- Matt Linton
Comics Collective Splash Page!
SPLASH PAGE (noun) - Often the first page of a comic, it is generally a full page image designed to introduce the story and draw readers in.
SDCC and the 2018 Eisner Award Winners
This weekend the San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) - the industry's largest convention, albeit one with an increasingly heavy focus on nerd-related media as a whole, rather than just comics - was held. Along with the trailer premieres, which included first looks at 2018's Aquaman and 2019's Shazam, new comics and creative team announcements (which I'll try to tackle next weekend), and the like, the event also included the prestigious Eisner Awards - arguably the top award given in the field. Past winners include Alan Moore (Watchmen w/fellow winner Dave Gibbons), Neil Gaiman (Sandman), Brian Michael Bendis (Powers, et al.) Bryan K. Vaughn (Saga), Jeff Smith (Bone), Chris Ware (Acme Novelty Library), Raina Telgemeier (Sisters), Sonny Liew (The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye), and many others.
This year's winners include
Saladin Ahmed and Christian Ward's Black Bolt for Best New Series
Roxane Gay, Yona Harvey, Alitha E. Martinez, Afua Richardson, and Ta-Nehisi Coates for Best Limited Series or Story Arc for Black Panther: World of Wakanda
Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda's Monstress for Best Continuing Series
Katie O'Neal's The Tea Dragon Society (which you can read for free here) for Best Webcomic
Emil Ferris's My Favorite Thing is Monsters for Best Graphic Album: New
You can read a complete list of 2018 Eisner Winners (and get some great recommendations) at the Eisner Awards site (https://www.comic-con.org/awards/eisner-awards-current-info) and information about the other nominees in each category here: https://www.comic-con.org/awards/2018-eisner-awards-nominations.
Mini-Review: I Kill Giants (2017)
Director: Anders Walter
Starring: Madison Wolfe, Imogen Poots, Sydney Wade, Rory Jackson, and Zoe Saldana
In a Nutshell: A young girl prepares to protect her New England town from an onslaught of giants, while struggling to convince her family, the school therapist, and her only friend that she's not delusional.
Brief Critique: Adapted by writer Joe Kelly from his graphic novel with artist J. M. Ken Niimura, this relatively low-budget feature had a fairly limited release. It's a shame, because the film handles the shift from fantastic elements to school and family drama extraordinarily well. The visual design captures the home-made feel of Barbara's defenses and traps, while also beautifully rendering the giants and other mystical creatures. Along with that, Wolfe, who plays titular giant-killer, Barbara Thorson, along with Poots as her beleaguered sister, and Saldana as the concerned school psychiatrist all give effectively layered performances.
Verdict: Recommended (Available to stream on Hulu Plus, and to rent or purchase on other streaming services).
My Week in Comics: Jessica Jones #1, Batman #51, and The Life of Captain Marvel #1
Writer Kelly Thompson (Hawkeye, Jem and the Holograms) and artist Mattia De Iulis take the reigns on Jessica Jones, following Jones's creators Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos and they hit the ground running. Jessica feels a bit less acerbic than usual, but Thompson writes her shifts from detective, to suspect, to wife, to mother, and to former superhero exceptionally well, maintaining her voice throughout. I've never seen De Iulis's artwork before, and it's seriously impressive. Along with really strong rendering, there's some imaginative storytelling (including an effective way to display Jessica's deductive abilities). He handles the inking and coloring, too, and the results are phenomenal. The "dead client in PI's office" set-up isn't super original, but leads into a much more intriguing mystery by the end of the first issue.
Following the widely-reported on Batman/Catwoman wedding issue could be tough. Tom King and artist Lee Weeks don't try to top that, and instead set up an intriguing premise (Bruce Wayne on the jury of a criminal he caught as Batman) to explore the fallout from that storyline. Weeks is one of my favorite artist and rarely does extended runs on books, so that was my primary motivation for jumping back into the Bat-books. I wasn't disappointed. His art is gorgeous, and he's one of the best storytellers in the business. His work is cinematic, not just in the sense of spectacle (which is how it's too often used) but in a creativity and skillfulness in how he chooses to compose/frame each shot and use lighting and shadow for the maximum impact or to convey a particular mood.
This one, sadly, didn't work nearly as well for me. It's intended as a "definitive" origin for the character (who, not coincidentally, is the star of the next MCU film), but rather than just focusing on that origin, writer Margaret Stohl includes an extended present-day story of Carol Danvers returning home to visit her family to reveal previously unknown details about the character. It's all well and good, but most of the family drama is hackneyed and predictable (abusive father, jealous brother, etc). As with the other two books I read this week, there's some fantastic art - this time by Carlos Pacheco and Marguerite Sauvage, but it's not enough to overcome the shortcomings of the writing. There is a development at the end of the issue that might bring me back next month, so we'll see if the book moves into more interesting terrain as it goes on.
Saturday, July 28th: 7pm - 9pm
Green Brain Comics - (from their Facebook page):
It's that time of year again! Save the Date & Join the ladies of Green Brain as we celebrate all things comics. Come hang out and meet other gals who also love comics! In addition to our usual fun activities of crafts, snax, & swag we will also be holding a fundraiser for ComiqueCon! There will be a raffle for cool prizes and a portion of every sale will be donated to ComiqueCon!! More details to come - RSVP to stay up to date! This is a free all ages event!
METRO DETROIT COMIC SHOPS
(click the image to find a shop near you)