About Vanessa Gabriel

freelance writer. occasional cosplayer. always #noncompliant.

G3 Year in Review: Honorable Mention

It was a tough task to make a list of the “BEST” comics for 2013 because inevitably some books have to get left off. Some really great books.

What does one do?

She makes another list.

Sometimes they were flubbed by crossover confusion. Sometimes Grant Morrison didn’t make any sense, again. Sometimes the writer got caught up in a sexual harassment scandal. But no matter what the obstacle, these titles still managed tear-jerking, character-defining, cuteness-overloaded, chaotically magic moments.  Here are their honorable mentions. Continue reading

G3 Year in Review: Best of the Best

After you have read comics for awhile, the lines start to blur and the colors bleed together (this is particularly true for superhero comics). Like TV and film, comics often lean on money-making cliche and character tropes, but there are always the books that are brave enough to do their own thing.

It is those books that rise to the surface with wonderful moments of originality, great creative spirit and often the fanfare that they deserve (like making G3’s “You Should Be Reading” list).

The following comics are the crème de la crème, an example for other comics to follow and collectively, the ladies of G3 pull them all. Get the issues. Get the trades. Get the hardcovers. These are the books that are worth every red cent and your precious leisure time. Promise. Continue reading

DC Ruins Wonder Woman, Twice in One Day

The women of G3 stopped buying Wonder Woman months ago. But on occasion, I still read the issues in order to review them. Today, I read Wonder Woman #25 for that very reason (review forthcoming).

EDIT: Here’s that review.

***SPOILER WARNING***

The issue opens with Zola, Hera and Diana having coffee talk. In a flagrant “Fuck you!” to the Bechdel Test; first they compare notes about Hermes spying on them, then they expound upon how Apollo affected Hera and then Orion shows up to “save them” from Hermes’ watchful eye. The pixie-dream Strife punctuates the family gathering with an obvious attempt at subversion. Strife doing what Strife does, gives Diana a gift. It’s the helmet of the recently deceased Ares and we are presented with this gem of a panel … Continue reading

V. reviews Pretty Deadly #1

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I had the privilege of reading the new Image series by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios, Pretty Deadly. Teased last year at Comic-Con, the anticipation and fanbase that has grown for a book that doesn’t see its first issue released until tomorrow is remarkable. The Pretty Deadly Tumblr is alive with fanart and cosplayers making plans to be Death’s daughter, Ginny, at their next con.

Continue reading

5 Things to Love About RAT QUEENS

This week sees the release of Rat Queens by writers Kurtis Wiebe and Meg Dejmal and G3 favorite, artist Roc Upchurch. I had the distinct pleasure of reading the first issue, and I enjoyed it. Anything that can get a belly laugh out of me has my approval. Also, the art is pretty damn swank… a lovely segue into the first thing to love about Rat Queens. Continue reading

V. reviews Captain America #11

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Based on my glorious experience with Uncanny X-Force, I already knew Rick Remender was a good writer. While I have plenty of faith in his talent, I didn’t think he was so good that he could make a character like Captain America compelling.

I was wrong.

What do I mean by “a character like Captain America?” He’s as white-bread and straight-edge as it gets. While I don’t actively dislike the character, he certainly wasn’t interesting to me … until now. In just one issue, I like the guy. I may even come back around for another issue or two.

You can read my full review of Captain America #11 HERE.

V. reviews The Movement #4 & The Legend of Luther Strode #6

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Hey guys! I’m reviewing stuff again. This week is two quick reviews on Gail Simone’s slow-burn in The Movement #4 and the explosive final issue of The Legend of Luther Strode.

When The Strange Talents of Luther Strode hit the shelves last year, that book was pure energy and wildly addicting. I actually didn’t catch on to that trend until about issue five, read all of them … and squirmed until issue six came out. Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore’s Luther Strode is super intense, super violent and yet quite novel.

The Legend of Luther Strode is the second mini-series featuring Luther, Petra and a bevy of other misfits and I enjoyed it. But … I think this pony needs some new tricks because the novelty is wearing thin, even though the quality is still there. Word on the wind is we will be getting The Legacy of Luther Strode next year. I am still so going to read it, but I do hope these talented creators will bring a surprise or two.

That aside, Petra totally kicks ass in this issue. She massacres a couple of female fiction tropes which is one of my favorite things to read in the whole wide world. Not hyperbole.

Now, about The Movement. We here at the Church of Gail Simone give all available benefits of doubts and trust in her ability to weave a fine web of comic bookiness. I’ll admit, The Movement has been an acquired taste, but one that I think is well worth your time … and mine. When a writer references the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, it implies a thoughtfulness and a care for the injustices suffered by marginalized people. It’s culture in our comics … the all-to-often-ignored culture is the kind of stuff I like to read and support in our sea of escapism. I’ve still got some reservations about the art. I’d like Nicola Scott or Amanda Conner drawing these characters. Rags Morales would be a good fit, too. A fangirl can dream, right?

You can read my reviews HERE.

V. reviews Batman Inc finale, L. reviews Akaneiro & Adventure Time

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Seven years is a long time for a character’s story to last under one writer, but that is how long Grant Morrison has been building up to his final chapter for Batman. I have read his entire run including Final Crisis and 52, and his Batman is the only Batman I currently like. I know. I know. Some love Snyder’s Bat, and I hear Layman does a stand up job on ‘Tec.

The truth is, I don’t like Batman as a character. He doesn’t interest me. Continue reading

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E. and I are counting the days until DragonCon. I have actually got little numbers on each day of my calender and I check them off as we get closer. This is how excited I am. DragonCon is one of the most special places in the universe with an amazing celebratory spirit, your favorite sci-fi stars, brilliant comic artists and ALL of the cosplay. Speaking of cosplay … I will be Black Canary again, and Erika will be cosplaying for the FIRST TIME.

Our friends at The Unique Geek are lovers of DragonCon, too. Every year they do a countdown podcast – 50 Days of DragonCon. This year, Girls Gone Geek is Day 20 and we talk cosplay.

You can listen to the podcast HERE.

Geek Girls Have “Nothing To Prove”

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Perusing Twitter is a bedtime ritual of mine and a general side-effect of smartphone addiction. But tonight I happened across something that made me get out of bed and blog. Our darling Gail tweeted this:

Therefore, I had the pleasure of watching this:

I may or may not have welled-up just a bit while watching that. Continue reading

Friday Favorite: Tom Hiddleston as Loki

I have been so distracted by Joe Manganiello’s “growl” as werewolf Alcide on True Blood that I almost forgot how utterly captivating Tom Hiddleston is as Loki.

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past week, you probably know that Hiddleston served up some major fan-service at San Diego Comic-Con when he appeared in character in all his glorious Loki regalia at one of the panels. He had quite a bit of fun with the crowd. It is theatrics like this Continue reading

Comics You Should Be Reading: Summer 2013 Edition

It is the most glorious of the days of the week. That would be Wednesday, of course! Your thoughtful band of merrywomen here at G3 have decreed yet another list of comics that YOU SHOULD BE READING.

Some of the titles have made our lists before. That’s because they are consistently enjoyable. Image Comics is pretty much the mayor of that town right now with Saga, Fatale, Prophet, Mara, Morning Glories and Chew reappearing. And we have new affections for Lazarus, Ten Grand and Jupiter’s Legacy. But Marvel also has a few that we can’t stop loving. Continue reading

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I have talked about how Erika and I started Girls Gone Geek before, but this time I get technical. I joined my friend Dana Sciandra on his podcast, Stimulated Boredom, to talk about starting a blog or website. Through anecdotes and several years of experience we share some best practices as well as things you might want to avoid when starting your journey into the blogosphere. So, if you have a passion and have been thinking about sharing it with the world – give this episode a listen. It might be just the motivation you were waiting for. Also, we are funny.

Podcast 417: Almost (Internet) Famous

Kate Bishop v. Katniss Everdeen

Art by Jamie McKelvie

Art by Jamie McKelvie

How could I?

How could I not? It’s so fun.

Also, Hawkeye #11 (Pizza Dog!) and Young Avengers #6 (It’s a new story arc, ya’ll!) hits the shelves of your local comic shops today. I love the way Kieron Gillen writes Kate Bishop. And I am inexplicably excited about the second installment of The Hunger Games movies – Catching Fire. Why so inexplicable? I loathed the books. But that’s another post for another day. Today, Katniss and Kate go toe-to-toe, exquisite archer style.

Alright, we’ve got two archer extraordinaires who are about the same strength and build unless you count Katniss’s starvation factor. That would make her technically less physically strong. I suppose that could be offset with the tenacity that dying to survive brings. A healthy, punchy Kate versus a determined and hungry Katniss – who will make their mark first?

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I have been pretty tight-lipped about my specific thoughts on Man of Steel. That’s because I was saving it for this very podcast. Last night, Erika and I were guests on Stimulated Boredom. We got on about the brave Lois Lane, a sullen Clark Kent, Christian allegory and the collateral damage of the long-awaited Superman film. We had a ton of fun talking about it and hope you enjoy the show.

But, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, there are massive spoilers in our discussion. Gargantuan. We talk about every scene we can remember in explicit detail. While I really, really want you to listen now – see the film first if you haven’t already. We’ll be here when you get back.

CLICK HERE to listen to our Man of Steel review podcast.

Man of Steel Film Logo

V. reviews Wonder Woman #20 and Fatale #14

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Wonder Woman has been on my pull list for seven years straight. After reading Wonder Woman #20, I dropped it.

I don’t mention it in my review, but Diana was in only 8 of the 20 pages in this issue and she didn’t even make an appearance until page 5. When she does appear, her thunder is stolen almost as quickly as it appears.

I swear Brian Azzarello is mocking Wonder Woman fans.

I imagine him reading the bad reviews and angry tweets while stroking his beard and laughing maniacally. “You wanna talk shit about  me, eh? Watch what I do to your beloved princess.”

The thing is … Azzarello has done very little with the character apart from having her slapped on the assRucka’s Wonder Woman would have never been slapped on the ass.

My character loyalty has continued the support of this book for about a year too long. I refuse to endure another month of disappointment especially when there are many other female-led comics that are better.

Fatale is one of them. I reviewed that too.

V. reviews The Movement #1

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The Movement #1I was so excited to read Gail Simone’s latest addition to the DC line-up, The Movement. I heard her say that it’s probably the most diversity in a DC comic … like ever. And not just racial diversity; The Movement will tout diverse perspectives, lifestyles, politics and beliefs. Hera knows the heteronormative world of mainstream comics needs some variation in perspective. I certainly have a strong desire for it in comics (and elsewhere).

The Movement #1 was not as strong of a first issue as I had hoped, but then I wonder if my expectations were unrealistically high. Were they high because I think Gail is a wonderful storyteller or because I want this book to beget more books like it thus prematurely placing it on a pedestal?  Or maybe … it just wasn’t a great first issue. Either way, you can read my full review here.

Have you read it? What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my review?

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

Comics You Should Be Reading: Spring 2013 Edition

It is that time again!

It is the time when Lindsey, Erika and I do our civic duty and tell you fine folks which comics … YOU SHOULD BE READING.

As per usual, this list is by no means exhaustive. There are many, many beautiful pieces of sequential art out there. Alas, we are mere mortals. We have to sleep some time. That is why we invite YOU, our brilliant readers, to tell us if we missed anything in the comments section.

Without any further ado, we have got some titles from the Big Two, some from Image, Boom and Dark Horse AND we’ve got some from the far reaches of The Internet. Enjoy … and you’re welcome! Continue reading

Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines on PBS

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I love a good documentary, but none more than Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. Last year, Erika and I had the distinct pleasure of viewing this film (and reviewing it), and it moved me beyond words. It says so many of the things I want to say here at this blog about women and comics. For this fangirl, it’s an intelligent, poignant and supremely validating look at the female superheroine and her role in shaping the American woman. It is a must see film for ALL comic book fans. Beyond comic fandom, it will enlighten the friends and families of comic lovers of the power of comics in culture.

WONDER WOMEN! THE UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICAN SUPERHEROINES will have its television broadcast premiere in the United States on PBS’s Independent Lens series on Monday, April 15, 2013. Check your local listings to confirm the time and date.

Sneak Peek: New Project by Kurtis Wiebe & Roc Upchurch

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One of our first interviews here at G3 was with super-fresh artist John ‘Roc’ Upchurch. He was the talent behind my darling avatar. Since then, I have followed Roc’s art career because I think he’s great and deserves to be noticed. I was beyond excited when writer Kurtis Wiebe (Peter Panzerfaust, Green Wake, Grim Leaper) teased a new project that Roc will be drawing. I am quite looking forward to it.

While the official announcement hasn’t been made yet – you can catch the first two teasers here and here. I’ve got the third one below.

Meet Betty … Continue reading

Spotlight on Gail Simone

The powers-that-be at MegaCon 2013 exercised vast wisdom and general awesomeness by having a panel dedicated to Gail Simone. For an hour, fans got to ask questions and listen to this excellent writer talk about her craft. V. was there taking notes for those of you who couldn’t be. Here are some of the takeaways. Continue reading

Destination: Gail

One of the beautiful things about the comics industry is that many of the writers and artists are easily accessible to the fans. They take part in the discussion and share their work and insight on the varying social media platforms. They also spend time at conventions to promote their work, appear in panels, sign books and chat with fans. It’s really quite fun, especially for blogger-types like us. Continue reading

Talia al Ghul v. Lady Shiva

Talia versus Shiva

There are many things that DC has been lacking these days, but the one that I lament over regularly is Lady Shiva. I made a point to read the issues of Nightwing where she made an appearance, and while she is portrayed as being plenty skilled … something about her is missing. There wasn’t enough exposition or cold-hearted philosophy of life that Gail Simone would write into the character. Also, that costume is atrocious.

For today’s versus fantasy, I imagine the Shiva of yore. Continue reading

Friday Favorite: Liz Lemon

In a world wide web of obsessive perfectionism that propagates impossible standards for women, Elizabeth Miervaldis Lemon was a flagship of human imperfection. She made it OK to eat that bowl of cereal before bed … in bed … and leave the dish on my nightstand. She made me feel proud of my period underwear. She rocked the hell out that Princess Leia costume. Not Slave Leia. Full-length, white robe Leia. Continue reading

Comics You Should Be Reading: Winter 2013 Edition

Happy New Comics Day, everyone!

The weather in our neck of the woods looks nothing like winter, but I am sure it is freezing somewhere. With that in mind, it was time again for the three of us to put our beautiful heads together and come up with a list of comics that we love the most. Right now.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. There is a sea of comic brilliance out there, but there are only so many hours in the day … even for three as comic book obsessed as us. The list may or may not change come spring. But today and in no particular order, these are the comics …. YOU should be reading. Continue reading