So I guess I’m fired?
Felipe Cagno got in touch with me recently to tell me about a comics project he brought to Brazil a little while back, and has now taken to Kickstarter to create an English version. Called 321: Fast Comics, this is an anthology of three-page comics which range wildly in tone, genre and character – the only rules being that each comic must have 3 pages, 2 characters, and 1 twist ending.
After finding out about the anthology – a preview of which you can find on ComiXology – I promptly had a mild brain collapse and forgot to follow up with Felipe about the book. So! You won’t find an interview with him here, not yet. But what you will find is a big old preview at the project, a look at some of the stories, and a few paragraphs of me saying “HEY GUYS LET’S HELP FELIPE MAKE HIS GOAL EH”
What most strikes me about the anthology is the range of artists within it. Cagno writes many of the stories, but he’s joined by a massive group of writers and artists from Brazil, all of whom offer something really different and fascinating. Brazil is one of the forgotten centres for comics, a country which has a long comics tradition and has brought some of the best artists of all time. Here, within twenty or so stories, the anthology provides a reminder of that talent.
I don’t have a way to pair up comics to the artists as yet, but what I can do is share a full list of the writers and artists involved in the anthology, some of whom will be names you’ve heard before:
Lucas Leibholz, Geraldo Borges, Guilherme Balbi, Rodney Buchemi, Thony Silas, Carlos Ruas, Rafael De Latorre, Fabiano Neves, Ig Guara, Felipe Watanabe, Cris Bolson, Vitor Cafaggi, Romi Carlos, Cris Peter, Wilton Santos, Gustavo Borges, Matias Streib, Luciano Salles, Mario Cau, Marcelo Maiolo, Zork Marinero, Adriano Augusto, Caio Yo, Clonerh Kimura, Ander Zarate, Omar Viñole, Mat Lopes, Teo Deffectx, Ivan Nunes, Carlos Estefan, Marcos Botelho, Renato Almeida, Guilherme Bon, Fábio Bueno & Pietro Progetti.
And I can share images at random, taken from the Kickstarter, as below:
The aim of the Kickstarter is to take the already-finished anthology (which was completed in Brazil last year and has been pretty well-acclaimed over there) and translate the stories into English. As you can see in the above strip, there are a few little things like “misterious” rather than “mysterious” to be ironed out, as Cagno takes the book and ships it across to English-reading fans.
The original book, I should point out, is available to pick up too. Just under a hundred pages, this seems like one of those projects bourne properly out of love for the medium. The stories I’ve read are all completely different from one another, playing with some of the most loved tropes in comics – superheroes, dinosaurs, robots, outer space, everything you might think, and then a few surprises too.
I don’t do a lot of these sorts of ‘Kickstarter Club’ posts, but the enthusiasm from the introduction Felipe made was pretty hard to resist. It’s one of those projects that feels properly worthy of coming to crowdfunding, and I’m excited to see the completed comic reach an audience in the US and beyond.
Brimming with talented artists and with a neat premise, 321: Fast Comics has one week left on Kickstarter, and only a few hundred more dollars to go to reach the target. I urge you to go have a look!
Ben Towle, Eisner-nominated cartoonist as he is, yesterday threw both caution to the wind and several minicomics onto Gumroad, where he collected them together into a download for anyone to take a look at. They’re offered as pay-what-you-like – but be good and pay *something* for them, eh?
Best known for the webcomic Oyster War (as in the hearty picture above), these collect together, as he says, a series of minicomics he’s made over the years, added in with some various pieces of art and design work compiled for various anthologies. You can find out more about Ben over ‘ere.
As spotted by Robot 6, First Second this week announced that they will be the publishers for an all-ages western from writer/artist Andy Hirsch, ‘Varmints’. Is there a single part of the prior sentence which doesn’t fill you with glee?
Hirsch is best known perhaps for his work over at BOOM! Studios, where he’s been with KaBOOM! for a little while, working on books like Adventure Time and Garfield. Varmints, however, is a story entirely his own. Previously self-published via, it appears, Gumroad, this will now take the form of a collected graphic novel, which folds in the previously released issue, adds in extra pages amongst them, and then adds on a whole new section for readers, I believe.
The story follows a sister and brother duo as they blaze a trail across the ol’ Wild West, encountering many unbelievable things along the way – such as giants, as you can see in the preview below.
Giants wearing bears! Yee-haw.
In the interview, Hirsch sayeth:
Opie and Ned’s relationship is central to the story, and a frontier setting provides a good way to isolate them at times and force them to interact one on one. Also, Westerns are rife with mythmaking and tall tales — that built-in measure of exaggeration is perfect for the tone I’m going for. Events can escalate to cartoonish degrees, but the characters are still grounded in (a version of) the real world, keeping them relatable.
Or maybe I just wanted to draw a bunch of horses. There’s really no telling.
Making him THE FIRST ARTIST TO EVER SAY HE LIKED DRAWING HORSES.
Varmints will be published through First Second… at some point. I’ll let you know when I find a date for it.
Last week Marvel tried their best to announce a new book from the creative team of G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett and Jorge Molina, in the form of ‘A-Force’, a split-the-difference Avengers/X-Men mashup title with Dazzler in the lead. Although foiled by, it appears, Kim Cattrall’s refusal to cede TV time for Marvel to run the announcement, it’s a new week and we can finally get round to it now.
The book, obviously riffing off “X-Force” but with an Avengers-centric header, will see the team of Dazzler, She-Hulk, Nico Minoru and Medusa teaming up with new character and “sentient event” Singularity to fight something or other. The media has immediately gone in to note that this is an all-female lineup of characters, although I can’t see anything from Marvel themselves which makes that a headline, other than the Jim Cheung cover you see above. Unlike the previous launch of Fearless Defenders and then adjectiveless X-Men, A-Force doesn’t seem to be about “female” characters all being together so much as it is “good” characters being all together.
That Cheung image seems like it may have been put together a few months back, seeing as it has older designs for characters like Spider-Woman and Dazzler on there, along with a de-vampired Jubilee. So little is known about the book right now that this could be a cover establishing all the characters they want in the team, or it could just be a “draw all the female characters you know, Jim!” sort of deal.
Is this more proof that the X-Men are being taken over by the Avengers? Well, the line-up of creators on the book, especially Bennett, does lean towards this being an X-Office title with an Avengers lean. Mike Marts, editor for the Batman books last year but now editor for the X-Men line, has spent his time bringing in writers like Bennett from Batman to Marvel, and the press release establishes that the team are Avengers, rather than X-Men. Much like Uncanny Avengers, this seems like a book tying in bankable franchise keywords to an Avengers concept.
But then again, this is a team with Medusa, Dazzler, She-Hulk and Nico from Runaways in it. I like all those characters, and I like the creative team. So this likely being a good book trumps any paranoid nonsense we might think up.
This week DC dominated the comics news cycle by announcing their plans for the post-Convergence landscape. After a few months of Brainiac smashing alternate realities into one another for fun (which is the plot of Convergence, in case you were wondering) the company will launch 26 new books, and change the creative teams for many of their other books.
Several books are cancelled as part of this new branding – Supergirl, Batwoman, Swamp Thing, Klarion and Earth 2 amongst them. However, quite a lot of cancelled titles are actually going to rebrand into new books with a similar presence, as is the case with cancelled titles like Batman & Robin, or Constantine.
What follows is a look at each of the 49 books DC are putting out in June…