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Here are 9 songs by 9 ladies or lady-fronted bands that I can’t get enough of this week:
The Bed Song by Amanda Palmer
Movie Loves a Screen by April Smith and the Great Picture Show
212 by Azealia Banks
Fondu Au Noir by Coeur du Pirate
Only Human by Fallulah
Slow Like Honey by Fiona Apple
Settle Down by Kimbra
Sex Yeah / Primadonna by Marina and the Diamonds
All The Rowboats by Regina Spektor
Comics I Like This Week!
Saga #2 by Fiona Staples & Brian K Vaughn (perfect sci-fi)
Adventure Time #3 by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb (with rad alternate covers by Yamino and Stephanie Buscema AND some canon Sugarless Gum action! I’m starting to wonder how I used to dislike Adventure Time, really, because it is just so much fun)
Conan: Queen of the Black Coast #3 by Brian Wood & Becky Cloonan (with rad alternate cover by Mike Mignola and very saucy some booty shots by Becky)
Batwoman #8 by W Haden Blackman, J H Williams III & Amy Reeder (bye bye, Amy! I miss your art, J H Williams III!)
Courtney Crumrin #1 by Ted Naifeh (my teen goth heart swells with joy at a new Courtney Crumrin series)
I hope to make this a regular feature, or at least to include more comic recommendations. I may switch this over to Comics Bulletin at some point, as I’ve run out of feminist essays for the time being… We shall see!
Books, books, books!
If you’re looking for something new to read, may I recommend any of these three selections? BLUE by Pat Grant is fantastic, and we sold out of copies at work before I could read it. I’m eagerly awaiting its return. In the meantime, you can read some of it online! It’s tremendous. The single-colour on analogous sepia tones? Perfection!
Baby’s In Black is the story of the ‘Fifth Beatle’ Stuart Sutcliffe and his relationship with photographer Astrid Kircherr. I don’t think it’s released until later this month, but we got a preview copy at work and I swoon over the art. Ask about it at your shop!
Emitown Vol 2 is the second collection of Emi Lenox’s diary comics, which I love both because they make me look like an art slacker (she does one every single day!) and because they are often painfully honest. I keep picking this book up and flipping to a random page. It’s inspiring.
Hi everybody! I’ve got the day off ‘cause my leg is busted up something fierce, so here’s a list of new comics you should be reading and why. Ready? GO!
The Strange Talent of Luther Strode
Issues available: 2 of 6
Here’s the pitch: What if those mail-order Charles Atlas catalogues actually worked? Luther is a scrawny, bullied kid who sends away for The Hercules Method, a book that promises to bulk him up in no time. And it does, in spades. This comic is “everything Kick-Ass should have been” and then some; technicolor ultraviolence with great writing and characters you actually care about. Some pages look to me like The Walking Dead if it was drawn by the guys who do Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors.
Issues available: 3 of 7
This is the first comic I’ve read by Terry Moore, but it makes me keen to read pretty much everything else. It’s the story of a girl who wakes up in a grave, but maybe she wakes up wrong. Her eyes are discoloured and nobody believes her when she tells them who she is, and whatever put her in the dirt, well, maybe it isn’t finished what it started. This comic does spooky without gory so well, and it’s another slow-to-unravel mystery. My favourite kind!
Issues available: 4 of 4
This series finished up this week, and I loved it to pieces. I hope we see more of it! It’s the story of two orphans growing up poor in the futuristic city of Hyperion, where only the ultra-rich have access to a magical source of power called Aether. Prophecies, boarding schools, tough female leads, romance and just a dash of steampunk; Mystic is great for those who love the classic Disney look but want a more grown-up story. Plus, it’s written by a lady and the Amanda Conner covers are stunning.
That’s all for now! Go check ‘em out!
The relaunch of DC has seen quite a few new faces in the comic shop, and it got me thinking: lots of you out there check out artists or webcomics on tumblr, but don’t read graphic novels. Many of you have read a few graphic novels, but don’t buy single issues. Maybe you’ve never read a superhero comic, or maybe you’ve only read Batman, and you’re looking for something new. Well, that’s what today’s blog is for: Comics to get you started.
Each book in this list is either self-contained in one volume or is a series that has recently started. They may contain characters with long histories, but can be read without any outside knowledge. They should be pretty easy to find, and I encourage you (as always) to try your LCS (Local Comic Shop - it occurred to me last night that I use that acronym a lot and have never defined it here) or bookstore before going to Amazon or Chapters.
Okay, ready? LET’S GO!
For those who want to try a taste of superhero comics:
Batman: YEAR ONE
By Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli
If you, like me, grew up on the Batman: Animated TV series created by Bruce Timm, have seen the Tim Burton films and are familiar with Adam West but have never really read any comics featuring the caped crusader, this is a great intro. It’s the origin of the Dark Knight, but it’s almost more the story of Commissioner Gordon and how they become a team. If you like it, check out books like The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Black And White! All of them are self-contained. If you know Batman is Bruce Wayne and Alfred is his butler, you’re good to go.
Batgirl: Year One
By Scott Beatty, Chuck Dixon, Alvaro Lopez and Marcos Martin
If you’ve been frustrated with the news of women being poorly represented in the new DCU, take heart in stories like these. Batgirl: Year One is a fabulous example of men writing great female characters. Barbara Gordon, here still in her teens, is a strong, funny, complex, stubborn, smart character who kicks ass… after she learns how. It’s one of my favourite books. If you like it, check out the latest Batgirl series, which has recently finished, and starts with the books Batgirl Rising and The Flood.
By Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale
I’ll admit, I’m not a Spidey reader! I’ve never been able to get into the ongoing series, despite having gone to the first movie 7 times in theatres. Still, if you’ve got an interest in the webslinger, this book is a great jumping-on point. It starts on Valentines Day, with Spider-Man recounting how he met his first love, Gwen Stacey. It’s a great story, and the art is amazing. The ‘colour’ series is Marvel’s alternative for DC’s ‘Year One’ origin books. Loeb and Sale also worked on Daredevil: Yellow, Hulk: Gray and Captain America: White, but this is by far the most popular. If you like it, check out Loeb and Sale’s work on Batman: The Long Halloween.
If you’d like something a little spookier:
The Green River Killer
By Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case
This recommendation comes from Adam, who says: “If you’ve ever spent more than an hour watching Unsolved Mysteries or other detective shows on A&E, you’ll love this book.” The book centers around the real story of serial killer Gary Ridgeway, and interviews with him after the fact. If you like it, check out Alan Moore’s take on Jack the Ripper, From Hell.
Criminal: The Last of the Innocent
By Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
This one’s an easy sell: What if Archie had married Veronica instead of Betty, but then decided to have her killed for money? What if Jughead was a junkie and Reggie, an adultering louse? Take all that and set it in a retro pulp atmosphere and you have this recently completed four-issue miniseries. In a genre too often oversaturated with adaptations like “let’s do that, but with ZOMBIES!” this film noir adaptation of the Riverdale Gang is in a league of its own. If you like it, Brubaker and Phillips have five other Criminal books, each readable on their own. If you get hooked on the style, Darwyn Cooke’s The Hunter and The Outfit are fantastic crime stories, too!
If you’re in the mood for something a little lighter:
Dar: Volumes One and Two
By Erika Moen
Erika Moen is the one thing all lesbians fear: Converted. A lifelong member of the buzz-cut gang, Erika found her life turned upside-down when she fell head over heels in love - with a man. It sounds like a sitcom, but instead it’s a hilarious and painfully honest diary comic. I love this book and it’s amazing for anyone struggling with defining their sexuality in an indefinable world. I wish it was 15 books, I really do! If you like it, try the classic Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, Gingerbread Girl by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover or any of Megan Gedris’ books!
Scott PIlgrim’s Precious Little Life
By Bryan Lee O’Malley
Yes, you’ve seen the movie a dozen times, but have you actually read the books? Man, you should! Scott Pilgrim follows the hapless misadventures and occasional triumphs of the title character as he fights the seven evil exes of the girl he’s fallen for. If you’ve seen the film, what are you missing? Oh, I don’t know, like six books worth of awesome art, recipes, maps, illustration, dialogue and video game tips? Do it, and then read Faith Erin Hicks’ Zombies Calling.
By Various, Covers by Alex Ross
This four-issue miniseries anthology (phew!) is being collected into a book in November/December, so if you can’t find the single issues, don’t fret! Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer was a short-lived but well-loved series, and although the movie was a box office flop, it remains a cult classic. Dozens of writers and artists contributed tales of the swashbuckling Cliff Secord and his jet pack - not to mention his buxom girlfriend Betty Page - along with pin-ups and beautiful covers to this revival. If you like adventure, nazi-fighting and bulldogs, check it out! If you haven’t read the older series, do so - it’s available from IDW.
That’s all for tonight, I’m bushed!