East of West 30

east-of-west-30

Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing East of West 30, originally released December 27th, 2016.  As always, this article contains SPOILERS!

Taylor: The other day I was reminiscing with a colleague about the James Bond marathons that we used to watch on TV when we were young. We agreed that what we most remembered about these “Bondathons” was that it really didn’t matter when you tuned into a particular movie because every Bond movie is basically the same. Bond is always going to use cool gadgets, meet beautiful women, get in fights, and of course battle some enemy who threatens the free world. This last aspect of Bond movies is perhaps what makes them all so similar and is also why I don’t find the movies that entertaining any more. When antagonists become a rotating cast all trying to do the same thing, the formula for these movies gets old. The same goes for East of West, where so many people are vying to destroy the world that the formula for the series is beginning to get a little stale.

Continue reading

Wolf 8

wolf 8

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Wolf 8, originally released June 8th, 2016.

Man is a symbol-making and -using animal. Language itself is a symbolic form of communication. The great writers all used symbols as a means of controlling the form of their fiction. Some place it there subconsciously, discovered it and then developed it. Others started out consciously aware and in some instances shaped the fiction to the symbols.

Ralph Ellison

Drew: I distinctly remember asking my high-school English teacher if she really thought writers consciously employ symbolism. In 1963, Bruce MacAllister had a similar question, but rather than pose it to his teacher, he sent a survey to 150 of the most famous living writers asking them about their use of symbolism. I’m less enamored with the emphasis on authorial intent, but I’m absolutely in love with the audaciousness of that move. Or, rather, I’m in love with the fact that so many writers responded — including Ralph Ellison, whose own use of symbolism so frustrated me when I was in high school. Ellison’s comments stood out to me particularly for the allowance he makes for the symbols to take primacy over other elements, turning a literary device into the very point of the work in question. In short, turning prose into poetry. Ales Kot often attains a similar poetic quality, weaving symbols deep into the fabric of his comics. Wolf 8 finds both new and old symbols once again taking the center stage. Continue reading

Wolf 1

wolf 1

Today, Ryan and Drew are discussing Wolf 1, originally released July 22nd, 2015.

Ryan: Stop me if you have read this comic before: a dark, supernatural noir following a seemingly immortal protagonist and featuring Lovecraftian — oh, yes, that’s Ed Brubaker’s Fatale. Or this one, then: a hard-nosed paranormal detective named Wolf tries to right wrongs in a major American city populated by folkloric — yup, you got it, that is Fables. The first issue of Wolf strides over well-trodden territory — really, we have seen this all before. So why, then, does it work so well? Better yet, what is it that Ales Kot is doing better than everyone else? Continue reading