“Patronizing Headline About How Comics Aren’t For One Sub-Group of People Anymore!”

I created this site in an attempt to get tell people about the comics that I love, and engage them in discussions about said comics.

Some folks are reading it, though based on search terms a number of you are here because I’ve typed the words “Sex,” “boobs” and “boobs sex comics” one time or another (And apparently stuck around and read some stuff? Good on you, ‘boobs sex comics’ searcher! Excelsior!).

Anyway. One thing I always have trouble getting across is that comic books are a medium for storytelling, they’re not just Super Heroes or Sci-Fi or Fantasy. There are comics about cops, musicians, and people who work at dead end jobs. And then there are, believe it or not, good “genre” comics in which writers and artists explore things like themes about politics, religion or…GENDER!

I think I’ve mentioned before that this was an early exposure to mature comics for me:

Screen Shot 2012-09-09 at 3.46.42 PMTeenaged me thought that was AWESOME. Teenaged me took that comic book into the bathroom and really studied that panel. Really studied it. Hard.

Teenaged me, and comics like Witchblade are probably how most people not reading comic books view the average comic book reader and how the average female comic book character is portrayed. There are people and portrayals like this. Yes. Otherwise it wouldn’t exist in your brain, comic book stereotyper! But there are a number of creators, both modern and throughout comic book history, that have created comic books that have not only attempted to appeal to both genders, but to explore them.

So as someone who is constantly trying to get more people (and many of them female members of my family) reading comic books, I’m really excited to start taking a course taught by Christina Blanch entitled “Gender Through Comic Books.”

Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 10.14.43 PMThe course is entirely online. It’s totally free, you just have to buy the comic books. And Comixology is selling the entire syllabus at 35% off. Click here to sign up for the course and to buy the comics: http://www.comixology.com/mooc

It’s pretty fantastic. Not only are these some great comics, but there are a number of creators on board to discuss these comics, including Read This Comic Book! favorite Brian K Vaughan (BKV!) and new Read This Comic Book! favorite Kelly Sue DeConnick (She’s currently writing Captain Marvel, which I just read the first seven issues of and highly recommend).

Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 10.17.03 PMI’m excited to be tasked with thinking critically about something again. My brain needs a little bit of that structure to work better. I’m also pumped to be discussing something I’m passionate about with people who share that passion. If you’ve been reading this blog and said, “well, this sounds kind of interesting, but I need something that’s less about Paul’s hangups,” then you should sign up for this class, and learn more about how ladies and dudes are portrayed in the funny books.

 

 

 

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Things I Loved About Comics This Year Part One

Because I either won’t be able to limit myself to a Top 10 or have enough content to make it to Top 10! Also, why be like everyone else, when I can be a quirky variation on everyone else instead? Ha-HA! Merry Christmas you old building and loan!

Hawkeye

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I think I’ve stressed how much I love this comic. IF you’re not a jerk, I will make sure it finds its way into your stocking this year (However, I have very low levels of consideration for jerkdom, so you likely ARE a jerk and will get nothing. Buy your own comics, cheapskate!) Anyway, Matt Fraction, David Aja, Javier Pulido are jamming a metric shit-ton into each and every issue of this series about the “Avenger that’s just a dude.” They’re joined by Matt Hollingsworth on color and Chris Eliopoulos rocking some sick fonts as letterer.

This is like a really advanced “How-to” comic book. In action scenes the characters MOVE, the colors POP (“Pop-pop!” – Magnitude), and other great stuff happens that I would put in CAPITAL LETTERS. The conversation scenes are also a welcome change from the “copy and paste the same head while borrowing the pacing from a Mamet film” scenes that have invaded comics in the past ten years under the guise of “inventive” and “mature.”

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Fraction’s take also quickly expands beyond the “Avenger who’s just a dude” logline into “Avenger who’s just a dude and wants to make up for the crappy things he’s done but might still do more crappy things. Oh, and he has a female sidekick who he probably shouldn’t be a role model for, but it totally works and their relationship is screwed up and sweet, but you can’t help but kind of want them to kiss. Once. Even though she’s barely 18 (can’t wait to see what search results that gets me) and he’s 30 something. Oh, and ARROWS and PURPLE!” Ahem. I believe I got a bit carried away, but I’ve been a big fan of Hawkeye for years, mostly based on his look and a “Captain America can’t tell me what to do!” attitude that had carried over the years since Stan Lee was writing him. So it’s nice to have a GREAT Hawkeye book to back up my love of a character who can often be written pretty crappily (see the past 10 years of comics – Smilin’ Stan).

The Sixth Gun

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The Sixth Gun is a western-action-horror (with a smidge of comedy) comic book written by Cullen Bunn with art by Brian Hurtt. Like Hawkeye, its creators know how to do great action, while creating memorable characters that you’ll care about. Drake Sinclair starts out as the typical “man with no name” but quickly becomes “guy with a name and checkered past chock full of self-loathing that maybe has a heart of gold,” and Becky, while starting in the “damsel” role has been slowly growing into her own as well. The first six issues are EPIC and jam packed. Like you’ll feel like the bartender did a couple rounds of buyback. Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt, ladies and gents: the generous bartenders of COMICS! Tip them well!

It also has monks with guns, ghouls with guns, creepy hooded guys with guns…AND THE GUNS ARE MAGIC (well, 6 of them).

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Some of you might read this rambling premise summary and say “That sounds like a great movie.”

Jonah-hex-posterNo. Shut up. That would NOT be a great movie. It’s already a great comic book, it doesn’t NEED to be translated to the big screen. None of them do. Didn’t I say shut up already? Shut up.

Saga

Screen Shot 2012-09-12 at 9.21.46 PM Screen Shot 2012-09-12 at 9.20.01 PMBabies giggling! Arms getting cut off! Saga has it all!

No, but seriously, Saga does have it all (most importantly, action und comedy). Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples have BROUGHT the noise and that noise is a Girl Talk-style jam of Action, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, and Comedy. THEN that jam is backing a classic boy meets girl, boy knocks girl up, girl has (girl) baby,  and they all go on the run (in a spaceship) story. It’s a fairytale. It’s a worthy successor to Star Wars (yeah, I said it Star Wars nerds). It’s a damned good comic that’s executed incredibly well.

So that’s part one of this “not a top ten” list! You know where you can buy all of these things, and if you DON’T, then I’ve given you sufficient information for a quick Googling. Part Two to come tomorrow, maybe with some comics I haven’t already written about in the past 6 months.

 

 

Stuff I Bought, Week of 9/15/12 (SUPER VALUE EDITION!)

First off, I bought the latest issue of Saga, which was not really a new comic, but the price dropped on Comixology, so I purchased it! And then wrote about it, along with the previous two issues, here! But on it’s own, issue six is a nice bridge from the world building that’s been going on into UNIVERSE building. Here’s a shot of Hazel, Saga’s narrator, and a character I completely forgot to mention in this week’s review. She’s still a baby as far as the story goes, her future self jumping in with some poignant narration from time to time.

I also purchased Revival #2.

Damn, that’s creepy. Seeley and Norton are bringin’ it. I’m upping my recommendation from READ THIS COMIC to…READ THIS COMIC HOLY CRAP GO DO IT! I might say that I’m more suggestible towards a horror comic at this point due to the Fall season, but really, I will read and/or watch horror at any time of the year. I’ll just get to drink a pumpkin beer while reading these initial issues. This also recently dropped to $1.99 on Comixology. Allegedly the physical issues are selling out and hard to find so collectors are upping the price on eBay. F that noise…either wait for the trade paperback or buy the digital version. It’s a great story, but there’s no reason to overpay for it.

Finally (maybe), I purchased The Sixth Gun Volume Two, which is on sale on Comixology this weekend (so I might also buy Volume 3 and the rest of the issues available). If my first post on this subject didn’t convince you to buy it, well then maybe these things (in addition to the fact that it’s .99 an issue right now) will:

1) The second volume keeps up the energetic pace of the first while still balancing the horror and western genres.

2) Western Genre Awesomeness example:

3) Horror Genre Awesomeness Example (There’s way more awesomeness in the book itself, but you’re not getting it unless you read it, however, IS THIS NOT AWESOME LOOKING AND CREEPY?)

Even without the sale on I would be chomping at the bit (look at that bit, it’s practically chomped to nothing!) to buy more of this comic. Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt are doing an amazing job with this book. Again seriously, drop everything and read this. Also, this volume contains Voodoo (the dark magic, not the crappy 90’s comic book character), as well as possibly werewolves. I say “possibly,” cause werewolves are mentioned, but then so are skin-changers. And the guys in this volume look a bit more like bearded skin-changers.

Really, all three of the books I bought this week are exciting examples of what can be done with the comic book medium, and all three are owned by their creators. So buy them, read some good comics, and support some talented artists.

 

 

 

 

 

Saga: Issues 4-5…Oh, wait…no, a distraction

I was all set to tell y’all about Saga issues 4-5 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, but then, a few pages into issue 4…

Double page sex planet spread! (Haha…sex planet…spread…)

Then I was ready to buck up. To be mature. To be an adult.

Then I honed in on this panel.

 

Boobs pressed up against glass, a manic, almost daring “You won’t F me” look…it’s just…

 

Ah…ha…haha….

Hahahahahahahaha. Ok, seriously, I’m ready to review these comics. Right, Lying Cat?

Ok, yeah. I’m lying. I’m totally not ready to talk about the latest issues of Saga that I’ve checked out, but I’m curious, any of my readers checking this out? If so, drop some thoughts below, and I’ll talk about them when I ACTUALLY talk about these two issues.