastic. “As Long As They Come Here Legally” by Phoebe Cohen and “Cynthia” by Roel Torres tell the stories of how their families immigrated to the U.S. under legally dubious circumstances. If they didn’t, they would have been dead, something they hold in common with many migrants in those horrible ICE detention centers. These pieces challenge the reader to think about their own families. Many were immigrants as well, and probably had to do what was necessary.

The historical pieces talk about various immigrant crises throughout American history. “…But It Does Rhyme” by Paul Axel, Craig Florence, Alvon Ortiz, and Jerome Gagnon features a different atrocity committed against migrants and indigenous people by the American government and our military. The Trail of Tears, Japanese-American internment camps during WW2, the list goes on. Each and every one of them shows how we were tied to a migration crises, and how we only made it worse by responding not with compassion but violence. What is going on at the ICE detention centers is violence, cold and sadistic. And the sad part? It seems to have always been that way.

Other pieces in this segment don’t seem to fit at all. “Dora”, for example, reads more like the stories from the Exhibits. It’s also the worst written. For some reason, the writer tried mixing English and Spanish together, which makes for a reading experience that is choppy and often bewildering. Actually, to be quite frank, the entire organization of the Context is messy. Even the good pieces I find should have been put in different categories from each other. It would have made the segment much stronger.

The Ruminations is by far the worst part of BORDERX. The comics here approach the border crisis by using genre fiction as an allegory, kind of like The Twilight Zone. Despite me liking a lot of the art, the stories are mostly half-baked ideas with mediocre writing. For example, there’s one story that tries to take the monkey’s paw concept into a new direction, only for it to be a confusing, repetitive slog. Given how much the editing in previous segments was superior, I do wonder if time was running out on the deadline and the publisher had to make do. Cordero does mention all the contributors worked on a tight schedule.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t good pieces. “Rose Colored Glass” by Sal Fitzgerald and Raymond Griffith is a post-apocalyptic scenario where apparently there are certain people in America denied the permission to breathe oxygen, so they must wear these helmets that look like old scuba gear and not take them off or their heads explode. The world-building is vague and the whole concept in of itself is ridiculous, but it’s the most successful in using genre fiction as an allegory for immigration.

The most irritating of them all is “Sink?” by Tom Hart. It’s stylized as a newspaper comic strip, starting off with a guy going on an incoherent rant, then the whole thing cuts to a bunch of guys on boats. They rant as well, but are more coherent, mostly just about how unhappy they are with their marriages and jobs. Every now and then, a scene of war, floods, and other horrible events interrupts the rambling. This whole comic is a ham-fisted attempt at tut-tutting first world problems while the real problems are happening elsewhere. It’s not righteous or supportive. It’s cynical and condescending. Yes, it’s framed as a bunch of privileged men acting like their privilege is the worse thing ever, but I too often see people with ADHD, depression, and anxiety get swept under the same vague umbrella. It’s not about actually caring about real issues, but smugly showing off a sense of moral superiority.

The best piece is “Silence” by Dean Westerfield. The art style is an underground, black-and-white style without much of the stylistic grandeur as other comics in the Ruminations. However, it also has the most impact. It’s dialogue-less and interlaced with passages from Audre Lorde’s “The Transformation of Silence to Language and Action”. A woman wakes up early, tired and old. After getting her kids off to school (no father in sight) she has to work, her facial expression growing increasingly melancholic. Turns out she is a janitor at one of the ICE centers. She cleans up while passing by all those cages full of children sleeping on floors. At the end of the story, the Audre Lorde passage ends with this observation:

There is so much you can observe about this comic. Are we to judge her for not speaking up, or should we consider there are reasons she can’t? After all, we don’t know much about her other than being a mother of two small children and working a janitorial job. That’s not someone with a lot of options to rebel. She could be an immigrant herself and scared to speak up. The message about silence being deadlier than indifferences rings true while not judging her coldly, and I appreciate that. It should say something that the most effective piece of fiction in the Ruminations doesn’t rely on genre as an allegory.

Which isn’t me saying genre fiction can’t work as an allegory. Classic works such as The Twilight Zone, 1984, and Aesop’s Fables proves that it can. The problem is that if you put those allegories in the same book as the real life atrocities, they will always pale in comparison. Personally, I would have taken the material at hand and done two separate anthologies. The first would be the real life stories from the Exhibits, the Responses, and the Context; the second could be the allegorical stories in the Ruminations, and in both you could give the contributors more room to make their stories better.

The Posters is the last segment, and it’s top quality! The point here is to use the artform of posters to make commentary, much like the WPA era. This commentary ranges from the strength and beauty of migrants to ICE brutality to satire. Some of these posters are one page comics, a particularly brutal one by Donna Barr that shows the different reactions between Germans learning about the concentration camps and Americans finding out about the detention centers. It is incredibly chilling.

All in all, BORDERX is a mixed reading experience. On one hand, its lofty goals are muddled by issues of organization and quality control. It should have been either shorter or split in two. With that said, it does succeed in educating the reader about the border crisis. Most importantly, it recognizes the humanity of the detainees, reminding me that this is an issue that I and every American have to continue fighting for. We can’t be so naive as to think that just because Donald Trump is out of office, we can rely on his Democratic replacement to fix it. After all, this is an issue the American government on all sides has been contributing to for centuries.

The electronic PDF version includes bonus material, which I do encourage you to get because it’s all spectacular. Probably the best piece is this one:

This is the future we should be fighting for, even when we’re not at our best.

NOTE FROM REVIEWER: I apologize for not being able to talk about all the contributors to the anthology. Whatever my opinion of each individual work is, I recognize and respect how hard you all worked on your comics.

Available at Amazon

Workers of the world! Here’s a list of comics to celebrate your Labor Day

Ah, the pleasures of having Labor Day off to celebrate work. It’s a contradiction as old as time, where honoring work means taking a (well-deserved and utterly necessary) break from it. After all, most workers have jobs that go year-round and the daily grind does take a toll. A day off is the least that can be afforded to them.

Recognition is the other thing we should doling out in industrial quantities during this federal holiday. As such, comic books are filled with stories about the fruits of labor, both in a literal and a politically figurative sense. Be it by actually exploring the hardships of being a worker to acknowledging the monumental task that is organizing movements in support of them, labor is central to the motivations behind some of comic’s best stories.

Here’s a short list of comics that either directly or indirectly showcase the roles workers play in keeping life and society functional. These comics dive headfirst into the specifics of what ‘putting in the work’ means, recognizing that everything that’s done in the service of others usually rests on human struggles both painful and exhausting. The comics below give workers their time in the spotlight so we can appreciate just how much it takes to go out and keep the world turning.

Labor Day Comics
Trashed

1. Trashed, written and illustrated by Derf Backderf

This book can best be described as a sobering love letter to one of the most underappreciated and openly repudiated jobs known to humankind: garbage collection. Following Backderf’s critically-acclaimed My Best Friend Dahmer, Trashed is based on the author’s time as a sanitation worker himself, surrounded by other workers just as enthused about collecting trash as he was (which wasn’t a whole lot). The inner workings of sanitation are presented through a combination of autobiographical anecdotes and well-researched facts and data that reveal just how complex, dangerous, and even clumsy picking up and storing trash can be. It’s a funny but scary look at how sanitation can save the world while also turn it into a ticking time bomb.

Damage Control

2. Damage Control, originally created by Dwayne McDuffie (W) and Ernie Colón (A)

A superhero’s job is to save the day, crumbling infrastructure be damned. With them, though, comes a unique concern for property damage, mostly focused on the inevitability of mass destruction. In comes a company solely dedicated to cleaning up after extinction-level battles and then putting the pieces back together called Damage Control. In essence, this Marvel comic is about unsung heroes. It’s about doing essential work knowing there’s no glory waiting at the end of it (much like Trashed, in some respects). McDuffie’s scripts are a masterclass on chaos and property politics, but it’s Colón’s attention to detail amidst the chaos that sets this story apart. The original series (there are a total of 4 series published) takes to a kind of MAD Magazine-style approach to comedy with visual gags and crude humor leading the charge, but it’s all well-orchestrated and it makes for reading that rewards those who scan comics pages whole multiple times.

Labor Day Comics
She-Hulk

3. She-Hulk: Law and Disorder, written by Charles Soule and illustrated by Javier Pulido

At a glance, Soule and Pulido’s She-Hulk gives the impression of being a kind of ‘slice of life’ story about a superhero that chooses law as her preferred battleground. The book, however, is about so much more, and it might have more in common with Damage Control than an actual legal drama. She-Hulk takes the anger-filled superhero and turns her into a working-class woman that’s trying (and struggling) to make her own legal services business work. She puts it all together from the ground up but is immediately confronted with the hardships of balancing work, heroics, and the semblance of a personal life on an even keel. One of the greatest, and most entertaining, aspects of the comic lies in the formation of the character’s legal practice and how at odds it can be being both a superhero and a normal person with other interests. It dives deep into the complications of working multiple jobs, but it shows an appreciation for those who lead their lives under that predicament. Soule and Pulido create a story that supports and applauds those who undertake the task of holding several jobs at once, honoring the sacrifice it requires of one’s self to survive it.

Labor Day Comics
Ex Machina

4. Ex Machina, written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Tony Harris

While aggressively political and metaphorical, Ex Machina does something few other stories on governmental responsibility manage to achieve: make the role of an elected official look and feel like a real job. The story follows Mitchel Hundred, a man that renounces his superhero persona to become mayor of New York city. After only managing to save one of the Twin Towers during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hundred realizes he can do more good as an elected official rather than as a superhero. Vaughan and Harris take full advantage of this setup to go beyond political speeches and discourse to get Hundred’s hands dirty with the real act of running a government. Hundred has to address the legality of surveillance in times of crisis, protocols for public demonstrations, controversial content in city museums, infrastructure, and police freedoms all while controlling the urge to use his still functioning superpowers to speed the process up. As is the case in She-Hulk, Hundred also attempts (with few successes) to balance his personal life with the job. Problem is, the job demands too much of his time, hence the temptation to use his powers. Ex Machina is a stark reminder that being an elected official actually means holding down a job with real consequences attached to it, something many politicians seem to have lost sight of.

Gotham Central

5. Gotham Central: In the Line of Duty, written by Ed Brubaker & Greg Rucka and illustrated by Michael Lark

The profession of law enforcement is under serious scrutiny at the present moment, and rightfully so, but it’s still a job certain men and women take on despite the complexities of outdated and dysfunctional practices that are in desperate need of revision. And that’s on top of the racial problems that have shaped its many, many systems. However, there are those who do take the job seriously and work hard to ‘protect and serve’ with the best of intentions under the law. Gotham Central prioritizes this viewpoint, focusing the cops and detectives that work in Batman’s Gotham City. Without the resources or the exceptions afforded to the Dark Knight, the GCPD is still tasked with responding to criminal activity, regardless of whether it’s of the supervillain type or not. Main characters René Montoya, Crispus Allen, Marcus Driver, and “Josie Mac” MacDonald, among others, are divided into day and night shifts in a city that is in a constant flux of crime. The job takes its toll on a personal level and there’s an emphasis on how much one gives in the line of duty, but there’s also an appreciation of honest cops walking the line in the face of overwhelming police corruption and abuse. It’s a complicated and sometimes contradictory read, but it makes no excuses while confronting the damning inconsistencies of the job.

Labor Day comics
Wooblies!: A Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the World

6. Wooblies! A Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the World, edited by Peter Buhle & Nicole Schulman

The Industrial Workers of the World, or IWW, has a wild and exuberant history, to say the least, which makes it the ideal subject for comic book storytelling. The IWW was created in Chicago, Illinois in 1905 as a union for marginalized workers led by Marxist principles. Miners, lumber workers, immigrant workers, indigenous workers, non-white workers, severely underrepresented female workers, and workers all over that had no rights or protections saw in the IWW as the means to fight towards better working conditions. Wooblies! (alluding to the nickname given to the members of the union) enlists the talents of cartoonists such as Peter Kuper, Harvey Pekar, Trina Robbins, Sharon Rudahl, Sue Coe, Carlos Cortez, among others to tell the story of how forgotten and underrepresented workers rose up against the odds to gain the rights and respect owed to them. The anthology has a very underground ‘comix’ feel to it, but it’s allegorical and metaphorical inclinations do a better job of capturing labor struggles better than a traditional story ever could. This might be the quintessential Labor Day reading right here.


Workers, laborers, holders of jobs, these comics honor your contributions, your efforts, and the near impossible feats you pull off. Read and relax, but overall, enjoy your hard-earned Labor Day holiday.

D+Q at SDCC 2011: Beaton, Brown, Clowes, Ralph, Nilsen & More!!

Official Press Release

DRAWN & QUARTERLY AT SAN DIEGO COMICON JULY 20-24TH, BOOTH 1629

CONVENTION DEBUTS INCLUDE CLOWES’ S&N THE DEATH-RAY, BEATON’S S&N HARK! A VAGRANT, RALPH’S DAYBREAK & NILSEN’S BIG QUESTIONS

LIMITED NUMBER OF PRESS-POP’S DEATH-RAY DOLL ON SALE

CHESTER BROWN, BRIAN RALPH & ANDERS NILSEN SIGNING

If you are attending Comic-con Interntional in San Diego from July 20-24th, stop by Drawn & Quarterly Booth #1629 to see our three attending authors: Chester Brown (special guest, kind courtesy of the festival), Brian Ralph and Anders Nilsen (also a special guest). We will be debuting Ralph’s September Daybreak & Nilsen’s August Big Questions at the show, and have plenty of the year’s most talked about graphic novel, Paying For It, on hand. Chester will be signing every day, so if you have questions about the Gospels, Ed The Happy Clown, or anything else, come to booth #1629 and ask away. Anders & Brian will be signing every day, too

Oh and what else will be debuting at the show….Hmmmmm….just a signed and numbered debut of the October book Daniel ClowesThe Death-Ray!!!!! And to make this debut even more special, our kind friends at Press Pop are sending a handful of the The Death-Ray action figure for us to sell. Seriously people if you want either of these, get to booth 1629 ASAP! We will be releasing more Death-Ray news next week, so keep your eyes open!

And what else are we debuting? Only a signed and numbered debut of the September Kate Beaton book HARK! A VAGRANT !!!

Here is our signing and programming schedule!

Wednesday, July 20
Chester Brown signs

Thursday, July 21
12:00-3:00 Chester Brown signing at D+Q booth 1629

1:00-5:00 Anders Nilse & Brian Ralph signing at D+Q booth 1629

3:30-4:30 True Stories— Chester Brown (Paying for It), Tom Devlin (creative director of D&Q),Peter Kuper (Stop Forgetting to Remember), Leland Myrick (Feynman), and Thomas LeBien (publisher of Hill & Wang’s Novel Graphics line) discuss the ins and outs of nonfiction graphic novel stories. What are the lines between truth and fiction when images are involved in a story? Moderated by Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics). Room 26AB

5:00-6:00 Epic Literary Adventures— Jeff Smith (RASL, Bone), Anders Nilsen (Big Questions), Brian Ralph (Daybreak & SCAD professor), and moderator Tom Devlin (Drawn & Quarterly creative director) discuss the overlap between literary and fantasy, the science and art of creating an imaginary world, building a story that is serialized over several years, and carving a unique fantastical niche in an industry mostly known for either autobio or superhero. Room 9

5:00-7:00 Chester Brown signing at D+Q booth 1629

Friday, July 22
11:00-1:00 Chester Brown signing at D+Q booth 1629

12:00-3:00 Brian Ralph & Anders Nilsen signing at D+Q booth 1629

1:30-2:30 Spotlight on Chester Brown— Louis Riel, Yummy Fur, and Ed The Happy Clown cartoonist — and Comic-Con special guest — Chester Brown has been one of the most influential and acclaimed alternative cartoonists for the past 20 years. His 2011 graphic novel Paying for It: A Comic-Strip Memoir About Being a John is easily the most talked about book of the year and was praised in the New York Times. Join him on his panel as he performs his acclaimed slideshow, reading from his North American book tour for Paying for It. The slideshow will be followed by a Q&A. Ask anything you wanted to know about the most controversial book of the year. Room 8

4:00-7:00 Chester Brown signing at D+Q booth 1629

5:00-7:00 Brian Ralph & Anders Nilsen signing at D+Q booth 1629

Saturday, July 23
11:00-2:00 Chester Brown signing at D+Q booth 1629

1:00-2:00 Spotlight on Anders Nilsen— Comic-Con special guest Anders Nilsen debuts his magnum opus, the 800+-pageBig Questions, which he began self-publishing over 10 years ago and which quickly placed Nilsen at the forefront of alternative cartoonists. He is part of the Chicago comics collective The Holy Consumption with Jeffrey Brown, John Hankiewicz, and Paul Hornscheimer and was recently featured in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Join him as he presents a slideshow of his work from his haunting postmodern fable. Room 4

2:30-6:30 Anders Nilsen & Brian Ralph sign at D+Q booth 1629

2:30-3:30 The Art of the Graphic Novel— Andrew Farago (curator, Cartoon Art Museum) talks with graphic novelists Chester Brown (Paying for It), Seymour Chwast (Dante’s Divine Comedy), Eric Drooker (Blood Song), Joyce Farmer (Special Exits, A Memoir), Joëlle Jones (Troublemaker), Jason Shiga (Empire State: A Love Story (Or Not)), and Craig Thompson (Habibi) about their work in the genre that has elevated comics to mainstream bookstores all over the world. Room 24ABC

3:30-5:30 Chester Brown signing at D+Q booth 1629

5:30-6:30 Everyone’s Favorite Red Head, Little Orphan Annie— No, not Archie, but Annie! Famed cartoonist Chester Brown, Dean Mullaney (creative director, The Library of American Comics), Brian Doherty (senior editor of Reason magazine and author of Radicals for Capitalism), and Tom Devlin (Drawn & Quarterly creative director) discuss the importance of the legendary comics strip Little Orphan Annie and the profound influence and life of the strip’s creator, cartoonist Harold Gray. Room

Sunday, July 24th
10:00-12:00 Brian Ralph signing at booth 1629

11:00-2:00 PM Chester Brown & Anders Nilsen signing at booth 1629

DC Comics Announces Panel Schedule for San Diego Comic-Con

Official Press Release

DC Comics’ Road to San Diego: SDCC Panel Schedule
Attending San Diego Comic-Con this year? Don’t miss DC’s panels throughout the course of the convention. Check out the schedule below:

Thursday, July 21

10:30-11:30 DC: Talent Search
Moderators: Mark Chiarello/Jim Lee
Join DC’s Editorial Art Director, Mark Chiarello, for an informative orientation session that will explain how DC’s Talent Search works and discuss the different needs of the DC Comics, Vertigo and MAD Magazine. If you want to learn what DC Comics looks for in artists and how to improve your chances of becoming a working professional, then this is the panel for you! In order to have your work reviewed, attendance at this orientation session is mandatory. (Please note: Not all attendees are guaranteed a one-on-one review.) Room 12

11:30-12:30 DC: Flashpoint
Moderator: Bob Wayne EDITOR: Eddie Berganza
Everything you know will change in a Flash! Flashpoint, the blockbuster comics event of the summer, has turned the DC Universe inside out! Join DCU Executive Editor, Eddie Berganza, and some of the amazing talent behind Flashpoint, for a panel that’s sure to pose new questions about this explosive event even as it answers others! Room 6DE

1:00-2:00 DC Direct
Moderator: Bob Wayne EDITOR: Jim Fletcher
DC Direct has long been known as one of the most creative companies that produce collectibles for the direct market. Come and join DC Direct Director of Product Development Jim Fletcher and artist Adam Hughes, along with DC exclusive sculptors, and more, as they discuss their line of current projects, as well as the future plans revolving around the new DC Universe! Room 5AB

2:00-3:00 DC Comics – The New 52
Moderator: Eddie Berganza
The DC Universe explodes in September with 52 new number one issues and one panel is not enough to cover it! With a ‘DC Comics – The New 52’ panel each day, there’s sure to be something for everyone! Join Bob Harras, DC’s Editor-in-Chief, and DCU Executive Editor, Eddie Berganza, for an up-close look at this unprecedented wave of new series, from the first-ever re-launches of Action Comics and Batman titles to the latest thrills from comics’ cutting-edge! Join Bob, Eddie and some of the industry’s top writers and artists as we make history together. Room 6DE

3:15-4:15 DC: Batman
Moderator: John Cunningham EDITOR: Mike Marts
Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Batwoman and the rest of Gotham City’s greatest crimefighters take things to the next level in September with new battles and new titles! Now, get to know the writers and artists behind these exciting new comics, including Batman Group Editor Mike Marts, Grant Morrison (Batman Incorporated), David Finch (Batman: The Dark Knight), Scott Snyder (Detective Comics), Peter Tomasi (Batman & Robin) Patrick Gleason (Batman & Robin), Gail Simone (Batgirl), Judd Winick (Batwing, Catwoman) and others answer your questions at this exclusive Bat-panel! Room 6DE

5:45-6:45 Vertigo Editorial
Moderator: Karen Berger/John Cunningham
They come from the cutting edge of comics… and Vertigo has never been edgier, with thought-provoking titles from some of comics’ most acclaimed creators. Don’t miss this panel featuring Bill Willingham (Fables) Scott Snyder (American Vampire), Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth) Michael Allred (iZombie), Mark Buckingham (Fables), Les Klinger (Annotated Sandman), Rebecca Guay (A Flight of Angels), Colleen Doran (Gone to Amerikay), and many others – this is your opportunity to learn more about the entire Vertigo line! Hosted by Vertigo Executive Editor Karen Berger. Room 6DE

Friday, July 22

10:00-11:00 DC: Talent Search
Moderators: Mark Chiarello
Join DC’s Editorial Art Director, Mark Chiarello, for an informative orientation session that will explain how DC’s Talent Search works and discuss the different needs of the DC Comics, Vertigo and MAD Magazine. If you want to learn what DC Comics looks for in artists and how to improve your chances of becoming a working professional, then this is the panel for you! In order to have your work reviewed, attendance at this orientation session is mandatory. (Please note: Not all attendees are guaranteed a one-on-one review.) Room 12

10:00-11:00 DC: MAD Screening and Q&A
Moderator: John Ficarra
Often imitated but never duplicated, MAD is more than just the country’s best-selling humor magazine – it’s also the inspiration for the outrageous animated series from Warner Bros. Animation. Featuring short animated parodies, crazy commercials, pretend promos and classic gags inspired by the iconic magazine, MAD is currently one of the highest-rated series on Cartoon Network … and back at Comic-Con to share more laughs and explore the world of MAD. Join MAD Magazine editor John Ficarra, art director Sam Viviano and “Spy vs. Spy” artist Peter Kuper, along with MAD series producers Kevin Shinick and Mark Marek, for a sizzle reel of laughs from season one, a sneak peek at season two and a wise-cracking Q&A that’s bound to be, well, MAD. MAD airs Mondays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Cartoon Network. Room 25ABC

11:15-12:15 DC Comics – The New 52
Moderator: John Cunningham Editor: Bob Harras/Eddie Berganza
The DC Universe explodes in September with 52 new number one issues and one panel is not enough to cover it! With a ‘DC Comics – The New 52’ panel each day, there’s sure to be something for everyone! Join Bob Harras, DC’s Editor-in-Chief, and DCU Executive Editor, Eddie Berganza, for an up-close look at this unprecedented wave of new series, from the first-ever re-launches of Action Comics and Batman titles to the latest thrills from comics’ cutting-edge! Join Bob, Eddie and some of the industry’s top writers and artists as we make history together. Room 6DE

3:00-4:00 DC Superman
Moderator: John Cunningham Editor: Matt Idelson
How does The Man of Tomorrow fit into the new DC Universe that rises in September? Find out as Group Editor Matt Idelson joins new Action Comics writer Grant Morrison (All Star Superman, Batman Incorporated) and author of the best-selling Superman: Earth One graphic novel J. Michael Straczynski (Superman, Wonder Woman) to take fans new and old up, up and away to give readers a sneak peak at what’s in store for Superman. Room 6DE

4:15-5:15 DC: Justice League
Moderator: Bob Wayne Editor: Eddie Berganza
Comics’ top talents – writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee – team up for the first time ever to bring you the new Justice League, making its debut as part of the new DC Universe! Join Johns, Lee and DC Executive Editor Eddie Berganza as they bring together the talents behind the new JLA titles, including writers Dan Jurgens (Justice League International), JT Krul (Green Arrow), Eric Wallace (Mister Terrific), artists Francis Manapul (The Flash), Brian Buccellato (The Flash), Philip Tan (The Savage Hawkman) and more! Room 6DE

5:30-6:30 Vertigo: American Vampire
Moderator: John Cunningham Editor: Mark Doyle
The acclaimed Vertigo series American Vampire – nominated for a 2010 Eisner Award as “Best New Series” – introduced Skinner Sweet and a whole new type of undead, blazing a blood-drenched new trail! Join the creator of this series, as well as the new miniseries American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest for an undead discussion with writer Scott Snyder, artist Rafael Albuquerque and Editor Mark Doyle. Room 6DE

Saturday, July 23

10:00-11:00 DC: Talent Search
Moderators: Mark Chiarello
Join DC’s Editorial Art Director, Mark Chiarello, for an informative orientation session that will explain how DC’s Talent Search works and discuss the different needs of the DC Comics, Vertigo and MAD Magazine. If you want to learn what DC Comics looks for in artists and how to improve your chances of becoming a working professional, then this is the panel for you! In order to have your work reviewed, attendance at this orientation session is mandatory. (Please note: Not all attendees are guaranteed a one-on-one review.) Room 12

10:00-11:00 DC: Green Lantern
Moderator: John Cunningham EDITOR: Eddie Berganza
Enlist in the Corps at DC’s annual Green Lantern panel! Join DCU Executive Editor Eddie Berganza, Green Lantern Corps writer Peter Tomasi, Red Lanterns artist Ed Benes and others for a look at the aftermath of “War of the Green Lanterns” and more! It’s one of the most exciting panels you’ll ever see! Room 6DE

11:15-12:30 DC Comics – The New 52
Moderator: Bob Wayne EDITOR: Bob Harras
The DC Universe explodes in September with 52 new number one issues and one panel is not enough to cover it! With a ‘DC Comics – The New 52’ panel each day, there’s sure to be something for everyone! Join Bob Harras, DC’s Editor-in-Chief, for an up-close look at this unprecedented wave of new series, from the first-ever re-launches of Action Comics and Batman titles to the latest thrills from comics’ cutting-edge! Join Bob and some of the industry’s top writers and artists as we make history together. Room 6DE

12:45-1:45 DC: The Dark and The Edge
Moderator: John Cunningham EDITOR: Pat McCallum
From the shadowy corners of the new DC Universe comes a startling array of new series featuring some of comics’ top creators! Join DC Editor Pat McCallum and get acquainted with new DC titles from “The Dark” and “The Edge,” including Swamp Thing, written by Scott Snyder, Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. and Animal Man, written by Jeff Lemire, Deathstroke, written by Kyle Higgins, Demon Knights and Stormwatch, written by Paul Cornell, I, Vampire written by Josh Fialkov, Suicide Squad written by Adam Glass, Swamp Thing, drawn by Francesco Francavilla, All Star Western by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Moritat, and more! Room 6DE

4:30-5:30 DC Focus: Jim Lee
Moderator: Bob Wayne EDITOR: Dan DiDio
Jim Lee is by far the most in-demand artist in comics, from his spectacular work on Batman, Superman, WildC.A.T.S. and so many other comics to his groundbreaking designs for the DC Universe MMO game. Now, as Co-Publisher of DC Comics, Jim has led the way to the start of the new DC Universe with his exciting new looks for the World’s Greatest Super Heroes. Join Jim and his fellow Co-Publisher, Dan DiDio, for a profile of the artist who’s setting the tone for the entire DCU! Room 6DE

7:00-8:00 Vertigo: Fables
Moderator: Shelly Bond/John Cunningham
The annual Fables panel has become a Comic-Con tradition – and with the original graphic novel Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland on the way this fall, there’s no better time to hear what Bill Willingham, creator of the multi-Eisner Award winning series, has to say. Join Bill, artists Mark Buckingham and Steve Leialoha, Group Editor Shelly Bond and others for a panel that is truly legendary. Room 6DE

Sunday, July 24

12:00-1:00 DC Focus: Jeff Lemire
Moderator: John Cunningham
Jeff Lemire
first made an impression on the world of comics with his award-winning Essex County graphic novel trilogy. He soon made the move to DC Comics, with the graphic novel The Nobody and comics including Superboy and the distopian epic Sweet Tooth. Lemire recently wrote the miniseries Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown, and will make a splash in September with the new, continuing series Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. and Animal Man. Join Jeff for a special chat about his work for DC Comics and Vertigo. Room 7AB

1:45-2:45 Designing the New DCU
Moderator: Bob Wayne EDITOR: Jim Lee
What does it take to remake a universe? There are new stories, new characters, and especially new designs! Join DC’s Co-Publisher Jim Lee, VP – Art and Design Mark Chiarello, exclusive artist Cully Hamner and others for a look as they discuss their visual approach to reshaping the DC Universe! Room 6DE

3:00-4:00 DC Comics – The New 52
Moderator: John Cunningham EDITOR: Mike Marts, Matt Idelson
The DC Universe explodes in September with 52 new number one issues and one panel is not enough to cover it! With a ‘DC Comics – The New 52’ panel each day, there’s sure to be something for everyone! Join DCU Group Editors Matt Idelson and Mike Marts for an up-close look at this unprecedented wave of new series, from the first-ever re-launches of Action Comics and Batman titles to the latest thrills from comics’ cutting-edge! Join Matt, Mike and some of the industry’s top writers and artists as we make history together. Room 6DE

4:00-5:00 Art Masters: Drawing DC
Moderator: Mark Chiarello
Superstar artists share their secrets of drawing the DC Universe with a special projector designed so you can see their every master stroke. Check out this unique presentation that will surely draw ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ amongst the gathered masses! Room 30CDE