Invader Zim, for those not in the know, is a cult-classic Nickelodeon show only ran for two seasons, but in the decade since its cancellation it’s gained a huge following. The story follows Zim, a pint-sized alien invader who disguises himself as a human in an attempt to conquer Earth solo, and the distinctive art style and attitude of creator Jhonen Vasquez cemented Invader Zim as a post-cancellation hit. An on-going of Zim’s further adventures comes in July from Oni Press promising collaboration with Jhonen Vasquez, though it’s not clear yet if he’ll on-board as regular writer or artist. If the insane amount of Zim merchandise Hot Topic sold is any indication, expect this to be a serious hit.
The March trilogy is likely to go down as one of the best autobiographical works in comics, but its story of the U.S. civil rights movement has rarely seemed more relevant than in the current political landscape. It’s so easy to sanitize the past, or, as Nate Powell says in the interview the whole movement is often reduced to “Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, I Have a Dream.” In this interview, Powell describes how the creators approached portraying the violence in the book, which is interesting not only from a historical perspective but also examines how comic books a medium is so often saturated in violence it can lose its impact.
In…other ‘comics about racism’ news, Mark Waid and J.G. Jones New Book Strange Fruit Gets Art Preview. For those not aware, the term ‘strange fruit’ is a term referring to lynchings of black people in the early 20th century, so not exactly a phrase one should be throwing around lightly. The story, set in 1927 in Mississippi, where a powerful being appears that shakes up the racial and social tensions in the community. The summary sounds a little ‘Black Superman!’ but Mark Waid is an author I hope can bring the necessary nuance and empathy to this setting and make it work.
While his most well-known books may be about understanding comics as a medium, Scott McCloud has put those lessons to work in The Sculptor, a new graphic novel out from First Second. It’s a huge nearly 500-page story about a sculptor who makes a deal with Death and has been getting critical buzz since its release earlier this month. This interview goes into the nitty gritty of comic making in a way the comics press doesn’t do often, so process fans rejoice! Part two is here.