Prix Expozine / Expozine Awards – Finalists named, ceremony April 4th (tomorrow) in Montreal

Bryan Munn, who is on fire these days with his linkblogging has posted the list of 2011 Expozine prize nominees over at Sequential. We figure you’d like to know here so we’re posting similar information.

The Expozine Awards / Prix Expozine finalists were selected from books submitted at last fall’s Expozine in Montreal.

Here’s some info from Drink & Draw Montreal about the Awards and the ceremony (which is the English translation of the information we’ve posted in French at the bottom of this article:

At the 2011 edition of the Expozine small press fair last November, the organizing team asked each of the more than 270 exhibitors to submit a copy of their best new publication for consideration for the Expozine Alternative Press Awards. A panel of six judges from the Montreal small press milieu selected six finalists and one winner in each of three categories: best book, best zine and best comic, in English and French.

The winners will be announced at the Gala, where copies of most of the 36 nominated publications—many of which are not easy to find anywhere else—will be available for sale. It’s a rare chance to meet and mingle with the most talented up-and-comers of Montreal’s vibrant small press community!

The presentation ceremony is free to attend, and will be hosted by Simon Paquet:
Wednesday, April 4, 2012, 8PM,
at Le Divan Orange, 4234, boul. Saint-Laurent (métro stop Mont-Royal)

The Finalists Are:

Fanzine Francophone
A64N, Autobus64Nord
Tout va bien, No. 8
Fanzoune – Bestiaire des mots en « oune », Joseph Baril
Impossible voyage, Celine Huyghebaert
L’École de Quimper Des petites choses dans quelque chose, Romain Bobichon et Julie Bonnaud
La Conspiration dépressioniste, numéro 8, Jasmin Miville-Allard / Mathieu Gauthier / Yannick Lacroix

Livre Francophone
Carnavals divers, Jean-Philippe Tremblay, Éditions de L’écrou
M.I.C.H.E.L. T.R.E.M.B.L.A.Y., Orson Spencer, Les Éditions de Ta mère
Mile End, Michel Hellman, Éditions Pow Pow
Petit lexique pornographique à l’usage des vieux cochons et des jeunes truies, Adeline Rognon, Éditions La Musardine
Repères Notes décryptées, volume 1, Lou Sabourin, Les créations Lou Sabourin
Typographie inusuelle, Marc Pantanella, Éditions L’Oie de Cravan et Finitude

Bande Dessinée Francophone
Le bestiaire des fruits, par Zviane (Sylvie-Anne Ménard)
The Best of Iris Vol. 2, par Iris (Iris Boudreau)
Boni, tome 1: Le bout de la carotte, par Ian Fortin, Premières Lignes
Boumeries, volume 1, par Boum (Samantha Leriche-Gionet), auto-publication
Les cornichons étrangers, par Dimo Garcia, auto-publication
Pinkerton, par François Samson-Dunlop et Alexandre Fontaine-Rousseau, Colosse

English Book
Food & Trembling, Jonah Campbell, Invisible Publishing
You Are A Cat!, Sherwin Tjia, conundrum press
echoic mimic, Lesley Trites, snare books
Fear Itself, Matthew Brown, Éditions Trip
The North Yorker, Alain Mercieca
Unspent Love, Shannon Gerard, conundrum press

English Zine
The Wrecked Woman, Kara Sievewright
Korea, Jese Gordon
twilight in a room, dreams, and abyss, Yen-Chao Lin
Toughie, Coming of Age Stories, Kerri Flannigan
Pervy Calendar Zine, various contributors (including : Jessica Charest, Francois Pednault, Chloe Surprenant, Rochelle Ross and 50+ others!)
Prologue, Jonathan Reid Sévigny

English Comic
Maidenheadlock, Rebecca Rosen, Le Dernier Cri
Pope Hats No. 2, Ethan Rilly
“Untitled” by Mum Pittsburg, Connor Willumsen
The Man Who Built Beirut, Andy Warner
Melody On Stage, Sylvie Rancourt and Jacques Boivin, Éditions Melody
Collier’s Popular Press, David Collier, conundrum press

C’est quoi les Prix Expozine ?
Le comité organisateur a demandé à chacun des quelque 270 exposants et éditeurs d’Expozine 2011 de soumettre leur meilleure création. Six juges distingués ont procédé au choix des six finalistes dans les catégories : meilleur livre, meilleure bande dessinée et meilleur fanzine, en anglais et en français.
Les gagnants seront connus au Gala et de plus, des exemplaires des 36 publications finalistes seront disponibles pour l’achat – ce qui sera une excellente occasion pour se procurer des copies de ces publications particulières et souvent ayant des tirages très limités !
Le Gala des Prix Expozine est commandité par le Conseil des Arts de Montréal, SODEC ainsi que par la libraire Drawn and Quarterly et la libraire Le Port de Tête, 262 Mont-Royal E.
Visiter le blogue Expozine pour des photos, vidéos et couverture médiatique de la dernière édition de la foire Expozine en 2011!!!

It’s coming… Scott Pilgrim in Colour

This August, Oni Press and Bryan Lee O’Malley will be bringing the uber-popular Scott Pilgrim series back to store shelves, but this time as an ultra-swank, 6 X 9, full-color hardcover edition. Scott Pilgrim Color Hardcover, Volume 1 reprints the Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life for the first time in full color. The digital coloring is by the Shuster Award-nominated (and WINNING) artist Nathan Fairbairn, the colorist for Batman Incorporated and Swamp Thing, and the whole thing is capped with a new cover from O’Malley.

“Everybody loves Bryan’s black-and-white artwork,” series editor James Lucas Jones explained, “but after seeing the few color stories he did with Scott and the gang, it was hard to avoid imagining a ‘what if?’ scenario. Now those wild dreams have come true. And to have one of the best colorists in the industry at the helm, that just seals the deal.”

“It’s been eight years since the first Scott Pilgrim book was published,” Oni marketing director Cory Casoni added. “Since then, the series has seen over twenty first reprints of the original format, with over a million copies of the first volumes sold. Scott Pilgrim Color Hardcover, Volume 1 takes the familiar story from the original Scott Pilgrim series and gives it a new look. Plus it includes previously unpublished extras and bonus materials making this mighty tome one that’s required reading for Scottaholics everywhere!”

Scott Pilgrim Color Hardcover, Volume 1 will be the first of six hardcover reprints to be published bi-annually. Scott Pilgrim Color Hardcover, Volume 2 is currently scheduled for an October 2012 release.

Each volume will be sized at 6” x 9”, making it bigger than the original versions, as well. “We’re upgrading the presentation in every way,” Jones said. “The traditional black-and-white versions will be there for those who still prefer that option, but now everyone can have a choice. One, the other, or both!”

Scheduled for a August 8th, 2012 publication date, Scott Pilgrim Color Hardcover, Volume 1 will retail for $24.99.

Criminal Charges Dropped In Canada Customs Manga Case

For Immediate Release

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and the Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund are pleased to announce that the Crown has withdrawn all criminal charges in R. v. Matheson, the case previously described as the “Brandon X case,” which involved a comic book reader who faced criminal charges in Canada relating to comic books on his computer. The defendant, Ryan Matheson, a 27-year-old comic book reader, amateur artist, and computer programmer has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.

The total legal costs of this case exceeded $75,000. After taking the case last summer, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund contributed $20,000 to the defense, and the Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund contributed $11,000. The CBLDF also participated in shaping the defense, including recruiting expert testimony for the trial. The organization is currently seeking funds to help pay off the $45,000 debt Matheson incurred as a result of his case, and to create new tools to prevent future cases. To make a contribution to these important efforts, please visit www.cbldf.org.

After a search of his laptop in 2010, Matheson was wrongfully accused of possessing and importing child pornography because of constitutionally protected comic book images on that device. He was subjected to abusive treatment by police and a disruption in his life that included a two-year period during which he was unable to use computers or the internet outside of his job, severely limiting opportunities to advance his employment and education. Mr. Matheson has agreed to plead to a non-criminal code regulatory offense under the Customs Act of Canada. As a result of the agreement, Matheson will not stand trial. The defense of this case was waged by Michael Edelson and Solomon Friedman of Edelson Clifford D’Angelo LLP. The full Notices of Application detailing Edelson’s defense and outlining the outrageous and unlawful treatment Matheson endured are available on www.cbldf.org or by clicking here: Charter Notice and Jan 15 12 – Matheson Charter Notice.

Speaking out for the first time, Matheson says, “I’m glad to finally put this awful ordeal behind me. Ever since the beginning I knew I had committed no crime, so I was never willing to accept a plea to any criminal charge. The entire legal process is very traumatizing, and the overzealous bail conditions imposed on me were very difficult to endure. Although my defense was extremely strong, all trials are inherently risky and I value my life too much to risk a potential minimum mandatory sentence. I am very grateful for the spectacular work Michael Edelson and his team put into my case, and to all the generous people who supported me and contributed to my defense. I was able to stand up to the very last day and fight for something I believe in.” Matheson has also written a personal statement about his case that appears on www.cbldf.org.

Edelson, who managed the defense says, “The client, and my firm, are grateful to the members of CBLDF and CLLDF for their invaluable financial and moral support with respect to this case, which was of such critical importance to the client, given the very positive outcome we were able to achieve in an area of the law where, here in Canada, the Crown very rarely exercises its discretion to withdraw charges of this nature. The client will have no criminal record, his name will not appear on the Sex Offender Registry in Canada, or elsewhere.”

The Notices of Application available on CBLDF.org detail for the first time the extreme mistreatment Mr. Matheson suffered at the hands of Canadian authorities. He had his right to counsel and Vienna Convention consular rights violated when he was detained without being properly informed of the reason for detention. He was not granted access to counsel, or to the American Embassy. The Application asserts that Customs officers acted as agents for police and conducted an illegal search of his property. Matheson was also the subject of cruel and unusual punishment, including being denied food and blankets. Matheson was even told by police transporting him to prison that “if you get raped in here, it doesn’t count!” The defense detailed these and other abuses and outlined that the comics at issue are constitutionally protected in the United States, the client’s home country. The comics possess artistic merit and are widely available in Canada, Japan and the United States.

Although the outcome of this case is ultimately positive, comic book readers should be aware that there are still dangers for traveling with comics in Canada. Edelson says, “Aside from the very positive outcome to this story, your members should be cautioned concerning the search and seizure regime here in Canada exercised by the Canadian Border Services Agency. Moreover, they should also be aware that although anime and manga is legal in many areas of the United States and Japan, etc., to possess and utilize, the Canadian authorities may take a different view if this material is found on any laptops or mobile devices when you enter the country. Many of the issues that arise in similar circumstances are thoroughly addressed in our comprehensive Notice of Application.”

Edelson’s firm has created a new advisory on traveling with comics and manga in Canada that is available here: CBLDF – Legal Memorandum – Canada Issues. The CBLDF’s previous advisory, which addresses the issues of traveling with comics through international borders is located here: CBLDF Advisory – Comic Book Art at Intl Borders

“This is a good outcome, and we’re glad we were able to contribute to it,” CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein said. “While one always wants to be able to change the rules in court, those opportunities are rare, and in this case, the defense’s extraordinary effort in persuading the Crown to drop criminal charges is a very positive conclusion. We are now focusing our efforts on raising money to help pay off Ryan’s legal debt. We are also working with Ryan and experts in the manga community to create educational tools to help prevent others from needing to go through anything like this themselves. We hope that people will donate to the CBLDF to help us achieve these goals quickly.”

Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund board member Leonard Wong said, “We’re glad this is over for Ryan and want to thank him and his attorneys for their willingness to stand up to our government in this matter. We’re also pleased that the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was able to assist the defense financially and substantively, and are creating new tools to help prevent these kinds of cases in the future. Unfortunately, this could easily happen again, so we continue our stride to establish the CLLDF as a more active ongoing concern. Our immediate focus will now shift towards raising funds and preparing for any future attacks on comics in Canada.”

Please visit www.cbldf.org today to make a donation in support of paying off Ryan’s legal defense and creating new tools to combat abuses like this from happening in the future. You can also support this effort by becoming a member of the CBLDF. Every contribution helps us get Ryan back on his feet, and furthers our efforts to protect the First Amendment rights of comics and manga.

About CBLDF
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1986 as a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of First Amendment rights for members of the comics community. They have defended dozens of Free Expression cases in courts across the United States, and led important education initiatives promoting comics literacy and free expression. For additional information, donations, and other inquiries call 800-99-CBLDF or visit them online at www.cbldf.org.

About CLLDF
The Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1987 to raise money for the defense of a Calgary, Alberta comic shop whose owners were charged with selling obscene materials. The CLLDF has since been maintained on an ad hoc basis to provide financial relief for Canadian comics retailers, publishers, professionals, or readers whose right to free speech has been infringed by civil authorities. Largely dormant since the early 1990s, the CLLDF is reforming to provide support for this case, and reorganizing to ensure that help will be readily available for future cases involving Canadian citizens or authorities. To help the CLLDF in this mission, please go to www.clldf.ca.

So it’s true…. DC Announces “Before Watchmen”

Rumoured for months, DC has officially announced the 2012 initiative to revive the Watchmen as an expanded franchise beyond the original Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons/John Higgins mini-series and best-selling graphic novel with a series of interconnected prequel mini-series.

Darwyn Cooke is involved and is doing a six-issue Minutemen mini-series, as well as writing a 4-issue Silk Spectre mini-series for artist Amanda Connor.

For Immediate Release:

This summer, DC Entertainment will publish all-new stories expanding on the acclaimed WATCHMEN universe. As highly anticipated as they are controversial, the seven inter-connected prequel mini-series will build on the foundation of the original WATCHMEN, the bestselling graphic novel of all time. BEFORE WATCHMEN will be the collective banner for all seven titles, from DC Comics.

“It’s our responsibility as publishers to find new ways to keep all of our characters relevant,” said DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. “After twenty five years, the Watchmen are classic characters whose time has come for new stories to be told. We sought out the best writers and artists in the industry to build on the complex mythology of the original.”

Stepping up to the challenge is a group of the comic book industry’s most iconoclastic writers and artists – including Brian Azzarello (100 BULLETS), Lee Bermejo (JOKER), Amanda Conner (POWER GIRL), Darwyn Cooke (JUSTICE LEAGUE: NEW FRONTIER), John Higgins (WATCHMEN), Adam Hughes (CATWOMAN), J.G. Jones (FINAL CRISIS), Andy Kubert (FLASHPOINT), Joe Kubert (SGT. ROCK), Jae Lee (BATMAN: JEKYLL AND HYDE), J. Michael Straczynski (SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE) and Len Wein (SWAMP THING).

BEFORE WATCHMEN includes:

RORSCHACH (4 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: Lee Bermejo

MINUTEMEN (6 issues) – Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke

COMEDIAN (6 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: J.G. Jones

DR. MANHATTAN (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Adam Hughes

NITE OWL (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert

OZYMANDIAS (6 issues) – Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee

SILK SPECTRE (4 issues) – Writer: Darwyn Cooke. Artist: Amanda Conner

Each week, a new issue will be released, and will feature a two-page back-up story called CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR, written by original series editor Len Wein and with art by original series colorist John Higgins. There will also be a single issue, BEFORE WATCHMEN: EPILOGUE, featuring the work of various writers and artists, and a CRIMSON CORSAIR story by Wein and Higgins.

“The original series of WATCHMEN is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell. However, I appreciate DC’s reasons for this initiative and the wish of the artists and writers involved to pay tribute to our work. May these new additions have the success they desire,” said Dave Gibbons, WATCHMEN co-creator and original series artist.

“Comic books are perhaps the largest and longest running form of collaborative fiction,” said DiDio and Lee. “Collaborative storytelling is what keeps these fictional universes current and relevant.”

Rich Johnston is collecting quotes from the creators involved over at Bleeding Cool.

Jeff Lemire to take over the writing duties on Justice League Dark for DC

Just announced by DC Comics

Following the JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK/I,VAMPIRE crossover in issues 7 & 8, JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK will have a new writer.

Beginning with issue #9, superstar Jeff Lemire (ANIMAL MAN, SWEET TOOTH) will be taking over the reins. We asked Lemire about following the sage Peter Milligan and what he’s got planned and here’s what he has to say:

“This is my dream gig at DC Comics, no doubt about it. The characters in Justice League Dark are my absolute favorite in the DC Comics stable, and I can’t believe I’m actually getting a chance to write John Constantine, Zatanna and Deadman (as well as a few new team members!).

I have a huge amount of respect for Peter Milligan. I’ve loved everything he’s done since his original SHADE run in the pre-Vertigo days of DC to his current run on Hellblazer and JL Dark. It’s a bit daunting to take over this title from someone who I revere as much as Peter, but at the same time I can’t help but be inspired by the work he’s already done with this book.

I obviously have my own ideas for the title as well, and can’t wait to share them with readers. One of the things I’m anxious to explore is just why the name “Justice League” is in the title of this book? I want to explore and create new connections between this team of mystical misfits and Geoff and Jim’s big guns in The Justice League. On that note, Geoff and I have had many discussions on how to link our two books and make the Justice League franchises connect in new and unexpected ways. More on that in the near future…

So, what else can you expect from the “New” Justice League Dark? Well, you’ll see an old haunt becoming the team’s new HQ. Constantine, the master manipulator that he is, will emerge as the clear leader of the team, and there will be 2 new members as well! (Hint one’s a man and one’s a woman. One uses magic, one doesn’t.) Not enough….hmmm…how about a classic Justice League villain re-imagined as The Justice League Dark’s new arc-enemy? And that’s just the start. I have a huge storyline planned with implications across the Dark line of books.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that the amazingly talented Mikal Janin will be staying on board to draw all of this fun stuff, and I couldn’t be happier about that. I’ve loved Mikal’s work since I first saw it in the Flashpoint: Deadman mini-series and I think Mikal is the perfect artist for this book. And I can already tell by our initial talks that this will be the start of a great partnership. And we’re both lucky to have the incomparable Ryan Sook making us look good.

I’m pretty damn excited to be writing Justice League Dark. And I hope you’ll join me as I take you and these characters into the darkest, strangest corners of the DCU and beyond!”

UPDATE: This means that Lemire will be leaving Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. His final issue will be #9 and the replacement writer for that title is Matt Kindt.

DC Comics confirms they have a new logo

New identity designed to showcase DC Entertainment’s rich portfolio of brands, stories and characters across all media platforms.

BURBANK, CA, January 19, 2012 – DC Entertainment, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company and home to iconic brands DC Comics, Vertigo and MAD, revealed today a new brand identity.  The new identity is reflective of the company’s mission to fully realize the value of a rich portfolio of brands, stories and characters, distinguished by incredible breadth and depth across publishing, media and merchandise.  A new logo for DC Comics was also introduced, closely aligning with DC Entertainment’s new mark.

“It’s a new era at DC Entertainment and the new look reflects a dynamic, bold approach while at the same time celebrates the company’s rich heritage and robust portfolio of characters,” stated John Rood, EVP of Sales, Marketing and Business Development for DC Entertainment. “It was just a few months ago that Superman, Batman and many of our other Super Heroes were updated when we launched DC Comics – The New 52 and now it’s time to do the same for the company’s identity while remaining true to the power of storytelling which is still at the heart of DC Entertainment.”

DC Entertainment worked with Landor Associates, one of the world’s leading brand consulting and design firms, to develop an identity that creates a visual connection among the company, its three brands DC Comics, Vertigo and MAD and its vast array of properties as well as celebrates the power of the company’s stories and characters.  The design of the new DC Entertainment identity uses a “peel” effect – the D is strategically placed over the C with the upper right-hand portion of the D peeling back to unveil the hidden C – symbolizing the duality of the iconic characters that are present within DC Entertainment’s portfolio.

“It was our goal to capture DC Entertainment in a dynamic and provocative identity.  Our solution is a living expression which changes and adapts to the characters, story lines and the ways fans are consuming content,” explains Nicolas Aparicio, Executive Creative Director at Landor’s San Francisco office.  “The new identity is built for the digital age, and can easily be animated and customized to take full advantage of the interactivity offered across all media platforms.”

The new brand identity will come to life across all consumer touch points in order to create a clear and consistent message in support of DC Entertainment.  The new identity will begin to appear on comic books and graphic novels as well as new websites in March.  Consumers will also see the new identity rolled out over time on other DC Entertainment products from Warner Bros. including film, television, interactive games and merchandise.

“We believe our new brand identity will strongly resonate with our loyal fans who will want to proudly express their affinity for DC Entertainment and their passion for their favorite stories and characters, this new look allows them to easily do this. In addition we were excited to update our identity, it’s not often a company gets to revisit something as important as its brand and we took the opportunity to make sure it represented the multi-media business we set out to build with the formation of DC Entertainment,” said Amit Desai, SVP of Franchise Management for DC Entertainment.

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The Start of an Era? As Dragon Lady Comics closes — “The Comic Book Lounge and Gallery” opens

For a number of readers and collectors, Dragon Lady Comics was their local comics outlet – they placed their orders and picked up their new comics and graphic novels there every week or every couple of weeks, and it was also a popular haunt for the many creators based in the area.

Dragon Lady  stayed open successfully as a viable comics retailer for 33 years (half on Queen Street the other half on College) — and managed to maintain a full time manager, as well as many part-time employees. All of whom were going to be jobless in a couple of weeks.

Thankfully, we have some good news in that a form of the store will continue on College Street, just steps away from where Dragon Lady was located:

“THE COMIC BOOK LOUNGE + GALLERY”

587A College Street (2nd Floor)

60 Metres (just shy of 200 feet) East of Dragon Lady Comics (609 College). At the intersection of College and Clinton.

This new store will be managed by JOE KILMARTIN (soon to be the former manager of Dragon Lady Comics).

As Dragon Lady closes on Wednesday, February 1st, “THE COMICS LOUNGE” will be opening on Wednesday, February 8th for the next week’s new releases.

“THE COMIC BOOK LOUNGE” will start as a subscriber based new comics business so that Dragon Lady customers can continue to pick up their books with the same reliable service that Joe and the Dragon Lady staff have been providing for years.

The end result will be a combination of comics store (with an emphasis on graphic novels and art books as well as a selection of back issues and related merchandise), lounge area, gallery space (for the display and sale of original art) and event space (for signings, book releases, talks and other events).  “THE COMIC BOOK LOUNGE” will be something new to the comics retail landscape in that it will be both a retail space AND an event space.

It will share the location with the TORONTO CARTOONISTS WORKSHOP, who will continue to operate classes on evenings and weekend afternoons, and GUERILLA PRINTING, experts at providing comic book self-publishers and artist’s needs such as prints, sketchbooks, display signs and posters.

In addition, the store will be working with CGC to make the store a submission centre for collectors in the downtown core who wish to get their comics graded, and “THE COMICS LOUNGE” will host a number of Signature Series signings and events throughout the year and at other events both locally, nationally and internationally.

Happenings: TONIGHT TCW Industry Night – Jim Henson’s A Tale of Sand release party with Ramon Perez – January 18th (UPDATED)

A limited quantity of the book will be available for sale at tonight’s event, courtesy of Archaia Press.

Industry Night with Ramon Perez: A TALE OF SAND launch party!

Industry Night returns in 2012 with Ramon Perez and his hotly anticipated adaption of Jim Henson’s unfinished screenplay, A Tale of Sand. The TCW gallery will feature a vast selection of pages from the graphic novel juxtaposed with pages from Henson’s actual script. All of Ramon’s gorgeous A Tale of Sand artwork will be available for sale exclusively through this event and we invite you to drop by, pick up a copy of the book and say hello to Ramon!

 Date: Wednesday, January 18

 Time: 7 – 11 pm

 Location: 587A College Street, Toronto (2nd Floor)

 Admission: suggested donation of $4

Note: the proceeds from the admission will go towards covering event costs, with the remainder going towards the Joe Shuster Awards 2012 budget.

Koyama Press in 2012

PRESS RELEASE (Courtesy of Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources)

2011 was a breakout year for Koyama Press that saw the publisher win 2011’s Joe Shuster Award for Outstanding Comic Book Publisher, in a field of nominees that included Canadian publishing luminaries such as Drawn & Quarterly, and several of the publisher’s titles won major industry awards and made a number of “best of” lists. The year finished off on a high note with the launch of a beautiful new website designed by Squidface & the Meddler.

2012 looks to be an equally exciting year for the innovative publisher. Spring 2012 will see a new release from artist and illustrator Jesse Jacobs whose book Even the Giants (AdHouse, 2011) marked his major publishing debut after several award-winning self-published titles. Jacobs describes his new comic work, By This Shall You Know Him, as coming “out of the darkness of oblivion.” Within the book’s confines, Jacobs states that the reader will “bear witness to the limitless ambitions of a gang of celestial beings as they fiddle and fuss with all sorts of molecular arrangements, creating infinitely detailed patterns and strange new worlds brimming with bizarre life forms. Part art-book, part graphic novel, By This Shall You Know Him depicts all manner of beast running, crawling and slithering towards death’s cold embrace.”

Tin Can Forest (aka Pat Shewchuk and Marek Colek) whose Koyama Press debut Baba Yaga and the Wolf was nominated for the 2011 Doug Wright Award for Best Emerging Talent, and won the duo the 2011 Joe Shuster Award for Outstanding Comic Book Cartoonist will release Wax Cross also in spring 2012. The artists describe the new work as “an alchemical folk-tale set in the twilight of the modern age, when the moon has devoured the sun, the mechanical ocean has evaporated into silence, and the decaying corpse of electric current sleeps eternally in a casket of orange lichen. Featuring a cast of characters as familiar as the faded Polaroids in a photo album salvaged from the flooded basement of a condemned church, Wax Cross presents illustrated transcriptions of ectoplasmic revelation, fibrous and grainy folklore, and unbridled bestial merriment, accompanied by textual incantations and occult decoration.”

The New Year will also see Koyama Press publish Lose 4, the most recent issue the critically acclaimed, one-man anthology by Michael Deforge who Rob Clough of The Comics Journal has called “the most startling, fully-formed young cartooning talent to burst on to the scene since Dash Shaw.” 2012 will also see new work by cartoonist Julia Wertz, author of the autobiographical comics The Fart Party and Drinking at the Movies. Her work has received praise from a number of outlets including, Bust, LA Times, USA Today, The Comics Journal, and New York Magazine. Dustin Harbin’s children’s comic The Playground War will debut in the spring as well.

These books are just some of the new titles that are set to be released by Koyama Press in 2012, a year that promises to maintain the publisher’s momentum as they continue to promote and support a wide range of emerging and established artists.

Happenings: VANCAF announces it’s inaugural line-up of guests – May 26-27 in Vancouver, BC

THE VANCOUVER COMIC ARTS FESTIVAL (VANCAF)
181 Roundhouse Mews
Vancouver, BC V6Z 2W3
MAY 26th-27th, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
21/12/2011

VANCAF ANNOUNCES INAUGURAL LINE-UP

VANCOUVER, BC: The Vancouver Comic Arts Festival has announced the initial line-up for its inaugural exhibition, taking place May 26th-27th 2012 at the Roundhouse Community Arts Centre. The Festival, which will feature local and international independent cartoonists, will be open to the public and free to attend. The guests will include indie successes such as Jeph Jacques, Ryan North, and Sarah Leavitt, with artists, creators, inkers, colorists, writers, and small press collectives rounding out the exhibitors. Special events taking place throughout the festival will be announced shortly.

Artists wishing to exhibit at VanCAF can apply to do so by filling out the application form on the website at http://www.vancaf.com/exhibitors.php.

Further inquiries can be directed to Shannon Campbell, Event Coordinator, at shannon@vancaf.com

D+Q goes Digital on the Kobo Vox and Beyond

D+Q Announces The Company’s “Digital Strategy”

As announced in today’s PW Daily by Calvin Reid, this holiday season, the Drawn & Quarterly classic graphic novels LOUIS RIEL A COMIC-STRIP BIOGRAPHY and PAYING FOR IT A COMIC-STRIP BIOGRAPHY ABOUT BEING A JOHN by the award-winning and iconoclastic cartoonist Chester Brown, will each be available as ebooks via KOBO’s Vox Reader, it was announced today by Peggy Burns, Associate Publisher of Marketing & Sales. Known for its astute editorial standards and high print production values, this venture marks the Montreal-based company’s first foray into the digital sphere.

“Many people assumed we would never do ebooks, whereas the opposite was true. We were open to the idea, but wanted to approach it cautiously,” said Burns. “This past Fall, we had a fortuitous series of events that brought the project to the foreground. Chester voiced his desire for ebooks, CBC Canada Reads shortlisted LOUIS RIEL in its top-ten for its annual contest, and most importantly, the fellow Canadian company Kobo inquired if we would consider ebooks. Kobo’s pitch was very friendly and nonexclusive and they promote CBC Canada Reads. They understood who we are, our hesitancy and what is important to us. It all happened very organically which is how we prefer to do business.”

D+Q production manager Tracy Hurren oversaw the project and worked with Kobo to ensure that the same care and attention D+Q gives towards its print editions was in place for the ebooks. The arrangement is nonexclusive and D+Q expects to add more titles by different authors and devices throughout 2012.

Lastly, D+Q is proud to announce that the company will be splitting the net proceeds of its ebook sales equally with its authors, and is in agreement with the Writer’s Union of Canada.

“D+Q has always been an author-centric company, it is this ethos that has shaped us into who we are today,” said Chris Oliveros, D&Q’s Publisher and Editor-In-Chief. “It only seemed natural to offer the fairest proposition to our authors.”

Camilla d’Errico & Day 21 Studios Launch Sky Pirates of Neo Terra Webcomic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 Vancouver B.C., Dec. 16th, 2011 — Following the announcement at this year’s New York Comic Con, graphic novelist and fine artist Camilla d’Errico and writer Kurtis J. Wiebe (Green Wake, The Intrepids) are proud to launch the Sky Pirates of Neo Terra webcomic from Day 21 Studios on the brand’s website.
Based on the Image Comics title of the same name, the new Sky Pirates of Neo Terra webcomic series tells the side-stories of characters not seen in the original graphic novel, and gives more depth to upcoming video game that will be released for Apple devices and the Facebook platform in the near future.
To see the first installment of the series, titled “Vanwitt’s Discovery,” please visit the Sky Pirates of Neo Terra website:

And as part of the celebration of the new webcomics series, Day 21 Studios is giving away original Camilla d’Errico art on their Facebook page:


To speak with Camilla d’Errico about her various projects, or to receive images, screenshots, video, and other feature assets, please use the contact information listed at the bottom of this public release.
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About Camilla d’Errico:
Camilla d’Errico is an urban contemporary painter, illustrator, character creator and comic artist residing in Vancouver, BC. With roots in comics and manga stylings, Camilla’s beautiful work is seen on toys, clothes, accessories and more.  She has been published by Random House and Tokyopop (Avril Lavigne’s Make 5 Wishes), Simon & Schuster (Camilla d’Errico’s BURN), Image Comics (Sky Pirates of Neo Terra, Fractured Fables), IDW (Swallow 5, Sparrow 13) and Dark Horse (Myspace Dark Horse Presents, Vampy Cat, Femina & Fauna). More details of her recently announced project with Joshua Dysart (The Unknown Solider, B.P.R.D.) titled Helmetgirls: Origins.

Fan Expo Vancouver™ to launch April 21-22, 2012 (updated)

For the first time ever, Fan Expo Canada™ is extending it’s show westward!

Fan Expo Vancouver™ is the city’s very first major comicon.

Highlighting celebrities, shopping, panels and workshops, you will be able to find the newest and hottest in Anime, Manga, Comics, Sci-Fi, Gaming and Horror.

April 21st-22nd  2012, come out and meet your favourite celebrity or creator and shop for the hottest or most rare in comic books, graphic novels, manga, toys, t-shirts and more!

Fan Expo Vancouver™ is brought to you by way of Hobby Star Marketing Inc.  HSM was founded in 1992 as one of Canada’s premiere sports and entertainment marketing agencies.   The company first staked its claim in 1995 with the successful launch of the Canadian National Comic Book Expo.  It has since been re-branded as Fan Expo Canada featuring Comic, Anime, Science Fiction, Horror and Gaming.  The event has evolved into a spectacular, annual, multi-media even with prestigious acclaim, becoming North America’s 3rd largest event of its kind.

Website

Facebook

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No guest announcements yet, but there will be postcard distribution to comic stores in BC, Alberta and Washington state on December 28, 2011. As far as I know I will be involved in the event coordinating the Canadian comic guests as well as running the comics programming, as I currently do these services for Fan Expo Canada and the Toronto ComiCONs.

While the announcement is very Hobbystar-centric, it should be noted that we are working with many members of the local comics community, including Vancouver Comicon promoter Leonard Wong, some of the folks involved in the Vancouver Comic Jams, and I’ve been in touch with the organizers of the Victoria Comic Con and VanCAF.

What’s also missing from that initial release is the involvement of the organizers of the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo who are part of this as well and will be helping to run the event, and we are also working closely with the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle.

The intention of the event is not to step on any toes or alienate anyone but to create a great event in a market that hasn’t had anything like it before.

R.A.I.D. Studio expanding in 2012

The current RAID studio crew includes (left to right): Ian Herring, Kalman Andrasofszky, Willow Dawson, Marcus To, Scott Hepburn. Front row: Ramon Perez, Francis Manapul and Andy Belanger.

Courtesy of Marcus To and Ramon Perez:

R.A.I.D. studios expanding!

R.A.I.D. (aka the Royal Academy of Illustration & Design) is planning to expand their current studio to a larger space in the new year. the current studio is home to 7 talented artists; a peppering of the who’s who of the local comic and illustration scene. current members include Francis Manapul, Kalman Andrasofszky, Marcus To, Scott Hepburn, Willow Dawson, Andy Belanger, and Ramon Perez.

The current studio space is about 800sq ft and the new space is closer to 2000sq ft.

Each member will have a 200sq ft space to utilize, a common area with couches, tv, and so forth to just chill out or interact with clients, and a small kitchen, with fridge, mircrowave and toaster, with island is there to eat in should you grow tired of the numerous restaurants and cafes in the area.

The monthly cost of the studio space per member is $300, which also includes internet and telephone.

Speaking of which, the studio is located in Little Italy, just a few blocks west of the Bathurst and College St. intersection.

Space is limited if you are interested, or know of interested parties please contact Ramon Perez at me@ramonperez.com

Saskatoon’s Riley Rossmo tackles zombie horror for Image Comics with Rebel Blood

For Immediate Release:

Image Comics Introduces Rebel Blood, a Zombie Story Like No Other

December 9, 2011 — “Save yourself. Stay in the woods. Pray it hasn’t reached the wolves… and keep your gun loaded.” All he knows about what has happened to the world as he knew it has been left in an ominous message. And it’s clear that everything has… changed.

Image Comics and Shadowline are pleased to announce REBEL BLOOD, a new four-part miniseries coming in March with art and concept by Riley Rossmo (GREEN WAKE, COWBOY NINJA VIKING, PROOF) and script by newcomer Alex Link. This gruesome new 21st century zombie outbreak story pays tribute to horror comics’ post-war heyday of titles such as The Vault of Horror, The Haunt of Fear, and Tales From the Crypt, while presenting a concept to rival the best of The Twilight Zone!

“I sketch and paint all the time while I’m working on different projects,” explained Rossmo. “The concept for REBEL BLOOD is something that just began as some sketches, but quickly took on a life of it’s own, to mutate. REBEL BLOOD is what happens when I just run wild with a concept and let it happen.”

“I’m really excited about this project,” said Shadowline Publisher, Jim Valentino. “I’m not a big zombie fan, but this one got me because it was so different than all the others out there. And, I swear, the ending knocked me off my chair. I think it will surprise everyone.”

REBEL BLOOD #1 introduces Forest Ranger Chuck Neville, who, after a strange, unexpected silence, receives a final radio message that a plague is sweeping the country. He learns that the disease has turned every living creature into zombies, all at once rendering the entire animal kingdom unpredictable, violent, and willing to tear apart their neighbors with their bare teeth.

He races home to rescue his family, coming face-to-face with unbelievable horrors along his way and fighting to stay alive. However, when he reaches home, he may find the most horrible part of it all waiting for him…

REBEL BLOOD #1, a 32-page full-color horror comic book for $3.50, will be on sale in stores on March 28 and available for order in the January issue of Previews. A preview of REBEL BLOOD #1 will be featured in the back of both HAUNT #20 (AUG110523), a 32-page full-color horror comic book for $2.99 that goes on sale December 28, 2011, and SPAWN #215 (NOV110468), a 32-page full-color horror comic book for $2.99 that goes on sale January 11,

Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund announces Board of Directors

For Immediate Release

The Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund announces that, 22 years after forming as an ad hoc fundraising organization in defense of a Calgary retailer charged with selling obscene materials, it has at last been formally incorporated. CLLDF Board of Directors member Derek McCulloch says, “It’s a long overdue step, and one we hope communicates our intention to grow the Fund as a bulwark in the defense of free speech in Canada.” McCulloch added that while the Fund has been incorporated with bylaws outlining its mission as a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the free speech rights of Canadian comics professionals and fans, its status as a charity is pending. “The paperwork is in at Revenue Canada,” McCulloch said. “We hope to have charitable status before the end of the year.”

The move toward formal incorporation comes in the wake of the CLLDF’s involvement, in partnership with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, in the defense of an American citizen facing criminal charges in Canada for comics brought into the country on his laptop.

At the same time, the CLLDF announces that it has expanded its Board of Directors from three members to five. Joining founding Directors McCulloch, Leonard Wong, and Paul Stockton are two prominent Canadian retailers: Jay Bardyla of Edmonton, Alberta; and Jennifer Haines of Guelph, Ontario.

Jay Bardyla is the founder of Happy Harbor Comics, the award winning comic shop located in Edmonton, Alberta that works tirelessly to promote the craft of comics to schools and libraries through free presentations and who keeps its doors open to creators of all types to put their books upon their shelves. A 30 year collector, 24 year employee and 12 year owner in the comics industry, Jay believes he has only begun to understand the industry he loves dearly and looks forward to many more decades of learning about the medium, inspiring others to create comics and to protecting the hobby.

Jennifer Haines opened The Dragon in September 1998 in Guelph, Ontario. Since then, it has gone on to become the Echo Reader’s Choice best comic store in the area in 2009 and 2010, as well as an Eisner finalist in 2010 and 2011. Jennifer has an M.A. in Classical Studies, as well as a B.Ed, which has led her to form comicsintheclassroom.ca, a resource for teachers and librarians. Additionally, she works closely with schools and school boards to help them design specific graphic novel curricula. When she’s not in the shop, she works as a teacher, primarily of Latin and Drama.

I’m very pleased to be a part of such an important organization,” Haines said. “It is vital to protect our freedom of speech by working on cases such as this one. Despite no longer needing the Comics Code to publish and sell comics, it seems comics are still the focus of attack by government agencies as a result of a historic misunderstanding of content. Therefore, we must continue to work to clarify the nature of comics in order to preserve our freedom to produce them, without fear of retribution.
– Jennifer Haines, The Dragon, Guelph, ON

McCulloch says, “We welcome Jay and Jennifer to the Board and very much appreciate their willingness to give of their time and their expertise in support of this important mission. We look forward to working with them in defense of free speech in the months and years to come.”

About CLLDF
The Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1987 to raise money for the defense of a Calgary, Alberta comic shop whose owners were charged with selling obscene materials. The CLLDF has since been maintained on an ad hoc basis to provide financial relief for Canadian comics retailers, publishers, professionals, or readers whose right to free speech has been infringed by civil authorities. Largely dormant since the early 1990s, the CLLDF is reforming to provide support for this case, and reorganizing to ensure that help will be readily available for future cases involving Canadian citizens or authorities. To help the CLLDF in this mission, please go to clldf.ca.

New Books: The Blue Dragon from House of Anansi Press

BlueDragon pr

For Immediate Release:

Contact Kate McQuaid
416-363-4343 x229 or kate@anansi.ca

In this stunning graphic-novel adaptation of Robert Lepage and Marie Michaud’s play of the same name, the personal meets the political, East meets West, and old meets new. Claire, a Québécoise art dealer, arrives in China to adopt a little girl. There she visits her ex-husband, Pierre, who after fifteen years in China has begun
to question the new directions his adopted country is going in. Claire and Pierre’s lover, the young Chinese artist Xiao Ling, become fast friends. Through this classic love triangle, The Blue Dragon examines aging, cultural confusion, fertility, and creativity, and emerges as a fascinating examination of some of modern
China’s most intriguing paradoxes.

Fred Jourdain’s gorgeous, colourful, and cinematic drawings do full justice to the story’s genesis as one of Robert Lepage’s most dazzling theatrical constructions. A feast for the mind as well as the senses, The Blue Dragon is an extraordinary graphic novel for grownups.

Mirvish Productions will present a special two-month run of The Blue Dragon, the show on which this book is based, in Toronto in January-February 2012.

Director, writer, actor Robert Lepage is one of Canada’s most renowned figures the in performing arts. His astonishing oeuvre includes epic plays (The Dragons’ Trilogy, Needles and Opium), award-winning films (Le Confessional, Far Side of the Moon), and even rock shows. A Quebec native, Lepage has been awarded many
prestigious awards and honours, including the Officers of the Ordre national du Quebec, the Denise Pelletier Prize, the Prix Europe, France’s Légion d’honneur, and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. He continues to push artistic boundaries, earning his reputation as this
country’s leading creative genius.

Marie Michaud is a prominent Quebecois theatre actress. She has performed over fifty roles with top directors, including Robert Lepage and Denis Marleau (Roberto Zucco and The Old Masters). She is currently starring in the role of Claire Forest in the theatrical version of The Blue Dragon, which she co-wrote with
Robert Lepage.

Fred Jourdain is a designer, best known for his portraits of great jazz, rock, and film figures. His work is currently on display in the Riff exhibit at the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa.

Publication Date: 5 November 2011
176 pages
Trade paperback
978-1-77089-037-4 $19.95 CAD

www.anansi.ca

We acknowledge for their financial support of our publishing program the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund.

Happenings: Toronto draws Tintin at the Steamwhistle Gallery this November

Opening Party
Wednesday November 2nd, 7pm-11pm
@ Steamwhistle Gallery, 255 Bremner Boulevard (Near Rogers Centre)
Free to attend

Gallery Closing & Silent Auction
Featuring the book launch for “The Adventures of Herge” with artist Stanislas in attendance
Sunday November 27th, 7pm-11pm
@ Steamwhistle Gallery, 255 Bremner Boulevard (Near Rogers Centre)
Free to attend

Check out the event website for previews of some of the artwork on display

Press release

The Beguiling Books & Art and Steamwhistle Brewery are teaming to produce one of the most interesting art shows of the fall, TORONTO DRAWS TINTIN. Featuring the work of dozens of comics artists and illustrators from Toronto, and the rest of Canada. Join us for the opening night of this exciting show on November 2nd, and celebrate the legacy of one of comics’ greatest creations!

See the world of Tintin through the eyes of some of Canada’s greatest cartooning talents, including Chester Brown, Michael DeForge, Joe Ollmann, Zach Worton, and Faith Erin Hicks. More information and art previews can be found at http://torontodrawstintin

Many artists will be in attendance — EVERYONE IS WELCOME! This is an all-ages event.

TORONTO DRAWS TINTIN will hang at the Steamwhistle Brewery’s gallery space, for the month of November and close out with a jam-packed celebration of comics, illustration, and art on Sunday November 27th! All art on display will be auctioned off in support of The Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund at that time, and a graphic novel biography of Tintin’s creator Herge will be launched with the French author, Stanislas, in attendance! Come to both events!

This event is sponsored by The Beguiling Books & Art and Steamwhistle Brewery.

2012 Joe Shuster Awards – Saturday, September 15, 2012 in Montreal, QC

I’m happy to report on behalf of the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Organization that we have agreed in principle with the organizers of the Montreal Comic Con and will be presenting the 8th Annual Joe Shuster Awards in conjunction with that event on the evening of Saturday, September 15, 2012.

In preparation for the ceremony, the CCBCAA will be working with members of the comics community to provide a fully bilingual awards ceremony, and we are all excited at the possibilities of providing better translation services on this site in order to help spread the word on comics and graphic novels by Canadians in both official languages.

The Montreal Comic Con will be held on the weekend of September 14-16, 2012. Due to unexpected demand, the MCC will be expanding to a full three days in 2012.

The MCC will also be changing facilities in 2012. It will no longer be held at Place Bonaventure but will be moving into the newer, larger and more colourful (!) convention facilities at the Palais des Congrès in Montreal, QC (pictured, right).

http://www.montrealcomiccon.com

This marks the second time that the Joe Shuster Awards will be presented outside of Toronto. Earlier this year we presented the 7th Annual Awards at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. Plans are for the JSAs to be presented in conjunction with a different comic book convention in Canada each year.