Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
I have comic book weapons on the brain these days. I’ve been working on a few comic pitches and weapons are involved (because of course they are). And it got me thinking about all the great weapons I love in comics.
Comic have heavily influenced both of my novels – and for the second novel – Storykiller - I decided I needed to create a weapon worthy of my lead, her mission, and the massive world I was creating. So it was with a lot of my favorite comic book weapons in mind that I created La Colombe Noire (The Black Dove) a magical double sided axe that could only be called forth (and wielded) by its owner and its ownership could only be transferred by killing the previous owner with it. The Black Dove turned out to be one of my favorite things in Storykiller, though it certainly helped to have artists like Sophie Campbell and Stephanie Hans bringing it to beautiful life:
So I though it might make for a fun column to talk about some of my favorite comic book weapons. What’s on this list…well, there’s a mountain of great weapons in the comic-verse, but since this column is about women in comics I decided to stick to weapons that have been wielded by women at some point or another (sometimes exclusively, sometimes not). And then here’s the usual disclaimer: these are not necessarily the “most powerful” or “best” weapons but just my favorites — both those I enjoy reading about and those that I would most definitely like to get my hands on as a creator!
In no particular order:
Inside this episode!
We begin with a review of Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s creator-owned Descender #1 from Image. We’ve also got a review off All-New Hawkeye #1 by Jeff Lemire, Ramon Perez, and Ian Herring (though the cover below is by the remarkable Sho Murase). Then very special guest Brenden Fletcher joins us to talk about all things Gotham Academy, Batgirl, and his forthcoming Black Canary ongoing and Brenden and I try to figure out a way to have a Jem, Black Canary, Spider-Gwen crossover. Coolest. Crossover. Ever.
3 Chicks Review Comics is a podcast featuring female comics lovers and bloggers. Sue from DC Women Kicking Ass and Kelly Thompson writer She Has No Head! and IDW’s Jem and The Holograms, Tune in to CSBG every other Monday at noon as we review comics and discuss hot topics of the week. And follow us on twitter here: Kelly and Sue. Special thanks to Caanan Grall for our incredible 3 Chicks Logo and to Nik Furious for our awesome 3 Chicks theme song.
Another poet compared his beloved’s upper-lip hairs to the feathers of a parrot feeding a pistachio to the beloved’s lips. To help me appreciate the richness of this poetic image, Diloram drew a picture of it in my notebook. It was terrifying. (Elif Batumen, from The Possessed)
Continue Reading »
It’s that time of year again, the time for a million lists, including my 25 Favorite Fictional Females in comics list. Like all years, this was tough. Like all years, I’m never quite convinced I’ve got the list right, but for better or worse, here we are!
Fair warning, if someone was repeated from a previous year, I often cribbed some of the text from my previous post with some light updates to reflect changes. Here are last year’s list and the first list in 2010 (as well as a 10 ladies making a run for the title list) in case you’d like to read about even more female characters in comics. It was a really exciting year and with a promising 2015 ahead of us I’m very excited about where we are when it comes to our progress with female characters – as always things are a bit two forward and one back, but we’re making progress! I’d like this list a bit better if there were more indie ladies on it (there are so many that are worthy) but Marvel’s push with female characters this past year did a good job of gobbling up a good number of spots.
Like last year, what I found most interesting is how some characters managed to triumph over lack of material or worse, bad material. Wonder Woman, despite the fact that I can’t read her book, hasn’t fallen much– maybe she’s just got so much iconic power that others are helpless to overcome the big shadow she casts? I spent a lot of time when trying to organize my list this year thinking about the characters that I’d most like to see creators work with in new series – that was how I ended up defining where they fell – how interested I found myself in seeing them in new stories. Still, you can’t underestimate the power of reading both old and new – Black Widow makes the list this year (finally) thanks to some damn fine work by Nathan Edmonson and Phil Noto, while Big Barda shoots up the list because I took some time out this year to read/re-read all her classic Kirby stories…and how can one deny her utter dominance after doing that??
“Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love: it is the faithless who know love’s triangles.” (Oscar Wilde, from The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Continue Reading »
There were so many good books last week, guys!
Seriously, I did not even make it through my whole reading stack, and still I had too much trouble trying to pick just one to write about for this week’s column. So instead we’re going to do a tiny bit on several, including some gorgeous images. One of these books is actually NOT a pick, but I wanted to talk a little bit about why it skates so close to being a pick and then 2 panels at the end completely ruined the whole book for me. Very disappointed.
So let’s get to those books!
There comes a time in the life cycle of a nation when no decision that can be made is the right one and no action that can be taken is intelligent. (Joseph Heller, from Picture This)
Continue Reading »
News last week of my beloved Rogue being left on the cutting room floor for the forthcoming X-Men Days of Future Past film had me all mopey and thinking about why certain characters mean so much to me, and who manages to hang on, despite all odds. It was time for a list!
[As a sidebar, I didn’t have time this year to do my annual holiday gift list, but I’ve included links to all of these characters’ best or recent work that I mention so that if you’re shopping super late this year, this could help you out.] And fair warning, before we begin, if a character was repeated on the list and I didn’t have a ton of new thoughts on her I cribbed heavily from my 2010 post, but I gave myself permission, so don’t worry.
As mentioned, back in 2010 I did a 20 Favorite Fiction Females post, and now, after a truly exciting year for female characters in comics, and with a promising 2014 ahead of us, I thought it might be time to revisit the list. See who still makes the cut and who fell clean off. I did a post in early 2013 about 10 characters that were making a run for the title, and some of those ladies did indeed make the jump, and deservedly so.
Dare you say men are as gods? the shocked inquisitors in Rome would ask him. Can they change the stars in their courses? They can, Bruno answers; they can; they have already. (John Crowley from Ægypt)
Continue Reading »
I was thinking a lot this past week about Young Avengers forthcoming end with issue #15, and how, as disappointed as I am to not be getting that book as a continued ongoing, there’s something wonderful about how Gillen and McKelvie’s Young Avengers will now exist as a nearly perfect 15 issue run, with limited guest artists, no phone-it-in-issues (which just happens over a long run, it’s only natural), one clear and concise vision, and most importantly, no damn crossover issues or messy event tie-ins. Young Avengers will be able to be collected into a few awesome trades, and if we’re lucky someday maybe a sweet little omnibus. It will be a great book to put on your shelf and go back to time and time again. Kind of like the wonder that is Nextwave Agents of H.A.T.E. – which I re-read at least once every year – and which stands out in the way that only the “brilliant but cancelled” can.
But maybe these things don’t have to be “cancelled,” maybe, instead, like Young Avengers they can just choose to be one smaller and more defined moment.
I’m feeling a little burned out both as a writer and as a comics reader. Add to that the fact that the focus of this column (women in comics) is sometimes too narrow a focus for my interests. Hell, it’s kind of amazing that I’ve been able to talk about such a thing for nearly 4 years (yup, 4 year anniversary coming up in November!). On the subject of women in comics, most of the time, you need only ask, and the comics gods will provide. Still, I’m a bit exhausted. So I thought maybe we could just talk. I’ll say some things, and I’ll ask some questions, and if I’m very lucky some of you will be interested enough in what I’m talking about to talk back in the comments.
This was just one of those weeks that makes you want to stop the planet and get off. While I was feeling as if there was no escape from the horrible crap happening, I happened across this old Daniel Clowes 2009 New Yorker cover — one of my favorites — and decided to focus on some positive comics stuff as a coping mechanism.
Here is your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
Create the ultimate comics time capsule that aliens will someday discover. Show them the best of comics (and the world? your call!) with the 22* comics you’re allowed to put inside the capsule. Are they the 22 comics you think are the greatest of all time? Or are they the best and strongest representation of what we had to offer in quality and breadth? Are they just the ones you can read over and over again? Are all of those the same thing? Again, your call!
A few simple rules:
#1. You can put in an omnibus if it exists, as 1 entry (example: The Planetary Omnibus – in it goes!)
#2. It has to be already out, as of today (example: The Planetary Omnibus does not come out until January 2014. Damnit! Out it goes).
#3. You cannot put in all the individual trades of a book’s run in the capsule as 1 entry (example Y: The Last Man). You CAN fill the capsule with 22 volumes of the same thing, but even *I* have to question your judgement there!
#4. We’ll make an exception for special books bound together in a case/collection (example: The Collected Calvin & Hobbes can go in, or Bryan Lee O’Malley’s complete Scott Pilgrim series, as well as unique one of kind comics experiments of the form – like Chris Ware’s Building Stories). Unfortunately, something like all the gorgeous Wednesdays Comics in their original format would not work (unless you wanted to use it as multiple entries), but you could put in the collected edition…man, I wish I had room for that. Damn!
#5. Only comics. So, no, as much as you’re dying to put in my brilliant take on female superheroes in prose form (cough>The Girl Who Would Be King<cough), it’s a novel and thus is not eligible. Double damn!
#6. Yes, you can put in single issues, but man that single issue better be good!
For the rest, you guys decide, they’re your lists, I don’t have our fearless leader’s skills or devotion, so I’m not going to make individual rulings beyond the above. Have at it!
I probably don’t have anything new to say, but what the heck, right? We’re all friends here!
Continue Reading »
“Sotillo used to be very cordial to me at the Goulds’ and at the club. How that man’ll ever dare to look any of his friends here in the face I can’t imagine.”
“He’ll no doubt begin by shooting some of them to get over the first awkwardness,” said the doctor. “Nothing in this country serves better your military man who has changed sides than a few summary executions.” (Joseph Conrad, from Nostromo)
Continue Reading »
Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.