Posts tagged ‘Comic’

September 24, 2012

Y: The Last Man

Brian K Vaughan

Y: The Last Man is a dystopian science fiction comic book series by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra published by Vertigo (a DC subsidiary) beginning in 2002. The series is about the only man to survive the apparent simultaneous death of every male mammal (barring the same man’s pet monkey) on Earth.

The premise is noticeably similar to ‘Consider Her Ways,’ a 1964 episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents where the world adopts a matriarchal society after a disease kills every man on Earth.

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July 9, 2012

Black Hole

Charles Burns

Black Hole is a comic written and illustrated by Charles Burns; it was published as a 12-issue limited series between 1995 and 2005. Set in the suburbs of Seattle during the mid-1970s, the comics follow a group of mostly middle class teenagers who, over the summer, contract a mysterious sexually transmitted disease known as ‘the Bug’ or ‘the teen plague,’ which causes them to develop bizarre unique physical mutations, turning them into social outcasts.

Burns has said that the mutations can be read as a metaphor for adolescence, sexual awakening, and the transition into adulthood. The look of the comic is meant to evoke the feel and atmosphere of classic 70s teen horror films like ‘The Last House on the Left,’ ‘Carrie,’ and ‘Halloween.’

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July 9, 2012

Maakies

Maakies

Maakies is a syndicated weekly comic strip by Tony Millionaire. It began publication in 1994 in the ‘New York Press.’ It currently runs in many American alternative newsweeklies including ‘The Stranger,’ ‘LA Weekly,’ and ‘Only.’ It also appears in several international venues including the Italian comics magazine ‘Linus’ and the Swedish comics magazine ‘Rocky.’

The strip focuses on the darkly comic misadventures of Uncle Gabby (a drunken Irish sock monkey) and Drinky Crow (an alcoholic crow), two antiheroes with a propensity for drunkenness, violence, suicide, and venereal disease. According to Millionaire, ”Maakies’ is me spilling my guts… Writing and drawing about all the things that make me want to jump in the river, laughing at the horror of being alive.’ Maakies strips typically take place in an early 19th century nautical setting. There is rarely any continuity between strips.

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July 7, 2012

Red Son

red son

Superman: Red Son‘ is a comic book mini-series published by DC Comics that was released under their Elseworlds imprint in 2003. Author Mark Millar created the comic with the premise ‘what if Superman had been raised in the Soviet Union?’ The story mixes alternate versions of DC super-heroes with alternate-reality versions of real political figures such as Joseph Stalin and John F. Kennedy. The series spans approximately 1953-2001, save for a futuristic epilogue.

In ‘Red Son,’ Superman’s rocket ship lands on a Ukrainian collective farm rather than in Kansas, an implied reason being a small time difference (a handful of hours) from the original timeline, meaning Earth’s rotation placed the Ukraine in the ship’s path instead of Kansas. Instead of fighting for ‘…truth, justice, and the American Way,’ Superman is described in Soviet radio broadcasts ‘…as the Champion of the common worker who fights a never-ending battle for Stalin, socialism, and the international expansion of the Warsaw Pact.’ His ‘secret identity’ (i.e. the name his adoptive parents gave him) is a state secret.

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May 30, 2012

Judge Dredd

jim rugg

‘Judge Dredd’ is a comics character whose strip in the British science fiction anthology ‘2000 AD’ is the magazine’s longest running, having been featured there since its second issue in 1977.

Dredd is an American law enforcement officer in a violent city of the future where uniformed Judges combine the powers of police, judge, jury, and executioner. Dredd and his fellow Judges are empowered to arrest, sentence, and even execute criminals on the spot. The character was created by writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra, although editor Pat Mills also deserves some credit for early development. The series explores issues such as the police state, authoritarianism and the rule of law.

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May 30, 2012

2000 AD

dredd

2000 AD is a weekly British science fiction-oriented comic. As a comics anthology it serializes a number of separate stories each issue (known as ‘progs’) and was first published by IPC Magazines in 1977. It has changed hands a number of times over the years; in 2000 it was bought by Rebellion Developments.

It is most noted for its Judge Dredd stories, and has been contributed to by a number of artists and writers who became renowned in the field internationally, such as Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Bryan Talbot, Brian Bolland, and Mike McMahon. ‘2000 AD’ has been successful launchpad for UK talent into the larger American comics market, and has also been the source of a number of film licences. Unlike earlier weekly titles, ‘2000 AD’ was based on a 6 page strip format. This gave the writers greater opportunity to develop character and meant that the artists had greater scope in designing the layout.

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May 1, 2012

The Avengers

avengers

The Avengers is a team of superheroes, appearing in magazines published by Marvel Comics. The team made its debut in 1963 in ‘The Avengers #1,’ and was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist/co-plotter Jack Kirby, following the trend of super-hero teams after the success of DC Comics’ Justice League of America. Labeled ‘Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,’ the Avengers originally consisted of Iron Man, Ant-Man, Wasp, Thor, and the Hulk.

The original Captain America was discovered by the team in issue #4, trapped in ice, and he joined the group when they revived him. The rotating roster has become a hallmark of the team, although one theme remains consistent: the Avengers fight ‘the foes no single superhero can withstand.’ The team, famous for its battle cry of ‘Avengers Assemble!,’ has featured humans, mutants, robots, gods, aliens, supernatural beings, and even former villains.

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April 19, 2012

Dykes to Watch Out For

dtwof

Dykes to Watch Out For (sometimes DTWOF) was a comic strip by Alison Bechdel, which ran from 1983 to 2008, and was one of the earliest ongoing representations of lesbians in popular culture and has been called ‘as important to new generations of lesbians as landmark novels like Rita Mae Brown’s ‘Rubyfruit Jungle’ (1973) and Lisa Alther’s ‘Kinflicks’ (1976) were to an earlier one.’

DTWOF chronicled the lives, loves, and politics of a fairly diverse group of characters (most of them lesbians) living in a medium-sized city in the United States, featuring both humorous soap opera storylines and biting topical commentary. The strip was carried in ‘Funny Times’ and a number of gay and lesbian newspapers. According to Bechdel, her strip was ‘half op-ed column and half endless, serialized Victorian novel.’ Characters reacted to contemporary events, including going to the Michigan Womyn’s Festival, Gay Pride parades, and protest marches and having heated discussions about day-to-day events, political issues and the way lesbian culture was changing.

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March 24, 2012

Métal Hurlant

screaming metal

Métal Hurlant (literal translation: ‘Screaming Metal’) is a French comics anthology of science fiction and horror comics stories, created in December 1974 by comics artists Jean Giraud (better known as Moebius) and Philippe Druillet together with journalist-writer Jean-Pierre Dionnet and financial director Bernard Farkas. The four were collectively known as ‘Les Humanoïdes Associés’ (‘United Humanoids’), which became the name of the publishing house releasing ‘Métal Hurlant.’ It was published in the US by National Lampoon under the title ‘Heavy Metal.’

The magazine was originally released quarterly; it consisted of 68 pages, of which only 18 were in color. Contributors included Moebius and Druillet, and such characters Arzach and Lone Sloane. Later issues featured Richard Corben, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Enki Bilal, Caza, Serge Clerc, Alain Voss, Berni Wrightson, Milo Manara, Frank Margerin and many others. Apart from comics, the magazine contained articles about science fiction books and movies, as well as music and videogame reviews. ‘Metal Hurlant,’ emphasizing complex graphics, cinematic imagery and surreal storylines, was highly influential throughout the world as one of the first mature expressions of ‘adult’ comic book making. It ceased publication in 1987.

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March 24, 2012

Blueberry

blueberry

Blueberry is a Franco-Belgian comics western series created by the Belgian scriptwriter Jean-Michel Charlier and French comics artist Jean Moebius’ Giraud. It chronicles the adventures of Mike ‘Blueberry’ Donovan on his travels through the American Old West. Blueberry is an atypical western hero; he is not a wandering lawman who brings evil-doers to justice, nor a handsome cowboy who ‘rides into town, saves the ranch, becomes the new sheriff and marries the schoolmarm.’

He is accompanied in many tales by his hard-drinking deputy, Jimmy McClure, and later also by Red Woolley, a rugged pioneer. Donovan is the son of a rich Southern farmer and started as a dedicated racist. He was framed for a murder he did not commit, had to flee and was saved by an African-American. He became an enemy of discrimination of all kinds, fought against the Confederates (although he was a Southerner himself), and tried to protect the rights of Native Americans.

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March 24, 2012

The Incal

incal

The Incal is a set of science fiction comic book series written in French by Alejandro Jodorowsky and illustrated by Moebius and others. ‘The Incal’ takes place in, and introduced Jodorowsky’s ‘Jodoverse,’ a fictional universe in which his science fiction comics take place. The story begins in the dystopian capital city of an insignificant planet in a human-dominated galactic empire. The series  stars John DiFool, anoccasional bodyguard. DiFool has no interest in being a hero, has mood swings and suffers from self-doubt and temper tantrums in which he threatens to walk away and assume a comfortable lifeh. He has a fondness for cigars, ‘ouisky’ and ‘homeosluts’ (gynoid prostitutes).

The series mixes space opera, metaphysics, and satire; a counterpoint to the grandiosity of the events is always Difool’s base, even cowardly nature. Every major character in The Incal is based upon Tarot cards – for example, John Difool is based upon The Fool with his name being a pun upon ‘John, the Fool.’ Moebius and Jodorowsky sued Luc Besson, director of ‘The Fifth Element,’ claiming that the film borrowed graphic and story elements from ‘The Incal,’ but they lost their case. In a 2002 interview with Danish comic book magazine ‘Strip!,’ Jodorowsky actually claimed that he considered it an honor that somebody stole his ideas, saying he believes that authors do not create the stories they tell as much as they make personal interpretations of mythemes shared by the collective unconscious.

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March 24, 2012

Airtight Garage

Major Grubert

‘The Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius’ (‘Le Garage Hermétique de Jerry Cornelius’) is a lengthy comic strip work by the artist and writer Moebius (real name Jean Giraud). It first appeared in discrete two-to-four page episodes, in the French magazine ‘Metal Hurlant’ between 1976 and 1980, and later in the American version of the same magazine, ‘Heavy Metal,’ starting in 1977.

‘The Airtight Garage’ was followed by ‘L’Homme du Ciguri’ (‘The Man from the Ciguri’) in 1995. Some of the characters from these stories also show up in the 1974 comic ‘Le Bandard Fou’ (‘The Horny Goof’), which can be considered a prequel. The story is at times confusing, as Moebius was making it up as he went along. The ‘garage’ itself is actually an asteroid in the constellation Leo which houses a pocket universe. Major Grubert orbits the asteroid in his spaceship Ciguri, from which he oversees the development of the worlds contained within. Several entities, including Jerry Cornelius, seek to invade the garage.

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