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Picks of the Week: February 19th, 2014 New Releases

Book of the Week

On Loving Women by Diane Obomsawin

On Loving Women is an all-new collection of stories by Diane Obomsawin about coming out, first love, and sexual identity. With this work, Obomsawin brings her gaze to bear on subjects closer to home - her friends and lovers’ personal accounts of first realizing they’re gay or first finding love with another woman. Her stripped-down pages use the bare minimum of linework to expressively reveal heartbreak, joy, irritation, and fear. Within these pages, Obomsawin has forged a poignant, powerful narrative that speaks to the difficulties of coming out and the joys of being loved.

~Preview~ (PDF)

Singles of the Week

Harley Quinn #3, co-written and cover by Amanda Conner

It’s Valentine’s Day, and Harley is getting depressed watching happy couples walk by. Will a special gift from Poison Ivy turn things around for Harley?

~Preview~

Teen Titans Go! #2, art by Lea Hernandez

 When Starfire signs the team up for the popular reality show contest, I’ve Got Your Talent Right Here, Robin becomes determined to show the world just how talented the Teen Titans really are! Then, after a fight with Captain Cold, Beast Boy and Robin come down with a cold themselves! Running high fevers and quarantined from the rest of the Titans…the madness begins to set in!

~Preview~

Collection of the Week

Red Sonja vol. 1: Queen of the Plagues TP, written by Gail Simone

Gail Simone (Batgirl, Birds of Prey) gives the iconic fantasy heroine a fresh new attitude!  Red Sonja, the She-Devil with a Sword, intends to pay back a blood debt owed to the one man who has gained her respect… even if it means leading a doomed army to their certain deaths! Who is Dark Annisia, and how has this fearsome warrior accomplished what no god nor demon has been able to do: force Sonja to her knees in surrender? An epic tale of blood, lust, and vengeance, Queen of the Plagues takes Red Sonja from the depths of her own grave to the heights of battlefield glory.

~Preview~ 

So remember when sundry idiots and people who should know better said some ignorant crap about diversity in comics? No, not that time, or the 80 other times this year— I mean, that one last week on a panel about a superhero documentary.

Now, wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a documentary about diversity in comics? GUESS WHAT. The Ladydrawers collective— who for years have been posting comics on Truthout about women’s rights and racial and sexual diversity— are trying to do just that!

The Ladydrawers documentary Comics Undressed is an ambitious project with the primary aim of addressing media justice in comics and popular culture. We intend to portray the underlying forms of discrimination that impact representations of women, queers, trans folk, non-binary gender people, and people of color. We seek to support a diversity of racial, gender, and sexual identities that make up our society as well as unveil the surprising economic injustices and cultural biases that occur. Our goal is to present a sincere heartfelt documentary that captures our love for comics while critiquing the structure of the comics industry.

The thing is, they have just 4 days now to raise $7,000.

If just one-fifth of my followers donated just one dollar, then they’d make it. If you’ve already donated, you can go back and add a dollar to your existing pledge!

And let’s not forget that another Kickstarter-backed documentary, Wonder Women! was later aired on PBS, the same network that will be airing the aforementioned superhero documentary. Wouldn’t it be great if PBS themselves had a counterpoint to the ignorant crap said in the “promotion” of their own documentary? But it can’t happen without you!

Market Monday: August 7th New Releases

Book of the Week

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A Distant Soil vol. 1: The Gathering TP by Colleen Doran

The first new edition of the A Distant Soil series since 1987: 240-pages of story and art completely restored and remastered with new cover art and all new interior design. A teen brother and sister, Jason and Liana, are confined to a mental hospital where they are the subject of secret government experiments. They escape their prison only to be pursued by supernatural forces, strange alien people, and creatures with unique powers. Separated and kidnapped by two different factions of warring worlds, they learn they are the children of a race of powerful and ageless psychic beings. The brother and sister are then used by both factions of these alien forces to unknowingly battle against one another. Combining the sci-fi space opera of Star Wars and the visual opulence of Final Fantasy, the A Distant Soil saga finds Liana forced to ascend to the throne of the alien world. Her unique power makes her a living weapon of mass destruction, the first line of defense for the corrupt alien government.

~Preview~ 

Singles of the Week

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Knightingail: The Shadow Divisions #1, art by Mel Joy San Juan, colored by Katrina Mae Hao

Knightingail: Shadow Divisions picks up the Knightingail saga where the first volume left off. Knightingail assaults the captured city of Suscitatio to rescue Carver families imprisoned in the vast gem mines underneath the city. However, she is not alone in her fight. Each of her mystical powered Centurion tribesmen - Kaeli, Daniel, Maragus, and Purefire - join her along the way. It’s a supernatural power fight with surprises never before seen in comics.

~Preview~

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Princeless: Tales of Girls Who Rock! one-shot, art by Tara Abbamondi, Jen Vaughn, and Angi Shearstone

Princess Adrienne is on the loose again, and this time she brought some friends! While Adrienne may be the first runaway princess, she’s certainly not the only girl who rocks! Come join Adrienne, Bedelia, Sparky, Tempest, and some brand new friends in Princeless: Tales of Girls Who Rock, a one-shot sure to introduce you to your next comics obsession!

Collection of the Week

No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics TP, contains work by Alison Bechdel, Paige Braddock, Jennifer Camper, Diane DiMassa, Kris Dresen, Leslie Ewing, Joyce Farmer, Ellen Forney, Isabel Franc, Leanne Franson, Roberta Gregory, Michelle Grubin, Joan Hilty, Gina Kamentsky, Lee Marrs, Susanna Martín, Carrie McNinch, Erika Moen, Annie Murphy, MariNaomi, Andrea Natalie, Trina Robbins, Roxxie, Joey Alison Sayers, Ariel Schrag, Christine Smith, and Mary Wings

Queer cartooning encompasses some of the best and most interesting comics of the last four decades, with creators tackling complex issues of identity and a changing society with intelligence, humor, and imagination. This book celebrates this vibrant artistic underground by gathering together a collection of excellent stories that can be enjoyed by all.

No Straight Lines showcases major names such as Alison Bechdel (whose book Fun Home was named Time Magazine’s 2006 Book of the Year), Howard Cruse (whose groundbreaking Stuck Rubber Baby is now back in print), and Ralf Koenig (one of Europe’s most popular cartoonists), as well as high-profile, cross-over creators who have dabbled in LGBT cartooning, like legendary NYC artist David Wojnarowicz and media darling and advice columnist Dan Savage. No Straight Lines also spotlights many talented creators who never made it out of the queer comics ghetto, but produced amazing work that deserves wider attention.

Until recently, queer cartooning existed in a parallel universe to the rest of comics, appearing only in gay newspapers and gay bookstores and not in comic book stores, mainstream bookstores or newspapers. The insular nature of the world of queer cartooning, however, created a fascinating artistic scene. LGBT comics have been an uncensored, internal conversation within the queer community, and thus provide a unique window into the hopes, fears, and fantasies of queer people for the last four decades.

These comics have forged their aesthetics from the influences of underground comix, gay erotic art, punk zines, and the biting commentaries of drag queens, bull dykes, and other marginalized queers. They have analyzed their own communities, and their relationship with the broader society. They are smart, funny, and profound. No Straight Lines will be heralded by people interested in comics history, and people invested in LGBT culture will embrace it as a unique and invaluable collection.

Merchandise of the Week

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Lying Cat shirts art by Fiona Staples

So you say you don’t want one of these snazzy Saga t-shirts featuring all-new art by FIONA STAPLES?

"Lying."

More new releases under the cut!

Read More

On my way to the Boston Pride Parade. Hope you locals can come out! The sun is supposed to break around the time the parade starts so don’t let the clouds keep you in.

On my way to the Boston Pride Parade. Hope you locals can come out! The sun is supposed to break around the time the parade starts so don’t let the clouds keep you in.

A film based on a comic book that was created by a woman just won the most prestigious film prize in the world, the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or, the first for a comic book movie.
It is also the first queer love story to win a Cannes Palme d’Or.
The comic is Julie Maroh‘s Le Bleu est Une Couleur Chaude. Published in French in 2010, an English translation titled Blue Angel is due out in October. It is the story of a young woman whose ideas on love and romance are turned upside down when she falls for a confident blue-haired young woman. The book is also highly acclaimed, having won the Audience Prize at the Angoulême Festival.
The film, directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, appears to be titled La vie d’Adèle - chapitre 1 & 2, suggesting that this film is the first part of a multi-part adaptation. No word yet on an Anglophonic release for the film, but Blue is the Warmest Color appears to be the international title of choice.
You can watch clips of the film and press panels at Cannes on the film’s festival profile. Félicitations to Julie Maroh and everyone who worked on the film!

A film based on a comic book that was created by a woman just won the most prestigious film prize in the world, the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or, the first for a comic book movie.

It is also the first queer love story to win a Cannes Palme d’Or.

The comic is Julie Maroh‘s Le Bleu est Une Couleur Chaude. Published in French in 2010, an English translation titled Blue Angel is due out in October. It is the story of a young woman whose ideas on love and romance are turned upside down when she falls for a confident blue-haired young woman. The book is also highly acclaimed, having won the Audience Prize at the Angoulême Festival.

The film, directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, appears to be titled La vie d’Adèle - chapitre 1 & 2, suggesting that this film is the first part of a multi-part adaptation. No word yet on an Anglophonic release for the film, but Blue is the Warmest Color appears to be the international title of choice.

You can watch clips of the film and press panels at Cannes on the film’s festival profile. Félicitations to Julie Maroh and everyone who worked on the film!

Indiegogo Project O’ The Week!

Lucy Knisley’s “In Oscar’s Footsteps”

A while back, at MoCCA fest 2011, after I had her sign French Milk, and bought her minicomic Here at Hogwarts, about her trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, I asked her if she had any other travelogues planned.

"I’d really like to do one about Oscar Wilde," she told me, visiting his birthplace in Dublin, his haunts around London, his prison in Reading, and his final resting place in Paris.  I knew exactly what she meant because I had gone on much the same pilgrimage when I studied abroad in London.  It was all the more appropriate, since some of Lucy’s earliest work I encountered was when she posted it to the old wildecentury community on LiveJournal, way back when she was an undergrad! And I currently have this portrait hanging in my cubicle at work:

So the deal with her new Indiegogo campaign is to raise funds to go on this pilgrimage— the plane tickets to get across the pond are already dealt with, but she’ll need hostels to stay in, intercontinental flights and trains, and sundry other travel expenses.

Oscar Wilde is a real writer’s writer, and artist’s artist.  For someone whose personal life has been publicized and picked over for over a century, he is still such an enigma, and every generation judges him in their own way.  Whether you see him as the first modern celebrity, a queer martyr, an affected hipster, a genius ahead of his time, a pithy quote dispenser, or all of the above, any further exploration of this man—and the modern day artists who admire him—is well worth any money you can spare to help.  If you’re not convinced, watch Lucy’s video: her passion for Wilde is palpable and runs deep, and we are all in for a real treat the more funds she raises.

fantagraphics:

Today is New Comics Day so we are releasing No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics via comiXology! Edited by cartoonist, teacher and historian Justin Hall, this first definitive collection of queer comics gathers the world’s greatest LGBT comics under one cover. These smart, funny, and profound works provide an uncensored window into the last four decades of queer culture.
More details on Flog! The Fantagraphics Blog.

I read this book while at my work conference!  It was really awesome and had loads of work by ladies and you should totally buy it! And it costs only about half as much digitally as for the print!

fantagraphics:

Today is New Comics Day so we are releasing No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics via comiXology! Edited by cartoonist, teacher and historian Justin Hall, this first definitive collection of queer comics gathers the world’s greatest LGBT comics under one cover. These smart, funny, and profound works provide an uncensored window into the last four decades of queer culture.

More details on Flog! The Fantagraphics Blog.

I read this book while at my work conference!  It was really awesome and had loads of work by ladies and you should totally buy it! And it costs only about half as much digitally as for the print!

Market Monday
Astonishing X-Men: Northstar HC, written by Marjorie M. Liu

The X-Men return to New York City, but it’s not a social call - the Marauders are back! Something from Northstar’s past has resurfaced and is looking for revenge - and when his boyfriend Kyle goes missing, will Northstar choose him or the team? Plus: Karma is losing control of her mind and taking control of the other X-Men - but all that pales in comparison to how this story ends! Collecting ASTONISHING X-MEN (2004) #48-51 and material from NATION X #2.

Market Monday

Astonishing X-Men: Northstar HC, written by Marjorie M. Liu

The X-Men return to New York City, but it’s not a social call - the Marauders are back! Something from Northstar’s past has resurfaced and is looking for revenge - and when his boyfriend Kyle goes missing, will Northstar choose him or the team? Plus: Karma is losing control of her mind and taking control of the other X-Men - but all that pales in comparison to how this story ends! Collecting ASTONISHING X-MEN (2004) #48-51 and material from NATION X #2.

Art/Fic Challenge: The XX-Myn and the LGBTfenders

I’ve been taking part in some absolutely terrible discussions on a message board which shall remain nameless about Marvel Now’s not!reboot.  We have conceived of an all-female team of mutants known as the XX-Myn, and the Defenders’ replacement, the LGBTfenders.

I now require all the fan art and fic of these concepts.

Possibly there will be prizes.  But I make no promises.  Because this is all spur of the moment before I go meet my mom for dinner.

And no, I don’t care what universes the characters come from (though I don’t know how you’d get any non-Marvel characters on the XX-Myn)

ETA: You can also do all-POC teams, but you have to come up with the “clever” team names yourself, because I’m tapped out.

wwnorton:

On the left, Alison Bechdel’s re-creation of a vintage paperback edition of Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel, The Price of Salt. On the right, the Norton edition released in 2004 (and made available as an e-book last month). The novel was originally published under the pseudonym ‘Claire Morgan’. Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska are scheduled to star in the upcoming film based on the book.

Alison Bechdel—a serious Highsmith fan—was kind enough to mention our Highsmith recommendation engine on her blog(!):

Check out [Norton’s] great website. You can “choose your Highsmith” by answering a branching list of funny questions about what exactly you’re in the mood to read. And you can see a 3 minute promotional video with people like Joanne Schenkar and Terry Castle and me (Alas,no! I did not get to meet the infamous Castle or the mysterious Schenkar…we were all interviewed separately.) talking about Highsmith’s work.

You may remember us talking up Highsmith a ton last month.

And you may remember me mentioning that Highsmith used to write comics before her first novel was published!

Also, they are making a movie with Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska??? Must see *_____*

PS: W.W. Norton, I would buy an edition with the Bechdel cover, jsyk.

(Belated) #PrideMonth ProFile Friday

Katherine Shannon Collins (born Arnold Alexander Saba, Jr., July 6, 1947, in Vancouver, British Columbia), formerly Arn Saba, is a Canadian cartoonist, writer, media personality, stage performer, and composer.

Born of a Lebanese-Canadian father and a Scottish-Canadian mother (Miriam Allison McBain), Collins grew up in the affluent Kerrisdale district of Vancouver. Her maternal great-grandmother was Mary Adda “Dolly” Collins (née Rombaugh), a painter, writer and illustrator in the Winnipeg area in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was in her honour that Katherine Collins took her surname. Saba’s (Collins’s) mother was also a writer and cartoonist, who gave her child her first lessons. Saba attended Kerrisdale Elementary School, Point Grey Secondary School, and Magee Secondary School, with slightly-better than average grades.

In 1965, Collins, then known as Arn Saba, began the University of British Columbia on a creative writing scholarship, but devoted almost all her time while at UBC to the campus twice-weekly paper, The Ubyssey, where she created her first comic strip, Moralman (1965–1968), and also wrote and illustrated articles.

In 1977, she moved to Toronto, to try for success in a larger arena. She immediately began appearing on, and eventually producing, segments of the popular national CBC Radio program Morningside, where she usually paired with host Don Harron for free-wheeling discussions of favourite old comic strips and other pop culture. She also wrote, produced and acted in scores of comedy skits. Saba made similar appearances on CBC Television, on the Don McLean show. In her appearances Saba demonstrated, with humor, her enthusiasm and knowledge of cartooning, comics history, theatre and music.

In 1979, she wrote and produced a five-part radio documentary on CBC, The Continuous Art, exploring the cultural position of comics. It featured interviews with some of cartooning’s greatest names, including Milton Caniff, Hal Foster (his last interview), Floyd Gottfredson, Hugo Pratt, Will Eisner, Jules Feiffer, and Russ Manning. Saba spent several years in late 1970s and early 1980s travelling throughout North America, interviewing famous cartoonists, many of them at that point quite old. (Many of these lengthy interviews were later published in The Comics Journal in the 1980s and 1990s.)

In 1982, Saba moved to California, ceasing all other media activity in favour of cartooning.

Saba/Collins’ most famous creation is Neil the Horse. The series ran in Canadian newspapers from 1975-1982 via the Great Lakes Publishing syndicate located in Toronto. It subsequently appeared in fifteen comic book issues from 1983–1988, published by Aardvark-Vanaheim/Renegade Press.

With a drawing style based in Disney comics, as well as in early-20th Century Sunday pages, Saba added something new to comics: music. The motto for the series was “Making the World Safe for Musical Comedy,” and many issues of the comic book feature the characters singing and dancing. When the characters are shown hoofing it, it is to original choreography.

Saba had a vaudevillian approach, changing the format of the comics several times within each issue. This variety act included the comic strip, comic book stories, illustrated stories, originally composed sheet music, crossword puzzles, joke pages and more. In the letters columns, the characters themselves “answered” the mail. To top it off, there were paper dolls and fashion pages, in the tradition of Katy KeeneNeil the Horsewas like a modern version of early twentieth-century hardbound children’s annuals (especially in Britain) using an endless variety of formats, something rarely seen in comics.

Saba also completed a graphic-novel-length Neil the Horse adventure, and an illustrated Neil children’s book that have yet to be published. The final issue of the comic book series demonstrate her prolonged and elaborate efforts to pitch Neil as an animated series. From 1998-93, the “property” (Neil and characters) was optioned three times by Hollywood studios and networks, but was never produced. Saba’s business partner for these attempts was John Gertz, president of Zorro Productions of Berkeley, California.

In 1982, Saba wrote a two-and-a-half hour radio musical called Neil and the Big Banana that was twice broadcast in five episodes, in Canada on CBC Radio. Saba wrote the book, music and lyrics, and played the part of Neil. The play was unanimously reviewed with raves across the country, but subsequent efforts to mount later musical-comedy projects were unsuccessful— Collins later learned that the most promising producer rejected the stage musical because he had been informed of her transition (which was in the early stages at that point).

She gave up cartooning in the mid-1990s after her Neil the Horse graphic novel could not be published, and her commercial cartooning work was not lucrative. She has shied from any publishing or public presence since then, except for two issues as Art Director of TNT (Transsexual News Telegraph) magazine, 1999-2000.

Since 1993, Collins has officially been living as a woman. In January 1995, a few months after her reassignment surgery, the Collins met Dr. Bobbie Bentley (Barbara Ellen Bentley), who quickly became her domestic partner and great love. Bentley, a physician who had been forced to retire by a brain injury in a car accident, was a “bulldyke” (her term) or butch lesbian, who dressed in snappy, well-pressed men’s clothes. Until Bentley’s death from cancer in July 1999, Collins happily termed herself Bentley’s wife, and they collaborated together on a number of projects within San Francisco’s transgender community, including Bobbie’s election in 1997 as “Mr. ETVC”. Collins and Bentley were planning to be married in Canada at the time of Bentley’s death, and Collins later began calling herself “the widow Bentley”.

In 2005, after fifteen years in San Francisco, Collins was deported under the USA PATRIOT Act for “crimes of moral turpitude,” an old conviction for possession of psilocybin mushrooms. Back in her hometown of Vancouver, Collins fell ill and was eventually diagnosed with leukemia. In 2008, she declared herself on the way to a full recovery.

A collection of Neil the Horse is forthcoming from Hermes Press.

fantagraphics:

Comics panel by Mary Wings. From No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics.

Both fine options…

fantagraphics:

Comics panel by Mary Wings. From No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics.

Both fine options…

susie-c:

From a piece I drew for 7x7 magazine almost exactly one year ago. Happy Pride y’all.

susie-c:

From a piece I drew for 7x7 magazine almost exactly one year ago. Happy Pride y’all.

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