Mentions

Panel Mania: ‘Made In Korea’

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Jeremy Holt and artist George Schall’s new graphic novel Made In Korea outlines a near-future world in which childless couples can purchase a sophisticated robotic kid powered by AI and designed by its Korean manufacturer to age and develop along human lines.

Bill and Suelynn, an interracial couple (Bill is white; Suelynn is Chinese–American), have purchased Jesse, a nine-year-old female proxy or robot-child, whose software has been secretly manipulated by a rogue developer. The parents (and the robot-child) are soon forced to contend with Jesse’s unforeseen prodigious abilities, as well as the challenges the robot-child faces adapting to flaws inherent in human social relationships.

In this 10-page excerpt, readers encounter the rogue developer while Bill and Suelynn receive and boot up their new (and secretly hacked) AI-driven robot-child.

Made In Korea by Jeremy Holt and George Schall is out now from Image Comics.

This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly.

Panel Mania: ‘Enter The Blue’

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Commissioned by the celebrated jazz recording label Blue Note Records, Dave Chisholm’s new graphic novel Enter The Blue is a whimsical tribute to the origin of the record company and its long and distinguished history recording many of the most influential and iconoclastic jazz musicians—in particular, African American jazz innovators of the 20th Century.
Blue Note Records was founded in 1939 in New York City by Alfred Lion, later joined by his friend, photographer Francis Wolff, two German-Jewish immigrants who launched the record label as a tribute to the Black American music that captivated and inspired them as young men.
Over the course of its history, Blue Note Records has been the first label to record many of the most advanced Black musicians of the time; from such New Orleans-style musicians as Sydney Bechet and Bunk Johnson to the 1940s avant-garde bebop of Charley Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Thelonius Monk, and so on through the years right up to the present day.
In Enter The Blue, Chisholm, author of the 2020 graphic bio Chasin’ the Bird, has created a fantasy origin story about Lion and Wolff and the founding of Blue Note. It’s the story of Jessie Choi, a young contemporary female jazz trumpeter, whose mentor Jimmy Hightower, an older jazz bass player, passes out on the bandstand and goes into a coma. Through an encounter with Sherm, an oddball jazz fan, Choi learns about a mysterious state of mind called “the Blue,” a metaphysical realm filled with the musical ghosts of jazz history, where Hightower has been trapped in a paranormal coma-state.
In this 12-page excerpt, Choi and her friend Erin visit Sherm’s apartment where he showcases classic jazz albums to learn about “The Blue” and search for a way to bring Hightower back into the world. Enter the Blue by Dave Chisholm will be published this month by Z2 Comics.

This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly.

Panel Mania: ‘The 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance Comic Book’

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Originally published in 2010 in black and white, Arsenal Pulp will issue a revised and expanded edition of The 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance Comic Book, written and drawn by Gord Hill, who has added nearly 60 pages of new material and redrew much of the book.

Hill is a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw nation and has worked in support of Indigenous peoples for years. The revised edition begins in the 15th century, with the Spanish invaders and Christopher Columbus, and continues into the present day, with current battles around the Dakota Access pipeline.

The book documents the horrific suffering inflicted on Indigenous people as well as their relentless resistance, resilience, and determination to retain their land, languages, and sovereignty.

This seven-page excerpt documents the 1990 Oka Crisis, a 77-day armed standoff with Canadian police and military in the Mohawk territories of the Kahnawake and Kanesatake near Montreal.

The 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance Comic Book: Revised and Expanded by Gord Hill publishes on Oct. 26 from Arsenal Pulp.

This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly.

Panel Mania: ‘Run: Book One’

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Picking up where the late Rep. John Lewis’s acclaimed graphic memoir March ended, his new memoir, Run, opens as the Watts uprising breaks out, the 1965 Voting Rights Act becomes law, and the impact of Black Nationalism, Pan Africanism, the Vietnam war, and the anti-apartheid movement create new challenges to the tenets of the nonviolent Civil Rights Movement and to young Lewis’s leadership of Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.

Run invokes a new phase in the movement’s struggle against Jim Crow segregation and for Black voting rights, depicting the continuing racist violence directed at activists, as well as local segregationist acts of anti-Black voter suppression—such as closing polling places in Black neighborhoods—which seem eerily similar to our contemporary political conflicts over voting.

In this short excerpt, Lewis reflects on growing political factions within the ranks of the Black Civil Rights Movement and acknowledges the global nature of the Black liberation movement. The excerpt also includes L. Fury’s character designs and early sketches.

Excerpt provided by Abrams ComicArts from Run: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, with illustrations by Nate Powell and L. Fury © John Lewis and Andrew Aydin.

Bonus Links:
Difficult History: On John Lewis’s March

This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly.

Panel Mania: ‘Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts’

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Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts by Rebecca Hall and Hugo Martinez is a riveting combination of graphic memoir and inspirational scholarship.

An attorney frustrated by repeated encounters with sexism and racism in the criminal justice system, Hall returned to pursue a PhD in history, in a personal search for women warriors lost to history and with a larger scholarly goal of documenting women-led slave revolts during the colonial slave trade.

In this eight-page excerpt Hall’s dogged efforts to research a slave revolt in 1712 in New York City send her on a passionate academic quest to the vast and sometimes restricted 18th-century slave trade archives in New York City, London, and Liverpool.

Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts will be published by Simon & Schuster in June.

This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly.

Panel Mania: ‘Save It For Later’

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Save It for Later: Promises, Parenthood, and the Urgency of Protest by Nate Powell—the artist for John Lewis’s acclaimed Civil Rights graphic memoir,  March—is a deeply felt collection of comics essays exploring the conflicts and emotional scars of living through the Trump era while raising two young daughters. The book also explores the need to embrace some form of activist resistance that makes sense and makes a difference.

In this eight-page excerpt, National Book Award-winner Powell surveys life in a liberal college town surrounded by white supremacist activity, sundown towns, and local fascists.

Save It for Later: Promises, Parenthood, and the Urgency of Protest by Nate Powell is out now from Abrams ComicArts.

Bonus Link:
An Anti-Racist Graphic Novel Reading List

This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly.

Panel Mania: ‘Embodied’

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Embodied: An Intersectional Feminist Comics Poetry Anthology is being published to coincide with International Women’s Health Month in May, and a portion of the proceeds from its sale will go to the International Women’s Health Coalition.

Edited by the book’s publishers, Wendy Chin-Tanner and Tyler Chin-Tanner, Embodied offers 23 poems focused on gender, identity, and the body by an impressive selection of contemporary cis female, trans, and non-binary poets, adapted into comics narratives drawn, colored, and lettered by non-cis male artists.

From the book’s introduction: “Our vision with this book is to provide a platform for poets and artists of marginalized genders and identities to tell their own stories, at a time when they are most under siege.”

The comics poem featured in this excerpt is “Tapestry” by Khaty Xiong with art by Morgan Beem.

Embodied: An Intersectional Feminist Comics Poetry Anthology will be published by A Wave Blue World on May 18.

This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly.

Panel Mania: ‘The Thud’ by Mikael Ross

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Told with an endearing combination of empathy and humor, Mikael Ross’s The Thud is the story of Noel, a young boy with development disabilities who hears a sound—the thud of the title—and discovers his mother has fallen in the bathroom, hit her head, and is in a coma.
After his mother’s terrible injury, Noel’s secure and loving life with her is upended; he must leave home and is sent to live in a group home that offers him new opportunities for friendship, relationships, and personal growth.
In this excerpt, Noel is comforted by a kindly nurse at the hospital. The Thud by Mikael Ross is out now from Fantagraphics.

This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly.

Panel Mania: ‘I’m A Wild Seed’

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Sharon Lee De La Cruz’s I’m a Wild Seed is a playfully illustrated and thoughtfully conceived graphic memoir that explores her personal experiences accepting life as an intersectional Puerto-Rican/Dominican queer Afro-Latina.
In this engaging account, De La Cruz offers a brisk history the LGBTQ community and the struggle for queer rights, touching on the Stone Wall riots, the nature of toxic masculinity and the history of violent suppression of queer people as she guides the reader through a combination of personal (and often funny) anecdotes that methodically examine the nature of race, gender and sexuality. In this ten-page excerpt De La Cruz begins to tell the story of “how I came into my queerness as an adult.”
I’m a Wild Seed by Sharon Lee De La Cruz will be published in February by Street Noise Books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly.

Panel Mania: ‘Dune: The Graphic Novel’

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Frank Herbert’s epic science-fiction novel Dune has been adapted into a graphic novel by a creative team that includes Brian Herbert, the author’s son and an acclaimed science-fiction author in his own right, and novelist and comics writer Kevin J. Anderson, with art by Raúl Allén and Patricia Martín. The cover art comes from legendary comics artist Bill Sienkiewicz.
In this nine-page excerpt, Paul Atreides and members of the royal family prepare to travel to—and take control of—the planet Arrakis, the only source of “The Spice,” a rare and valuable substance that extends life and human capabilities.
Dune: The Graphic Novel will be published by Abrams ComicArts in November.

Bonus Link:
Objects of Fear and Worship: The Evolution of Aliens in Literature

This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly.