Help “Little Heart” Anthology get published! Featuring Emily Carroll!

Here’s another great project that needs your help! Little Heart is a comics anthology created to show support for marriage equality. It was initially created to raise awareness of a coming referendum in Minnesota, but it’s spread much wider. It also happens to feature JSA winner Emily Carroll and her fiancee Kate Craig, as well as many other great artists, plus a forward written by TCAF co-founder Christopher Butcher. The campaign is doing quite well so far but needs all the support it can get. Head over to Kickstarter to donate!

Help Publish Murder Book Vol. 3!

I’m a big fan of crowdsourced comics, and here’s a chance to help out a JSA nominee! Ed Brisson’s fantastic Murder Book series has already had two issues published, and now Volume 3 is coming out in March. You can help out for $7 and get a fresh, signed copy when it’s printed, shipping included! Or even better, throw in a few dollars more and you can get the back issues of Murder Book as well as Ed’s amazing Acts Of Violence anthology.  It’s a great way to get money directly to the creators. Check it out at Indie Go-Go and choose your level of support.

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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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.

Reminder: Nomination Process for the Joe Shuster Awards

As we near the end of 2011, I’m starting to get some requests such as “how do I get my book nominated for a Joe Shuster Award?” and “how can I get the Nominating Committee to consider my work?”

Well, this post will hopefully answer all of your questions.

THE NOMINATION PROCESS

The nominating committee is selected by the Executive Administrative committee and is newly reconstituted for each year of the awards. The nominating committee for the majority of awards consists of a cross-section of comic book journalists and experts from across Canada. Nominating is a three step process.

>>> Note: We’re in the process of putting the 2012 Nominating Committee now so they can begin work on choosing the nominees for 2011 in January through to end of March 2012.

STEP ONE – the Association prepares an eligible publications list with input from creators, publishers, retailers. This list is published on the website to gather feedback and identify missing work.

The list will be of Canadian citizens or permanent residents (3 years minimum current residency) and the books they worked on that were professionally distributed first printing periodicals or books that debuted between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011 in one of the following professional roles:

- Artist (illustrating a writer’s script, excluding cartoonists, can include an artist team if both are Canadian),

- Cartoonist (writing and/or adapting a story that they also illustrated),

- Cover Artist (primary cover artist, can include an artist team if both are Canadian)

- Writer (producing a script that is given to an artist, excluding cartoonists).

Books containing collections of previously published strips or comics and/or translated works into English from another language published in a previous year are not eligible.Original works in ANY language are accepted, but the primary emphasis of our investigations will be those first run books in either French or English.

Limited release books available at special events and mailed or hand-delivered to a small number of booksellers but not widely distributed to all booksellers during the eligibility time period are not eligible until they are professionally distributed by, say, Diamond Comics Dist.

STEP TWO – using the eligible comics list, the Nominating committee members are asked to submit individual “top five” lists for each category, in order of preference. Each vote is weighted based on order of preference. In other words. a first choice selection is given five points on the overall score and a fifth choice was given one point to be added to the cumulative score.

STEP THREE – the results are then logged. Selection is made initially by Majority Vote – if a creator receives a majority (50% or higher) of individual votes in a specific category they proceeded to the final ballot.

If enough nominees in a specific category have not advanced by majority vote, then we turn to the Cumulative Point Score – based on the rankings provided on each list. In the case of a tie, the number of votes received and their position on the lists submitted is taken into consideration.

OTHER AWARDS

Webcomics: please check out our Webcomics list, and your webcomic link along with your name is NOT present then we don’t know about your status. Please email andrew@joeshusterawards.com to get added to the list before March 1st, 2012. We visit every website on that list to see the new content added in 2011, so if your entries are not dated with the date first posted, there is a possibility you may be overlooked.

Gene Day Self-Publishing Award: Please send us a copy of your original, first published in 2011 comic to the address below before March 1st, 2012.

The Joe Shuster Awards
PO Box 67031 – 2300 Yonge St.
Toronto, Ontario
M4P 3C8

Harry Kremer Award for Retailers: please send an email to robert@joeshusterawards.com for more information.

Comics for Kids follows a procedure similar to the artistic award categories in that they look over all potential works which could be considered suitable material for younger readers, but you can notify robert@joeshusterawards.com if you want to ensure your work is considered for the award. You will need to notify us before March 1, 2012.

Finally, PUBLISHERS if you want to ensure that the Canadian creators you work with are on the eligible works list for consideration, please send an email with a list of Canadian creators in your employ and a list of their 2011 published and distributed works to allison@joeshusterawards.com before March 1, 2012.

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.”

The 2011 Canadian Comics Wrap Survey

Dear Canadian creators, retailers, publishers and other members of the Canadian comics community:

As we wind down the clock on 2011 and gear up for the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012, we thought we would ask Canadian comic book and graphic novel creators, publishers and retailers a few questions and get your thoughts about the last year, the scene in general, and what you have in store for 2012.

We’ll be running these on the joeshusterawards.com website as we get them. It is a great way to highlight what you did this year and give us a heads up on what is coming up for you next year.

Participation is completely optional, no worries if you can’t or don’t want to participate. Feel free to forward this to others who you feel may be interested in completing it.

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season on behalf of the Awards Association!

(Feel free to send your answers in French if you prefer!)

Thanks,
Kevin

The Survey:

1. Tell us about yourself – a brief bio/intro.

2. What was your involvement in comics in 2011?

3. What was the highlight of the year for you re:

(a)    comics publishing in general?

(b)   comics by Canadian creators?

4. Was 2011 a good year for you?

(Retailers only – what do you consider to be the most significant new releases by Canadian creators for your store?)

5. Was 2011 a good year for comics?

6. Part of being on the scene is exhibiting at public events. Which Canadian ones (if any) did you support in 2011 and how do you feel they went for you? (This could include conventions, public festivals and additionally — for creators: store signings, gallery shows). Did you exhibit at any American events?

7. What do you have coming up in 2012? (If you can’t say, then maybe hint at when we may find out)

8. Any final comments on 2011?

——

Please send your responses to kevin@joeshusterawards.com

Happenings: EXPOZINE 10 November 26-27 – Montreal, QC

expozine -EXPOZINE 2011, Montreal’s 10th Annual Small Press, Comic & Zine Fair !

EXPOZINE, Saturday, November 26 and Sunday, November 27, 2011, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 5035 St-Dominique (Église Saint-Enfant Jésus, Laurier Métro). Free admission.

10th ANNIVERSARY OF EXPOZINE special issue of Four Minutes to Midnight ZINE LAUNCH, featuring round-table discussion with Expozine founders, Friday November 25 at the Drawn & Quarterly bookstore, 211 Bernard W., 7 – 10p.m., free admission.

EXPOZINE 10th ANNIVERSARY PARTY, Saturday November 26, 8 p.m. – 3 a.m., Casa del Popolo, 4873 St. Laurent, free admission. Music by J.A.S.S. (Jazz Amnesty Sound System) !!!

ALSO, programming during Expozine will include:

Saturday, November 26, 3 p.m. in the Expozine reading room:
Greasy Goose Salon, Expozine Edition, theme : PAPER
with: Simon Reader, Sarah Pupo, Nic Boshart and Emily Raine. A co-production between Expozine and the Greasy Goose Salon.

Sunday, November 27, 3 p.m. in the Expozine reading room:
Du Zine à l’Institution: Les Sérigraphes Montréalaises, with: Andrée-Anne Dupuis-Bourret, Jacinthe Loranger, Chloe Lum, Leyla Majeri, Dominique Pétrin.
Une co-production d’Expozine et La Centrale Galérie Powerhouse.

Expozine is one of the largest small press fairs in North America, bringing together over 270 exhibitors showcasing all kinds of publications– from books to zines to graphic novels – in both English and French. The event attracts thousands of visitors as well as exhibitors from across Canada, the United States and even Europe! It’s a unique showcase of the best publications that today’s small publishers and self-publishing authors and artists have to offer. Literally thousands of different publications can be found at Expozine, it’s THE “salon du livre” for readers interested in today’s underground and alternative publications!

Expozine 2011 on Facebook!

EXPOZINE Facebook group!

Expozine’s sister project, the DISTROBOTO art vending machine network!

For more information, contact expozine@archivemontreal.org.

Expozine is organized by Arcmtl (Archive Montreal), a non-profit organization that both promotes and preserves independently produced culture in Montreal. Expozine is made possible in part through the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des Arts de Montréal.

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.

2012 Categories update:

Earlier this month we asked for feedback on our categories as we determine which will make up the list for the 2012 Awards. Based on your feedback and our internal debates this is the list as it stands:

2012 Categories:

* Outstanding Artist/Artist Team (no change)

* Outstanding Cartoonist (no change)

* Outstanding Cover Artist (no change)

* Outstanding Webcomics Creator/Creative Team (no change)

Note: after a lot of discussion and debate, the team has decided that we will leave webcomics as a unique category again. A line of distinction is being drawn between digital comics (online versions of concurrent with print edition comics or online previews of digital comics) which will not be eligible for the category. This remains for comics content created exclusively for the internet (later print editions are irrelevant and are considered reprints in the print categories), and one of the nominating and judging criteria will be usage of the online delivery system itself in the storytelling and presentation of these comics.

* Outstanding Writer (no change)

* Comics for Kids Award – Beginner Reader Level
* Comics for Kids Award – Intermediate Reader Level

Note: if there are enough books of each criteria to justify having two categories, the Comics for Kids Award will be split into two categories — Beginner, for younger readers, and Intermediate, for older children. For example, Binky the Space Cat might be considered a Beginner book, while Three Thieves: Tower of Treasure might be considered an intermediate level entry. The hope is to provide more information and recommendations to parents, teachers, librarians and of, course, young readers!

* Gene Day Award for Self-Publishing (no change)

* Harry Kremer Award for Comic Book Retailing (no change)

* Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame (1-2) (no change)

There is one additional category currently being reviewed by our group and is at the proposal stage.

* TENTATIVE: Outstanding Original Graphic Novel by Canadian Creator / Creative Team

The members feel that it should be specifically for original (i.e. new) graphic novels published in French or English during the previous calendar year. Unfortunately new collections of serialized comics that are later collected that same year are not going to be eligible for this award (if it happens). We are still VERY concerned about this being duplication of efforts as many of these books may be recognized in the Cartoonist, Writer and Artist categories. As it stands, we would like to follow the lead of Comics for Kids and have a similar nomination and judging process for this potential new category.

Unfortunately we’ll be placing two categories “on hiatus” for 2012: Outstanding Publisher and Outstanding Colourist.

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.

Upcoming: Michel Rabagliati’s Paul au Parc, Expo Paul and The Song of Roland.

Set to debut in November 2011 from Montreal-based publisher La Pastèque is the seventh Paul graphic novel by Michel Rabagliati Paul au Parc. In this volume we go back to Paul’s childhood and his days scouting and mentoring, during the time of the FLQ and the October Crisis.

Paul au parc par Michel Rabagliati
ISBN  978-2-923841-05-2
144 pages, 7.5×10 inches, black and white
$24.95

For a preview of six pages from the book, please visit here!

Also, in Montreal this November to coincide with the release, a special exhibit entitled EXPO PAUL opens – it’s a look at the world of Paul and his creator, and includes original art, reference materials, notes & photos. It will be held in two locations:

* Bibliothèque Parc-Extension – November 2-28, 2011 – 421, Rue Saint-Roch, Montréal, 514-872-6071
* Maison de la culture Mercier – December 4-January 17, 2012 – 8105 rue Hochelaga, Montréal, 514-872-8755

In May 2012, just in time for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, Conundrum Press will be releasing THE SONG OF ROLAND, the English translation of Michel Rabagliati’s acclaimed graphic novel Paul à Québec (published by La Pastèque), for which he was honoured as the Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Cartoonist / Créateur Canadien Exceptionnel de Bandes Dessinées in 2010. It is the sixth book in the Paul series

Here’s the specifics:

The Song of Roland by Michel Rabagliati
May 2012
ISBN 978-1-894994-61-3
192 pages, 7.5×10 inches, black and white
$20
BDANG Imprint
Translation by Helge Dascher

The Song of Roland focuses on the life and death of the father-in-law of Rabagliati’s alter-ego Paul, who has been called “The Tintin of Quebec” By Le Devoir. The French edition, Paul à Québec, was critically hailed, winning the FNAC Audience Award at France’s Angouleme festival, a Joe Shuster Award for Outstanding Cartoonist, and was nominated for the City of Montreal’s Grand Prize, and the Audience Award at Montreal’s Salon du Livre. The book is currently in production by Caramel Films. In his classic European cartooning style Rabagliati effortlessly tackles big subjects. As the family stands vigil over Roland in his hospital bed, Rabagliati weaves a story of one man’s journey through life and the legacy he leaves behind. The Song of Roland is a mid-career masterpiece from one of Quebec’s finest draftsmen.

“A formidable ode to life that reminds us of the importance of knowing how to say goodbye” – La Presse

“A novel that goes straight to the heart” – Le Soleil

“His stories are personally revealing but gentle, full of kind people with common problems… Rabagliati employs a light, curvy drawing style and episodic plotting that overtly recalls Herge’s Tintin adventures.” — The Onion

Michel Rabagliati was born in 1961 in Montreal, where he grew up in the Rosemont neighbourhood. Having developed an interest in typography, he studied graphic design and in 1988 moved into freelance illustration. Since 1998, his graphic novels have revolutionized the comic-book art form in Quebec. With his six books, Michel Rabagliati has become an essential figure in the comics scene of Quebec. In April 2005, he was awarded the Grand Prix de la ville de Québec, care of the Festival de BD de Québec, and was selected as a Personality of the Week by the daily newspaper La Presse. In 2007, Rabagliati’s body of work to date earned a Special Mention from the Prix des libraires du Québec.

Bibliography (includes translated editions).

Deciding the 2012 Categories

Here at the JSAs we’re fairly open to making changes to the existing award categories if a solid argument can be made for the alteration, or for adding new or retiring old categories. In recent years new awards have included The Comics for Kids Award, The Gene Day Award, as well as the Outstanding Cover Artist and Outstanding Colourist Awards. Retired Awards include Outstanding Achievement, Favourite French and Favourite English creator.

As we are beginning our work in compiling the eligible comics for the 2012 Awards, the discussion has begun on the subject of Award categories. I’ve nothing to announce at present, other than over the next couple of weeks we will be hopefully deciding which of our current categories will continue on into the next Awards season and which ones will be put “On Hiatus”.

2011 Categories included:

Outstanding Artist/Artist Team
Outstanding Cartoonist
Outstanding Colourist
Outstanding Cover Artist
Outstanding Publisher
Outstanding Webcomics Creator/Creative Team
Outstanding Writer
Comics for Kids Award for Material Aimed at Younger Readers
Gene Day Award for Self-Publishing
Harry Kremer Award for Comic Book Retailing
Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame

The Webcomics Award is something that is being discussed – should webcomics (one of the most popular and well regarded awards) be retired and incorporated into the other categories (which have been exclusively for printed, distributed works)? It’s something we are debating internally so we’d love to read your thoughts on the subject.

Generally we are looking to maintain the same number of awards in 2012 — 12.

If you have any suggestions, thoughts or recommendations, please reply to this post or email me at kevin@joeshusterawards.com

Camilla d’Errico and BOOM! Studios Launch Kickstarter Campaign for New Hardcover Edition of ‘Tanpopo’

Camilla d’Errico and BOOM! Studios Launch Kickstarter Campaign for New Hardcover Edition of ‘Tanpopo’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Los Angeles, Oct. 3rd, 2011 — International pop-artist and graphic novelist Camilla d’Errico and publisher BOOM! Studios have announced the launch of a Kickstarter campaign to fund an exclusive run of two different hardcover editions of d’Errico’s fan-hit series Tanpopo.
Originally started as an independent project, Tanpopo combines Camilla d’Errico’s unique and immediately recognizable style of art with famous literally classics, specifically Goethe’s Faust, to create an experience that is part graphic novel, part play, and part poem.
The story follows a young girl named Tanpopo who is attached to a strange machine which gives her the entire knowledge of the world, however, she is unable to feel human emotions. Crying out for the chance to feel love, the devilish shape-shifting Kuro hears Tanpopo’s plea, and agrees to free her from the machine, and to show her real love, in exchange for her soul.
First sold at comic conventions across the world, the first three volumes of Tanpopo were self-printed by d’Errico Studios in Vancouver, Canada before being serialized on MTV Geek earlier this year as announced at San Diego Comic-Con. Still running online through MTV Geek, Tanpopo will be available to read for free until 2012 when the hardcover editions from BOOM! Studios are expected to be released.
In order to cover the printing costs of a 160 page hardcover edition of the book, as well as a limited edition which features numbering and signature from Camilla d’Errico, BOOM! Studios has started a Kickstarter campaign with a variety of gift tiers ranging from $1 to $175. Regular hardcover editions of the book start at only $25, but are limited to 500 copies. Other items in the Kickstarter campaign include a brand-new art print of the updated Tanpopo cover by Camilla d’Errico, plush toys of the character Kuro and his alter-ego Specter, keychains, and more.
For more information about the Kickstarter campaign, please visit: http://kck.st/n5C0FS
Tanpopo on MTV Geek: http://on.mtv.com/pA2y2J 
To speak with Camilla d’Errico about the project, or to receive images, 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 will be revealed at this year’s New York Comic Con.
About BOOM! Studios:
Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, BOOM! Studios generates bestselling comic books and graphic novels with the industry’s top talent with titles like Mark Waid’s Irredeemable and Stan Lee’s Solider Zero, The Traveler, and Starborn, as well as the award winning series Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? based on the novel by Philip K. Dick, Hellraiser by Cliver Barker, several projects from 20th Century Fox, and The Henson’s Company’s Farscape. Earlier this year, BOOM! announced the start of an all-ages line called KABOOM! that will publish Peanuts and a variety of popular Disney titles.
For more information, or to receive content assets, please email Aaron Colter at info@camilladerrico.com with a short note concerning your request.camilladerico.com

It’s game on for the DC relaunch which is not a reboot

It's actually more of a reset. David Finch's infamous JL1 variant cover, which was also used as one of the covers for the Program Guide at Fan Expo Canada last weekend..

Tonight at midnight in some select stores and tomorrow morning everywhere else, DC Comics will be getting a lot of attention. Why? It’s the end of one era and the begging of a new direction.

1) Flashpoint #5 “changes everything” as the DCU goes through what can only be compared to a “Star Trek-like” readjustment of it’s entire superhero line of comic books. I liken it to the recent Star Trek movie (the one directed by J.J. Abrams) in that a central DC hero (looking to foil his arch-enemy) has gone back in time and changed events that have caused the present to change dramatically resulting in the warped Flashpoint world where Superman is a lab rat and Batman is Thomas Wayne. Flashpoint is also similar to Back to the Future II in that events in the past have changed the present, sort of like the alternate 1985 on BTTF II. Well, in the process of fixing the timeline, things change again — and the new timeline will be similar but with a lot of subtle differences which of course will be evident in…

2) Justice League #1 by the powerhouse dynamic duo of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, which starts off with a six part story that looks at the formation of the Justice League some nebulous “five years ago”.

Justice League #1 debuts with a variant cover by David Finch, and there will also be a bagged version that includes a code for a digital copy of the comic. Customers will also be able to purchase the comic online as it is the first of the new “day and date” digital publishing plan that DC has adopted.

Needless to say, curiousity levels will be high. Since the story broke DC has been playing up and playing down the changes so much that the existing customer base is as put off by it as they are intrigued, but both groups will want to know the hows, whats and whys of the changes before making a final call on this massive change.

At FanExpo this past weekend I had a chance to talk to some of the folks at DC and they are very excited but equally nervous as this is a bold step for the company, and it’s one they won’t know the results of for sure until the third issues of the “new 52″ are out and retailers report on whether the influx of interest in the new #1’s has encouraged anyone to stick around long enough to sample the second and third issues.

I also spoke with many retailers over the weekend, and they are both excited at the interest their customers are showing in the relaunch, but equally concerned about the longevity of their customer’s interest. On top of that, most seem either negative or indifferent towards the digital releases.

Either way, there’s no debate about the importance of this event to both retailers, the publisher and the one element rarely mentioned — the distributor. If DC successfully alienates their existing readers and fails to attract new ones this will end up being a spectacular failure of “New Universe” proportions and could result in a hasty “quick fix” event to restore things to the way they were and it could potentially. If it is successful retailers will see an influx of new and old faces into their stores looking for comics again. Let’s hope that is the case!

Party!

Last night we had the Toronto wrap party and celebration for the 7th Annual Joe Shuster Awards and I get the impression that it was a great success! The 587 College space was a great venue, very casual and we had a relaxed 20 or so minute ceremony where we were able to honour local winners Francis Manapul, John Martz, Planete BD (not local but drove in for the party!), Anne Koyama, Scott Chantler and Tin Can Forest.

Tyrone is currently traveling, but it was great to see the rest of the group out for the evening – Andrew, Allison, Jenn and Robert, Deb and I were all really happy with how well things worked out. It was also great to see a variety of Toronto’s creators come out to support their friends and associates! It was really a meeting of worlds and styles and from an organizing standpoint it’s always satisfying to see the various communities come together and learn from each other’s adventures in the world of comics. All of the various Mill Street beers that we provided were consumed as well (all gone when we wrapped) — the after party went on to about 11:30.

So thanks again to everyone that came out, congratulations to all of the winners and special thanks to the Toronto Cartoonists Workshop for allowing us to use their great space!

Also – one last note – I’d like to thank to Planete BD for coming to Toronto for this event – we hope you had a great time – and for being our Montreal ambassadors — they will be presenting Emilie Villeneuve and Julie Rocheleau with their awards at their store in the near future for La Fille Invisible.

Diamond Digital set to arrive in September 2011

For Immediate Release

14 July 2011 – Diamond Digital – the joint venture between Diamond Comic Distributors and iVerse Media which will empower brick and mortar comic shops to sell digital content – announced [on July 14] that in September, Diamond’s retail comic shop customers will be able to pre-generate codes redeemable for new digital comics.

The Diamond Digital program, with components in both physical stores and on comic shop web sites, is an initiative unlike anything undertaken in other retail markets. Many of the comics in the program will be available first from comic shops or will contain special bonus material unavailable elsewhere. Participating stores will be able to sell a wide range of new comics, digital back issues and digital backlist graphic novels. A key feature of the initiative is the Print PLUS option, which allows consumers to purchase a digital companion copy of a print comic book, usually for just 99¢ more.

According to Dave Bowen, Director of Diamond Digital, “The September launch date has actually been our target for months, but we didn’t want to announce it until we’d passed certain critical unit testing benchmarks. This worked out well because of the way our Beta Test group of retailers has evolved. After we put together our Beta Test group, an international assembly of more than fifty businesses, the participants suggested many great ideas and improvements, including added functionality in support of the individual retailer web-site based part of the initiative.”

The beta process, supported by close partner and industry technical leader iVerse Media, LLC is now well underway. Michael Murphey, CEO of Iverse said, “Part of the beta test group is currently doing dry-run testing of the web site capabilities we’ve created for them. The advanced group, companies with existing sophisticated e-commerce web sites, are beginning to integrate our API into their processes.”

Bowen says the next phase is to get physical. “In August we plan to beta test new weekly digital comic offerings in the physical stores, giving our code generation and redemption processes a good workout. We’ll also use this time for retailer training with the beta stores and customer service training on the Diamond end. By September we should have a more mature, well-tested process that any store can join with minimal effort.

“All of our Retailer Services will be driven from http://www.diamonddigital.com,” Bowen says. “Retailers can go there now and read the general information about the program. In September, we plan to turn on full login capabilities for all Diamond accounts, including UK and International retail customers. Participating publishers will also be able to log in and see how their material is being represented, monitor their sales, and gauge the effectiveness of the program.”

On the publisher side of the program, Bowen noted that more than 30 publishers—including IDW Publishing, Image Comics, Archie, NBM/Papercutz, and Top Shelf— are currently participating in Diamond Digital, and that the number continues to grow. “We recently confirmed the addition of Image Comics, which is very exciting because it brings a cross-section of creative voices with broad consumer appeal to the program. We’ve also been adding some unexpected publishers like Within Temptation, a symphonic metal band that produces a comic which is integrally tied in to their music. Their lead singer, Sharon Janny den Adel, is providing an exclusive video clip which will be bundled with the digital comic. We’re still in talks with many other publishers and expect participation to expand continuously as a natural part of the business process.

“We’ll be launching Diamond Digital with dozens of new releases and nearly 2,000 back issues,” Bowen added, “many of them graphic novel length. All of those digital issues have been created in the central Diamond system so we can invoice retailers and pay publishers correctly. This is only one of technical challenges we’re meeting as September draws closer, and we are confident that all concerned will appreciate our efforts to get every detail of this launch right.”

Happenings: Toronto – Joe Shuster Awards Year 7 Wrap Party & Plaque Presentations – July 15th

JSA wrap party event for Toronto — It will take place on Friday, July 15th. The evening will be held in the new space for the Toronto Cartoonists Workshop at 587 College Street West (2nd floor) and will run from 8 to about 10.

At this event we’ll be giving the winners not available to attend the ceremony in Calgary their award plaques. Admission is free.

Facebook event page.

Renegade Arts Entertainment, Ltd.

Last year on my way down to San Diego, I had the pleasure of sitting beside Renegade Arts Entertainment founder- director, writer and editor Alexander Finbow.

Finbow, along with actor Doug Bradley (Hellraiser) and writer Alan Grant formed the publishing house in the UK, but the central offices are based out of Canmore, Alberta. http://www.renegadeartsentertainment.com

It was great to reconnect with Alex at the Calgary Expo and see and learn about the projects that they have been working on, and there are two that I think are of particular interest and connect with the Canadian creative scene that we are here to promote:

SHAME – CONCEPTION (1 of 3)

I can’t believe that this series is not getting more attention. Written by Canadian comics legend LOVERN KINDZIERSKI, with fully painted art by the astounding JOHN BOLTON and lettered by the esteemed TODD KLEIN.

Shame is a Dark Fantasy Graphic Novel, Suggested for Mature Readers. The concept: When the purest woman on earth allows herself one selfish wish, it is enough to conceive the most evil woman the world has ever known. Shame: Conception introduces a world much like our own but with magick and those with the power to control it, for good and for evil. In the first tale we meet Shame, discover the unique circumstances of her creation, and follow her choices as her true nature is revealed. It is difficult to say more without giving away too much of the story, and it is a story of such scope and imagination that it would be seriously remiss of us to lessen your reading experience with spoiler now.

To reserve a copy at your comic book store give them this code:

MAY111180

The first issue just went to print and debuted at the Calgary Expo but the series was made available for order through Diamond MAY111180 / ISBN: 978-1-908217-01-1 and should be shipping to stores who ordered it on JULY 13 (next week).

THE LOXLEYS AND THE WAR OF 1812

Writer Alan Grant’s epic adventure of a family caught up in the conflict that helped to define both Canada and America into the nations they would become. With the Bicentenary fast approaching Renegade will be publishing several books to commemorate the events.

The 102 page comic book is being drawn by Claude St. Aubin, coloured by Lovern Kindzerski and lettered by Todd Klein. It will also feature a 30 page summary of the war written by well known Canadian historical author Mark Zuehlke.

The Loxley’s left America after the American war of Independence to start a new life in the Niagara region of Canada, only to find themselves thrust back into the madness of war when America declared war against Britain and the Canadas.

Adapted from Aurora Loxley’s journals, the story follows the family members involvement in the war and their challenges at home dealing with the chaos and violence of the time.

The project will be accompanied by a number of interesting initiatives that we were given some information on but will share with you here on the blog when more information is made available. The project will premiere later this year and the preview art we were shown in Calgary looks fantastic!