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.

Deconstructing Comics site

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.

Deconstructing Comics site

Critiquing Comics #144: Chad in Amsterdam

Chad in Amsterdam

Chad Bilyeu sent us his autobio comic Chad in Amsterdam. As fellow expat Americans, how could we say no? And it turns out to be quite good! Tim and Mulele discuss.

Then, Tim explains why his why he won’t have much podcasting time for the next few months, and whether or not to keep Deconstructing Comics and Critiquing Comics going, and how. What say you?

Deconstructing Comics site

Critiquing Comics #143: “Radio Silence” and “1000 Nightmares”

"Radio Silence" and "1000 Nighmares"

In this episode, Tim and Mulele discuss these comics, submitted by their creators:

  • The members of a rock band in the UK cope with interpersonal issues and the problems of fame in Vanessa Stefaniuk’s Radio Silence.
  • Horror, from the fantastical, and maybe even a little humorous, to the totally factual, in writer Bill Richardson’s 1000 Nightmares (with various artists).

Deconstructing Comics site

Critiquing Comics #142: “The World of Tomorrow” and “Possession”

World of Tomorrow - Possession

In this episode, Tim and Mulele tackle these comics, submitted by their creators:

  • Craig Barstow is playing the lead in a TV show about space exploration. He faces accusations of being a drunk, and finds that the show is getting cancelled. And this is just the beginning of his precipitous fall in the first issue of The World of Tomorrow, by Giles Clarke, Kenan Halilovic, Felipe Obando, and Deron Bennett. Is this comic going in the direction its creators intended?
  • An overweight woman who takes photos of cats. A pair of adulterous Greek gods. A wife who is being cheated on but has secrets of her own. The cheating husband’s mistress who gets work advice from a ghost. A punk music club where… wait, why is all of this in one first issue? We have some strong words of caution for the Michael Norwitz, Enrico Carnevale, Andrea Blanco, and HdE, the creators of Possession #1.

Deconstructing Comics site

Critiquing Comics #141: “Henshin Man” and “Guano Guy”

This time Tim and Mulele critique two superhero comics submitted by their creators:

  • Henshin Man, by Cameron Kerkau, Ben Matsuya, and CJ Standal is just getting started, but it introduces one Japanese hero filling the shoes of another.
  • Guano Guy, by Mark Darden and Nick Hoffman, features a hero who is all about leveraging his being a hero as a way to make a buck.

Deconstructing Comics site

Critiquing Comics #140: “The Incapable Trump” and “Empress”

Trump and Empress

Two more comics submitted by their creators for Tim and Mulele’s comments:

The Incapable Trump, by Omar Mirza and Alex Genaro gives us a Trump who changes into the Incredible Hulk! it looks great, but is this the best approach to take as a commentary on Trump?

Empress, by Brian Barr, Chuck Amadori, Marcelo Salaza, and Matheus Bronca, a comic about multiple generations of women haunted by green monsters. Which parts look good, and which parts lose us?

Deconstructing Comics site

Critiquing Comics #139: “Tabi” and “The Quick and the Dad”

Tabi - The Quick and the Dad

Tim and Mulele are back with two critiques:

Oscar‘s recent book Tabi (“Journey”) is another silent comic, this time featuring a sword-wielding rabbit. Is that sword to be used for good, or for ill?

Ken Holtzhouser brings us The Quick and the Dad, in which a somewhat goofball dad tries to reconnect with his son and discovers that Junior is a superhero!

Deconstructing Comics site

Critiquing Comics #138: “Hajime”

Hajime is an anthology (the first in a proposed series from new group Tokyo Collective, or ToCo) presenting four-page stories from seven artists about their first impressions upon arriving in Tokyo. Longtime Tokyo residents Tim and Mulele discuss.

Deconstructing Comics site

Critiquing Comics #137: “Eric”

Eric

A music star on a downward spiral is experiencing strange visions. It seems that everything he knows is wrong. What’s real and what’s not? Tim and Mulele discuss Eric by Tom Manning.

ALSO:

25:25: Tim and Mulele’s podcast recommendations (comics-related and otherwise)

44:36: The saga of Mulele’s TCAF box reaches its denouement.

56:30: Mail from listeners

Deconstructing Comics site

Critiquing Comics #136: “Tales from the Interface”

Tales from the Interface

Emmanuel Filteau’s surreal and interesting Tales from the Interface is worth a look — even if you’re not quite sure what you’re looking at. Tim and Mulele discuss.

Deconstructing Comics site

Critiquing Comics #135: “Hyper Epics” and Mulele’s missing box

Hyper Epics

Hyperepics.com is a site showcasing a growing number of three-page comics, more or less of the “Amazing Stories” mold. In this episode we read many of them and talk about what we liked, and what we didn’t.

In the most recent Deconstructing Comics, Mulele told Koom about the box of his wares that didn’t make it to TCAF. In this episode, Mulele gives us an update on his box and a look back at the overall TCAF experience.

Plus, some listener mail!

Deconstructing Comics site

Critiquing Comics #134: “Fallen Ones” and “The Five of Us”

Fallen Ones - The Five of UsA werewolf. A female assassin. A grieving father. Varga Balint Bank and Vadas Mate’s Fallen Ones weaves their stories together in a well-thought-out way.

The Five of Us: It All Starts Here, from Sean Conway, Bangkit Myarso, Arief Reza Erlangga, and Dreadink, gives us a group of young African-American men who happen onto Power Rangers-type powers. Yeah, but what’s the actual story here?

Tim and Mulele review.

Deconstructing Comics site

Critiquing Comics #133: “The Old Man of the Mountain” and “On Syntaphore”

Old Man of the Mountain issue 1, by Tom Rapka and Ariez Hernandez, includes an execution-style murder and three teens getting brutally, graphically cut to pieces. And yet, somehow it feels like it’s not meant to be a horror series. What is this comic trying to do?

That question goes double for On Syntaphore, by Lion’s Lips, because, while the art is attractive, the story is hard to discern — and even the reason for that isn’t quite clear.

Tim and Mulele discuss both, and also some listener mail, and Mulele’s upcoming trip to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival!

Deconstructing Comics site

Audio Player

Critiquing Comics #132: “A Light Before the Darkness”, “The Satsuma Rebellion”, and publishing contracts

A Light Before Darkness - The Satsuma Rebellion

Tim and Mulele critique a couple of history-based comics:

A Light Before the Darkness by Ken Mora and Cyrus Mescarcia tells the story of an artist named Michelangelo — but no, not that one. It’s about Michelangelo Da Caravaggio Di Merisi, often known simply as “Caravaggio”. Mora seems to have done his homework, but has he given us a reason to buy into his subject?

The Satsuma Rebellion is Sean Michael Wilson and Akiko Shimojima’s retelling of the titular event in Japanese history. We found it interesting — but then, we live in Japan.

ALSO: Mulele’s “PSA” about what to look for when signing (or, perhaps, NOT signing) a contract with a publisher.

Deconstructing Comics site