Greetings all and happy New Comics Day! Here are some of the things I’m picking up that you may want to put on your radar.
As usual I’m starting with a first issue and this week it’s one I’m very interested in from DC. If you’re read Tiny Titans (and if you haven’t why not?) or Superman Family Adventures you know that Art Baltazar and Franco are terrific creators. But those books are targeted towards kids while this book is not.
Amanda Conner covers make everything look great don’t they? I’m hoping that this book has a little less grim and grittiness than some of DC’s other offerings.
A book that definitely doesn’t have that grim and gritty feel is Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs L’il Gotham which collects the digital comic. A fun book for kids and adults.
And I still like some things that are dark and Justice League Dark is still my favorite Justice League book.
And on to Marvel where this week three of my favorite series appear. Perhaps you listened to the Podcast and heard Kelly and discuss Fearless Defenders - if you did you know the art is still a bit of an issue. This issue, however, has a guest artist and he is one of my favorites -Phil Jimenez who knows a bit about drawing Amazons and warrior women. This issue is a tie-in to a big cross-over and so has a higher price but still ..
. Phil Jimenez!
I wonder if “Yamblr.” will be bought by, I assume, Tahoo! in the YA world? Can Loki change it? Or will Yahoo change the name of Tumblr to Yamblr for reals? All questions sure not to examined in this book.
I’m a little less sad at not reading the book with that Amazon when I can read about Sif. This starts a new arc, so jump on board this book which has some of my favorite art right now.
And you are reading Powers, right?
That’s it, what’s on your list?
Oh my. The revolving doors of writers at DC are spinning again. Today James Robinson who has been steadily working on DC projects for the past half decade today announced he’s off Earth-2 with issue #16 and is no longer working for DC Comics.
Although not part of the original new 52, Earth-2 was one of the strongest of the tier 2 titles ranking 39 of all comics in April and selling 45K copies. Robinson’s collaborator on the book, Nicola Scott, recently confirmed that there would be a second Robinson penned Earth-2 title.
Robinson’s departure is the latest in creator walkoffs. In March Andy Diggle walked off his highly anticipated run on Action after one issue. He was followed by Joshua Hale Fialkov who walked off the Lantern books because he refused to kill off John Stewart.
All of these exits are after DC held a retreat to deal with strife between editorial and creative. Despite the two day retreat, I was told that editorial interference quickly returned.
Given that there was a second book planned, Robinson’s departure probably leaves DC scrambling. When Diggle walked Tony Daniel was left to the task of writing and penciling the remaining two issues. The book was then turned over to Scott Lobdell.
Who would you like to see take on Earth-2?
It’s the week that DC puts out the majority of its books starring ladies - aka LADEEZ week! (One week - two pages, hmm). I noticed that Batgirl has moved to this week for the month which means DC’s current staff of female writers (Nocenti, Marx, Simone) have books this week. Next month Batgirl returns to mini-ladies week with Worlds’ Finest and Katana and the Pandora book takes its place in LADEEZ week.
What’s up with that?
Anyway, here’s what I’m reading this week.
Let’s start with a first issue! This week I’m going to start with yet another first issue from Image. And like other first issues from Image it’s a big one coming in close to 50 pages for $3.50. If you enjoy stories that look at the thin line between dreams and reality, you’ll enjoy this. You can read a bit more here.
Dark Horse also has a first issue coming out that deals with the power of dreams. It’s a good first issue but be warned some content regarding women and violence. Preview here.
And before I jump into the DC books here’s one from Marvel. I know I go on about how you really need to Fraction’s Hawkeye because it is so good but I probably should mention more how much I really enjoy his writing on FF. This is one of the funnest comics being published right now And you get the amazing art of the Allreds. If you aren’t pick this book, you really should be. This is issue #7; you can start from #1 online.
And now on to DC!
What a gorgeous cover. Hope the story holds up to the cover.
Let’s hope Starling isn’t going to be leaving the DCU anytime soon.
The preview for this looked good. Maybe this is the issue where the book settles in. At least Selina is zipped up.
Sadly this is the last issue of this series. As I’ve said before I think DC handled this book wrong. Instead of giving it revolving back-up and a $3.99 price point Amethyst would have done much better going the Shazam route and introduced the series as a back-up in Justice League Dark and boosting that to $3.99. It took 30 years for this character to get another shot at title. Sadly, I think that’s it for her.
I’ve been back and forth on the Supergirl title for awhile now. I picked it up at the start of the new 52 and dropped it because it was so decompressed. And then I picked up again and then dropped it because of the Super-crossover. Now I’m going to give it another try despite the fact that new writer has suggested it is going to be a bit darker (how much darker can we go?) (and that I wasn’t thrilled with the preview of this issue) Although I am a bit concerned that my first thought on looking at this cover was that it should say “When boobs collide”.
And now you can’t unsee that can you?
What’s on your list?
Kelly and I are back after an invigorating break with more talk about comics. This week our guest is the awesome Amy Reeder who talks about her Kickstarter comic, Rocket Girl which you really should go support. Why? Because of this:
We talk to Amy about more than just the Kickstarter so go give the interview a listen.
Kelly and I only review one comic this week, Fearless Defenders #4. What do we think? You’ll have to listen! The conversation then turns into a discussion of costumes, ladeez and comics given our interview with Kris Anka, Kelly’s piece on costume redesigns and then Anka’s reaction to the comments on that piece that will make you headdesk and then Robot 6’s article on the whole thing which turned up the sillyness all the way to 11!
Which leads to our newest segment where I will be channeling Michael Shannon’s dramatic reading of the infamous Sorority Letter and will choose the most over the top dudebro rant about ladeez and comics and do my own dramatic reading. Which rant gets these treatment?
It’s Wednesday and that means new comics! Here’s what I’m picking up.
Let’s start with my pick of the week
I hope you all picked up the first issue of this BKV and Marcos Martin team-up. This issue is again pay what you want. Here’s the link.
Marvel has another issue of Fearless Defenders which I am quite enjoying even if I do still wince at some of the art. Bonus for a sports bra on Valkyrie.
Let’s move on to DC where I have much more on my list than I normally would have given it is not LADEEZ week.
When DC announced the Suicide Squad in the new 52 it should have been a book I read. But the revamps of Harley Quinn and Amanda Waller combined with some of the comments that the writer Adam Glass made about the previous run by Ostrander ended any hope of that.
But this interview with Ales Kot has convinced me to give his run at least a try.
I like this book but sadly I don’t think it is going to be around that long given the sales.
This is supposed to be the team-up I’ve been asking for since the start of the new 52. Probably not, but still Batman vs. Batman.
I’m not sure I’ll do Trinity War but I’m still enjoying this JL book.
I’m buying this for Carrie Kelly (who appears in this issue) and not Jason, FYI.
What are you picking up?
Writer Greg Rucka and artist Rick Burchett just launched a Kickstarter to collect their wonderful webcomic Lady Sabre & The Pirates of the Ineffable Aether into print.
Let me repeat that. It’s a Lady Pirate. Written by Rucka. And illustrated by Burchett.
You can fund the book at different levels and in different forms with different swag. The hardcover collection, however is pretty nice.
That starts at $30.
Over the last six months there has been much discussion of female bodies and comics from Tony Harris’ embarrassingly puerile and juvenile internet rant about female cosplayers to the Hawkeye Intiative joining Escher Girls in shredding comic art of female characters apart to most recently the focus on alternative superhero costumes for women. Artist Paige Hall also addresses the issue but in a much more personal way. For the final of her “Literature in Comics” class where she wrote about hypersexualization she drew a webcomic. she writes:
i decided to broaden it out here as well as personalize it and make myself the subject and discuss something i’ve been subjected to in the convention circuit and on the internet as well as thousands of other women, as well as give a cue to thought about how the comic book industry as well as the video game industry and even just media in general (all of which are male dominated) push such ridiculous pressures onto girls and women.
It’s a powerful piece; take a look.
It’s already gotten over 100K notes Tumblr and has shown up in other places on the net. While much of the response has been positive as you can imagine because this is comics and the internet there’s also been comments that make you want to punch a wall. I’m not going to give them more exposure than they deserve by quoting them.
As the mother of young teenage girl the issue of body image is more important to me now than ever. It’s not just a comics issue it’s a mass media issue. And while boys struggle with body issues as well, I do believe the pressure on women is much worse with the standards for women higher and narrower for what is an “acceptable” body type
What do you think of this piece?
I’ve been thinking a lot about costumes for female comic characters recently. First because of those redesigns of some costumes that covered everything up. And then because of a long discussion Kelly and I had with designed Kris Anka about his redesigns of costumes for X-Men including Psylocke and Storm. And of course there were the designs for Power Girl, Huntress and Green Lantern based on kids’ costumes.
And before I go any further let’s be clear. I don’t mind female costumes that show skin. I’ve posted before about how so much of a costume is dependent on the artist. And you also have to have some leeway on the character. Emma Frost owns her costume. When Amanda Conner was drawing Power Girl, she did too. So let’s just all agree the whole “prude” label is bullshit, okay?
But earlier today I saw that DC had posted a page from the Phantom Stranger #8 showcasing a new character - Nightmare Nurse, Mystic M.D. Let’s ignore for second that name which manage to conflate a nurse and doctor - hey, it’s comics! But as soon as I saw that name and as soon as so the teaser I sighed. I knew what I was going to see when I clicked. This character wasn’t going to channel a medical nurse or doctor it was going to channel the “naughty nurse” that fill the ladies’ aisle during Halloween.
And one click later, well heh, I was right:
You like comics? You like Greg Rucka? You like smart, female characters that are drawn realistically and don’t suffer from asstititis?
You need to read Stumptown. I’ve told you this before. Kelly and I have done podcasts on this title. If you still haven’t read it, now is the time because Comixology is having a sale that ends tomorrow.
Stumptown is a detective story and focuses on a Seattle PI, Dex Parrios. The first volume is about a missing girl. The second volume is about a missing guitar. I’m not going to tell you much else because it will spoil the fun. This is Rucka at his most Ruckaiest. And you get the great art of Matthew Southworth including a car chase issue in volume 2 which was one of my best of 2012.
If you want to read it but aren’t down with the digital thing than you have a mixed bag. Stumptown, Vol. 1 has a gorgeous trade you can buy here. Volume 2 won’t be out until fall but why not give digital at try?
This month marks 75 years since Action Comics #1 landed on the newsstand. In that issue Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel introduced the world to one of the most important women in comics - Lois Lane (Superman made his debut in that issue, too). To mark this anniversary I’m chatting with some of her creators to get their thoughts on the character and her place in comic history.You can see the previous pieces here. Today I am chatting with Mindy Newell who in addition to writing Wonder Woman and Catwoman for DC Comics also wrote a much acclaimed Lois Lane mini-series at the very end of the Bronze age. Mindy’s written about Lois in her column and she drew upon some of her thoughts for this piece.
So Mindy, what’s your first memory of Lois Lane?
I think that should be “memories,” Sue, since I can’t remember issue #’s, months, and years—hey, I was a kid, after all
I grew up on the Silver Age Lois in comics, she of the “Mamie Eisenhower” hairdo and suits and hats from the late 50’s and early 60’s (suits, nylons, pumps, hats and gloves were the de rigueur style for women back then, though I don’t remember Lois wearing gloves).
I didn’t like that she was always mooning over Superman and that her main raison d’être was to prove that Superman was Clark Kent. I didn’t like that Superman always managed to pull the wool over her eyes. It made her foolish. It was insulting. It was dumb. (I liked Lana Lang; she was spunky, she was Insect Queen, she was a member of the Legion of Substitute Heroes, and she just seemed smarter and not so constantly obsessed with Superman’s secret identity. I did say constantly.)
Still, even though some part of me didn’t like the way Lois behaved, some part of me did, because I avidly read her comic, SUPERMAN’S GIRLFRIEND, LOIS LANE, whenever I could find it. SGLL always seemed to feature: (1) “imaginary” stories in which Lois was “Mrs. Superman” or sometimes “Mrs. Kent”; (2) Lois discovering that Superman was in love with some other dame, usually her “arch-rival” Lana Lang, or if not Lana, some babe from another planet who had super-powers; (3) Lois spurning Superman for some other super-dude, usually—again!—from another planet; (4) Lois transforming into some weird version of herself just as Superman was about to propose. Hmm…there’s a theme here, but I just can’t figure it out!
You may or may not be aware that run another blog in addition to this one called Girls Love Superheroes. The blog is devoted to showcasing young girls demonstrating that superheroes are not a “boy” thing.
My day is always made better by opening an email or submit with a little girl dressed up like a DC or Marvel superhero (so keep them coming!) The costumes range from store bought Halloween one to elaborate homemade ones.
And you know, some of the latter are even better than what appear in the comic pages. To prove it a Tumblr artist has taken these costumes and shown how they would look in comics And results are great!
Here’s a young female Green Lantern.
Gee how much better than say:
Oh wait, I forgot right now there are no female Green Lanterns in comics.
But go check her take on Powergirl!
With Boston Comic Con postponed due to yesterday’s manhunt, a few local shops held alternative events for fans including Comicazi in Somervllle which is a few train stops away from Boston. The event, Not the Boston Comic Con, was put together very quickly last evening but it still attracted crowds of comic fans who waited in line to see some of the creators scheduled for the con cam to the event.
Inside Agnes Garbowska and Tim Seeley were busy signing prints, sketching and saying “hi” to fans.
Also there were Bill Willingham and David Mack
Boston based Ming Doyle signed copies of Mara along side of Tim Sale
And the great Don Rosa was busy sketching for some young fans.
I spoke briefly for the PR rep for Boston Comic Con and he said they have a lot of details to deal with but will then start seeing about when the con can be rescheduled.
DC Comics wil be expanding its Earth-2 later this year with a second title by current writer James Robinson. DC’s Bobbie Chase and Bob Harras had said it had “plans” for such a book earlier in the week. The news and writer was confirmed by Nicola Scott last evening during a panel at the Supernova Gold Coast Show.
The focus of the new title has not been revealed but given a new Batman will soon be introduced into Earth-2 there’s a good bet that character will be a part of the new title if not the focus.
Boston Comic Con may have had to be postponed due to the events over the last few days but there are some events that have popped up for local folks who still want to get a comics fix.
Comicazi of Somerville is having several creators in for signings. this event is free
Comicopia is hosting two creator signings. On Saturday, Nate Bellagarde will be there 11-1. On Sunday Adventure Time creators Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb (Adventure Time), will be signing on Sunday from 12-3.
Friendly Comics in Bellingham is hosting several creators including Carlos Pacheco and Chrissie Zullo.
Let me know if there are other events going on.
The fans who wanted to trend Lois Lane on Twitter last night to gain recognition for her 75th anniversary suceeded last night as tthe Twitter hashtage #LoisLane75yrs topped the Twitter Trending listings.
The two hour event organized by several fans and the tumblr FyeahSupermanandloislane took to Twitter to tweet out facts, trivia, their favorite moments and more. But it wasn’t just fans who Tweeted. Both Dana Delaney and Teri Hatcher also took part in the event.
Hatcher tweeted out photos and other memorobilia.
In addition to the Twitter event several blogs and comics sites also recognized that the 75th anniversary of Action Comics #1 was not just a Superman event.
Comic blogger and Robot6 columnist Michael May did an exhaustive history of Lois Lane on his blog.
Comics writer and Blogger Alaisdair Stuart looked at the music of Lois and Superman. It’s a fun read.
Tom Bondurant did a nice piece on the history of Lois Lane for Robot 6.
While DC has announced their plans to recognize Superman’s 75th anniversary, they have yet to announce what they will do for Lois Lane’s 75th. I look forward to seeing what they have planned.