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Pia Guerra’s Vancouver comics workshop

Pia Guerra sample art

Weekly comics news roundup for Nov 30: Pia Guerra’s comics workshop and more

– by Eric Buckler, Ryan Ingram and Shawn Conner

– Thinking of breaking into the comics biz, but the thought of showing your artwork to a publisher freaks you right out? Have no fear, Pia Guerra is here. The award-winning artist – who’s worked for all the major publishers (including DC Comics/Vertigo’s superb Y: The Last Man) – is offering a very cool-sounding comics workshop, Pitching Pro: A Comic Book Artist’s Workshop, in downtown Vancouver this Sunday. Drawing from her own personal experience in the industry, plus valuable advice she’s picked up from others, the workshop sounds like a great place for artists to hear firsthand stories of how to land comic work, and to keep it coming. The workshop is only $25 and there are still spots left. Click here for more details. – Ryan Ingram

The Gauntlet, student magazine at the University Of Calgary, ran an inspired article about Maad Sheep and the emerging role of the independent comics publisher. The article begins with some great declarations about the status of the comics industry, from the racism that is only now being addressed at big hitters like Marvel to what will happen when the vacuum develops after the mighty two (Marvel and DC) have receded.

Enter the two guys that Heidi MacDonald over at Comics Beat says “…dress like a NASCAR pit crew”, Dan Lenfest-Jameson and Calan Lovstrom, Maad Sheep founders. Besides running the company, the two both work full time, travel all over Canada to conventions, and produce two comics. That is no small task, especially when you look at the time it takes to produce a comic of any size that is worth reading. Comics are changing just like every other form of publishing and media on the planet – let’s hope it changes with passionate people like Dan and Calan at the wheel. – Eric Buckler

Maad Sheep logo.

– Preview pages for the new Madman collection have surfaced and the book looks like an insta-buy for any comics addict this holiday season. Mike Allred is celebrating two decades since creating his iconic indie-superhero with the release of the Madman: 20th Anniversary Monster. The 11 x 17 hardcover will feature 20 brand-new strips from A-list cartoonists like Los Bros Hernandez, Paul Pope, Frank Quitely, Jeff Smith, and Craig Thompson, and will feature a new story by Allred. The book – due to hit shops in a couple weeks – will also collect previous pin-ups done by comic gods Jack Kirby, Moebius, Alex Toth, Frank Frazetta and Dave Stevens. – RI

Madman Monster cover art.

– In a cool exclusive interview at Newsarama, co-writer John Arcudi talks about the new developments in the Hellboy-less world of the BPRD: Hell On Earth, The Long Death series. The series will start in February 2012 and pick up on other strains of the Hell On Earth story. The story will heavily feature BPRD agent Johann Kraus, the ectoplasmic Austrian psychic spirit that is contained in a bio-suit.

In the interview, Arcudi reveals a relatively small amount about what the new series has in store, even though there is a fair amount of character name-dropping. Charecters like Daimio and Carla Giarocco are coming back, but some brand new members of BPRD are on the horizon. James Harren provides some teaser art for the new stories that feature possessed renderings of Johann. – EB

James Harren art for BPRD 2012.

James Harren art for BPRD 2012.

– The #9 “female secrets” issue of the Latvian comics magazine KUŠ! features 164 pages full of comics from 27 different female cartoonists. The artists are mostly, if not all, independent cartoonists from all over the world, including Vancouver’s own Emily Carroll, and Latvia. [Emily Carroll interview.] The previews look sensational, with what looks like a nice promise of a crazed Sonic the Hedgehog appearance at some point. Copies of this awesome mag, which is supported by the Latvian State Culture Capital Foundation (which does exactly what their name says they do) are available kit-and-kaboodle for $12 here along with some great previews.- EB

Latvian comic anthology Kus! cover image.

Robin Bougie‘s Cinema Sewer Volume 3 has been out for a few weeks now, but we were just finally able to pick up a copy at our friendly neighbourhood comic book store. As usual, the Vancouver writer/artist (and sometime Snipe contributor) has collected reams of material about the sordid and sleazy side(s) of the film industry, including a sad profile of one-time Prince protegé/consort Vanity, a piece on a subgenre writer Don Guarisco calls “Southern Discomfort” (Deliverance, Macon County Line, The House By the Lake) and a reprint of Bougie’s ode to Vancouver xxx houses The Venus and The Fox theatre. We were also pleased to see a couple of comics drawn by another sometime-Snipe contributor, DJ Bryant; the comics artist provides art for a guide to Western-themed porn and a strip about Ed Lake, a desktop detective who debunks Photoshopped celebrity nudes. – Shawn Conner

Cinema Sewer Volume 3 cover

– Just out: the first volume of Fantagraphics‘ series reprinting classic duck tales by Carl Barks hit shelves a couple of weeks ago, although Amazon.ca gives its release date as Nov 29 (order now through the online retailer and you won’t get it ’til after Christmas, unfortunately). The book features four long adventures, nine shorts and seven one-page gags from 1948 and 1949. You can read Tom De Haven‘s review on The Comics Journal blog here. – SC

Cover image Fantagraphics Donald Duck Lost in the Andes

– To make your own mini-comics, you just need a few pieces of computer paper and some staples. To get your hands on mini-comics featuring the likes of Tony Millionaire, Johnny Ryan and Jim Woodring, you’re going to need a little help from Fantagraphics. Last week the publisher announced an exclusive line of 21 very cool-looking mini-comics that are only available with any $50 purchase from their store, or if you buy a book from a creator with a corresponding mini-comic. For instance, if you pick up David B’s “The Armed Garden”, you get the added bonus of an exclusive mini-comic featuring a new David B eight-page myth translated into English for the first (and only) time. More info here. – RI

Fantagraphics mini-comics covers

– In the Globe and Mail today (Nov 30), Chris Hannay has a story that follows up on a recently published report saying that, for the past 10 Wednesdays, the best-selling iPad app has been comiXology. Hannay makes the point that the app, besides making it convenient for fans to stay on top of new as well as archived issues, might help bring back readers who’ve grown out of the weekly trek to the comic book store. You can read the story – which unfortunately mentions the abysmal sitcom The Big Bang Theoryhere. – SC

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