Archive for the ‘Comics and Culture’ Category

The Gods of The Wicked and the Divine – part 2

By now, all 13 of the gods of the latest recurrence have been revealed (yes, we’ll get to that), as well as a few extras from past cycles. So we’re overdue for an update.

Spoilers? Damn straight, spoilers.

We covered previously revealed gods: Lucifer, Baal, Woden, Amaterasu, Sakhmet, Morrigan, Baphomet, Minerva, Innana, Tara, Ananke, and Susanoo (1923) in an earlier post

This is loosely based on WicDiv #1-28 and the 1831 stand-alone story Modern Romance (eighteen-thirty-oneshot?).

So, who’s who who’s new?

Read On…

Cowboys and Insects – David Hine & Shaky Kane

Now, I can’t promise that if you watched King of the Hill after dropping acid it would look exactly like Cowboys and Insects. But those already familiar with Shaky Kane’s style and the amped-up pulp vibe he created with David Hine in The Bulletproof Coffin would likely find the experience quite familiar.

Cowboys and insects -  cattle drive

With its giant bugs, bright colours, ranch hands with rifles, and a sickly uncoiling of fifties American paranoia, Cowboys and Insects is a lurid thing that takes us to a pretty severe place.

Childhood wonder to lynch mob in twenty pages, each step feeling natural and normal, and not worthy of moral scrutiny. 

Cowboys and insects - cover closeup

First published digitally in 2013, when it wasn’t a given that white America would plump for fascism in a fit of butthurt cultural pique, Cowboys and Insects seems oddly prescient now.

Much of its effect, I think comes not from being on-the-nose preachy, but rather from running full-tilt at the joyous daftness of the premise and letting that carry it through.

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Look at all this amazing queer stuff!

Queer comics (and the whole super-set of LGBTQ goodness) are a perennial topic for us, not least because I won’t shut up about them, and we’ve done an annual round-up episode on the podcast for the last couple of years:

So I was on the lookout for queer content at Thought Bubble this year, and delightfully, just so many of the books at the show seemed to be somewhere in the LGBTQ ballpark.

minoritymonsters

rainbowroad

click to embiggen

Tab Kimpton (of Discord Comics) put together a “Thought Bubble Rainbow Road” this year, highlighting LGBTQ comics, creators and merch. Chatting to him (more of that on the podcast), he put the proportion somewhere a nose over eleven percent.

I didn’t scratch the surface of that, but here’s a quick round-up of what I found.

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Thought Bubble 2014 – Roger’s comics haul

This weekend, as has probably be annoyingly obvious from our Twitter account, we went to Thought Bubble. It was aces.

If you spent the weekend hiding under a rock, or just muted the hashtag because you didn’t want to hear about my hangover, Thought Bubble is a fantastic comics con in Leeds. It’s been growing like crazy, and is now a brain-buggeringly vast opportunity to discover new comics, talk to comics creators, and make a right old tit of yourself on a dancefloor.

Roger's Thought Bubble swag

Roger’s haul o’ comics

Here’s a quick run-down on what we bought, what we liked, what we missed, and possibly some other things as well.

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Reading Around Comics – The Best Comics Reference Books

If you’ve ever had the nagging sensation you’re not getting something in comics, or you just want to know more about a broad and complex range of books, genres, characters and creators, you’re certainly not alone. Here to help is a list of the best books to help get to grips with all of the above.

To make this list as broad as possible, I’ve mostly stayed away from books on creating comics – this will be a separate post further down the line. This will focus on comics theory, history, and some broad reference books. A list like this can never be comprehensive – if you think I’ve missed something, leave a comment or shout at us on Twitter. Read On…

A Brief Ode to Foyles

Like most other vaguely literate twenty-something book nerds living in the provinces, I really like Foyles. There’s something about going there – although I am at perfect liberty to do so whenever I please – which feels like a bit of a treat. The Jazz Café. The enormous poetry section, which was willing to sell me the collected works of Anne Sexton when a) neither of the Plymouth branches of Waterstones would and b) it was probably a bad idea to do so. And, of course, the really excellent selection of comics – far better, especially in terms of indies, than many dedicated comics shops outside of the capital.

And now they’ve turned the hoardings in front of their main shop on Charing Cross Road into a giant comic detailing the history of the Foyle family and the store. John Miers kicks things off in 1903, when the Foyle brothers failed their Civil Service exams and made rather a lot of money selling their textbooks, Donya Todd brings us up to the present day with a charming, witty literary salon, and Rian Hughes illustrates the future of the Foyles site. In between, there are panels from Karrie Fransman, Steven Appleby, ConSequential sweetheart Hannah Berry, Bryan Talbot and a whole host of other artists.

Read On…