We talk to the biggest names in digital comics about their work.
This year’s shortlist for the Best Digital/Web Comic Eisner Award is one of the most diverse we’ve seen and one of the most insightful is Melanie Gilman’s As The Crow Flies webcomic. The tale of a gay African American teen on a Christian hiking trip touches issues of homophobia, racism and gender, all within the stunning scenery of the Rocky Mountains. With beautiful hand drawn pencil artwork, Melanie’s work informs, educates and entertains without ever feeling preachy, so we got in touch to find out more about experiences on teenage camping retreats and how the industry recognition as helped develop this wonderful web comic.
The latest in our series of interviews with the nominees for the 2014 Best Digital/Web Comic Eisner Award sees us catch up with the truly unique Dax Tran-Caffee. The brains behind the truly innovative Failing Sky web comic that takes the traditional rules of linear story-telling and throws them out of the window in order to make up a whole new structure and approach to telling a story. With pages that scroll up, down, left, right and even leap to completely different chapters it’s a truly special series that is unlike anything else out there (plus it’s all hand drawn in paper and pencil!) so we were keen to catch up with Dax and discover the secrets to this avant-garde comics adventure.
As part of our build up to this year’s Eisner Award for Best Digital / WebComic we talk to Brian Fies, create of The Last Mechanical Monster. Fies is no stranger to the Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic, having won the inaugural prize back in 2005 for his emotive series ‘Mom’s Cancer’. This year he is nominated for the very different work, The Last Mechanical Monster is the tale of a mad scientist from a 1930s Max Fleischer Superman cartoon who is released from prison in the present day only to go in search of his last remaining fire-breathing flying robot. It’s brilliant mix of post-modernism with a generous dose of nostalgia so we contacted Brian to find out more about how this project came about.
With San Diego Comic Con just around the corner, that means the annual Eisner Awards – the comic industry’s leading prize – is also about to be upon us. As well as the usual back-slapping and hand shaking for the comic world’s leading titles from the big publishers, six fantastic comics will be vying for the prize of ‘Digital/Web Comic of the Year’. One of those is Everest-set crime thriller High Crimes, from digital-first publisher MonkeyBrain Comics. We catch up with writer Christopher Sebela to find out about the impact of this prestigious nomination, the secrets to writing a story at high altitude and who he’d cast in the movie of the series.
Brian Winkeler and Robert WIlson IV’s slacker superhero series Knuckleheads, is affectionately known as our ‘11th favourite MonkeyBrain title’ after narrowly missing out on a spot on our rundown of the digital first publishers best titles. However with the first story arc now finished and the first 8 issues set to be collected into a print edition from IDW Publishing called Knuckleheads: Fist Contact we are rethinking that moniker and changing it to our ‘#1 vomiting superhero book’ (and new favourite graphic novel!). We catch up with Brian and Robert to find out how things are going for our nausea-challenged hero Trevor K Trevinski (a.k.a. The Crystal Fist) and friends.
Electricomics is a pioneering new digital comics project that is being overseen by Leah Moore, daughter of legendary Watchmen creator Alan Moore. This UK government funded arts project is aiming to develop an open source toolkit for digital comics creators with the aim of bringing this exciting medium to the masses via a cutting edge iPad app. Most excitingly for fans it will also feature exclusive Alan Moore digital comics as well as new titles from a host of big name writers and artists. Leah and developer Ed Moore [no relation] give us exclusive insights into this ground-breaking new project.
With a cover that features Godzilla attacking downtown Auckland, Kiwi comics anthology Faction volume 1 is looking to take over the world of digital comics just like it’s cover star. Released via ComiXology Submit, Faction volume 1 takes work by some of New Zealands best up-and-coming comic superstars and combines them into an eclectic must-read collection. From the silence of outer space to laser abusing couriers to a clown hunting a whale, Faction is a ‘stupendous comic hodgepodge’ and we were keen to find out more about it so we got in touch with editor Damon Keen to get the inside story!
When stage hypnotist Archer Coe is drawn into a marital dispute his very world begins to unravel around him, if only he had listened to the sage advice of his neighbourhood alley cats! James S. Rich and Dan Christensen’s noir-infused pulp thriller has been available as digital-first instalments since April, but now the collected edition is set to be released courtesy of Oni Press and fans can enjoys this mentalist masterpiece in all it’s twisty turny glory. To find out more about the mysterious world or Archer Coe we got in touch with Jame and Dan to get to the bottom of the mysterious world of Archer Coe and find out whether cats really do know the secret of everything, if only we asked them!
Sockford is the cautionary tale of of a teenage boy who enjoys a few too many ‘solo activities’ only for his ‘soiled’ tube sock to be brought to life when lightning strikes his washing machine. Despite the slightly risque premise, Sockford is delightfully sweet story coming-of-age story about a teenage boy and his sock buddy that is released this week via ComiXology. Keen to find out more about this unique story we contacted writer/artist Russell Ihrig to learn more about socks, sexuality and ComiXology Submit.
In a holding cell in ancient Greece, 3 prisoners await their fate – a woman, a drunk and a sea captain. As lightning splits the sky, a ballista bolt breaks through the prison window and the prisoners escape into the night. If this kind of action is getting your heart racing then read on as this is the opening scenes of Barkane the new series from writer Terry McCarthy. Available as both an iOS and Android app for tablets and smartphones, as well as via ComiXology’s Submit, it’s a brilliant mix of cutting edge digital comics and ancient action so we contacted Terry to find out more.
Josh Williamson and Mike Henderson’s gruesome new creator-owned series Nailbiter from Image Comics had one of the most iconic and disturbing covers we have seen in years! This week they are set to launch the dark and twisted second issue onto an unsuspecting public and after the [literally] nail bitingly good first issue we knew that we had to to dig deeper into the world of Buckaroo, Oregon (the home of 16 serial killers) to find out more about this darkly twisted world they have created – not to mention finding out just where they came up with the idea for that horrifically good cover. WARNING: This article contains pages from the book which might not be suitable for all ages!
There’s a huge number of reasons why people creates comics: artistic expression; a lifelong passion; the desire for fame and adoration; or just good old fashioned cash! However for Doug Cohen and the team behind new ComiXology Submit series Jason Coffee’s Warhawks, their motivations were much more altruistic as they launched the title in memory of their late friend bringing to life characters from an unpublished screenplay. Jason himself was a screenwriter and avid comics fan so his friends felt the best tribute they could give to him would be turn one of his scripts into an action-packed digital comic. It’s a fantastic story so we contacted Doug to find out more about their amazing journey from devastated friends to aspiring comic book creators.
At the centre of the world of Brass Sun is the Orrery a vast clockwork solar system where planets whirl on vast metal arms and the sun of cogs is worshipped as a god. This new mini series from 2000 AD writer Ian Edginton and artist INJ Culbard is released on May 28th by 2000 AD/Rebellion Publishing and sees heroine Wren look to save her home world, and in turn the entire universe, from heretical cog worshipping bishops and along the way set out on a mission to restart the sun! No small scale story-telling here! To find out more about this mix of fairy tale, steam punk, clock punk and good old fashioned science fantasy we contacted writer Ian Edginton to ask what it would be like living in a clockwork world.