Today, Taylor and Shelby are discussing Sword of Sorcery 8, originally released May 15th, 2013.
Taylor: It’s hard to believe, but we haven’t been able to buy Surge — that neon green, sugar-saturated soft drink — for thirteen years now. For whatever reason, I remember Surge being incredibly popular with my peers in primary school. The reasons for this really evade me at the moment. It wasn’t all that great or different from other soft drinks and it certainly didn’t offer any benefits aside from its taste. I don’t remember the ad campaign for Surge but I’m guessing that it must have had something to do with everyone’s fondness for the slimy soda. I seem to remember that everyone thought it was so chock-full of sugar it would drive a sane student nuts. If we wanted to stay up late or feel energized my friends and I would gulp down the snot-colored soda and pretend we instantly felt the effects. So that was Surge, and now it is gone. Even though I only liked it as a kid I still have fond memories of that stuff. Similarly, even though Sword of Sorcery is going the way of Surge and leaving shelves indefinitely, I’ll always look back on it with cheerful glee, glad that existed even for a short time.
Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing Sword of Sorcery 3, originally released December 19th, 2012.
Taylor: It’s the end of the year and even though Christmas has yet to happen, we are beginning to see the obligatory end of the year lists that have become a staple of most review sites. On the one hand, I find these lists to be particularly useful and interesting when I’m trying to scout out all of the media I shouldn’t have missed in the past year. On the other hand, these lists can be quite arbitrary when you consider that measuring cultural themes by a mostly pointless time span is not a valid means of assessing something’s cultural capital. Whatever your feelings are on these lists it can’t be denied that they cause us to pause and reconsider a period of time in our lives that is quickly coming to an end. It also causes us to consider where we are going in the future and all that we hope will happen. These themes of change, beginnings and endings pervade the fourth issue of Sword of Sorcery and have us wondering, just what will become of this series in the new year.
Today, Shelby and Taylor are discussing Sword of Sorcery 2, originally released November 21st, 2012.
Shelby: Who doesn’t love political intrigue? I’m not talking about the presidential campaign nonsense we recently had to put up with, I mean the old school machinations that only a royal family could conceive of. When power is passed through bloodlines (literal magical powers divied up among the relatives), manipulating those bloodlines and relations suddenly becomes crucial to keeping a position of authority. Things are about to get complicated, so I’m going to try to map this out as best I can.
Today, Shelby and Taylor are discussing Sword of Sorcery 1, originally released October 17th, 2012.
Shelby: It seems a common element of fantasy is the quest for power. You’ve got multiple countries, or cities, or houses, or whatever, all scrambling for as much power as they can get. In Dune, the power comes from control of the geriatric spice melange. In Game of Thrones, the power is in owning land and controlling trade. Amethyst seems a little different: the power is in your blood, is literally passed from generation to generation. This isn’t a power that can be bartered for, or distributed through a treaty; there appears to be one way to obtain more power in Gemworld, and it is a bloody one.
Zero month saw the launch of several new titles, including the fantasy-infused Sword of Sorcery. As soon as the issue was released, the return of Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld was overshadowed by controversy surrounding a scene of an attempted rape. Reactions ranged from outrage and disappointment to outrage and disappointment over said outrage and disappointment. The only thing that could really be said about the reactions is that everybody had one. Not to be left out of the dialogue, the Retcon Punchers have their own thoughts on the issue. Welcome to the Chat Cave.
Drew: The charge against this issue is largely lead by Chris Sims of Comic Alliance. Sims’ objection basically boils down to two key points: 1) that rape as an overused trope writers use to darken comics needlessly, and 2) that it’s particularly inappropriate in a kid-friendly title. This blogger does a pretty good job of rebutting Sims first point, so I’ll just add that while rape can be misused as a narrative bludgeon — as can death, love, war, hate, or pretty much anything else that makes stories compelling — it doesn’t mean it should be off-limits. Whether or not it was used inappropriately should be determined on a case-by-case basis, so its perceived overuse shouldn’t enter into the conversation at all. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and (guest writer) Selene Gill are discussing Sword of Sorcery 0, originally released September 19, 2012. Sword of Sorcery 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Shelby: We take comic books pretty seriously here at Retcon Punch. We firmly believe in applying our liberal arts educations to the medium and offering up intelligent and thought-provoking discourse. We recognize that comic books are both a form of literature AND art, and we want to do everything in our power to take that critical eye we honed in Freshman Studies and apply it to the issues in front of us. But, we also know that there is nothing wrong with reading something that’s a fun bit of fluff; sometimes you just want to be entertained. It’s only the first issue, but I suspect that Sword of Sorcery might turn out to be that fluffy bit of nothing, and I think I like it.