Comic Review: ApocalytiGirl: An Aria for the End Times

It’s been just over a month since my last review, and I’ve read my way through several comics since then. One of my favorite one shots is Apocalytigirl: An Aria for the End Times.

41a4gvtwrhl-_sx331_bo1204203200_This comic caught my eye while wandering the stacks with its sparse yellow cover with a young woman and a cat. Plus anything having to do with a post-apocalyptic world is a fun read for me. A quick scan of the back cover made this an instant purchase for me:

“A sci-fi epic about a post apocalyptic life (and cat ownership)!”

I was sold on the idea of this comic already. Pet ownership has been a huge part of my life, and I’ve always wondered how that works in a world where danger is around the corner.

You might be thinking, “This sounds like I am Legend,” and I suppose you’d be kind of right? Minus the fact that I am Legend is horror, and this comic really isn’t that horrifying. Legend had a dog and Will Smith. Apocalytigirl has Aria and her cat. If you know anything about cats and dogs, they don’t interact with humans the same way.

Perhaps I’m thinking too much about this comic, but ultimately it’s asking an important question: Would you risk your own survival for a pet companion when you were alone in a world?

Aria risks her life for her cat. She goes to the places he hides when he’s scared, makes sure he’s safe at all costs. He provided her with interaction that she otherwise wouldn’t have had. It probably kept her sane. If/When she had the opportunity to return to civilization, would she leave her cat behind?

I wish there were more to this story. Andrew MacLean created an interesting world that I would love to explore beyond this singular comic. The ending leaves a lot up to interpretation and wonder. I appreciated the cat ownership bits and Aria’s daily survival. When she did get into trouble, suddenly the comic was hack-n-slash. I wanted more development overall, but I think for it being a singular story, it’s definitely something I can read and come away mostly satisfied.

I’d recommend this to anyone that has pets, talks to them like they are people and anyone that likes a quick read about a post apocalyptic life with a cat.

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Comic Review: Kim & Kim

This comic sounds promising. The image below is a blurb on the back that caught my eye and made me add it to the pile I wanted to use a graduation gift card on.

18870431_1952434194782636_1254257532_oKim & Kim are queer interdimensional bounty hunters that travel in a space-modified VW van. Imagine if the Mystery Machine could fly, and you’ve basically got what they live and work in.

This buddy-cop comic, where instead of buddies the cops are significant others, is a wild ride with restaurant window crashing adventures and gun-wielding battles.

I picked up this comic because the diversity sounded awesome. Who wouldn’t want more queer and trans representation in a comic?

As much as I wanted to truly love this comic, I couldn’t get past the forced writing. Every section felt like it was forcing the character’s backstories down my throat while also maintaining the current bounty hunt. The two stories weren’t woven as cleanly and it made much of the writing feel cluttered. Or maybe more like a rollercoaster?

I couldn’t get attached to the characters and want to follow their story. Kim Q. and Kim D. have a lot to share about their lives and how they came to be a couple. But forcing all of that character backstory right away didn’t hook me. It made me less inclined to keep reading.

The story stopped and started a lot. We’d be on some bounty adventure, suddenly the characters would jump scenes and recount the battle, or what they woke up to. At points, I didn’t mind the change of scene that cut out the exposition. But I did want to know what happened further with those plots because the sudden jump cut seemed like a cop out.

The art is colorful and it’s great to see the punk clothing spliced in a space-western.

Don’t get me wrong. This is a fun comic overall with its Space!Cowboy Punk world. Maybe this comic isn’t my cup of tea, but I think the writing could be stronger and give us more depth to the characters than what was repeated in every chapter/issue.  Pick this up if you want to give it a shot and explore the diverse world created.

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Marvel & Espionage

Marvel’s main focus has been on the superheroes. Agents of Shield does have a slight focus on the normal people but for the most part, they’ve been focused on the rise of the Inhumans. That makes sense given the Inhumans show they are developing.

Why can’t they do a larger focus on the characters that help make up the superhero teams that don’t have powers?

Marvel has a wide variety of characters who are known spies and assassins. Bobbi Morse, Black Widow, and Hawkeye (Kate and Clint) to just name a few. If you haven’t read their comics, I highly recommend checking them out. Of course then there’s our oldest spy and founder of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Peggy Carter.

Espionage movies are popular with the most well-known spy being none other than James Bond. He is followed closely by a host of other spy films like Kingsmen, the Bourne series, the Mission: Impossible series and the list goes on from a simple Google search.Why are we so enamored with spy films?

Some of this has to do with the blind belief that our security organizations know what they’re doing. History might dictate otherwise of course. It might also be the escapist idea that there is more happening in the world than what we know. Somewhere there’s a car chase happening through the streets of some European city because an operative has been compromised. Someone is dropping out of a helicopter onto a snow-capped mountain to break into a hidden hideout of an enemy.

It all sounds like a grand adventure.

Maybe it’s time some of the adventures are given greater depth. Superheroes and the actions they take against an enemy are at a macro level. Their world knows when there is an attack on a city or when an enemy rises from the shadows. It’s a little hard to ignore when aliens are flying down from a wormhole in the sky and turning New York City into a giant game of Galaga.

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By having a series of movies or a television show that focuses on what happens with characters like Kate Bishop, Clint Barton, Black Widow, or Bobbi Morse, then it expands the universe and shows the secret side of things. Granted, I understand that Agents of SHIELD is supposed to be just that, but they have been slowly taking that in a different direction with more and more Inhumans cropping up.

Perhaps once Inhumans comes out, they’ll take the series back to its espionage roots. If they want to do a greater foray into the espionage genre, pulling in the Hawkeyes and Black Widow would be an excellent way to do it.

Marvel has a lot happening so I can imagine they’re busy planning the different phases of the MCU.

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I’m not as well-versed in the espionage genre, but fellow writer and blogger, Katie, is. 

Ten Comics that Should Be Shows/Movies

According to Goodreads, I’ve read a lot of comics in the past eight months. It seemed like a solid time to go back through my comic loves and figure out what stories should get a chance on the big screen or a TV show.

10. LumberJanes
This is the last because it’s already being worked on for a film. I think it could easily be turned into a great show. I don’t think a movie would do the comics justice. They’ve had Supernatural run for far too many seasons, so I think it’s time to give the LumberJanes a chance to shine. The girls of LumberJanes are funny, intelligent, and not afraid to be themselves. Plus they’re super queer, and I think we need more queer people of color.

9. Spider-Gwen
Gwen Stacey deserves more than just being killed off for Peter’s growth. She’s smart, and her comic features a girl who, much like Peter Parker, ends up with powers and tries her best to be the hero the world needs. And the hero that Peter Parker aspired to be. This is a comic worth reading, and definitely, one worth getting an opportunity on the big screen.

8. Paper Girls
Everyone is fawning over Stranger Things so why not have a show that focuses on four adolescent girls that stumble upon quite the odd series of events? Less funny, and more serious, this comic is worth reading if you aren’t already.

7. Black Widow
Natasha Romanov’s story should be Marvel’s entry into the spy thriller genre. Her story is beautifully illustrated by Phil Noto and is a great way to showcase what Natasha does when she’s not with the Avengers. Plus, who wouldn’t want to know what happens in Budapest?

6. Kitty Pryde
Kitty has long been a character loved by X-Men fans, myself included. She’s been pushed to the background for the X-Men films, which is a huge shame. Kitty has held an important role in the X-Men canon, and I think that’s long been forgotten since many of her important roles have gone to Wolverine (cause they’re actually BFFs) in the movies. Maybe it is too late now to give her more on the big screen, but if Marvel wants to continue with the X-Men, she’d be a great character to give a solo film.

5. America Chavez
Ms. America Chavez recently got her own solo comic, which has been much demanded by fans of her. She’s a powerful badass who can punch holes between worlds, fly, and has super strength. Not to mention she’s an alien. And super gay. Next to Ms. Marvel, American is another character we need right now. Not to mention America’s variant covers are some of the best I’ve seen.

4. Ultimate Spider-Man
Miles Morales is a character that I love and feel should get more attention. Much like Peter, Miles is a kid that gets spidey powers and starts to save his home from the local baddies that seem to show up in New York City. He breathes fresh life into a superhero moniker that has gone stale with Peter Parker.

3. Silk
Cindy Moon aka Silk is a Korean-American who is a step out of touch with her generation. Her nickname is “Analog” by her boss. She’s not someone that initially wanted her powers, and I think that’s an important metaphor for many aspects of life. Cindy spends her time working like Peter Parker and figuring out the world ten years after she locked herself away. If you’re not reading Silk, she’s worth reading about.

2. Faith
I recently read this, shared to me by Katie. And it was excellent. Faith should get so much more attention as a character, and a superhero. She is beautiful and a character who embodies body positivity and how important it is to have not only diverse characters but also characters with diverse bodies. Not everyone has that Dorito-chip body like Chris Evans, or the classic curves of ScarJo. You need superheroes like Faith.

1. Ms. Marvel
I’m not the only one that has put Kamala Khan at the top of my list. She’s a Pakistani-American who has taught me so much about her culture. Not to mention Kamala also teaches about finding the balance between two cultures for second-generation immigrant children; and then the triumvirate, her superpowers. Kamala Khan is a character that people need to see on the screen because she would change the minds of those afraid of immigrants.

Honorable Mentions: Rocket Girl, Bitch Planet, The Wicked + The Divine, Rat Queens, Nimona.

What character would you want to see get a TV series or a movie? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Comic Review: Seconds

Everyone wants a do-over at some point in their lives. We’ve all had decisions we’ve made that we regret and want a second chance.

Seconds is one of those times where we get a peek at someone’s do-over, or rather do-overs. Bryan Lee O’Malley, famous for the Scott Pilgrim series, writes this unique take on one chef’s do-overs through the power of magical mushrooms from her dresser drawer.

Yup. Mushrooms.

75cd77559a8ce52d0211db98c0ddaae5Katie is a young, talented chef whose life spirals out of her control. All she wants is a second chance, and these mushrooms are going to give it to her. Suddenly her life is perfect.That’s where the story starts to get even wilder than it already is.

O’Malley’s characters are fun, and the world is immersive. I’ve always loved his art style because it is expressive and detailed. It was easy to disappear into this world he created and I wanted to befriend the characters.

Nathan Fairbairn’s colors for this book are fantastic and make O’Malley’s world come alive.

Reading Katie’s story made me wonder if I ever wanted a second chance with any of my decisions. What are the rules with second chances? The rules are where Seconds shines, and that’s an area that is often unexplored when it comes to plots like this.

O’Malley’s unique take on second chances with Seconds makes this well worth the read. If you’re looking for a fun graphic novel, I recommend this without any hesitation.

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Comic Review: We Can Never Go Home

I picked this up because of the cover. Anything with a cassette tape on the front to remind me of the days when that’s how I collected and listened to music will attract me. Plus, one of the vendors at Boston Comic-Con recommended it. So why not take a chance?

We Can Never Go Home by Matthew Rosenberg, Patrick Klindon, and Josh  Hood is quite the ride. Combine two teenagers, a stolen car, a mixtape, superpowers, and drugs, and you have We Can Never Go Home.

2I don’t want to give too much away.

Think of it like a dangerous road trip comic. And if you ever wanted to take a wild adventure from a small town in 1989, here’s a great way to do it. This comic covers so many genres, and music is an important aspect.

At the end of every chapter, there’s a playlist that is well worth listening to.

I enjoyed the story. It’s dark and kept me hooked from the beginning. I wanted to know how all of these details crossed and where the road trip would end up next.

The art and colors are awesome. Josh Hood did a great job capturing the script and setting the mood. All of the action is easy to follow but still, makes it feel chaotic. There are moments when the emotion-charged in the scene punches you in the gut.

I’d definitely recommend this to everyone that is following the resurgence of the 80s in pop culture right now. If you like Stranger Things, superpowers, and dangerous road trips, you should pick this up and give it a read.

Comic Review: Fun Home

This semester my school offered a Young Adult Literature class. And I had the joy of making it into the course with one of my favorite teachers and several of my good friends.

Our third book of the semester was Fun Home by Alison Bechdel.

Surprisingly, I had not read this book up yet (I don’t think it was on my summer list either). I know, I know. My gay self should void my queer card because its taken so long for me to read the number one book on the LGBTQ+ required reading list. Woops. At least that’s fixed now?

51ocqhn1kol-_sx332_bo1204203200_Without further adieu, let’s talk about Fun Home.

Fun Home is a memoir by Alison Bechdel in which Alison writes about her childhood, her family, and her journey of identity and self.

This graphic novel has so much depth. With literary and cross-discipline references, it can be a daunting read. But I promise you those references truly open up the book.

Upon my first read, I made notes as I went, of places where I wanted to go back. And now that I’m going through again, I am in awe of Bechdel’s writing. There’s hidden details in the references, in the details about her father, the vocabulary, and things I did not put together the first time.

The parallels, the crosses, the convergence and divergence. When people joke that “graphic novels aren’t literature,” I want to point them at this book.

The single-volume memoir’s frames are engaging, and lend much to the story. Without them I don’t think the prose could stand alone nearly as well. And I think that’s what makes Fun Home work so well in this form.

Bechdel planned this graphic novel with such precision that the larger picture of woven memories, family details, and conclusions, wrapped in literary and philosophical references creates an impressive work that lends a voice to the deceased, Bruce Bechdel. All of these details allow for the reader to draw their own conclusions while also growing with Alison, and feeling her emotions grip you right through the page.

I would recommend Fun Home to anyone that wants to experience another memoir in such a unique format. Don’t be afraid to highlight or mark spots where you might not understand. I promise it’s worth it. However, if you’re not in the mood to do that much research, stay tuned to my blog and my YouTube channel. I’m working on some scripts and videos that will cover not only my thoughts on Fun Home, but also will explain the references more in-depth.

What were your thoughts on Fun Home? Did you think the graphic novel was too literary? Would you be interested in learning more about the depths of the novel? Want more information about the cross-discipline references? Let me know in the comments below!

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