Generations Iron Man and Ironheart 1: Discussion

by Taylor Anderson and Patrick Ehlers 

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

Taylor: The future is going to be weird, man. How do I know? Every day I stand before 25 middle schoolers and attempt to teach them important stuff about books. Frequently, I’ll make analogies that are too out of date for them to get or, more embarrassingly, I’ll pull a “back in my day” story out of the playbook. Thinking about the difference from when I was in middle school to the kids I teach today is a lesson in how fast things change. These kids (see, I’m already so old I can’t help it!) have never known a world without cell phones, the internet, and Justin Bieber. Generations: Iron Man and Ironheart 1 understands that change happens quickly, just as I do, but the world that the issue imagines is beyond anything I thought imaginable. Continue reading

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Once and Future Queen 1

Alternating Currents: Once and Future Queen 1, Drew and Taylor

Today, Drew and Taylor are discussing Once and Future Queen 1, originally released March 1st, 2017. As always this article contains SPOILERS.

Louise: Say I taught them chess instead of English. Every conversation is a game, every idea expressed through opposition — victory and defeat. You see the problem? If all I ever give you is a hammer…

Colonel Weber: …everything’s a nail

Arrival

Drew: Man, I loved Arrival. That movie is particularly good at crystallizing its themes in single moments — there’s a ton of them in the film — but the one quoted above is my absolute favorite. It’s a key turning point for the plot, but more importantly, it reasserts the notion that language influences the way we think; a key concept that had only only been playing in the margins before that moment. Of course, it may just be that “everything’s a nail” is a favorite pet theme of mine, explaining a good portion of human interactions, from minor conversations to declarations of war. It remains to be seen whether that theme will be important to Once and Future Queen, but I couldn’t help but remember this quote as this issue puts the welfare of the planet in the hands of a chess prodigy.

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Fables 141

Alternating Currents: Fables 141, Drew and PatrickToday, Drew and Patrick are discussing Fables 141, originally released June 18th, 2014.

Drew: Long before I ever read a page of Fables, I remember thinking that populating a story with only folktale characters would be incredibly limiting. I had dismissed it as a total gimmick, doomed to occupy a very closed-off little world. Turns out, this couldn’t have been further from the truth. Indeed, the massive world-building that Bill Willingham seems to toss off in every single issue has quickly become my favorite aspect of the series. Every detail can support its own myth, creating a nested, telescoping world that seems virtually infinite. Those myths-within-myths can lend even the more mundane “putting the pieces in place” issues a great deal of action — though with Willingham crafting the dialogue, even the talking heads sequences in this issue are thrilling. Continue reading

Fables 138

Alternating Currents: Fables 138, Drew and PatrickToday, Drew and Patrick are discussing Fables 138, originally released February 19th, 2014.

Drew: I know this cements me as a twenty-something white-boy nerd, but I love it when stories get meta. Fiction is full of characters and situations we can relate to, but few themes are as unifying as the love of storytelling itself. Fables has long been a celebration of the power of storytelling — the way it inspires us, challenges us, and teaches us — but in the wrong hands, that power can be dangerous. After all, what is a lie if not a story? It would be easy to ignore the dark side of fiction, but Fables 138 boldly turns away from Rose Red’s Camelot to detail the deceit Geppetto has hidden behind as he works in secret to rebuild his empire.

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Fables 136

fables 136

Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Fables 136, originally released December 31st, 2013.

Patrick: I worked as a Residence Hall Director the year after I graduated from college. For me, the worst part of doing this job in a professional capacity was having to artificially take on a role that did suit me. I always believe that a Res Life staffer is only as good as they are authentic — college students have incredible bullshit detectors. A few weeks a month, I’d be in possession of the Duty Phone, which meant that I was going to have to act as back-up to campus security and bust parties at a moments’ notice. I used to hate it, and I’d stress out about my time with that damn phone all month. But as soon as the phone was in my hands, I took the duty seriously. It was the role I had to play at that time. As Rose Red’s new Camelot starts to take shape, the subject of roles comes up and makes everyone suitably uncomfortable. Continue reading