San Diego Comic Con is without a doubt the biggest event on the industry's calendar, and people will be flying from around the world to attend panels, watch trailers, meet creators, and make friends. This year's event is bigger than ever, with so much going on every single day that it can be difficult to sift through all that information and decide how to spend your time.
With the event only days away, we've looked through the schedules and hand-selected some of the best events happening on Thursday and Friday for fans of comics, collectibles, TV and film, so you can be sure you don't miss that must-see panel or signing.
Glastonbury Festival is known worldwide as one of the most expansive and ecclectic music festivals, with the best and most varied selection of music from superstar artists to emerging acts. This year saw Adele blow everyone away on the Pyramid Stage, LCD Soundsystem triumphantly return on the Other Stage, and a whole host of other amazing acts throughout the weekend.
If you're a major audiophile and you want to bring a little crossover into you love of comics, we've assembled a list of some of the five best music or music inspired independent comics to check out while you run out the clock until the next Glastonbury.
One of the most notable things about queer characters in comics, especially in the heart of the superheroic mainstream, is their absence, at least on a textual level. Queer subtext, though? There's plenty of that, whether it's same-sex relationships that read as romantic, or in the use of mutants as a metaphor that can be applied to LGBTQ experiences.
Which brings us to Generation Hope #9, “Better”, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. It's not an issue explicitly about the LGBTQ experience, but it uses the mutant metaphor to tell a standalone story about real-life events that very much are.
Queer characters in comics have had a slow burn. There are more LGBTQ characters appearing in comics narratives than ever before, but there’s still room for improvement, and rather than being content just to see queer characters represented at all, readers want to see series that explore a range of LGBTQ identities and stories.
The Wicked and The Divine by Jamie McKelvie, Kieron Gillen, Matthew Wilson, and Clayton Cowles is one of the best representations of the queer community in comics. The characters are complex, multi-tiered, sexual --- and even permitted to be strange and disturbing. Near half of the WicDiv casts falls under the LGBTQ umbrella, yet they're all fiercely differentiated from each other. (Note: This article contains spoilers for the series.)
The Walking Dead has proven to be possibly the biggest crossover hit from indie comics to the mainstream, and is one of those special television shows that feels like an event that you have to talk to someone about as soon as it’s over. Now in its sixth season, with the comic just passing the 150 issue mark, The Walking Dead as a franchise is a runaway success that shows no signs of stopping, even producing its own TV spin-off in Fear the Walking Dead.
If you’re a fan of the shows, the comic, or both, we’ve got some recommendations for other comics you might want to pick up next.
Angela has a, shall we say, somewhat interesting path into the Marvel Universe, beginning life as an angelic hunter in the long-running Todd McFarlane superhero horror comic Spawn. However, you don’t need to know a thing about what happened in Spawn to read this series, since the only common thread is the name and the costume (and even then, the costume doesn’t last long).
In this series, Angela is revealed to be Thor and Loki’s sister, raised by angels and beholden to their way of thinking, which is purely transactional --- nothing is done without a price, and selflessness is considered weak. This makes her a difficult character to like, but fortunately, the book surrounds her with more sympathetic characters, one of which is the subject of this column.
Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie are probably now best known for their Image series The Wicked + The Divine, set in a world where popstars are gods. Their other Image sieres, Phonogram, is set in a world where music is magic. The two books have a similar premise, and deal with some of the same ideas and themes, but they attack them from completely different angles.
While The Wicked + The Divine is about making art, Phonogram is about consuming it. The former is about being young and deciding to give up your life to music, but Phonogram – and The Immaterial Girl in particular – is about living with the consequences of that deal. Not burning out in your early twenties, but fading away into middle age, with a great record collection instead of a family.
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. In this installment, we look at the first three issues of the massive crossover event, Vader Down, starting with Vader Down #1, by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato, then Darth Vader #13 by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca, and then Star Wars #13 by Aaron and Deodato. There's death, destruction and dangerous droids galore as the Rebels try their hardest to take down a vulnerable Vader.
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