Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
On the narrow Augesd dam where for so many years the old miller had been accustomed to sit in his tasseled cap peacefully angling, while his grandson, with shirt sleeves rolled up, handled the floundering silvery fish in the watering can, on that dam over which for so many years Moravians in shaggy caps and blue jackets had peacefully driven their two-horse carts loaded with wheat and had returned dusty with flour whitening their carts – on that narrow dam amid the wagons and the cannon, under the horses’ hoofs and between the wagon wheels, men disfigured by fear of death now crowded together, crushing one another, dying, stepping over the dying and killing on another, only to move on a few steps and be killed themselves in the same way. (Leo Tolstoy, from War and Peace)
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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Jill Thompson, and the issue is Beasts of Burden #1, which was published by Dark Horse and is cover dated September 2009. Enjoy!
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Welcome back to my annual female positive comics holiday gift list – yes, I’ve done it twice now, so it’s officially an “annual thing”. And if you love lists, you’re going to be all about She Has No Head! this December as it’s a month of lists – starting with today’s holiday gift list, then a two part list of my favorite female creators of 2010, and rounding out the month with a best (and a few worsts) of 2010 list. Let’s get started!
So the holidays are upon us and you’ve decided that in these tough economic times you want to support the industry by giving everyone on your list sweet comics. And not only that, but you want to take it one step further and only give female positive comics…well, in that super specific case you’ve found the right list.
This year, in addition to picking excellent female positive titles, I also limited myself to books released in 2010 only…enjoy!
01. For the collector in your life. This oversized hardcover edition of Wednesday Comics is a gorgeous book that is only superseded in coolness by the original newsprint issues. Bonus points if you can track those down and deliver both in one gorgeous package that would make any collector salivate.
What it is: Wednesday Comics was a stunning experiment that I hope Mark Chiarello will try to duplicate sometime in the future – an experiment in which he took some of absolute best artists and writers working in comics and told them to do whatever they wanted. The result is some of the most creative, interesting, and flat out beautiful work I’ve seen in a VERY many years. Wednesday Comics collects stories from Neil Gaiman, Kurt Busiek, Amanda Conner, David Azzarello, Jimmy Palmiotti, Dave Gibbons, Karl Kerschl, Mike Allred, Ben Caldwell and many others and focuses on a large variety of characters from Wonder Woman and Batman to Sgt. Rock and Metamorpho.
Why it’s female positive: Stories featuring heavy-hitters Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Catwoman (among others), plus 12 huge beautiful Supergirl pages by artist Amanda Conner.
Wednesday Comics. Mark Chiarello (editor). Various Writers, Various artists. DC Comics. $49.99. Full Color. Hardcover (large format size). 200 Pages. Release date: June 1, 2010.
The great French revolutionary hero Danton, who will lose his head during the ‘Terror,’ is making a rueful remark. ‘… But Robespierre and the people,’ he observes, ‘are virtuous.’ Danton is on a London stage, not really Danton at all but an actor speaking lines of Georg Büchner in English translation; and the time is not then, but now. I don’t know if the thought originated in French, German, or English, but I do know that it seems astonishingly bleak – because what it means, obviously, is that the people are like Robespierre. Danton may be the hero of the revolution, but he also likes wine, fine clothes, whores; weaknesses which (the audience instantly sees) will enable Robespierre, a good actor in a green coat, to cut him down. When Danton is sent to visit the widow, old Madame Guillotine with her basket of heads, we know it isn’t really on account of any real or trumped-up political crimes. He gets the chop (miraculously staged) because he is too fond of pleasure. Epicureanism is subversive. The people are like Robespierre. They distrust fun. (Salman Rushdie, from Shame)
Ah, villains, hath that Mortimer escap’d?
With him is Edmund gone associate?
And will Sir John of Hainault lead the round?
Welcome, o’ God’s name, madam, and your son!
England shall welcome you and all your rout.
Gallop apace, bright Phoebus, through the sky;
And, dusky Night, in rusty iron car,
Between you both shorten the time, I pray,
That I may see that most desired day,
When we may meet these traitors in the field!
Ah, nothing grieves me, but my little boy
Is thus misled to countenance their ills!
Come, friends, to Bristow, there to make us strong:
And, winds, as equal be to bring them in,
As you injurious were to bear them forth!
I remember when I was in love, I broke my sword upon a stone, and bid him take that for coming a-night to Jane Smile; and I remember the kissing of her batler and the cow’s dugs that her pretty chopp’d hands had milk’d; and I remember the wooing of a peascod instead of her, from whom I took two cods, and giving her them again, said with weeping tears, “Wear these for my sake.” We that are true lovers run into strange capers; but as all is mortal in nature, so is all nature in love mortal in folly.
I didn’t buy all of these – two were sent to me – but dang, that’s a grip of funnybooks, ain’t it?
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Man, was I sick last week.
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