Guess what, guys?! I read, like, twelve comics last week! That is HUGE for me! Stuff is really happening!
Here are some things I wanted to share with you until my next post:
The incredible Phil Noto did a staggeringly awesome cover for Journey into Mystery featuring Sif and you need to see it.
Next, more awesomeness: Peter V. Nguyen’s new DC women print is here and, uh, wow. It’s too big to embed here and I didn’t want to re-size or scrunch it up, so check it out in full-size glory at the link.
Also, if you followed the 2012 Olympics at all, you might find this as hilarious as I did. I am totally buying this cover.
Finally, one thing I’ve been meaning to mention again since back in July is a project called How i Made the World. You may recall I linked to the comic earlier this year as an “honorable mention” in the list of web stuff I’d been following. The artist of the comic, Randy Michaels, was kind enough to send me some of his and writer Liz Plourde’s material that was published in an anthology called Lies Grown Ups Told Me. That collection wound up winning a Stumptown Comic Arts Award for Best Anthology. It’s some pretty great stuff, and if you can get your hands on a copy (it seems the print run was low, so that might be a task), I’d highly recommend the read.
But the even better news is that Randy and Liz were awarded the Xeric Grant in July. They write on their website:
We’d discussed applying for a Xeric grant since we first began work on How i Made the World. When we heard there would be one final comic book review, we knew we had to apply. Yet, we also knew the competition would be fierce. Entries from throughout the U.S. and Canada are judged on “originality, literary and artistic merit, and a sense of commitment to the work.” [...] Today, we’re thrilled to announce we are the recipients of a 2012 Xeric Award. The grant is to be used for the printing, advertising, and distribution of our comic book, the pilot issue of How i Made the World. We’ve enjoyed the comic books of past Xeric recipients for years. They are among the most entertaining and innovative independent comic books being published, and they are often included in Houghton Mifflin’s annual The Best American Comics. We’re deeply honored to be among those recognized by the foundation. We’ll be working on the final stages of our comic and preparing it for press in the coming months. Stay tuned! This is only the beginning.
So here’s a late congrats to the team, and I look forward to reading more!
I read this today and just had to share. Greg Rucka has always been one of my favorite writers; I started reading Elektra because of him, and his Wonder Woman run still can’t be beat in my eyes. I’m an avid follower of his web comic, Lady Sabre & the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether, as well as various other projects and minis.
So when I came across this piece of badassery, it just further cemented my loyalty to this incredible writer.
You tell them, Greg Rucka!
Also, here’s a somewhat related supplemental reading, if you feel like. Definitely worth checking out.
Written by Jeremy Whitley
Illustrated by M. Goodwin
Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment
To review a comic book you love can be extremely difficult. I’ve said it before, but it’s maybe never been more true than it is here. With each issue of Princeless so far, Jeremy Whitley and M. Goodwin have had a pretty effortless go at capturing my heart, and issue three is no exception. If anything, they’ve only further tightened their grasp on me here, and talking about a book that I am so blindly in love with might be … well, kind of boring for you. So my apologies ahead of time if that turns out to be the case.
There’s only so much I can say here that I haven’t already said for issues one and two. Issue one took me so wholeheartedly by surprise that it was just like a punch in the face—a really, really GOOD punch. The kind of punch I want more comics to give me. Issue two, then, grabbed onto me tight and told me I’d better not think about going anywhere. Issue three? Swept me off my feet.
“Okay,” I hear you thinking. “We get it. You love the book. WHY?”
And this is where I’m torn. Because I don’t completely want to tell you why.
I could. I could get all technical and analytical, and dig past the surface. I’ve summarized the plot in previous reviews; I could use this to talk some more about the skill of the storytelling happening in this book—the message behind the tale, what audiences it plays to, what themes, and why. I could discuss some of the more important things the book represents, such as independent publishing and why you should read more works by unknown creators. But honestly? I don’t want to do that.
Because this book doesn’t deserve to be dissected.
Don’t read that the wrong way—it’s not meant negatively. Rather, sometimes I wonder, can’t we just let the quality of things speak for themselves? There are hundreds of other sites out there all talking about exactly the same thing as one another. There are plenty of other blogs for you to read about all the things I just mentioned above. I’m far from the only one “reviewing” this, and after a while, it all just starts to sound the same, doesn’t it? This comic does a lot of things right, and you can discover on your own what those things are—because isn’t that all part of the fun?
So try Princeless for no reason other than it being a great comic. Something new. Surprise yourself. Give it to the kids in your life. Pass it on. Don’t let a gem like this go unnoticed on the shelf because you’re too busy picking up “Fear Itself: The Fearlessly Fearful Feary Fear” that Marvel’s selling you for like five bucks a pop, that won’t satisfy you a sliver as much as a book like this will.
I mean. At least try it. What do you have to … Fear?
(Sorry. Had to.)
*NOTE: Some people have been having trouble finding this book at their LCS. If that’s the case, you can buy it online at Graphicly; or, even better, make your voices heard at your LCS and get them to up their orders. :)
Oh my gosh, how freaking badly do I want this? I know there are a ton of Super Mario Bros. and Asteroid wall graphics out there, but my heart beats for Mega Man.
Holy cow, is this book awesome. There has not been a single issue of this title that’s come out yet where I haven’t laughed out loud during at least one scene, and this issue was no exception. But before I get into what’s going on in the title, I need to make a statement: Stephanie Brown is no Cassandra Cain.
That’s precisely why this book is so great.
Whenever I bring up Batgirl in a conversation at the comic shop, read about Batgirl online, what-have-you, someone always inevitably conjures the opinion that “Stephanie Brown sucks, Cassandra Cain was a way better Batgirl, waah wah waaah.”
Er, okay. I don’t have anything against Cassandra Cain, but that’s comparing apples and oranges.
I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating: Stephanie Brown is a totally different type of Batgirl. She’s not a hard-trained, hyper-violent, kick-Batman’s-ass-in-a-fight type of Batgirl, like Cassandra. Stephanie is a clumsy, self-deprecating, save-the-day-while-narrowly-avoiding-destroying-Gotham-a-second-time type of Batgirl. She’s not the daughter of Lady Shiva–she’s a college kid. That makes her relatable. It’s also what makes her absolutely adorable and hilarious. And in a comics world full of darkness and angst (despite how “Bright” the Day), Stephanie is happy-go-lucky in the face of whatever’s thrown her way. It’s kind of a nice breather.
If you’ve given this book a chance and it still hasn’t whet your appetite, then fair enough—although I do want to argue that with the bureaucracy of its first year done and gone, the book can certainly only get even better as it has less boundaries and more freedom to play around. You might want to consider giving it another round, particularly with this issue. If you’re reading Supergirl, Red Robin, Teen Titans, etc.—you should be reading Batgirl. If only for this:
There, in a few quick pages, you have the essence of what makes this title such an entertaining read. I was originally somewhat worried about Dustin Nguyen taking over art duties on this book, but after those few recap pages, any fear I had flew rather swiftly out the window. As much as I will miss Lee Garbett’s awesome stuff, I can rest easy that Batgirl is in very capable hands.
There’s not much more to add. Bryan Q. Miller is a gem writing Stephanie—one that I would hate to see go away due to low readership. To address the script in specific terms would take away something, I think. I don’t want to give you a plot summary of this book/issue, suffice it to say that anything can and often does happen. We’ve seen everything so far from heartfelt stories to general hilarity; Barbara saving Batgirl’s skin and vice versa; teamups with Dick, Damien, and Kara, and quite possibly my favorite moment in Stephanie’s short history as Batgirl where she accidentally slaps Bruce in the face. What more can you really ask for?
A number of interesting questions are up in the air right now as far as the Batgirl mythos, and it involves all three ladies who’ve donned the Batgirl name. Last week’s Batman: The Return one-shot saw Stephanie questioning and loudly disapproving her new assignment under Bruce to apparently relocate to an English boarding school. The original Batgirl herself, Barbara Gordon, is surprised when Bruce introduces her to “Internet 3.0” (whatever that is), instructs her to customize her “avatar” as she sees fit, and the accompanying image shows Barbara in her own Batgirl uniform. Cassandra Cain, meanwhile, made a brief reappearance in the last issue of Red Robin, wherein Tim Drake offers her her former uniform and invites her back into the Bat family—which Cassandra is seen to consider before fleeing. Is there room for three Batgirls? Given the shift toward “Batmen” around the globe, I have to wonder what’s next for these ladies, and for Stephanie in particular. But until the day that we see Steph, Cass, and Barbara fighting side-by-side in uniform, I will continue to cheer on the current Batgirl as Cassandra Cain’s successor.
Publisher: DC Comics
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Dustin Nguyen, Derek Fridolfs
Colors by Guy Major
Letters by Sal Cipriano