January is traditionally a quiet month in the book industry, the relentless torrent of autumn releases and Christmas gift books swept aside by diets and wishful thinking texts of the new year, but nobody seems to have told the comics industry. Thank goodness.
With such a wealth of intriguing new titles on sale it's easy for some of the smaller fish to get lost in the gigantic pond, so without further ado here are some choice pickings on the shelves this month - indies, graphic novels, and floppies alike!
As promised, the first instalment proper of my new column for the British Science Fiction Association's critical journal, Vector. Coverage of the world of SF literature can be a tad bloke heavy, and comics are no exception.
Time then to delve into the truly groundbreaking work from SF comic creators that just happen to be female: Starstruck, A Distant Soil, and Finder; and their modern successors Saga, Decrypting Rita, and Grindhouse.
Hit the jump for the full article!
The world of superheroes is a funny old place, home to some of the craziest and most imaginative storytelling of the last century, but eternally trapped in a constantly regressive rut. Long time fans simultaneously demand change and uniformity, for heroes to evolve and remain the same age forever more.
This month Marvel announced three key upcoming changes in its comics line, which was met with familiar outrage and increasing mainstream press interest towards this medium that has given the public their favourite superhero movies. But what was most interesting to many onlookers were not the announcements themselves, but the chosen method of broadcast.
The View, a US daytime talk show, exclusively announced that Thor was to be female in an upcoming title. "It’s a huge day in the Marvel Universe," revealed Whoopi Goldberg. "Thor, the God of Thunder, he messed up. He is no longer worthy to hold that damn hammer of his. And for the first time in history that hammer is being held by a woman."
The Independent on Sunday – Review of Sally Heathcote: Suffragette By Mary Talbot, Kate Charlesworth, and Bryan Talbot
The highly anticipated second graphic novel from Costa winners Mary and Bryan Talbot hit the shelves this week, this time with Kate Charlesworth providing art duties, and Bryan having designed the layouts. The Independent on Sunday chose the title as their leading book review.
Mary's first graphic novel, Dotter of Her Father's Eyes, was a biographical affair and Sally Heathcote: Suffragette keeps that historical background while introducing a fictional lead character to move through the events of suffrage and the fight for the women's vote, providing a grounding point for the reader.
It is a brilliant work of art and a fascinating (and meticulously researched) insight to the complexities of the suffrage movement in the UK - hopefully my review will help convince more people to read it!
A great interview with Kelly Sue DeConnick, a look at the return of Captain Marvel, and chatting about the popularity of the Carol Corps.
The crazily busy writer was kind enough to give up some of her time to answer some questions on all things Carol Danvers as the character makes her spectacular cosmic return!
A new piece up on The Guardian, where I have a chat with superb creators Posy Simmonds, Katie Green, Isabel Greenberg, and Kate Charlesworth ahead of this weekend's Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal.
We look at why they picked the comics medium, the subversive and communicative powers of comics, and how things have changed - and remained the same - for women creators across the decades.
Long-time Guardian favourite and multiple award-winner Posy Simmonds is one such guest, a prolific artist who has been drawing comics since she was a little girl. Her collection last year, Mrs Weber's Omnibus, brought together her long-running strips for the Guardian about a well-meaning middle-class family.
"As a child," Simmonds tells me, "I liked the combination of words and pictures - in bound copies of Punch magazines and, later, in the piles of comics some American kids used to give me. There was also something subversive about comics that appealed - adults didn't approve of them."