Halfway between Amber & Ebony
Alone With The Work: Looking Through Joe Kessler’s ‘Windowpane’
As an artist matures, their work changes. Sometimes that's visible across a wide range of projects; the output, considered as a whole, may show the crafting changes in approach or style. But sometimes you get lucky, and find yourself able to watch this process over the progression of one title. In those instances, the series becomes more than what it was --- itself squared, dimensions added by the idea that the books grew with the person making them, and that something like a human's gradual expansion was innate to the product as well. That series, as well as being a purposeful expression of sequential movement, becomes imbued with a lively, edifying, abstract meta-narrative. That's Windowpane.
The Heroic Girls Summer Reading Program Wants More Kids (And Parents) To Read Comics
Over the summer, children get bored. They need things to do, and a good chunk of those "things" will ideally involve reading comics, right? Reading written language. Interpreting imagery and body language. Building skills that will last a lifetime, and improve lives --- coming to understand more about the world, themselves, and those around them; coming to learn more about possibilities and powers. Combatting ignorance, by rejecting it and embracing the as-yet unknown. But sometimes kids don't want to read. Sometimes adults don't want to read either --- we all have times where we feel like we'd just rather not do the things that are good for us. And when those times roll around, what's nice is for someone to pop up and say, "Hey! I'll reward you, if you try reading this. I think it's worth your time to do it, and I think it's worth this prize for you to do it, too." To that end, the Heroic Girls Summer Reading Program is here to encourage you --- and more importantly, your kids --- to read comics. All summer. And get rewarded for it!
The Ghost And The Grudge: Should You Be Reading ‘Spirit Circle’?
Satoshi Mizukami's Spirit Circle is about destiny and reincarnation. More meaningfully, it's about forgiveness and compassion --- how to heal your blood rift. It's a series that warns the reader implicitly against binge reading, while also acknowledging that the reader, like the main character, will be way too invested to listen.
Jump Sexily Into The ‘My Immortal’ Comic Based On The Webseries Of The Fanfic Of The Novel
My Immortal was the single greatest piece of Harry Potter fan fiction ever to roam freely online. Freewheeling, horny, a truly superb unleashing of id, It was a perfect portrait of "indignant Alternative fourteen year old diarist" --- a writer's profile appallingly neglected by society at large. In 2013, writer Brian McClellan and his team made a web series based on Gillespie's My Immortal. Now the team behind the show is releasing a 16-page digital comic as well, to help fund a feature-length My Immortal film.
High Tech High Adventure: Should My Kids Be Reading ‘Mega Robo Bros’?
When you look at the sheer range and number of original stories being told in comics form today, it’s hard to imagine a better time to be a comics reader. With Should I Be Reading… ?, ComicsAlliance hopes to offer you a guide to some of the best original ongoing comics being published today. Sometimes the best comics out there are aimed at younger readers, so we’re also here to help you pick out some of the best comics for kids. Mega Robo Bros tells the story of a young boy bullied at school for being a robot. He's got a shy little crush on Prince Eustace, the heir to the throne, and he's very protective of his lil bro Freddy --- but really, it's only the two of them in the whole wide world who are cybernetic lifeforms so highly advanced that it's taken for granted that they're actually people. Right?
Warm Hearts & Fuzzy Fury: Should My Kids Be Reading ‘Bunny Vs. Monkey’?
When you look at the sheer range and number of original stories being told in comics form today, it’s hard to imagine a better time to be a comics reader. With Should I Be Reading… ?, ComicsAlliance hopes to offer you a guide to some of the best original ongoing comics being published today. Sometimes the best comics out there are aimed at younger readers, so we're also here to help you pick out some of the best comics for kids. Did you know that bunnies actually hate monkeys? It's true. We think it's because they're jealous of all that literary success. And that's why, year-round, bunnies and monkeys are at war. (But there may be a little more to it than this...)
Jutting Angles And Tapering Widths: Revisit ’80s Style With John K. Snyder III’s ‘Fashion in Action’
Read “fashion comic” and it’s easy — it’s really easy — to visualise genteel elegance, perhaps (if you want to get nutty) with a side of razzle-dazzle. Dior, Chanel, the '50s-through-'70s girls’ comics with paper dolls and reader-designed costumes... What was once daring and new, liberating for the wearer, has become established, gender-restrictive, rote and retro. Things "for girls," or about us, are easy enough to dismiss without the added impression that comics, as an English-language industry, doesn't think girls want much more than the feminine or the shallow. We imagine "fashion comics" and see good clean fun — easily, we see compliance. Interrogating that reductive response is hard when we look around and see very little to contradict it, or to comfort our non-compliant selves with, as we explore what fashion and gender mean personally, to us. Fashion in Action, currently halfway through a healthy Kickstarter campaign, is something to cling onto: Fashion in Action is kind of grotty.
Bizarre Adventures in Criticism, Part Two: Is ‘Battle Tendency’ Any Good?
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a hugely popular manga series written and drawn by Hirohiko Araki that began in 1984, following the supernatural adventures of a family line of characters each with names that can be abbreviated to JoJo. Since it began, it's had eight different main characters and a full-on western-comic-style reboot, and it's developed a passionate fanbase and established a unique aesthetic. But is it actually any good? In a new series of articles looking back over the various iterations of the series, critics Ziah Grace and Claire Napier are going to offer their unvarnished and unapologetic opinions on JoJo's Bizarre Adventures, moving on into the second series, Battle Tendency.
Interrogations of Intimacy: Should You Be Reading ‘Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen’?
If you want to look at naked people while stroking your beard (as well as other, lower parts), Moyoco Anno's period piece Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen follows Colette --- already, yes, a literary allusion --- through her sex work, her dormitory life, and her efforts at achieve literary clarity and philosophical honesty.
What A Girl Wants: Should You Be Reading ‘Momokuri’?
When you look at the sheer range and number of original stories being told in comics form today, it’s hard to imagine a better time to be a comics reader. Online and in print, from all around the world, artists and writers are telling stories with their own voices and styles, and there’s so much to choose from that it’s sometimes difficult to know what to read next. With Should I Be Reading… ?, ComicsAlliance hopes to offer you a guide to some of the best original ongoing comics being published today. There are a lot of easily-available manga about boys lusting after girls, so it's a blessed relief to find a translated import that centers a teenage dating story on the desire a girl has for a boy. It's reciprocal! But Momokuri lives and dies on its evocation of fifteen year old Kurihara's pre-sexual desire for Momotsuki. These kids are too shy to hold hands or get close enough to take a selfie; the point is, that doesn't negate any of their, or her, yearning.