Beast Complex

The single volume Beast Complex collects six stories by Paru Itagaki, the creator of Beastars. They’re set in her world where anthropomorphized carnivores and herbivores try to co-exist, in spite of one type of being wanting to eat the other. It’s a potent metaphor. Characters are constantly under threat because of what they are, not what they choose to do, although these tales make it clear that everyone has choices. Each story puts one of each type of creature into […]

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The Most Popular Kids’ Halloween Movies

I like Halloween, but I don’t like being scared. Spooky’s neat, though, so I was interested to see this information about each state’s Top Kids Halloween Movie. I have quibbles, of course — Scooby-Doo, although the most popular, isn’t really a movie, while I’m not sure E.T. is in the same genre as the rest of these, and Gremlins is more of a Christmas movie, in my opinion. I like the little icons, although I’m laughing at Scooby-Doo being represented […]

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Voyagers! Was the Anti-Doctor Who

As a bit of nostalgia, I bought the Voyagers! The Complete Series DVD set this summer. The series ran for one season, 20 episodes, from 1982-1983. I loved the concept — a befuddled time traveler, part of a group fixing mistakes in history, lost his instruction book (a popular concept of the time) and teamed up with a kid who knew a lot about history. The traveler was Phineas Bogg, played by Jon-Erik Hexum (known for dying young after an […]

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What Defines a Pro?

The latest installment of Andi Watson’s newsletter raises a good question: How do you define a professional? Different people have different ideas of what makes you a pro. It could simply be an attitude of taking pride in doing a good job regardless of the circumstances. It could be getting published by a proper publisher (whatever that means). It could be getting paid to do the thing full time. It could be getting paid to do the thing full time […]

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Wildflowers

Wildflowers, by Liniers, is the Argentine cartoonist’s third Toon book inspired by his girls, after The Big Wet Balloon and Good Night, Planet. This is the oddest of the three, but the bizarre story eventually reveals itself as a comfortable reminder of the power of imagination. Three girls, inspired by the author’s daughters, seem to be trapped on a mysterious jungle island after a plane crash. As the story continues, the reader suspects something else might be going on, since […]

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The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #7

The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #7 is exactly what I want from a superhero comic — adventure, humor, and a refusal to take itself too seriously. (I understand that that is not a popular approach these days, but I know what I like.) It’s rare for me to laugh out loud at one, but there’s a joke on the first page that had me doing so — Daphne’s butler Jenkins has come to reminisce about his time in butler school […]

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Stuck Rubber Baby 25th Anniversary Edition

Howard Cruse’s Stuck Rubber Baby, I have no doubt, has changed lives. It changed mine. It’s the semi-autobiographical story of Toland Polk, a young man hiding from his homosexuality in the southern US in the 1960s, as the civil rights movement becomes more important. Toland is raised by well-meaning racists, but he hangs out with people more on the fringes, dating a politicized folk singer and going to parties with a gay former sailor and a drag queen and people […]

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Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu Volume 8

I haven’t written about this series in a while, but I’ve kept enjoying it. It’s a quiet pleasure, particularly as we continue to rotate through moments in the life of its recurring cast of customers and guests. The Japanese restaurant continues to serve basic dishes from that cuisine to medieval Europeans through its unspecified magical location. Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu volume 8 shows us several milestones in the lives of those vsitors: Former soldier Hans has quit his job in the […]

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