Today, Shelby and Spencer are discussing Lazarus 8, originally released April 23rd, 2014.
The squeaky wheel gets the oil.
The nail which sticks out gets hammered down.
Shelby: Two opposing ideas: one, that speaking up about problems is the only way to call attention to them and get them fixed, the other, that maybe standing out from the crowd and speaking out is more dangerous than it’s worth. I am firmly in the former camp; I believe dissent is the first, important step to affect change. After all, if no one knows there’s a problem, how’s it going to get solved? But maybe I only feel that way because I’ve had the luxury of never being in a situation where that would be the more dangerous approach.
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Lazarus 6, originally released February 4th, 2014.
Patrick: Matt Groening had been writing and drawing his comic strip, Life In Hell, for five years beforeThe Los Angeles Way of Deathcaught the attention of James L. Brooks. Brooks had received a framed copy on the strip and the simple message of the piece eventually lead him to mentor Groening, ultimately developing The Simpsons together. That’s a Cliff Notes version of their history, but that specific Life In Hell strip is notorious for all the right reasons — a quick, clear series of images that expressed the existential slog of living and working in LA, but without being beholden to any narrative, save that which the reader projected onto it. There are clever observations throughout — like that “Gun” and “Cop” are basically the same drawing, or that “Sea” and “Air” are both true and elemental (come to think of it, Fire and Earthquake would also fit) — but the most poignant panels are the last two: “Failure” and “Success.” Both are prisons in their own right, and the uber class system at play in Lazarus makes the similarity between these apparent opposites explicit. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Lazarus 5, originally released December 11th, 2013.
Shelby: With family dramas like Lazarus, it seems to always come down to loyalty. With family, a certain amount of loyalty is assumed; they’re your family, you have to be loyal to that. Greg Rucka really tests that with the Carlyles; the first issues are rife with schemes and betrayal. Poor Forever is stuck with the task of not only remaining loyal to the back-stabbingest family, but also not really having a choice as the family’s Lazarus. Despite her unwavering facade, there’s that tiny seed of doubt planted by the anonymous message that she’s not actually a part of the family. If blood ties are the driving force behind her loyalty, what’s she to do if those ties don’t even exist? Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing Lazarus 4, originally released October 2nd, 2013.
Drew: Ah, feudalism. Its simple, incestuous power dynamics make for some fascinating drama. Sure, there can be warring families, but the real dangers are those from within, as family members pit their love for one another against their thirst for power. It completely upends our notions of who we can trust, leaving each member of the ruling class open to betrayal and manipulation. As an effectively immortal killing-machine, Forever Carlyle was always above that kind of base power-grubbing, but Lazarus 4 finds her pulled into the fray with an anonymous tip about her family. Continue reading →