Constantine 2

Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing Constantine 2, originally released April 10th, 2013.

Taylor: John Constantine is an addict. If you look at anything that chronicles the life of an addict, you’ll find a chapter or two that speaks of the magnificent high times — even though stark reality later sets in. These high times suggest that addiction is more worthwhile than any reasonable person would believe. With the exception of movies like Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream or shows like A&E’s Intervention, there have been relatively few realistic portrayals of addiction and the effect it has on both its users and those who love them. So it’s odd that a story about magic and the occult would have much insight to offer when it comes to the subject of addiction. Constantine 2 does exactly that while deepening our understanding of what drives the titular hero. Continue reading

Justice League Dark 17

justice league dark 17

Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing Justice League Dark 17, originally released February 27th, 2013.

Patrick: Have you ever been introduced to a group of new people with a specific adjective? Someone says “this is my funny friend Patrick” or “you’ll be working with Patrick, he’s really smart.” Suddenly, it doesn’t matter how you view yourself, it becomes your singular goal to live up to that defining adjective. It’s stressful, but having your friends state their expectations of you right upfront increases that likelihood that you will be the thing they say you are. So what do you say about someone to turn them into your hero?

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Justice League Dark 16

justice league dark 16

Today, Shelby and Taylor are discussing Justice League Dark 16, originally released January 30th, 2013.

Shelby: I loved magic when I was a kid. Stories about fairies, dragons, unicorns: I ate that shit up. I always wanted so badly for those sorts of things to be real. Even as an adult, I still wish for real magic in the world. Embarrassing confession time: I saw the first Chronicles of Narnia movie in the theater with my family. It came out in 2005, so I was 21 years old, and leaving the movie I was bummed out that I couldn’t actually go to Narnia. Nearly a real adult, and I just wanted to be whisked away to a dreamworld of magic. It’s really no surprise I like Justice League Dark as much as I do; Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes have crafted a world where that magic exists and is in danger of being eradicated. Obviously you know which side I’m rooting for. Continue reading

Phantom Stranger 0

Alternating Currents: Phantom Stranger 0, Drew and PeterToday, Drew and Peter are discussing Phantom Stranger 0, originally released September 5, 2012. Phantom Stranger 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.

Drew: I don’t remember when it is that I first stumbled across William Safire’s cheekily ironic Rules for Writers, but the last rule, “Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives,” has managed to nestle itself in my editing subconscious. I make a point of eliminating any cliche I see on the site (the odd exception aside), which has effectively lowered my tolerance for reading them. It rarely becomes a problem — this is one of the most well-known axioms in writing, after all — but every so often, I’ll come across a piece that indulges in cliches to excess, it’s beyond distracting. The Phantom Stranger 0 is one such example, offering sequences that are so dense with cliches, it’s hard to remember that this story was published in 2012.

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