Critiquing Comics #186: “Holy Diver”

Holy DiverIf you’re an American who grew up in a certain era, you may have a story about that time you ended up at a presentation about how “backmasking” was being used in your favorite music to subliminally deliver satanic messages. Artist Rachelle Meyer, whose work we’ve encountered once before in Chad in Amsterdam #4, presents her own story about such an incident in her short comic Holy Diver , a story which you might expect to be eye-rolly and cynical, but it’s not. Mulele pops in to join Tim to discuss this cool comic.

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Critiquing Comics #185: “Wynter”

WynterLiz Wynter isn’t special. She’s exactly like thousands of other people who have lived, with the same DNA, and she thinks in the same ways that they did, so the government can predict her every move. The same is true of everyone else in her world.

Wynter #1, by Guy Hasson and Aron Elkes, isn’t quite as predictable, but is it trying to be more special than it is? Tim and Patrick surveil this comic.

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?

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!

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.

Critiquing Comics #181: “Chad in Amsterdam 4”

Chad in Amsterdam 4

The latest installment of our beloved Chad in Amsterdam is here! As always, Chad combines some incisive but casual observational and philosophical discussion with the work of his great artist friends, but this time the focus is less on Amsterdam and more on Chad himself. Where is he from? What makes you “from” a place? Will Tim and Mulele like this issue as much as the others? (Well, what do you think!?)

Critiquing Comics #180: “SpiderForest Webcomic Anthology 4”

Spider Forest

Last episode, we mentioned how writing a short, tight story can be more challenging than writing a sprawling epic. Right on cue comes Spider Forest Webcomic Anthology 4, an engaging collection of short comics by 17 creators of web comics. Tim and Mulele discuss which are the best (and which are merely good!), and whether perhaps some of these stories are a little too short.

Spider Forest Kickstarter – beginning October 12, 2020

Critiquing Comics #179: “The Solar Grid”

In a flooded New York City of the future, a corporate whistleblower is in a hurry to skip town. Tim and Mulele wish they understood more about the plot of The Solar Grid issue 1, by Gazeer, but this issue is more concerned with the comic’s world than its plot. So we critique what’s there!

Critiquing Comics #178: “Terminal Velocity”

Terminal Velocity

Terminal Velocity is a comic by Barry Corbett in which he reminisces about his life, centering around extreme sports and a family tragedy. While there is an overall story, the book can seem a bit disjointed. Tim and Mulele discuss the pros and cons of the book; then Mulele challenges himself and his friends: Let’s actually make some paper comics again!

#673 Kismet, Man of Fate

Kismet

He first appeared in 1944, the Algerian super-hero who fought for the World War II Allies: Kismet, Man of Fate! The first known Muslim superhero, he appeared in all four issues of a series called Bomber Comics. Then the series was cancelled and Kismet was forgotten, until 2014 when the character, freshly out of copyright, was revived in stories by writer A. David Lewis and artist Noel Tuazon. In this episode, Lewis talks with Tim about the history of the character and the revival, and then Will Weaver joins Tim to review the revival book, Kismet, Man of Fate, vol 1: Boston Strong.