Tag Archives: valentine de landro

Bitch Planet: Triple Feature Vol. 1 Arrives in December

A dizzyingly talented roster of noncompliant creators, joining forces with series creators Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro, will release the first trade paperback collection of Bitch Planet: Triple Feature this December.

Ripped directly from the world of Bitch Planet, a crack team of creators spin 15 teeth-clenching tales of rage, revolution, and ridicule. Patriarchy beware…this sci-fi kidney punch can’t be stopped!

Within the pages of Bitch Planet: Triple Feature Vol. 1, readers can enjoy the writing talents of: Cheryl Lynn Eaton, Andrew Aydin, Conley Lyons, Che Grayson, Danielle Henderson, Jordan Clark, Alissa Sallah, Dylan Meconis, Kit Cox, Marc Deschamps, Sara Woolley, Vita Ayala, Bassey Nyambi, Alobi, Nyambi Nyambi, Jon Tsuei, and Matt Fraction, and delight in the artistic stylings of Dylan Meconis, Sara Woolley, Maria Fröhlich, Joanna Estep, Craig Yeung, Sharon Lee De La Cruz, Ted Brandt, Ro Stein, Naomi Franquiz, Alec Valerius, Vanesa R. Del Rey, Mindy Lee, Rossi Gifford, Chris Visions, Saskia Gutekunst, and Elsa Charretier.

Bitch Planet: Triple Feature Vol. 1 (Diamond code: OCT170620, ISBN: 978-1-5343-0529-8) hits comic book stores Wednesday, December 13th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, November 6th.

Preview: Sisters of Sorrow #1 (of 4)

Sisters of Sorrow #1 (of 4)

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Kurt Sutter, Courtney Alameda
Artist: Hyeonjin Kim
Cover Artists:
Main Cover:
Jae Lee & June Chung
      Variant Cover: Andre De Freitas
FOC Variant: Valentine De Landro
Price: $3.99

  • Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy, Mayans MC) brings this all-new original tale of revenge and recovery to comics with novelist Courtney Alameda (Shutter) and breakthrough artist Hyeonjin Kim.
  • By day, Dominique, Greta, Misha, and Sarah run a nonprofit women’s shelter. At night, they each don a nun’s habit and move through Los Angeles hunting down violent abusers who have escaped justice.
  • Their increasingly public vigilantism has earned them the nickname Sisters of Sorrow, and has drawn the ire of L.A.’s notorious anti-crime task force.

Find Out The Secret Loves of Geeks Next Valentine’s Day

In honor of Pride Month, Dark Horse Comics has announced the second installment of the illustrated prose and comics anthology The Secret Loves of Geek Girls with The Secret Loves of Geeks. Editor Hope Nicholson returns to assemble a dazzling mix of prose, comics, and illustrated stories from a variety of creators.

Cartoonists and professional geeks tell the most intimate, heartbreaking, and inspiring stories about love, sex, and dating; featuring creators of all genders, orientations, and cultural backgrounds. The anthology includes work by Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale), Gerard Way (Umbrella Academy), Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind), Dana Simpson (Phoebe and Her Unicorn), Gabby Rivera (America), Hope Larson (Batgirl), Cecil Castellucci (Soupy Leaves Home), Valentine de Landro (Bitch Planet), Marley Zarcone (Shade), Sfé R. Monster (Beyond: A queer comics anthology), Amy Chu (Wonder Woman), and more. Becky Cloonan (The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys) illustrates the gorgeous and “catastic” cover.

The Secret Loves of Geeks drops Valentines Day, February 14, 2018!

Papergirl Press Launches The Pushpin and we talk to Jessica Johnston about It

Toronto’s Papergirl Press has launched The Pushpin, a curated website of collectible, high-quality giclée prints for sale by acclaimed graphic novel artists — including Kate Beaton, Johnnie Christmas, Michael Cho, Valentine De Landro, and Jeff Lemire — and acclaimed editorial illustrators Julia Breckenreid, Dani Crosby, Chloe Cushman, Jay Dart (as his alter-ego Granduncle Jiggs), Sarah Lazarovic, and Christian Northeast. The site will also launch with Pushpin Originals — prints of new and never-before-seen art created specifically for The Pushpin by Kagan McLeod, Ryan North, and Chip Zdarsky. Prints currently available from the Pushpin range in price from $25 to $150.

The Pushpin is a project of Papergirl Press, a small printing company in Toronto committed to working exclusively with independent artists, run by former journalist Jessica Johnston.

At launch, The Pushpin will feature more than 40 prints including:

  • King Baby by Kate Beaton;
  • 2 Pisces prints by Johnnie Christmas;
  • Pee Wee Herman’s loafers, rendered by Sarah Lazarovic
  • A Sweet Tooth and an Essex County print by Jeff Lemire;
  • 3 Kagan McLeod prints including a portrait of Prince and a Pushpin Original History of Hip Hop;
  • 2 Pushpin Original prints by Ryan North;
  • 3 Chip Zdarsky pieces, including a Sex Criminals print and a Pushpin Original print entitled The Solar System: The Graphic Guide to Our Universe.

Artists who will have work on the Pushpin in the coming months include Bryan Lee O’Malley, Marguerite Sauvage, and illustrator Gordon Wiebe.

Photo credit: Steve Murray

We got a chance to ask Johnston about the launch and what we can expect and you can see the art below!

Graphic Policy: So how did the idea of The Pushpin come about?

Jessica Johnston: The idea came about late last year, after I left my job as a newspaper editor. (Print media is a bit of a freaky place to be in 2016.) I planned to freelance and do contract work, which I did, but I also started doing prints for my husband, comic creator Chip Zdarsky. He wanted to start doing regular prints, and the first was called “Bat-Hero,” a kind of meta joke about knock-off action figures of copyrighted characters. I bought a professional printer, and started making Bat-Heroes from our dining room. And I really loved doing it. The prints looked so good, I wanted to keep making more. But of course, there’s only so much one Chip can do. That’s when I decided I wanted to build a website for more artists to make work available for sale. So I guess the whole thing started with a bat-joke!

GP: How long have you been working on this project?

JJ: I began seriously planning The Pushpin at the beginning of this year. I knew a lot of incredible illustrators from my work in journalism, so I approached them first. I found people were pretty enthusiastic about the idea of having a trusted venue for producing high-quality prints of their work.

GP: It’s an impressive list of creators to launch. How’d they come to be involved?

JJ: I already revealed the secret to landing my first creator client, and that’s a decade of common-law marriage. Compared with that, the others were a breeze. All of the artists on board for the launch are from Canada, and most of those are from Toronto, which is where I live. There’s a lot of talent here, and it’s a small enough place that you just get to know people just through moving in media and arts circles. Some of the creators, like Ryan North, were already pals, and others, like Jeff Lemire, I introduced myself to because of this project.

GP: You previously worked in journalism at a newspaper as an editor. What has surprised you the most in working within the comic world?

JJ: Nobody lines up to meet journalists at conventions!

GP: The site includes comic artists and editorial illustrators. Do you notice anything different in what they’ve contributed?

JJ: There’s a surprising amount of overlap between comic work and editorial illustration — many artists do both. I love that we have comic work and illustration side by side, and we are giving both the fine-art treatment. I think there are more commonalities between the two forms than differences. Both tend to be pretty playful, and much of the work on The Pushpin has a good sense of fun. Where else can you find a high-quality giclée print of Pee Wee Herman’s white loafers? Sarah Lazarovic, who did that piece, is a genius of simple, lovable work, with just the right amount quirkiness. Then you have an incredible comics pro like Michael Cho, whose work on the site is mostly personal stuff, which is quiet and beautiful. He does these lovingly rendered portraits of Toronto’s back alleys that I can’t get enough of.

GP: How does the contributions work? Do you suggest ideas or is this all the artists?

JJ: It’s the all the artists. Once I’ve determined that someone is a good fit for The Pushpin, they have creative freedom. I like to think of myself as a kind of artistic matchmaker – connecting artists and the people who respond to their work to each other. And a big part of that is letting the artist be the artist. I trust that whatever they come up with, there are people out there who are going to love it.

GP: Seven decades plus and it feels like comics are still debated as legit art (video games suffer from the same issue). Do you see things like this raising that debate at all?

JJ: I like to think we’re past that, even though I know it’s still a challenge. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be treating comic art and illustration with the respect they deserve. There is so much incredible work happening in both areas, it’s crazy to ignore or dismiss it. Kagan McLeod is a great example of someone who does both illustration and comic work, and his stuff is mind-blowing, it’s so good. He has a piece on The Pushpin called Herc — a portrait of the guy often credited with inventing hip hop, and he’s made up of smaller portraits of famous rappers. You have to see it to believe it — it’s amazing. So ambitious, and perfectly executed. Any of the individual portraits could be in a gallery.

GP: The initial artists are all Canadian and you’ll be expanding from there. Is there any particular reason you started with just Canadians?

JJ: I decided to start near home when approaching artists, and work my way out. I am pretty lucky that felt in no way limiting. Jeff Lemire, Kagan McLeod, Ryan North, Sarah Lazarovic, Julia Breckenreid, Valentine de Landro, Michael Cho… they are all basically neighbours. I do look forward to expanding The Pushpin’s borders, though, because, really, there’s so much great talent everywhere.

GP: Do you know what the release schedule will be like for future releases? Is it a set schedule? And will any of these go out of print?

JJ: I have some artists lined up to come on board in the coming months, Bryan Lee O’Malley and Marguerite Sauvage among them, but I’ll be adding people on a rolling basis. Like the work itself, the number of prints is up to the artist. Some are unlimited, and some are capped. Jeff Lemire, for instance, has two prints on The Pushpin, a Sweet Tooth and an Essex County one. There will only be 100 of each of those, so if that’s what you’re after, you better get one quick!

GP: Thanks so much! And check out some of the art below!

Bitch Planet is Back With a New Story Arc

BITCH PLANET #7Eisner Award-nominated writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro will launch a new story arc in their viciously satirical ongoing sci-fi series this February.

Previously in Bitch Planet, a new crop of non-compliants settled in for their stay on the Auxiliary Compliance Outpost. When a small group was offered a chance to earn their freedom, they took it, knowing the odds would be stacked against them at every turn.

In Bitch Planet #7, President Bitch: Part 1 (OF 4), Operative Whitney has to answer for Meiko’s death and Kam gets a critical clue to the whereabouts of her sister.

Bitch Planet #7 (Diamond code: DEC150546) hits stores Wednesday, February 17th.

Bitch Planet Vol. 1 Review. There’s Nothing Subtle about it.

Bitch Planet Vol. 1Here’s the problem with Bitch Planet: it is really, really intimidating to write about. There’s so much going on with regards to gender politics, body image, female autonomy, voyeurism, violence against women, race relations, and the prison industrial complex, it’s nerve-wracking to even try to say everything there is to be said about it as insightfully and intelligently as it should be said. In other words, it’s pretty great.

*Minor spoilers ahead*

There’s nothing subtle about Bitch Planet, which, given the title, should come as a surprise to no one. Enjoyably in-your-face, Book One: Extraordinary Machine collects issues 1-5 which set up the first major dramatic arc of the series by introducing pivotal characters, most notably Kamau Kogo and Penny Rolle. Kam and Penny are “non compliants” – women who have been removed from society and shot into space to be contained on Bitch Planet, known formally as Auxiliary Compliance Outpost. They are in the company of a horde of other new intakes who are being punished for offenses ranging from murder and assault to disrespect and being a bad mother.

Upon being framed for the murder of a fellow inmate, former professional athlete Kam is approached by prison guard Whitney (a name I’m guessing isn’t coincidentally one letter away from “whitey”) and encouraged to form a prison-sponsored sports team as a means of reducing the severity of her sentence. Skeptical of Whitney’s motives, Kam first declines the offer but is later persuaded by her peers to go for it. And so we come to learn about the fictional competitive sport Duemila, aka Megaton, and it’s role in the prison industry.

Co-creators Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro do a killer job of bringing their feminist dystopia to life, revitalizing the prison exploitation genre while maintaining the elements of camp that historically make the genre so much fun. This is a violent, over-the-top comic that’s full of naked ladies and based on highly sexualized source material, yet manages to always make the nudity feel empowering rather than exploitive. The artists take care to depict a wide variety of body types in various states of undress and duress without being gratuitous, even in explicitly sexual situations. From Kamau’s solid, athletic build, to Penny’s hulking, rolling form, there is a broad spectrum of physical strength on frequent display. Penny in particular is Bitch Planet’s reigning heroine of body acceptance, owning who she is from the inside out and asking important questions, like “WHERE’M I S’POSED TO PUT MY TITS?” when faced with an egregiously undersized uniform. There’s just enough humor between these moments in the narrative and the Hey Kids, Patriarchy! ad pages to counter-balance the drama that naturally comes with a cast of characters that are “caged and enraged.”

Already including a prison riot, a murder, an obligatory shower scene, and a few brutal bouts of Megaton, I’m psyched to discover what future issues of Bitch Planet will offer up, especially given the heart-wrenching cliffhanger where this collection leaves off.

Story: Kelly Sue DeConnick Art: Valentine De Landro
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review

Review: Bitch Planet Vol. 1

Bitch Planet Vol. 1Growing up watching movies with my Dad and uncles, they introduced me, to the movies of their era, which they loved, and back then I did not know, they were considered “grind house”. The only thing I knew is that I was in love with Pam Grier, in just about everything she did back then, from Foxy Brown to Greased Lightning, as she was this screen siren, which I still have an affinity for. The movies I believe most men my Dad’s and Uncle’s ages are the “women in prison “ movies that were a staple of 70s movies. There were so many during that era, and many of them objectified women, with mostly highly unrealistic plotlines in third world countries.

When I heard Kelly Sue DeConnick of Captain Marvel fame, was writing a new series for Image, which revolved around a women’s prison in space, I basically thought about two Pam Grier movies, “Women in Cages” and “ Big Bird Cage”. Although were highly exploitive , were for the most part, entertaining of course, wondered just how she would make this work, as I had never read any of her prior works, but the only thing that I heard was she often had a “ feminist” strand throughout her stories. As a parent of two beautiful girls, I was truly enamored with the possibilities of doing a progressive story in an exploitive setting within the science fiction genre. As this blended what I want and hope for the comics industry to push as far as diversity and inclusion goes as well as the understanding that comics should always be fun.

Within this first story arc, women are sent to a prison, which encapsulates a planet once they have been deemed “Non-Compliant”, where the “crimes” include not following the laws including adultery and the only prisoners are women. Within each issue, especially the first one, you are introduced to a different character, as you learn about each of the prisoner’s personal history but also what each of them have to endure from violence to abuse by the prison guards. As a fan of Orange is the New Black, I wanted to compare this book to the series, but more I read, there were echoes of OINTB, but really it is Wentworth. The most entertaining part of the book is really, the essays, as this has become something that’s sets the Image brand apart from everyone else, as they aim not only to entertain but educate, as the immortal KRS One used to day, ”Edutain”.

Altogether, a tightly wound intense, story arc, that very much pushes the boundaries that comics are one thing, but clear as the day is bright, this comics team shows it can be a excellent medium for every story. The story by DeConnick, proves that she is more than talent to watch, and makes me wonder just how much Marvel held her back. The art by Valentine De Landro, is a mix of old school comics’ art and new school aesthetics. Overall, if you are not reading Bitch Planet, you are ‘Non Compliant.”

Story: Kelly Sue DeConnick Art: Valentine De Landro
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Image Comics Brings Bitch Planet to Local Comic Shop Day

Bitch Planet Vol. 1ComicsPRO, the trade association of storefront comic book specialty retailers, and Image Comics have announced support of Local Comic Shop Day participating retailers with the first hardcover collection of Bitch Planet.

Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick with art by Valentine De Landro, Bitch Planet takes place in a dystopian reality where non-compliant women are jailed in an off-planet prison. The LCSD hardcover edition features cover art by Filipe Andrade and is limited to 750 copies. It collects the first five issues of the series.

Local Comic Shop Day is a new event focusing on locally owned independent comic book specialty stores and their role in shaping the pop culture market. The first Local Comic Shop Day will be Saturday, November 28, two days after Thanksgiving and coinciding with American Express’ “Small Business Saturday” event.

On Local Comic Shop Day, participating retailers will have exclusive, and in some cases, limited items debuting from supporting publishers. The goal of Local Comic Shop Day is to jump start the holiday buying season for storefront comics specialty retailers by giving comics fans more of what they most desire.

Retailer registration for the event is ongoing until October 1 and you can find more details online.

Preview: Bitch Planet #2

Bitch Planet #2

Story By: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art By: Valentine De Landro
Cover By: Valentine De Landro
Cover Price: $3.50
Digital Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: NOV140643
Published: January 28, 2015

Now framed for murder INSIDE the prison, Kam is offered leniency if she’ll train her crew for a death sport bout against a visiting team of male prisoners. From 2014 Best Writer Eisner nominee KELLY SUE DeCONNICK (PRETTY DEADLY, Captain Marvel) and VALENTINE DeLANDRO (X-Factor) with colorist CRIS PETER (CASANOVA).

BitchPlanet02_Cover

Review: Bitch Planet #2

bitch planet 2 a

Bitch Planet #2 does everything expected of it, which is no small task considering the high critical acclaim for the debut issue. The overarching world of Bitch Planet is expanded upon, giving readers a pretty clear idea of the setting crafted in this series by Kelly Sue DeConnick and her artist Valentine De Landro. More important than that, however, is the development of a plot thread focusing on an intimate group of characters, establishing what appears to be the more intimate angle of this series. Despite ridiculous and fun action, characterization, and world-building, this comic continues to be ferociously intelligent, too. Bitch Planet #2 is contemporary feminism and the comics craft done right.

The opening of this comic introduces readers to Father Josephson, a president-like figure so over-the-top loathsome that he proudly admits to embracing the “us vs. them” mentality in a speech. This concept seems so crazy to a sane, regular person in civilized culture, but in the world that Bitch Planet creates, it is believable. That is what is so special about this comic book; it creates a world filled to the brim with feminist themes and symbols that intellectually satisfies while being simultaneously satisfying in a more base fashion. It’s so seamless, which is an extraordinary achievement.

The general atmosphere of Bitch Planet is just really cool, as well. It’s a grimy, gross looking book that often conjures up thoughts of the exploitation films its inspired by, but it’s much easier to digest and take lightly. Fights translate onto the page in such a way that feels rough, but it’s framed in such a way that keeps things light. One scuffle in this issue, for example, takes place in the background of a quiet, dialogue-heavy scene, implying brutality through obscure drawings. The muddily-colored prison set-up intrinsically creates a sort of messy, uncomfortable atmosphere, but the science fiction bent adds some whimsy and fun to this aspect of the comic. Brightly-colored holograms clashing against a drab prison environment really goes a long way in establishing a certain mood.

All of that is merely a continuation or extension of what made the first issue so great, though; what’s important in this second issue when examined as a follow-up to the debut is it effort to establish its main characters. Providing a more micro-level, human angle is essential for a comic like this, because otherwise it would risk coming off as overly academic. Not only does this issue provide further characterization for who appears to be the protagonist, but it gives her a stake in this world and a simple goal to chase that necessarily involves interacting with other characters. There isn’t any truly thrilling character moments, as it is still in an expository phase, but this issue takes a necessary step forward and does a good job.

It really is incredibly admirable how seamlessly Bitch Planet simply works. It’s patriarchy in space, with prison-based rambunctiousness held afloat by academic smarts.

Story: Kelly Sue DeConnick Art: Valentine De Landro
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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