Category Archives: Comics

Comic-Con 2014 Interview: Michael Cho and SHOPLIFTER

Michael Cho laughed with recognition when I compared his character, Corinna Park, with Truman Capote’s Holly Golightly. Granted, it is by no means an exact match but the two are kindred spirits in many ways. There is something very appealing and relatable about Corinna Park. In Cho’s debut graphic novel, “Shoplifter,” we observe a young woman’s struggle to find her place in the world. We appreciate that struggle as well as the increasingly disconnected world we live in. You can read my review here.

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Cho is an illustrator, cartoonist, and writer whose previously published work includes “Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes,” a collection of sketches depicting Toronto’s cityscape. Born in South Korea, he has lived in Canada since he was six.

Seth, author of “Palookaville,” has said, “Michael Cho’s ‘Shoplifter,’ his first graphic novel, is a joy to behold–so beautiful it will make all other cartoonists weep with envy.”

In this interview, Cho speaks to the impatience of youth and life in the big city for young people. This is part of an unfolding story. Cho is looking forward to pursuing this narrative further with other characters. “Shoplifter” is the first of five graphic novels with intertwined themes.

“Shoplifter” has two-color illustrations throughout and is available as of September 2, 2014. It is published by Pantheon, a division of Random House. To pre-order, visit Random House right here.

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Filed under Comics, Graphic Novel Reviews, graphic novels, Interviews, Michael Cho, Pantheon, Random House

Review: SHOPLIFTER by Michael Cho

Shoplifter-Michael-Cho-Pantheon

The fresh face of youth, complete with a cute smirk, is such a fleeting thing. Meet Corinna Park. She thought she’d take the big city by storm, have wildly witty friends, and knock out her first novel by sundown. In the graphic novel, “Shoplifter,” Michael Cho guides us through the life of a new generation’s Holly Golightly.

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Filed under Comics, graphic novels, Random House, Pantheon, Graphic Novel Reviews, Michael Cho

Comic-Con 2014 Interview: Paul Tobin on THE WITCHER and PROMETHEUS: FIRE AND STONE

Paul Tobin is a comic book writer who is known for his work with Marvel Comics, among a full roster of other works. With Dark Horse Comics, Tobin has worked, with his wife, Colleen Coover, on BANDETTE; with Joe Querio on THE WITCHER; and with Juan Ferreyra on COLDER as welll as PROMETHEUS: FIRE AND STONE. For this interview, we focus on the writing in The Witcher and chat a bit about the Aliens Predator Prometheus crossover event.

From THE WITCHER by Paul Tobin and Joe Querio

From THE WITCHER by Paul Tobin and Joe Querio

Based on the popular book series of the same name by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher is an action role-playing video game developed by CD Projekt RED and published by Atari, Inc. Selling millions of copies, the short stories by Sapkowski feature a fantasy world inspired by Polish folklore with supernatural themes. The next game release is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, set for February 24, 2015, and it will make the perfect companion to the trade paperback release of The Witcher graphic novel.

Look for the trade paperback of The Witcher Volume 1 to come out on September 24, 2014. For more details, visit our friends at Dark Horse Comics right here.

As Tobin explains, he breaks everything down by panel while making sure not to crowd the artist. Panel by panel breakdown is essential in many ways, not to mention continuity. We take a close look at some panels that set up an important plot point: the introduction of the character, Marta, hovering in the distance, who Jakob is inextricably linked to.

From PROMETHEUS: FIRE AND STONE by Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra

From PROMETHEUS: FIRE AND STONE by Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra

And we talk about Tobin’s Prometheus: Fire and Stone. It was Editor-in-Chief Scott Allie’s brilliant idea to bring together all the writers on the crossover event. While each writer had a separate stand-alone book to work on, getting together allowed them to share ideas and actually make each other’s work better.

Tobin acknowledged that he’s a very private writer but he loved this format with ideas flowing back and forth in a supportive environment. It will make reading all the books that much smoother. This blockbuster crossover event begins with Tobin’s Prometheus: Fire and Stone.

Look for the first issue of Prometheus: Fire and Stone out on September 10, 2014. For more details, visit our friends at Dark Horse Comics right here.

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Filed under Comic-Con, Comic-Con 2014, Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Paul Tobin

Comic-Con 2014: Randy Stradley and Dark Horse Comics

Randy Stradley talks here a bit about Dark Horse Comics. He partnered with Mike Richardson to create Dark Horse and has led the way in its development. Stradley shares some thoughts on the first time Dark Horse made an appearance at Comic-Con. It was pretty humble way back then.

Looking forward, Stradley pointed to twelve new creator-owned properties that had just been announced. Among new Dark Horse projects to look forward to is Chuck Palahniuk’s “Fight Club 2,” a big step beyond his 1996 novel, full of supernatural spookiness, set for a 10-issue run debuting May, 2015. Brian Truitt, at USA Today, provides an insightful interview with Palahniuk about this new project right here.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what you can find at Dark Horse. For more information, visit Dark Horse Comics here. Some of the news you can find, like Dark Horse taking home five Eisner Awards this year, follows:

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Filed under Comic-Con, Comic-Con 2014, Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Randy Stradley

Comic-Con 2014: A Celebration of Walt Kelly and POGO

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The pure magic of Walt Kelly’s “Pogo” comic strip defies easy description. It appeared in newspapers around the country and galvanized thought among the thoughtful. His strange and beautiful comic strip was, in its day, “Doonesbury,” “The Simpsons,” and “The Jon Stewart Show” all rolled into one, times ten. Its satirical bite was so effective that newspapers would opt for either the innocent joke version or go for the political version of the comic strip. Has Walt Kelly been relegated to the margins? That is where many an odd genius will dwell only to be rediscovered. Thanks to Fantagraphics Books, the Pogo comic strips are getting their due.

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Filed under Comic-Con, Comic-Con 2014, Comics, Pogo, Political Cartoons, politics, Walt Kelly

Comic-Con 2014 Interview: Lucy Knisley

Lucy Knisley is a wonderfully observant cartoonist. There wasn’t anything quite like her comics journal, “French Milk,” when it was first published in 2007, and it has grown in stature ever since. It’s a fun read, first of all. It’s also a gentle push forward in what the comics medium is capable of. Knisley has created a number of other works with that same personal quality. Her more recent notable work is “Relish,” published by First Second in 2013. In this work, the narrative is tighter and the drawing more refined in keeping with the book’s structured theme. For this interview, there is some comparison of these two works and some thoughts on what lies ahead for comics.

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We begin with thoughts on M.F. Fisher, a master at storytelling that made a fine mix of memoir and writing on food. Fisher’s first published book was “Serve it Forth,” in 1937. And, like the title implies, the pages within contain words that express an uncanny zest for life, and food. Nowadays, it seems like we’re all foodies. But only a few can claim to be standard-bearers to Fisher to any degree. I started thinking about that in terms of what Knisley is doing and that is where our conversation takes off.

You can find out more about Lucy Knisley by visiting her site here as well as visiting our friends at First Second Books right here.

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Filed under Comics, First Second, graphic novels, Lucy Knisley

Comic-Con 2014 Interview: Becky Cloonan

Becky Cloonan’s artwork is one of the most distinctive, energetic, and pleasing styles in comics. We chat here a bit about process. As a cartoonist myself, I appreciate the “controlled chaos” of laying down lines of ink on paper. For a casual reader, that means an expressive line with the marks hitting where you want them to hit. This fluidity only comes with practice. As a top professional, Cloonan can modulate that line as needed.

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For some comparison, in “The Mire,” a work that Cloonan both wrote and drew, she turns up the volume a bit on her brush work. Another great artist who loves to play with process is Paul Pope. There are so many to name. And they all have tons of fans who appreciate that playful linework. If you’re new to comics, you will instinctively know what I mean. For her art in “The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys,” published by Dark Horse Comics, she provides a line that, as we say in comics, is more “clean.” There are flourishes too and an overall boldness. Cloonan goes on to offer that the clean line here serves the narrative as we navigate through various characters.

From the back of the newly released trade paperback to Killjoys:

Written by Gerard Way (The Umbrella Academy) and newcomer Shaun Simon and beautifully rendered by award-winning artist Becky Cloonan (Demo, Conana the Barbarian), The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys foretells a not-too-distant future where fear reigns and freedom fails.

You can find more details by visiting our friends at Dark Horse Comics right here.

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Filed under Comics, Interviews, Dark Horse Comics, Becky Cloonan, Comic-Con 2014

Comic-Con 2014: Where’s David Lasky?

David-Lasky-Comic-Con-2014

Alright, you’re at Comic-Con and feeling fine but where’s David Lasky? You may be asking that very question if your taste in comics runs toward indie and offbeat. Or maybe you’re a fan of his recent graphic novel, with Frank M. Young, The Carter Family. And with the handy illustration above, provided by David Lasky, you will know just where to find him at Comic-Con.

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Filed under Comic-Con, Comic-Con 2014, Comics, David Lasky

Comic-Con 2014: George R.R. Martin Signing Game of Thrones Graphic Novel Prequels

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As part of a full roster of exciting events from comiXology, you can expect the Game of Thrones scribe himself, George R.R. Martin. Yep, Booth #2547 is the place to be.

On Sunday at 12:30pm, author George R.R. Martin and artist Mike S. Miller will be making a special appearance at the comiXology booth to promote and sign copies of The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel and The Sworn Sword: The Graphic Novel published by Jet City Comics. There will be 200 copies of The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel available for free, first-come, first-serve. Signing will be limited to these two titles.

ComiXology will be in full swing at Comic-Con International giving away $5 Amazon Appstore credits toward comiXology content, moderating 8 news-making panels, providing free limited edition art card signings at their booth all during the con, and, yes, hosting an appearance by author George R.R. Martin! More information, including full signing and panel details, follow. Judging by the line-up of talent and speakers, you really could make this a ComiXology Comic-Con.

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Filed under Amazon, Comic-Con 2014, Comics, Comixology, Game Of Thrones, George R.R. Martin

Comics Grinder Campaign Continues at GoFundMe

Tom-Spurgeon-Comics-Reporter-Henry-Chamberlain

I want to thank Tom Spurgeon for his mention today at The Comics Reporter of my campaign to help sustain and grow what I do here at Comics Grinder.

It’s a pleasure to write about the comics medium and share with you my insights in various ways right here. I love writing, in general, and that’s never going to stop. And I love creating comics and that’s not going to stop. In fact, I have much more to share with you in the years to come, not less. I am hardly going away. I’m blossoming. But I’m still getting the word out there on what I do and I could use some better resources. Just like anyone building something special, it does require time and money. And so, I decided to put together a GoFundMe campaign. I hope you will take a moment to visit and consider making a donation, any bit will help this campaign along. You can find it right HERE.

And, say, later on today or the next day, you think to yourself, “Yeah, I think I will help out Henry Chamberlain continue to grow and expand all the things he does at Comics Grinder,” well, the campaign is easy to find. You can Google it. Or just remember the site’s name, GoFundMe.com, followed by my site’s name with a hyphen in between:

gofundme-comics-grinder

Crowdfunding is an essential tool these days. I could really use your help. Thank you! You can find all the details here.

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Filed under Comics, Crowdfunding, GoFundMe, Henry Chamberlain, The Comics Reporter, Tom Spurgeon