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Romeo Tanghal Archives | Comics Should Be Good @ CBR

1987 And All That: D.P. 7 #3-14

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.

CoverD.P. 7 #3-14 (Marvel) by Mark Greunwald, Paul Ryan, Romeo Tanghal, Al Williamson, Danny Bulanadi, Paul Becton, Phil Felix

Realism in superhero comics is an interesting struggle. Because there is an inherently fantastical element to any story involving people with impossible powers, finding a way to keep them grounded is not always an easy or obvious task. Typically, these are narratives about grown men and women who make up secret names for themselves and throw on outlandish, bright, skintight costumes every time there’s someone evil to punch. This is not exactly a genre that lends itself to a believable narrative.  And it’s not that every superhero story needs realism, but those that do strive for it often go the “grim and gritty” route, seeing brutality and depression as the only means of bringing their demigod-like characters back down to Earth. To keep things exciting and intense without always relying on larger-than-life, city-block-devastating action, creators will turn to the ugliest, darkest aspects of human nature and heighten them to superheroic levels. And certainly many great things have come from this strategy, but more and more often it feels like current creators are piling on the darkness without any rhyme or reason, and the results are just as unrealistic as anything, only bleaker and more violent. D.P. 7 offers a different approach, realistic not because of any darkness in tone but because of its pacing, telling its story in as close to real time as it can. At its best, this tactic makes the series better and smarter than your average comic book by far. But at its worst, it’s incredibly boring. As boring as real life. Continue Reading »

Trade paperbacks, older editions, and miscellaneous for July and August 2015

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I do these fairly haphazardly, don’t I? Oh well – that’s the way it is!
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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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Year of the Artist, Day 137: Bill Willingham, Part 4 – Green Lantern #48

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Bill Willingham, and the issue is Green Lantern #48, which was published by DC and is cover dated January 1994. Enjoy!
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What I bought – March 2014 selections

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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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Year of the Artist, Day 80: Jill Thompson, Part 2 – Wonder Woman #46

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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 Wonder Woman #46, which was published by DC and is cover dated September 1990. Enjoy!
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