Green Valley 9: Discussion

by Drew Baumgartner & Michael DeLaney

Green Valley 9

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

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Drew: The first time travel story I remember experiencing is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III. Its time-travel mechanic was as logical as it needed to be to satisfy six-year-old me, but it left me with some weird assumptions about how time worked. Specifically, the way the movie intercuts between its present-day and feudal Japan scenes convinced me that the past is playing out in parallel with the present. That is, even though time travel is possible, if I travel to the past, wait five minutes, then return to the present, I can only arrive five minutes after I left. It makes no logical sense, but continues to be a popular feature of time travel stories in order to allow them to follow separate storylines in separate time periods simultaneously. Indeed, it’s a technique employed judiciously in Green Valley 9, as Max Landis and Giuseppe Camuncoli delight in touching upon just about every time travel trope as they draw the series to a close. Continue reading

I Hate Fairyland 1

Alternating Currents: I Hate Fairyland 1, Drew and RyanToday, Drew and Ryan M. are discussing I Hate Fairyland 1, originally released October 14th, 2015.

Drew: When I was in high school, I used to annoy a friend of mine by insisting that all ska music sounds the same. I suspect the vast majority of people might agree that ska has a pretty specific sound, but that’s true of virtually any artistic style, from country music to cubism — if you aren’t placing it in the appropriate context, you’ll only notice the most superficial elements, which necessarily define the genre. I’d argue that certain artists are so unique that they present a genre unto themselves, which is why sophomore efforts from those artists, say Spike Jonze’s Adaptation or Weezer’s Pinkerton, are chronically under-valued: we notice only the superficial similarities to their previous work, failing to appreciate what makes this one different. History tends to right those wrongs, but it can be hard to correct in the moment. So please, don’t hold it against me when I suggest that Skottie Young’s I Hate Fairyland presents a cuter, cruder take on his Rocket Raccoon. Continue reading

Rocket Raccoon 10

rocket raccoon 10

Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing Rocket Raccoon 10, originally released April 1st, 2015.

Spencer: Every comic character has a certain formula inherent to their stories. That’s not to say that every Batman or Superman story is the same, but think about how often you used to see Batman entangled in a death trap, or nowadays see him facing the destruction of his city, or Superman duking it out with a heavy-hitter over Metropolis. There’s more than enough variations on these stories to stop them from all being rehashes, but my point is that I can often just glance at a plot synopsis and immediately tell, “Oh yeah, that’s a Superman story” or “Oh yeah, that’s a Batman story. ” Skottie Young and Jake Parker’s Rocket Raccoon 10 is one of those issues that fits every requirement for a Rocket Raccoon story to a “t.” It’s very much a “standard” Rocket Raccoon story, but in achieving that status, it’s lost any sort of identity of its own. Instead of standing out, it blends in, to the point where I feel like I’ve read this story before. Continue reading

Rocket Raccoon 5

Alternating Currents: Rocket Raccoon 5, Drew and SpencerToday, Drew and Spencer are discussing Rocket Raccoon 5, originally released November 5th, 2014.

Drew: I think reading makes us bad at evaluating comics. Or, rather, the fact that literacy so far outstrips our art literacy that the art can often go unnoticed. I know from my own experience that there’s a tendency for beginning readers to just burn through the dialogue, barely paying any attention to the art. It’s these tendencies that make Stan Lee an inarguable household name, while Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby are only known by comic fans. Indeed, our focus on writing is so ingrained, it often takes a compelling dialogue-free issue (or sequence) to remind us that comics are a visual medium. With Rocket Raccoon 5, Skottie Young and Jake Parker deliver something of a goofy cousin of the silent issue, but one that nevertheless emphasizes just how much storytelling can be done with images alone. Continue reading

Rocket Raccoon 2

Rocket raccoon 2Today, Greg and Drew are discussing Rocket Raccoon 2, originally released August 6th, 2014.

Greg: In middle school I had a problem, and that problem was flood pants. You know, pants that are too short for you, leaving your ankles embarrassingly exposed, as if you want your pants to be safe in case of a flood. Maybe we didn’t have enough money for new pants, maybe I just didn’t care, but I got ravenously bullied for wearing these things. One night, as I fought back tears and told my mom my woes, she offered a line for me to say in reponse — a line so well-crafted I can’t believe my mom didn’t have a previous career as a comedy writer. The very next day, when one of my tormentors chipped away at me, I unleashed this bomb: “When the flood comes, you’ll all be sorry.” The response was intense, way more than I could’ve imagined. These kids laughed until they cried, and didn’t bother me about my flood pants so much anymore. I learned that day a valuable lesson, one that makes itself known in this issue of Rocket Raccoon: humor is a powerful way to work through traumas.

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