Huck 5

Today,  Ryan M. and Michael are discussing Huck 5, originally released March 16, 2016.

Ryan M.: One of those maxims that you hear all the time in writing classes is that conflict reveals character. Until a character is tested, you really can’t know who they are. It’s in times of turmoil that people show what they value and what they’re willing to sacrifice. By the same token, the unchallenged winner is under no obligation to show their cards. It’s easy to be invulnerable in victory. Unfortunately, lack of emotional openness does not inspire engagement. Continue reading

Huck 2

huck 2

Today, Michael and Ryan M. are discussing Huck 2, originally released December 16, 2015.

Michael: The tale of Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque’s altruistic and gentle giant continues in Huck 2. As scores of people gather outside, Huck has been holed up in his house under the watchful eye of his friendly neighbors. While his neighbors seem content to keep Huck hidden from the potential scorn and judgement of the media, Huck needs to go outside and help people. Because that’s just what Huck does. Huck generously accepts the calls for help then goes out into the world to right these wrongs, with a large group of watchers-by in tow. The issue gives us a little more insight into Huck’s origins, as we are introduced to his (twin?) brother. We are also introduced to a character referred to only as “Mrs. Jones,” who seems to have telepathic powers, perhaps due to Soviet experimentation. Continue reading

American Vampire: Second Cycle 3

american vampire 3Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing American Vampire: Second Cycle 2, originally released May 21st, 2014.

Shelby: Appropriately enough, I watched Bram Stoker’s Dracula last night. In the movie, Vlad the Impaler becomes a vampire after desecrating a chapel, denouncing God, and drinking the blood that pours from a cross he himself stabbed. That’s why crosses make them recoil and pieces of the Sacrament burn; their powers are derived from the Devil. Despite this connection, American Vampire: Second Cycle finds our blood-thirsty protagonist being hunted by the Devil himself. If you know the world Scott Snyder created with his first cycle of American Vampire, though, it’s not all that surprising. The American vampires have had a rebellious, outlaw streak in them ever since the first one came around.

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American Vampire: Second Cycle 2

american vampire 2Today, Scott and Greg are discussing American Vampire: Second Cycle 2, originally released April 16th, 2014.

Scott: Horror is a difficult genre for me. I have a tendency to avoid it because I don’t like gore. It’s to my own detriment, I’ll admit,  since I love the tension that only comes from good horror stories. I love that sense of dread, that pervasive fear of the unknown, the idea that something — anything — could emerge from the dark at any moment. That sort of tension is interesting to me, because it doesn’t imply that anything scary is happening, or even will happen, just that it could, at any moment. I swear there’s an episode in the final season of Breaking Bad with a low, ominous tone running through the whole thing, start to finish. It’s almost comical, really, but it made for a damn compelling hour of TV. Tension like that has to be earned, and when it is, it’s the best. American Vampire: Second Cycle 2 is at that level. For my money, this is as good as horror gets.

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American Vampire: Second Cycle 1

Alternating Currents: American Vampire 1, Drew and PatrickToday, Drew and Patrick are discussing American Vampire: Second Cycle 1, originally released March 19th, 2014.

The second button literally makes or breaks the shirt, look at it: it’s too high! It’s in no-man’s-land.

Jerry Seinfeld, Seinfeld

Drew: I spend a lot of time (maybe too much) thinking about form in narratives. Why do plot points happen when they do? How are they foreshadowed? How are they recalled? For all of my time and energy spent focused on these questions, however, I don’t have a lot of answers — theories for sure, but no solid explanations. Like, why arch forms are so pleasing to us. The return is an important part of the Heroes’ journey, but I’ve always been more satisfied with the more character-based return, like the Seinfeld quote above. It appears both in the series’ pilot and finale, and while the characters have entered a very different status quo by the series’ end, there’s something incredibly pleasing about the same turn of phrase returning verbatim. I’d like to suggest that it’s because it reinforces some fundamental truth about the characters — such that the very final scene of the very final episode is just as good of an introduction to the characters as the very first scene of the very first episode. That kind of consistency is incredibly difficult in any serialized medium, where the characters may need to settle in a bit before truly becoming themselves (and may change a great deal over the course of the narrative), but writer Scott Snyder manages a similarly impressive reintroduction here at the midpoint of American Vampire. Continue reading

Creator Interview: Scott Snyder

Creator Interview: Scott SnyderIt’s a great time to be a Scott Snyder fan. Between the continued success of his run on Batman, his well-received new series Superman Unchained and The Wake, and the hotly anticipated American Vampire Anthology, there has never been more Snyder on the shelves. Drew caught up with him at the Boston Comic Con to discuss all of his current projects.
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