Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Some books simply demand the stark simplicity of no color, the absence of any warmth or hope. Steve Dillon’s stunningly beautiful artwork shines in black and white. Simultaneously, Jason Aaron creates an all-encompassing bleak world view for the inhabitants of the Punisher’s world. The PunisherMAX has little use for color.
Life is like invading Russia. A blitz start, massed shakos, plumes dancing like a flustered henhouse; a period of svelte progress recorded in ebullient despatches as the enemy falls back; then the beginning of a long, morale-sapping trudge with rations getting shorter and the first snowflakes upon your face. The enemy burns Moscow and you yield to General January, whose very fingernails are icicles. Bitter retreat. Harrying Cossacks. Eventually you fall beneath a boy-gunner’s grapeshot while crossing some Polish river not even marked on your general’s map. (Julian Barnes, from Talking It Over)
While marketing departments say otherwise, I would always rather wait for an incredibly late “monthly” comic book than read below par work or fill-in artists and writers. Increasingly I find myself appreciating the comic book creators who withstand external pressure and take the necessary time for their work.
Recently I noticed something a little creepy, nothing groundbreaking, but it’s not good news, particularly for all you men out there. Nearly all of the American independent comic books that I’ve read, present the most degenerate and pathetic versions of men. Horrible, miserable, unhappy, lazy, stupid, selfish, unhealthy men. Men you do not want to meet. For some reason, these comics are regarded as being more realistic and less ridiculous than super hero comics. Can this really be true, or are we a country of men-haters? Aren’t men just as likely to be powerful heroes, as they are to be pathetic losers? Aren’t both depictions equally outrageous? Continue Reading »
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