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Apr 09, 2020. 3 comments

Sticks and Scones is a heartfelt, masterful conclusion to Check, Please!

Sticks and Scones is a heartfelt, masterful conclusion to Check, Please!

There is a semantics issue in the comics industry, one that’s been growing for the past decade and may finally come to a head while everyone is locked inside. The word “comics” is often assumed to only encompass superheroes and the occasional tv-friendly, creator-owned work—rarely anything that isn’t readily available in a monthly issue format. But for years now, some of the most popular...

3 Comments

Apr 08, 2020. 9 comments

Batman: The Adventures Continue expands the mythos of the classic ’90s cartoon

Batman: The Adventures Continue expands the mythos of the classic ’90s cartoon

Almost three decades after its debut, Batman: The Animated Series still stands as one of the best superhero adaptations across any medium, with stories that explore the full scope of Batman’s character and an aesthetic that ages remarkably well. (Read our recaps of the entire series.) DC Comics has returned to the animated universe for various digital-first series set in the future of Batman...

9 Comments

Mar 25, 2020.

Story issues hamper a beautiful fairy tale in the disappointing Kairos

Story issues hamper a beautiful fairy tale in the disappointing Kairos

In many ways, Kairos is an excellent fairy tale comic. The book opens with Nills and Annaelle arriving at a remote cabin, ready for a vacation in a flower-drenched fields and lush forests. Things quickly take a turn when they are attacked and Annaelle disappears into what looks like a different dimension, leaving Nills scrambling to find and save her. If that was all that Kairos had to offer,...

Mar 24, 2020.

Food exposes a family’s past joy and present despair in Umma’s Table

Food exposes a family’s past joy and present despair in Umma’s Table

Sitting in the back of an ambulance rushing his ailing mother to a hospital, cartoonist Madang remembers the happier times from his childhood—specifically the memories of his mother’s irresistible cooking. Young Madang and his little brother float through the air on the wave of smells, and cheerfully sing as they devour kimchi prepared by the entire neighborhood. These memories haunt Madang in...

Mar 11, 2020.

King of Nowhere blends the strange and familiar for an intriguing mystery

King of Nowhere blends the strange and familiar for an intriguing mystery

There’s a sweet spot where fish-out-of-water stories meet small-town freak show stories, and King of Nowhere is planted firmly in the middle. Fans of writer W. Maxwell Prince’s work in Ice Cream Man will see some familiar elements in King of Nowhere, an unsettling balance of familiar and strange that leaves the reader off balance and waiting for the other shoe to drop. The book opens with the...

Mar 11, 2020.

Hidden Society has charm and craft, but needs more substance

Hidden Society has charm and craft, but needs more substance

In 1979 New York City, a group of supernaturally gifted strangers unite to face an ancient evil threatening to destroy all existence. There’s Mercy, a soul-sucking gunslinger; Laura, a blind woman with a magical daemon protector; and Jadoo, a young stage magician discovering he can perform real spells. Brought together by a mysterious wizard, they’re the latest members of the Hidden Society,...

Feb 27, 2020.

Plunge is a deep dive into horror that relies too much on text

Plunge is a deep dive into horror that relies too much on text

In a lot of ways, Plunge represents the core of Hill House Comics. Limited miniseries offer creators a chance to tell contained stories and experiment, pushing the boundaries of what’s been done before; with a seasoned team like Stuart Immonen, Joe Hill, and colorist Dave Stewart, forging new territory isn’t surprising. At face value, Plunge #1 is an easy sell for a certain kind of reader: a...

Feb 26, 2020.

Sports Is Hell is an incendiary takedown of toxic fan culture

Sports Is Hell is an incendiary takedown of toxic fan culture

The world of sports will always be political. A team becomes a symbol for an entire community, whether it’s a town’s local organization or a country’s athletic representatives at the Olympics. The competition expands beyond the playing field, and building a pastime around conflict between divided factions creates a culture where people are encouraged to reject others outside of their own...

Feb 13, 2020.

Snapdragon invigorates a classic hero's journey with magic and heart

Snapdragon invigorates a classic hero's journey with magic and heart

Despite all of the hand-wringing about the state of the American comics industry, it’s impossible to ignore the strength and stability of the young adult and middle grade markets. While monthly issues of even well-known superheroes don’t always sell well, books for readers between eight and eighteen years old have increasingly formed the backbone of American comics. Stories written with an eye...

Feb 12, 2020. 2 comments

Gudetama: Love For The Lazy offers iffy dating advice from an adorable egg

Gudetama: Love For The Lazy offers iffy dating advice from an adorable egg

The Japanese company Sanrio is responsible for some of the cutest creations in popular culture, and Gudetama is one of its strangest characters, an anthropomorphic egg yolk who just wants to lay around in its soft egg white and eat other food. It’s a design that rivals Baby Yoda in terms of pure lovability, so it makes sense that people would reach out to Gudetama for advice on how to lock...

2 Comments

Jan 30, 2020. 4 comments

Shadow Of The Batgirl gives Cassandra Cain the backstory and starring role she deserves

Shadow Of The Batgirl gives Cassandra Cain the backstory and starring role she deserves

The Bat-family is a sprawling one, taking on new characters at a regular pace to keep Gotham’s prodigal son rich with skilled people he can call on for help. Introduced twenty years ago, Cassandra Cain is neither a wizened veteran nor a new addition to the group. She’s been on and off the bench for many of those years thanks in no small part to a complicated backstory, one that can be...

4 Comments

Jan 29, 2020. 9 comments

Venom: The End is an early frontrunner for 2020’s wildest superhero comic

Venom: The End is an early frontrunner for 2020’s wildest superhero comic

In a little less than two trillion years, Venom will become a god. As the last biological life in the universe faces extinction from technological Godminds, Venom’s symbiote will tap into its codex of hosts and create one last hope for survival. Venom: The End is a superhero sci-fi story that realizes the infinite potential of the tongue-slinging lethal protector, who becomes the great...

9 Comments

Jan 16, 2020. 1 comments

Carmen Maria Machado's The Low, Low Woods blends supernatural and mundane horror

Carmen Maria Machado's The Low, Low Woods blends supernatural and mundane horror

Just like Young Animal before it, the Hill House imprint from DC is proving to be a fascinating experiment, fostering comics that aren’t quite like what you find anywhere else. Helmed by Joe Hill of Locke & Key fame, the Hill House books are offering readers a handful of six-issue comics, each one distinct but with a clear overarching theme: horror. While many of the names attached to Hill...

1 Comments

Jan 15, 2020. 3 comments

Suicide Squad’s relaunch pairs deadly thrills with sharp political commentary

Suicide Squad’s relaunch pairs deadly thrills with sharp political commentary

Suicide Squad endures as a superhero concept because it’s built on internal conflict: between members of the titular team and the authority figures forcing them to work together. There are layers upon layers of character dynamics to explore as supervillains butt heads with their ethically dubious handlers bearing government connections—a link that allows Suicide Squad’s writers to explore the...

3 Comments

Dec 12, 2019. 2 comments

The Banks offers a new kind of heist and a fresh take on crime families

The Banks offers a new kind of heist and a fresh take on crime families
ComicsComicsThe BanksBBThe BanksStory

Roxane Gay

Art

Ming Doyle

Colors

Jordie Bellaire

Publisher

TKO Studio

At the heart of The Banks is a criminal legacy that walks a fine line between familiar and fresh twists on old tropes. The titular Banks family is three generations of black women living in Chicago, a family at least in part founded upon breaking and entering. The youngest, Celia, is an...

2 Comments

Dec 11, 2019. 3 comments

Michel Fiffe pays tribute to his comic idols with Copra’s superhero remix

Michel Fiffe pays tribute to his comic idols with Copra’s superhero remix

Knowing how superhero publishers have treated the creators of their billion-dollar IP, working with Marvel and DC to tell new stories with those characters might not be the best way to honor those legends who shaped the genre. For the last seven years, Michel Fiffe has carried on the legacy of his artistic heroes in the pages of Copra, a superhero series combining different concepts and...

3 Comments

Nov 28, 2019. 16 comments

DC's compelling new Green Lantern story is a genre-blending delight

DC's compelling new Green Lantern story is a genre-blending delight

At first glance, the most striking thing about Far Sector #1 is the artwork. That’s usually true of comic books, but it’s especially true of Jamal Campbell’s work on the cover and first few pages of this book. The design is bold and futuristic, refreshing for the Green Lanterns franchise and rooted in the changes made in the past few years. Campbell dresses Lantern Mullein in angular and...

16 Comments

Nov 27, 2019. 1 comments

The Tea Dragon Festival returns to Katie O’Neill’s soft, soothing fantasy world

The Tea Dragon Festival returns to Katie O’Neill’s soft, soothing fantasy world

Katie O’Neill’s The Tea Dragon Society was a kids-comics sensation when it came out in 2017, winning two Eisner Awards with its tender tale of a young girl creating friendships through the art of tea harvesting. O’Neill returns to the world of the adorable tea dragons with The Tea Dragon Festival (Oni), a significantly longer prequel that introduces readers to Rinn, a gatherer who discovers a...

1 Comments

Oct 30, 2019. 2 comments

The Okay Witch is the perfect read for kids who love Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown

The Okay Witch is the perfect read for kids who love Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown

If there’s a perfect confluence between the continued boom of middle-grade graphic novels and beloved childrens’ Halloween movies, it’s The Okay Witch. A young girl named Moth is the star of this particular show, the odd one out at her school and the victim of getting both widely ignored and bullied in turns. Moth lives with her mom Calendula in Founder’s Bluff, Massachusetts; between their...

2 Comments

Oliver Sava Oliver Sava Oct 29, 2019. 8 comments

Archie Vs. Predator II drops a Betty and Veronica bombshell

Archie Vs. Predator II drops a Betty and Veronica bombshell

Archie Vs. Predator was one of the most delightful surprises of 2015, unleashing the alien killer in the cartoon world of classic Riverdale. A bloodbath ensued, but writer Alex De Campi and artist Fernando Ruiz made the book more than a hyper-violent joke by positioning Predator as an Archie replacement caught in the classic Betty and Veronica love triangle. That first miniseries ended with...

8 Comments

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