Review: Heathen #1 by Natasha Alterici

May 21, 2015 Articles, Comic Books Comments (0) 26

If you’ve followed this site for any length of time you know that I truly appreciate a good lady-led title. I’ll read the first issue of almost anything with a female protagonist… though unfortunately that doesn’t mean that everything I read is good. Thankfully, Heathen #1 by Natasha Alterici falls into the “good” category. Let’s be honest, it goes well beyond the “good” category.

The story follows a young Viking woman named Aydis, in her attempt to challenge Odin’s reigns by enlisting the support of the banished valkyrie Brynhild. Continue Reading

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Creator of "Little Girls Are Better at Designing Superheroes than You," Pitches New Superhero Comic: Spark

August 12, 2014 Articles, Comic Books Comments (0) 9

Whew. Thanks for bearing with me through that absurdly long article title. So many of you may be familiar with the website Little Girls Are Better at Designing Superheroes Than You where artist Alex(andria) Law takes submissions of girls cosplaying – or just dressing up – and re-draws them as superheroes. It’s a site that never fails to restore my faith in female power, and all the girls are so gosh-darned cute. Here’s one of my favorite of these as “evidence”:

SuperGirlThor

Maybe Jason Aaron is open to taking this picture as a suggestion for the new female Thor image? Okay, probably not. But still. The next time I cosplay as Thor (it’s been known to happen frequently) I’m making myself a tutu. I honestly can’t imagine why I haven’t done this before.

Proving that she is perhaps the biggest little girl of all, Alex Law has teamed up with writer Ted Anderson (he’s written some Pony comics!) to bring you a new girl superhero: Spark.

SparkComic

The comic itself is about nine-year old Lucia Marquez-Miller (she’s the one in purple) who has telekinetic powers that shes uses to build (and destroy) things with her mind. She’s the youngest superhero of a mostly girl supe team, and she’s also trying to live a normal life. Law and Anderson have posted a fifteen page stand-alone comic on Tumblr that you should go read…..right now.

While the stand-alone comic only gives you a brief glimpse into Spark’s life, I can already tell I want more. Lucia’s dad is a cooking god (I may have just been really hungry when I read it) and Lucia’s mom has a whole no-nonsense vibe that will be great for future mother-daughter battles. Also, one of the superheroes turns into a dinosaur.

RobotDinosaur

The creative team is currently in the process of pitching Spark to major publishers in hopes of developing it as a print graphic novel series. As Ms. Marvel and Lumberjanes have demonstrated recently, there’s a high-demand for all-ages comics helmed by ladies. The fact that there’s a character in Spark named “Riot Grrrl” is really just icing on the cake.

You can follow the progress of Spark here via their tumblr. In the meantime send Law and Anderson good vibes in hopes we can buy this in comic stores in the near future.

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Creator of “Little Girls Are Better at Designing Superheroes than You,” Pitches New Superhero Comic: Spark

August 12, 2014 Articles, Comic Books Comments (0) 7

Whew. Thanks for bearing with me through that absurdly long article title. So many of you may be familiar with the website Little Girls Are Better at Designing Superheroes Than You where artist Alex(andria) Law takes submissions of girls cosplaying – or just dressing up – and re-draws them as superheroes. It’s a site that never fails to restore my faith in female power, and all the girls are so gosh-darned cute. Here’s one of my favorite of these as “evidence”:

SuperGirlThor

Maybe Jason Aaron is open to taking this picture as a suggestion for the new female Thor image? Okay, probably not. But still. The next time I cosplay as Thor (it’s been known to happen frequently) I’m making myself a tutu. I honestly can’t imagine why I haven’t done this before.

Proving that she is perhaps the biggest little girl of all, Alex Law has teamed up with writer Ted Anderson (he’s written some Pony comics!) to bring you a new girl superhero: Spark.

SparkComic

The comic itself is about nine-year old Lucia Marquez-Miller (she’s the one in purple) who has telekinetic powers that shes uses to build (and destroy) things with her mind. She’s the youngest superhero of a mostly girl supe team, and she’s also trying to live a normal life. Law and Anderson have posted a fifteen page stand-alone comic on Tumblr that you should go read…..right now.

While the stand-alone comic only gives you a brief glimpse into Spark’s life, I can already tell I want more. Lucia’s dad is a cooking god (I may have just been really hungry when I read it) and Lucia’s mom has a whole no-nonsense vibe that will be great for future mother-daughter battles. Also, one of the superheroes turns into a dinosaur.

RobotDinosaur

The creative team is currently in the process of pitching Spark to major publishers in hopes of developing it as a print graphic novel series. As Ms. Marvel and Lumberjanes have demonstrated recently, there’s a high-demand for all-ages comics helmed by ladies. The fact that there’s a character in Spark named “Riot Grrrl” is really just icing on the cake.

You can follow the progress of Spark here via their tumblr. In the meantime send Law and Anderson good vibes in hopes we can buy this in comic stores in the near future.

Continue Reading

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Where Did My Cuddly Guys Go?

March 27, 2014 Articles, Comic Books, TV and Movies Comments (0) 8

So the first TMNT trailer broke today – if you’re a fan you probably were already aware. If you missed it, take your first peak at the future of the Turtles:

They definitely have a higher budget than the older ones!

Spiffy side effects aside, there are two key features in this trailer that need discussing: the Turtles new look, and their new origin story.

Origin Story

Longtime fans of the TMNT franchise are up in arms over the changes to their origin story. From the trailer it becomes clear that the Turtles were created by April O’Neil’s father in conjunction with the Shredder (weird). Honestly, that’s not too far off from the current story being published at IDW.  -As Comic Vine points out:

“First and foremost, this isn’t the first time April’s father would be linked to the ooze. In the most recent comic (by IDW Publishing), it was revealed that April’s dad previously worked with Baxter Stockman at Stockgen.”

Adding Shredder into the mix is just a logical step to interconnect all of the characters and make the story more personal for everyone.

Let’s also talk about the point of origin stories for a second. Origins stories are central to most superhero characterse. The stories are meant to establish background, motivation, and evil/good leanings. The original TMNT origin story has morphed over the franchise’s history more than once. In the original comic by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman, the ooze that mutated the baby turtles came from aliens. The 90’s movies decided to skip the extra-terrestrial angle and simply claimed that the ooze originally came from Stockgen, no aliens involved. TurtleOoze

This origin story featured in the trailer includes the key elements: Stockgen + Ooze, only adding in the Shreeder and a new motivation for the Ooze’s creation into the mix. As an origin story it still explains how the TMNT became turtles, their heroic motivations, and interpersonal relations. In fact, as origin stories goes it does better to initially establish the Turtle’s purpose in life. Did it never seem strange to you before that the Ninja Turtles decided to fight crime? I mean sure, there was Splinter’s rivalry with the Shredder – but if we’re going with the movie origin story it’s hard to believe that a rat had the brains to form a rivalry to begin with.

So let’s be real – as long as there is ooze, Ninja Turtles, Splinter (strangely absent from the trailer), and Shredder, I’m in. Plus, this origin may mean it’s easier to add Alopex

New Turtle Look

This is a much more subjective opinion. Everyone is going to have differing opinions on how the ninja turtles should look. For me personally, I prefer the cartoony cute turtle look. I grew up with the cartoons, I grew up with the terribly awesome movies, and I expect my trurtles to be adorable and goofy not all mean and sinister looking.

If I was April in the trailer (and I’d sure as hell be a better April than Megan Fox) I would scream and faint when I first saw the turtles too. If I had my way, the Ninja Turtles would only be drawn by Ross Campbell and this movie would make CGI characters based off Ross Campbell’s work. He draws the most adorable (sometimes sad) turtles. Exhibit A:

RossCampbellSadMikey

 

I can’t describe how much I love this cover by Ross Campbell. Mikey is so sad, and the orange leaves, letter coloring, and bandanna really bring the whole picture together. He’s capable of drawing some good action too. Exhibit B:

Ross Campbell Leo and Raphael

Brothers fight, it’s not always cute, but Campbell really captures the youth of the Ninja Turtles without making them overly sinister. Exhibit C is a picture of Alopex, just because I love her:

RossCampbellAlopex

This is just the style I like though, and I realize many may like the more “kick-ass” version of the TMNT that the film presents. It’s not my style, and I hope the tone of the movie can differentiate itself from the style. If they’re trying to Batman my Turtles I will cry. Without humor, love, and kindness the Ninja Turtles aren’t really themselves. I’m interested in seeing how this develops further, and right now I think we can continue to feel guardedly optimistic about the return of TMNT.

 

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Culling Your Pull List Can Enrich Your Comics Experience

March 27, 2014 Articles, Comic Books Comments (0) 13

After a long financial talk with my husband  (boring) I finally saw some reason and decided to stop buying comics. Last week I went cold turkey and didn’t even buy the new Ms. Marvel comic. If you know me, you know how HUGE of a sacrifice that way. Kamala Khan is my hero and I’ve already started buying the necessary materials to cosplay her. This week, even more amazing comics were coming out and I steeled myself against buying any…and then my husband called my from my LCS (local comic shop) on his way home from work and asked me what he should get.

The workers had given him all the comics in my pull list for the last two weeks and he wasn’t going to buy me twenty comics. He read off all the titles to me, and I slowly kicked certain issues from the list. Did I really need to be reading Unwritten: Apocalypse? No, I didn’t have the second issue so why should I pick up the third? Ditto for Alex + Ada (although my LCS was supposed to reorder me a copy of #4). Five Ghosts, Ghosted, and Ghostbusters were quickly relegated to the “no” pile…for reasons, and I even said goodbye to Ryan North’s The Midas Touch.

Writer: C. Willow Wilson  Artist: Adrian Alphona  Cover Artist: Jamie McKelvie

Writer: C. Willow Wilson
Artist: Adrian Alphona
Cover Artist: Jamie McKelvie

After I rejected many more comics, I was left with 8 titles – an all time low for me considering this was two weeks worth of pull-list. The pile my husband brought home consisted of Deadly Class #3 (It’s murderin’ time), Fatale #21 (The end is near!), Sandman Overture #2 (I didn’t even get both cover options this time), Loki Ragnarok and Roll #2 (I <3 Boom!), Wake #7 (Duh), Sex Criminals #5, Ms. Marvel #2 (OMG), and A Voice in the Dark #5 (It’s seriously good and deserves it’s place among the rest of these comics).

I was initially sad with the small pile of comics that husband handed to me when he got home. Tomb Raider #2 was missing because  my LCS dudes forgot to add it to my pile. C’est la vie. Then I started reading the books I had gotten. Each and every one was spectacular. There were no books that I thought “Wow, that was kinda good, but not great” about. There were no books that made me think I wasted $3.99 and 15 minutes of my life. For an hour and a half I was in comics heaven. 

I had previously vowed not to read mediocre books as a statement to the comics industry, but I never imagined how fantastic it would feel to have those books removed from my pull list. Not that all the rejected books were mediocre, but the remaining books were both the cream of the crop and the ones that meant the most to me personally. Sure I could have picked up American Vampire Vol. 2 #1 – and it would have been fantastic. But that series doesn’t mean as much to me personally as Ms. Marvel or Fatale.

Reading 8 books that were both high in quality and high in my own personal investment was game-changing. There are so many comic books I want to read, and so many new series I want to invest in, but really weeding out the comics that hadn’t made the cut lifted a great deal of the financial burden. I’ve found that if I can limit my comic intake to 5 comics (or less) each week then I can 1) afford to buy comics still and 2) get more out of the experience. 

It’s rare (for me) that cutting things out of my life actually adds to my overall life experience. Rejecting comics from my pull-list over the phone with my husband was like pulling out my own teeth. I had to give up so many of my “babies”, but in the end it was worth it. We’ll still have to see how much self-control I can muster when I’m in the comic shop by myself without husbandly supervision….

Read All the Comics

 

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Felicia Day on Comics

March 23, 2014 Articles, Comic Books Comments (0) 8

So for all of you Felicia Day Fans out there, Felicia has just put up a video on her own channel! The first minute of the video is entirely an excuse for why she hasn’t been posting more videos. I can’t be mad at her, because her guilty face is adorable and I’ve been watching The Guild all day so she’s on a pretty big fan pedestal right now.

At around 1:18 in in the video, she starts talking about comics! Comics people will know that you can never have too many people in your life to talk to about comics, so I’m ecstatic to add Felicia Day’s voice my compendium of cool people who like comics. Okay – that list really just has the two of us on it, just the way it should be.

From this six minute video, we can glean a few things about Felicia and her comic choices.

  1. She refuses to read single issues because they’re too short. If you want Felicia Day to read a comic – send her a trade.
  2. She’s using multiple lists of the best graphic novels of 2013 as her guide. 2013 was a great year for comics, but this clearly indicates she’s probably not at her local comic shop every Wednesday, so you can take her opinions with a grain of salt, or rejoice in opinions not coming from freaky comic fans. Your choice.
  3. Despite the above statement, not all her choices came out in 2013. So, she isn’t a stickler for the rules.
  4. She doesn’t like superhero comics because she doesn’t like the ladies in them. THIS IS WHY I LOVE YOU FELICIA
  5. She finds hand-drawn genitalia fascinating (“Oh Boobies!”)
  6. I want her to read from Divas, Dames, and Daredevils to me at bedtime.
  7. She is not above vandalizing her own books
  8. Finally, she has good taste.

Hopefully, she will air another of these precious videos soon. If not, we can just watch this one on re-run for eternity.

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