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August 21, 2018

Dead on arrival: plotlines that went nowhere in superhero comics

The US superhero comic book industry is built for the most part around monthly pamphlets: 22-24 page comics which build into a longer story arc in the periodical chapter tradition of Charles Dickens. When contracted writers leave a publisher-owned title upon the conclusion of their contract, they generally try to tidy things up before departure

Fantasy

The Sandman Universe #1

The Sandman Universe #1 DC Comics, August 2018 Writer: Neil Gaiman We were unapologetically unhappy with Neil Gaiman’s leisurely effort on The Sandman Overture back in 2015. We are very pleased to say that this new title, The Sandman Universe, is a correction in course. American horror/fantasy imprint Vertigo Comics was a commercial success mostly

Superheroes

Goodbye to the Good War: a slow decline of comic books based in World War Two?

From 1981 to 1983, veteran comic book writer Roy Thomas was the driving force behind a title called All-Star Squadron, set in 1942. Mr Thomas grew up in the 1940s and used now out-of-date idioms so as to accentuate the time period. The characters’ colloquial speech, hairstyles, dress, and attitudes towards both women and minorities

Japan

The world’s most commercially successful comic book, One Piece “is 80% finished”

We have previously written about One Piece, the manga epic written by Eiichiro Oda and which started back in 1997. Twenty years later, Mr Oda is reported as having described the manga as 80% of the way to conclusion. The plot follows the protagonist, Monkey D Luffy, as he aggregates a crew. Mr Oda explains,

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Superheroes

DC Comics cancels 1940s Monster Society of Evil Collection because of racist content

American publisher DC Comics have been understandably keen to promote the comic book adventures of the superhero Captain Marvel (now known as Shazam) given the imminent release of the Shazam motion picture. Captain Marvel / Shazam has a pedigree dating back to 1940. DC Comics has announced the release of a hardcover would have collected

Independent/Self-Published

The Resurrected #2 (Review)

The Resurrected #2 Carnouche Productions, 2018 Writer: Christian Carnouche We have reviewed The Resurrected #1 in January year. The writer, Christian Carnouche, was kind enough to invite us to review the second issue of this entertaining, fast-paced title. Here is our critique. Harmonisation v Diversity The Resurrected is an action story based in a high

Espionage

Ian Fleming’s James Bond: Casino Royale (Review)

Ian Fleming’s James Bond: Casino Royale Dynamite Entertainment, 2018 Writer: Van Jensen So many of our reviews of espionage comics are of Dynamite Entertainment’s James Bond adaptions. Here is another one, this time a faithful adaption of Ian Fleming’s very first James Bond novel, Casino Royale. The writer, Van Jensen, is more of a director,

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Miscellania

Everything I know about intellectual property law I learned from superhero comics

Too busy to go to law school? No problem: here, your favourite comic book characters give you a primer on what intellectual property law, that oddball bag of rights that underpins everything from advertising to comic books to aerospace innovations, is all about. 1. Trademarks (Marvel Superheroes’ Secret Wars #7 (1984-5)) Spider-Man is correct: a

Independent/Self-Published

Worse Things Happen At Sea v No Place Like Space (Comparative Review)

Worse Things Happen At Sea v No Place Like Space No-Brow Press, 2017 / Helio Press, 2017 Writer (and artist) of “Worse Things Happen At Sea: Kellie Strøm Writer (and artist) of “No Place Like Space”: Ashley Ronning When is a comic a comic? Independent publisher No Brow Press has a series of illustrated books

Historical

Manifest Destiny Volumes 5 (Mnenophobia and Chronophobia)

Manifest Destiny Volumes 5 (Mnenophobia and Chronophobia) Image Comics, Writer: Chris Dingess Once upon a time, Western-genre comic books sold well to an enthusiastic audience. A post-World War Two desire for a simpler, overwhelmingly white age of exploration, colonisation, and conquest of Native Americans manifested in motion pictures, books, radio, and comic books. The white

Franco-Belgian/Ligne Claire

The French, lovers of wine and comics

A fact which is relatively unknown in Anglophone comics industry is that after the japanese, the French are the world’s biggest consumers of graphic novels. An innovative wine maker named Romain Sou has created a concept called “BD & Vin” – bande dessinnee (“drawn strips”, or graphic novels) and wine. Our review us been negligent

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