Previously On Comics: New Distributors, Comic-Cons, and Creative Resistance

Happy Vernal Equinox, readers! Depending on where you live, the past week brought some “interesting” weather, but hopefully those days are behind us. Now, let’s talk about what’s going on in the comics world.

In adaptation news, Marvel is a launching a Darth Vader comicbook series in June. Timely, given the fact that the ending of Rogue One reminded many people just how terrifying the iconic Star Wars villain is. Moving away from space operas and toward giant monsters, any King Kong fans out there? If you’re still hungry after Kong: Skull Island, you’re in luck. Next month, Legendary Comics will begin releasing the four-issue Skull Island: The Birth of Kong. The company touts the miniseries as both a prequel and sequel to the recent film. Not quite sure how that works, but I’m sure fans will let us know. And finally, shifting to the world of videogames, fans of Atari’s Swordquest may finally find some closure through a new comics series beginning in May.

While movies do get comicbook adaptations, we’re probably more familiar with comics getting the live action treatment. What do we have to look forward to? Kevin Smith might be bringing the Spawn detective spin-off, Sam and Twitch, to the small screen. He’s not the only one either. The Russo brothers are reportedly producing a TV adaptation of Valiant Comics’ Quantam and Woody. I spy a partner theme.

When we think of comicbook distributors, chances are the name Diamond comes to mind. To be honest, I don’t know of any other distributors. They must exist, but their names have never entered my consciousness. It says something about how difficult it is to penetrate the market, so hats off to Emerald City Distro, which seeks to bring independent and small press comics to shops around the Puget Sound area.

Companies aren’t the only things that start small; conventions do, too. That’s the concept behind AshLibCon, a mini comic-con being hosted in Ashland, Nebraska this upcoming weekend. The comic-con came about when teenaged patrons of the local library system began requesting themed events. Rather than hosting several smaller events, the organizers decided to take a broader approach by covering multiple fandoms and media formats.

Last week, the Dominican Women’s Development Center and the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance held the Zinister Zine Fair. The event featured several zine makers, many of whom are members of the POC and LGBTQ communities. Considering these difficult political times, creative resistance is more important than ever, and zines have always played an important role in that arena.

In very exciting news, local homegrown comics are finding an audience in Africa. Don’t these premises sound amazing? A noir detective series? A psychic hero? An alternate universe where Europe didn’t colonize Africa? Awesome!

And to finish off this column, I’d like to share a four-page comic that mangaka Aoi Michiyuki shared on Twitter last week. The short manga revisits the creator’s childhood, when she was diagnosed with OCD.

See you next week!

Vernieda Vergara

Vernieda Vergara

Writer. Manga and webtoon aficionado. I hail from Washington D.C. where I consume too much media and cause only a little trouble. Tweet me @incitata.