#710 Naoki Urasawa’s “Pluto”

Pluto

You’re probably aware of the Osamu Tezuka character Astro Boy (called Tetsuwon Atom in Japan). Starting in 2003, Naoki Urasawa (the creator of Monster) began his own take on a particular Astro Boy story in his series Pluto, as a murder mystery of sorts. The story includes plenty of robots, but is more concerned with portraying emotion and making a statement about war than any Asimovian rules about robot behavior. Does that approach doom the project? Kumar and Jordan review.

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Critiquing Comics #206: “Root and Branch”

Root and Branch

Root and Branch is a comic that flirts with the fantasy genre, but is more concerned about a clash of cultures: a traveling elf meeting humans for the first time. This is a web comic, created by Pink Pitcher, that’s still going strong in its seventh year, and currently has a Kickstarter going. Tim and Adam critique.

#709 “Air Gear”

Air Gear
Shonen manga are known for putting their protagonists in systems that they must work their way up through in a series of competitions. In Air Gear, by Ito Ougure under the name Oh! Great, the competitions are races on gravity-defying inline skates. While this manga also includes some aspects that could be judged age-inappropriate, there is fun to be had here, too. DCP Patreon supporter Coleton joins Tim to discuss this manga, focusing on the first three volumes.

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Critiquing Comics #205: “Honeymoon in the Afterlife”

Honeymoon in the Afterlife

Is Matt Canning‘s Honeymoon in the Afterlife about dying? Is it about life? Unlike some inscrutable comics we’ve discussed recently, this one isn’t frustrating; it’s intriguing, layered, and nuanced, and stands up to — no, demands — repeat readings. Tim and Ryan C. (who wrote a review of the book last fall) discuss.

The In Common review of Honeymoon

Order from Birdcage Bottom Books

#708 Aaack! “Cathy” is still relevant!

Cathy

Cathy Guisewite‘s longrunning comic strip Cathy is still a topic of discussion, 11 years after it ended. While it may sometimes seem as if topics like sexual harassment and body image are new fields discovered in the last five or ten years, Cathy was bringing them up in the ’80s and ’90s.

Comedian Jamie Loftus wanted to dig in and have a discussion about this classic strip, so she started a podcast miniseries, Aack Cast, in which she talks with Cathy readers, other cartoonists, and even Guisewite herself about many of the issues raised in the strip. Emmet talks with Jamie in this episode.

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Critiquing Comics #204: “Purgatory”

Purgatory, by Don Juan Mancha III, anubisazp, and nikokosi, is an unusual comic in that most of the character in it claim to be dead. But in most cases, it’s unclear if they really are. Or is it a way of talking about schizophrenia? Unclear. What’s the plot of this comic? Also unclear. At least, to Tim and Graeme it is. In this episode, they try to put the pieces together.

#706 “Ping Pong”

Ping PongProlific manga creator Taiyo Matsumoto’s Ping Pong is, nominally, a sports manga, but it doesn’t stick to the tropes. It presents table tennis matches that take place in a small town, not at a major tournament in Tokyo; often it doesn’t even show the end of a match! In some ways it functions as a parody of the genre. Kumar and Dana discuss this fun and unpredictable manga.

Critiquing Comics #203: “Midnight Highway”

Midnight Highway #1

Midnight Highway is a horror comic on which all the creators are firing on all cylinders. Well, most of them. Tim and Jason discuss the first issue of this comic by Mike Tener, Alex Maday, Dave Lentz, Alexander Malyshev, Hedwin Zaldivar, and Alex Monik!

Critiquing Comics #202: “Theatrics”

Theatrics

Neil Gibson is back! Tim and Mulele have discussed his Twisted Dark anthology series more than once, and Koom once interviewed him for DCP at a London con. His new two-part graphic novel Theatrics, with art by Leonardo Gonzalez, is the best work we’ve seen from him to date. Tim and Adam critique.

Buy Theatrics from Amazon

#705 “Lights, Planets, People”

Lights, Planets, People

You may be puzzled by a book titled Lights, Planets, People; we certainly were. But when we read it, we found that Molly Naylor and Lizzy Stewart’s graphic novel is a story with multiple levels, communicated in multiple ways, including through the shifting art style and color palette. It’s a book about an astronomer who is dealing with several issues, including bipolar disorder. Tim and Emmet recount the experience.

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