Love, Lydia - Notes from a geeky, plus sized artist.: Comics Part 1

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Comics Part 1

Hi folks,

Here's some reviews of comics I've been reading lately, with another post on the way!

Let's get started with Manifest Destiny Volume 1 by Chris Dingess, Matthew Roberts, and Owen Gieni.  I wanted so badly to like this comic, and with a quick scan of the art and the general premise I thought it looked great.  However, despite the cool idea of Lewis and Clark actually finding and dealing with more supernatural obstacles the way women were treated in the book was a huge turnoff for me.  And I can't say that minorities were dealt with much better, which if you're rewriting history to add monsters and such...why not make things more interesting by making more strong characters we might not historically see on those roles?  So this book left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth and I'm on the fence about reading the next one.  If I do it will be at a library because I don't think I want to fund people who think this way, because honestly I'm not sure if all the crudeness they added is even historically warranted.  Le sigh.

Amulet Volume 1 by Kazu Kibuishi is the start of a great YA graphic novel series.  It starts as many in the fantasy genre do with a couple kids finding family secrets that could potentially be dangerous, plunging into a new world, and maybe getting in over their heads in a tricky situation or two.  

Amulet Volume 2 sees the siblings growing and dealing with more responsibility as they try to save their mother from her predicament.  The story builds up the world more and continues developing just who our antagonists are.  I was slightly underwhelmed by the first book, but felt that this one started to build the pace nicely.  Bryan selected this series, and I think it's a pick worth checking out, especially for kids 7-12 who might be interested in comics.

Thor: Godess of Thunder Volume 1 by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman is a comic I picked up out of curiosity since I'd heard about it via The Mary Sue (a great website for female centric geeky news!).  This book does not disappoint, if you've been watching the various Marvel superhero movies you'll find this book pretty easy to approach.  There's a bit of backstory, but it's explained enough that I didn't feel the need read previous stories covering it.  Pretty much all you need to know is that the new Thor is a lady, but not Thorita, She-Thor, or Ms. Thor, just Thor.  I can't wait to read more of this series!

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud is a great book by a classic comic book author.  I'd read his book (which I recommend) Understanding Comics as one of the texts for my college course on the history of comics and animation.  Anyway, The Sculptor is a love story from the male perspective, first and foremost, but it also looks at the act of creation.  As an artist I love that part of the book.  Meg's story gets the short end of the stick here, but I still really enjoyed this book and recommend it.  Be warned you may cry.

Rat Queens Volume 1 by Kurtis J. Weibe and Roc Upchurch is a comic for those who love tabletop RPGs and games like Dungeons & Dragons.  The twist this story takes is that our heroes are actually all heroines.  The 4 ladies can kick butt, deal with rivalries, a town council that might be out to get them, and some romance on the side.  Each chapter could easily be seen as a roleplay session, and I must admit it makes me want to start an all lady game group just to get awesome scenarios like these going.

Rat Queens Volume 2 by Kurtis J. Weibe, Roc Upchurch, Stjepan Sejic, and Ed Brisson is the follow up story that continues developing our heroines.  We see bits of their various backgrounds, which include some surprises and depth to the world.  The story arc that was started in the last book is continued to a dramatic conclusion.  Oh and there's a subversion of the "damsel in distress" trope.  Win!

So, I hope this gives you all some new ideas for comics to pick up, or perhaps steer clear of.  I'll see you all Friday with some new outfits, and thoughts on fashion!


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