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Fables Archives - Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources

Committed: the Fallacy of Superheroes for Boys & Fantasy for Girls

022713_spideyLike a lot of adult comic book readers do at some point, I’ve been taking stock of my reading choices and the type of mainstream, ongoing, monthly comic books which I read. It took me a while to figure out what was bothering me, but I found that I was making a couple of assumptions which, upon closer examination, were wrong.

1. I’ve been assuming that I read predominantly two types of comic books; fantasy and superhero (apart from the odd foray into horror, bios, and science fiction.)
2. Without thought and with quite some negative judgement about it, I’ve been thinking of the fantasy genre comic books as “girl” comics, and the superhero ones as “boy” comics (e.g. some weeks are “girl heavy”).

These are depressingly reductive ways to look at the comic books I enjoy, and the more I thought about it, the more I saw how wrong I was.

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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 270: Fables #48

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from Fables #48, which was published by DC/Vertigo and is cover dated June 2006. Enjoy!
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What I bought – 19 September 2012

“What of the success of the Expulsion?” Carranque asked. The driver was momentarily silenced.

“Success for the Catholics?” I ventured.

“Certainly not, Señora.” Now it was Carranque who laughed. “The Expulsion of the Jews was an unmitigated disaster for the Catholics. For a brief time, Their Catholic Majesties feasted on the properties and treasures left behind by the running Jews. But after a very short while they awoke to the truth that their best and their brightest had fled. Gone were their merchants, their statesmen, their doctors, their artisans and their artists, their poets, their musicians, their singers, and their leatherworkers. Without its Jews, Spain dried up into the shriveled olive it is today.”

“So the success?”

“Was the success of the Jews — the Jews who fled to Morocco, to Italy, to Greece, to Turkey, to the Netherlands. They spread their art and learning across the Mediterranean, through the Strait of Gibraltar and northward into Europe. They made a virtue of exile, found their greatest reward in exile, found their humanity, their lost identity, in exile.” (Jonathan Levi, from A Guide For The Perplexed)

Dive booooommmmmmmmbbbbbbb! He's on his way! It doesn't have much to do with the issue, but that's a cool-ass cover Yes, she took all that time to put a Bat-tread on her boots, because she has nothing better to do I like this cover a lot, but I have NO IDEA how Lapham is tying it into the story inside the book Adieu! It's just unfair how good this looks! Bisley draws Epiphany like a typical fashion model! Even Francavilla's boring covers are good! Man, this cover motif sucks Snakes? She's not going to last long in space with that outfit on! Another cool cover by Yardin! It's all over!
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What I bought – 22 August 2012

We have done as much with the matter of birth and parenting, dividing ourselves into different teams – pro-Thisers or pro-Thaters – with no middle ground, as there seldom is in matters of life and death. The debate is controlled by the extremes, each side shouting answers and accusations over the heads of the people in between, who are kept from formulating questions by the din of the argument all around them. Each paints the other with a broader brush. Each has an arsenal of names and adjectives to deploy against the other side. No one listens. Everyone screams. (Thomas Lynch, from The Undertaking)

It's Ramos-tastic! All you need is booze! Well, that's certainly something It's funny AND insulting to veterans! How did that dolphin write that? Jodhpurs! This is kind of a misleading cover, but whatever I can't stop staring at Logan's mismatched eyes! It really is too much awesome I'm not sure how this has gotten more disturbing, BUT IT HAS! Well, this looks cool I'm glad this LOOKS insane - let's hope it reads like that!
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What I bought – 11 and 18 July 2012

“How do you feel, Yossarian?”

“Fine. No, I’m very frightened.”

“That’s good,” said Major Danby. “It proves you’re still alive.” (Joseph Heller, from Catch-22)

Where's the octopus in this book, damn it? She'd look a lot more bad-ass if it weren't for that STUPID COSTUME!!!! Symbolism! I'd be too busy freaked out to fight! Look at that hair!!!! Man, this is insane ONE HUNDRED FOUR PAGES, BITCHES!!!!! Dang, that's an ugly cover Why does he have a four on his chest? Holy crap, that's an awesome cover Oh, John, you rascal! Dude, keep your hands on the handlebars! Touch it!!!! That's some bad breath right there Let's debate this cover below! Where's the credit? Trippy! TWO supine female characters?  Does Kelly know about this? Is she the princess or the warrior? No wonder cats hate water It's a kids' book! Does that sword whistle when he uses it? What are they looking at? Gotta catch up! Am I going to hell for supporting this? Clint, no! Dang, that's a big sword
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What I bought – 20 June 2012

For them it might stave off what he could not help but see with clarity: that the world was silent and cold and bare and that in this lay its terrible beauty. (David Guterson, from Snow Falling on Cedars)

Poor little Sentinel! I like how she's going to fight all those bad guys with that little weapon More freaky than you are! Sure, let's go around again! You'd think that ghosts would be beyond modesty BLAMMO!!!! Yet another exhibit of why dolls are freaky This would be a lot cooler if it weren't so dark Man, Bisley is good at these! That is a REALLY shiny knife My retailer squirreled away a lot of the best ones, but I do dig this card! I really expect more from Francavilla Talk about phoning it in! He's a cool assassin because he smokes weed! My mind is full of stuff like that all the time! I love the scarf! Get it??? It's all mod and shit! It's olde-tyme Lemire! Admit it: you totally thought this dude was naked! Tardi FTW! Now, where's my Blueberry omnibus for a side-by-side comparison?!? Steampunk?  Really?
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What I bought – 23 May 2012

“That’s one of the Devil’s main tricks, of course. Fill a man with faith. What evils, what absolute horrors the noble sword of faith sends pouring into the world!” (John Gardner, from Freddy’s Book)


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What I bought – 25 April 2012

And Savinkov remembered that Kaliayev had once said to him, “Everything is beautiful. The stars and clouds and flowers and people and — death is beautiful, too.” (Otto Friedrich, from The End of the World)

See ya! Don't piss off the clockwork tiger! Fight Night! You know, I was never a fan of burnt marshmallows Well, that's not going to end well Oh, Howard Hughes - you're such a crazy dude! Who knew Hendrix was in cahoots with all those conspirators? Too damned big!
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What I bought – 21 March 2012

And so I stood perfectly still with folded arms, allowing my eyes to receive the tracery of apian flight, so like curling silver strings in the air. White butterflies, faint as powder on a mirror, yet imbued with the mysterious force of life, hovered and flitted, half-powered by their own efforts and half-carried by the breeze. That all these creatures, and all these plants and dirt and blossoms, from the earthworms to the dung beetles, to the rhododendrons, catnip, delphinium, clematis, lupine, campanula, and bearded iris should all come together here in this spot to create this wondrous place seemed a fact beyond all possibility of mere formality, betokening some kind of marvelous presence having the sense of an artist and the mechanical persistence of an inventor. (Steve Szilagyi, from Photographing Fairies)

I'd vote for him! She doesn't look happy! She has no head! Poor Jason Blood! Cliff is looking at himself! J'accuse! Toby has that fancy helmet, but he's using a gun? What an odd pin-up calendar! Boing! That has to get in the way, doesn't it? Good comix! It's WEE!
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What I bought – 15 February 2012

“Usually girls dance together because the boys are too shy to ask. But this boy – I didn’t know him – he asked me to dance, and so we had the first dance and then the next, and by that time we were talking … And you know what it is when you like someone, you know it at once; well, I liked him such a lot. And we kept on talking and then there was a birthday cake. And he took a bit of marzipan and he just gently put it in my mouth – I remember trying to smile, and blushing, and feeling so foolish – and I fell in love with him just for that, for the gentle way he touched my lips with the marzipan.” (Philip Pullman, from The Amber Spyglass)

Come ON! Which of these characters wouldn't you trust? She really needs a haircut! That's a cool coloring job on that cover Shouldn't Man-Thing be on this cover? Honestly, the boobs almost dominate the entire cover here Well, you probably should get off that cross, then Hot damn! Take your time with these, Marvel - no hurry! Grrrrrrr ...
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Committed: Targeted Marketing for the Geek-Curious

Outside of comic books themselves, there is very little advertising for comic books, online or on television. Targeting non-comic book readers could be effective, but are the corporations who own comic book publishers really trying to sell comic books?

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What I bought – 18 January 2012

“I’ve always believed, Josef, that we are more in love with desire than with the desired!” (Irvin D. Yalom, from When Nietzsche Wept)

Well, that's a phallic blade right there Appetizing! It was the style of the times! You can't stay mad at it! So much creepy sexual imagery I don't even know where to start! She's making Rockwell paranoid! I think that explosion would knock him over 'Don't tell anyone I like 2 Broke Girls!!!!!' Like the concept, hate the execution Robert Plant should have had a cameo Now batting ... the golem! More French comics!  Or, as I like to call them, 'Freedom Comics'
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What I bought – 21 December 2011

Was the rise of the radical intelligentsia desirable, was their unchecked progress necessary in order that mankind might be led to the broad uplands of democratic freedom? Or was the very concept of democratic freedom a blind alley, developed to make the world safe for an intelligentsia which is only happy when playing at politics, at no matter what cost in suffering to the multitude? (Edward Crankshaw, from The Fall of the House of Habsburg)

The God of All Comics is back, baby! Man, Chaykin is pretty terrible these days, isn't he? Dang, that's a cool cover John doesn't actually go to New York in this comic Brereton + Roman history = AWESOME! Well, I mean, maybe he should move away from Death Way to give away the game, DC So much RAGE! Now THAT'S funny! With Sergio Aragones?!?!? Well, that has to suck She actually wears that hat in this comic! Omnibi rule, man!
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Committed: This one goes to 11…

Last week I was finally walking again and able to pick up three weeks of saved comic books! In the haze of ankle sprain and grouchy tiredness, it was incredibly blissful to lie in bed reading the ongoing stories of some comic books that I know I love. Just for fun, and because I’ve been reading a lot of older comic books lately, I thought I’d give you a quick one paragraph synopsis of each book I read. I have to say, it was a very good month. Maybe I’m good at picking out books I like, but I have to say, this was a very entertaining batch and had me rethinking my questions about the quality of the years books…

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What I bought – 30 November 2011

“Maybe I’m crazy. But there’s something in me that loves Death. I think of myself as Death, sometimes. In a scarlet shroud, floating through the night. I’m so beautiful, then. And sad. And hungry to make the whole world happy, by taking them out where I am, into the night, away from all trouble, all unhappiness … Walter, this is the awful part. I know this is terrible. I tell myself it’s terrible. But to me, it doesn’t seem terrible. It seems as though I’m doing something – that’s really best for him, if he only knew it. Do you understand me, Walter?”

“No.” (James M. Cain, from Double Indemnity)

There is no DeLorean in this book! Monkey-hanging is F-U-N! Dang, I love this cover Don't fuck with ...... the ferrets! Not a hoax!  Not an imaginary issue! So much rage! If it's Shinku, there's going to be blood! What strange hold does Nick Spencer have on editors?!?!? Mouth-spanning saliva!!!! So much death! Hey, look!  It came out! It's Arthur Adams all over the place! Finally! Can you stand all the Gillen?
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