Welcome, lovely listeners and Precious Patrons of Pulp Pamphlet Parlay, to Issue 42 of Comics Squee. Each podcast our panelists, thundering across the stars to save the universe, discuss the comic books, graphic novels, and general sequential art geekery that excites them.
Our superpowers are tangents and tentacles.
Taking the revolving 4th chair this issue is our guest, El Anderson. El is the founder and president of Femmes in the Fridge, a website dedicated to opening the door to participation in geek culture both locally and 0nline. I made her acquaintance when she tweeted asking for recommendations for the site’s kid friendly comics list. I think my reply was something like two pages long.
In this issue of Comics Squee we have: noncompliant prison ladies ; the world’s greatest DIY comics website ; airship pirate adventures from Greg Rucka ; and accessibility of Archie.
April: Howtoons by various – primary contributors are Nick Dragotta(comic artist), Saul Griffith(inventor), Ingrid Dragotta(toy designer), and Joost Bonsen(the big kid) (starts at 00:03:00.000)
April likes to makes stuff; it’s her main geekey thing. Howtoons is a maker thing for kids 8-15ish. It’s like those awesome books we used to order from Scholastic with fun how tos.
Howtoons is an instructional webcomic that teaches how to do make awesome things with just stuff you’d have around the house. Like making butter, or marshmallow shooting ‘guns’, or soda bottle rockets.
The art is good cartooning and the projects are fun. It’s geared toward kids but you could use them with your adult geek or maker groups for a fun time.
There are two series, one is purely the how to stuff with no real story line with the two characters, who are siblings. The other title is a sort of adventure series where the kids have to use the stuff they learned. There are a few books out of both.
John: Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick (writer) and Valentine De Landro (artist) (starts at 00:09:26.833)
Are you woman enough to survive? Bitch Planet is set in a future where if you are female and don’t conform you get sent off to a prison planet. They get tattooed with NC for “non compliant” – which a lot of people are getting tattooed in real life, especially as a mashup with other properties like Mad Max: Fury Road, Captain Marvel and Prison Ship Antares.
The art is really good, using half tone dots to delineate flash backs. The entire package has excellent overall graphic design. The back cover has a bunch of old-fashioned style comic book ads for things like giant foam fingers giving the bird an other humorously themed merchandise you can actually purchase from writer Kelly Sue.
The other theme in Bitch Planet that’s really strong is the racial aspect. Almost all of the people in the prison are black. So the other bonus thing you get when purchasing the ‘floppies’ (the individual monthly issues) are essays in the back from predominately African American feminists discussing philosophy of that stuff.
WARNING: This series has strong sexual and violent content.
Chriss: Lady Saber and the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether by Greg Rucka (writer) and Rick Burchett (artist) (starts at 00:17:02.375)
Lady Saber is a webcomic from a pair of Eisner Award winners doing their own indie project. I backed their first book on Kickstarter and it’s one of the better ones I’ve backed.
Lady Saber, in the vein of Erol Flynn, is an aristocrat and a privater with a swashbuckling crew on an air/aether ship that travels from the various chunks of land that float in the Sphere. You’ve got pirates, and an Old West feel, and steampunk.
One of the great things about the webcomic, which is still ongoing, is that they put the script up next to the actual page. Which is fabulous if you are a fan of comics interested in the process, or want to make comics yourself.
El Anderson: Archie comics’ accessibility to new readers (starts at 00:24:18.750)
El is all about kids and getting them hooked on comics and other awesome things. She started reading comics about three years ago, but after discovering Hawekeye (by Matt Fraction and David Aja) she realized she’d actually been first exposed to comics with Archie digests.
Archie is rebooting with Fiona Staples, Chip Zdarsky, Mark Wade and giving all their titles new number 1s. And best of all, they’ve announced they’re getting their comics into Wallmart and Target.
There’s no better way to get kids into comics than to give parents an easy way to purchase them and the assurance that they’re ‘safe’. Because Target and Walmart aren’t going to sell a kids title that’s scary or violent. And when those kids get older and want more comics by these creators there’s wonderful, more adult works like Saga and Daredevil and Sex Criminals.
Question Time: What are your favorite female-led titles? (starts at 00:39:07.500)
- Captain Marvel
- Miss Marvel (Kamela Kahn)
- The Tomb
- etc. (the list we give in the podcast is very long and I just don’t want to type it all out)
What We’re Looking Forward to Reading Next (starts at 00:45:53.250)
Seeing where Alex di Campi takes No Mercy
Nijigahara Holograph by Asano Inio
The Leg: or The Remarkable Reappearance of Santa Anna’s Disembodied Limb by Van Jensen and Jose Pimienta
- El Anderson:
Next issue of Wicked + Divine, and number 2 of The Infinite Loop