Best of 2017: Best Artists

Artists

Without artists, all of your favorite characters, scenes, costumes, and locations would just be words on a page. In short, they’re the ones that make comics comics. That’s a lot of responsibility, yet the best artists manage to juggle all of those tasks and inject some meaningful art and style into the proceedings. Whether its a subtle expression or a jaw-dropping action sequence, our favorite artists add the requisite magic to make their worlds and characters real. These are our top 10 artists of 2017. Continue reading

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Clever Twists Make Bitch Planet: Triple Feature 5 a Standout

by Drew Baumgartner

Bitch Planet Triple Feature 5

This article will contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

As an anthology series, Bitch Planet: Triple Feature seems to offer a fairly open brief to its contributors: tell an eight-page story set somewhere in the world of Bitch Planet, examining how its entrenched gender and racial biases affect everyday life. But, of course, exactly how those biases manifest in the world of Bitch Planet often needs to be defined in the moment, as these short stories are often venturing into areas yet unexplored by the main series. For these, creators seem to have three primary approaches: 1) present the biases as they appear in the real world with little embellishment, 2) heighten or exaggerate the biases (or their enforcement) that we see in the real world, or 3) invert the biases that we’re familiar with, creating a bizarre reflection of the real world. Issue 5 features all of these approaches, and makes a strong case for each. Continue reading

The Truth Lets Us Down in The Infinite Loop: Nothing But the Truth 2

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The truth is a powerful thing, to be sure, but popular media seems to have the idea that the power of the truth can overcome any obstacle — the second the truth comes out armies rebel, court cases are immediately solved, etc. etc. Pierrick Colinet, Elsa Charretier, and Daniele Di Nicuolo seem to have a more complicated view of the truth throughout Infinite Loop: Nothing But The Truth 2, crafting an issue where the truth isn’t actually all that helpful — and, in some cases, is actually part of the problem. Continue reading

The Infinite Loop Nothing But the Truth 1 Turns to the Opioid Crisis

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The original Infinite Loop series was pretty transparent: it was a sci-fi crusade for the rights and acceptance of LGBTQ folks. That was thinly draped in allegory: Ano wasn’t a target because she was gay, but because she was a time-travel anomaly. But the themes of tolerance and gay rights were prevalent and obvious, presented with a sci-fi veneer that was often better enjoyed than actually understood. I was trying to explain the series to our own Ryan Mogge last night, and while I had the themes and characters totally nailed down, I had a hell of a time trying to recall the plot. Nothing But The Truth firms up some of those logical conundrums while shifting its focus to another group caught in an infinite loop: those effected by the opioid crisis. Continue reading

Marvel Round-Up: Comics Released 6/7/17

We try to stay up on what’s going on at Marvel, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of Marvel Comics. Today, we’re discussing All-New Guardians of the Galaxy 3, Black Bolt 2, Daredevil 21, Doctor Strange 20, Hawkeye 7, Rocket 2 and Unstoppable Wasp 6. Also, we will be discussing Nova 7 on Monday and Amazing Spider-Man 28 on Wednesday, so come back for those! As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

slim-banner4 Continue reading

Marvel Round-Up: Comics Released 5/3/17

We try to stay up on what’s going on at Marvel, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of Marvel Comics. Today, we’re discussing Hawkeye 6, Spider-Gwen 19 and Unstoppable Wasp 5. Also, we discussed Jean Grey 1 on Thursday and will be discussing All-New Guardians of the Galaxy 1 on Monday and Secret Empire 1 and Black Bolt 1 on Tuesday, so come back for those! As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

slim-banner4 Continue reading

Unstoppable Wasp 3

unstoppable-wasp-3

Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing Unstoppable Wasp 3, originally released March 1st, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Taylor: Being an adult who is every day more aware of the inescapable progression of time, it’s becoming easier to look at he past through rose-tinted glasses. When I think back to my time in high school, it’s hard not to picture it as a carefree time when things were simple. However, when I make the effort to wade through the thick seaweed of nostalgia, I remember that high school was anything but easy. One of things that made it challenging was trying to figure out who I was, what social group I identified with, and who I planned on being in the future. These are things every high schooler deals with and as Unstoppable Wasp 3 reminds me, being smart and talented doesn’t make those choices any easier. Continue reading

Unstoppable Wasp 1

unstoppable-wasp-1

Today, Taylor and Ryan M. are discussing Unstoppable Wasp 1, originally released January 4, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Taylor: One of the science teachers at the school where I work has posters hanging up all around her room depicting women scientists along with their accomplishments. Without even asking, it’s clear why her room is set up this way. By hanging these posters she wants to show her female students that yes, they too can be intelligent scientists. While that only seems like common sense to a lot of us, for many girls growing up this lesson is hard to learn because they are rarely shown that as a girl it’s awesome to smart and into science. One has only to look at comic book characters such as Black Widow, a classic femme fatale, to understand how society largely views women’s role in our world. The first issue of Unstoppable Wasp is keen to show that women not only can be scientists, but that it’s damn fun and exciting as well.

Continue reading

The Infinite Loop 6

infinite loop 6

Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing The Infinite Loop 6, originally released September 30th, 2015.

“They’ll put a gun into your hand and call you weak until you’re violent
Don’t believe it
They’re hateful because they’re empty
We’ve got a chance to break the cycle
We could be the heroes that we always said we’d be.”

I Wanted So Badly To Be Brave,” The Wonder Years

Spencer: The first time I listened to that song I cried, and while it still gets me more than a bit emotional, it also lights a fire within me. Yeah I wanna break the cycle — of course I wanna be a hero! Sign me up! It’s a call to action, and an incredibly effective one; so is The Infinite Loop. While Pierrick Colinet and Elsa Charretier’s mini-series is ostensibly a sci-fi action/romance story — and a rather fine one at that — at its core it exists to preach a message, spark a movement, incite readers to action. If there exists a more thorough call to action than The Infinite Loop 6, I don’t think I want to see it. Continue reading

The Infinite Loop 3

infinite loop 3

Today, Patrick and Michael are discussing The Infinite Loop 3, originally released June 17th, 2015.

Patrick: I like to think that these Alternating Currents are fearless. We make whatever observations we want and to hell with the consequences! Sometimes that means getting pushback from creators that used to retweet our pieces, sometimes it means getting into an argument in the comments section or on twitter. But the audience for one of these pieces is highly self-selected – anyone reading this specific piece (for example) is going to have read all the way through Infinite Loop 3 and wants to read more about it. That’s a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of people, likely lumped together by a shared set of values, enthusiasms and ways of thinking about and consuming culture. So when I make some dumb statement about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles perfecting action on the static page, I am, almost by definition, preaching to the choir. There’s no grander cultural risk involved – the writer and the reader are trapped in the same loop of perspective. Infinite Loop 3 makes a bold attempt to break itself out of its cultural loops by ratcheting both its science fiction elements and its lesbian erotica elements to insanely high levels, and the result is decidedly fearless. Continue reading