Peter Bagge Article


by Zack Smith

Christopher Irving made a big splash earlier this year with The Blue Beetle Companion from TwoMorrows. Now, he’s written the first in a new line of books spotlighting top independent comics talent with Comics Introspective Volume One: Peter Bagge, featuring the acclaimed Hate! cartoonist. We got the inside scoop on what it’s like to hang out with Bagge, and what’s coming up for both the series and for Irving.

Full article here.

John Kessel on MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION with Judy Davis and Sam Waterston

Raleigh author John Kessel to see work adapted on ABC
Not-so-instant karma


John Kessel’s last brush with Hollywood was when a producer was interested in his short story, “Hearts Do Not in Eyes Shine,” about a couple who has their memories of one another erased. Then Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind came out.

Not surprisingly, the Nebula-winning author and co-director of N.C. State’s MFA creative writing program calls the upcoming TV adaptation of his story “A Clean Escape” a “sort of a karmic debt.” The dramatization, starring Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actors Sam Waterston and Judy Davis, and directed by Emmy- and Oscar-nominee Mark Rydell (On Golden Pond, The Rose) will air as the first episode of ABC’s anthology Masters of Science Fiction at 10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4.

N.C. State creative writing professor John Kessel’s “A Clean Escape” is being adapted for TV.
Photo by James Preiss

Read the Full Story here.

Many Faces of the Graphic Novel


by Zack Smith

“Graphic Novel.” The phrase has been bandied about by countless critics, journalists and fans, becoming a term that’s sometimes seen as distinct from “comic books.”

But what truly constitutes a graphic novel, and what are the realities of creating one?

At the “Many Faces of the Graphic Novel” panel held at the San Diego Comic-Con International on Thursday, six of today’s most acclaimed creators tried to answer that question.

Full story here.

Fletcher Hanks: The Ed Wood of Comics?


by Zack Smith

For years, the work of Golden Age comic book creator Fletcher Hanks lingered in obscurity. That recently changed with the release of Fantagraphics’ I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets: The Comics of Fletcher Hanks by Paul Karasik, which has introduced such surreal, vengeful characters as Stardust and Fantomah to an all-new generation.

In the panel “Fletcher Hanks: The Ed Wood of Comics?”, held at the San Diego Comic-Con International on Thursday, Karasik showed a packed house the history of Hanks’ work, and argued why comparisons to “the worst director of all time” might not be warranted.

Full story here.

Simone Bianchi (ASTONISHING X-MEN) Interview

With Simone Bianchi just announced as the new artist on Astonishing X-Men with writer Warren Ellis, we checked in to hear his thoughts on the upcoming project, and find out what was up with the “X” shaved into his hair at San Diego Comic-Con. Even without a script in hand yet, Bianchi still had plenty to say about his upcoming run. Full story here.

News of the WATCHMEN Film!


by Zack Smith

Whiteout and Watchmen, two of the most-anticipated film adaptations of comics…well, ever, were previewed at San Diego Comic-Con International on Friday. Hall H, the largest exhibition room at the convention center, was packed wall to wall with thousands of fans waiting to hear some of the first news about the upcoming films in Warner Brothers’ presentation.

Here are the highlights…



by Zack SmithAt their panel today at SDCC, IDW announced a new project by a known/unknown author (depending on what you’ve heard). Author Joe Hill is a young writer’s who’s just coming into his own thanks to the reception his novel Heart-Shaped Box has seen. Hill was ”outed” by Variety in 2006 (after his book was published though) – his fill name is Joseph Hillstrom King, and he’s the son of Stephen and Tabitha King.But – as any number of critics have pointed out, Hill was making a name for himself before his genealogy was known. He’d even sold a comic story to Marvel amidst his early career. And now, Hill’s Locke & Key, a six issue miniseries, will be launching in January.

We spoke with the author.

Full story here.

Blount Street Commons: Revitalizing an Old Neighborhood

Building Blount Street Commons
Linking one of Raleigh’s oldest districts to the new downtown


540 N. Blount St. in downtown Raleigh has seen better days. A thin layer of black dirt covers the outside, and if you want an invitation inside, you probably shouldn’t touch the broken plastic button that was once a doorbell.

The inside boasts some ugly blue carpeting, fluorescent lights and a water fountain from the days when the state government used it as a headquarters for investigating white-collar crimes.

“There were guys with nightsticks and 9 mms on their hips wandering around,” muses Doug Redford, a senior project manager with LNR Property Corp.’s commercial property group. “Why did you need a 9 mm to investigate white-collar crime, anyway?”

One of the grand old dwellings of the Blount Street district in Raleigh
Photo by James Preiss

The North Blount Street historic district contains some of Raleigh’s oldest and most historically important homes—most of which have been turned into state offices. Now, a redevelopment plan called Blount Street Commons could turn them back into homes and help transform the district into one of downtown’s most upscale neighborhoods.

Full Story Here!

Using Downtown Buildings

Empty warehouses, no trains
What to do with TTA’s empty buildings in downtown Raleigh?


The seven red-brick buildings adjacent to the large Dillon Supply building off of West Martin Street in downtown Raleigh are a melancholy sight. They’ve remained empty since late 2005, when they were bought out by the Triangle Transit Authority as part of the TTA’s plans for a 28-mile rail line.

Problem: The rail line’s still in limbo, and so are the buildings.

A view of the Dillon Supply building off West Martin Street in Raleigh
Photo by James Preiss

Aly Khalifa and Isaac Panzarella are two members of DesignBox, a creative collective that opened an office near the old Dillon buildings in March. They’ve proposed a solution—why not repurpose the buildings as live/work spaces for artists?

 Full story here:

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