Tag Archives: ted naifeh

Oni Press Reveals Their Fall 2019 Lineup!

Sharpen your pencils and grab your notebooks, the Oni Press Fall 2019 lineup is here! We are proud to announce Wait, What?: A Comic Book Guide to RelationshipsBodies, and Growing Upby Heather Corinna and Isabella Rotman (Limerence Press); Kriss: The Gift of Wrath by Ted Naifeh and Warren WucinichMorning in America by Magdalene Visaggio and Claudia Aguirre; and Unplugged & Unpopular by Mat Heagerty, Tintin Pantoja, and Mike Amante. These awesome original graphic novels will begin release in September 2019, and fit perfectly in any good reader’s backpack!

Wait, What?: A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up by Heather Corinna and Isabella Rotman; colored by Luke Howard (Sept. 3rd, Middle Reader)

This Limerence Press title from Scarleteen founder Heather Corinna and sex educator Isabella Rotman is a fun and inclusive comic guide that covers essential topics for preteens and young teens about their changing bodies and feelings.The perfect complement to any school curriculum.

Wait, What?: A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up

Kriss: The Gift of Wrath by Ted Naifeh and Warren Wucinich (Sept. 17th, Young Adult)

For fans of The Graveyard Book and Through the Woods comes a different kind of YA fantasy graphic novel, in which a teen boy’s search for his destiny leads him into darkness.

Lean, ghostly pale, and permanently grim-faced, Kriss has always been an outsider in his small village. Not even his adoptive parents love him. Only Anja, the blacksmith’s daughter, brings kindness and friendship into the life of the sullen teenager. But Kriss is haunted by dim memories of his true father, Erikk Iron Tooth, the king of Darkovia.

When Anja’s mother is killed by a wild sabercat from the far north, the young girl’s world is shattered, and Kriss determines to avenge her. Armed with only a pitchfork, the skinny teen sets out to kill the beast, only to learn that it’s actually a dark spirit from Darkovia, come to bring him his destiny. The spirit grants Kriss the power to vanquish the mightiest foes, and commands him to reclaim his father’s kingdom. But his gift of power comes with a price, uncontrollable rage. And leaving the village would mean leaving Anja, the only person who’s always been there for him. Kriss must choose between his destiny and Anja, who needs his friendship more than ever. But his growing power, and the fiery anger that comes with it, threatens to make the choice for him, and burn everything he holds dear.

Kriss: The Gift of Wrath

Morning in America by Magdalene Visaggio and Claudia Aguirre (Oct. 8th, Young Adult)

Created by powerhouse team Magdalene Visaggio (Eternity Girl) and Claudia Aguirre (Kim & Kim), Morning in America follows the Sick Sisters, a group of friends and small-time delinquents who may be the only people standing between their suffocatingly small town and complete apocalyptic destruction. The Sisters know there’s something wrong in Tucker, Ohio—and they also know that the authorities aren’t doing anything about it. When the girls take the investigation into their own hands, they run into wild conspiracy theories, abandoned homes… and something that screeches in the night. At the end of the world, four girls with bikes and baseball bats are there to stand in the way.

Morning in America

Unplugged & Unpopular by Mat Heagerty, Tintin Pantoja, and Mike Amante (Oct. 15th, Middle Reader)

After Erin Song’s parents ban her from using her phone, TV, Internet and all her screens, she soon discovers mysterious, strange creatures and must foil their plot to take over Earth in this hilarious sci-fi graphic novel for tweens. 

Erin Song lives in a digital world. Everyone has a phone, a tablet, a computer—more screens than you can count. Even with a world of information at her fingertips, Erin can’t figure out the secret to popularity at her clique-y junior high school. So when uber-popular Wendy asks for help on a test, Erin jumps at the opportunity. This could be her big break! Unfortunately, she gets caught, and her parents ban her from all her devices. Suddenly, Erin Song is the only girl in the world who’s not allowed to look at a screen.

And that’s when Erin notices something funny: small, furry aliens making humans disappear with a weird device Erin’s never seen before. No one else notices them, though—except Erin’s grandmother and two old men who run the local library. They’ve discovered that the aliens are using screens to control the human race, tricking them into thinking they aren’t really there—and that anyone who’s been abducted never existed. 

Now it’s up to Erin and her grandmother to save the day! But without technology on their side, do they stand a chance?

Unplugged & Unpopular

Preview: Night’s Dominion Season 3, #2

Night’s Dominion Season 3, #2

(W/A/C/CA) Ted Naifeh
Age Rating: 17+
Genre: Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Superhero
Price: $1.99
Page Count: 22

With its new lawkeepers showing their true colors as cruel oppressors, the people of Umber rise up to resist. But they need a hero to inspire them. If Grael loses all hope, and the Furie’s wound proves fatal, who is left to lead the people against the Amaraddan Guard?

Preview: Night’s Dominion Season 3, #1

Night’s Dominion Season 3, #1

DIGITAL
(W/A/C/CA) Ted Naifeh
Age Rating: 17+
Genre: Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Superhero
Price: $1.99
Page Count: 25

As poison slowly claims the Furie, Emerane attempts the unthinkable. With the help of the Magus’s necromancy, she infiltrates the dominion of death itself. If all goes well, Emerane may be able to rescue the Furie’s soul from the shores of oblivion. But if she fails, she will be claimed by Uhlume, the god of death.

Preview: Courtney Crumrin Volume 3: The Twilight Kingdom, Softcover

Courtney Crumrin Volume 3: The Twilight Kingdom, Softcover

(W/A/CA) Ted Naifeh
(C) Warren Wucinich
Age Rating: All Ages
Genre: Fantasy, Horror
Price: $12.99
Page Count: 144

Courtney Crumrin’s magical education has begun in full under the tutelage of Calpurnia Crisp. But Courtney isn’t her only pupil, and she quickly realizes her classmates don’t know nearly as much about the dangers of magic as she does. When they turn the youngest student into a night creature, Courtney reluctantly agrees to help—and immediately regrets it when the students storm the Twilight Kingdom with disastrous results. But Courtney’s got bigger problems to deal with—a man named Templeton, who suspects Courtney’s involvement in the death of a certain warlock. Can Courtney save a bunch of arrogant kids while evading the lawkeeper? Maybe if they were in the human world. But as Courtney knows, the Twilight Kingdom is as unpredictable as it is dangerous—and it can quickly turn deadly.

Starburn Industries Launches SBI Press on Free Comic Book Day and Announces New Staff

Starburns Industries, the production studio that brought you Rick and Morty, Anomalisa, and Harmonquest, is expanding beyond film and television development with Starburns Industries Press (SBI Press), a publisher of books, comics and specialty cassette tapes.

SBI Press’ talent includes Dan Harmon (Community, Rick and Morty), Dino Stamatopoulos (Moral Orel, Community, Mr. Show), and the vast network of comedians, writers, and podcasters affiliated with Starburns Audio.

The new imprint has signed a distribution agreement with Diamond Comic Distributors the world’s largest distributor of English-language comic books, graphic novels, and pop culture products, and its book trade division, Diamond Book Distributors.

The new division is founded and headed by Starburns production executive Simon Oré, who will serve as President of SBI Press. Joining Oré to build the division are new hires Brendan Wright, formerly of Dark Horse Comics and New Arab Media, who comes on board as SBI Press VP and Executive Editor, and Trevor Richardson, formerly of Diamond Comics Distributors, who fills the role of SBI Press VP of Acquisitions. The staff is rounded out by Editorial & Production Assistants Ross Clark and Paige Dowling, and PR and Marketing Manager Cassandra Church, with Starburns Producer Casey Rup (VICELAND’s Party Legends, Ricking Morty) serving as producer and consulting editor.

SBI Press becomes the first publisher to debut through the comics industry’s annual Free Comic Book Day event with the showcase Starburns Presents on the first Saturday of May. The anthology title will preview the SBI Press’s 2018 slate, headlined by a short story from comedian and writer Patton Oswalt, artist Troy Nixey, and colorist Michelle Madsen.

Coinciding with Free Comic Book Day, the May edition of Diamond’s Previews catalog will include the company’s first launches: Dan Harmon’s biting take on supervillainy, Gregory Graves, cowritten with Eric M. Esquivel, and illustrated by Brent Schoonover, Ted Naifeh, and Rebecca Nalty; Dino Stamatopolous and Leah Triscione’s graphic novel Trent, “a lighthearted tragedy with music”; and the company’s first series, Hellicious, a family comedy set in Hell, written by Alan C. Medina and Mina Elwell and illustrated by Kit Wallis and Jio Butler.

From there, the first wave of titles in 2018 continues with Comics Comics, teaming fan-favorite stand-up comedians with leading comic industry talent in an anthology series, Oddwell: The Frog of War, a fantasy-adventure comic series from writers David A. Clarke and Walter A. Bryant III and artist Acacia T. Rodarte; and The Crawling King, an illustrated dark fantasy novel by award-winning filmmaker and animator Einar Baldvin.

Preview: Courtney Crumrin, Volume 2: The Coven of Mystics

Courtney Crumrin, Volume 2: The Coven of Mystics

(W/A/CA) Ted Naifeh
(C) Warren Wucinich
Age Rating: All Ages
Genre: Fantasy
Price: $12.99
Page Count: 144

Courtney Crumrin has learned a lot about magic after moving in with her great uncle Aloysius, and her education is far from over. Enter the Coven of Mystics, Hillsborough’s mystical council, who ensure witches and wizards don’t abuse their powers. Though sometimes things fall out of their jurisdiction… and when a night creature is blamed for crimes against the community, they’ll do everything in their power to see justice done. Only one problem—the creature is innocent. But can Courtney find the real culprit before the Coven intervenes?

Ted Naifeh and Shon Bury Talk Kickstarting Heroines and Crowdfunding in Comics

Acclaimed artist of Gloomcookie and creator of Courtney CrumrinTed Naifeh, has launched his first Kickstarter campaign. The Heroines: The Graphic Novel campaign is produced in partnership with Space Goat Productions and will be published under their digest-book imprint Backpack Editions. The campaign seeks to fund the manufacturing of the Heroines graphic novel containing all eight issues of Heroines.

Heroines is about a would-be superhero, Marcy Madison who tries to assemble a team of like-minded heroines by placing an ad on Craigslist. But the response she gets is far weirder and more dangerous than she bargained for. Can a collection of misfits become a superhero team in the midst of both modern day sexism, crime, and injustice?

Graphic Policy: Ted, you’ve done a lot of different types of genres for comics, what got you interested in Heroines and where did the idea come from?

Ted Naifeh: I often start with an image, and hang a story on it. Courtney Crumrin started out as my version of Emily the Strange, a scowling tween. I wanted to explore what lay behind the scowl. And Courtney’s world emerged.

Heroines started out just as a response to the typical all-girl line-up in comics in the late 90s, where variety was little more than different colored hair. They always reminded me of playboy bunnies, all with the same faces, the same exact body type, and the only nod to ethnic diversity was that maybe the redhead was Irish. I started thinking about what a genuinely diverse lineup might look like. Then I started thinking about comics tropes around women. The dingy blonde. The muscle-bound beauty. The exotic Asian assassin. The bad-ass know-it-all. And I wanted to play with those tropes, turn them upside down. What if the dingy blonde was really a smart, capable optimist, but people took her positivity for foolish naivety? What if the muscle-bound beauty was a butch lesbian? What if we explored the inner life of bad-asses and assassins, and maybe offered some kind of path out of the suffering and horror?

Then I think how would these weirdos interact, and how funny would that be? And the stories kind of emerge.

GP: You’ve both released comics through traditional channels, digital, and now Kickstarter. For both of you, where do you see the state of distribution in comics

Shon Bury: Correct. I see distribution as a multi-channel affair. You need to pick the right channel for the book you want to make. Sometimes that will be traditional distribution. Sometimes crowdfunding.

That doesn’t preclude the other channels, however. Once inventory is in stock it can be sold wherever there is interest.

TN: To me, it’s about adding rather than subtracting. Kickstarter offers access to new fans that the traditional channels don’t. But comics distribution has been problematic since I got into this business back in the day. Moving from the magazine rack to the comic shop was a natural evolution, and allowed comics to grow as an art form. The magazine racks made long-form story-telling deeply problematic. A dedicated store guaranteed to carry every issue and get it to you reliably was necessary when something like Claremont’s Phoenix Saga was underway, and every issue was crucial. And I can’t imagine Elf Quest thriving in drugstores.

Unfortunately, the increasing specialization makes it harder and harder for casual fans to find an entry point. And the increased crowding of the racks by the big two make it hard for indy creators, especially if those creators are trying to do something similar. It was one thing for me to do Courtney Crumrin or Princess Ugg, books that look and feel nothing like anything Marvel and DC are doing. Its another to provide an alternative to their wall of superheroes. You can look like a Johnny-come-lately trying to prove you can do the same thing they’re doing. So what? What makes my book stand out against theirs? So Kickstarter is a great way to stand apart from mainstream superhero books. It asserts “This isn’t the same thing. It’s a very different take on the idea, and needs a different platform.”

That said, I’m sure we’ll also distribute the book through Diamond down the line, once the Kickstarter is over. It’s still the best way to get books into stores, and into the hands of new fans. Kickstarter is just that, a way to kickstart a new thing.

SB: I completely agree with Ted. This is an additive opportunity with crowdfunding. You can make product that you know there are fans for on Kickstarter, make it right there in front of them then hand deliver it, that would not get made if we were limited to just one method of getting to market. There is zero chance the traditional distribution method would have ordered enough over-sized hardbound Evil Dead 2 art books to make the print run feasible. We made it happen direct to consumers in 2 days on Kickstarter.

And we’ll still have enough left over after we ship to backers for Diamond, Amazon, and conventions.

GP: As an outsider observer there seems to be greater opportunity to build a community through crowdfunding that’ll make traditional distribution less needed going forward.

TN: I think it offers a way to turn internet community building into real business, so long as you have something to offer. Me, I’ve never been great at social media, but I’m working on it. Frankly, being a writer/artist is like having two full-time jobs. It leaves not a great deal of time to really focus on the day-to-day of social media. Plus, I’m shy. I’m a San Francisco weirdo, so I don’t quite fit into the larger world. So social media has always been an uphill battle for me. But I have fans out there, and they seem to have responded quite favorably to the Kickstarter campaign. Fingers crossed that it all comes together.

SB: Kickstarter, just like social media, is all about community. We’ve had some backers back all our campaigns. Whether a board game, a giant omnibus graphic novel, or Ted’s Heroines. Building a relationship with that community is amazing.

GP: One for you both. Do you see these new means of comic distribution as democratizing comics in a way?

TN: Well, if you want to call it that. It’s more an alternative to the Diamond Distribution monopoly. Diamond is a great company, but like it or not, they’re the only game in town. And comic shops are some of my favorite places in the world to be, but I sometimes wish there were more venues to buy comic books. So Kickstarter just offers a new avenue to build a new series.

I’m the kind of creator that likes to hop genres, try new things. But that often puts me at square one. I could have been like Stan Sakai, who’s been putting out the same series about a ronin rabbit for 30 years. But I can’t see doing the same series day in, day out for the rest of my career. I want to do a steampunk book or two. And sci-fi. And a million other things. So I feel like I’m perpetually in the position of having to break in, because the new thing is nothing like the old thing, and I have to build a new audience from scratch.

SB: “Democratizing” is the perfect word for it. Regular Kickstarter backers are savvy. They know a great deal when they see one. And they’ll cheer you along all the while. Some of my fondest memories of the Evil Dead board game campaign was when we would make a change to a stretch goal or offer a reward that a consensus of the backers wanted. They were helping us design it from the ground up.

Helping mitigate the risks is a really important tool for small publishers who just want to make cool stuff that may not do well at a wider retail release.

GP: Beyond just distribution though. It democratizes in what gets released or printed too by allowing fans to directly “vote” with their dollars in way.

TN: To me, what makes Kickstarter great is that it takes most of the risk out of the process. If the project gets funded, great. If it doesn’t, well, at least I didn’t spend a year of my life finishing a book only to see it fail. So it allows me to take risks.Whether this book gets funded or not, it won’t be my last Kickstarter. I’m just asking the question, “Are enough people interested in this that it’s worth doing?”

GP: Is there any reason you all chose Kickstarter as opposed to one of the other services out there?

TN: For me, the I like the all or nothing format. It means that fans are literally voting for the book with their wallets (speaking of democratization). I’m looking for a mandate. I don’t have any illusions about the business I’ve chosen. It’s a craps shoot. No one is obligated to like my work. My job is to make comics that folks want, and let me tell you, it’s a relief to know in advance if folks want it. I’ve spent too many years doing work that it turned out no one wanted. As much as I’m in love with this project, as heartbroken as I’ll be if it doesn’t get funded, it’ll be easier than it would be if I’d already finished it.

That said, I really, REALLY want to finish this book. The best bits are at the end.

SB: We’ve experimented with Indiegogo, but board games and comic books do really well on Kickstarter. And the sense of community is just phenomenal. We would experiment with other platforms in the future, but Kickstarter (for us) is still king.

GP: Is there anything that has surprised either of you about crowdfunding?

SB: The level of engagement is more like a digital convention on some campaigns. That and the diversity of books that get funded. This is stuff you can’t find I’m local shops, but people clearly want it.

TN: It’s my second day, so I really can’t tell yet. I’ll let you know in a few Days. But it is a pretty major amount of work, even with a full team.

GP: As a publisher and a creator, how has the introduction of crowdfunding impacted how you approach creating and publishing comics?

TN: Well it hasn’t quite impacted the process for me yet, but it may ultimately eliminate the monthly comic book from my process. I like monthly comics as a form, and in the past, they’ve supported me as I produced enough material for a collected edition, but these days, they just don’t quite earn their keep anymore. I tend to write with monthly chapters in mind, but I’m wondering how changing that up will effect my story-telling.

Of course that just scratches the surface. I have a character in Heroines whose name and likeness I’m selling to a backer, so depending on the backer, that character could be male or female, any ethnicity. Which changes the story. So with future projects, the ramifications of crowd participation could be huge. We’re just scratching the surface.

SB: Having direct feedback and interactivity with the backer, like with the cameos that Ted mentioned, is a fantastic way to explore what can be done with campaigns. Comic books are still getting funded on Kickstarter, so it’s not just a shift to graphic novels.

This can be done in board games as well. We have offered backer likeness rewards in both our Evil Dead and Terminator campaigns. Hardcore fans love that kind of stuff. At the end of the day, it speaks to the participatory process of crowdfunding. They get to be a part of their passion, in the content they helped bring to life. That’s extremely cool.

GP: Is there any other forms of distribution you’re exploring? Patreon for example.

SB: Space Goat’s main channels are digital, direct market, book trade, librarians, crowdfunding, ecommerce. With Amazon being a subset of ecommerce. That’s a powerful mix, especially eith Kickstarter pulling the cart.

TN: Well I might set up a patreon. I think that would be super fun. Post sketches and work in progress. Maybe even a page per week of an original project.

SB: That sounds really cool. I’d support that in a heart beat.

TN: Thanks, Shon.

GP: As a publisher and a creator what do you see as the greatest obstacle today in comics?

TN: I think the biggest issue comics has is the fact that they’re considered niche. Once, they were only for kids. But now it’s worse, because now they’re only for comics nerds. Which is ridiculous, because almost half the movies made are based on comics or other comics-based movies. Not to mention TV. And yet, when I mention I make comics, The first question I get is “where would I get this?” I’m assuming if I were a novelist, no one would ask that question. And the mere fact people have to ask means they’re not seeing comics anywhere in their lives. They don’t know you can get them on Amazon, at every bookstore, etc. Nerd culture is now pop culture. And yet comics stores are still set apart. That needs to change. There needs to be more integration. But I don’t know how that would work.

SB: Ted touched on something really important. Nerd culture IS culture. And yet the direct market is reaping nome of those benefits. Small press needs to do a lot more back flips to get attention. I’m that way, Kickstarter is a remarkable marketing tool.

TN: It’s the tool we indy creators have been desperate for. Now we just have to hope it can work.

SB: Yup. One campaign at a time.

GP: Thanks so much for chatting!

Ted Naifeh Goes Direct to Fans With Heroines on Kickstarter

Acclaimed artist of Gloomcookie and creator of Courtney Crumrin, Ted Naifeh, has launched his first Kickstarter campaign. The Heroines: The Graphic Novel campaign is produced in partnership with Space Goat Productions and will be published under their digest-book imprint Backpack Editions. The campaign seeks to fund the manufacturing of the Heroines graphic novel containing all eight issues of Heroines.

Heroines is about a would-be superhero, Marcy Madison who tries to assemble a team of like-minded heroines by placing an ad on Craigslist. But the response she gets is far weirder and more dangerous than she bargained for. Can a collection of misfits become a superhero team in the midst of both modern day sexism, crime, and injustice?

There are 12 different tiers in the Heroines Kickstarter that backers can pledge at as well as a retailer exclusive tier offering 50 percent off the purchase of five books. Some of the other tiers will included signed volume ones of heroines and likeness cameos within the graphic novel. Naifeh will live stream from the Kickstarter campaign page every Tuesday in a segment called “Ted Tuesdays”, in which he will display new sketches for the graphic novel, answer questions and take backer-exclusive commissions.

Preview: Night’s Dominion, Season 2 #4

Night’s Dominion, Season 2 #4

(W/A/C/CA) Ted Naifeh
Age Rating: Mature
Genre: Fantasy
Price: $3.99
Page Count: 32

A new force, the Amaraddan Guard, rules the streets of Umber, forcing citizens into indentured servitude to pay fines imposed upon them. With Emerane dead and the Furie still in hiding, the city’s only hope lies with demi-god Grael. But when the Guard finds and exploits Grael’s weakness, who will be left to stop them?

Preview: Night’s Dominion, Season 2 #3

Night’s Dominion, Season 2 #3

(W/A/C/CA): Ted Naifeh
Age Rating: Mature Themes
Genre: Fantasy
Price: $3.99
Page Count: 32

As Umber’s guardians fall to assassins, the unwary citizens partake in the annual Festival of Utu, celebrating life, luck, and the bygone age of myths. But not for long. A new peacekeeping force chooses Utu’s Night to take charge, a force that will stop at nothing to establish control over the unruly city. And with Emerane gone, who’s to stop them?

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