The Dragon Players, the second book in Frank Cammuso's Knights of the Lunch Table series is scheduled for release this September. I got a chance to review a preview copy this month and it's a great sequel to the first book, The Dodgeball Chronicles. The version I got to read had a great color cover and a few pages in color (but the rest in black and white). The released version will be all in color and based on the color I saw, it will certainly be another bang-up job from Scholastic's GRAPHIX imprint.
A little late but better than never? The third edition of the solid-to-really-good anthology Inbound: Comics From Boston from the Boston Comics Roundtable group is all about the romance, the love, the heartache and pain and that's worth reading about now just as much as when I first read through this book back in the Spring.
Sophia Wiedeman's The Deformitory is a small, black and white, graphic novel that adds just a touch of realism to its magical realism style. The comic was also her masters thesis for her MFA in Illustration from The School of Visual Arts. Last year, Wiedeman won a Xeric Foundation grant which she used for publication of The Deformitory. Diamond will feature it in its August Previews issue and it will be available in comic shops this fall.
It is a very interesting work, a thoughtful literary comic that I read several times, each time finding new angles to think about. It's hard not to give away the entire plot in discussing the work, but I am going to try. So a partial "spoiler" warning perhaps...
Caleb Sevcik is a fun artist with a wicked sense of humor and a really energetic style. I first encountered Sevcik while reading Zap Jones, which was a funny steampunk western back in the days of Keenspace.
He's working on a new comic he's planning to debut next month -- I'm looking forward to Caleb' Sevcik's new project and you should be too! Read on for our recent interview:
I've had a copy of J.T. Yost's Xeric Award winning book, Old Man Winter and Other Sordid Tales for at least a couple weeks now. And it's got some good stuff in it - easy to see why it caught the eyes of the Xeric Grant folks. The first tale, "OId Man Winter" is new (the other stories in the book have all appeared elsewhere previously) and is a well-done small story with a lot of emotional punch about an old man's small circuit in life. It has the feel of a good character-driven indie movie and I'd recommend the book and future work from Yost on the basis of it alone.
BELLEN! by Brian "Box" Brown is a journal comic about a fictional couple (really!) named Ben and Ellen (hence, "Bellen"). It's one of those comics that has shown great strides as its creator improves over time. Brown has really come into his own in the last year and Bellen! is a real treat. It has a lot of the wistfulness of Peanuts in it (there's often something Charlie Brown like about main character Ben) but it's not really similar and the artwork continues to go in interesting directions. Very recently Brown won a Xeric grant for and then self-published a collection of Bellen! based on work he originally did for the Top Shelf 2.0 webcomic portal. I got a chance to interview him last month over email.
Ali Graham is the creator of Nobody's Business, Afterstrife and HOUSD. I first discovered Graham reading Afterstrife, which follows two characters through their afterlife. It's kind of like Moonlighting meets Dante. The more recent Nobody's Business is based on a film Graham worked on over last fall and into this year. Graham is one of a small but growing group of webcomics creators in the UK. I got a chance to interview him via email over the last month about his current projects.
Brian Babendererde started serializing his comic Soul Chaser Betty on the web in 2001. Later in 2003, it became one of the titles on the Graphic Smash anthology website. Serialization of the comic continued throughout 2004 until the story was finished. I know -- a webcomic adventure tale with a beginning and an end, fully published online within approximately four years. Normally that might take a decade or more! Okay maybe a slight exageration, but it strikes me that Babendererde's initial run on Betty is no small accomplishment, given how many dramatic, longer-form comics run off the rails for long hiatuses before finishing (if ever).
So why are we talking about a webcomic dating from the beginning of the decade? Well in 2007 Bebendererde went back to the comic to redo many of the panels and re-work some of the story, in preparation for publication as a stand-alone graphic novel in print. The book has been available for awhile but more recently Bebendererde placed it in the Diamond monthly catalog making it available to comic book stores. I was interested in talking with Bebendererde about how the new push for the book is going and what it's like to work on a specific comic over the course of almost a decade.