If there’s one thing that’s changed in the word of comics, for both readers and critics, it’s the huge market shift towards digital over the last decade. As comics have become more and more mainstream, from superheroes on our cinema screens to award winning graphic novels in book stores, the medium has embraced the potential of digital distribution in a way that took many by surprise.
As an ex-bookseller, comics as physical objects are something I’ve been quite stubbornly defensive of. But as an avid webcomic fan, and someone rapidly running out of space in my house, I was starting to come around to the idea of digital comic reading. I’d tried a Kindle for reading books and it hadn’t quite stuck – yet another piece of tech to lug around – but the iPad seemed pretty attractive, with the added bonus of being able to read full colour comics on a screen that did them justice. And the iPad mini looked particularly tempting.
So I figured, why not give one a whirl?
A spoiler-free farewell to my beloved favourite, and a note of regret from an ex-fan of the New 52.
I almost didn’t pick issue one off the shelf. In a year saturated with vampires, the cover suggested that this would be one more silly dark romance yarn but with added naked and fanged women: not always what I look for in a comic. Still, in the spirit of being one of the rare new New 52 readers – previously I had only bought the trade collections – I had a quick peek within and immediately added it to my haul. Settling down at home with my spread of Batmen, ex-Vertigo characters, Morrison-penned heroes, and random picks, I came to I, Vampire last. And was immediately delighted. This was it, this was the comic I’d been waiting on. I foisted it upon my friends, “read this,” I instructed, and begged them to ignore the cover.
The official trailer for upcoming movie R.I.P.D. hit the internet last week, and sparked a stampede of people rushing to label the supernatural buddy cop romp as stepping a little too neatly into the swanky shoes of the Men in Black. Some went so far as to write R.I.P.D. off as a poor MiB rip-off. Here’s why they’re wrong.
Okay, so looking at the actual trailer, the argument for R.I.P.D. being a MiB clone is actually pretty strong. Dagnabbit. But wait. There are two reasons the comparison is flawed. But let’s look at the similarities first.
When it comes to Wonder Woman, the headlines suggest that we only seem to care about three things: what she’s wearing, what her latest TV attempt is wearing, and who she is banging. Basically, it’s all about her pants.
This week I sat down and caught up with Wonder Woman. She’s a character I’ve never quite got on with as well as I feel I should, her blankness never quite being filled despite tremendous efforts from Greg Rucka, Gail Simone, and more. Unlike Superman and Batman ,DC’s foremost female hero has no secret identity to ground her, no strong motivation to steer her path. And yet, just beyond tantalising reach is surely some of the greatest stories never told.
An intriguing beginning, containing a single panel that is worth the cover price alone.
Mark Millar is, of course, the master of hype. From the headline-grabbing The Authority to the more recent Superior, Supercrooks, and Secret Service, Millar has taken the screen success of Wanted and Kick-Ass and turned himself into a one-man media machine. With any hype there is the very real danger of a project failing to live up to its massively projected expectations, and Jupiter’s Legacy is no exception with fans ready to turn a harsh eye on what is offered. The writer has drawn parallels with some of the biggest stories in pop culture – Lord of the Rings and “this is my Star Wars” – a very ambitious benchmark to say the least.
While much of the comics and film press has been focusing on various men of metal (iron, steel and adamantium respectively) alongside promising sequels and the lovely Thor, one comic film is being a tad overlooked. Starring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Alison Pill, Ed Harris and Octavia Spencer, this looks set to be a very different kind of comic book film, and perhaps a surprise blockbuster.
Based on the popular bande dessinée Le Transperceneige, this is the story of a future world where the remnants of humanity live on board a single train, powered by a perpetual motion engine. The Earth is encased in a bitter Ice Age, induced by a failed attempt to halt global warming. The train, one thousand and one carriages long, holds an entire society within; the last society, segregated by class via position. The further away from the engine, the more poverty and tension can be found. Revolution is in the air.