Bloodshot Disappoints; Will We Ever See New Mutants?

This past Friday was the opening of the Valiant movie Bloodshot, starring Vin Diesel. Kyle Pinion at the Beat called it “a largely sluggish, CGI overrun mess… so much of it is just a bland nothing.” It came in third this opening weekend, behind the latest Pixar cartoon and a faith-based film, with under $10 million. That’s not very good, but circumstances are incredibly unusual. The bigger headline is that, due to quarantine concerns, the weekend box office hit a […]

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The Definition of Superhero (As Seen Through Transmetropolitan’s Spider Jerusalem)

Several years ago, I contributed an essay to Shot in the Face: A Savage Journey to the Heart of Transmetropolitan, a collection of writings published by Sequartabout the science fiction comic series. My particular topic was “Spider Jerusalem: Super-Hero of the Future?” In that piece, I looked at how one defines a superhero and whether the Warren Ellis-written journalist character qualified. I thought I’d excerpt some key parts here, mostly because I’ve missed arguing online. (I have lightly reedited the […]

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A Man and His Cat

A Man and His Cat by Umi Sakurai adds a comfortable, enjoyable volume to the growing list of cat manga published in the US (of which the best-known are Chi’s Sweet Home and FukuFuku: Kitten Tales). It’s also one of the first releases from the new Square Enix manga line. This is my favorite of the genre, because I liked the two main characters. The cat has been at the pet shop long enough that he’s no longer a kitten, […]

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The World’s Strongest

The World’s Strongest debuts on Wednesday as one of Action Lab’s “digital-first” (which may or may not mean it ever comes to print) titles. It’s $3 for 24 pages, which makes it a short read, but it touches on some insightful points. It also widens the superhero genre from its traditional focus, both in its black female hero and in the concerns it addresses. It’s written by Juan Ponce with art by Matthew Gallman, colors by Jon Yuen, and the […]

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The US Healthcare System Sucks: A Comic

No, that’s not the title Dustin Harbin gave his comic, published by the New York Times last August; he (or they) called it “The Shame of Crowdfunding Health Care”. But it’s the same thing, really. This is a late mention — although you can still donate to the GoFundMe for his medical costs — but I want to capture it for posterity. In short, Harbin had a bicycle crash and landed on his face, which required significant repair work to […]

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Did You Know Choose Your Own Adventure Was a Trademark?

Chooseco is a company that owns the “Choose Your Own Adventure” trademark. (It was formed in 2003 by series founder R. A. Montgomery to bring the 80s books back into print.) Which means that other people who want to do similar multi-threaded stories need to call them “pick your path” or something else. This is relevant because at the end of 2018, Netflix put out an interactive movie, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, that it billed as “choose your own adventure”. And […]

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My Dad Thinks I’m a Boy?!

My Dad Thinks I’m a Boy?! is a trans positive children’s book by Sophie Labelle that shows the reader what it’s like to be a trans child with an unaccepting parent. Stephie is seven years old and clear on who she is and what she likes. Her dad wants her to be Stephen and go fishing with him because that’s what her father likes, even though it makes her sad. The flipped perspective, where the father is childish and stubborn […]

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What Horror Stories Can Do for Kids

Melanie Gillman has posted a short, informative comic essay on horror for kids, or as they put it, “why some kids like to read books that scare them, and why you should let them.” I don’t enjoy the genre myself, but their essay gave me plenty to think about and let me better understand what some get from that kind of entertainment. Some great panel image choices, too.

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