Weekend Update for February 21, 2021

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Here’s the latest news from around the web about Canadian comic book creators and supporters.

Bleeding Cool reported on a new book by Michele Assarasakorn and Nathan Fairbairn called Paws. Slated for publication by Penguin Random House in Spring 2022, Nathan described the story as: “Paws is the story of three girls with nothing in common but a love of animals and a long-thwarted desire for pets who start up a dog-walking service. Their dissimilar personalities and the challenges of running a real business soon threaten to tear it and their friendship apart!”
You can read more at BleedingCool.com

Sequential Magazine announced the nominees for their 2020 awards. Sponsored by Strange Adventures Comics & Curiosities in Halifax NS, Dartmouth NS & Fredericton NB, the awards, originating in 2017, are fan voted awards organized by Sequential Magazine to allow Canadian comic fans to show their appreciation for their favourite local indie comics and creators as well as discover more great Canadian made comics. Nominees include:

Best Comic Book
Commander Rao – Fell Hound for story/art and LetterSquids for logo/lettering
Death & Comics – Randy Stone for writing, linear, inks and letters, plus various artists
Oktana & Ko #3 – Yuriy Levytsky for writer, George Todorovski for art and others
Space Cowboy and the Triumphanteers #2 – Jeff Knott and Derek Jessome as cartoonists and others
Spectrum #2 – Michael McAdam for writing and lettering, Jeremy Thew for art and others
The Gathering Place #2 – Nelson Caetano for writing and illustrating, Antonio Caetano for digital colour assist, Nelson Caetano Jr. for digital colour assistance and Sany Caetano for editing
The Remedy: Chapter 1 – Nick Johnson for writing and illustrating
Undergrowth #4 – Ricky Lima for writing, Daniele Aquilani for art, Andrew Thomas for lettering

Best Graphic Novel
Drunk Days – A Belly Full of Hot Poison – Luke Humpris for writing and illustration
Group of 7: A Most Secret Tale – Chris Sanagan for writing, Jason Lapidus for illustration
Halls of the Turnip King – Brenda Hickey for writing and illustration
Ice Massacre: The Graphic Novel – Tiana Warner for writing and co-creating, April Pierce for illustration and co-creating
The Krillian Key: Salamander Run Vol. 1 – Neil Shannacappo for writing and illustration
THRUD: Volume 1 – Zack Schuster for writing and illustration
What Will Not Last – Lyndon Radchenka for writing and lettering, plus various artists
XII: Of Magic and Muses Volume 2 – Kristen Kiomall-Evans for writing and art, plus others

Best Webcomic
Crown & Anchor – Toben Racicot for writing and lettering, Alaire Racicot for art
Folklore – Adam Ma for writing, Colin Tan Wei for illustration
Frightmare City – AC Turner for writing and creating, various artists
Ghost Junk Sickness – Kristen Lee and Laura Lee for writing and illustration
Hell Inc. – Jeff Martin for writing and illustration
Rising Sand – Ty Dunitz for writing, colouring and lettering, Jenn Lee for illustration
Soul to Call – Katherine (Rommie) Lang for writing and illustration
Utown – Cab for writing and illustration

Favourite Writer
AC Turner – Frightmare City
Alan Russette – Project I.M.P.A.C.T.
Dino Caruso – Courage
Kristen Kiomall-Evans – XII: Magic & Muses
Randy Stone – Death & Comics
Tiana Warner – Mermaids of Eriana Kwai

Favourite Artist
Alaire Racicot – Crown & Anchor
Colin Tan Wei – various
Jade McGilvray – Encephalon
Jenn Lee – Rising Sand
Kelvin Nyeusi-Mawazo – Black Sun Comics
Sandy Carruthers – Century Man

Favourite Cartoonist
Brenda Hickey – Halls of the Turnip King
Cab – Nuclear Winter
Dominic Bercier – SIGNAL Saga
Fell Hound – Project Big Hype
Nick Johnson – various
Troy Little – Angora Napkin

Favourite Colourist
Sharon Gauthier – Auric of the Great White North
Donovan Yaciuk – various
Ty Dunitz – Rising Sand

Favourite Letterer
Andrew Thomas – various
Toben Racicot – various
Lyndon Radchenka – various

You can read more at SequentialPulp.ca

ComicBook.com interviewed Chip Zdarsky about his writing effort on Black Hammer Visions with cover art by Jason Loo. When asked about his approach for this story and interaction with Jeff Lemire, Chip said: “For years Jeff would call me every couple of weeks, yelling at me that he needs ideas for stories, that he “ran out” of ideas back in 2004. You could hear him sweating on the other end of the line, it was pretty weird. Eventually, he asked me if I’d write a single issue of his anthology series.”
You can read more at ComicBook.com

Marvel interviewed Jed MacKay about what he has planned for the upcoming storylines for Black Cat. When asked about his favourite moments from the series, Jed said: “There’s been a lot to love about writing Black Cat—getting to know Felicia and her supporting cast, working with such a wide and talented team of collaborators, but I think the real highlight of working on this book has been seeing people who have had little to no interest in the character become fans. Black Cat is, for a Marvel book, a little different from the usual Super Hero title and Felicia Hardy is a little different kind of character, and it’s been great to see that resonate with people.”
You can read more at Marvel.com

CBC News reported that the Conundrum Press Mini-Comic Bursary winner is Talysha Bujold-Abu from Windsor, Ontario. The $1000 bursary was created by Conundrum Press to recognize emerging Black and Indigeous comic creators. Conundrum Press Publisher Andy Brown commented on Talysha: “She has a background in the fine arts world but hopes to expand into the comics field.We look forward to working with her in developing her first graphic novel.” Talysha spoke about the bursary and said: “It’s allowing me the space to kind of grow and create within a new facet of my artistic process, as well as kind of stating to Windsor, or Ontario overall, that we are building and creating space for more Black and Indigenous creators where there has not been space before.”
You can read more at CBC.ca/news

CBR interviewed Chip Zdarsky about the Dark Horse publication Afterlift which also features artist Jason Loo, colorist Paris Alleyne, letterist Aditya Bidikar and editor Allison O’Toole. When asked about why a story about a rideshare for the afterlife, Chip said: “Like any writer, I’m always percolating with ideas, and whenever I have one that isn’t a Marvel or DC one, I get pretty excited because it means I can go off and do it on my own. I think a lot about tales involving immortality, those are the kinds of stories I was drawn to as a teen growing up, just the idea of what’s beyond this life and how would a modern version of these myths like crossing the River Styx play out. When you think about [Ancient] Greek times, they would place coins before they let them go so they would have something to pay Charon to cross the River Styx.”
You can read more about CBR.com

And speaking of Chip Zdarsky, DC Comics announced a new limited series starting in April entitled Justice League: Last Ride. DC describes the story as follows: “Once, the Justice League was the most powerful collection of superheroes in the universe. But an unthinkable tragedy within its ranks has caused Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman to go their separate ways, leaving the League broken and disbanded under a veil of anger and mistrust. Now, against the backdrop of the universe’s greatest murder trial, can the League reconcile the past before they’re eradicated by the greatest villains in the cosmos?”
You can read more at DCComics.com

CBC News spoke with Johnny Cassidy about this new project Sasquatch Klondike along with illustrator Chad Leduc. Slated for release in March, Johnny revealed the story: “It’s about the Klondike gold rush to a degree. It’s more about people and how they act in desperate situations…It’s about a family of impoverished individuals who have chosen to take an invitation to mine for what they think is an infinite amount of gold in the Klondike. And they come across some supernatural beings, and carnage ensues.”
You can read more at CBC.ca/News

Spartantown spoke with Jeff Lemire about his new series Snow Angels with artist Jock. The new title from comiXology, Amazon Original Stories, is described as an epic science fiction adventure story set in a brutal near future where the world is covered in ice. Jeff commented on the project saying: “Snow Angels has been gestating in my notebooks for over a decade and it’s really rewarding to see Milli and Mae finally come to vibrant life with Jock’s kinetic and emotive artwork… Jock and I have been discussing this book for years and now The Trench finally lives! Really excited to share this story with readers and for them to fall into this world we are creating.”
You can read more at Spartantown.com

Newsarama spoke with Faith Erin Hicks about her writing work on Avatar: The Last Airbender – Toph Beifong’s Metalbending Academy. When asked about why she made character Toph as the centre of the story, Faith said: “Toph is my favorite Avatar character, so when we started doing one-shot Avatar The Last Airbender stories, I knew I had to do one about her. I liked the idea of exploring Toph in the role of a teacher; she’s clearly great at the job, but she’s also pretty reluctant. It’s a role forced on her by necessity, and it’s fun to see her rise to the challenge, usually through lots of yelling.”
You can read more at GamesRadar.com

And in case you missed it, here are some of the Canadian comic book creators who graciously gave their time for podcast interviews.

John Ward chatted about his project Acausal

Jordan Patrick Finn revealed his process for creating Death Kanji

Nick O’Gorman discussed how he developed Death Row Sorcerer

Thom Blais-LeBlanc spoke about his latest work Casa Rodeo


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