Long before venturing out into the vast, unending wastes of cyberspace, Platinum Grit creators Trudy Cooper (artist, writer) and Danny Murphy (co-writer) entered the world of DIY comics the old-fashioned way. The way of pencils, paper, and India ink, of kneaded erasers, smudged lines, rudimentary knowledge of physiology and foreshortening, and unmercifully indelible artifacts that, try as one migh ... Continue Reading
As a teenager, I was absolutely obsessed with a comic called Generation X. Created by Scott Lobdell and Chris Bachalo for Marvel Comics, the series was a disaffected New Mutants revamp for the 1990s--New Mutants being the inaugural ‘teenage X-Men’ series back in the 1980s. Oh, I’ve lost you. Sorry.
The point is, Generation X had believably characterized teenage superheroes with incredibly creat ... Continue Reading
Absolute Boyfriend is an embarrassing book to own. The title makes it sound like a porno magazine, and there’s an oh-so-pretty, butt-nekkid bishounen boy on the cover clutching a postcard that reads: “Present For You.” I swear I blushed five shades of red when I took this one to the counter. But if, like me, you don’t mind stomaching a few seconds of complete embarrassment in order to get your man ... Continue Reading
Doubt!! initially attracted my attention because the incomparable Kelly Sue DeConnick, one of the best Americans working in manga today, wrote the English adaptation. It has all the trappings of a classic shojo ‘ugly duckling’ tale—formerly nerdy, unpopular high school student Ai Maekawa is determined to make a splash at her new school by transforming herself into the Japanese Mischa Barton—but Do ... Continue Reading
Inubaka is a comic about dog poop.
More specifically, it’s a shojo manga that follows the misadventures of naïve 18-year-old virgin Suguri and her loyal pet mongrel Lupin as they run away from home to find a job in Tokyo. Along the way, Lupin accidentally humps Noa, a fetching purebred Labrador retriever, at a rest stop. Horrified, Noa’s owner, goateed 26-year-old dog groomer Teppei, reacts to ... Continue Reading
The hefty, full-color Graffiti Women is a companion to the equally lavish Graffiti World. This could be taken in two ways: rather like an insult (why not include all these women in the non-gender identified Graffiti World?) or as a testament to the prolific women's street art scene (there's so many awesome ladies wielding cans and wheat paste they can't fit into a general book). I choose to go w ... Continue Reading
Thomas Pynchon’s fictional universe is one of cyborg Victorian spies, underground mail networks, a kidnapping octopus named Gregori, and rock bands with names like “The Vomitoids.” The author’s real-life universe is one of both deep mystery and literary accolades. Therefore, the release of Against the Day, Pynchon’s sixth novel since 1961, is a big deal for English professors as well as the auth ... Continue Reading
Anhedonia is a slim volume, aesthetically more of a zine than a book, complemented by a hand-screened, cardboard cover and tucked in a twill bag sewn by Jordan's mother. The illustrations and short comic that make up Anhedonia are rife with uneasiness, the threat of violence and the weariness one feels from a lifetime of partying. Jordan's style relies on bold, dark lines and inky black backgrou ... Continue Reading
It’s hard to be an X-Men fan these days. I’m turning into an apologist. Even among fellow comic book geeks, who are supposed to welcome me with open arms, I’m forced to make fun of the fact that Wolverine’s on every single cover, and Jean Grey is dead for the—wait for it—third time. My complaints about the sudden, unceremonious disposal of Angel, Psylocke, Gambit, Storm, Bishop, and other previous ... Continue Reading
I have this theory that if you read an Alix Ohlin story while watching an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, the two sync up perfectly. Like Larry David, Ohlin has a method, and she rarely deviates from it. First, she hints at a quirk or issue that will later prove problematic; next, her protagonist reels from some sudden event; finally, the threads meet in an uncomfortable, though not necessaril ... Continue Reading