retsuko: antique books (books)
In Comics:

Southern Cross, Volume 1, Cloonan/Belanger/Loughridge: I bought the first two issues of this title and then dropped them. I love Becky Cloonan, but the story wasn’t gelling for me the way I hoped it would. I also suspected it was one of those titles that would be better in collected form; it’s frustrating to read a mystery that stops periodically and makes you wait for a few months to pick up again. I was right about reading it in trade being a better experience, but, well, by not getting the single issues, I missed the genre switch from noir-ish mystery set in space to psychedelic sci-fi horror. It was a bit of a surprise to come across that shift in tone. It’s still an amazing read, and the colors start making sense with the change; the palette is all sickly oranges and blues, with occasional splashes of red gore. That said, I don’t think I need to buy Volume 2; this isn’t something I’d normally pick up. But if you enjoy any Cthulu mythos stories, I think you’ll be happy with this title; if you enjoyed the movie Event Horizon, you’ll definitely get a kick out of this.

In Manga:

Noragami, Volume 1, Adachitoka: Before I really start singing this volume’s praises, can I just say how nice it is to have a shounen/seinen manga that doesn’t have gratuitous cheesecake or panty shots? It’s really, really nice, and it makes me want to read more solely to tell this author/illustrator: YES YOU ARE AWESOME. (Granted, there could be more cheesecake down the line, but volume 1 was mercifully free of that.) Happily, respectful treatment of the female characters isn’t the only good thing about this title. Volume 1 is a little more of an info-dump than I’d like, but it’s clear that the story has an ambitious scope that necessitates said info-dump. I like the way that Adachitoka makes his main character, Yato, a god who’s trying to crawl his way up in the pantheon, ever-so-slightly not-human with cat-like eyes in the frame of a young man. There’s great action in this story, as Yato does battle with creatures to occupy humanity’s blind spots, Shinto-like animistic monsters that follow depressed people around. There’s also a lot of information about how Yato’s powers work, and the things he needs to help him gain power and followers. I’m not sure where the female lead character, Hiyori, will end up in our story; so far her story is pretty vague, and it’s not clear what kind of a person she is, other than shounen manga spunky/nice female character. I have high hopes for the next few volumes, though, especially if we see more supernatural creatures and Hiyori’s personality develops further.
retsuko: antique books (books)
In Books:

The Sculptor, words and pictures by Scott McCloud: I read this book deliberately, one chunk at a time, until I reached the 2/3 point, and then I could not stop; the story became so urgent that I almost felt like stopping reading would mean leaving the main characters alone to die, and I couldn't bear the thought of that. I still wish I could have parceled it out a little more slowly, though, because now I will never have the chance to read it for the first time again. What a wonderful story, told by a master, and a meditation on art, love, and life. It's never maudlin and puts neither of its main characters onto pedestals; furthermore, it's nice to read a story where the hero's actions aren't universally treated as the correct Be-All and End-All to all the story's problems. (In fact, the main characters' actions contribute to some of his problems, in the messy, complicated way that often happens in real life, and I really appreciated that angle of the plot.) I'm also amazed that McCloud managed, in every instance, to show in two dimensions a story that I could feel in all three. Not literally, of course, but I could imagine all the textures that are part of the story beneath my fingers, and this is a rare thing for any work, graphic novel or not. The final twenty pages or so are some of the most beautiful pieces of art I've seen in years.

When I finished this book, I sat on the couch for a few minutes, wiped away the tears, and went to hug my son. It's that kind of book, the kind that makes you value what you have and remember how life, although tumultuous and sometimes troubling, is a gift. It's absolutely worth paying the hardcover price for. Run, don't walk!

The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell: Like the The Sculptor, this is a work that deals in huge themes and it's hard to reduce it to a few sentences of plot and critique. In some ways, it's as good as Cloud Atlas, although I don't think anything will ever knock that book out of my favorites list. It's the most Buddhist work of science fiction I've ever read. It's filled with characters of all sizes and shapes, although it sticks with one character throughout in thought-provoking ways. Unlike Cloud Atlas, I ended up liking all of the characters, including one who I never thought I would come to tolerate, much less like. It's also one of the more depressing visions of the near future that I've read in some time, and I'm sorry to say that the final installment of the story is the one that sticks with me most of all, when I think it should be the work as a whole.

Both The Sculptor and The Bone Clocks are masterful at capturing in macro- and micro- the ways that life slides by, and they both feel epic in similar ways, even though their subject matter is completely different. While The Sculptor is more accessible than The Bone Clocks, they're both wonderful reads for story and character, and that amazing sense of grandeur that a lot of works lack.

In Comics:

Marceline Gone Adrift, Issues 1 & 2: The story is unfolding slowly so far, but the wonderful artwork is more than enough to make up for it, and I have faith Meredith Gran is going to spin a marvelous second half. There have been some great flashbacks to Marceline and Bubblegum's past so far, and I'm sure there are more to come.

Help Us! Great Warrior, Issue 1: I wasn't sure what to make of this comic until the last two panels of the final page, in which this amazing line of dialogue resides: "Ssshh! Do you hear that? It's the sound of me believing in myself." At that point, I was totally sold. The whole work is impossibly adorable and squishy, and there are a lot of fun asides like this one. I'm really excited to see where the story goes!
retsuko: (spoilers!)
I know I'm a grown woman, and that I should be doing more responsible things at the moment, but there is something just so lovely about sitting down with a pile of comic books and reading them from cover to cover, regardless of time and chores, and the general mundanity that is life.

In comics:

Rat Queens, Issue 8: Violet's origin story gets told in a highly satisfactory fashion, with some very sweet moments between her and her mother, and some sour ones with her family as a whole. I especially like the first two pages, where Violet is getting dressed and it's made abundantly clear that a) the artist knows how armor works, and b) Violet is not your standard comic book lady with an unreal body. In any case, the story unfolds, and it's very, very bittersweet as it's contrasted with the final page of the issue. I love this comic!

Thor, Issue 1: The only disappointment in the whole haul, mainly because the new Thor is only in the whole issue for two pages. I'm eager to see Lady Thor in action, and while the two-page spread of her lifting Mjolnir was beautifully colored and dynamic, it was frustrating as a whole for a comic about her to only feature her for a moment. The art in this is very nice, though, and hopefully when the next issue shows up, new!Thor will have more to do. Also, some frost giants to battle, because there sure were a lot of them in this issue. (And their toenails are grotesque. GROTESQUE.)

One other, minor disappointment: still no word on how original!Thor will keep those abs now that he's not wielding the hammer anymore. Will he have to go to the gym like the rest of us?? Inquiring minds want to know!

Gotham Academy, Issue 1: This is a lot of fun, and it has a lot of promise. My only quibble with it is that it's too short! The first issue is setting up a lot of plot elements: our heroine's angsty past with her mother and other students at the school; conspiracies in and around the school itself; and whatever the monster in the walls is. I wished that there was more time to let the story unspool just a little bit more, instead of "here is this character! that one! look, it's Bruce wayne!" That said, I'm looking forward to the next issue, and hoping that the pacing will pay off in the long run.

In graphic novels:

This One Summer, words by Mariko Tamaki, art by Jillian Tamaki: The artwork in this is just gorgeous, and it captures perfectly the "summer at the seaside" that I was lucky enough to experience as a kid. The plot is very subtle but sweetly compelling, a coming-of-age story for the main character, Rose, mostly, but also the story of her friendship, her parents' relationship (which is not relegated to the sidelines, like a lot of YA literature might; I really appreciated the fact that the adults in this story were real people, too, not just paper tigers or imparters of Important Truths about Adulthood), and her awkward crush on the local convenience store guy. There's a sudden twist or two towards that the end that propels the action of the story into overdrive, but that's what summer is often like: a whole lot of leisure, and then the sudden realization that it's all about to be OVER and you need to do something, right away, before you lose the chance. I'd recommend this to a number of my friends, and to anyone who's spent any time at a summer resort as a kid. The sheer nostalgia alone is worth the price of admission.
retsuko: (yay doctor!)
In Comics:

Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon & Hawkeye: Little Hits: I liked both of these slim trades. The artwork is nicely stylized and punchy, and it seems authentic to its many subjects. Hawkeye as a character becomes more and more well-rounded, although I will confess that some of the other characters (especially the multiple ladies vying for his attention) tended to blur together. But the stakes are high and righteous, and the villains appropriately scary/ruthless/cruel to make the stories have real teeth. My favorite installment of the both volumes shows up at the end of #2, where the story is told entirely from Hawkeye's dog's point of view. This might sound like a cutesy gimmick, but it defies all expectations and leaves almost all the other previous stories gasping in its innovative and touching dust.

At the Movies:

The Monuments Men: OK. So, the internet joke is that when you bring up the Nazi's to win an argument, you automatically lose (or so says Godwin's law.) In the case of this movie... well, I can think of no better way to say this: The Monuments Men Godwins itself. I blame this bizarre phenomenon on the fact that the script relied heavily on telling and not showing, the story often undercut its own suspense, and the characters, although sometimes engaging, were mostly a collection of cyphers and stereotypes. More, with spoilers... )

tl;dr version: It's not the worst movie ever, but I think you'd be better off saving your admission costs and buying the book instead.

The LEGO Movie: Everything is awesome! Ha ha, no, not exactly, but as kids' movies go, this was funny and clever, and you could really do a lot worse. Generic Lego Construction Guy Emmett lives his life according to every instruction manual possible, but, through a bizarre series of coincidences, comes to realize this way of living is shallow and meaningless, and it's up to him to be the hero of his own narrative. I liked this story for its overall message that sometimes the best thing you can do with toys is play with them, and that there's no right or wrong way to do this, as long as you're being creative and true to yourself. There's also a certain shade of "Generation Me" to this movie that grated, and I will say that I was disappointed that the female characters didn't have more to do. (Wonder Woman, in particular, was chumped out several times. I suppose that Superman got equal treatment in this respect as he was annoyed by Green Lantern, but it didn't seem comparable.) But I like any movie with a slightly anarchist take on childhood, and the Aristophanes shout-out sealed the deal. It's a lot of fun, and the opening sequence reminds me of the best Japanese music videos that I watched on Space Shower TV years ago, super kawaii and genki, and hard to resist.
retsuko: antique books (books)
In Books:

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb: This book is the definition of a vital read. It's not easy, not by any stretch of the imagination, to read Malala's account of being shot in the face by a Taliban soldier and her recovery, or to hear the story of how the Taliban temporarily forced her family (and many, many others) to relocate twice in a very short amount of time. But this work a testament to Malala's vision of what an education can bring her, and so many girls like her. It's also a testament to her family as a whole, who weathered this whole storm with amazing resilience. In particular, Malala's father stands out as a brave man who believes in his daughter's rights and intelligence, and never lets her down. I hope many people will read this book and have it renew their dedication to fighting for social justice and education for all, worldwide. Heartily recommended.

In Manga:

Sweet Rein, Volume 1, by Tsukuba Sakura: This is an adorable manga with perhaps the silliest premise I've ever read: high school student Kurumi discovers that she's a Santa Claus (yes, that Santa) and that a handsome boy named Kaito is her servant, a magical reindeer bound to do whatever she orders him to. (Now that I type it out, it does sound pretty ridiculous.) I bought this out of sheer disbelief more than anything else, and what sells this story is the sincerity that Tsukuba puts into almost every panel and line of dialogue. Like many shoujo manga heroines, Kurumi's a good-hearted girl who wants to do what's right, and this story gives her ample opportunity to do just that. The threadbare will-they-won't-they-fall-in-love romance subplot between her and Kaito gets played more for laughs than any serious conflict; it's pretty clear that they'll be a couple by the end of the series, if not sooner. The only remaining problem is how to construct any other obstacles for Kurumi to overcome, since there doesn't seem to be a Grinch-like character lurking on the horizon. Honestly? It's adorable and sweet, and I liked it despite myself. Definitely be looking for Volume 2.

Angelic Layer, Volume 1, by CLAMP: Somehow, I missed out on this classic CLAMP title a while back and am only now just getting to it. It's not my favorite work of theirs (at least, not yet, but I do have a full second volume to get around to) and in some ways, it highlights what's weakest about their work: characters who little to no clear motivation; ridiculously fast plot that comes, seemingly, out of nowhere; and the barest excuse for conflict (in this case, a televised game between psychic toys connected to their owners.) On the other hand, though, it's tremendously entertaining despite all these problems, and I'm looking forward to the next installment, even as some plot twists loom (in a highly untwisty manner) over the story as a whole. Our erstwhile heroine, Misaki, finds herself drawn to the game Angelic Layer after arriving in Tokyo and seeing it on TV for the first time. She's aided in this by an eccentric genius who counsels her on how to craft her own doll (or, Angel), who, of course, is not what he seems. For plot reasons, Misaki is an able controller/fighter and quickly finds herself in the midst of a high stakes tournament, making allies and enemies along the way. CLAMP brings their trademark gorgeous artwork to all of this, particularly in varied character design for humans and Angels alike. There's also a lot of amazing, dynamic artwork for the battle sequences, which are surprisingly exciting and very easy to follow. So, even with the poor points, this is still an entertaining, fast-paced read, and I did enjoy it rather more than I expected.

In Comics:

Octopus Pie: There are No Stars in Brooklyn, by Meredith Gran: As an antidote to the shoujo sweetness above, I read this delightfully subtle story about Brooklynite misanthrope Eve Ning, her roommate Hanna, and a handful of other characters who inhabit the newly-college-graduated, still-sorting-out-their-lives scene in NYC and its environs. I'm betting that a lot of the New York jokes sailed right over my head, but fortunately, there are plenty of other jokes that ring true. Gran's artwork is perfect--distinct and funny, and with an eye for just the right details to make the story ring true. A lot of fun.

We Have Wonder Woman!

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 02:54 pm
retsuko: (cool yuuko)
It looks like Gisele from the Fast and the Furious series is Wonder Woman, provided she doesn't have conflicts later on. I, for one, am pretty pleased about this. Gal Gadot did well in the movies in both acting and stunts, and although she's not as muscular as I imagine WW would actually be, I think she'll have the presence to handle the role, even if it's just a 30-second appearance at the end (which, given the title of the movie as Batman vs. Superman, seems more likely than her getting any meaningful screen time.) But, over on io9, Charlie Jane Anders makes some compelling points about the problems of bringing WW to the big screen at all, pointing out that because of WW's somewhat convoluted and mythologically-based origin story, you either make a movie solely set in a Greek mythology-aware world (a la Percy Jackson) or you strip that part of the story away and just make her into "Sexy Female Badass Warrior Woman." The problem is that doing either of these things is highly unlikely to happen in a satisfying way in a movie. Right now, I suspect the script's going to go something like this:

Batman: I have an ideological problem with you, Superman.
Superman: And I have one with you, Batman.
(Combat ensues.)
(Cut to Justice League satellite. WW and the Flash are watching the monitors of earthly activity.)
Flash: Aw, man, not this again.
WW: Boys and their contests. Your male ways are foolish in the extreme.

Which, although entertaining, doesn't really do justice to either character, and just makes me long for the day that the WW movie is a definite possibility and not a sticking point amongst fans.
retsuko: (girl & her dog)
In Movies:

Gravity: Yes, the soundtrack is overbearing, but WOW this is a movie about a woman, and it is often tense and frightening, and I was impressed at how often the filmmakers made the audience sympathize with a female character--heavens! It's so simple that it's revolutionary! And the shots of space were just lovely. All in all, I'm really glad I saw this on the big screen, and in 3D... for the first time in, well, ever, the extra money seemed really worth it for a "you are there" experience that I don't feel like I've ever had before. I also think Ryan Stone is a character who needs to be up there next to Ripley in terms of putting up with so much crap from one story.

In Comics:

Saga, Volumes 1 & 2, Words by Brian K. Vaughan and pictures by Fiona Staples: I've been meaning to blog about this for a while now, but I'm loving this work, which is like Perdido Street Station twisted into the Star Wars universe. It's relentlessly imaginative and violent, and I'm a little surprised at myself for liking it so much. Staples' artwork has a lot to do with that--all the characters have unique and interesting faces, even when they're covered in blood or contorted in suspicion. So amazing.

Empowered Special: Nine Beers with Ninjette, Words by Adam Warren, with pictures by Adam Warren and Takeshi Miyazawa: To be fair, I was already on this bandwagon, but DAYUM this one-shot really ups the pathos! It's so persuasively sad throughout that I wondered if Warren made himself cry at any point during the process. It's also a really good counterpoint to the normal series, which is usually quite irreverent fun. Miyazawa's artwork is a nice plus, too.

In Manga:

Gate 7, Volume 4, with pretty pictures and random words by CLAMP: I'm a little amazed at myself for jumping on his bandwagon at all, because I thought I was pretty much done with this whole series, but then I picked up Volume 4 and it did not disappoint as much as I thought it would. My original quibbles are still there (Chikahito does not behave like ANY teenaged boy I have ever met, the meta-conflict is confusing, Hana is still weirdly sexualized, etc.) but for once, this volume's story works fairly well, and even though there are some familiar CLAMP tropes here (adorable child secretly planning to torture everyone, for example), they seem reasonably new and interesting in this story. As usual, the artwork is a thing of beauty, particularly the attention given to a spirit tiger that aligns itself with the main characters. Hana's magic is still gorgeously rendered, too. It's so hard to stay mad at CLAMP!
retsuko: (spoilers!)
Thursday!: Videos Games! Awesome Web Comics! A depressing panel that turned out OK! Talking with awesome people! )

Friday!: Defiance! Literary How-To's! Weird Outside Stuff! )

Saturday: We camped out in Room 8 for five hours! But the Adventure Time panel was worth it! Huzzah! )

Sunday!: Loose Ends of all varieties! )

General Thoughts:

~ The fundamentalists were more vocal and more... uhm, personal, this year, for lack of a better word. Last year, they just yelled about Jesus, but this year, their attacks were more Comic Con-specific, like the guy with a megaphone who shouted at all and sundry, "Don't let your souls be enslaved by comics!" (It took some willpower not to shout back, "Too late!") There were counter-protests, of course, and those looked unpleasant to referee. I tried to thank as many of the law enforcement people as I could when they weren't working or concentrating on other things; one of the transit security police officers looked surprised when I did, and confessed that he really wished he could go to the Con himself. (He wanted to meet Stan Lee for real, not just pay for an autograph.) As usual, even in the hoards of people, I never felt unsafe or afraid for my physical well-being once, and I think the SDPD is responsible in a large part for that.

~ For some reason, the crash after this Con was especially hard this year. The real world, as much as I love it, doesn't seem quite as interesting for the first few days afterwards, and today was no exception, with mundane chores and problems looming large.

~ There was a lot of zombie stuff--costumes, toys, images, etc.. It was not fun for me. I wish this trend would run its damned course.

~ There were times when the Exhibit Hall didn't seem as crowded as usual, and I couldn't figure out if it was actually truly empty, or I had just gotten really, really good at making my way through the knots of people. It is a lot easier when it's just me, and I tend to stay out of the central scrum of the big companies and their lines, but I could have sworn there were times when there were swathes of empty space, and that's an oddity.

~ The overall theme of this year's Con ended up being something along the lines of, "Crazy Contradictions!" It was personified best in the juxtaposition of the Christian Comic Arts Association booth next to the Killer Zombie Bunnies booth in the Small Press area. Comic Con often leaves me with the aftertaste of sweet and sour. On one hand, there's a pure interest in comics and reading that makes my heart sing, but on the other, there's a crass commercialism that manifests itself in the crazy-long lines for the exclusive toys and vinyl collectibles that makes me alternately groan and grumble. Comic Con is the only place where I can wear my Kate Beaton t-shirt and people not only compliment me on it, but also want one themselves. Comic Con is also the place where my phobia is everywhere, all the time, and I have to make compromises with myself to get past it, but it's also the place where many, many people I admire (both real and fictional) are front and center, and I can draw on their words and examples to give me strength. There's beautiful art, and there's the cheesiest of cheesecake, side by side; in fact, there are Charles Dickens-esque contrasts every two feet or so. It's sublime and ridiculous, and I love almost all of it, even as I realize that what I love is what some other attendees hate. But that's the beauty of multiple fandoms, and when they're all present and not in conflict, it's just completely awesome.

Pictures are here, updated with Saturday stuff. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera on Sunday, so no extra photos. Still, lots of good ones, though. :)
retsuko: antique books (books)
In Books:

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), by Mindy Kaling: I enjoyed this volume of chatty, breezy essays, although I would love to just cut out the chapter about dieting completely. If you skip that (which is easy, since it's the first one), the rest of this book is a rewarding, effortless read that sounds as if Mindy Kaling is your best friend and just happened to run into you at Starbucks and sure, she can hang out for a few minutes. The best material concerns her improbable rise to semi-, writerly- fame (including a section about the terrible apartment she and her friends lived in together in NYC) and her thoughts about why comedy is important. In particular, I loved this line from her afterward, which is written in a question and answer format:

"Q: Why didn't you talk about whether women are funny or not?
A: I just felt that by commenting on that in any real way, it would be a tacit approval of it as a legitimate debate, which it isn't. It would be the same as addressing the issue of, "Should dogs and cats be able to take care of our children? They're in the home anyway." I try not to make it a habit to seriously discuss nonsensical hot-button issues."

I wish more people in media thought along these lines and resolved simply to line up more female comedic talent, not have pointless arguments about why can't ladies tell jokes. In any case, if you enjoy The Office (American version), celebrity gossip from a unique perspective, or just want a fun book to pass the time, this is the one.

A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel, originally by Madeleine L'Engle, adapted and illustrated by Hope Larson: There are books that read like dreams you had in the past, that feel utterly new and comfortingly familiar at the same time. I am pleased to report that Larson's able and loving adaptation of L'Engle's work fits firmly into the deja vu, "oh I have read this before, how wonderful it is" category. The landscapes/dreamscapes/trans-dimensional spaces in this book are rendered in perfect detail, particularly the horrifying moment when Meg and her friends try to tesser away from Camaztoz, and the Black Shadow nearly takes control of her mind. Her body falls to pieces and the only thing holding her on the page is her father's hand, reaching around from the previous page. It's visceral and creepy, and it makes Meg's later actions all the more heroic: to do what she does, when she knows the exact price of failure, is a courageous and beautiful thing. Larson's illustrations of the characters are very faithful to the descriptions in the book, especially Calvin, who is not particularly handsome. Larson leaves him as an awkward 14-year-old, tall and lanky, with a weird-shaped nose, and this makes him very human, very relatable. I also loved the way Meg and her Mother looked, juxtaposed on the page, present and future in one space. I think fans of this book will be very pleased; in fact, I'm already planning to give it to several people for the holidays. But, please, stymie my gift-giving efforts if reading this will make you happy! (Which it will.)

In Comics:

IDW's Doctor Who/Star Trek: The Next Generation Crossover, Issue 5: I had hoped that the weird art style would grow on me, or at least cease to look odd, but I am sad to report this is not the case. Currently, the plot advances in incremental and painfully slow steps; this work reminds me of someone who writes fabulous fanfic, but rarely updates. I'm beginning to suspect this would be a much more fulfilling and compelling story if it were presented in trade paperback format, instead of parceled out in bits and pieces. This issue contains a lovely, well-observed dialogue between Amy Pond and Captain Picard, which reads like, well, for lack of a better term, the reason that fanfic was invented (sadly truncated: a conversation that Rory and Dr. Crusher have about the importance of needing real people in the medical field, even with the advancements in technology.) Unfortunately, the rest of the story is bogged down explaining why Captain Picard hates the Borg, and with the plot's insistence that he get over this problem. I want to enjoy this story and recommend it to others, but at present, it's stalled between "wait, what?" and "jebus, people, just get on with it!"
retsuko: (hugs)
In Comics:

Adventure Time Presents Marceline and the Scream Queens, Issue 1 (of 6): Although this first issue is largely in place to set up the rest of the story, Meredith Gran's writing and art work very well together, and the 4-page, wordless spread of the rock concert in progress is pretty fantastic. I'm looking forward to the rest of the story, and the side narrative that accompanies this story, with art and story by the always-amazing Jen Wang, is excellent, too--very imaginative, with just a hint of menace.

Locke & Key: Clockworks, Volume 5: At the risk of fangirling too much, I have to say that this is how you tell a serialized story. Volume 5 contains answers to questions raised volumes ago and raises new questions of its own, while never leaving the reader to wonder just who the hell everyone is and what's going on. It also neatly sets up the final showdown of volume six, the end of the series. Without going into too many spoiler-ific details, Volume 5 clearly explains the origin and nature of the keys, and shows how our current villain became who he was previously--and what he's capable of now. There are fairly horrific plot points in this one, too, ranging from atrocities in the past (institutionalized murder, told twice from two differing perspectives) to shock in the present. This volume also lives up to the Lovecraft name. When Volume 6 appears, I plan to sit down and read all of these through all the way from beginning to end to get a fuller sense of the plot and how it unfolded. In the meantime, I'll be worrying for my favorite characters and wondering just how they're going to fix all the problems that they've stumbled into and created.

In Manga:

Wandering Son, Volume 3: Shimura really ups the drama in this installment, and in some ways, it's a great improvement. For both of the protagonists, coming to terms with their gender identities isn't going to be easy, and seeing them both face the challenges associated with that makes them stronger characters. Takatsuki's bitter and angry words to her mother after a confrontation with a bullying classmate ring especially poignantly, "Why did you make me a girl?" (They're also followed by a very interesting statement about gender identity and its construction in Japan, as Takatsuki complains further, quoting the advice others have given her: "'Wear cute clothes.' 'Join the Takarazuka Revue.' I'm... I'm sick of it!") Meanwhile, Nitori is tricked by his sister into becoming a model (his sister's reasons for this are still murky to me after several readings) and faces discrimination there from one of the models, a sharp-faced girl who complains that he's just wasting his time. (I suspect this behavior is going to be stopped in short order in the next volume, when idol Maiko-chan stops by the modeling agency in mid-fight between Nitori's sister and the mean model.) So, a lot of conflict and action is excellent, but it does come at the expense of dialogue between Nitori and Takatsuki, which was my favorite part of the first two volumes. For any child, coming of age and growing fully into an identity is difficult, but for the two main characters in this series, it's much more complicated than a simple coming of age story. I liked the stretches in the first two volumes, though, where they would just talk about their lives, drawing strength from one another, and I hope that the drama and conflict don't supersede this aspect of the story. As usual, Shimura's spare and beautiful artwork provides a gorgeous background for the whole narrative.
retsuko: (moko sake!)
In Books:

Are You My Mother?, By Alison Bechdel: I actually finished this book a while back, but I've been grappling with it ever since I read it. It's not an easy book, yet I read it fairly quickly, over about three or so days. I remember my initial gut reaction having to do with my resolution to NEVER ask any child of mine under the age of about 20, point blank, if they love me or not. (I have read about this twice now, once in a fictional situation, and once in this auto-ficto-biographical situation, and it never leads to anything good for anyone involved.) But, of course, there's more to this book than that moment, and that sad bit of meaningful narrative. More, with spoilers: )

I do highly recommend this work. I don't think it's just another half of a story; it's a complete piece of work that stands on its own. There is an awkward distance to parts of it (and I'll be the first to admit that the amount of theoretical writing in it made me pause), but it's a narrative that needs to be brought into the open carefully for both artist/writer and reader.

Dracula, words by Bram Stoker, pictures by Becky Cloonan: I've written before about how much I love Becky Cloonan's artstyle; she has a wonderful sense of composition and character and her pages are always dynamic, even when the characters aren't engaged in intense action. This illustrated version of Dracula allows her to imbue the characters with more personality and soul than Stoker's original version does. Mina and Jonathan's love story, in particular, becomes more touching with illustrations, and Mina's evolution from sweet, virginal lady into sadder but wiser girl also rings much more true. Cloonan's illustrations also highlight the sexual aspects of the story, but without over-sensationalizing the people and acts involved. The color palette of black, red, and midnight blue is lovely and fits the mood of the book. I'm a little less sure of the quotes superimposed behind the text, but it's not on every page, and I see what the designers were going for.

In Comics:

Skeleton Key, Color Special One Shot, by Andi Watson: I grabbed this way back on Free Comic Book Day, without knowing that it was part of a larger series. Thankfully, the adventures of perpetually lost schoolgirl Tamsin, kitsune Kitsune, and adorable unnamed sidekick Raccoon are immediately accessible and sweet. It's like Doctor Who meets Onmyouji, with a twist of Lost. I can't wait to pick up the others now!

In Manga:

Hidamari Sketch/Sunshine Sketch, Volume 6, by Ume Aoki: This story continues to be slowly paced and character-driven. However, given that Aoki is steering two of her main characters towards graduating and changing the entire structure of the plot with that development, I don't blame her for the slow pace. I was glad that these two characters, Hiro and Sae, got a lot of character development in this installment, because they certainly do need it in order to make their inevitable departure properly emotional. Yuno and Miyako continue to anchor the plot, and it's nice to see that Yuno is cutting down on the self-deprecating dialogue as her confidence in her artistic abilities grows. I'm looking forward to #7.

At the Movies:

Brave: It occurs to me now, having just written about Alison Bechdel, above, that in some ways, Brave is AYYM?-lite. Well, not exactly. It's definitely wrestling with similar facets of the same issue, but it's a Disney movie, and so a lot of the thornier problems are ignored. But that's no reason to skip it; it's still a strong piece of filmmaking and is notable, if for no other reason, for having a princess in it who doesn't want to be a princess. (And having a Queen who actually wields power!) It's also notable for gorgeous textures and landscapes. Every piece of cloth, every stone and tree in the forrest, every strand of hair in this movie, I could imagine what touching them would feel like, and it was beautiful. But overall, I really liked this movie because its message was so strong: you can't change people into something they're not, but you can change your expectations of them, and by extension, your relationships with them. It was quite lovely, really. And it made me wish I had a small girl who I could take to this film, so that we could talk about what it was all about. :)
retsuko: (cool yuuko)
In Comics:

Doctor Who/Star Trek: TNG Crossover, Issue 1: I really like the way the plot is going, but the art is throwing me for a loop. I read a somewhat unkind accusation somewhere that it looked like the artist had simply photoshopped filters onto stills from both TV shows. I don't think that's what it looks like, but there's a weird disconnect between the quality of the art and story.

Angel and Faith, Issue 10, "Ladies of a Certain Age": I will admit, I broke my own rules to buy this one issue. Anything to find out more about Giles and the Watcher's Council... except that frustratingly little of that was extent. Instead, there was a funny story about Giles' two aunts, who turn out to be very good characters with interesting personalities (Best line, "Darling, we're shallow, not stupid"), and a lot of action and banter that made me feel like I was watching an episode of the TV show, not reading a comic. I don't know if I'll keep buying, but I didn't end up disappointed overall.

In Manga:

Sunshine Sketch, Vol. 5: For some reason, this one seemed more dull than the others. It could be that I'm tired of the set-up, but it's more that the introduction of two new characters is taking up a lot of the already slow plot's time. Anyway, this is still one of the sweetest, most adorable manga that I can think of. I know I should be reading it in Japanese to practice, but nothing can knock Yotsubato! from that perch, and I'm loathe to go find more things to put on the to-read pile.

At the Movies:

Men in Black 3: This was utter fluff, and I really enjoyed it. I didn't get the feeling that Tommy Lee Jones or Will Smith was in it simply for the paycheck, and the plot actually surprised me a couple of times. (I will say that I didn't really appreciate the digs at Andy Warhol, but whatever.) Obviously not Oscar-bait, but good, puffy, sci-fi-lite fun.

On TV:

Legend of Korra, Episode 8, Spoilers for the entire show so far! )

Adventure Time, "Goliad": This episode really reminded me of why I love this show so much; the writing was incredibly funny, the artwork was at its reality-skewing best. (Finn trying not to show his thoughts to Goliad was just wonderful, so real and relatable, and yet completely fantastical at the same time.) And even though I guessed the plot twist, it didn't matter. I was having too much fun to be annoyed. :D

The scene with the candy toddlers wrecking havoc at the daycare, though, made [profile] yebisu9 and I look at each other. After a moment, one of us said, "Yeah..." and the other answered, "I know." Funny how the animators managed to channel R.'s sheer chaos into an animated 20 seconds of perfection.

PSA Aggragation

Friday, May 4th, 2012 07:53 am
retsuko: finn & jake's fist bump of awesome (fist bump!)
* Tomorrow is May 5th, Free Comic Book Day! Head over to your local comic book store for some goodies!

* Happy Star Wars day! (May the 4th be with you!)

* New Legend of Korra episode tomorrow morning!

* If Leslie Knope doesn't win the election next week, I may throw some kind of a fit.

* And, for those who are into that sort of thing, IDW's Doctor Who/Star Trek crossover hits shelves this month! :D
retsuko: antique books (books)
From the comic book haul of the past week:

Rachel Rising, Issue 6, Words/Pictures by Terry Moore: OK, Mr. Moore. I'm officially grossed out; I have no idea what's going on with your story; and it doesn't look like I'll get much in the way of explanation or closure anytime soon. I'm all for conquering my zombie phobia, but this series isn't going to be the way I do it. What drives me crazy about this is that Moore really is a great artist. All of his characters have distinct facial types, and their expressions of emotion are spot-on. I often feel like I'll walk down the street and pass Francine or Katchoo someday. But "Rachel Rising" is a muddled mess of "Psycho" meets "Night of the Living Dead" with a twist of "Supernatural" and a whole of "where the hell is all this going?!" spice. So, that's that.

Ultimate Spider-Man, Issues 7/8: I really like where this is going. Miles' internal monologue worrying about heights as he scales a building in the Spidey suit is witty and fun, and the new conflict between the Prowler/Miles' no-good uncle and Miles' own sense of responsibility should open up some interesting story avenues. Sara Pichelli's artwork continues to be fabulous.

The Unwritten, Issues 32-35: As usual, I covet Yuko Shimizu's cover artwork, especially the haunting image of #35, one of characters and the words she's made up of. However, I'm not keen on one of the big plot twists that the story's going for: Spoilers ahoy! ) Not stopping reading the series, of course, just saying that I don't appreciate all that.

Adventure Time, Issues 1 & 2: So much fun, and very true to the spirit of the show. I like the little gutter panel comics and comments on the bottom of the pages. For the record, though, I do think that Marceline could easily hold her own in a battle against the Lich King.

Zita the Spacegirl, by Ben Hatke: A recommendation from one of the comic book store guys who knows my taste and I was not disappointed. This is a wonderful, all-ages read, never condescending or childish, but with a strong child protagonist who faces tremendous odds. Zita is a girl who goes on an interstellar journey to rescue a friend of hers. She's resourceful and compassionate, but also gutsy. Hatke's artwork is sweet without resorting to cutesy, and he has a dramatic sense of layout and timing that really pays off as the events of the story become more fraught with peril for all involved. What a lovely book. I can't wait to share it with my child when he's old enough!
retsuko: (stars)
I was perusing some of the "Best Of" lists of movies and books this year in various sources (LA Times, NY Times, The Onion's A.V. Club), and realized that in most cases, I had only heard about half of the works on all the lists. This has never, ever happened before. In the case of books, I feel slightly better about it; books don't get the same pop culture treatment that movies do (the movie section of the newspaper is like the star high school quarterback, while the book review has been trimmed and pared down to chess club level status at this point). But in the case of the movies... gah. This is really how having a child has changed our lives. It's not an entirely bad thing, of course: we don't spend as much on movie tickets as we used to, and when we do see a movie, we're very, very picky about it. I'm also finding that most movies really don't lose much between video format and the big screen. But going to movies just because we felt like it was something that both [ profile] yebisu9 and I enjoyed a lot, and I hate to think that is not only no longer an option, but our general pop culture knowledge has declined because of it. The pay-off of this exchange, raising a child, is wonderful and awesome, and well worth losing movies. It's just a strange revelation for me, a reminder of how much things have changed.

In any case, the movies that I get a chance to see and enjoy fall mostly into the comedy category (Bridesmaids, the adult, cringe-worthy hilarity, and The Muppets, sweet and musical and funny), action-drama (Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, Part 2, a tremendously satisfying conclusion), and straight-up drama (True Grit and The Descendants). We've pretty much stopped going to documentaries (*weeps*), although this has more to do with the timing of the art house movie theaters near us, rather than issues with the genre. I'm still hoping to get to see Tintin, but that's not going to happen before 2012.

Books are much the same story--read in a very slapdash fashion here and there. I've really enjoyed continuations of my favorite series, like the new Percy Jackson series, or the latest Thursday Next installment, which rewarded me for all my faith in the series by being one of the funniest and most inventive adventures yet. I also very much enjoyed more serious works, like The Wilder Life (the life story and legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her much beloved Little House books) and The Lace Reader (see previous entry.) Again, my nonfiction reading has suffered. Years ago, I vowed to myself to always have a nonfiction title going at the same time as a fiction one, and technically, I *have* one (Tesla: Man Out of Time), but I'm not rushing to read it as much as I should be. (Tesla's life story is fascinating, but the electrical engineering talk that takes up much of chapters leaves me confused and rather bored.) This will probably be the subject of a pop culture resolution for next year (see below).

Music-wise, my Top 25 most played are pretty similar to previous years--Susumu Hirasawa (the Paprika OST is STILL awesome!), Neko Case, Barenaked Ladies, etc. etc. Newer entries include The New Pornographers, Neko Case's new album, Middle Cyclone, which is absolutely fantastic, and Flight of the Conchords. (My love for adorable pop music parody knows no bounds.) If I had to sum up 2011's musical trend in one genre, though, it would be kick-ass lady folk-rock/rocky-folk, like Florence + The Machine, Aimee Mann, my perennial favorite Dar Williams, and the afore mentioned Neko Case.

2011 was also the year of "Probably Far More TV Than Was Good For Me." On the other hand, even though I watched a lot of TV, it wasn't just junk that I passively consumed. I discovered several new fandoms (Adventure Time, Warehouse 13, Sanctuary) and am currently having the pleasure of watching several great American novels (most notably Mad Men) set to TV. There was a fair amount of TV that was pre-screened for our son, but as long as he enjoys good quality programs like Shaun the Sheep and Sesame Street, I think the good news is that I won't go crazy. (I also fully expect him to adore something I hate, but I will burn that bridge when I get there.)

There have also been quite a few manga volumes and comics littering up 2011. Of all of these, the two I'm most looking forward to are the next volume of Wandering Son, a beautifully drawn and translated story about transgender teens by a mangaka who obviously loves her characters and the next issue of The Unwritten, a story which gets more and more interesting with each passing and not nearly frequent enough chapter.

Finally, my pop culture resolutions for 2012! )

Happy 2012 to everyone who's been reading!
retsuko: (artist etc.)
In Comics:

Locke & Key, Guide to the Known Keys (One Shot), Words by Joe Hill and Pictures by Gabriel Rodriguez: This is a good jumping-in point for newcomers to the story; this is also a good one-shot for those who've been interested in this work, but are suspicious of horror comics. The scares in this story are minimal, and the main plot is, in a large part, a beautiful tribute to Windsor McKay's Little Nemo, as well as an establishing plot point for the origins of some of the keys in the story. The cover, by itself, presents a lovely piece of artwork, rendered in Rodriguez's fine pencils and Foto's luminous colors. As I've said before, this is a great read, a modern comic masterpiece in the making.

Gunnerkrigg Court: Reason (Volume 3), Words and Art by Tom Siddell: It's nice to read this in one installment, instead of in one-page-three-times-a-week bits and pieces. Not to say that Siddell doesn't update regularly (he does, much to his credit), but the story is more coherent when read as a whole piece of work. In fact, when the whole series ends, I look forward to sitting down and reading all the books cover to cover, so that I can get a sense of the larger story, instead of the parts and pieces here and there. Still recommending this, although not as a jumping-in point. Like Lost or The X-Files, this is an epic without an easy middle point, only Volume 1.

In Manga:

Kingyo Used Books, Volume 4, Words and Art by Seimu Yoshizaki: How psyched was I that this volume concerned a manga that I've actually read?! For once, I wasn't on the outside looking in! (The manga was Ranma 1/2!) This volume, more than any of the others, made me eager to track down the other works mentioned in the story, especially a volume of ghost stories, a cute early work of Moto Hagio's, and a book of short stories that sounds like it should have been licensed and translated LAST YEAR for its arresting subject matter and artwork. As usual, the Kingyo bookstore is filled with manga lovers and the people they've helped reconnect with favorite works, and the stories in this volume carry on that tradition. There's a love letter to manga at the end that's incredibly heartfelt and sweet. A wonderful translation as always, definitely a good buy to add to your shopping list!

At the Movies:

The Muppets: I don't want to give away any of the insanely wonderful and funny details of this movie for anyone who's not seen it; suffice it to say that I had a smile on my face from the beginning all the way to the end. Bret MacKenzie's songs are excellent and the whole affair is perfectly paced so that I never felt like any of it was overdone and forced. I didn't quite buy one major plot aspect, but that's really not important. What's important is that the movie (and the Toy Story short that precedes it) is clever without being too showy about it, and the emotions are genuine and evocative. Take a small kid to see this, or just go see it yourself. It's the perfect antidote to the holiday blues.
retsuko: (plothole?)
On TV:

Torchwood: Miracle Day: ... uhm. This was a really, really mixed bag of a show. On one hand, it was incredibly compelling; I hated waiting between episodes to find out what was happening, and I was genuinely worried for several of the characters, especially our two remaining heroes, Gwen and Jack. But on the other, there were some real missteps with this plot that sort of poisoned the well for me. I'll blog about them under the cut, with lots of spoilers. )

In Manga/Comics:

Gate 7, Vol.1, Words & Pictures by CLAMP: I want to like this. It's my favorite CLAMP setting (modern day Japan with ghost stories), it has GORGEOUS artwork, and it looks like the story could unfold in a reasonably linear fashion. I just wish that CLAMP could stop depicting characters who look underage (or who behave incredibly childishly) as sexualized. Hana, the character in question, is oddly sexual at weird points in the story, and it's jarring. To see a character go from acting like an adorable little child who loves noodles in one panel to sexually available lust object in the next panel is... creepy. It's a little too much like Chobits. The other thing I'd like to see out of this story is the main male character developing a little agency instead of letting other people run his life. It's great that he's kind of a sweet nerd who loves Japanese history and Kyoto, but if I suddenly found out that I might have a magical power that could influence a centuries old magical conflict, I'd sure be asking a few more questions. But this is only Volume 1, and I'm more than willing to wait and see where the story goes. Damn, the art's pretty. It's hard to stay mad at CLAMP.

Ultimate Spiderman, Issues 2 & 3, Words by Bendis & Pencils by Pichelli: I really love the plot this comic is exploring and Miles Morales is a great character. If I suddenly gained superheroic powers, I'd probably be terrified, too. Quick, go and out, and read this! Pichelli's pencils continue to be great, too. She has a real eye for facial expressions.
retsuko: (aw yeah!)
In Books:

The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1): There was a lot of exposition in this book, and even though I enjoyed it quite a lot, I found myself growing annoyed at the tendency for pivotal action sequences to be interrupted with prophetic and/or plot-related dreams. I think Riordan had a much greater challenge in adapting Egyptian mythology for a children's book than his previous series (the Percy Jackson books) because there are a lot more Greek myths that are (on the surface, anyway) kid-friendly. In the case of Egyptian myth, there's a lot of incest and dismemberment that doesn't make for socially acceptable children's literature today. Add to this the difficulty that the two main characters were parent-less for the majority of the story, and I imagine that this might have been a bit of a hard sell to publishers. So, I'm willing to forgive the overly expository nature of some of the book. It was really quite entertaining, and I liked the two main characters, although I found Carter a little bit more easy to follow, while Sadie was a bit on the bratty side. It's also nice to have another children's book that acknowledges race issues instead of just ignoring them. (Carter and Sadie are mixed race and how this has shaped their identities is carefully explored, especially in Carter's case.)

In Comics:

Ultimate Spiderman, Issue #1: The Spiderman reboot that features Miles Morales (in the wake of Peter Parker's supposed death, which I predict will be revealed as fake in 3... 2... 1...) is a very interesting story and one that I look forward to reading more of. Although a frustratingly short installment, it's packed with drama and intrigue, although the sources of that drama, etc. are not exactly the traditional comic books villains; at least, they aren't yet. Instead, the dramatic set piece of this story is Miles and his family at the lottery for 3 spaces in a coveted charter school. Sara Pichelli's pencils on this sequence were excellent. The degrees of discomfort, hope, fear, joy, and embarrassment on all the characters' faces were rendered in very sharp and poignant detail. (I especially love the composition of three panels where Miles stares at two of the students who didn't win.) What I especially enjoy about this comic, though, is that there is, as yet, no excessive moralizing. Not once has anyone uttered the phrase "with great power comes great responsibility" (which is a noble sentiment, but if I hear it said one more time, I will puke.) Instead, the storytellers seem content to rely on the story itself to present these ideas. Clearly, a moral dilemma is being set up for Miles in the form of his ne'er-do-well uncle, contrasted with his faith-in-the-system father, but again, this isn't overdone or fake. I hope that Brian Michael Bendis and the creative PTB will let this story unfold organically and without too much speechifying. I'm definitely interested in the next issue.

On TV:

Doctor Who: Spoilers for the entire season ahoy! )
retsuko: (girl reading)
i09 has an interview (or the report of one) with a 7-year-old girl about the DC reboot, specifically, its treatment of Starfire. The author's seven-year-old daughter, who loves comics, comic book characters characters and Starfire in particular, has some salient points to make, but the most interesting one to me is that in the new comics, Starfire doesn't do anything except pose in a bikini. And this is, for all intents and purposes, exactly true. I don't pick up comic books hoping to see my favorite female characters in a cheesecake spread; I choose titles because I want to see female characters who do good and take action. This is especially true for cape/superhero titles. I bought "Captain Britain" because Faiza Hussein actively participated in battle and wielded Excalibur; I buy "The Unwritten" because I'm really, really curious to see what Lizzie Hexam is up to this issue and just how she fits into the larger world that Mike Carey has written; and I first picked up "Elfquest" (my first real comic book!) because all the female characters were active and well-rounded. Hell, even "Empowered" has our titular, bondage-prone heroine DOING good, as much as she can, because (as she herself says in the middle of one particularly high stakes battle) "This is what I do!"

Oh, crap, I'm back to that question of "why?" again. Why read comic books at all, if the DC reboot is the sort of sexist nonsense that passes for mainstream comic book content? Because I love stories, and I love stories told in this way. And because I do think that the industry can change and gets its act together, even if it takes a whole bunch of missteps beforehand. And because I need to know what's happening in "Rasl", "Locke & Key", and "The Unwritten". Will I be picking up any DC titles anytime soon? Other than their Vertigo line, it's unlikely. Voting with dollars is probably our only recourse at this point.
retsuko: (river w/ gun)
There is an excellent essay by Laura Hudson here that is specifically about the new DC comics relaunch and its gender issues, but really can be taken as a comment on comics fandom as a whole. It's awesome, and I really don't have much to add to it, except for the fact that the pages and panels from 'Catwoman' that Hudson uses could just have easily been from any other superheroine title and the analysis would still be just as on point and valid.

In any case, the issues with the depiction of women are one of the reasons that I often hold back on saying what I'm fan of. Since "nerd" is undergoing a sort of semi-cool Renaissance, I can usually mention my love for "Doctor Who," the works of Jim Butcher, or any of the Harry Potter books and movies without fear of reprisal. But one word about comic books and people start getting that judgmental aura of "I thought you were smarter than that" or giving me these expressions of utter bewilderment, usually followed by the question, "why?" And I must admit that I answer that question myself every damn time I step into any comic book shop. It does help that my local comic supplier, Comickaze, is run by an excellent staff of knowledgeable guys who have never once made me feel uncomfortable or weird. But in other places, at other stores, I have felt the distinctly unpleasant feeling of Difference, (or Otherness, in academic parlance). Seeing a wallpapering of posters of female comic book characters in bikinis, with bodies that are completely impossible in every sense of the word, is a depressing experience. Why keep reading books by an industry that largely imagines women to be merely men with breasts? Why bother looking at titles that depict women as objects to be sexed up, used up, and thrown away? Am I just indulging some kind of nerd-specific masochism?

Every time I start asking these questions, or see too many women in bikinis, I close my eyes and think of all the awesome women I know or know about who are involved in the comics industry, or in the independent fringes. I think of [ profile] psychoe and [ profile] ashears's amazing artwork and how one day, I'm going to say "I liked them before they were cool" in an annoying hipster voice. I think of cartoonists and writers like Kate Beaton, Moto Hagio, Natasha Allegri, Tracy Butler, Gail Simone, CLAMP, Momochi Reiko, Hope Larson, Naoko Takeuchi, Yuko Shimizu, and many, many others, too numerous to list here. I remember all the amazing female characters who I've read and loved, like Storm and Kitty Pride, Francine Peters, Rose (from Bone), Faiza Hussein, Lizzie Hexam, Elissa Megan Powers and Ninjette, Nico and Gert and Princess Powerful (from Runaways), and all the characters whose stories I haven't read yet. But mostly, I think about opportunities.

Comic books as a medium are an amazing opportunity for artists and writers to tell stories in a unique and powerful manner. And I have hope that this industry will come to its senses, even if it has to go through a horrifically prolonged birth process to do so. (Although I will admit the DC Relaunch is one hell of a contraction.) There's more than enough opportunity to go around to keep the industry afloat. Why not fix the sexism problem? Imagine twice the money. Imagine the marriage of idealism and commerce. Imagine a day when no reader has to ask the question "why?" when she or he steps into a comic book store.

May 2016

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