The question most often asked of the ComicsAlliance staff is a variation of, "Which comic books should I be reading?" or, "I'm new to comics, what's a good place to start?" The Wednesday deluge of new comic books, graphic novels and collected editions can be daunting even for the longtime reader, much less for those totally unfamiliar with creators, characters and publishers, and the dark mysteries of comic book shopping like variants, pre-ordering, and formats.
Comics as we know it is wide and fractured. There's Direct Market comics, bookstore comics, webcomics, indie comics, manga, Eurocomics, and several more subcultures. I'm curious about what working under the broad umbrella of "comics" is like for creators, publishers, critics, academics, and more. Over the course of this month, I'm going to interview several people whose work, position, or goals I find interesting and attempt to paint a picture of what "comics" means today. Today, I'm talking to Jimmie Robinson, creator of Bomb Queen and Five Weapons, on what it means to survive in comics.
For the month of February, I'm taking over the Inkstuds podcast in order to introduce Inkstuds Spotlight, a focused look at what it means to be in comics. A comprehensive look isn't my goal. My goal is to show you several different slices of life in comics, as the people I'm interviewing this month play a wide variety of roles in comics.
The short version: Jimmie Robinson's Five Weapons is a textbook example of how to create a first issue that leaves readers wanting more as soon as possible. Robinson introduces the main character, uses his unfamiliarity with the setting as an excuse to drop a lot of information on us, gives us brief and evocative descriptions of the cast, seeds a few mysteries, delivers a good amount of action, and then leaves you wanting more. It's a good comic, with an absur