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Pull list for December 2 2015

December 1, 2015

I’m off tomorrow, so reviews as normal.

I’ll go the store for: All-New All-Different Avengers #2, by Mark Waid, Adam Kubert and Mahmud Asrar; Extraordinary X-Men #3, by Jeff Lemire and Humberto Ramos; My Little Pony Friends Forever #23, by Ted Anderson and Tony Fleecs.

I’ll also review: All-New X-Men #1, by Dennis Hopeless and Mark Bagley; Vision #2, by Tom King and Gabriel Walta.

So that’s 3 comics I’m picking up, and 4 reviews. Probably. A light week.

I’m most excited for ANAD Avengers. The first issue was pretty good, and I’m optimistic about the series. EXM is on thin ice with me. It hasn’t been wowing me enough, and I’m close to dropping it, at least physically.

My pull list for December: ANAD Avengers #2, Extraordinary X-Men #3, Hellcat #1, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #2, Angela #3, (maybe) Extraordinary X-Men #3, New Avengers #4, Silk #2, Ms. Marvel #2, Squirrel Girl #3, Ultimates #2, Spider-Man 2099 #4. 12 titles. Small month, since I’m still waiting for a few other books to launch. Well, I’ll need the extra money for Christmas, anyway.

I’ve read a few things over this past week. Things I got through Kickstarter. I read the first two issues of Like Father Like Daughter, by Kathryn Calamia. It’s not very good, truth be told. It’s a standard premise, but reasonably interesting. But there’s a lot of problems. The art is fairly weak, though not the weakest part. There’s some odd characterization. But the most frustrating thing, for me, was all the errors. There were speech bubbles in the wrong panels entirely. That’s a pretty glaring problem, and not something that ever should have been allowed to happen. It marks this, even more than the writing and art, as the work of an amateur. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, Calamia is trying to be a professional, so she needs to hold herself to a much higher standard.

Much better was Dates! An Anthology of Queer Historical Fiction. Here’s my review from Goodreads:

This is great. It’s a bunch of short stories from throughout history, with positive depictions of LGBTQ+ (queer) characters. A key point is that the stories are positive. There’s no one being killed or hurt, there are no stories where two people in love are forced apart, nothing like that. These stories aren’t about how hard it’s historically been to be queer. It’s just historical fiction with queer protagonists, and that’s wonderful. I’m straight, myself, but I’m a supporter of diversity, which is why I backed the Kickstarter for this book.

Premise aside, the stories are also all really good. There’s a wide variety to them. They range from cavewomen to ancient Greece to the Roaring Twenties to Stalinist Russia to Ancient Ireland. And a lot more. There’s gay men, lesbians, transgender people, asexuals, agender people, and more. Some stories are about romance, some are about self-discovery. Some are heartfelt and touching, some are just silly fun. There’s a lot going on, basically, and it’s pretty much all great. A lot of different writing and art styles.

If you like positive queer representation, or if you like good comics, this is definitely worth checking out.

But wait! It gets better! Hopeless Savages: Break. My review:

So. This book. I read the first three volumes of Hopeless Savages a couple years ago (Ground Zero was my favourite). I’ve enjoyed some other work by Jen Van Meter. And I love artist Meredith McClaren’s webcomic, Hinges. So I’ve been looking forward to this one for pretty much this whole year. And I was not disappointed. The wait was worth it, even with the unfortunate delay. This is a damned good comic. Van Meter’s writing is fantastic. She can do fun and funny, she can do sweet and touching, and she can do heart-wrenching and painful. She does it all here, and it’s all done wonderfully.

The story follows Skank Zero Hopeless-Savage as she goes on tour with her band, the Dusted Bunnies. They find some rivals on the road, and run into a lot of problems. Meanwhile, the rest of her family is also having their own problems. But even with all the troubles, we still get to see love and friendship and family. And it’s really, really nice.

The art is fantastic. There are flashbacks done by Christine Norrie, who’s been with this series from the start, as the primary artist on the first volume, and sectional artist on the other two. The flashbacks are some of the sweetest moments of the comic. The primary artist here is Meredith McClaren, and her style is a perfect match for Van Meter’s writing. It’s really good at conveying emotion, and gets very intimate. It also does motion and energy well, which works especially well for the musical scenes. She gives the feel of a bad delivering an awesome performance. And then she also does a great job showing people going through serious emotional moments. It’s a very odd style, very unrealistic, and she exaggerates even more than usual at moments (a panel of Zero with massive eyes was both creepy and hilarious), but it works great for the book, which is odd and exaggerated as it is.

This is an amazing comic and you should totally buy it.

It’s such a great book. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed me gushing about it. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Van Meter and McClaren are on fire (as is Norrie, for her sections). It’s such a strong comic. Read this. Don’t deny yourself the awesomeness. Bug your local library to get a copy if you have to, but this is a must-read comic.

My Little Pony wrapped up its fifth season on Saturday. It was a good finale. I liked the return of Starlight Glimmer, functioning as a bookend to the season. Also, she was a great antagonist. She had enough in common with Twilight Sparkle to work as a foil, and she became a threat not through overwhelming power, but through hard work and planning. And it might be the X-Men fan in me, but I do like a good time travel and alternate world story. And then the final shot of the season was a nice shot of the cast, including all the beloved background characters. A nice little nod to the fans. So, yeah, it was a nice finale. Now I just need to wait to hear when Season 6 will air. In the meantime, it’s about time I got back to my DS9 rewatch.

And on a totally different topic: Apparently, a few days ago, the porn star Stoya stated that her ex-boyfriend and fellow porn star James Deen raped her. We’ll probably never actually know for certain what happened, but I’m always inclined to trust women who say they were raped. There are a few things worth noting about this situation, though. First, there’s been a tendency to try to slut-shame Stoya, implying that her career means she deserves it, or even that she can’t be raped. This is, of course, insane and misogynistic horsecrap. But I think a more important thing to note is that it happened while they were still in a relationship. In fact, the rape occurred in the middle of what had been, to that point, consensual sex. And that’s something that’s worth mentioning. Guys: As soon as a woman says “stop,” you stop. If you continue, it’s rape. Consent can in fact be revoked at any point during an encounter. So, be good.

But here’s something that’s kind of a big deal: Quite a few companies have broken off ties with Deen. The allegations were enough for these companies to decide they don’t want to be associated with him. And as I saw one person point out on Twitter, this means the porn industry is better at policing itself than the comics industry. The comics industry is pathetic when it comes to dealing with people alleged with sexual harassment. They do nothing, to the point where the women harassed never even speak up about it. The comics industry needs to be a lot better about it. And that means we – all of us, the readers – also need to be better about it. In particular, if we see a woman being harassed, we need to step in and stop it. And we also need to believe women who make claims of harassment, and encourage them to come forward, and not support the people the accusations are leveled at.

My schedule for the week: 12-8:30 Friday, 8:45-5:15 Saturday, 11:15-7-15 Sunday, 2-8:30 Monday, 4:30-11:15. Next pull list on Tuesday, post on Thursday.

And that’s it for this week.

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