One of the ideas explored by Scott McCloud in Reinventing Comics is the notion of the comics page as infinite canvas, doing things a print comic could never hope to do. Many comics makers from the 2000s online comics scene took up the challenge, and one of the standouts was --- and is --- UK artist Daniel Merlin Goodbrey.
It’s election season in book three of Transmetropolitan, "Year Of The Bastard," and the worst sicknesses of politics are bubbling to the surface. There’s reactionary monsters in suits, there’s heartbreak for Spider, and there’s the hot question of the moment: which politician in Transmet most resembles the current US head of state, and is the answer less obvious than it appears?
In our modern era and its social climate, one writer stands out, and that writer’s name is Margaret Atwood. Of her many works, one stands out tallest of all as the work we need in our modern times, relevant to the debates we find ourselves locked in daily and the future we wish to avoid.
That work, of course, is Angel Catbird Volume 2: To Castle Catula.
In Starfighter by HamletMachine, two young men are thrust into the inky blackness of space, forced to work together to pilot their ship against the enemy and make it out alive. They couldn’t have less in common at first --- but things heat up very quickly between them…
There are many ships in fandom, but Transformers is all but unique in that Transformers ships can feature people who turn into ships. A ship-based ship is therefore provably superior, and what is also provable is this: Nautica and Velocity, from Lost Light (formerly known as More Than Meets the Eye) are 100% in love.
Many ships are based on unfounded speculation, but not this one: this is based on hard, provable facts, with every assertion true because it’s backed up by the weight of cold, steely logic.
The best idea from the New 52 relaunch of Superman continues to endure, in fan consciousness if not in continuity; Superman as social crusader, taking on the ills of our world that have been elevated to human-plus levels, including one of the most virulent evils of our world: white supremacists.
In the 1990s, Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson foresaw a future of twisted behavior, renegade politics, and uncontrollable technology in Transmetropolitan. We're revisiting the series book by book, because in a time of unrest and uncertainty we could all use some Filthy Assistance.
In book two, Lust For Life, the world is brought into sharper relief as the new and the old crash into each other repeatedly, leaving our characters dealing with the fallout. Spider Jerusalem also confronts assassins putting a hit on his life as part of a convoluted scheme tied up in a messy divorce --- in a storyline that may go a bit too far...
Todd McFarlane's Spawn was one of the four core titles published by Image Comics at its foundation 25 years ago, along with Youngblood, Savage Dragon, and WildCATS. Back then, when I still thought I was a cishet white guy, Spawn hit like an atomic bomb, one where the mushroom cloud formed the visage of Eddie from an Iron Maiden album cover. Everything about the character was focused like a laser on appealing to a #teen who is sure angry at something --- the chains, the skulls, the spikes, the glowing eyes, the rubbery monsters and dark inks, all fused with the sleek lines and bright colors of the superheroic aesthetic.
In the 1990s, the Warren Ellis/Darick Robertson comic series Transmetropolitan foresaw a future full of twisted behavior, renegade politics, and uncontrollable technology. Now that reality seems to have caught up with the adventures of Spider Jerusalem, we at ComicsAlliance are returning to the series and examining what it has to say. Do you need help navigating a political world turned upside down and inside out? We’re here --- with some Filthy Assistance.
This week, we kick the series off with Spider Jerusalem forced by financial distress and contractual obligation to return to the City --- a post-cyberpunk future and an alchemical mix of the ancient and the bleeding edge. He finds a nascent movement in danger of getting its teeth kicked in by authority, attends a religious convention, transforms into a television program, and teaches the president that everything poops.
Comics can live forever, but the great talents that make them are mortal like the rest of us. We at ComicsAlliance would like to take a moment to salute and remember those creators that the comics community lost in 2016. You work was loved, and you are remembered.