Archive for Womanthology

Night of the Comet


Womanthology: Space #5

All of this stories in this issue — the last one of this particular series, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see more on the way soon — are on a broad, common theme: not just stories related to space, but stories about comets. We get a story about an unsually tall girl who loves to run by Barbara Randall Kesel, Diana Nock, and Amauri Osorio; a tale about a robot who installs itself into a voiceless human body to visit the performer he loves by Allison Pang, Chrissie Zullo, and Amauri Osorio; a story about a couple of nogoodniks in 1666 who set out to steal some brandy by Laura Morley, Sara Richard, and Amauri Osorio; a mythological take on the formation of comets by Cecil Castellucci, Kel McDonald, and Amauri Osorio; and a futuristic dystopian story in which a comet’s coming is believed to be a sign of God’s disfavor by Kiala Kazebee and Isabelle Melancon.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Quite aside from the fact that all the stories are excellently written and excellently illustrated, I just want to say that I loved the way the comet theme was used in this issue. You had someone who dressed up as a comet, Halley’s Comet as a background element of a story, an allegorical story about comets, and even a well-known performing artist who takes a tumble out of a dirigible — a falling star. That broad theme gives all the creators an opportunity to create a very wide variety of fun stories.


Captain Marvel #10

Carol Danvers has been diagnosed with some sort of ailment and ordered by her doctor to stop flying — no flying planes, and no flying with superpowers either. I don’t know why there’s a medical connection between the two, really — is the ailment related to how high she goes? Beats me, and no one bothers to question the whole thing. At any rate, Captain Marvel thinks the whole thing is a load of hooey, so she does a little flying. She manages to save a subway car trapped in a sinkhole, but she has some odd blackouts. Plus she’s being stalked by an old enemy called Deathbird. Can Captain Marvel deal with a foe who knows she’s getting weaker? And what will be the ultimate cost of her decision to keep flying?

Verdict: Thumbs up, but just barely, and only because the story was not 100% idiocy. I could’ve dealt with the silliness of the story just fine if it weren’t for the problem of the abysmally bad artwork by Filipe Andrade. I don’t know what kind of blackmail material he’s got on Marvel, but it must be pretty spicy. Really, this comic may be the only one I know of where the interior art is always in a style that’s entirely different than the (completely gorgeous) art on the covers.

Comments (2)

The Art of Storytelling


Womanthology: Space #4

This issue’s tales include a fable about imagination, theft, and storytelling by Jody Houser, Sally Thompson, Kathryn Layno, and Robbie Robbins; a mystery on a deep-space exploration ship by Devin Grayson, Lindsay Walker, Ronda Pattison, and Robbie Robbins; and a story about a strange being found floating, alive, in the vacuum of space by Christine Ellis, Elva Wang, and Robbie Robbins, along with a how-to article and some pin-ups.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent stories, fun art, and all-around enjoyable comics. Hope you’ve been picking this anthology series up.


Worlds’ Finest #8

Someone knows that Huntress and Power Girl are on the trail of something important and decides to stop them. That leads to assassins trying to kill Huntress — she manages to stop some and scare off the others, but she takes a serious gunshot wound and has to be rescued by Power Girl. And while Huntress recovers, Power Girl goes on a worldwide hunt for the people who tried to kill her friend.

Verdict: Ehh, thumbs down. There’s plenty of action, but not a lot of any sense that anything important is going on here. It felt like a placeholder issue, and not much more than that.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • I can hardly believe I, of all people, am having to do this, but if you’re tempted to believe any of the BS getting spouted by those Sandy Hook Truthers, read this Snopes article debunking their crap immediately. And if you’re still going to be tempted to believe them, I’m going to come to your house and beat you to death with Olympus Mons.
  • Is Barnes & Noble going to last much longer? Are they in the process of closing their stores down right now? And if so, what does it mean for the future of book publishing in America?
  • The people making the Atomic Robo comics are some of the smartest people working in the industry.
  • I kinda like the idea of a supercomputer that can’t stop swearing.
  • And speaking of swearing, Dame Judi Dench is possibly the most awesome person around.

Comments off

Queens of Outer Space

Womanthology: Space #3

This anthology of all-women-created comics about science fiction continues. We get “Centipede” by Robin Furth, Carli Idhe, Ronda Pattison, and Robbie Robbins, about a space smuggler’s deadly — and squicky — cargo; “Countdown” by Rachel Edidin and Sophia Foster-Dimino, about some girls making their own pretend rocket and the journeys it takes them on; and “The Vesta” by Jennifer DeGuzman, Leigh Dragoon, and Robbie Robbins, about a crew member on a spaceship and how she tries to escape its overprotective influence. And we also get an essay by Trina Robbins about Lily Renee, a cartoonist who fought the Nazis her own way during World War II.

Verdict: Thumbs up. This is my favorite issue of this series so far — all the stories are great, the art is great, and the whole thing remains a powerful reminder that, no matter how badly DC wishes comics could be their own secret all-boys club, women have their place in the comics biz, too.

Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific #5

With the renegade Japanese soldiers preparing to destroy America by dropping a gigantic earthquake bomb on the country. Luckily, Atomic Robo and the She-Devils of the Pacific are working hard to prevent that. Not that it’s particularly easy. It’s a furious battle from the first page almost to the end. Of course, they’ll succeed… but who will survive?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I love just about everything about Atomic Robo.

The Hypernaturals #6

So there was once this guy named Chernovski, and he was basically omnipotent. He destroyed the universe and immediately regretted it. So he fixed everything back up, then had Clone 21, the last person alive, completely forget him — which caused him to cease existing. But now Clone 21 has remembered Chernovski again, and not only is the most dangerous creature in existence on the loose again, but the remaining members of the Hypernaturals are in dire danger of being killed by alien supervillains. And what is the evil Sublime up to? Is he causing the crisis or trying to end it?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fun science-fiction superheroics, with great dialogue and art, blistering action, and big, brain-busting ideas.

Comments (2)

The Vanishing

Hey, I got a lotta comics last week, and they were all pretty good. I don’t think I got time to review all of ’em, but here’s some of the stuff I thought was cool.

Snarked #12

The final issue of this series?! What the heck, no one had any clue this one was ending. But it’s a good ending. Our cast of heroes has to do battle with the Snark — who is also a Boojum. That means he can make you disappear, throwing you forward in time 20 years, if you look at him without wearing special goggles. And a very important cast member loses his goggles…

What we’re left with is a bittersweet ending, but still a very sweet tale. Y’all go get it if you’ve been reading it, or pick up the eventual trade paperback. It’s a good one.

Sword of Sorcery #0

I liked it. A fairly familiar story — young outsider discovers she’s actually a princess in another world — but it’s well-told and entertaining. The backup feature, featuring a far-future sci-fi variation on the “Beowulf” story.

The sticking point for a lot of people is the attempted rape in the “Amethyst” story. It’s not a good thing, and it’s entirely unnecessary for the story. It reads like someone decided to prove it’s “not a little girl’s story” which happens just too damn often.

Perhaps more depressing, however, are the comments at the end of Chris Sims’ very nice article about it — most of the commenters seem to have an attitude of “Hey, we want comics with more rape!” Maybe we get the crappy comics we deserve.

Oh, also? The Who’s Who page in the back says Amethyst was first introduced in this very issue. It’s not so. Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld made her first appearance in April 1983, in Legion of Super-Heroes #298. She was created by Dan Mishkin, Gary Cohn, and Ernie Colón.

Avengers Academy #37

It’s the students’ final stand against Jeremy Briggs’ villainy. A few surprising choices are made. And it’s a very good issue — great action and dialogue and a moral core to the tale that carries it over the top.

Only one more issue of this, and that’s a huge disappointment.

Wonder Woman #0

A wonderful little story about Princess Diana’s teen years, stealing a harpy’s egg to commemorate her birthday, getting her teen angst on when people make fun of her (supposed) origin as a clay statue, being trained by Ares, and battling the minotaur. It’s a very, very nice story, and I had a blast reading it.

And again, the Who’s Who page gets things irritatingly and insultingly wrong. It says Wonder Woman’s first appearance was in 2011. But she had her debut in All Star Comics #8 in December 1941. She was created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter. You’d think they’d get this right because Marston’s name is on Page 1 as the character’s creator, and he sure as heck wasn’t around in 2011.

Womanthology: Space #1

A new anthology focused on spotlighting the work of women creators gets started, this time with the focus on science fiction. We get stories by Bonnie Burton, Jessica Hickman, Sandy King Carpenter, Tanja Wooten, Allison Ross, Stephanie Hans, Ming Doyle, Jordie Bellaire, Stacie Ponder, and Rachel Deering, and they’re all pretty good…

And since this is a new miniseries, we can look forward to a few more months of cool comics created by women. Too bad DC and Marvel aren’t so good about working on that…

Batwoman #0

We get a short look back at Kate Kane’s younger years, from her childhood, through mourning the death of her mother and the supposed death of her twin sister, being accepted to West Point, then being drummed out of the military, trying to find a purpose to her life, and the long, hard years of training that her father put her through to make sure she was really ready to become a crimefighter.

It’s a great story. It’s got great action, the plot zips along like lightning, and there are tearjerker moments you won’t believe. It’s an astoundingly good comic book.

And again, because it’s important not to let DC tell stupid lies about this stuff, but Batwoman wasn’t created in 2011, no matter what the Who’s Who page says. The modern Kate Kane debuted in 52 #7 in 2006.

Today’s Cool Links:

Comments off

Wonder Women and Power Girls

Womanthology: Heroic

Hopefully, you’ve heard the story of this comic anthology by now. Artist Renae De Liz sends out a tweet asking if anyone would be interested in contributing work for an anthology comic featuring nothing but female creators. She gets very positive responses and takes the whole thing to Kickstarter to get funding — and the results go entirely beyond expectations. “Womanthology” raised $109,000 — over $75,000 over the project’s goal — and is the most funded comic project in Kickstarter’s history.

So this is what we’ve got now — a gigantic comic anthology, published by IDW, with well over 300 pages of comics and artwork by over 150 women, ranging from well-known comics names like Gail Simone, Barbara Kesel, Trina Robbins, Stephanie Buscema, Colleen Doran, and Fiona Staples (and many others besides) to unknown pros to inexperienced wannabes to kids and teenagers who are dreaming about becoming professional artists someday.

The theme of the book is heroism — so we get quite a few stories starring superheroines, but we also get more low-key heroism, too — people being kind to others, sticking up for the oppressed, mini-epics for science fiction and sword-and-sorcery fantasy.

And scattered among all the stories and pinups are tips on writing, art, and making it in the business of comics from certified pros, as well as thumbnail profiles of every single contributor. And it all wraps up with interviews, how-to tutorials, and biographies of women who were comic art pioneers.

Verdict: Thumbs up. There is so much stuff here, I’ll never be able to pick out favorite stories — it would take too long to go through the book, select my picks, and list them all — but there is a lot of extremely good storytelling and art on display in this anthology, by a vast number of talented creators.

I love the fact that this functions as part brag-book — “Look at all these great artists and writers, and see all the awesome stuff they do!” — and part instructional manual, with how-to tips and tutorials to help other artists learn their craft. It’s clear that a lot of the reason the book came together so well is that the creators wanted to both teach and inspire. That alone is a great mission for a comic like this.

Probably the thing I love about this the most is that it ends the argument once and for all about whether women care about comics. Here are a hundred and fifty women of all ages who love the snot out of comics. And a lot of them use their thumbnail profiles to talk about how much they love comics. And in an era where one of the Big Two comics publishers can’t seem to stop itself from ignoring and insulting women and female creators and female characters, that’s a very powerful statement, all by itself.

The price on this is a bit steep. It’s $50 for over 300 pages of comics goodness. I still think you should go pick it up.

Comments off