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  • 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.

Michigan Science Center After Dark Presents - Marvel vs. DC!

In the interest of full disclosure, there's a bit of self-interest in this one. I'll be representing the Wayne State Comics Collective as part of a roundtable along with participants from Green Brain Comics, ComiqueCon 2018, and Vault of Midnight. Along with that, the event will include over 250 hands-on exhibits, DJ Skeez, and comic merch. The event itself is still a couple of weeks away, but tickets are available now ($15, or $10 for Michigan Science Center members). Tickets and info are available here.

Call for Papers - ComiqueCon 2018!

Speaking of awesome local events, ComiqueCon 2018 isn't until October, but the deadline for submissions to the academic track has been extended to August 17, 2018. From the CFP -

"ComiqueCon is a one-day celebration of the amazing work of female and non-binary comic creators. Join us in Metro Detroit for this one-of-a-kind event, and check out our featured guests, awesome sponsors, and talented exhibitors! This year's ComiqueCon will include an academic track with paper presentations and workshops related to the general theme of women in comics. Papers should be accessible to a general audience; please be sure to define your terms and give context for any theoretical or discipline-specific arguments you reference.

This year's special guests include Sara Alfageeh (Bingo Love), Heather Antos (Marvel's Gwenpool), Pénélope Bagieu (Exquisite Corpse), Vanesa R. Del Ray (Scarlet Witch), Vivian Ng (Adventure Time), Carolyn Nowak (Lumberjanes), Christina "Steenz" Stewart (Associate Editor at Lion Forge Comics), Katie Schenkel (Cardboard Kingdom), Jamila Rowser (co-founder of Geek Girl Brunch). There is NO REGISTRATION FEE for the academic track of this event!"

More info is available here.

Comic Pick of the Week: The Seeds #1 (Dark Horse/Berger Books)

Interlude: A Look at the Creators

A little backstory/context before I jump into this book. Berger Books is an imprint guided by legendary comic book editor Karen Berger, who created the Vertigo imprint at DC Comics in 1993. Among the titles she worked on over the next twenty years were Alan Moore's Swamp Thing, Neil Gaiman's Sandman, Fables, Hellblazer, Y, the Last Man, and Preacher. Her pedigree alone is an indicator of quality.

This book, The Seeds, is the brainchild of artist/co-creator David Aja and writer/co-creator Ann Nocenti. Aja had acclaimed runs on Hawkeye with Matt Fraction and The Immortal Iron Fist with Fraction and Ed Brubaker. Nocenti is another long-time veteran of the comics industry. Along with co-creating one of my favorite characters, Longshot, she had a brilliant and bizarre run on Daredevil with artist John Romita, Jr., taking the title in a drastically different direction from the gritty noir tone established by Frank Miller. Nocenti instead tackled everything from nuclear proliferation to vegetarianism to having DD fight the actual Marvel Universe Devil. She also crossed paths with Berger at Vertigo, writing the 16-issue Kid Eternity series with artist Sean Phillips.

Review: Based on all of that, my expectations for this book were pretty high. While I'm not entirely sure what to make of it after this first issue, I definitely wasn't disappointed. I'm not going to talk about the book too much beyond the initial premise, as the process of discovering just what's going on, and the way that Aja and Nocenti progressively reveal bits of information is one of the book's greatest strengths. In a nutshell, we've fucked up the planet, and people are responding in one of two ways. On one side of the Wall are those of us clinging to our technology, our sex, and our drugs as, effectively, the three opiates of the masses. On the other side are the Luddites, who have eschewed all forms of technology in the hopes that turning backwards will, if not fix the problems, at least not make them any worse. And then there is something with bees and strange men in full-body contamination suits.

Along with the compelling set-up and story, Aja's art is phenomenal. It's an odd blend of monochromatic photorealism and makes heavy use of a nine-panel grid layout that slows the pace of the comic down and allows the moments to linger as the reader regularly pauses to make sense of and contextualize new information. This is the first issue of a four-issue miniseries, so if you want to dip a toe into the more adult side of comics without committing to a 60+ issue book, I'd highly recommend it.


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