Two years ago the Glasgow Comic Con returned after an absence of 15 years, with headliner Mark Miller ensuring that the event was sold out two months in advance. Last year the promise of Grant Morrison and Jim Starlin stretched the packed out venue to bursting point, and the 2013 convention coming up in July has been announced as moving to a larger stage.
With a guest list so far including John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra, Alan Grant, Rufus Dayglo, Mike Ploog, Hannah Berry and more, this years Glasgow Comic Con is clearly looking to build an even bigger notch on the convention calendar. I spent a weekend in Scotland's biggest city, soaking up the atmosphere and scouting out the best places to eat, stay and do stuff - including of course buying comics!
Marvel continue to tempt me with their extraordinary cover designs that are leaving many other publishers in the shade. Coming to Fearless Defenders blind of recent continuity, I had high hopes for this all female line-up, and was promptly swept off my feet.
...Yes there are tits. There is indeed ass. But for the first time, I get the sense that this is cheesecake that isn’t being aimed primarily at the male readers. There is a whole other demographic out there that loves reading about smart, sassy women who happen to be fantastically gorgeous without being objectified for the male gaze.
Those familiar with my writing here and elsewhere will perhaps know that the topic of “women in comics” is pretty much my thing. Feminism and comics history informs much of what I write, while the specific history of women creators (and women characters) within the medium is my actual field of research. But I’m not the only one that mixes academia and a love of comics, as the creative team behind My So-Called Secret Identity shows.
Will Brooker, Batman scholar and academic author, is on writing duties, alongside professional artists Suze Shore and Sarah Zaidan, who also has a PhD in the comics field. I first heard from Will last year after he read an article I wrote about Barbara Gordon, and he talked about plans he had concerning a new kind of female superhero. Fast forward to 2013, and the first issue of MSCSI has launched to high praise indeed.
Sometimes a book comes out that I’m so ridiculously excited about I get paranoid that I’m going to be disappointed in some way. And then it arrives and turns out to be even better than I hoped for. It becomes the book I take everywhere with me to thrust in people’s faces and say, “READ”. That book is this book.
The Adventures of Superhero Girl is a strip you may have heard of already. It’s a webcomic by the fantastically proficient cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks, who has a whole host of graphic novels to her name (Friends with Boys, Brain Camp, Zombies Calling and the upcoming Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong). I say webcomic, but although it is all available to read online for free, it was actually created for a local newspaper. And it is fabulous.
I seem to have accidentally become a fairly regular reviewer over at The Beat, which is great as it is a really fantastic comics website, but doesn't really fit in with my plan to trim down my workload in favour of academic demands! That said, I really love doing short little reviews and find that it often gives me the spark I need with my research. So, win win!
My recent reviews include a review of the complete Happy by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson, that issue of Batman Incorporated (including spoilers), a look at Matt Fraction and David Aja's Hawkeye, and a spoiler free review of the brand new Lost Vegas from Jim McCann and Janet Lee.
All of which I highly recommend! The Hawkeye review is part of a new series of smaller reviews I'll be working on - Mini Marvels. Recently of course I cut down my number of DC reads, and I've been experimenting with more Marvel titles as a result. And I have to say, so far I'm pretty impressed!
Do check out my reviews over at The Beat - comments and suggestions are welcome as always :)
A spoiler-free personal review of the latest League of Extraordinary Gentlemen book, the graphic novella Nemo: Heart of Ice.
I say personal as it was near impossible for me to put aside my prior feelings when it came to reading this comic, and yet I felt compelled to review it in some manner after racing my way through it in a thoroughly enjoyable manner.
(Hit the jump for the full review!)