I've been trying to revisit and seek out more of the Marvel and DC leading ladies lately, since my boyfriend recently decided to get super into MarvelI've been trying to revisit and seek out more of the Marvel and DC leading ladies lately, since my boyfriend recently decided to get super into Marvel. This book feels particularly special since it is a rare chance to read about two female superheroes working together and sharing a real friendship and crime-fighting partnership. I really loved the colorful, dynamic art style and the twists and turns of the story. Both Zatanna and Black Canary are really cool characters and I especially appreciate that they don't feel so much like female retreads of male superstars (like She-Hulk, Spiderwoman, Catwoman, etc.) but unique characters in their own right. ...more
I finally got around to reading some of the Ashley Wood issues of Tank Girl after loving the series for such a long time. While I was really psyched tI finally got around to reading some of the Ashley Wood issues of Tank Girl after loving the series for such a long time. While I was really psyched to see what a female artist would do with her, I just have to admit that I found myself really missing Jamie Hewlett's one-of-a-kind, anarchic punk style. Ashley Wood's art feels more muted 50's mod than technicolor punk and it's just hard to get used to in a character whose entire substance is that singular style. I do appreciate that in most of these stories there's a de-emphasis on the dudes and an expanded lady heavy cast of characters though. ...more
I always want to get to see more of Fabletown East featured in the Fables books and so I was psyched to see them use a great female character from theI always want to get to see more of Fabletown East featured in the Fables books and so I was psyched to see them use a great female character from the East in Vol. 3. This was a great adventure story and it actually kind of reminded me of some of the old Modesty Blaise comics in some ways, which I really like too. Maybe not the most substantial of the series, but I enjoyed it. ...more
I have lost steam somewhat with keeping up with Fables these days, but have been glad to read the Fairest series instead since it centers on the awesoI have lost steam somewhat with keeping up with Fables these days, but have been glad to read the Fairest series instead since it centers on the awesome kickass ladies of Fables and since each of the volumes is more of a capsule story centering on a different character rather than a big huge arc it is kind of more fun and lighthearted. This wasn't really my favorite of the series though because there's this one scene with Cinderella tied to a chair in her underwear which just struck me as so sexploitationy that it kind of grossed me out. I read Fairest because I like to see the female characters subverting expectations, being smart and brave and excellent in bar brawl, not cause of tits and seeing that kind of thing in there definitely kind of pulled me out of the story. Overall, it was still a good read except for that. ...more
I love this series! I will admit that I think he tried to make it so action-packed that I had a hard time telling what was supposed to be happening inI love this series! I will admit that I think he tried to make it so action-packed that I had a hard time telling what was supposed to be happening in some panels toward the end, but overall it was a great book. I love the main character and while this book wasn't as gritty as the first one which was excellently done, it was still great and full of noir bite. ...more
It is so nice to have new Powers comics again after Bendis and Oeming took a break to focus on the tv show that never was, although now I hear the proIt is so nice to have new Powers comics again after Bendis and Oeming took a break to focus on the tv show that never was, although now I hear the project is actually going to be happening for real this time. It was admittedly tough to keep hold of the threads for a little while since there was such a huge delay between books for a while, but Deena Pilgrim is still hands down one of my favorite comic characters of all time and I am really looking forward to being able to continue to follow her tough as nails self through the conspiracy that seems to be infesting the Powers universe. ...more
I've always thought Matt Kindt was an incredibly talented writer and I especially enjoyed Super Spy which was incredibly clever and featured a reallyI've always thought Matt Kindt was an incredibly talented writer and I especially enjoyed Super Spy which was incredibly clever and featured a really smart, strong female protagonist. So far, the Mind Mgmt series completely lives up to those expectations and maybe even surpasses them at times. I especially love the first two trade volumes of the series where the real core of the story is established. He has such an amazing attention to detail in the way he presents the story, even using the marginalia to further immerse the reader in the paranoid, freaky world of his characters. One thing that I've always liked about Kim Deitch's work and about Watchmen (even though I'm not a huge Alan Moore person) is the way they are able to pull the reader into the story and create layers upon layers of narrative to give the work more dimensionality and Mind Mgmt is really another brilliant example of that. I also just love the noir tone of the work as a whole and how hard it makes me work to keep track of all of the threads that join the characters together as they hurtle forwards (and sometimes backwards) through the plot. In addition to being a compelling overarching story, I also find the way that he deals with the idea of psychic powers as very inventive and thought provoking in a way that I haven't really seen elsewhere. It brings up a lot of interesting questions about how we influence the people around us unconsciously or not and what it means to repeat yourself in your life and in your relationships with other people. Not sure where the series is going to lead ultimately because it is so unpredictable, but I definitely trust him to tie everything together in a cool way based on his previous work. My only small critique is that sometimes the characters, especially the women, look very similar to each other because of the way that they are drawn and so I sometimes have to work a little extra to make sure I know which character is which. Definitely not enough of an issue to prevent me from highly recommending it though. ...more
I was totally taken by surprise at how much I got completely addicted to this manga series despite not having a terribly strong interest in wine and aI was totally taken by surprise at how much I got completely addicted to this manga series despite not having a terribly strong interest in wine and a general mistrust of the ultra detailed descriptions of it that are drafted by sommeliers. I found the story really compelling in its own right and found myself really, really enjoying the larger-than-life, over-the-top characterizations of particular bottles of wine. I also feel like I learned a lot from the series about what the actual differences are between different types of wines, why vintage matters, how different kinds of wine are made, how to drink certain wines, and what differences there can be depending on the region they came from. It is cheesy to say so, but this series really made learning about the wines exciting and interesting in a very unexpected, delightful way. The one critique I have though is that when I figured out that they seemed to have halted publication of the remaining English editions I was crushed! I may never know which wine bottle is the true ideal of all wine or whether he actually is able to inherit his father's wine collection at the end of everything (and yes, looking it up on Wikipedia is cheating and completely misses the point). UGH! I really hope they do end up finishing the series off in English because it is really aggravating not getting to read the rest of the series now that I'm totally hooked. ...more
I recently discovered the Oishinbo series which I really love because it brings together my love of comics and my love of food. I was excited to readI recently discovered the Oishinbo series which I really love because it brings together my love of comics and my love of food. I was excited to read the Sake edition because I recently went to an awesome sake tasting in Berkeley and was interested to have a chance to learn more about it. I was surprised that several of the stories were actually about French wine and champagne instead of about sake and the long series on sake itself was somewhat depressing to read, since much of it was about the uncertainty of sake's future considering that 90% of what's labeled as sake these days actually has a bunch of added alcohol and preservatives and other crap. I definitely did learn a lot that I hadn't known about sake before, however, and now know what type to look for if I want to have a better quality version of it than is widely available. ...more
I really loved Fun Home and was surprised to find that I liked Are You My Mother even better. Obviously her relationship with both of her parents is cI really loved Fun Home and was surprised to find that I liked Are You My Mother even better. Obviously her relationship with both of her parents is complex and worthy of this long-form exploration, but there's something about the way she talks about her relationship with her mom that feels like it goes a lot deeper to me. Fun Home feels more like an emotional archeological dig about her uncovering the man she always felt pretty distant from in a different light and seeing him anew through the eyes of an adult instead of just through the lens she saw him as a child. Are You Mu Mother feels much more emotionally thorny and intimate and that it was impossible for her to write it from the kind of remove that she used more when writing about her father. I enjoyed the way she writes about grappling with those difficulties as she is writing this book to begin with and I also found her accounts about her process through therapy, her readings about psychoanalysis, and her mental health stuff really interesting and well-written/drawn. This book feels like it is as much about Alison Bechdel as it is about her mother and I appreciate the bravery that it must have taken to do that and it definitely made me reflect on my own relationship with my mother. ...more
I thought this was a pretty fun read with a good mixture of humor, romance, and adventure and I like the art, but I am not sure I quite understand theI thought this was a pretty fun read with a good mixture of humor, romance, and adventure and I like the art, but I am not sure I quite understand the level of gushing that I have been hearing about this series. I definitely will be interested in Volume 2, but probably willing to wait to read it from the library. ...more
I've always really liked David B.'s art style and this is a great example of it. It is especially great reading something by him in brilliant color liI've always really liked David B.'s art style and this is a great example of it. It is especially great reading something by him in brilliant color like this. I enjoyed the narrative and the writing in it too, but the art is really the stand out. ...more
Lately I've been trying to go back and read more female superhero comic books, mainly just out of curiosity about whether there's anything even remoteLately I've been trying to go back and read more female superhero comic books, mainly just out of curiosity about whether there's anything even remotely worthwhile about them or if they're all just poorly written excuses for nerdy pornsploitation. Since I have a certain soft spot for Horror comics, I thought Vampirella might be a good one to check out a little more and I found this cheap collection of Vampirella's early origins.
First of all, I want to directly address the costume. Her outfit is easily the absolute worst, most pornulated superhero costume of all time. I was constantly getting completely distracted from the actual plot lines in the story by it's sheer, mind boggling impracticality. I mean, it is pretty much DEEPLY impractical for the laws of physics, let alone for fighting demons ok? And beyond that, I'm pretty sure Vampirella would have the damnedest time even having a normal conversation with anyone because the second she walks into the room, people would be like, "By joves, what wizardry hath allowed your bikini to cling to your underboob with such force and tenacity? Surely it is the devil's unholy work!" Or alternately, they would be like, "Where the hell do you stash your wallet lady? Not to mention the magical vials of blood serum which you desperately need every day of your life to avoid going into a mad bloodrage killing spree?"
Which brings me to my next point: Vampirella seriously needs to get some pockets or a backpack or a utility belt or some sort of storage solution for the demands of her daily life. Like, every day she runs out to fight evil cults and every day she somehow OOPSY loses her magic vial of blood serum and comes THIS CLOSE to killing her nearest and dearest. It happens so often that I stopped believing that it wasn't intentional on a deeper psychological level. Like, Vampirella is clearly secretly annoyed by her companions, but is too passive aggressive to call it quits except by "accidentally" having to eat them. Vampirella, I really feel that it is time for you to just woman up and tell them to their face that you're just not that into them. You know? And while you're at it, let's stop enabling Pendragon's alcoholism and just stage an intervention already, ok?
With all that said though, there is a lovable and surprisingly cheerful campiness to these comics and the art is pretty great. Meh. ...more