My last post talked about what a badass Greg Rucka is; if you still need some convincing, here’s a fantastic essay he wrote for io9. Revel in its triumph.
To follow up on that awesomeness, this week I discovered (through a friend) the magical art of Craig Davison. Who is Craig Davison, you ask? Why, he’s this guy! And his art is beautiful and moving. I want to buy some gigantic framed prints and hang them throughout my house. Check these out:
Tell me those aren’t inspiring? There are many other great ones, as well. Princess Leia with the hairdryer? Brilliance.
I haven’t been reading very many new comics lately. Marvel’s latest event, AvX, coupled with DC’s newest crossover, Court of Owls, is leaving me a little disinterested and disengaged, so I’ve taken to working through some old trades and hardcovers I’ve picked up over the last few months and neglected. I just finished the first three volumes of Brubaker’s Death of Captain America saga—good stuff. So good, in fact, that despite already knowing the major plot and ending, I’m still engrossed. That is the mark of an excellent writer. Still left in my reading stack is the newest volume of Chew; Marjane Satrapi’s The Sigh; two volumes of Gotham City Sirens; Terry Moore’s complete Echo, and so much more. I’m having trouble deciding what to read in what order.
Final item—there’s a fun little shoutout to good ol’ Worcester, MA in this week’s The Line it is Drawn on CBR. See if you can spot it.
That’s all for today—have a great week, and read good comics.
Misery loves company, and for women in comics, it seems that their magazine counterparts have got it just as bad. According to this article from Think Progress, America’s top magazines do just as horrendous a job of hiring ladies as the comic book industry does. There’s some nifty pie charts there as well, illustrating the female/male ratios per publication. Pretty ridiculous stuff we’re looking at here. Let’s see … 165 females to 459 males? Really, The New Yorker?
The article brings up thoughts that are only all-too-familiar:Because really, the only answer here is not that these publications can’t find women. It’s that they don’t really care if they do or not. These numbers, and the annual discussion of them, seem to have succeeded in making a lot of female journalists and readers angry and frustrated, but they don’t appear to have made editors feel ashamed, much less called to action. And I’m not quite sure what it would take to persuade them to shake off their lethargy and acceptance of the status quo, which really means accepting sexism.
I wonder where I’ve heard/felt/read/written this before.
And hey–did you know that the new Avengers movie trailer came out today? It’s completely awesome, of course. But then I look at it and inevitably start counting … one female Avenger.
It’s Wednesday afternoon, and through a girl’s eyes, the world in which I live appears particularly hostile today.
Heeeyyyyyy! Guess who has had no time to write things? ME! Guess who is not at all surprised by this, (I bet)? YOU!
So rather than do a legit review, I’m just going to talk about anything and nothing … because I would rather make a jabbering post than no post at all. You’re more than welcome to talk back.
So I’ve caught up on the last two issues of Rachel Rising, and oh crap, is Terry Moore freaking me out. I thought issues 1-3 were creepy … until I read 4 and 5 over the weekend and was taken to a new level of disturbed. I hope you all are reading this book. You should have no trouble finding it at That’s E, and as much as I hate promoting digital comics, it was just newly added to Comixology with issue 1 priced at 99 cents, so you have no excuses not to at least try it. Outside of The Walking Dead, I typically shy away from stuff like this, so the fact I’m still on board here (especially after seeing the cover to issue 9 … *shudder*), says a lot.
Another AWESOME book I started reading is Ed Brubaker’s Fatale, about which I cannot say enough good things. Wow. These are some great comics being made. When I start to get depressed about stupid gimmicky junk out there, I pick up books like this and my sanity eventually returns.
Speaking of Ed Brubaker and/or, for that matter, gimmicky junk—does Winter Soldier fall into that category? I haven’t gotten my hands on it yet, but if Brubaker’s name is on the cover, I can’t imagine it will be bad. Despite my UTTER HATRED of how they handled Bucky’s “death” in Fear Itself, he’s a great character, and I’m excited to read this new title.
All right. That’s enough about the guys. Let’s talk about the wimmins.
Did you all read Kelly Thompson’s fantastic article on Comics Should be Good? Because it’s very, very important that you do. Check it out here. Please.
I hear that Mera kicks all kinds of ass in this week’s issue of Aquaman. This makes me happy.
WOMANTHOLOGY! I preordered my copy last week and I’m soooooo excited to get my hands on it! If you have not heard about it, this is a record-breaking Kickstarter grassroots project about women, by women, for everyone. And it’s going to be phenomenal. Click the link just there, or check out their Twitter page.
Lastly, even though everyone and their mom has already linked to this, I’m going to link to it, too! A new trailer for Pixar’s Brave is out, and IT IS AWESOME: http://spinoff.comicbookresources.com/2012/02/23/new-trailer-poster-for-brave/
Move aside, boys, move aside.
That’s all I have this week—check in again soon for more talk about stuff and things. And in the meantime, you know, comment or e-mail. It’s fun and I don’t bite that hard.
Have a great weekend, all.
Yeah, that was pretty awesome.
So I went to this signing at Pandemonium Books in Cambridge last night. I found out about it kind of last-minute (good thing I finally signed up to Twitter) and was looking for someone to come with me, which no one did because my friends are lame and don’t like to drive out to Cambridge. Lucky for me, I happen to work in this lovely city, so I’m here every weekday whether I want to be or not. Last night was one of those rare occasions I actually wanted to be here. I mean, I even stayed at work for an extra half hour for the opportunity to meet Marjorie. That’s dedication (right?).
I got to Central Square and I basically had no idea where I was going. I’d never been to Pandemonium Books before, and for some reason I was expecting this gigantic, Borders-like book store, which could not be further from what I actually found. It’s a tiny little thing just around a corner off Mass Ave.—not bad tiny, but more like cozy tiny (although it appears they do have a good gaming space downstairs that I didn’t check out), and when I walked in, I was immediately greeted by the kind gentleman behind the counter who asked me if I was there for the signing.
I arrived incredibly early—the signing was at 7:00 and I’d gotten there at about 6:15, so I spent some time perusing the shelves and feeling a little awkward. A table of Marjorie’s books was set up in the middle of the floor, with a little over a dozen chairs lined up facing it. Let me reiterate—this place is small. It was a small setup. So while my brain was expecting some sort of grand assembly beforehand, when I walked in and realized we’d all be breathing down her neck, I admittedly got kind of nervous. I’m more of a “hang back” type of person when I go to these things—sit in the middle of the pack, keep quiet, and just wait to get up to the table to get my book signed. No nonstop chitchat from me, no hassling the creator—at most I may ask for a picture, but that’s as far as I go.
At quarter to 7:00 when it was just me and one other girl sitting there by ourselves (in the front row, no less), what I thought was panic but actually turned out to be excitement set in. I was admittedly concerned that no one else would show up for this thing—how terrible would that be? Well … I was concerned up until the point Marjorie walked in, immediately began talking to us, and offered to sign our books, that I relaxed a little and thought, yeah, this is completely awesome. Others did arrive, of course, but it was still a tight-knit group, and very relaxed atmosphere—so much so that I broke my “keep quiet” attitude and asked a couple of questions.
Marjorie is incredibly sweet, fun to talk to (and listen to), and totally easy going. She read a short excerpt from her new book, Within the Flames, and took Q&A about many topics, from her work with Marvel, to her novel writing, to her opinions on the DC reboot and whatever in between. (I totally meant to ask her about her poodles, too, and I forgot. Damn.) Honestly, some of the Marvel stuff was a little depressing—such as hearing that her pitch for an all-female team book consisting of She-Hulk, Elektra, and Mystique was shot down because it “won’t sell.” We all know Marvel and DC pander to teenage boys, but actually hearing that confirmed out loud by a creator leaves me kind of gutted. Luckily there are still plenty of good things to keep me happy and excited, such as Marjorie’s upcoming run on Astonishing X-Men. There were also plenty of other girls in the audience—girls who read comics and actually know what they’re talking about, and that’s always awesome. We aren’t as rare as you might think.
At the end, I shook Marjorie’s hand and thanked her for taking the time to speak with us. She sincerely thanked me for coming out, and I hopped out of the store to catch my late train home, quite tired but very happy.
And then the weirdest thing happened this morning (thank you, again, Twitter).
Apparently, none other than Mister Junot Diaz had been present in the audience with us last night. I remember looking at him as he asked questions, thinking to myself that I’d surely seen him somewhere before… hmm… he’s sooooooo familiar? Well, it turns out it was Mr. Diaz—a fact I only knew from reading my Twitter feed this morning where everyone basically had the same MIND BLOWN reaction I had. Jesus—this man’s books were practically my college curriculum. Fiesta 1980 is one of my all time favorite short stories. Dude was in the same room with me all night and I had no clue. The event was already awesome on its own, and I’d woken up this morning still floating a little from the high it gave me—to read about that just took it to another level. Two for the price of one.
A great night.
Hi, gang! Surely you must have known when I promised a new post in “a couple of days,” that it meant over a week, right? Of course you did! Sorry, Sleepers. I have been decidedly rubbish in several different ways this week. I don’t just fall or trip up, but rather take spectacular dives off long cliffs.
The pile of catch-up reading continues to grow ever more, and I am slowly working on a couple of different pieces for your reading pleasure. In between, there’s been much news about various things, some of it just god-awful, and some of it bad to the point of hilarity, and some of it outright awesome. Great stuff to write about; even better stuff to use as fodder for chats at the comic shop.
Here’s a review.
I’ve been dreading the coming of this issue for a while, as it marks the end of what was a remarkable and celebrated run by Mike Carey on this book. I’ve expressed my love for Mr. Carey on several occasions here, and when his departure from this book was announced, my reaction was flat-out depression. I also may or may not have acted like a child who lost her favorite toy (“But WHY?! Why does this have to happen?! Goodbye, favorite title! I hate comics!”); waah, waah, waaaah, and so forth.
I know, I’m really building up my credibility here, aren’t I? Take the above with a grain of salt. (Sort of.)
Tantrum aside, when I learned that Christos Gage would be taking the reins of X-Men Legacy, I was actually quite … relieved. Some of you may know Christos as a friend of the store and a Worcester native, but more importantly, he’s a very talented writer. Christos is putting out some great work on Avengers Academy and Angel & Faith right now, but the only work of his I’ve read has been miscellaneous issues of Avengers Academy and a quick guest-stint he did on Amazing Spider-Man last year (which I loved). I’ve since gone back to pick up the first AA trade, but the catch up process, as you know, can take a while for me. Ultimately, the feelings of trepidation subsided and I started to look forward to Christos’ debut issue.
I’m happy to say I wasn’t let down.
Writing a team book, let alone an X-Men book, can be quite challenging, but Christos Gage makes it look easy. He does very well in splitting panel time between team members and students, and does so in a manner that helps make the story flow as oppose to hinder it via too many scene transitions.
If you’ve ever attempted to learn how to drive a car that has a manual gearbox, you know that one of the harder things to get down is just getting the car moving out of first gear and shifting smoothly into second. The first few tries, you’re likely to clunk around, stall it once or twice, and find your head bobbing against the headrest with every release of the clutch. Reading a team book where a writer doesn’t transition well can be a similar experience–the story is thumpy, you’re starting and stopping, and the result is little to no flow. But with this issue of X-Men Legacy, I’d read through to the final page without even realizing I’d taken in so much story so quickly. Because it just kept going … until it didn’t. And I like that.
One of the big things about Mike Carey’s run that endeared me to him was his development of Rogue as a character. Anyone who has been following along knows that she has grown by leaps and bounds as a result of her role in Legacy, and a factor I feared the most in Carey’s departure was the idea of Rogue being relegated to the background once more. Goodbye, leadership role. Goodbye, panel time. Goodbye, power control. These were things I had waited decades as a reader to see for Rogue, and the potential threat of regression terrified me.
Happily—as in, GOOD GOD WHAT A RELIEF—this doesn’t seem to be the case. At least, not yet. What’s awesome here is that if no one told me that the writer had been replaced, in my glee reading this, I probably wouldn’t have noticed. The changeover is relatively seamless; Gage plays off of Carey’s groundwork while shifting Rogue’s team to its new status at the Jean Grey School. It’s great to watch this group interacting with the X-kids again, and Gage wraps it all up with a fun little surprise at the end of the issue—a surprise you could likely see coming, but still great to read nonetheless.
Before reading this issue, I checked out a couple of reviews online and was surprised to find a mixed, below-average reaction. Among the chief complaints are the artwork, which I have to agree with—while not outright bad in skill, it’s a little too … “cartoony” and … well, straight-up ugly for my taste. I miss Clay Mann on this title and am hoping the current artist isn’t on for the long haul. An X-Men book like this should only be saddled with a steady, consistent artist, and I’m learning that very little of that exists at Marvel (I’m looking at you, Captain America/Wolverine & X-Men/X-23/Secret Avengers/Thor/you-name-it).
Aside from butt ugly art, I’m also hearing that Rogue’s casual borrowing of other’s powers in this issue is uncharacteristic of her. I have to argue otherwise, as Mike Carey spent a long time crafting the idea of her becoming comfortable with the use of her powers, and I’m loving the more free-spirited vibe Christos gives her here. Especially in the context of the training scene, where she’s preparing the students for an element of surprise, I don’t see it as disrespectful but rather fairly inventive. Just my take.
That said, this is probably one of the longer reviews I’ve done in a while about a comic I’m pleased with, so that should tell you something about my confidence in this title moving forward. I’m psyched to have Christos on board, and happily, still looking forward to X-Men Legacy.
My, my. 2012 already? I apologize for leaving you without updates for a couple of weeks, readers. Hmm … can I call you “Sleepers” from now on? I kind of like that….
I hope you all enjoyed the holidays. The end-of-the-year bustle along with some computer issues have kept me away from the blog for a while, but I aim to change that soon. I just need a working computer and … you know … to actually read some comics. I had such lofty plans for my Christmas week off—“I’ll do nothing but read!” I said. “I’ll read all of my backlog and be caught up!”
I’m sure you can guess how well that went.
I have a couple of posts I was working on pre-computer crash, which I’m hoping to recover. So stick with me.
In the meantime, here’s a quick couple of lists I thought I would do because: a.) everyone seems to be doing them; b.) I wanted to post something at least somewhat worthwhile; and c.) umm … I guess I don’t really have a point c., but odd numbers always sound better in the flow of a sentence like this. :) #grammarnazi
So here we go! Some 2011 stuff.
Favorite Titles of 2011:
1. Batgirl – The Bryan Q. Miller run, not the current incarnation. I doubt I have to say much for this one—anyone who has been following my reviews will know my undying love for this title and the heartbreak I felt when it was canceled. I hear BQM has a new project with DC that will hopefully be announced soon, so I’m keeping my ears to the ground.
3. Uncanny X-Force – Cannot gush over this book enough. Cannot do it justice with words alone.
4. Avengers: The Children’s Crusade – I almost feel guilty putting this on here considering its strange release schedule/lackthereof, but damn it, every time I pick up an issue it’s just GREAT. It hasn’t let me down, and that consistent quality is sometimes hard to find in comics. Regardless of lateness, this deserves a “best of” spot.
5. Princeless – Ooooh … a challenger appears! I didn’t expect this book to knock me out as quickly as it did, and again, I almost didn’t want to give it a place on this list since only three issues were published last year. But you know what? Screw that. Three issues was all it took to hook me. Three issues was all it took for me to think of this as an absolute favorite of the entire year. That’s how much enjoyment I get from Princeless, and I’m happy to give it a nod each time it comes out. Look for a review of issue three coming soon!
Honorable Mention: The Walking Dead (read in trade); Fables (read in trade); Rachel Rising
Favorite Webcomics of 2011:
1. Max Overacts – I’ve mentioned Max on the blog before and am completely addicted to this strip.
2. Lady Sabre & the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether – Greg Rucka and Rick Burchett’s new venture has taken off in its first year, and I’m loving every moment of it. It’s nice to get in on the ground floor of something like this; if you haven’t already, you should definitely check it out.
3. Gronk – A friend turned me onto this and it hooked me from the start. It’s soft and it’s sweet and it’s funny and wonderful.
4. The Abominable Charles Christopher – See number three.
5. The Trenches – From the guys behind Penny Arcade. Some geeky fun, and it’s accompanied with hilarious and horrifying narratives submitted by readers.
Comic-Related Nerdly Firsts of 2011:
1. Convention Scene: I attended both Boston Comic Con and PAX East for the first time last year, and they were both awesome. Can’t wait for this year’s!
2. Gaming: 2011 was the year I finally gave in and bought a PlayStation. Though it hasn’t had as much exercise as I’d’ve liked to have given it over the last couple of months, the initial surge of addiction and the endless rounds of whipping my fiancé in Mortal Kombat over and over were worth the purchase price. I also just picked up Batman: Arkham City—yay!
3. Marathoning: Movie marathons, that is! I’m kind of anti-Potter, but was forced to watch the entire series of Harry Potter movies for the first time over the course of a couple of weekends, and frankly, I’m glad that’s over. Other marathons included all six episodes of Star Wars, full seasons of The Big Bang Theory, and … sigh … yes, I’m kind of a Gleek now. Next up in the Netflix queue: Pirates of Silicon Valley (never seen it; Fiancé’s choice), episodes of Man vs. Wild, and re-watching Futurama in its entirety.
4. Podcasting: As in, listening to them. Never really been into podcasts until last year when I realized they were a great way to kill time during train commutes. Awesomed by Comics is the best one. Ever. Period. I’m so sorry I was late to the party. (And shoutout to my friend Bob for the recommendation!)
5. Oh damn, this needs to be an odd number. I’m all out of … umm … oh, I know! Ugh, very, VERY reluctantly, I have finally decided to join the incredible mass of Twitterers and create an account for the blog. I did this completely on a whim and haven’t made a single tweet yet, but if you’re so inclined to follow me, you can do so at @coverstosleep. I’m still tip toe-ing into the water here … so be nice. :)
That’s all I have for now, Sleepers. See you, hopefully, soon! Here’s to a great 2012.
Haven’t picked up my comics in a couple of weeks, nor have I had the time to read what I have, so it’s going to be a review-less weekend. To satiate your appetite, head on over to Nerd Caliber for a little ditty I wrote up on Marvel’s 2012 event, Avengers vs. X-Men, and check out some of their other fun features as well.