LOEE: Fullmetal Alchemist ch. 4

The Law of Equivalent Exchange: Tim and Patrick discuss Fullmetal Alchemist chapter 4, which features both scary violence and violence for laughs. Why is Ed sleeping at his desk on the splash page? Plus, volume 1 back matter explained!

Critiquing Comics #184: “R.U.N.” volume 2

Way back in 2014, Tim and Mulele discussed the first volume of R.u.N. (Remember Ur Nature), a comic in shonen manga style about the sport of parkour. Now, at last, volume two is available, and Tim is joined by a new voice, Ryan Carey of SOLRAD, to discuss the book (by Kariofillis Chris Hatzopoulos, Rafail Voutsidis, Luis Figueiredo, Roberto Fernandes De Oliveira, and Vasilis Fotsinos). The comic is a spot-on imitation of shonen manga made in Japan — but is it good?

#681 “The Last Tide” and “Breakwater”

The Last Tide and Breakwater

Isekai is a genre, named in Japan, in which a character from our earth is suddenly transported to “another world.” This concept goes back at least to Alice in Wonderland, but these days the “other world” is often the inside of a computer game. Although it’s not explicitly stated (so far), that seems to be the case in The Last Tide, a book from new publisher Cloudscape and created by Pirateaba, Shane Sandulak, and Matias Zanetti. Our patron Gabe joins Tim to review.

Avery Hill, publisher of Zoe Thorogood’s The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott, has really gotten on our radar lately. This time, Tim and Emmet discuss a graphic novel called Breakwater by Katriona Chapman. The story takes place among employees of a movie theater, but it could (and does) happen in any situation.

 

Critiquing Comics #183: “Chad in Amsterdam” #5

Chad in Amsterdam 5

Chad Bilyue is on a roll! No sooner had he released issue 4 of Chad in Amsterdam than he was releasing issue 5 on its coattails. CIA 5 turns out to be a theme issue, on a bizarre and rather offensive aspect of Dutch culture. It’s about what happens when an entire country convinces itself that one of its customs isn’t racist, while it looks that way to nearly everyone else.

Also in this episode, big programming announcements from both Mulele and Tim!

#679 Mark Russell

Billionaire IslandMark Russell has been one of the standout comics writers of the past five years, in part because he’s possibly the only mainstream comics writer doing satire (or, he would argue, fables). Since he burst on the scene with Prez and The Flintstones, he’s written a number of comics for several publishers that aren’t just comedy or action, they express his views and have deeper meanings.

This time, Tim’s interview with Mark. How did he get into comics, and start out in a Big Two book? Why did he use ’60s Hanna-Barbera character Snagglepuss to tell a story of gays in the 1950s? How do you “punch someone in the beef”? What inspired his latest, Billionaire Island? And how does he feel about being the only writer of his kind in mainstream comics?

The Law of Equivalent Exchange: “Fullmetal Alchemist” chapter 3

Fullmetal Alchemist ch3

Tim and Patrick discuss the third chapter of Fullmetal Alchemist, “The Mining Town.” Why are alchemists hated as “the dogs of the military”?

Critiquing Comics #182: “After the Fall” and “Organic But Not Mental”

Telling a story without dialogue can be difficult. Telling your story entirely with pictures takes excellent storytelling skills. What are the stakes? What are the characters’ motivations? What, exactly, is going on here?! Tim and Mulele discuss two submitted comics which partially or entirely rely on wordless sequences: After the Fall, by Jacqueline Goldfinger, Keni Thomas, and Taylor Esposito; and Organic But Not Mental, by Pier Dola.

#678 Rumiko Takahashi’s first comedy, “Urusei Yatsura”

Urusei Yatsura

We’ve talked about several of Rumiko Takahashi’s manga series over the years, but this time we go back to the beginning with her first big hit, Urusei Yatsura, sometimes known in English as Lum. Tim and Kumar discuss the history of the strip, the gags you wouldn’t get without knowing Japanese, and what’s odd about it for being ostensibly a kids’ comic.

#677 “The Drifting Classroom”

Kazuo Umezu’s horror manga series The Drifting Classroom is a taboo-busting series: it was aimed at kids and employs kid logic and exaggeration to a story depicting outrageous violence being done to and by kids. Even if you’re into horror, that description may have you asking: “Is this for me?” In this episode, Kumar and Ryan try to answer that question.

Umezu in red and white. (Source: https://www.jprime.jp/articles/-/18187)