Most media artifacts come to the public fully formed, the creative process long since edited away or consigned to the rubbish bin. With comic books that process has typically been more open to the public. For starters, when following a long-running series over a number of years, you can see how characters and concepts grow and change in time. If the series has the same creative team you may also see how an artist’s style or a writer’s craft develops as they gain experience.
Last March, Jon, Bex and Jared all read through an issue of 2000AD from the distant past (that's the 1980s!).
Worth it just to hear Jon and Bex try to explain wtf is happening to poor Jared.
Plus, the first appearance of Halo Jones!
As 2000 AD reaches its landmark 2,000th issue, it seems like an appropriate time to look back at the weekly anthology’s greatest creation: Judge Joe Dredd.
First appearing in 1977 in the second prog of 2000 AD, created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, Dredd is a hard-line law enforcer in the dystopic future, dispensing justice in the enormous Mega-City One. The character has gone on to star in pretty much every subsequent issue of 2000 AD, spawned numerous spin-offs and two feature length films. So, 1,999 issues since he first appeared, just why is Judge Dredd so appealing?
Published by SelfMadeHero in October, Tetris: The Games People Play, is Box Brown's follow-up to his biography of wrestling and Hollywood legend, Andre the Giant. In his new graphic novel, Brown marries a philosophical view of humanity’s relationship to games with the true story of the rise in popularity and subsequent legal wrangling of the '80s sensation Tetris. Although artistically snappy and warm, the creator only pulls off this marriage with debatable success. Regardless, the story of Tetris is full of humour, warmth and surprise, even if it falls slightly short of the book's loftier aims.
I confess, I’m not much of a gamer; I’ve never spent hours curing patients in Theme Hospital or worked my thumbs to the bone for that perfect combo on Street Fighter, heck, I’ve never even had a phone with Snake on it. So when I heard about a graphic novel about the creation of Tetris, I wasn’t particularly excited. Tetris? That annoying game from the 80s with the stupid blocks that never go where they’re supposed to? Why would I want to read about that?
Loki is a great place to start, because he’s a perfect example of a villain who isn’t really all that impressive on paper. Oh sure, he’s got some nifty tricks up his sleeve – notably his talents as an illusionist – but on his home turf of Asgard, a world populated entirely with godlike denizens, Loki’s powers barely set him apart from the pack. As a warrior, he’s no Thor; heck, he can’t even compete with his brother’s merry band of cookie-cutter sidekicks. His schemes aren’t all that subtle, either. He does manage to manipulate his brother pretty effectively, but let’s face it – that takes about as much cunning as convincing your golden retriever to chase the stick you didn’t really throw.
If the recent and successful relaunch of Archie Comics is any indication, it appears that the age of youthful cynicism is dead. While punk had a rebellious spirit, it was the grunge movement that solidified the apathetic and bleak outlook of the 90s MTV Generation X-ers, which might have faded before now had it not been swept up in the chain of catastrophes in the noughties. Optimism had no place in the world of 9/11, the War on Terror, natural disasters, climate change and financial crises instead fatalism and malaise carried on the grunge spirit of the previous decade.
Nostalgia hits us in various ways this show, as we take a look at issue six of Paper Girls, written by Brian K Vaughan with art by Cliff Chiang and Matt Wilson, which tells the story of characters from 1988 brought forward into the present. (And some others coming back from the future. Possibly. Exactly what’s going on remains tantalisingly intriguing.)
Let's face it - it's been a grim week in the LGBT world (and indeed, everywhere), so it feels more important than ever to acknowledge and celebrate our sexual and gender diversity. So...
Happy Pride Month! To mark the occasion, and to reflect its queer sensibilities, Oni Press has published its first Pride Spectacular; three extracts from its LGBTQ-focused titles, including previews of two new series. So how do Merry Men, Wet Moon and Princess Princess Ever After hold up as queer stories, as comics in general, and as reasons to have Pride?
And by way of celebrating the radical act of living openly - this episode's 3-and-1 is a delve into 'comic book coming out', with a particular focus on some times it was done well.
This show is dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Orlando shooting, and to the countless other LGBT victims of violence across the world.
If you're even sort of comics-adjacent these days you've probably heard of Spider-Gwen. At the very least you've seen something Spider-Gwen and gone, I don't know what that is, but it's awesome. Spider-Gwen has reinvigorated the comics market in an amazing way. Like Deadpool before her, anytime she's on a cover the comic sells out.
But Spider-Gwen doesn't just look cool, she is cool. In an alternate timeline, Gwen Stacey (you know, the way more awesome girlfriend than Mary Jane? The best part of The Amazing Spider-Man? The character who died horribly to give Peter Parker feels?) gets bitten by a radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker and develops spider powers. And then she is EVEN MORE AWESOME.