Deconstructing Comics #620: “Daredevil: Born Again”

Daredevil: Born Again came out in 1986, when US mainstream comics were changing in ways that now are either taken for granted or now look a bit antiquated (so much story in so few pages!). Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli were making their mark. But does their storytelling style hold up 33 years later? How does it look alongside Miller’s contemporaneous The Dark Knight Returns? Koom and Rob discuss this classic story arc from Daredevil #226-233.

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Critiquing Comics #151: “Days of Dark Fire” and “Rage in the Shadows”

"Days of Dark Fire" and "Rage in the Shadows"

Days of Dark Fire (by Giovanni Smith and Mike Gaughran) is a somewhat lighthearted sword-and sorcery tale, about a screwup prince who’s trying to save his kingdom. Rage in the Shadows (by Ralph Henriquez and Emilio Utrera) is about a homeland security agent who’s been given a super-soldier type serum that’s killing her. Tim and Mulele discuss both comics, and give advice about how to make them better!

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Deconstructing Comics #619: Cowboys and Ninjas in Comics

Cowboys and Ninjas

How one culture perceives aspects of another culture is always interesting to observe. Our old friend Patrick Iijima-Washburn has been looking at how American comics portray ninja warriors and, conversely, how Japanese comics portray cowboys. Tim gets his observations on the matter.

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Critiquing Comics 150: “These Savage Shores”

Last time, we started to review issue 2 of These Savage Shores by Ram V., Sumit Kumar, Vittorio Astone, and Aditya Bidikar, but we decided to wait and get ahold of issue 1. Now we have the first three issues, so we dig into this 17th-century story of India, including a vampire and a masked immortal.

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Critiquing Comics #149: “Gorky and Izzy’s Trip to Mexico”

Gorky and Izzy

Gorky and Izzy are partners in crime – literally – but Gorky’s been dumped by his girlfriend and he’s in a bad way. Izzy is struggling to deal with him in a way befitting a best friend. Tim and Mulele discuss Gorky and Izzy’s Trip to Mexico by F.E. Rahman and Jon Schwochert.

Also in this episode… oh, wait, never mind. Next time.

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Deconstructing Comics #618: “Achewood”

Achewood

Chris Onstad made webcomic Achewood from 2001 to 2016, a strange, offbeat strip that may not be for everyone, but seems to be for Kumar and Dana, who have spent some time catching up with the strip. They give us their thoughts on the humor, the change in social mores since 2001 that becomes obvious when reading the early strips, the strip’s keen observations about aging and depression, and more.

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Deconstructing Comics #617: Swamp Thing meets the monsters

Swamp Thing 40

After, well, a slight delay, Deconstructing Comics continues its look at Alan Moore’s 1980s run on Swamp Thing— a run in which the title character met werewolves and vampires (as Moore and co. found a new way to use these old tropes), as well as new character John Constantine. Moore was aided by artists Stephen Bissette, John Totleben, and Alfredo Acala, among others. Koom and newcomer Darrell discuss.

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Critiquing Comics #148: Tokyo comics shows 2018, pt 2

CAT and Kaigai pt 2

Tim and Mulele discuss more of the comics they picked up at the recent comics events in Tokyo, Comic Art Tokyo and Kaigai Manga Festa.

2:49The Pig Sleep by Cory McCallum and Matthew Daley
16:26Alethia chapter one by Kristina Stipetic
22:29Square Comix #17 by Ian M

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Deconstructing Comics #616: Rob Walton and “Ragmop”

Rob Walton

This week Koom interviews Rob Walton, who created the graphic novel Ragmop in the 1990s and is now releasing a sequel through Vault Comics. How does one approach continuing a series based in the morés and political situation of the ‘90s? Also, Rob’s love of old Marvel comics and how he fused those stories onto modern ideas in his own work; the development of his politics; his management style, and more.

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Deconstructing Comics #615: “MIND MGMT” book and record

MIND MGMT

Matt Kindt recently ran a Kickstarter project to realize his dream of doing an old-school book & record story, set in the MIND MGMT universe, featuring the voice of longtime radio host Clint McElroy. Did someone say “audio comics”? That means it’s time to (finally) bring back voice actor Kevin Horton to discuss the book, and Matt’s innovative use of the book & record mixed media experience.

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Critiquing Comics #147: Tokyo comics shows 2018, pt 1

Comics from CAT and Kaigai 2018 pt 1

In this episode, Tim and Mulele discuss some comics they picked up at the recent comics events in Tokyo, Comic Art Tokyo and Kaigai Manga Festa.

2:05Cicada by Shaun Tan
7:49A Ticket to Nowhere by Nunumi
16:27Detective Jones books by Felipe Kolb Bernardes
20:02Mad Girl by Natalie Andrewson

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Critiquing Comics 146: “Alex” and “Undetermined”

Alex & Undetermined

Alex is a Webtoons comic about the life of Alexander the Great, by Dave Malley. How much were we able to learn about the comic’s subject?

Andrew Perry and Chris Holmes’ Undetermined centers on a middle-school boy, Robert, who is running into people – including himself — from other dimensions, and they’re getting injured by his actions. What’s going on, and what can Robert do to solve the problem?

Tim and Mulele critique.

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Deconstructing Comics #614: Rick Parker: An Energetic Interview

Rick Parker

While the majority of Rick Parker‘s comics jobs have been lettering, he’s also known as an artist and writer, including on Marvel’s Beavis and Butt-Head comics in the 1990s and Papercutz’ Tales from the Crypt. In this episode, Koom asks Rick about the experience of working at Marvel in the ’70s (including that time he was in a physical altercation in the office!), working as a New York taxi driver pre-Marvel, what was involved in old-school hand lettering of comics, and more.

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Critiquing Comics #145: “Lords of the Cosmos” and “North Bend”

Lords of the Cosmos, by Dennis Fallon, Jason Lenox, and Jason Palmatier, presents us with a lot of standard-issue baddies who are out to destroy the peaceful planet of Aiden. But what’s the bad guys’ motivation? Who is the hero who will set things right? And, is the material mismatched to the art?

If Lords keeps the camera lens too wide, North Bend, by Ryan Ellsworth and Rob Carey, keeps it very focused on a personal level, even though it deals with a future U.S. war with Russia and a powerful drug that the CIA wants tested. The art is beautiful, but are the players in this story competent in their respective jobs?

Tim and Mulele critique.

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Deconstructing Comics #613: “My Favorite Thing is Monsters”

My Favorite Thing is Monsters

My Favorite Thing is Monsters is a horror-movie-influenced graphic novel set against the tumult of the U.S. in the 1960s. What’s stunning is that it’s the first published work for Emil Ferris, but it’s very accomplished. Kumar and Emmet review.

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