Long time cartoonist Jack Elrod retired as the main
cartoonist on Mark Trail last March. The comic strip is about an
adventurous mountaineer is loved by fans for its portrayal of natural
habitats. Elrod continues to draw the Sunday strip which was always
more educational. The Sunday strip's vignettes focus on nature tidbits.
They leave the rudimentary plots and adventures of Mark Trail to the
daily strips. James Allen who undertook a long tutorship under Elrod
since 2004 has now taken over the duties of the weekdays strips. The
passing of the branch to one generation to the other is usual. Elrod
took over the daily Mark Trail comic strip from creator Edward Dodd.
Naturalist Jack Davis drew the Sunday editions until his death. Elrod
has been drawing them since.
Pearls Before Swine
Stephan Pastis’s Pearl Before Swine is over 12 years-old. But do readers know about the comic strip's latest collection released last March? Pearls Before Swine is about a cynical rat and his best friend, a naive pig. The strip is critical of modern mores and fads. It's witty but less political than Doonesbury. The comic strip is also not focused on office politics like Dilbert. It’s easy to imagine how many comic strip readers may not notice it. Pastis's blog doesn’t even mention the release date of the seventh collection. The book's title is Pearls Falls Fast: A Pearls Before Swine Treasury (ISBN: 978-1449446598) is easy to find in all major bookstores. Roanoke Times’ John Long wrote a critical review of Pearls Before Swine worth reading.
Amigo Comics will release three more issues feature female leads this July. The small Spanish publisher is intent on penetrating the North American market. Ghost Wolf #4, Lunita #4 and Rogues! Volume 2 Cold Ship #3 are all listed in Diamond Previews’ July edition.
Production house Space Goat Productions is becoming more forceful in promoting its services. It will release a promotional comic book for Wizard World Philly held between June 19-22 2014. Space Goat provides creative services covering most development steps of comic book production. They have worked for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Top Cow and more. The promotional Space Goat Present anthology is digital.
Red 5 Comics released today its first digital-first graphic novel called Creature Academy. Created by Kevin Hanna, it’s available on ComiXology and other digital comics apps.
Malta Comic Con
Comics may not be what people think about when they hear about Malta. The small Mediterranean island has organized a second edition of its comic book convention. Malta Comic Con is November 29-30, 2014 this year. They offer travel and accommodation packages for overseas creators and attendees. It’s worth visiting if combined with a wider visit of the island and the area. More information is available at Maltacomic-com.com
Toronto Comic Art Festival
This year’s Toronto Comic Art Festival is bigger. There are several releases of new books and many visiting cartoonists from outside of the region visiting. As usual, the event is at the Toronto Reference Library downtown and is free to attend. The event runs from Saturday May 10 to Sunday May 11, 2014. More at TorontoComics.com