Archive for the ‘Comics criticism’ Category

Something City – Ellice Weaver

Ellice Weaver’s Something City sets ten powerful character vignettes in a strange, colourful, segmented non-place. One of the most immediately striking things about it, though, is the layout design. From its city-plan view to the landscape orientation, there’s a focus on space and place.

Something City explores connection/disconnection by proximity. There’s quiet withering in the suburbs, ostracism and irony, alienation by technology – all the Vermillion Sands stuff, but without quite the lackadaisical beach-surreal tone.

It’s pretty great.

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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?

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Jonathan Cape *didn’t* send us their entire 2016 catalogue gift-wrapped in fivers, and what happened next may surprise you…

For the last few years The Guardian has done a “best of the year” comics roundup. It’s pretty good. Lots of sites do it. We do one too – it’s practically a Christmas tradition.

Just as much of a tradition, however, is pointing and laughing at The Guardian’s for being:

  1. basically just whatever Jonathan Cape published that year
  2. a little bit nose-in-the-air Worthy/joyless

This year’s did not disappoint:

When I began writing about graphic novels a decade ago, I remember worrying slightly about the supply line: would I really be able to find a good one to review every month?

[but…] if there isn’t something to suit everyone on the bulging list that follows, I’ll eat my copy of Persepolis.

Uh huh…

Anchoring your readers on Persepolis, saying “Graphic Novels”, authorizing yourself with the decade thing, and worrying that (in 2006, FFS) there weren’t enough? There’s a klaxon or two sounding there, a grasp for validity.

The list that follows is – of course – mostly from Serious Publisher Jonathan Cape.

But is our scepticism really fair? We did a budget data journalism to find out.

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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.

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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.

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rainbowroad

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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 2016 – our hot picks and odd excitements

Here at Consequential dot net, Thought Bubble is our absolute favourite festival occurring between Halloween and the Beaujolais Nouveau.

Seriously though, it’s  probably the best comics event in the UK, and it’s a great time to:

  1. discover some amazing new comics.
  2. dance like several hundred people are watching, but are all just too lovely and welcoming to even form an opinion about that thing you’re doing with your hands.

We love the ol’ T’Bubz, and here’s a selection of things we’re looking out for, including some old favourites and interesting debuts.

The Nameless City - Faith Erin Hicks & Jordie Bellaire

The Nameless City – Faith Erin Hicks & Jordie Bellaire

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2015 comics competition pitches

2015 was a pretty good year for comics, but not so good it couldn’t be improved. That’s why, for our end of year competition, we asked y’all to gild that lily like motherfuckers.

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It seemed like a good idea at the time: you’d pitch us comics, we’d talk about our favourites, and we’d send one of you the real, actual comics we liked the most from 2015. We figured it would be easy; we’d get about five submissions, right?

Ha ha. Nope.

Boom. 101 hot steaming pitches.

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Thought Bubble 2015 – what we’re excited about

Thought Bubble! It’s Brit-nerd new year! Or something!

9781473326965_MULP_02_CoverLook, it’s a big old mess of just all the comics and the comics people, and the fun and the dancing, and probably too much beer, and the podcasting, and the new things, and the cosplay and the shiny, and yeah. It’s pretty great.

It’s also a cracking time to stumble on new stuff. But we try to go prepared. We’re like the boy scouts of spending far too much money on comics, with a throbbing hangover.

Last year, we had a few bits of advice on how to get the best out of comics shows, and this year we’ve picked out some things we might just consider buying.

So here’s a few titles and publishers you should check out at T’Bubz

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The Ditch – Kristian Carstensen

The Ditch - Kristian CarstensenIt’s not often we get to showcase something brand new here, so we were delighted when Kristian sent us The Ditch.

It’s a prison zombie horror vignette, wonderfully dynamic, quite gory, and his first comic.

This 12-page short opens with Sal – not a particularly nice man – stuck in solitary confinement, having just smoked his last cigarette, noise all around, something ominous clamouring to get in.

That’s a classic pressure/isolation horror opener, and from here we pull back to find out quite how Sal got there. Spoilers: it’s a blend of a) zombies, and b) being just a total dick.

Kristian’s a professional animator, so it’s not surprising that the comic has a wonderful sense of flow an motion. Which is what you want for a story about the hungry dead biting chunks outta folk.

You can read the whole thing here:

The Ditch – Kristian Carsetnsen, PDF

Or check out more artwork and sketches on his site.

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Glacial Period – Nicolas de Crécy

Have you ever wanted to read At The Mountains of Madness, but with Baroque portraiture instead of shoggoths? How about a meditation on semiotics, historiography, and context, through the eyes (and nose) of a talking dog named after the Hulk?

You have? Then golly does Nicolas de Crécy have a treat for you.

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Glacial Period is de Crécy’s 2005 collaboration with the Louvre, and forms part of a set of 6 or so graphic novels exploring parts of the collection. It takes his feeling that the Louvre could be overwhelming and extrudes that experience to a problem of future archaeology: faced with  interpreting something so unimaginably vast and eclectic, all chains of context lost, would a team of future experts fare any better than a contemporary five year old?

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