Leia was the first princess who mattered to me.
Carrie Fisher — actress, feminist, author and truth-teller about living with mental illness — was not the “Star Wars” character she played. But to a girl growing up in the ‘70s and ‘80s, her portrayal of a brave, take-charge leader with a biting wit was unforgettable. I can’t imagine anyone else ripping Grand Moff Tarkin (“I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board.”), matching fast-talking Han Solo line for line (“Captain, being held by you isn’t quite enough to get me excited.”), and choking Jabba the Hut dead with the very chain he used to keep Leia captive.
Luke got the lightsaber, but Princess Leia was the character I wanted to be. Continue reading
Writer Mark Waid and artist Fiona Staples are working a special kind of magic with Archie #1. They’ve managed to create something that’s fresh and surprising without sacrificing any of the things that make the best Archie stories so much fun. The two of them just plain get it, and the result is a flawless re-launch that will delight longtime readers and intrigue newcomers. Continue reading
In a previous post, I provided ample evidence that Veronica Lodge is the worst best friend in comics. I also issued a plea for Betty to, once and for all, tell that backstabbing, entitled heifer where to go after decades of this nonsense. She finally did, and it was fantastic. (Spoiler Alert) Continue reading
If you had the resources, would you buy companionship? Not the temporary human kind but something programmed to serve and please you? And what if that companion were so lifelike that, at first glance, you wouldn’t know he or she wasn’t sentient?
It’s possible in Alex + Ada (Image), and the answers aren’t as simple as you’d think. The subject of people interacting with human-like beings has been explored before, but Alex + Ada goes beyond the obvious pros and cons to unfold in ways that are surprising, frequently suspenseful and emotionally resonant. After totally sleeping on this comic by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn for the past year, I’ve gone into full binge-reading mode. Continue reading
Wonder Woman entered the Meredith and David Finch era last week with issue #36, and the good news is that it succeeds in bridging the previous run and the new without being off-putting for new readers. Those of us who were worried about Diana looking overly cheesecakey can breathe easy, as David Finch’s take on the character is respectful. Meredith Finch’s story is perfectly fine overall, and I’m glad to see Wonder Woman back at the center of her title. There is no real “wow” factor to the proceedings, though. That’s not a deal-breaker this early in the game, but I do hope there is more than standard fare on the horizon. Check out my full Newsarama review HERE.
I am fully under the spell of “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” the latest top-notch offering from Archie Comics. Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, it’s a dark, compelling and completely accessible story with fantastic art by Robert Hack. Read my full review of issue #1 HERE.
As a longtime Riverdale fan, I had all of the feelings when Archie Comics announced a certain iconic redhead’s death in Life With Archie #36, out last week. You can read my review in Newsarama (and Lindsey’s review of Squidder #1), but suffice it to say that it fell short in my opinion. I say that as someone who has thoroughly enjoyed the Life With Archie series overall and cares about the characters in that universe. Check it out, and if you’ve read this issue, I’d love to know what you thought.
On brighter note, my friend Craig had an amazing idea: “It’s the perfect opportunity to pitch my proposal for “Betty and Veronica: Riverdale’s Avenging Angels.”
You’re welcome, comics.
Imagine for a moment being on Wonder Woman’s bad side. And then she shows up unexpectedly to have a little talk with you.
Cue awe and soiled garments.
That’s a scenario writer Gail Simone and artist Nicola Scott set up beautifully when Diana confronted our favorite anti-heroes in Secret Six #12. Wonder Woman’s memorable guest appearance through issue #14 was the icing on top of one of Secret Six’s best arcs, “The Depths.” There are so many things about this story I love, starting with the stark contrast between the highly principled princess and the most delightfully morally ambiguous crew in comics. In this arc, Wonder Woman was an imposing, justice-demanding force of nature. In other words, awesome. (Spoilers ahead) Continue reading
With Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang officially departing the Wonder Woman book this summer, our favorite Amazon is ripe for reassessment and, one can always hope, redemption. According to Bleeding Cool, Meredith and David Finch will take over writing and illustrator duties respectively.
Of all the issues G3 has had with the current run, Chiang’s exceptional art wasn’t one of them. Given the many conversations that have taken place about how female comics characters are drawn (See: The Hawkeye Initiative), the fact that DC is putting its marquee superheroine in the hands of an artist whose style skews cheesecake is a letdown but, at this point, not surprising. Having never read any of Meredith Finch’s work, I am keeping an open mind. Simply making the stories about the title character would be an improvement.
After V. and I reached our individual breaking points with the current state of Wonder Woman, we started talking about the times when creative teams got Diana absolutely right. In the spirit of being constructive, we decided to share some shining moments that captured the Amazon princess as she should be. Continue reading
As every smart parent knows, the best way to keep kids from becoming sexually active is to treat their feelings as something dirty, destructive and unmentionable. This is particularly true when you are raising daughters, because society does not go far enough in enforcing a double standard for males and females. Girls, nothing is more important than maintaining a good reputation! Take it from “First Kiss,” the cautionary tale from Falling In Love #118:
Your first boyfriend … Your first date … And your first kiss! And suddenly that one kiss leads to another and another and another … until you finally have to ask yourself: “Am I still worthy of love?” Continue reading
After a lifetime of reading Archie comics, I have yet to receive a satisfactory answer to a burning question. And no, it’s not “What does Archie have that has kept two women on lock for 70 years?”
I want to know why Betty Cooper keeps dealing with Veronica Lodge. Continue reading
Young Romance #194 (DC Comics, 1973) totally ruined my usual ritual of finding a histrionic romance comic story and mocking it from start to finish. Not that “Full Hands, Empty Heart,” the story about the thwarted love of an African-American nurse and a white doctor, doesn’t have its ridiculous parts. However, I found myself having sincere feelings after reading it. That’s not how WTF? Wednesday is supposed to work! Continue reading
In the final weeks of 2013, I finally got real with my pull list. I’d been on autopilot for a long time, continuing to buy comics I wasn’t dying to read and letting them pile up. Fear of being out of the loop or abandoning beloved characters was holding me back, but I finally found the gumption to make big changes. I’m looking forward to a fresh start this year.
In the spirit of the new year, we came up with some advice to guide you to happier reading in 2014. Continue reading
Over the years, we have attempted to advise the muggle world on what to get us geeks for Giftsmas. We’re switching it up a little this go around. We want to help YOU, our beautiful nerd followers, decide what to get the lovely laymans in your life. Be it family, friends or your boo – these presents are enjoyably accessible and may even bring them closer to the dark side. So, let’s get this party started, eh? Continue reading
Confused about whether someone’s really into you? Look for these three signs: Verbal bullying, shaming and physical intimidation. As the Young Romance #193 (1973) gem “Miss Peeping Tom!” teaches us, cruelty is simply misguided passion. All it takes is a little nudge to get that man on the right track!
Tina, a lonely teen shutterbug, is bold enough to take photos of unsuspecting couples in broad daylight while they’re making out, but too timid to talk to boys. Her best friend, Wendy, tries to school her with sage observations about the opposite sex: “Any girl can cut (guys) down to half their size by making them bend over to kiss her! And the only way to do that is to get real close to them!” Continue reading
I am a massive Beatles fan and relished the opportunity to geek out with Sidebar Nation’s Swain Hunt about Dark Horse’s “The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story” in a Sidebar podcast. This truly exquisite and poignant graphic novel tells the story of the Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, the man who played a central role in making them icons and struggled greatly in his personal life as a closeted gay man. Written by Vivek J. Tiwary and gloriously illustrated by lead artist Andrew C. Robinson (with notable contributions by Kyle Baker), it’s one of the best things I’ve read this year. We loved the hell out of it, so check us out as we discuss the many highlights.
CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast.
Those of us who have been on Team Gail (as in Simone) for years were ready for her Red Sonja reboot with illustrator Walter Geovani as soon as it was announced. It will surprise very few people that this comic has met our high expectations in its first four issues. Let us count the ways in which this exciting, engaging book deserves your attention. Continue reading
Is there a place for modesty in cosplay? G3 guest essayist Marie Sumner wondered after a friend told her there was no point in dressing up as Lara Croft for Halloween if she was going to wear pants, and not short-shorts. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wearing a revealing costume. But if “sexy” is the default for the design of so many female characters’ garments, where does that leave cosplayers who want to pay tribute to them without baring a lot of skin? Marie, a cosplayer with a serious passion for costumes, has found it to be incredibly frustrating, and she explores the issue thoughtfully in today’s guest post . — E.
I’ve run into a cosplay crisis. I’m dressing up for Halloween as Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider games, the newest incarnation. I chose this version because, at the end of October, I don’t have much interest in trotting around in short-shorts. To be honest, I don’t have much interest in trotting around in short-shorts pretty much ever. So the new Lara’s cargo pants seemed like an excellent option. Imagine my surprise when a friend of mine told me that I might as well not bother playing Lara. Continue reading
My Archie love has been well documented in the G3 space. However, I know there are plenty of comics readers who care as much about Riverdale as I do about zombies. Which is to say, not at all. But believe me, you don’t have to be a big fan of either to enjoy Afterlife With Archie #1, a new horror-themed series that knocked my socks off. “But E.,” you’re saying right now, “Give me one good reason to spend $2.99 on a comic about a bunch of goofy teenagers inhabiting a sanitized version of middle America.”
I’ll give you five.
As 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
DragonCon is so uniquely festive that it’s entirely possible to have a good time simply by being a voyeur. But after several years of sitting on the sidelines, I decided that it was time to find my inner superheroine, put on a cape and join the cosplaying masses. Project Nubia quickly became a bucket list undertaking that involved an extensive search for comfortable silver boots, driving to another city for a costume fitting, trying out poses in bathroom mirrors and wearing Spanx in the soul-sucking Atlanta heat. Continue reading
I know we are supposed to be on hiatus, but then the Internet lit up like a Christmas tree … on fire … doused with gasoline … when news broke that Ben Affleck will play Batman in the Man of Steel sequel. Judging from Twitter and Facebook, many, many fanfolk are not feeling this idea. Like, at all. I haven’t seen this kind of social media meltdown since the 2012 Presidential debates.
Check out some of the best tweets. Continue reading
When you’re a gay teen in a heteronormative society, there’s nothing more reassuring than tragic portrayals of homosexual people and being told, “You can be fixed!” In 1974, Young Romance #197 flirted with this subject with all the finesse you’d expect from a story titled “That Strange Girl.” They really called it that. Continue reading
Costume maker Candy Keane gets into character as Wonder Woman.
Candy Keane is living the dream of many a fangirl. She’s not only a well-known cosplayer who travels to cons across the country, but also that rare person who turned her love of costuming into a successful career. As a designer and the owner of Three Muses Inspired Clothing in Florida, Candy turns costume dreams into reality for many other people — including me. I was nervous about finding the right person to make my Nubia costume for Dragon Con, especially since cosplay is new territory. Continue reading
Are you a longtime DC fan who’s been walking around under a cloud of angst, exhaustion and sadness lately? You’re not alone. It seems that every other week brings a fresh crop of commentary about the company’s WTF editorial decisions, rifts with creators, or questionable-to-terrible handling of characters. Scuttle a respected writer/artist team’s long-standing creative plans! Shoot Catwoman through the head just to make sure we’ve completely alienated the readers who were already disappointed by our treatment of prominent female characters! Give readers the impression that the new Superman/Wonder Woman book will be a sexytime romance comic with capes and lassos!
There’s a lot to keep track of, so the delightfully snarky and satirical site, The Outhouse, does all the work for you. In a masterful stroke of real-talk criticism, their crew launched a feature whose title says it all: Has DC Done Something Stupid Today? Continue reading
If Superman is the hero whose powers we all dream of having, many more of us can probably relate to Spider-Man. Underneath it all, he’s the regular joe whose powers weren’t a birthright but bestowed by accident. Rarely do his good deeds go unpunished, and he has wrestled with the question of how to do the right thing in a world where many don’t trust him. Continue reading
Of all the comics I scored on Free Comic Book Day – and there were many – the one I truly couldn’t wait to read was Action Lab Comics’ Molly Danger from Jamal Igle, featuring G3 favorite Princeless written by Jeremy Whitley. It combines several things that comics could use more of these days. It’s an endlessly fun book that’s exciting and appropriate for kids without being condescending, and it puts strong, smart, spirited girls front and center. There’s a joy in Igle’s narrative and gorgeously detailed art that serves as a very welcome contrast to the darkness that sometimes overwhelms comic books. Whitley’s “Girls Who Fight Boys” story, starring plucky heroines Adrienne and Bedelia from the much-celebrated Princeless, is a perfect companion.
If you missed this delightful FCBD offering, don’t fret. Action Lab Comics graciously shared the issue with G3, and you can read it right here. Enjoy!
When it comes to receiving soul-crushing messages about weight, most women are pretty well covered, thanks. But in 1979, Charlton Comics decided that some of us weren’t paying attention. Described as the low-rent district of comics publishing, Charlton packed so much sexist, body-shaming hostility into a single story in Secret Romance #44 that it made even the most regressive women’s magazine look like Ms.
The story’s title is simply: “Fat!” Yes, with an exclamation point. Continue reading
Wonder Woman welcomes you to my office.
When people walk into my office for the first time, they immediately notice two things: My Beatles poster and a framed picture of Wonder Woman, illustrated by the incomparable George Perez, which occupies a place of honor on the bookshelf. She’s not just a character I’ve loved since childhood, but also a source of inspiration; a symbol of strength and inherent goodness. Wonder Woman is the reason I fell for superhero comics as a child, and I’ve been known to say that it would be a cold day in hell before I stopped buying her book.
That day arrived a few Wednesdays ago when I asked the owner of my LCS to drop Wonder Woman from my pull list. Continue reading
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
V. and I had a lot of questions for writer extraordinaire Gail Simone post-Megacon, and she answered them with her trademark blend of thoughtfulness, wit and candor.
There was plenty of ground to cover. Continue reading
If you’re ever suffering from a case of fan malaise, find the nearest comics/sci-fi/fantasy/anime convention and go. You won’t regret it.
As Megacon reminded me, there’s nothing quite like a con to reconnect a person with the joys of fandom. Spending a few days surrounded by happy people in costumes and talking to the creators who make Wednesdays special are two things that deserve spots on your bucket list.
Some highlights and observations: Continue reading
The Cliffs Notes way to describe Troy and Abed, the eternally charming besties from NBC’s “Community,” is as a pair of guys who alternate between social illiteracy (Abed) and cluelessness (Troy). But as any fan of this show knows, Trobed are rock stars of whimsy who revel in their geekiness. Continue reading
Damian haters, you got your wish.
The current Robin, beloved by G3 and created by Grant Morrison, dies today in Batman Incorporated #8. It’s not exactly a spoiler as the news has been blazing across the Internet like a giant Bat-signal. Continue reading
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Criminal: The Last of the Innocent has been described as the most messed up “Archie” reimagining ever published, and that assessment is catnip for readers who frequent Riverdale. But this widely praised arc, trade Vol. 6 in the Criminal noir series, is much more than an exercise in taking beloved archetypes to hell. Brubaker and Phillips have crafted a harrowing portrait of unhappy adulthood and the longing for youth’s fleeting golden moments. Continue reading