Eternity Girl 6: Discussion

by Drew Baumgartner and Mark Mitchell

Eternity Girl 6

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

Through our research, we discovered a disturbing statistic: 41% of transgender people have attempted suicide due to lack of societal acceptance. The national average is 4.6%. We were not willing to take that risk. For Ryland’s well-being, we were advised to allow him to transition as soon as possible.

The Whittington Family: Ryland’s Story

Drew: I first encountered this video as part of a training session for my job at a summer camp. It’s style, mostly still photos and text, doesn’t suggest a particularly moving experience, but the focus on Ryland as an individual helps pull the statistics in the excerpt above down to the human level. That is, anyone’s half-baked opinions about gender are rendered irrelevant in light of this kid’s very real risk of suicide if not accepted for who they are. Indeed, it’s a case that skirts the issue of gender almost entirely, finding the rate of attempted suicide in the trans community to be a much more pressing issue. These are issues that affect both Dani and Caroline but how they navigate their own choices (and their reactions to each other’s choices) lends further nuance to those dry statistics. Continue reading

Eternity Girl 4 Skips Through the Comics Multiverse

By Drew Baumgartner

Eternity Girl 4

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

Comics critics are bad at talking about art. I suspect there are a few overlapping causes — some critics are diehard fans of specific characters, so are more invested in what happens to those characters than they are acknowledging that they live in a fictional world created by real human beings; others are (nominally) writers, so are have an affinity towards writing, which doesn’t leave much room (or knowledge) for anything else. And to be clear, I’m not suggesting that I’m any better. As a non-artist, it’s easy for me to get caught up in the most superficial elements of a given artist’s style. Defying that tendency has always been what excites me about artist Sonny Liew. My first exposure to Liew’s work was his original graphic novel The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, which is part biography, part retrospective on a fictional comics artist, requiring that Liew modulate his style between the docudrama and epistolary elements. The effect was downright magical, creating the sense that there truly was a second artist creating all of the diegetic comics. It effectively defies my tendency to pigeonhole an artist based on “their” style. It’s that skill that Liew taps into with Eternity Girl 4, offering us multiple iterations (and styles) of the life and times of Caroline Sharp. Continue reading

The Timelines Dissociate in Eternity Girl 3

By Drew Baumgartner

Eternity Girl 3

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

Spoiler alert for season one of Westworld, but I’m now deeply suspicions of non-explicit linearity in sci-fi. Fiction has long featured flashbacks and achronological storytelling, but usually by being up-front about when and where those things are happening. Westworld reminded us that stories don’t have to be transparent about when things are happening in relation to one another, and with characters that are impervious to age, we might make bad assumptions (or be intentionally misled). It’s unclear to me how much this applies to Eternity Girl, but that’s exactly why I’m so wary of jumping to any conclusions. Continue reading

Losing (and Taking) Control in Eternity Girl 2

By Spencer Irwin

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

Caroline Sharp isn’t quite all there. I don’t mean that to be a dig at her mental health — she’s literally never just in one place at one time, but rather, being pulled in several directions at once, her consciousness torn between past and present, fantasy and reality, the planet Earth and the far reaches of space. I don’t think it’s the more far-out aspects of this situation that bothers Caroline — it’s the fact that she can’t control it. Continue reading

Eternity Girl 1: Discussion

by Mark Mitchell and Spencer Irwin

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

Mark: People who suffer from chronic depression are often very good at putting up facades of happiness; it’s part of why suicide can be surprising to the friends and family of the person who took their life. These facades are a coping mechanism for a depression sufferer in a number of ways, including stopping people from inquiring about their happiness. If you look happy — if you act “normal” — then people are more apt to leave you alone. But keeping up appearances for the benefit of others is exhausting, and sometimes the facade breaks down at inopportune moments — at a friend’s wedding, the night before a big paper is due, in front of your co-workers at the office.

The performative aspect of keeping up appearances is made literal in Magdalene Visaggio and Sonny Liew’s Eternity Girl 1, a new title in DC’s Young Animal line. Continue reading

Batman: Creature of the Night 1: Discussion

By Spencer Irwin and Michael DeLaney

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

Spencer: When I was a kid, if you’d asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d have answered “Batman.” Growing up on the Adam West series, I didn’t recognize the tragedy that fuels the character — I only saw the potential for adventure. As someone who was bullied a lot as a kid, I think I was especially attracted to the justice of Batman, the idea that the good guys always won and that the villains always got what was coming to them. For many — both children and adults — comics can serve as an oasis or an escape, but at times they also just serve to highlight, to painfully drive home how unfair the real world actually is. That juxtaposition lies at the heart of Batman: Creature of the NightContinue reading

The Sandman Overture 6


sandman overture 6

Today, Shelby and Michael are discussing the The Sandman Overture 6, originally released September 30th, 2015.

Shelby: I’m a big fan of Rick and Morty, that cartoon on Adult Swim that’s basically Back to the Future on crack. Spoiler Alert: if you haven’t seen season one of Rick and Morty, you’re best off just skipping past the break to the rest of the post. Anyway, there’s an episode where Rick, the mad scientist grandpa, basically ruins the whole world, mutates everyone into a Cronenberg-esque monster. You think he’s going to have a clever idea to save everybody, but instead he finds a version of the world in a parallel dimension where he solved the mutation problem but he and Morty died. Rick and Morty merely take their places, and go on living in this new dimension. It’s a mind-blowing episode, one of those special moments when you realize a show is much more than a show. Now imagine that, but instead of having to find a new universe, Rick had to create a new multiverse completely from scratch, and you’ve got the end of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman Overture. Continue reading

The Sandman Overture 5

Alternating Currents: The Sandman Overture 5, Drew and Michael

Today, Drew and Michael are discussing the The Sandman Overture 5, originally released May 27th, 2015.

Drew: Neil Gaiman has never been shy about pulling down the curtains that separate fiction from reality. I might call it “breaking the fourth wall,” but it’s less winking at the camera, and more showing us the puppet’s strings to better appreciate the puppet itself. In that vein, it’s never been hard to see Gaiman as Dream, the raven-haired prince of stories, fighting to maintain order over his dominion of characters, settings, and situations. It makes for some fascinating commentary on the creative process, especially when Dream comes up against forces beyond his control, even within his own stories. That’s exactly the name of the game in The Sandman Overture 5, as Gaiman pulls the curtain back on Dream’s mother and brings in some surprises that even Destiny didn’t see coming. Continue reading

Batwoman 6

Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Batwoman 6, originally released February 8th, 2012.

Patrick: Batwoman #6 opens close on the Bat symbol on Kate Kane’s chest. Subtitles indicate that we are reading “Batwoman’s Story. Now.” Setting and protagonist are stated up-front in writing because we won’t be with this person, or in this time, for very long. The rest of the 22-page issue touches on the story of 5 other characters as related to the kidnapping and murder of children by members of Medusa and the origin of the La Llorona  myth. It is a dizzying exercise in perspective and chronology that skips wildly between characters and locales. Some of the stories offer new perspective on events that unfolded in the five issues that proceeded it, while others (those presented as “Now”) seem to have skipped ahead in time to a climactic battle for the safety of the kidnapped children. Continue reading