Let me put my cards on the table: Sophie Campbell is my favorite comic book artist. She has been at least since the Glory series she did with Joe Keatinge, although I was a fan of her work even before that. I was thrilled when her Jem and Holograms series with Kelly Thompson was announced, and it’s one of my very favorite things on the stands right now.
But my favorite comics work she’s done is Wet Moon, a series of graphic novels from Oni Press, which has been ongoing for over a decade. In Wet Moon, Campbell weaves realism with subtle fantasy and horror elements, and follows a large cast of distinct characters. There are six books currently out, and Campbell has said there are at least two more to come.
Kate Beaton's approach to Wonder Woman is perhaps one of the clearest examples of how the acclaimed cartoonist combines brilliant humor with perceptive critical analysis. After several appearances in Hark! A Vagrant, Wonder Woman makes a return six-strip engagement in Beaton's new book, Step Aside, Pops! When we first met this incarnation she was a bitter, sarcastic superheroine just trying to have a smoke, or reluctantly helping an old lady rescue her cat from a tree by yanking it down with her magic lasso.
This time around, Beaton gives some clues about why her Wonder Woman might be the way she is. Taking a meeting in "head office," she's told, "the Greek stuff, the outfit, the lasso... it's too weird to deal with" (though a bro with the same affectations somehow works), and gets mansplained by Superman and Batman. At a bar, a fan gushes about how great she thinks Wonder Woman is, without seeming to actually know anything about her.
Welcome back to All For the Wookiee, where we take a look at the recent Star Wars universe offerings from Marvel and pick the most Star Wars-ish moments. This month we'll look at Hutt fanboys, killer cat-people, Sherlock Holmes in Space and a muder-bear celebration.
In this installment, we cover Star Wars #9 by Jason Aaron and Stuart Immonen, Lando #4 by Charles Soule and Alex Maleev, Kanan #6 by Greg Weisman and Jacopo Camagni, issue #9 of Darth Vader from Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca and the debut issue of the post-Return of the Jedi miniseries, Shattered Empire, by Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto.
For a long time, the fact that Archie Comics didn't change a whole lot wasn't just a trademark of character, it was a major selling point. After all, stripping things down to those simple gags meant that there was a whole library of mostly timeless stories that could fill up those Double Digests at the grocery store, and when you're a kid who wants to read as many comics as you can for as little as you can, they end up being a pretty appealing purchase.
But with Mark Waid and Fiona Staples' reboot of Archie this past summer, they were given a unique opportunity to rebuild everything about comics' favorite teenagers. This week, with the release of the third issue, all of the major players are finally in place, so it's time to take a trip up to Riverdale to see how much has changed --- and how much has remained the same.
The first line of copy on the back of Patrick Atangan's Fires Above Hyperion reads, "Imagine if Sex and the City were written by a gay Charlie Brown..." So of course, I thought, 'I don't just want to imagine that. I want to read Sex and the City written by a gay Charlie Brown, and I want to read it as soon as possible."
We are living in an era where the strangest crossovers imaginable are actually being published at an almost alarming rate. I mean, we just got through Archie vs. Predator, in which Riverdale's teenage population had their collective spines ripped out by an alien hunter, and once we've seen that happen, there's not a whole lot that is no longer on the table.
Those books, however, tend to be isolated incidents. DC's digital-first Scooby-Doo Team-Up, on the other hand, is based entirely around that premise, and while they've done team-ups with classic cartoon properties like The Flintstones and Jonny Quest, the most notable stories are always the ones where they're hanging out with super-heroes, and those are getting a whole lot weirder.
So in case you missed it, this week's issue had them teaming up with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, and it's pretty great.
I've never liked the Transformers. The franchise didn't get its hooks into me as a kid, and while I've tried to give it a shot as an adult, it never really clicked. But now, with a recommendation from almost everyone I know and a well-timed Humble Bundle sale that left me with three years worth (and counting) of IDW's More Than Meets The Eye and Robots In Disguise comics, I'm going on a quest to see if these comics can turn me from someone who has never cared at all about Optimus Prime into someone who uses words like "Cybertron" and "alt-mode" with alarming regularity. And Primus help me, it's working.
This week, it's the final installment. We're all caught up, and the man stands transformed by his journey into comics about talking robots that turn into cars and planes.
As endemic as violence is to mainstream comics, it's rare when you see a representation of it that inspires an appropriate level of shock. That's to be expected in superhero comics, where the gap between art and reality is wider, but even in books that maintain a closer relationship with the truth there are only a few books that portray violence in an un-stylized, un-sensationalized manner that still conveys how jarring it really is.
There are some great examples, from Scalped to the work of Johnny Craig (still a little sensationalized, but he gets a pass) to almost everything Garth Ennis has ever written. Even among that company, what David Lapham does in Stray Bullets is unique.
Gather 'round, children, for Batman Day is once again upon us! Yes, it's that magical day in September (or sometimes June, and probably March) when we all put the teeth of criminals beneath our pillows so that Jolly St. Batman can drive down from the North Pole and leave Batarangs for the good children and severe beatings for the bad. Right? Is that how it works?
Listen, I'll level with you: I have no idea what the mechanics of Batman Day are actually meant to be, but I do know that the folks over at Comixology has offered up a gigantic sale to mark the occasion, featuring over a thousand comics dropped down to a dollar each. If you've got Bruce Wayne money, that's no problem, but if you need a guide, well, read on!
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