January 2011

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Ladies Comics Project is back!  Head over to She Has No Head for the first installment of Ladies Comics Project, Phase II!

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So for the second iteration of The Ladies Comics Project – aptly called, Ladies Comics Project: Phase II – I had women (32 of them this time!) picking from my own library of graphic novels and trades for their reading and review.  Below are the books they had to choose from.*

Beyond being limited by what I already owned, I limited the selection further by selecting only titles that I felt confident were female friendly.  Additionally, for solely financial reasons (this project cost a pretty penny out of my own pocket) I removed some larger/heavier books that I would have otherwise liked to include (Black Hole, Blankets, Box Office Poison, and Local were some of the great books sadly left out due to sheer size and heft).

The books are listed roughly alphabetically and you can click (and actually double click) to enlarge all images to readable sizes.

For what it’s worth, I think the ladies picked very well.  Though many of their selections surprised me, just as they did last time. If there is one big miss for me in the selections it’s that nobody picked Beasts Of Burden, which is a beautiful engaging book that I think any one of these ladies would have loved…and been really surprised by how much she loved it.  But maybe next time!  Who knows what future Ladies Comics Project iterations will bring!

*Please note that Secret Science Alliance (which totally should have been on the list anyway!) and Scratch 9 (which should have been on the list, but which I don’t own), are both being read by young participants of The Ladies Comics Project Phase II, despite not being pictured above.

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So we’ve got a tie this week, mostly cause I just love me some Emma Frost and Chris Bachalo.  First is this great splash page panel by Daniel Acuna of Luke Cage (POWERMAN!) and his wife Jessica Jones (POWERWOMAN?) having dinner in New Avengers #8.

I love it.  It’s really fun and smart and has great attention to detail from the clothing of our heroes, to the one slightly falling sock of our waitress…it’s just damn fine looking comics.  And really, this scene goes on for several pages and with the exception of one very weird Jessica Jones expression panel it’s pretty fantastic.  I miss Stuart Immonen like crazy on this book already and am horribly disappointed that he’s no longer on the book…but Acuna is a good replacement if I have to have one.  I’m really bummed that I have to drop the book when Deodato (and Chaykin?) come on board…but maybe Acuna will stay?  Maybe I can keep reading?  In fairness to Deodato, I thought his cover to New Avengers #8 was pretty good, and very restrained in his depiction of Jones…which is usually where he loses me (his depiction of women).

click to enlarge

But I couldn’t resist Chris Bachalo’s great cartoon-y fun take on the X-Men and especially Emma Frost in this panel from X-Men #7. Apologies to Mr. Bachalo for the liberties I took (I had to crop a bit as it was an unwieldy shape – also the crease is terrible – double sorry!) but look past it please to the beautiful extremely detailed personality filled artwork there.  The combination of lights and darks, the highly complex detailed work, the great composition, character design and acting.  FABULOUS.  Also, Emma, you so funny.  :)

Click to enlarge!

And now for the fun stuff…

Apparently Emma’s clothing is SO CRAZY all the damn time, that even though Bachalo has made an effort to put Emma in pants (and thank you for that Mr. Bachalo) colorists DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS PANTS.

They probably went to color it and were like…”No…just regular pants?  That can’t be right…This is EMMA FROST!  I bet it’s some kind of weird underwear thigh-high boots situation…!”

And that is how you end up with something that looks like this:

Yeah.  That’s just wrong.  Even for Emma.

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I’ve never seen a Bachalo Batman/Catwoman before…it is AWESOME.  I love how Batman looks all grouchy and kind of thick while Selina is all lean and playful.  There’s such chemistry in this!  It’s just thick with energy and fun and personality.  Also?  Selina’s costume is badass.  I love the belt!

Thanks to DC Women Kicking Ass for the link!

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Fables #101 came close to taking it this week but this Uncanny X-Men #4 cover by Esad Ribic is just too cool not to win.  It’s not PERFECT, but it’s very interesting to me with the shapes and movement and composition.  It also manages to, despite being a style that looks very stiff and slick to me, have great movement and energy thanks to the composition and patterns.

Ross made a comment a while back in cover solicits that this cover would be even better if Psylocke’s skin was lighter here because it would further re-inforce the pale colors and dark patterned shapes – and I agree – but it’s still very cool.

All these covers are pretty interesting actually, but this is my favorite that we’ve seen so far.

Here are the “rules“.

And if you’d like to see the full April 2011 DC solicits head over to CBR.

Though overall this month DC had less annoying and offensive stuff than Marvel, it was also pretty boring.  Very little to pique my interest.  Also, I almost always naturally end up with a few more DC covers I want to feature than Marvel covers, but this month it was the reverse.  Hmmm.

Batman Europa 4. Very fucking cool.  Of course I’ll never look at one of these the same again.

Young Justice 3. Hmm…issue #3…no ladies. What a fucking surprise Young Justice, what a fucking surprise.

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Sorry folks, life has been busy busy chaos…so no time to “promote” 3 Chicks today…but here it is, in all it’s glory and in case you haven’t listened yet!

Head over to CSBG for the write up this week’s episode, and the link to the cast.  Enjoy!

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Check out She Has No Head! for an advance review of Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly’s The New York Five #1 which releases in stores everywhere from Vertigo tomorrow!

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It’s hard to believe that it was only a year ago that I met Tim and his adorable girls Grace and Cate and was introduced to their great family drawing project 5 Minute Marvels.  I’ve been awestruck by all they’ve done this year – both as a family bonding project and in getting great artists involved in the adventure.  I am not a great artist, but I am a big fan and advocate of all they’re doing over there.  If you haven’t checked them out yet, please do so, and if it’s been a while, head on back and say hi.  There’s so much great art and wonderful energy to explore over there…it’s pretty much guaranteed to brighten your day.

And thanks Tim, for all the support over the last year, and mostly for letting me draw with you again for your anniversary!

Ms Marvel - the original inspiration for the project! - by Grace and Tim

Ms. Marvel by me. I've never drawn Ms. Marvel before (being a massive Rogue fan it somehow felt wrong) but it was tons of fun.

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So I had the opportunity to guest host the obviously totally awesome podcast “Awesomed By Comics” with Aaron while Evie was in France this past week.

It was an incredibly fun time – although I’m clearly excited and nervous as I chatter on endlessly like a crazy person – but amidst my insanity some really cool stuff gets discussed.

Definitely check it out and if you’re not already regularly listening to Awesomed By Comics you should be, Aaron & Evie are great and they cover really fun categories every week – i.e. I totally wish I could steal their format! ;)

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