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She Has No Head! – Defining Female Friendly

So, on last week’s piece about comics to buy on a $50/month budget, I put one of my base requirements that the books be “female friendly” since that is sorta what I do here, in this column about “women in comics.”

I had a couple people in the comments claim to not know what “female friendly” meant. I don’t know if they were trolls or if the confusion was genuine but I’ve decided to the err on the side of their confusion being genuine and talk about it a little bit this week.

Before we start, let’s be clear, my definition is surely not everyone’s, but this is where I come from when I look at comics (and other media but I’ll try to stick to comics). At the same time, I make no argument that ALL material SHOULD/HAS TO BE female friendly. The world is vast and there’s room for all kinds, including stuff that isn’t female friendly (True Detective would be a great example of something I love that I wouldn’t necessarily call female friendly). And there’s ALSO room for stuff that I hate and find offensive. Censoring creators doesn’t get really get us anywhere, it’s not a good way forward to say what can and cannot or should or should not be done when it comes to art. But I can still advocate for, promote, and recommend the stuff that I feel is worthy, and especially given the comics climate we live in now — one in which there is a lot of great female friendly stuff to promote and one in which we still need much much more female friendly stuff to promote — this is a big and maybe even important job, one we can all help to get done right.

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Gorgeous relatable female friendly designs like these by David Aja are a big part of why Kate Bishop/Hawkeye has shot to the top of people’s favorite character lists in recent years.

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Boys, Toys, Electric Irons, and TVs 28: Futures End #29

The title of this post should have read “Boys, Toys, Electric Irons, and TVs 28: Futures End #29, New Avengers #26, and Avengers #38,” but Diamond shorted my shop on New Avengers #26, so it and Avengers #38 (which I haven’t read yet since it comes after New Avengers #26) will be discussed next week with Futures End #30 and New Avengers #27 (bet on it being a Hickman-heavy post). I don’t actually mind, because that means Futures End #29 gets all of my attention this week and it’s an issue I don’t mind digging into a little, being the first one-story issue of the series since issue 21’s spotlight on the Earth 2 folks and the build-up of Cadmus as something Green Arrow wants to take down. Here, we get an origin story for the new Firestorm.

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Year of the Artist, Day 327: Erik Larsen, Part 4 – Amazing Spider-Man #335

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Erik Larsen, and the issue is Amazing Spider-Man #335 (plus a few cameos from other issues), which was published by Marvel and is cover dated July 1990. Enjoy!
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When We First Met – Every Incarnation of Ultron!

In this feature we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore. Not major stuff like “the first appearance of Superman,” but rather, “the first time someone said, ‘Avengers Assemble!’” or “the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny” or “the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth” or “the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter.” Stuff like that. Here is an archive of all the When We First Met features so far! Check ‘em out!

With the hype for the new Avengers film, Age of Ultron, still so strong, I thought it’d be a good idea to take a look at the introductions of each incarnation of Ultron so far (this is basically a visual counterpiece to this loooong history of Ultron I did for the main site last month)…
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Year of the Artist, Day 326: Erik Larsen, Part 3 – Doom Patrol #8 and #13

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Erik Larsen, and the issues are Doom Patrol #8 and 13, which were published by DC and are cover dated May and October 1988. Enjoy!
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Sucksgiving Day Soundtrack

Yesterday was so miserable and unpleasant I was feeling like that Joe Bftsplk guy in Li’l Abner that had the rain cloud over him all the time.

Then I remembered– it was Sucksgiving Eve. So of course it would be a crappy day. Continue Reading »

Poohdickery for 11/22/14

Writer Don Ferguson and artist Richard Moore did a syndicated Winnie the Pooh comic strip for ten years that still gets reprinted today. One of the notable aspects of the strip is how Winnie the Pooh and his friends often act a lot less nice than they do in their animated appearances. In this feature, I’ll post one of these examples each installment.

Read on for today’s example of Poohdickery (tip of the hat to commenter John for the name)…
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Year of the Artist, Day 325: Erik Larsen, Part 2 – Teen Titans Spotlight #10 plus a short web-slinging bonus!

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Erik Larsen, and the issue is Teen Titans Spotlight #10, which was published by DC and is cover dated May 1987. But before we get to that, I want to show a few scans from Amazing Spider-Man #287, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated April 1987. Enjoy!
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Comic Book Legends Revealed #498

Welcome to the four hundred and ninety-eighth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous four hundred and ninety-seven. As I mentioned last week, I’m in Paris this week doing a Comic Book Legends Revealed exhibit at the Paris Comics Expo, so I thought it’d be fun to tie in this week’s legends with the Paris Comics Expo. Therefore, each legend this week will be tied in to an artist appearing at the show! How did the size of Batman’s gun lead to Alan Davis quitting Detective Comics? Did Elliot S! Maggin get fired from DC over Superman’s appearance in Loeb and Sale’s Challengers of the Unknown series? And how do we owe MySpace for seeing Adi Granov’s artist vision on the Iron Man films?

Let’s begin!
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The Line it is Drawn #216 – Breaking the Internet!

Welcome to our weekly gallery of amazing art by our great collection of artistic talent, all working from YOUR suggestions!

Go follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter (if you have Twitter, that is – if you don’t, you can go sign up). Here is our Twitter page… http://twitter.com/csbg. And here are the Comics Should Be Good writers who are on Twitter (the links go to the person’s Twitter account) – myself, Greg Hatcher, Chad Nevett, Kelly Thompson, Bill Reed, Greg Burgas, Sonia Harris, Melissa K. and Ken H.

I update the blog’s Twitter account updates whenever a new post is put up on the blog, so it’s an easy way to keep up with the blog. In addition, I post new content on the blog’s Twitter account.

Now on to the bit!

So every week, I ask a question here. You reply to it on our Twitter page (just write @csbg with your reply) and our artists will each pick one of your suggestions and I will post their drawings based on your suggestions here every week. So every week you will have a new question and you will see the choices picked from the previous week. Here is an archive of all the previous editions of The Line It Is Drawn!

To qualify, you have to be following us when you reply – so go follow us and then give your answer to the following question/challenge (All suggestions due by 3pm Pacific Friday).

The topic is…

True Rock and Roll Superheroes! Pick four or five superheroes and our artists will draw them as a rock band. The superheroes don’t have to have any prior connection! NOTE: These suggestions will appear in two weeks.

Read on for the drawings that came about courtesy of the last question/challenge!

In honor of “Breaking the Internet” becoming a big thing this week, come up with a comic book plot twist that would “break the internet.” The Joker becomes the new Batman, Norman Osborn marries a resurrected Gwen Stacy, stuff like that. It’s basically another “Dramatic Revelations” week, if you want to go that route.

Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 324: Erik Larsen, Part 1 – Faze One Fazers #4

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Erik Larsen, and the issue is Faze One Fazers #4, which was published by AC Comics and is cover dated 1986. Enjoy!
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Foggy Ruins of Time – John Byrne’s Inspiration for Wolverine

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This is the latest in a series giving you the cultural context behind certain comic book characters/behaviors. You know, the sort of then-topical references that have faded into the “foggy ruins of time.” To wit, twenty years from now, a college senior watching episodes of Seinfeld will likely miss a lot of the then-topical pop culture humor (like the very specific references in “The Understudy” to the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding scandal). Here is an archive of all the Foggy Ruins of Time installments so far.

Today, we take a look at the not-so-well-known actor who was the inspiration for John Byrne’s take on Wolverine…
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1987 And All That: Blue Beetle #8-19

A column in which Matt Derman (Comics Matter) reads & reviews comics from 1987, because that’s the year he was born. Click here for an archive of all the previous posts in the series.

BlueBeetle1Blue Beetle #8-19 (DC) by Len Wein, Joey Cavalieri (#12), R.J.M. Lofficer (#14-15, 17-19), Paris Cullins (#8-9, 11-14, 17-18), Chuck Patton (#10), Ross Andru (#15-16, 19), Dell Barras (#8-15), Danny Bulanadi (#16-17, 19), Carl Gafford (#8), Gene D’Angelo (#9-19), John Costanza, Karen Berger (#8-13), Denny O’Neil (#14-19)

To be a superhero requires a certain amount of optimism. It’s not just about having power, but also about believing that you can use that power to make an actual difference. It’s about picking the good side in the never-ending good-vs.-evil conflict that rages within and around us all, and convincing yourself and the world that you’re contributing something, that you’re genuinely helping your side win in the short- and/or long-term. I suppose this requires some level of ego/arrogance, too, and probably more than a little delusion. The titular star of Blue Beetle certainly possesses both of those traits, but it is the aforementioned optimism that shines through most brightly with that character and the series as a whole. Ted Kord earnestly, enthusiastically does good for it’s own sake, and seems to find that it is it’s own reward, too. His life is full of other rewards— money, status, romance, an entire corporation to run—but his superheroics are what take precedence and usurp most of his time, because that’s what most interests and satisfies him. It even, at times, gets in the way of his other obligations, but ultimately Kord chooses over and over to put his Blue Beetle activities first since he thinks of them as the most important, valuable work he does. Continue Reading »

Year of the Artist, Day 323: Nick Dragotta, Part 5 – East of West #4

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Nick Dragotta, and the issue is East of West #4, which was published by Image and is cover dated July 2013. Enjoy!
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Committed: “The Dark Knight Strikes Again” 12 Years Later

111914_dk2_amazonRecently I had to take a look at The Dark Knight Strikes Again and it surprised me. It looked pretty good, had some funny, energetic treatments of old characters and an engaging story arc. I particularly enjoyed the variety of techniques used in the coloring, which heavily supplemented the mood and dynamism of the book.

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