The Nominations for our 2022 Eisner Comic Awards are…

Recently, Comic-Con International unveiled its official nominee list for the prestigious 2022 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.

(See below for the complete list)

The nominees were chosen by a blue-ribbon panel of judges, reflecting a wide range of material currently published in comics and graphic novel form, from around the world. The awards are named in honor of the pioneering comics writer and artist Will Eisner, a participant in the CCI awards until his death in 2005.

DC holds the most nominations with 15, with Nightwing by Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo holding 5. Image holds 14 nominations with Destroy All Monsters, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips at 3. Writer James Tynion IV holds the most individual creator nominations at 5.

Winners are to be announced at the 2022 San Diego Comic-Con convention, this coming July. For more information on the awards, its judges, and new Hall of Fame nominations, visit comic-con.org.

Here below, the nominees are…

Best Short Story

  • “Funeral in Foam,” by Casey Gilly and Raina Telgemeier, in You Died: An Anthology of the Afterlife (Iron Circus)
  • “Generations,” by Daniel Warren Johnson, in Superman: Red & Blue #5 (DC)
  • “I Wanna Be a Slob,” by Michael Kamison and Steven Arnold, in Too Tough to Die (Birdcage Bottom Books)
  • “Tap, Tap, Tap,” by Larry O’Neil and Jorge Fornés, in Green Arrow 80th Anniversary (DC)
  • “Trickster, Traitor, Dummy, Doll,” by Triple Dream (Mel Hilario, Katie Longua, and Lauren Davis), in The Nib Vol 9: Secrets (The Nib)

Best Single Issue/One-Shot (must be able to stand alone)

  • Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1, edited by Darren Shan (Marvel)
  • Mouse Guard: The Owlhen Caregiver and Other Tales, by David Petersen (BOOM!/Archaia)
  • Nightwing #87: “Get Grayson,” by Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo (DC)
  • Wolvendaughter, by Ver (Quindrie Press)
  • Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Jimenez (DC)

Best Continuing Series

  • Bitter Root, by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene (Image)
  • The Department of Truth, by James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds (Image)
  • Immortal Hulk, by Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, et al. (Marvel)
  • Nightwing, by Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo (DC)
  • Something Is Killing the Children, by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera (BOOM! Studios)

Best Limited Series

  • Beta Ray Bill: Argent Star, by Daniel Warren Johnson (Marvel)
  • The Good Asian, by Pornsak Pichetshote and Alexandre Tefenkgi (Image)
  • Hocus Pocus, by Richard Wiseman, Rik Worth, and Jordan Collver, hocuspocus.squarespace.com
  • The Many Deaths of Laila Starr, by Ram V and Filipe Andrade (BOOM! Studios)
  • Stray Dogs, by Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner (Image)
  • Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, by Tom King and Bilquis Evely (DC)

Best New Series

  • The Human Target, by Tom King and Greg Smallwood (DC)
  • The Nice House on the Lake, by James Tynion IV and Álvaro Martínez Bueno (DC Black Label)
  • Not All Robots, by Mark Russell and Mike Deodato Jr. (AWA Upshot)
  • Radiant Black, by Kyle Higgins and Marcelo Costa (Image)
  • Ultramega, by James Harren (Image Skybound)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)

  • Arlo & Pips #2: Join the Crow Crowd!, by Elise Gravel (HarperAlley)
  • Chibi Usagi: Attack of the Heebie Chibis, by Julie and Stan Sakai (IDW)
  • I Am Oprah Winfrey, by Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos (Dial Books for Young Readers)
  • Monster Friends, by Kaeti Vandorn (Random House Graphic)
  • Tiny Tales: Shell Quest, by Steph Waldo (HarperAlley)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)

  • Allergic, by Megan Wagner Lloyd and Michelle Mee Nutter (Scholastic)
  • Four-Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat, by Ben Towle (Dead Reckoning)
  • Rainbow Bridge, by Steve Orlando, Steve Foxe, and Valentina Brancati (AfterShock)
  • Salt Magic, by Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock (Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House)
  • Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear, by Trang Nguyen and Jeet Zdung (Dial Books for Young Readers)
  • The Science of Surfing: A Surfside Girls Guide to the Ocean, by Kim Dwinell (Top Shelf)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

  • Adora and the Distance, by Marc Bernardin and Ariela Kristantina (Comixology Originals)
  • Clockwork Curandera, vol. 1: The Witch Owl Parliament, by David Bowles and Raul the Third (Tu Books/Lee & Low Books)
  • The Legend of Auntie Po, by Shing Yin Khor (Kokila/Penguin Random House)
  • Strange Academy, by Skottie Young and Humberto Ramos (Marvel)
  • Wynd, by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas (BOOM! Box)

Best Humor Publication

  • Bubble, by Jordan Morris, Sarah Morgan, and Tony Cliff (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Cyclopedia Exotica, by Aminder Dhaliwal (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Not All Robots, by Mark Russell and Mike Deodato Jr. (AWA Upshot)
  • The Scumbag, by Rick Remender and various (Image)
  • Thirsty Mermaids, by Kat Leyh (Gallery 13/Simon and Schuster)
  • Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead, by Haro Aso and Kotaro Takata, translation by Nova Skipper (VIZ Media)

Best Anthology

  • Flash Forward: An Illustrated Guide to Possible (And Not So Possible) Tomorrows, by Rose Eveleth and various, edited by Laura Dozier (Abrams ComicArts)
  • My Only Child, by Wang Ning and various, edited by Wang Saili, translation by Emma Massara (LICAF/Fanfare Presents)
  • The Silver Coin, by Michael Walsh and various (Image)
  • Superman: Red & Blue, edited by Jamie S. Rich, Brittany Holzherr, and Diegs Lopez (DC)
  • You Died: An Anthology of the Afterlife, edited by Kel McDonald and Andrea Purcell (Iron Circus)

Best Reality-Based Work

  • The Black Panther Party: A Graphic History, by David F. Walker and Marcus Kwame Anderson (Ten Speed Press)
  • Hakim’s Odyssey, Book 1: From Syria to Turkey, by Fabien Toulmé, translation by Hannah Chute (Graphic Mundi/Penn State University Press)
  • Lugosi: The Rise and Fall of Hollywood’s Dracula, by Koren Shadmi (Humanoids)
  • Orwell, by Pierre Christin and Sébastien Verdier, translation by Edward Gauvin (SelfMadeHero)
  • Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness, by Kristen Radtke (Pantheon/Penguin Random House)
  • The Strange Death of Alex Raymond, by Dave Sim and Carson Grubaugh (Living the Line)

Best Graphic Memoir

  • Factory Summers, by Guy Delisle, translated by Helge Dascher and Rob Aspinall (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Parenthesis, by Élodie Durand, translation by Edward Gauvin (Top Shelf)
  • Run: Book One, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, L. Fury, and Nate Powell (Abrams ComicArts)
  • Save It for Later: Promises, Parenthood, and the Urgency of Protest, by Nate Powell (Abrams ComicArts)
  • The Secret to Superhuman Strength, by Alison Bechdel (Mariner Books)

Best Graphic Album—New

  • Ballad For Sophie, by Filipe Melo and Juan Cavia, translation by Gabriela Soares (Top Shelf)
  • Destroy All Monsters (A Reckless Book), by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
  • In., by Will McPhail (Mariner Books)
  • Meadowlark: A Coming-of-Age Crime Story, by Ethan Hawke and Greg Ruth (Grand Central Publishing)
  • Monsters, by Barry Windsor-Smith (Fantagraphics)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint

  • The Complete American Gods, by Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell, and Scott Hampton (Dark Horse)
  • Locke & Key: Keyhouse Compendium, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez (IDW)
  • Middlewest: The Complete Tale, by Skottie Young and Jorge Corona (Image)
  • Rick and Morty vs Dungeons and Dragons Deluxe Edition, by Patrick Rothfuss, Jim Zub, and Troy Little (Oni/IDW)
  • The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: California Deluxe Edition, by Gerard Way, Shaun Simon, and Becky Cloonan (Dark Horse)

Best Adaptation from Another Medium

  • After the Rain, by Nnedi Okorafor, adapted by John Jennings and David Brame (Megascope/Abrams ComicArts)
  • Bubble by Jordan Morris, Sarah Morgan, and Tony Cliff (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Disney Cruella: Black, White, and Red, adapted by Hachi Ishie (VIZ Media)
  • George Orwell’s 1984: The Graphic Novel, adapted by Fido Nesti (Mariner Books)
  • The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, by Robert Tressell, adapted by Sophie and Scarlett Rickard (SelfMadeHero)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material

  • Ballad For Sophie, by Filipe Melo and Juan Cavia, translation by Gabriela Soares (Top Shelf)
  • Between Snow and Wolf, by Agnes Domergue and Helene Canac, translation by Maria Vahrenhorst (Magnetic)
  • Love: The Mastiff, by Frederic Brrémaud and Federico Bertolucci (Magnetic)
  • The Parakeet, by Espé, translation by Hannah Chute ((Graphic Mundi/Penn State University Press)
  • The Shadow of a Man, by Benoît Peeters and François Schuiten, translation by Stephen D. Smith (IDW)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia

  • Chainsaw Man, by Tatsuki Fujimoto, translation by Amanda Haley (VIZ Media)
  • Kaiju No. 8, by Naoya Matsumoto, translation by David Evelyn (VIZ Media)
  • Lovesickness: Junji Ito Story Collection, by Junji Ito, translation by Jocelyne Allen (VIZ Media)
  • Robo Sapiens: Tales of Tomorrow (Omnibus), by Toranosuke Shimada, translation by Adrienne Beck (Seven Seas)
  • Spy x Family, by Tatsuya Endo, translation by Casey Loe (VIZ Media)
  • Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead, by Haro Aso and Kotaro Takata, translation by Nova Skipper (VIZ Media)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips (at least 20 years old)

  • Friday Foster: The Sunday Strips, by Jim Lawrence and Jorge Longarón, edited by Christopher Marlon, Rich Young, and Kevin Ketner (Ablaze)
  • Popeye: The E.C. Segar Sundays, vol. 1 by E.C. Segar, edited by Gary Groth and Conrad Groth (Fantagraphics)
  • Trots and Bonnie, by Shary Flenniken, edited by Norman Hathaway (New York Review Comics)
  • The Way of Zen, adapted and illustrated by C. C. Tsai, translated by Brian Bruya (Princeton University Press)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books (at least 20 Years Old)

  • EC Covers Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
  • Farewell, Brindavoine, by Tardi, translation by Jenna Allen, edited by Conrad Groth (Fantagraphics)
  • Marvel Comics Library: Spider-Man vol. 1: 1962–1964, by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, edidted by Steve Korté (TASCHEN)
  • Spain Rodriguez: My Life and Times, vol. 3, edited by Patrick Rosenkranz (Fantagraphics)
  • Steranko Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Artisan Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
  • Uncle Scrooge: “Island in the Sky,” by Carl Barks, edited by J. Michael Catron (Fantagraphics)

Best Writer

  • Ed Brubaker, Destroy All Monsters, Friend of the Devil (Image)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick, Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons Book One (DC)
  • Filipe Melo, Ballad for Sophie (Top Shelf)
  • Ram V, The Many Deaths of Laila Starr (BOOM! Studios); The Swamp Thing (DC); Carnage: Black, White & Blood, Venom (Marvel)
  • James Tynion IV, House of Slaughter, Something Is Killing the Children, Wynd (BOOM! Studios); The Nice House on the Lake, The Joker, Batman, DC Pride 2021 (DC); The Department of Truth (Image); Blue BookRazorblades (Tiny Onion Studios)

Best Writer/Artist

  • Alison Bechdel, The Secret to Superhuman Strength (Mariner Books)
  • Junji Ito, Deserter: Junji Ito Story Collection, Lovesickness: Junji Ito Story Collection, Sensor (VIZ Media)
  • Daniel Warren Johnson, Superman: Red & Blue (DC); Beta Ray Bill (Marvel)
  • Will McPhail, In: A Graphic Novel (Mariner Books)
  • Barry Windsor-Smith, Monsters (Fantagraphics)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team

  • Filipe Andrade, The Many Deaths of Laila Starr (BOOM! Studios)
  • Phil Jimenez, Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons (DC)
  • Bruno Redondo, Nightwing (DC)
  • Esad Ribic, Eternals (Marvel)
  • P. Craig Russell, Norse Mythology (Dark Horse)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)

  • Federico Bertolucci, Brindille, Love: The Mastiff (Magnetic)
  • John Bolton, Hell’s Flaw (Renegade Arts Entertainment)
  • Juan Cavia, Ballad for Sophie (Top Shelf)
  • Frank Pe, Little Nemo (Magnetic)
  • Ileana Surducan, The Lost Sunday (Pronoia AB)
  • Sana Takeda, Monstress (Image)

Best Cover Artist

  • Jen Bartel, Future State Immortal Wonder Woman #1 & 2, Wonder Woman Black & Gold #1, Wonder Woman 80th Anniversary (DC); Women’s History Month variant covers (Marvel)
  • David Mack, Norse Mythology (Dark Horse)
  • Bruno Redondo, Nightwing (DC)
  • Alex Ross, Black Panther, Captain America, Captain America/Iron Man #2, Immortal Hulk, Iron Man, The U.S. of The Marvels (Marvel)
  • Julian Totino Tedesco, Just Beyond: Monstrosity (BOOM!/KaBoom!); Dune: House Atreides (BOOM! Studios); Action Comics (DC); The Walking Dead Deluxe (Image Skybound)
  • Yoshi Yoshitani, I Am Not Starfire (DC); The Blue FlameGiga, Witchblood (Vault)

Best Coloring

  • Filipe Andrade/Inês Amaro, The Many Deaths of Laila Starr (BOOM! Studios)
  • Terry Dodson, Adventureman (Image Comics)
  • K. O’Neill, The Tea Dragon Tapestry (Oni)
  • Jacob Phillips, Destroy All Monsters, Friend of the Devil (Image)
  • Matt Wilson, Undiscovered Country (Image); Fire Power (Image Skybound); Eternals, Thor, Wolverine (Marvel); Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters (Oni)

Best Lettering

  • Wes Abbott, Future State, Nightwing, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman Black & Gold (DC)
  • Clayton Cowles, The Amazons, Batman, Batman/Catwoman, Strange Adventures, Wonder Woman Historia (DC); Adventureman (Image);Daredevil, Eternals, King in Black, Strange Academy, Venom, X-Men Hickman, X-Men Duggan (Marvel)
  • Crank!, Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters, The Tea Dragon Tapestry (Oni); Money Shot (Vault)
  • Ed Dukeshire, Once & Future, Seven Secrets (BOOM Studios)
  • Barry Windsor-Smith, Monsters (Fantagraphics)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

  • Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)
  • The Columbus Scribbler, edited by Brian Canini, Jack Wallace, and Steve Steiner, columbusscribbler.com
  • Fanbase Press, edited by Barbra Dillon, fanbasepress.com
  • tcj.com, edited by Tucker Stone and Joe McCulloch (Fantagraphics)
  • WomenWriteAboutComics.com, edited by Wendy Browne and Nola Pfau (WWAC)

Best Comics-Related Book

  • All of the Marvels, by Douglas Wolk (Penguin Press)
  • The Art of Thai Comics: A Century of Strips and Stripes, by Nicolas Verstappen (River Books)
  • Fantastic Four No. 1: Panel by Panel, by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Chip Kidd, and Geoff Spear (Abrams ComicArts)
  • Old Gods & New: A Companion to Jack Kirby’s Fourth World, by John Morrow, with Jon B. Cooke (TwoMorrows)
  • True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee, by Abraham Riesman (Crown)

Best Academic/Scholarly Work

  • Comics and the Origins of Manga: A Revisionist History, by Eike Exner (Rutgers University Press)
  • The Life and Comics of Howard Cruse: Taking Risks in the Service of Truth, by Andrew J. Kunka (Rutgers University Press)
  • Mysterious Travelers: Steve Ditko and the Search for a New Liberal Identity, by Zack Kruse (University Press of Mississippi)
  • Pulp Empire: The Secret History of Comics Imperialism, by Paul S. Hirsch (University of Chicao Press)
  • Rebirth of the English Comic Strip: A Kaleidoscope, 1847–1870, by David Kunzle (University Press of Mississippi)

Best Publication Design

  • The Complete American Gods, designed by Ethan Kimberling (Dark Horse)
  • The Complete Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Deluxe Edition, designed by Justin Allan-Spencer (Fantagraphics)
  • Crashpad, designed by Gary Panter and Justin Allan-Spencer (Fantagraphics)
  • Machine Gun Kelly’s Hotel Diablo, designed by Tyler Boss (Z2)
  • Marvel Comics Library: Spider-Man vol. 1: 1962–1964 (TASCHEN)
  • Popeye Vol. 1 by E.C. Segar, designed by Jacob Covey (Fantagraphics)

Best Webcomic

Best Digital Comic

  • Days of Sand, by Aimée de Jongh, translation by Christopher Bradley (Europe Comics)
  • Everyone Is Tulip, by Dave Baker and Nicole Goux, everyoneistulip.com
  • It’s Jeff, by Kelly Thompson and Gurihiru (Marvel)
  • Love After World Domination 1-3, by Hiroshi Noda and Takahiro Wakamatsu, translation by Steven LeCroy (Kodansha)
  • Snow Angels, by Jeff Lemire and Jock (Comixology Originals) 

DC goes Death Metal on new comic racks this summer

DC’s acclaimed creative team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo will not be going soft in 2020, as they take its comics multiverse into a new phase of Death Metal, this summer.

Dark Nights: Death Metal is the comics sequel to the over-the-top hit series 0f 2017-2018, Dark Nights: Metal, which brought widespread changes to the DC universe and introduced fans to the Dark Multiverse and its super edgy evil Batman from the Dark Multiverse, the Batman Who Laughs. This will be a six-issue miniseries, with the first issue released on on May 13, 2020. Like the original series, there will be several “Metalverse” one-shots throughout the full release, expanding the story.

Joining the Snyder and Capullo team, is inker Jonathan Glapion and colorist FCO Plascencia.

“I’ve been waiting to do this story since we finished Dark Nights: Metal,” said Snyder in a recent press release. “As much as it was a complete event, we left some threads hanging there for sure. I’d hoped that if people liked the first series enough, we’d have a chance to set up something bigger, and that’s our plan for Death Metal.”

“For all of us, Dark Nights: Death Metal is about the fun factor,” adds Capullo. “Comics should be fun, bombastic, and over-the-top. This series is going to be exciting and jam-packed with great ‘metal-esque’ moments that will make fans lose their minds when they see them.”

This new series spins out of the events of Scott Snyder’s Justice League run and the Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen miniseries by James Tynion IV. The Earth has been consumed by Dark Multiverse energy, having been conquered by the Batman Who Laughs and his evil lieutenants, corrupted versions of Shazam, Donna Troy, Supergirl, Blue Beetle, Hawkman, and Commissioner Jim Gordon. Some heroes, like Wonder Woman and the Flash, have made compromises as they negotiate to keep humanity alive in this hell-born landscape. Others, like Batman, are part of an underground resistance looking to take back control of their world. Superman is imprisoned, cursed to literally power Earth’s sun for eternity.

But a mysterious figure provides Wonder Woman with vital information she might be able to use to rally Earth’s remaining heroes to resist the Batman Who Laughs. Can the Justice League break away from the Dark Multiverse and defeat Perpetua?

Dark Nights: Death Metal will kick off on May 13, 2020, then continue June, and July, then resuming in September, October, and November. Check your local comic stores and popular digital comics apps for more release information and incentive covers.

Captain’s note: Absolutely loved the hell out of Snyder and Capullo’s Batman: Last Knight on Earth. It’s that bonkers, ridiculous, unhinged storytelling that I feel refreshing when dealing with generation-spanning superhero icons.

SW reviews: Superman Smashes The Klan #1

Superman Smashes the Klan

Superman Smashes the Klan

  • Writer: Gene Luen Yang
  • Artist: Guruhiru
  • Published by: DC Comics
  • Pages: 79, Publish Date: October 16 2019, Price: $7.99
  • Notes: The first of three books, published in a glossy thin paperback, traditionally sized for younger readers.

Synopsis:

“The year is 1946, and the Lee family has moved from Metropolis’ Chinatown to the center of the bustling city. While Dr. Lee is greeted warmly in his new position at the Metropolis Health Department, his two kids, Roberta and Tommy, are more excited about being closer to their famous hero, Superman! While Tommy adjusts to the fast pace of the city, Roberta feels out of place, as she tries and fails to fit in with the neighborhood kids. As the Lees try to adjust to their new lives, an evil is stirring in Metropolis: the Ku Klux Klan. When the Lee family awakens one night to find a burning cross on their lawn, they consider leaving town. But the Daily Planet offers a reward for information on the KKK, and their top two reporters, Lois Lane and Clark Kent, dig into the story. When Tommy is kidnapped by the KKK, Superman leaps into action-with help from Roberta! But Superman is still new to his powers-he hasn’t even worked out how to fly yet, so he has to run across town. Will Superman and Roberta reach Tommy in time?
Inspired by the 1940s Superman radio serial “Clan of the Fiery Cross,” Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Boxers and Saints, The Terrifics, New Super-Man) presents his personal retelling of the adventures of the Lee family as they team up with Superman to smash the Klan…”

Personal Thoughts (minor spoilers):

Superman Smashes the Klan is a superhero story challenging and exposing of real-life racism-based terrorism. The story for which it’s loosely based on the old radio play, “Clan of the Fiery Cross,” exposed the growing white supremacist group to a wider audience for its evils and inner-workings, giving it a much-needed negative exposure throughout the USA during the Golden Age of comics.

But now, we have the revision of the story, which may not make as big of an impact, but still relevant to our time as racism is still a thing, with many sinister groups out seeking to carry on the original ideals of the KKK, and other hate groups inspired by such and similar.

Which brings about the question…what does Superman have to do with any of this?

And it’s not so much on the whole concept of Superman taking on racism, but his superpowered existence whose skin color and American face of the caucasian male. He lives that privilege of being more accepted in American society of the time. But, he also chooses to be the superhero that has to combat the evils in all its forms, including those who abuse that privilege and imposes it upon others as a symbol of nationalism, and genetic pride.

So, it feels great to have him start this story combatting a cartoonish Nazi villain, perhaps reestablishing the ideal of truth, justice, and the American way. And, he enjoys doing it.

14a4b9a8ab9c9aaeb9738ae3ec5edb87._SX1280_QL80_TTD_

And that is the Superman I love.

Which, leads to a bigger story of where this goes, into the perspectives of the incoming Lee family, the newest immigrants to Metropolis of Chinese descent. They are like any new family moving into a big city, with two kids reacting to a new life ahead, and the father taking on a new job. Metropolis is well-known as this all-American city very similar to New York, and it’s where Superman lives. So here, sets up a dynamic of promise, that life will be exciting for the Lees.

And that’s where much of this story brings a smile to this reader, seeing Superman being more of a neighborhood hero to this large city. Eventually, we get to know the Lees through their perspectives on Superman, Golden Age Americana, and the immigrant reactions they face in Metropolis. This carries on the side story to the center, where the Lees seeks to integrate and become part of the American dream, which includes a typical suburban life and baseball. There is a fascination that what is real, and should be real.

Supermansmashestheklan

Meanwhile, the human side of Clark Kent deals with his own self of being somewhat a stranger from birth, feeling the inner conflict of being different. His reflection on his past, where the idea of an alien in a magazine is that of a scary monster. He looks to the present, seeing a reflection of might have been. Superman has the luxury of his appearance, but what if he did look more alien? How much would he have to hide, how much would society fear him before accepting him as the premier superhero?

So, the developing story leads to the Lee family being terrorized by the Klan, though their signature cross being burned on their front lawn. Its terrible act leads to elevated threats of lynching. This real-life horror cuts through this otherwise innocent setting of Golden Age heroism backdrop, as the Lees deal with this real problem. The stakes may not be as high as an evil scientist with world-domination plans, but there is a sense of urgency that Superman responds to.

And that’s what I love about this story. It’s Superman standing up for those in need, against a real-life threat to its time, that has changed and shifted into an evil that still festers today.

I also love the art, set for younger readers to enjoy with a slight manga appeal to it, but with solid coloring and traditional sequential art transitions. The facial expressions are defined, given a mix of liveliness and heart to Superman’s world missed in the most recent cinema incarnations. The settings of night and day, suburban and city, home life and work life, add a homely, identifiable nature to Metropolis. The contrast of the Klan presence as dark and fiery shows where the danger is, waiting for Superman to eventually expose it all, hopefully in upcoming chapters.

Superman Smashes the Klan is not a traditional comic book, in both its story and its format. Readers will find in a smaller paperback form similar to a young adult read, targeted for younger readers. There is less collector value and more reading value, and that’s welcome in any format and any age. Also, there is small yet very informative retrospect by Gene Luen Yang, with more a focus on the real-life history of organized racism in the US.

Overall, I like this short read and look forward to the next issue of this three-part series.

 

Sam Kieth brings back The Maxx to face the Dark Knight

unnamed (10)

Happening soon, as an awesome dream come true for Batman fans who remember well The Maxx, from the classic comics and MTV animated series.

Now both will meet, as Batman / The Maxx: Arkham Dreams is set for comic stands, as a joint venture from IDW and DC.  The original creator of The Maxx and famed artist of many great comic stories, Sam Keith will return to tell this story through his unique visual art style and storytelling.

Batman / The Maxx: Arkham Dreams is set for a five-issue miniseries comics event. The first issue of Batman / The Maxx: Arkham Dreams will debut this September, with covers by Sam Kieth and Jim Lee.

“Doing a Batman and Maxx crossover is like a family reunion with my favorite brother and our really cool cousin,” says Sam Kieth. “You never want it to end… or at least I hope you won’t!”

When a devious new doctor at Arkham Asylum conducts unconventional forays into the human psyche, he kicks off a disastrous chain reaction by experimenting on Arkham’s newest patient: The Maxx! The city of Gotham soon begins to merge with the Outback, The Maxx’s psychedelic mental landscape. It’s up to Batman to save Gotham and all of reality… but only by joining The Maxx on a trip into the darkest depths imaginable: the twisted minds of Batman’s greatest enemies!

“It’s always a pleasure to work with Sam Kieth,” says editor Scott Dunbier. “He puts his heart and soul into his art, and gives you something truly unique in the process. We can’t wait for people to see this!”

Look for Batman / The Maxx: Arkham Dreams #1 in comic book stores everywhere, this September.

SW 2017 Early Summer Big Comics GN and TP Reading List!

This summer has much in store for all comics reading adventurers out there. Set sail for your local comic stores and book retailers and take a look!

But often, the good treasure is easily missed. So here through Stranger Worlds, we have compiled a list through personal experiences, peer reviews, grapevine whispering, and good old-fashioned speculation to bring you some recommended reads. Many are in softcover trade paperback format,  collecting issues of popular monthly series. Others are in the graphic novel format, usually in hardcover. Many here are not part of some longstanding franchise or continuing from some long-running series. Such are fresh and easy for anyone for jumping in.

So take a look at the 20 selected below, and note any of interest. Each selection is either already out, or will be due out soon (range from early June to middle July). Ask for them at your favorite bookseller!

BLACK PANTHER: WORLD OF WAKANDA
Volume 1

Writer: Various
Artist: Various
Publisher: Marvel
Release Date: June 22, 2017
Retail Price: $17.99

Wakanda! Home of the Black Panther, a proud and vibrant nation whose legends and mysteries run deep. Now, delve deep into Wakanda’s lore with a love story where tenderness is matched by brutality! You know them as the Midnight Angels, but for now, they are just Ayo and Aneka – young women recruited to become Dora Milaje, an elite task force trained to protect the crown of Wakanda at all costs. But with their king shamed and their queen killed, Ayo and Aneka must take justice into their own hands! They’ve been officers. Rebels. Lovers. But can they be leaders? Plus: the return of former White Tiger, Kasper Cole! As Wakanda burns, Cole can only watch helplessly from halfway around the world. Will he find a new beginning – or meet a painful end? Collecting BLACK PANTHER: WORLD OF WAKANDA #1-6.

ROCKSTARS
Volume 1: NATIVITY IN BLACKLIGHT

Writer: Joe Harris
Artist: Megan Hutchison
Publisher: Image
Release Date: June 14, 2017
Retail Price: $9.99

When a pattern of unsolved “groupie” murders from the 1970s resumes in present-day Los Angeles, nobody makes the connection except Jackie Mayer, a rock nerd with a strange connection to music’s urban legends and a mysterious ability to “see” what most people miss. Together with a muckraking music writer and his loyal cat,  Jackie uncovers an underground conspiracy involving a legendary band, demonic possession, and sacrifices to the dark gods of rock. Fan-favorite JOE HARRIS (GREAT PACIFIC, The X-Files) and the mega-talented MEGAN HUTCHISON deliver a crash course in rock ‘n’ roll’s untold mysteries, secret histories, and seedy underbellies. Collects ROCKSTARS #1-5

LOOSE ENDS
A Southern Crime Romance

Writer: Jason Latour
Artist: Chris Brunner
Publisher: Image
Release Date: July 5th, 2017
Retail Price: $16.99

No one seemed to notice Sonny Gibson as he stepped back into “The Hideaway,” a dusty little honky-tonk nestled off the Carolina highway. But before the night was over, Sonny would be on the run from the law, from criminals, and even from himself. LOOSE ENDS is a gritty, slow-cooked, Southern crime romance that follows a winding trail down Tobacco Road, through the war-torn streets of Baghdad, and into the bright lights and bloody gutters of South Florida. From JASON LATOUR, co-creator of Eisner-winning SOUTHERN BASTARDS and the writer of Spider-Gwen, CHRIS BRUNNER (SOUTHERN BASTARDS, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight), and RICO RENZI (Spider-Gwen, Squirrel Girl). Collects LOOSE ENDS #1-4.

PLUM CRAZY TALES OF TIGER STRIPED CAT
Deadly Season

Writer,  Artist: Hoshino Natsumi
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
Release Date: July 5, 2017
Retail Price: $11.99

A must-have for cat lovers everywhere, for fans of Chi’s Sweet Home. Plum Crazy! Tales of a Tiger-Striped Cat is an adorable new manga series that features the hilarious adventures a clever cat named Plum. Plum, as her family calls her, is a tiger-striped cat that lives with Miss Nakari, a single mother to her teenaged son, Taku. Plum can understand what people say to her, and she can even tell what’s in their minds. She also has many friends among the neighborhood cats. All is well in her everyday life until the day a mischievous kitten named Snowball joins Plum’s happy household. Will the naughty little newcomer turn Plum’s world completely topsy-turvy? Or will Snowball make her life even sweeter?

ARMIES 

Writer: Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Picaret
Artist: Jean-Claude Gal
Publisher: Humanoids
Release Date: July 5, 2017
Retail Price: $19.99

A collection of stories featuring an unstoppable army and an indomitable hero, all set amid the backdrop of barbaric and medieval lands. Jean-Pierre Dionnet shortly gained the favor of the public and has since grown immensely. This is the occasion for all lovers of the heroic fantasy genre to return to its roots.

APPLESEED: ALPHA
Deadly Season

Writer: Masamune Shirow, Iou Kuroda
Artist: Iou Kuroda
Publisher: Kodansha
Release Date: July 5, 2017
Retail Price: $24.99

A prequel to the cyberpunk franchise Appleseed by Shirow Masamune, creator of The Ghost in the Shell. In the 22nd century, New York City is a war-torn place ruled by warlords and a giant robot mayor with three eyes and a three-piece suit. While there, Deunan and her cyborg lover Briareos stumble across two citizens of a legendary utopia. It’s up to them to guard what could be humanity’s best chance to rebuild. 

GLISTER, TP

Writer,  Artist: Andi Watson
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: July 5, 2017
Retail Price: $14.99

Strange things happen around Glister Butterworth. A young girl living on her family’s English estate, Glister has unusual adventures every day, like the arrival of a teapot haunted by a demanding ghost, a crop of new relatives blooming on the family tree, a stubborn house that walks off its land in a huff, and a trip to Faerieland to find her missing mother.
o All four Glister stories collected into a value-priced edition!

ALACK SINNER AGE OF INNOCENCE

Writer: Carlos Sampayo
Artist: Jose Munoz
Publisher: Euro Comics
Release Date: June 28, 2017
Retail Price: $29.99

Alack Sinner: The Age of Innocence is the first of two volumes that present, for the first time in English, the complete Alack Sinner comics by the Argentine-born team of artist José Muñoz and writer Carlos Sampayo. Sinner is a hard-boiled private detective whose adventures are played out to a jazz soundtrack in a noir New York from 1975 through the 2000s. The Age of Innocence collects eleven stories, including “Talkin’ with Joe,” “The Webster Case,” “The Fillmore Case,” “Viet Blues,” “Life Ain’t a Comic Strip, Baby,” “Twinkle, Twinkle,” and “Dark City.” Alack Sinner is an international bestseller and between them, Muñoz and Sampayo are winners of Europe’s top comics awards.

ALICE & ZOUROKU
Volume 1

Writer,  Artist: Tetsuya Imai
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
Release Date: June 28, 2017
Retail Price: $12.99

A group of young girls possesses a mysterious power known as “Alice’s Dream,” which gives them the ability to turn their thoughts into reality. Detained and experimented upon, these youths are locked away in secret until one of them manages to escape. Her name is Sana – a girl with the power to ignore the very laws of physics. When this willful powerhouse crosses paths with a stubborn old man named Zouroku, his carefully ordered life will never be the same again!

CARTHAGO ADVENTURES

Writer: Christophe Bec, Alcante, Giles Daoust
Artist: Jaouen Fafner, Brice Cossu, Alexis Sentenac, Drazen Kovacevic
Publisher: Humanoids
Release Date: June 28, 2017
Retail Price: $34.95

The original adventures of London Donovan and his shadowy boss, “The Centenarian of the Carpathians,” in this action-packed spin-off from the best-selling Carthago. These five individual, but interlinked, stories see Donovan and billionaire Feiersinger combating all manner of malicious myths and monsters from the Californian Bigfoot and deadly African dinosaurs, to Arctic Sea creatures and giant Canadian wolves. Whether driven by a taste for adventure, a passion for scientific curiosity, or simply by pure obsession, join our unrelenting heroes as they chase and encounter creatures that are as mythical as they are deadly.

Flash Gordon
King’s Cross

Writer: Jeff Parker, Jesse Hamm
Artist: Jesse Hamm, Grace Allison
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: June 28, 2017
Retail Price: $19.99

Ming the Merciless wants to claim Earth as the crown jewel of his empire! His latest scheme? Teleporting a continent from his homeworld of Mongo into the Pacific Ocean, thereby unleashing its monstrous beasts into our seas and causing catastrophic tidal waves to devastate our naval defenses! It’s up to Flash Gordon, the fearless daredevil who has unraveled the tyrant’s previous schemes at every turn, to once again rally his friends in defense of the Earth. Join intrepid reporter Dale Arden, eccentric scientist Dr. Zarkov, Mandrake the Magician, two iterations of The Phantom, Jungle Jim, and the timelost hero Prince Valiant in the wildest adventure on this or any world!

FOG OVER TOLBIAC BRIDGE

Writer, Artist: Jacques Tardi
Publisher: Fantagraphics
Release Date: June 28, 2017
Retail Price: $19.99

Fog Over Tolbiac Bridge is the first of four major graphic novels adapted by Tardi from the legendary French crime writer Léo Malet’s original “Nestor Burma” novels. Tardi’s stylish use of mechanical gray tones provides the book with a lovely period feel which, combined with Tardi’s usual obsessive visual research, gives it a uniquely personal, authentic quality. Tardi’s adaptation is a cracking good detective yarn and a milestone in comics history.

MAKING SCENTS

Writer: Arthur Yorinks
Artist: Braden LamShelli Paroline
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: June 28, 2017
Retail Price: $15.99

Mickey isn’t like his brothers and sisters. They’re stronger, faster, and they’re definitely better when it comes to smelling. You see, Mickey’s parents are dog nuts, and his “brothers and sisters” are their prize bloodhounds. Mickey eventually learns how to sniff out a trail as good as his siblings, and his parents have never been prouder. Life can’t get much better, but it’s about to get much worse. When a tragic accident leaves Mickey an orphan, he must leave his dog family behind to live with an aunt and uncle he’s never met before. Even worse, they hate dogs and kids.

MOTRO
Volume 1

Writer: Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas
Artist: Ulises Farinas
Publisher: Oni Press
Release Date: June 28, 2017
Retail Price: $9.99

A reclusive young boy with superhuman strength tries to live up to the expectations of his dead father in a fantastic world of mechs and monsters. What will it take to fulfill his destiny? From illustrator and intricate world-builder Ulises Fariñas (IDW’s Judge Dredd), comes the first chronicle of the life and legend of a fantasy hero for the ages.

NIGHTS DOMINiON
Volume 1

Writer, Artist: Ted Naifeh
Publisher: Oni Press
Release Date: June 28, 2017
Retail Price: $9.99

A thief, an assassin, a mage and a cleric walk into a tavern in the ancient city of Umber. Awaiting them is a mysterious bard with a dangerous scheme: to break into the dungeon of a powerful death cult in search of treasure. For these five desperate criminals, it’s the last chance for hope in a city of corruption and despair.  But what they find instead is an undead army preparing to conquer the world. Now, they must fight to protect the city that pushed their backs to the wall or watch it burn. The acclaimed fantasy epic from New York Times Best-Selling author Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin, Princess Ugg) begins here!

MOTOR CRUSH
Volume 1

Writers: Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr
Artists: Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr
Publisher: Image
Release Date: June 14, 2017
Retail Price: 9.99

The team behind the critically acclaimed revamp of Batgirl returns with an exciting sci-fi action-adventure series! By day, Domino Swift competes for fame & fortune in a worldwide motorcycle racing league. By night, she cracks heads of rival gangs in brutal bike wars to gain possession of a rare, valuable contraband: an engine-boosting “machine narcotic” known as Crush. Collects MOTOR CRUSH #1-5

CURSE WORDS
Volume 1

Writer: Charles Soule Artist: Ryan Browne
Publisher: Image
Release Date: June 19, 2017
Retail Price: 9.99

A wizard has appeared in present-day New York! His name is Wizord, and he’s here to save us all from dark magical forces bent on our destruction.
He’s the best wizard of all time! Or…he’s not, and he’s lying to everyone, and secretly is the dark magical force, but wants to hang out in our world for a while because it’s so much nicer than the hellhole he comes from. Secrets, and spells, and talking koalas-CURSE WORDS is a gonzo dark fantasy from CHARLES SOULE (Daredevil, Letter 44, Star Wars) and RYAN BROWNE (GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS). Collects CURSE WORDS #1-5

THE BACKSTAGERS
Volume 1

 Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Rian Sygh
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Release Date: July 19, 2017
Retail Price: $14.99

James Tynion IV (Detective Comics, The Woods) teams up with artist Rian Sygh (Munchkin, Stolen Forest) for an incredibly earnest story that explores what it means to find a place to fit in when you’re kinda an outcast. When Jory transfers to an all-boys private high school, he’s taken in by the lowly stage crew known as the Backstagers. Hunter, Aziz, Sasha, and Beckett become his new best friends and introduce him to an entire magical world that lives beyond the curtain that the rest of the school doesn’t know about, filled with strange creatures, changing hallways, and a decades-old legend of a backstage crew that went missing and was never found. Collects the first four issues.

CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE
Volume 1

Writer: Gerard Way, Jonathan Rivera, Tom Scioli
Artist: Tom Scioli, Michael Avon Oeming
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: June 28, 2017
Retail Price: $19.99

Cave Carson has done it all: survived countless adventures below the Earth’s surface, met the love of his life, and gotten a cybernetic eye…somehow. Now, newly widowed, Cave tries to piece his life back together when a knock on the door of his secret underground lab pulls him back into a past that he and Eileen thought they had left buried deep within the Earth.In these tales from issues #1-6, Cave must determine if his recent hallucinations are the work of his mind or his mysterious cybernetic eye. (Spoiler: It’s the eye).

That’s all for now. We plan on listing more up for the later half of summer. In the meantime, if anything here catches your interest and you enjoyed…we would love to hear from you. Or, if we missed out on something just coming out, also let us know!

Comic Reading Recommendation: The Flintstones: Volume 1

The Flintstones: Volume 1

  • Writer: Mark Russell Artist: Steve Pugh
  • Published by: DC Comics     Publish Date: March 28, 2017
  • Notes: Collects the original monthly issues of The Flintstones mini-series #1-6.

Synopsis:

“Fred and Barney reunite for Mark Russell’s modern take on Hanna-Barbera’s most famous stone-age family! This new series starring the first family of Bedrock (and civilization, really) tells the story of who we are and why we do what we do as if it all began with Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty, and the rest of the citizens of Bedrock. Shining a light on humanity’s ancient customs and institutions in a funny origin story of human civilization, Mark Russell (PREZ) blends modern interpretations with Hanna-Barbera’s classic character’s, bringing a breath of fresh stone-age air.”

Personal Review:

The Flintstones, as well as other Hanna-Barbera properties that aren’t Scooby-Doo, are one of many properties to fall into nostalgic obscurity, almost at a love-it or hate-it caliber. Personally, I’m closer to the negative end of the spectrum – simply remembering the show as a Honeymooners knock-off with rock puns. I was skeptical of Mark Russell’s reprisal, but quickly found myself pleasantly surprised.

Despite its stone-age setting, Flintstones is a raucous parody of modern culture: from religion to capitalism, nothing is safe. Additionally, key parts of the original reference material are revived with considerable weight and significance. Nothing breaks your heart more to learn that Fred’s iconic “Yabba-dabba-doo” was really a silly phrase taught in his veteran’s therapy group as something to say when things are just too hard to handle. Even the furniture – known to readers as Vacuum Cleaner and Bowling Ball – have an arc that could easily bring a tear to the reader’s eye.

The artwork is consistently vibrant and playful despite dreary topics. Additionally, there are plenty of hidden jokes and references scattered throughout the pages – a veritable Where’s Waldo of rock puns. (Much like the show, but less obnoxious.) On the other hand, I felt that Steve Pugh’s art style isn’t entirely all that definable; it does the job, but fails to pop.     

The largest issue with the series is, well, why The Flintstones? With the amount of liberties at hand, it’s hardly comparable to the source material, apart from sharing character names and basic relationships. Arguably, the intent could be a warning towards how history repeats itself: people then were dealing with what we’re dealing with now, just a little differently. A warning wrapped in a cuddly blanket of nostalgia and familiarity. This being said, is it a story of listless futility or of hope in the human condition? From the heartfelt family dynamic, I lean towards the latter.   

Wonder Woman and Conan will crossover in a tale of epic proportions

Diana of Themyscira and the Cimmerian barbarian will team up in a crossover of epic proportions for a new comic miniseries this fall, titled Wonder Woman/Conan. This sensational and savage tale is a joint DC and Dark Horse Comics team-up, written by Gail Simone and art by Aaron Lopresti.

Our tale begins as Conan the Barbarian arrives on the shores of an unknown land, and soon meets the world’s most fearsome arena fighter—Wonder Woman. Ill-fated circumstances force them both into slavery. As they attempt to free themselves from the grips of the rich and powerful slave-owner Dellos, a dark magic descends upon their land, a presence that wants to destroy them both. But who has the might to stop the most talented gladiators who have ever existed?

“I love crossovers, I love Wonder Woman, and being able to bring the undisputed greatest warriors of the DCU and Robert E. Howard’s Hyborian Age together for the very first time is a dream come true,” says Simone. “A major draw is getting to reunite with the great Aaron Lopresti, whose very favorite things to draw are Wonder Woman and barbarians. Its blades and bracelets, wizards and wonder and I couldn’t be more delighted.”

The first of the six-issue miniseries will arrive with art by Darick Robertson (The Boys). Also available is a variant cover by Liam Sharp (Wonder Woman). The saga begins on Wednesday, September 20, in comic stores everywhere.

Comic Reading Review: Bug: The Adventures of Forager #1

Bug: The Adventures of Forager #1

  • Writer: Lee Allred Artist: Michael Allred Colorist: Laura Allred
  • Published by: Image Comics Publish Date: May 10, 2017
  • Notes: New monthly six issue mini-series

Synopsis:

“An all-new Young Animal miniseries begins! Forager is just one of the Hive before he breaks out of his cocoon and finds himself in a mysterious house in an unknown realm. There he meets all kinds of strange creatures: a ghostly girl, a talking teddy bear and otherworldly weirdos that have literally jumped out of his worst nightmares. But these interdimensional oddballs are nothing compared to the evil General Electric, who is on the hunt for a reality-bending metal that could alter the fabric of life itself. To stay one step ahead of him and preserve the multiverse, Forager must travel through alternate dimensions to seek the metal and, hopefully, catch up with that cagey stuffed bear. If he does it, will he finally be able to distinguish himself as a New God? DC’s Young Animal celebrates Jack Kirby’s centenary with this new six-issue miniseries-and who better to tackle this task than the Eisner Award-winning Allred clan! Featuring scripts by Lee Allred (BATMAN ’66), art by Michael Allred (Silver Surfer) and colors by Laura Allred (Lady Killer), BUG! is truly a family affair..”

Personal Thoughts (minor spoilers):

Wow, a comic book based upon an obscure character few remember. What a wonderful time to be alive, and finding this at my local comic shop!

Forager was an obscure character created by Jack Kirby in his 1970’s New Gods series. Much was not done with him until the awesome Cosmic Odyssey mini-series in 1989. He teams up with Batman and then sacrificed his life to save him and the Earth from the Anti-Life Equation. Aside from a different female incarnation showed up in later comics, the ‘Bug” never appeared. Now along with other DC comics obscurities throughout the Young Animal imprint books, the Forager, or “Bug”  lives on in his first ever series.

Or does he?

There is a shout out to the Cosmic Odyssey limited series in the beginning, where there transference from yesterday into today, leading to a fresh start. There is an interesting struggle for his former identity, combined with a will to live on that feels part meta, part insect nature survivalist. We find him in this strange world, with odd elements and mysterious happenings. He meets forgotten characters of the Kirby yesteryear (or, at least long remembered as), with some new friends and enemies.

The weirdness of classic Kirby is definitely present, with much left to the reader to go with the flow of the story. Not all is perfectly clear, but I think that’s part pf the fun of going through the story in part to that of the “Bug.” There is a larger world, with so much not quite understood. The Bug finds himself trying to make sense of it all, separating good and evil while being the hero meant. Readers, both old and new to the DC universe can identify with his perspective as the lost explorer, even with the grasping of the obscure references known to hardcore DC fans.

The art of Mike Allred, combined with the awesome vibrant coloring with his wife Laura Allred) displays beauty and definition to the story. But stylized more-so to this comic are the crooked panel set-ups. Nothing is quite straight after the first-page rewind. Each panel has strategic positioning of the characters, stabilizing themselves in a strange topsy-turvy unpredictable universe. Such is a wonderful thing, for those coming to the comic-store to escape the current world we readers are stuck in.

Overall, a solid first issue for a reader demographic that enjoys the very thing the Forager creator (and the rest of the original Fourth World) brought to comics, a weird and wonderful burst of imagination, with mystery and wonder from a mythology made from scratch. Bug, with the work of the Allreds, carries on that awesome work as it should.

SW Graphic Novel Reading Review: Wonder Woman: The True Amazon

e15b8530791e17ad37edf570946523d7

  • Writer/Artist: Jill Thompson
  • Published by: DC Comics
  • Publication Date: September 28, 2016
  • Pages: 128
  • ISBN: 9781401249014, Price: $22.99

Synopsis: 

” WONDER WOMAN: THE TRUE AMAZON is Jill Thompson’s original graphic novel re-imagining of the early years of the Amazon Princess Diana, who would grow up to become Wonder Woman. This fully painted graphic novel is unlike any Wonder Woman tale you have ever read, told as only Eisner Award- winning writer/artist Thompson could. When young Diana has the fawning attention of a nation, she grows spoiled. But a series of tragic events take their toll, and Diana must learn to grow up, take responsibility, and seize her destiny.

Steeped in the mythology of this iconic character’s original conception, WONDER WOMAN: THE TRUE AMAZON is designed to appeal to a wide range of readers. It’s a fresh, stand-alone interpretation of the most famous and iconic female superhero of all time and the fulfillment of a dream project by one of contemporary comics’ most acclaimed creators.”

A Look Over (spoilers):

Jill Thompson’s spin on the Wonder Woman origin was a pleasant, more in-depth take; surrounded by original imagery and unforgettable plot devices. Through out the 128-page graphic novel, the reader follows the journey of how Princess Diana of Themyscira became the heroine we know and love today.

Reading much like an ancient text describing the mythology of a culture, Thompson begins the tale from the very beginning, describing the Amazonians, their war efforts and arrival on the island of Themyscira. Found to be rather fitting regarding the subject matter, the execution of artistic and writing style combine beautifully to create a fitting epic in time for Wonder Woman’s current 75th Anniversary.

wwcomic

Throughout the in-depth description of the young heroine and her coming of age, I felt put off by some of the details of focus in her life. Much like all other children never being told ‘no’ through out their aging, Diana exhibits all negative traits that go along with it, creating a very conceited and boastful younger woman determined to torment those who cared for her. While it is a very realistic and human take on the heroine, adding such faults for the given amount of time that it was focused on gave a new feeling to her, one that was enjoyable at first.

As the story progresses, the author’s intention through this aspect is made clear, the negative traits regarding Diana becoming an obstacle when it comes to winning over the only Amazonian not automatically giving her the same unconditional love the others do. This quest for love becomes her main motive in life, all in attempt to win over her with the respect that goes along with it; ultimately driving her to become the Wonder Woman we know.

wwvsp-118

Personal Thoughts: 

Despite the small criticism, I have little complaints regarding Thompson’s take on the origin story. Wonder Woman: The True Amazon is a refreshing, colourful look at a daunting and well-known character.

The art style is pleasing to the eye, the colours and overall drawing style were used in providing a well fitting universe surrounding the narrative. Such textures aided the fantasy of the land, giving depth and emotion to the setting alone. I feel that watercolour in comics is a highly underappreciated form. when used correctly, the imagery is stunning, the contrasts and motions holding their own when coupled with the natural textures and compositions of the medium. Since it is not used too commonly in comics, I welcome every instance of it; finding myself drawn to its beauty.

I easily recommend this novel, the beauty of it almost too much to describe. Upon flipping through the pages, I felt myself unable to let go, sucked into the origin in a way that I had not felt before. Thompson broke down Wonder Woman’s character in a way, easier to digest than the previously wide open gaps in her storyline while leaving mystery to her as a whole. The interaction between characters, the subtle drives and motives coupled with a powerful and life changing turn around provides the reader with a coming of age telling that is not easy to forget. Coupled with the beautiful artwork and stunning use of watercolour, Wonder Woman: The True Amazonian is unforgettable.

From the Page to Real Life: 

In recent news, Wonder Woman has given the temporary title as honorary ambassador to the UN in a rather controversial move. In the 75 years of her creation, this heroine has stood for strength, power, liberty, and freedom; all idealistic traits for any leader. From the beginning, Wonder Woman stood for an archetype of females not too heavily seen in media, especially in comics and cinema where the Hero’s Journey trope is regularly used. Since her first appearance in All Star Comics #8 in 1941, Diana has exemplified a different type of woman, providing a sense of strength and ability.

Described in the 1943 issue of The American Scholar, Wonder Woman’s creator William Moulton Marston illustrates his intent through this choice…

“Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.” 

By placing Wonder Woman as temporary ambassador, the idealistic qualities that surround her are exemplified through the position, providing insight on the grounds of a capable, strategic, and powerful woman. This choice became rather controversial once members of the UN staff began to protest, requesting reconsideration on the grounds of the cultural insensitivity and sexual objectivity surrounding her. Instead, they suggested the placement of a real woman in that position, still holding all of the idealistic traits Wonder Woman stands for. Personally, I see no harm in the current choice as long as it is temporary. After 75 years, recognition of impact this heroine has had on the world is a nice way to end 2016 with the milestone of her creation.

-Katherine A

As a young girl, I grew up with little to no connection to the universe of comics. Raised by two parents who despised fiction, fantasy, and any world that was not the one we lived in, my sights were very narrow regarding what I was allowed to take in. I had known of the superheros and epic tales through the childhood games of the peers that surrounded me, my interests always being there in a way that could no easily connect. Growing up and gaining my own independence, I have been allowed to find my own interests, doing now what my parents had never allowed me to do. Through this, I was able to explore forms of media such as cartoons, comics, and the genre of sci-fi as a whole. In a way, I am trying to take back my childhood and remake it in a way that was never allowed.

 

DragonCon Parade & Cosplay Photo Frenzy

IMG_3232

On Labor Day weekend, 70,000 cosplayers, comic fans, sci-fi enthusiasts, and gamers descended upon downtown Atlanta for Dragon*Con.

Celebrating it’s 29th year, it truly is nerd Mardi Gras. Boasting a 24-hour convention schedule with hosted panels, parties, and gaming, the con never really ends. Even the main bar area is at its livliest at 3a. This is Dragon*Con!

Dragon*Con is also the only convention widely known to have a parade. It spans .9mi and enables anyone to come check out the amazingly creative costuming that happens during the convention. An estimated 85,000 people will watch the parade in person, but Dragon*Con also streams the show to a closed-circuit channel in all of the hotel rooms.

Dragon*Con Parade 

Dragon*Con Cosplay

The cosplay here was some of the best I’ve ever seen. Cosplayers bring their A-game, and it shows. There are multiple areas that elaborate shoots happen in, and at the DC shoots, the legendary George Perez came by to ham it up.

Dragon*Con is about celebrating fandom and is very inclusive. First-year con-goers are welcomed with open arms, and southern hospitality is a very real thing. Charity is also a pretty big deal- the proceeds of the auctions and donations go to support the Lymphoma Research Foundation. They have so far raised $100,000.

We hope you enjoy these photos!

IMG_3486

This installment of Dragon*Con adventuring brought to you by Pinguino from Cuddli (an awesome dating app for geeks)