Maze Agency Tee-Hee

Spending a lovely afternoon rereading The Maze Agency, I came across this name-dropping in issue #12. For those who can’t read the text, here it is: Do you have an appointment, young man? Yes, ma’am, I’m Gabriel Webb… … and this is my secretary, Miss Laura Holt. This way, please. Mr. Morrigan will see you now. “Laura Holt”? Where did that name come from? I’ll tell you later… (Written by Mike W. Barr, art by Adam Hughes and Rick Magyar, […]

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Odds Off

Matt Madden’s love of playful formalism, explicitly on display in 99 Ways to Tell a Story, here takes the shape of fiction. Odds Off is a graphic novel about young adults making key relationship and life decisions. Under it all is the exploration of how communication works, or more often, doesn’t work. At a New Year’s party, Shirin wants to leave, but her boyfriend Morgan decides to stay. Shirin’s studying for the MCAT while working a cubicle job. She wants […]

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Ragmop Returns!

I loved Rob Walton’s Ragmop. It was a crazy blend of Warner animation-style art and paranoid political conspiracy theories and wacky ideas. I don’t remember plot details at this point (it was ten years ago now that the series was published), but I have vague recollections of a really smart woman facing off against the Pope, and there were dinosaurs in there somehow. Anyway, the exciting news of the day is that Ragmop is returning! Via Rob Walton’s blog: Far […]

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Fool’s Gold Volume 1

I wanted to like Amy Reeder Hadley’s Fool’s Gold more than I did. That’s not a criticism, per se, but a recognition that I had incredibly high expectations based on early preview chapters. I expected to love it, but due to my high expectations, I only liked it. The full book had lots of wonderful, creative ideas but ended up falling back on more standard plot elements. Penny’s an individual, making her own clothes and dreaming of a career in […]

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Project X: 240Z

While the Cup Noodle volume captured the imagination of bloggers, this earlier book in the series, Project X – The Challengers – 240Z The Fated Z Plan – Fairlady Z/240Z – The Legend of the Most Successful Sport Car in the World, hasn’t been as talked about (possibly because of the incredibly unwieldy subtitles, but more likely because cars aren’t as exotic or odd as noodles are as the subject of a comic). Like the other book, this volume has […]

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Project X: Cup Noodle

Or, as the indicia reads, Project X – The Challengers – Cup Noodle – The Miracle of 8.2 Billion Served – The Magic Noodle, Nissin Cup Noodle. Which made me think, “Take that, McDonald’s!” This is one of a series of business manga based on a Japanese documentary series covering “the movers and shakers behind some of Japan’s most phenomenal success stories.” True to the description, the book is tagged as “manga/business” — and I would love to see the […]

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Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person

43-year-old Miriam Engelberg decided to cope with a diagnosis of breast cancer by creating a comic journal. The back cover calls Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person “devastatingly humorous”, but much as I appreciate black humor and laughing in the face of trouble, I didn’t find the book funny at all. Her style is best described as naive or primitive; it’s flat, with no backgrounds and a heavy reliance on text, both dialogue and captions. Most of the art is […]

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Orion: The Gates of Apokolips

I’ve never been that interested in the New Gods. Their original appearances were before my time, so my exposure to them is limited to reprint volumes and occasional appearances in The Legion of Super-Heroes. There wasn’t a lot about the characters I could relate to, but that changed with this collection, Orion: The Gates of Apokolips. Between the clarity of the god’s motivations, the epic plans and schemes, and the interaction with regular people, there’s more than enough to keep […]

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