Barbarella, Kelly-Sue and Unapologetic Lady Sex

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If you appreciate the cultural significance of comics, then Barbarella should be a part of your repertoire. Mind you, I didn’t know this until about two months ago. I hope to save ya’ll from such ignorance.

Barbarella 1If you don’t know, Barbarella is a French comic from the early sixties by Jean-Claude Forest. Apparently, France was (and possibly still is) where it’s at for progressive themes in comics, particularly for women and the expression of their sexuality.

While Barbarella was busy being a women’s sexual liberation icon in France, Grove Press published an English version of the comic on this side of the pond in the mid-60s. But that translation is dated.

Humanoids Inc partnered with Kelly-Sue DeConnick to do a contemporary take on the original French version. I had the privilege of reading Kelly-Sue’s adaptation, and guys, this comic is a game-changer. Continue reading

The Comments Thread: Busiek Tells It Like It Is

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So this morning I was checking out an article on The Beat, and as usual proceeded into the belly of the beast, a.k.a. the comments section, to see what great things people men had to say on the subject of the sexualization of men vs. women in comics. The post had used a few pictures to highlight what it looks like when men are sexualized.

It started out as expected, with commenters wondering just what sort of problem women could possibly have with this unequal and oftentimes inappropriate representation. It must have something to do with our self-esteem! Continue reading

Reimagining the Female Superhero

Saturday I attended a panel at Special Edition: NYC, and from what I gathered it was one of the only panels that day that was even nearing maximum capacity. The Carol Corps, various members of the Young Avengers team, and plenty more in addition to myself waited patiently in the ever-growing line for this event. It was pretty much the only reason I went to the convention that day. It seems that many others had the same idea. Continue reading

All Roads Lead to Shutter: An Interview with Joe Keatinge

Joe Keatinge’s star might still be rising, but his place in the industry was secured after the launch of his acclaimed run on Glory in 2012. Since then, books like Hell Yeah, DC Comics Presents, Morbius: The Living Vampire, and Marvel Knights: Hulk have (relative merits aside) served as stepping stones to Keatinge and artist Leila del Duca’s newest creator-owned series, Shutter.

Joe kindly took some time to chat with me about life, comics, and his new book. There was also some wine and a sandwich, which have been edited for your reading pleasure. Continue reading

G3 Interview: Rob Kelly of ‘Hey Kids, Comics!’

Hey Kids ComicsAs anyone who loves comics knows, the books we buy every Wednesday are more than stories on a page. For those of us who got hooked on the medium as children, comic books are intertwined with some of our most powerful memories, good and bad.

Robert J. Kelly, or Rob as we know him, has captured that in “Hey Kids, Comics!” a diverse collection of essays by longtime comic book lovers including the likes of Archie Comics writer Paul Kupperberg, NPR contributor Glen Weldon, TV/comics writer J.M. DeMatteis and, somehow, yours truly. I’m grateful to Rob for the opportunity to be part of a wonderful project that’s a pleasure to read. “Hey Kids, Comics!” isn’t about the minutia of comics but the magic. Continue reading

Gold, Guts and Grog: Introducing Rat Queens

One of the many announcements rolling out of C2E2 this weekend is the new project we teased here a couple of weeks ago by Peter Panzerfaust writer Kurtis Wiebe and artist Roc Upchurch. The title of the series is Rat Queens and it will be published by Image Comics’ Shadowline imprint.

Rat Queens will follow the exploits of four monster-hunting women whose love of partying is outweighed only by their love of exacting sweet, brutal revenge on their enemies.”

Sounds fun, right?

I have got a five-page preview below that says just that. But first, I had a chance to ask the writer, Kurtis Wiebe, a few questions. Continue reading

G3 Interview: Gail Simone, Part II

No one can say that Gail Simone isn’t available to her fans. She has long maintained an open dialogue with readers on her Tumblr and Twitter, and she’ll take on the tough and controversial subjects that are bound to come up in the highly opinionated world of comics. In Part II of our interview, Gail shares her thoughts on the writer-reader relationship, talks about reuniting with artist Jim Calafiore for Leaving Megalopolis, and answers a burning question we saved for the end. Continue reading

G3 Interview: Rob Kelly of ‘Ace Kilroy’

Back in the Mesozoic era, I spent a lot of time reading newspaper comic strips. They were a natural source of entertainment for a kid who already loved comic books, and the Sunday funnies section in particular was a big, colorful treasure box. While I was partial to the more contemporary stuff like Bloom County and (do not laugh) Funky Winkerbean, the long-running adventure strips — think Dick Tracy and Mark Trail — were undeniable classics.

The new Ace Kilroy webcomic, created by Joe Kubert School alums Rob Kelly and Dan O’Conner, is an homage to those old-fashioned serial comic strips. Set in the 1930s, it stars a square-jawed, hard-drinkin’ soldier of fortune who’s been tapped by FDR to take on a mission involving vampires, werewolves and the Third Reich. Continue reading

Hell, Yeah! All-Female Creative Team Reveals Teenage Satan Comic

If you’re at Boston Comic-Con right now, chances are you’ve heard the buzz about Teenage Satan, an online, multimedia comic project unveiled just today by the creative team of artist Stephanie Buscema, and writers Marsha Cooke and Candis Cooke. All-female, creator-owned comics are a rarity, and these days, any comics for young adults are scarce. Teenage Satan will fill that niche with the adventures of Luc, a 14-year-old high school freshman who just happens to be the future leader of the underworld. Continue reading

Q&A: Wapsi Square’s Paul Taylor

There’s a stereotypical notion that men don’t know how to write female characters, but readers of Paul Taylor’s Wapsi Square would beg to differ. While this online comic is supernatural and often macabre in nature, it’s grounded in the relationships and everyday lives of its young, female characters. Museum anthropologist Monica Villarreal is a twentysomething with a close-knit and diverse group of girlfriends, but she also happens to live with an Aztec god … of alcohol. The comic has been going strong for a decade, and Wapsi Square won a 2009 Lulu Award for Best Female Character. Writer/artist Paul Taylor gave us some insight into the creator-owned strip, which he suggests newcomers start from the beginning. Continue reading