Female Characters / Creators

Agent Carter Premiere & Ant-Man Teaser

Did you see it?  Tell me you watched it, because if you didn’t, it’s still saved on my DVR, and we can watch it together and have popcorn and fangirl(boy?) out.

I’m talking about the magnificence that is AGENT CARTER.

AgentCarterPromo
Good God.  That premiere was everything I was hoping for and beyond.  You know when a show/movie/book is so good and really hits you, and you wake up the next morning still thinking about it?  That was my reaction to this.  Suddenly I am looking forward to Tuesday night television.

That Ant-Man preview, on the other hand … not so much.  I’ve been using the term “meh” a lot lately, but when things are so meh that they evoke no other response in you, you have no choice but to MEH all over the place.  And Ant-Man was legit meeehhhh.  Is this movie supposed to be serious and grim?  That’s the impression I got from the teaser trailer (also, side note, what the hell is a “teaser trailer,” anyway?  How is it any different from a standard trailer?  Film people, help me out).  And if it IS supposed to be serious and grim, with the occasional bit of humor, and you cast a guy like Paul Rudd as the lead, then … uh … you’re doing it wrong.  I wasn’t particularly inclined to see this movie anyway, and the teaser did not do its job to change that.

Oh well.  Agent Carteeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

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The Women of Marvel Own NYCC

Some cool female-focused stuff came out of NYCC this weekend.  DC announced that Stephanie Brown is finally making her return to the DCU, and while I want to be over the moon about this, I’m keeping my guard up.  As the New 52 has taught me over and over again, these aren’t the characters I love, but some horribly mangled iterations of them, so I can’t let myself get too excited about Steph just yet.  Not until … I see her.

That said, Marvel took the cake as far as announcements that make me happy.  We already heard a couple of weeks ago that Charles Soule is writing a new She-Hulk book.  As if that weren’t great enough, we’re also getting new Elektra and Black Widow solo titles, and a relaunched Captain Marvel.  That’s on top of the female-centric X-Men and Fearless Defenders books, to boot.

Soule She-HulkDeconnick Captain Marveldmonson Black WidowWells Elektra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This reader is very happy indeed.

Except … I did notice something kind of weird.

  • From Stephen Wacker’s Captain Marvel interview on CBR:  “Carol is sort of a blank slate coming out of the recent ‘Enemy Within’ storyline.  So she’s back to trying to find a place for herself.”
  • From Nathan Edmonson’s Black Widow Interview on CBR:  “Without giving too many of our plot turns away, Natasha is a character driven by atonement.  She’s a hero now, but she was a villain, and a dirty one.”
  • From Zeb Wells’ Elektra Inverview on Newsarama:  “Elektra’s in a dark place […] The series will be about her journey to find meaning and maybe start clawing her way towards redemption.”

Is it just me or does that all sound vaguely the same?  That all of these characters are essentially lost and/or trying to make up for who they are or once were?  Particularly regarding Black Widow and Elektra, haven’t we already read these stories of attempted redemption over and over again?  Isn’t it about time those characters get over that trope and move onto something else?

I’m not condemning these titles; in fact I can’t wait to pick them all up.  But I am wary of the possibility of reading something that’s rehashed and stale.  I have a relatively high level of trust in these writers, though, so I guess we’ll find out next year.

  • On the flip side, here’s what Charles Soule had to say about his She-Hulk “She absolutely has problems, just like most of the heroes of the Marvel U, but she chooses to approach them with optimism and good spirit rather than surrendering to the grim and gritty.”

Kind of leaves you with the exact opposite feeling from the others, doesn’t it?  I know which title I’m most looking forward to in 2014.


Comics Beat: Denver Comic Con 2013, Jimenez, Perez, Fradon, Kelly Find Wonder Woman ‘Problematic’

Comics Beat did a summary of a really interesting Wonder Woman panel discussion at Denver Comic Con:  http://comicsbeat.com/on-the-scene-denver-comic-con-2013-jimenez-perez-fradon-kelly-find-wonder-woman-problematic/

My favorite piece of this, when talking about adapting Wonder Woman for TV/film:  “In [Phil] Jimenez’s reading of Wonder Woman stories, he sees a figure from whom humanity can learn a great deal, but in proposed adaptations, she has always been reconfigured as a character who needs to learn from humanity.  It’s a fundamental problem, he felt, that dilutes the character’s strengths.”

FRIGGING BINGO.

Many more great points there, so check out the article.

 

 


Princeless Volume 2, #1

I was on my lunch break from the day job late last year when I first picked up Princeless at a comic shop near my work.  I didn’t know anything about the book, creative team, or publisher at all prior to that day—at most I had heard some negligible rumblings about the title on the internet somewhere, maybe Twitter—but when I saw it on the shelf in front of me, I figured I may as well give it a quick flick.

That flick turned into reading about half the issue off the shelf, and I had such a smile on my face and was laughing so much in the middle of the store that I knew I had to just buy the comic.  That was $3.99 I did not plan on spending that day, on a completely unheard of book—not my usual purchasing style.  In retrospect, I’m so very glad I did buy it, because I enjoyed the book so much that I wound up writing a short review of it on this blog … and that minor but emphatic little review was somehow, to my incredible surprise, discovered by Jeremy Whitley, the writer of Princeless, who contacted me with his thanks.  Later on, when I found myself struggling to find the remaining issues of Princeless (low awareness of the title meant low order numbers, meant zero shelf copies for me to grab), I still had a way to read it through Jeremy.  I did eventually get my hands on hard copies of each issue (thank you to the friendly staff at New England Comics), and when the mini was over, I had a timer set for when the next volume and continuation of the story would arrive.

Princeless v2

That next volume is finally here, and I was all too happy to find my review copy patiently waiting for me in my inbox.

 

The first thing I noticed about volume 2 is that the series has a new artist.  Where M. Goodwin held art duties for the first iteration of the series, here we have Emily C. Martin illustrating Adrienne, Bedelia, Sparky, and the rest of the cast upon their return.  Martin definitely has her own style—I noticed the art was different before looking at the title page—but it blends in really well to what came before.  It’s not a drastic shift in art by any means.  One of my pet peeves when it comes to comics, but something that comes with the territory, is when a fill-in artist’s style is so radically different from the main art you’ve settled into on a book.  It can be jarring.  This isn’t the case here—the change is subtle, and that same great expression and color that we got with the first volume is still intact.

The story picks up more or less right where it left off, with Princess Adrienne & Co. on the run, except that we now learn Adrienne’s father has recruited quite a … let’s call them “eclectic” band of men to hunt down what he sees as his daughter’s attempted killer.  The prize for whoever captures this fiend’s head, of course, is the hand in marriage of any of the King’s daughters.  Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Adrienne’s brother Devin overhears his father’s proposal and pleads with his mother to put a stop to it all.  Her reaction is not what you would expect … or, then again, maybe it is exactly that.  I’m not sold on what’s really happening here, and I’ll let you read the scene for yourself to see what I mean.

The best parts of the issue, unsurprisingly, are the scenes with Adrienne and Bedelia, and I was pleased to see this issue continue the same level of humor and satire as in the previous volume.  We’re also introduced to a handful of new characters, not the least of which occurs on the final page of the issue.  I can’t wait to see where it goes, because I’m betting it’s going to be hilarious.  Sometimes when I’m reading this title, I forget that it’s an all-ages book and really meant for a younger audience, because there’s still so much here to play with as an adult.  It’s pure fun.

Princeless volume 2, #1 is available for pre-order from Previews, so if you’re interested in checking this out, it’s really important that you take a moment to order it with your LCS.  I’m guessing it will likely be available on Comixology as well.  Great independents like this absolutely need our support.  Remember the feeling of utter exhaustion and cynicism you felt after putting down an issue of Marvel/DC’s 698th Event this year?  Remember that feeling?  Yeah—Princeless won’t give you that.

 

Press Release

Action Lab Entertianment is proud to present the return of 2012 Glyph Winner for Best Heroine, Princess Adrienne!  Last year’s breakout all-ages hit, Princeless is finally making its way back into your comic shops and this time it’s bringing more action, more adventure, and a rogue’s gallery of deadly bounty hunters with their sights set on Adrienne and her new friend Bedelia!

Having saved herself from her own tower, Adrienne is now out to save her sisters, starting with her sister Angelica, the most beautiful girl in the whole kingdom.  However, Adrienne is about to learn that rescuing princesses is not as easy as she’s always believed and that not everybody has the same ideas about what it means to be saved as she does!

Princeless Volume 1 was nominated for two Eisner awards including “Best Series for Ages 8-12” and “Best Single Issue.”  It also won the Glyph Awards for “Best Heroine,” “Best Writer,” and “Best Story.”  It has been nominated for a number of other awards and is one of the best reviewed books of 2011-2012.

Join Writer Jeremy Whitley and Illustrator Emily C. Martin for a second wild ride with the princess who saved herself and pre-order “Princeless Volume 2, Issue 1” from Diamond today!  Order code:  STK522144


These things are important because I like them.

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.

Noto Sif JiM

Gorgeous!

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 LGUTMmay 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!

 

 


It’s the Return of Catwoman the Contortionist

DC released their September solicitations this week, and the cover for Catwoman #0 has born reactions that are nothing short of hysterically funny.  Check out this slideshow of mockery that had me just guffawing, the tears streaming down my face.  I’d considered posting my own reaction to the obscene ridiculousness of the cover, but then there are plenty others who have already summed it up, and so eloquently, too.

I almost feel bad for Guillem March.  I’m not sure the anger is really warranted toward him; if anything, the blame and frustration should be placed on the editor who OK’d this.  That editor was not doing their job … or, perhaps this is exactly what they believe their job to be—to spurn enough fury to get the Internet talking, bringing attention to this book, getting Catwoman “out there.”  For all the unbelievably wrong reasons, of course.

But in a week that has seen some other depressing things and disgusting behavior toward women, there’s still at least one thing to celebrate.

Apologies for the massive linkage, but in lieu of reviews this week, this is some important reading.


Just a Small Part of Why I Love Greg Rucka

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.