Paper Girls 17: Discussion

by Drew Baumgartner & Patrick Ehlers

Paper Girls 17

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

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Drew: Brian K. Vaughan series are hard to pin down, generically. I mean, they obviously fall into big capital-G genres like “sci-fi” or “space opera,” but the list of specific influences — which Vaughan often name-checks — can shift from issue to issue. Case in point, Paper Girls has sprinted through dozens of generic touchstones in its 17 issues. And yet, I’ve been holding onto its starting point in the Spielberg/Columbus-style suburbia of the late ’80s as some kind of essential component of its DNA, even as the series hasn’t been in that setting since its very first arc. While some of the girls may still be in that head-space (Mac sure seems to be), they’re traversing worlds that have entirely different points of reference (both for the people who live in those worlds, and the stories we tell about them), which seems to be leaving an impression on them. Continue reading

Black Cloud 1

Alternating Currents: Black Cloud 1, Drew and Michael

Today, Drew and Michael are discussing Black Cloud 1, originally released April 5th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Drew: We all have some tolerance for ambiguity in stories. It’s what allows mysteries to remain mysterious until the final act, and just generally keeps us guessing about what our characters might do next. Tolerable levels of ambiguity might be called “intriguing,” but once that tolerance threshold is crossed, that intrigue curdles into confusion. There’s no hard rule for finding that threshold (which I suspect varies from person to person), but I suspect it hinges on the faith in the creators. That is, audiences will sit through moments where they have no idea what’s going on so long as they trust that it will all make sense in the end. Audiences tend to have a supply of that trust as a kind of benefit-of-the-doubt, which is why they can abide flash-forward cold opens, but that supply can be exhausted if the creators don’t work to reassure the audience that they can be clear when they need to be. Alas, such is the case with Black Cloud 1, an issue so dense in teasing mythology about storytelling, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for actual storytelling. Continue reading

Marvel Round-Up: Comics Released 1/4/17

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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 Deadpool the Duck 1, Hawkeye 2, Moon Knight 10, Nova 2, Old Man Logan 16 and Unworthy Thor 3. We discussed Captain America Sam Wilson 17 on Thursday and U.S.Avengers 1 today, and we’ll be discussing Unstoppable Wasp 1 on Tuesdayso come back for those! As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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Paper Girls 6

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Today, Michael and Ryan M. are discussing Paper Girls 6, originally released June 1st, 2015.

Michael: I’d say that I had a pretty active imagination growing up – which is to say that I was a human child, really. Maybe it was due to a fascination with dinosaurs or an early notion of regret/paranoia at an early age, but I always loved time travel. Not just travelling to important moments in history but seeing what I would personally become in the future. After a brief hiatus, Paper Girls returns to semi-address my boyhood questions as Erin and her friends travel from 1988 to the present and meet her future self. Continue reading

Daredevil 8

daredevil 8Today, Greg and Spencer are discussing Daredevil 8, originally released September 17, 2014. 

Greg: I went and saw a movie last week against my better judgment. That movie was the clunkily titled Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, a comic-book adaptation and sequel to the excellent 2005 adaptation of Miller’s hard-boiled neo-noir stories. My roommate, who shares my love of this first one, warned me it was terrible. Rotten Tomatoes warned me it was terrible. I didn’t listen. I went and saw it, and boy, terrible doesn’t scratch the surface. It’s a miserable piece of garbage. I could spend hours rage-explaining (ragesplaining?) what is so fundamentally wrong with this dreck, but one criticism stands head and shoulders above the rest: The stylistic tics and techniques are arbitrary, meaningless, and add nothing to the story. Conversely, any play with form in Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s outstandingly excellent Daredevil 8 are part and parcel of an intense, dark, and captivating story.

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