Critiquing Comics #211: “Thready”

Thready

Thready is a comic about a week in the life of a character who is bipolar. That’s him in the picture, although we suspect that appearance is symbolic of how he feels. This time, Tim and Jason discuss the first issue of a promising comic.

#720 “The Other 1980s”

The Other 1980sThere were several landmark comics titles in the 1980s (do we really need to name them?), but unfortunately they tend to overshadow much of the other interesting work of the decade. Brannon Costello and Brian Cremins have edited a collection of essays on some of these overlooked works, called The Other 1980s. This time, Kumar and Emmet discuss some of the book’s essays, including chapters on Neil the Horse, Doug Moench, Trina Robbins, Elfquest, and more.

“R.U. a Cyberpunk?” ‘Mondo 2000’ magazine, no. 10, 1993

What is “dead naming”?

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#719 “Demon Slayer”

Demon Slayer

The latest manga sensation is Koyoharu Gotouge’s Demon Slayer. Both the manga and the anime have broken records (including in theaters in Japan, during a pandemic) around the world, including in the U.S., where the film set all-time opening weekend record for a foreign language film. But Kumar’s son Ashwin, who reads manga like crazy, was slow to warm up to it. How does he feel about it now? Kumar and Emmet are joined by Ashwin to discuss the series.

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“Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)

Age of Ultron

“Tim Catches Up with the MCU” moves on to the second Avengers movie, Age of Ultron, and Tim reveals something that’s been bothering him all along about one of the actors in these movies…

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#718 “No One Else”

No One ElseAfter years of putting her life on hold to care for her father, her father passes on. How does she react? What about her son, who feels his grandpa’s death may be his fault? R. Kikuo Johnson’s No One Else is a subtly told story of grief with beautiful art and some humor as well. Tim is joined by graphic medicine expert Alice Jaggers to discuss the book and try to unlock some of the deep symbolism in its seemingly simple art.
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#717 “Chad in Amsterdam” #6

Chad Bilyeu, an American living in Amsterdam, has been a favorite of ours over on Critiquing Comics for the past several years. With the sixth issue of his Chad in Amsterdam series, we’ve promoted talk of his comics to the flagship, Deconstructing Comics. You’ve arrived, Chad! Seriously, this issue gives us more interesting storytelling that serves as food for thought. Mulele is even back to discuss the book with Tim!

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Critiquing Comics #210: “Epic Tavern’s Tales from the Fantastical Crimes Unit”

Tales from the FCU

Epic Tavern’s Tales from the Fantastical Crimes Unit gives us a noir-type detective on the case of a kidnapped centaur woman. What’s that? You’ve never heard of Epic Tavern? You didn’t know it’s a video game? Then this comic may leave you scratching your head. And that’s just one of a number of reasons that this comic prompts Tim and Ryan Cecil Smith to urge these admittedly talented creators (writer Shawn French, artist Steve Mardo, colorist Steve Lavigne, and letterer Rob Jones) to up their game. Listen for our (hopefully) constructive criticism!

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#716 1950s “World’s Finest” might be world’s goofiest

World's Finest Comics

If you’re not into the drama of the past few decades of DC Comics, come with us back to the 1950s, when the exploits of Batman and Superman in World’s Finest Comics made the ’60s Batman TV show look like The Dark Knight Returns! Superman and the Dynamic Duo’s lives in those days were a constant stream of identity switching, time travel, alien visitors, tricking Lois Lane, and even goofier shenanigans. Tim and Kumar discuss (while frequently bursting into laughter).
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#715 Comics adaptations: “Dune” (1984) and “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992)

Dune and Dracula

Sometimes comics adaptations of movies can have as much, or more, significance than the films themselves. Marvel‘s 1984 adaptation of David Lynch‘s Dune film, for example, marked Bill Sienkiewicz‘s upgrade from the realistic art he did on Moon Knight, to the mind-blowing, weird work he became known for on New Mutants. It’s also arguable that Ralph Macchio‘s script is better than that of the film.

Likewise, Topps‘ 1992 adaptation of the Francis Ford Coppola film Bram Stoker’s Dracula, written by Roy Thomas, marks a turn for artist Mike Mignola from Batman to more supernatural work, leading straight into his magnum opus, Hellboy.

Kumar and Jordan, patiently awaiting the delayed Australian release of the new Dune film, decided to indulge their obsession by doing this week’s episode, discussing both films.

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#714 Debbie Jenkinson

Ghosting is about a bus driver in a budding relationship with a woman who suddenly disappears from his life. Has he simply been ghosted? Or is there more to it? Emmet was captivated by the book (winner of the 2020 Best Irish Comic award), and this time he chats with its author (and fellow Ireland native), Debbie Jenkinson about this book and her forthcoming followup, the Dublin comics scene, how being an outsider affects the art one produces, and more.

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