Comics in their essence are a serialized art form. We might discuss arcs and runs, trading waiting and so on, yet , most comics are still centered on the experience of reading individual chapters parceled out over a (typically) monthly basis. With this in mind, I offer my third annual list of the year’s most memorable single issues.
I start with my choices for the two very best:
Sandman Overture #6 by Neil Gaiman & J.H. Williams III: Dream’s cosmic journey across a universe (or two) came to a stunning conclusion in this issue. The issue contained several callbacks to Gaiman’s classic work, yet not none of them felt like self-serving fan service. Instead they enriched even further the fascinating personalities of the Dream Lord and his siblings. At the same time, Gaiman offered a story where the stakes were huge. Williams more than ably met the challenge of Gaiman’s script handing in page after page of stunning art. His detailed, imaginative work defied any traditional sense of page layouts, spilling the action in all directions. Rarely have words and pictures blended so well to create a truly emotional experience on an epic scale. For more, read Cosmo’s staff review. Continue reading This Year’s Finest 2015: The Best Single Issues→
NBC’s year-end coverage kicks into full swing this week — yep, it’s list making time. Today I am offering my third annual look at which characters made the strongest impressions in 2015.
All entries are listed in alphabetical order.
0-0-0: This was probably one of the easiest pitches that Kieron Gillen has ever made: “evil 3-CPO”. The concept sells itself, right? What elevates the character above gimmick though is how well-executed it is. Despite some notable differences in ethical programming, 0-0-0 is very much a twin of the galaxy’s most famous protocol droid: deferential, thorough, proud of a job well-done and a bit cowering at times. Gillen evokes the mannerisms of 3-CPO so well that the reader cannot help but hear 0-0-0’s dialogue in Anthony Daniels’ familiar voice. This quality makes 0-0-0’s gleeful remarks about torture all the more chilling. It is also classic Gillen. Continue reading This Year’s Finest 2015: The Most Memorable Characters of 2015→
On Wensday July 1st, Image comics released the second issue of James Robinson & Greg Hinkle’s Airboy, a metatextual commentary about the creators of the comic meeting the public domain Airboy charachter in 2014 as they are planning on doing a revival of the property. Instead, they mostly binge on drugs and alcohol. The comic is meant to be an examination of James Robinson, the books writer. In it, we are shown Robinaon at a low point in his life in which he is experiencing a disconnect with his work at DC Comics and by extension his life in general. While the first issue is basically that set up and a drug binge with artist Greg Hinkle, the conclusion introduces the Airboy charachter into the story. The second shows Airboy reacting to modern America and Robinson’s world. Airboy unknowingly eats pot brownies and goes to a bar where he and Robinson each recieve a felatio from a transgender women in the bathroom. Upon Airboy’s discovery of the individual being transgender, he reacts poorly. A day after the books release, during the most recent Image Comics Expo’s, where they annouce a series of new titles coming from the publisher, people on twitter and social media began calling for the comic to be pulled off the shelf because of it’s offensive portrayal of transgender people in the comic. Past that, the idea took on a life of it’s own. The merits of the comic and it’s portrayal of trangender people were debated from a wide range of view points. What was lost in much of the discource over the minutia was the bigger picture; Airboy intent was not to be maliscious to a minority group, but because that minority group is oppressed, it struck a nerve. The reaction of Airboy #2 was a sympton of a larger problem of power structure’s and systematic subjugation. Continue reading On Airboy #2, Transphobia & Power Structures→
During last week’s Image Expo event, comics blog Graphic Policy initiated a Twitter campaign asking publisher Image Comics to pull copies of Airboy #2 from shelves. Written by James Robinson and illustrated by Greg Hinkle, the Airboy series presents boorish fictional versions of the creative team as they attempt to craft – amid a haze of booze and drugs – a reboot of the Golden Age comics hero Airboy; in the first issue, the fictional Robinson and Hinkle are surprised by the appearance of the Airboy character in the “real” world. Airboy #2depicts Airboy and Robinson receiving oral sex from transgender women; Airboy is unaware that these women are transgender, and as Graphic Policy notes, “A debate ensues about the ‘men’ they hooked-up with, Airboy storming off complaining about the ‘degenerate’ world.”
Several sites, such as The Rainbow Huband Comicosity, criticized the comic’s narrative for being transmisogynistic and transphobic, and the issue prompted Graphic Policy to launch its Twitter campaign; in response, Robinson issued an apology via GLAAD, stating that he had “inadvertently hurt and demeaned a community that the real non-fictionalized version of myself truly respects and admires.”
Curious about how Graphic Policy came to its decision to launch the Twitter campaign, Nothing But Comics contacted Graphic Policy’s founder and “Blogger in Chief” Brett Schenker to learn more.
At Nothing But Comics, we enjoyed reading the first issue of Airboy from Image Comics, by writer James Robinsonand artist Greg Hinkle. Airboy is an kid aviation hero character created during World War II, but the character endures. The public domain character was revived in the 1980s by Eclipse Comics, and his adventures have been published by IDW, Moonstone Books, and Antarctic Press. Notable writers have created homages to the character, like George R. R. Martin’sJetboy and Alan Moore’sJetland. So we tasked superhero the Red Bee with asking Robinson an important question about Airboy’s endurance as a character.
At Nothing But Comics, we’re excited to read the upcoming Airboy series from Image Comics, by writer James Robinsonand artist Greg Hinkle. In the comic, Robinson and Hinkle have been hired to reboot the Golden Age comic book aviation hero Airboy – however, things get strange when the character appears to the creators after they debauch themselves on drugs, in order to set the duo on the straight and narrow. So we tasked superhero the Red Bee with asking Robinson an important question about the Airboy character.