Jem and the Holograms 7

jem and the holograms 7

Today, Patrick and Ryan M. are discussing Jem and the Holograms 7, originally released September 16th, 2015.

Patrick: One of the things I find most invigorating and fascinating about serialized fiction is the series’ need to evolve beyond its initial premise. And I’m using “premise” in the broadest possible sense of the word, to include things like patterns of storytelling, linguistic ticks, artistic vocabulary. If had stopped reading Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman after a dozen issues, I never would have known that the series and its creative team was capable of telling beautifully colored stories, or if I had given up on LOST after two years, I never would have known that there’s a time-travel component to the story. These developments to both the narrative and how the narrative is expressed arise organically and only over time. As Jem and the Holograms begins a new story arc with artist Emma Vieceli stepping in for Sophie Campbell, the new DNA of the series reveals itself, promising a richer experience to come. Continue reading

Jem and the Holograms 6

Alternating Currents: Jem and the Holograms 6, Drew and Ryan M.

Today, Drew and Ryan Mogge are discussing Jem and the Holograms 6, originally released September 2nd, 2015.

Drew: I think we all know the feeling of showing a movie (or even a youtube video) we love to somebody for the first time: it’s mostly excitement, but also a little fear that maybe they won’t find it as funny or smart or touching or whatever as you do. That feeling actually has an even more tense relative that may not be quite as universal: showing a tv show you love to somebody. This was particularly tense in the pre-DVR, pre-Netflix age, when your only resource was whatever episode was on next — in the case of a current series, an episode that you had never seen before. That was particularly anxiety-provoking because a show is greater than the sum of its parts — any one episode can’t hope to be as engaging as the series as a whole. Unless, of course, the that episode was a perfect microcosm of what makes the series great, like Kelly Thompson and Sophie Campbell’s Jem and the Holograms 6, which serves as a perfect introduction to the series, distilling everything special about it into one tight little issue. Continue reading

Jem and the Holograms 2

jem and the holograms 2

Today, Ryan Mogge and Patrick are discussing Jem and the Holograms 2, originally released April 29th, 2015.

“There isn’t a person you wouldn’t love if you could read their story”


Ryan M: The quote above is one of those pat and reductive Pinterest quotes that is difficult to attribute and employing a double negative, but totally I believe it. Empathy is the primary benefit of story. As a consequence of our consciousness, we live in our own heads, seeing through our experiences. How — without narrative — are we to relate to something as foreign as someone else’s pain? I apologize for being so heady, but these are the things you think about when considering Stormer, keytar player in Jem and the Hologram’s rival band, the Misfits. Continue reading

Jem and the Holograms 1

jem and the holograms 1

Today, Patrick and (guest writer) Ryan Mogge are discussing Jem and the Holograms 1, originally released March 25th, 2015.

Patrick: I’ve always been a path-of-least-resistance kind of guy – I’m a people-pleaser, a conflict resolver, a middle child, a Midwestern gentleman. That’s a great personality-type to have with you on a road trip or helping you move or whatever, but I’ve run into some roadblocks as an artist with this sort of vanilla disposition. As a songwriter or an improviser or a writer, I have to let down a lot gates before I can come anywhere near expressing something other than “I don’t want to be no trouble.” Allowing ourselves to feel, and then expressing those feelings publicly, is ugly, self-indulgent, messy, and embarrassing…or at least, that’s the fear that so frequently stands in my way. If only I had an easier time expressing what I really am — whatever that means — I could be a better artist. Kelly Thompson and Sophie Campbell’s relaunched Jem and the Holograms explores how baggage, both visible and invisible, can be a hindrance to artistic expression. Continue reading