Today at The Comics Journal, we've got a couple of throwbacks for you. The first is the newest installment of Ice Cream For Bedwetters, Tegan O'Neil's super-hero focused column, which takes a look at some old Wolverine comics from a very particular era in that character's history. Like that character (who is currently returning to the dead, thanks to Charles "A Lawyer" Soule), Tegan's got some changes planned.
I’m also inching closer to an end for what I’m doing here. Not this column, hopefully, but the specific project of this first year, a set of pieces written in a reflective mood, big on first-person pronouns and belly-button lint. The second year will be completely different. I get restless if I do the same thing for too long, I learned that from teaching.
This style has come in handy, however. You see, I underwent a change recently. It doesn’t really matter for the present purposes what that change was – we all change, after all, the experience of change is what’s universal. (Even if my change was a bit more drastic than most.) We’re all changing just by being alive and breathing the same blessed atmosphere. Not a novel observation but nonetheless a true one.
Our next throwback is to 2002--and to be more specific, to Ron Evry's original Comics Journal review of Jason Lutes' first collection of Berlin stories. In recognition of the recent conclusion of Jason's 20 year series (and to whet your appetite for our review of the now complete edition), we'll be pulling Berlin content from the archives for the next few weeks. In no small part, it will be because of paragraphs like these:
It seems a shame that an artist such as Jason Lutes cannot sell enough copies of this masterpiece to make producing it his full-time profession. It is obviously a life’s work, and hopefully will be enough of a commercial success for him to produce it for many more issues. The eighth issue of the comic book came out in December of 2000, and there hasn’t been another new one since. He has drawn an Ed Brubaker-written comic book called The Fall, also published by D&Q, which is diverting and intelligently done, but it isn’t Berlin. There are a projected 400 more pages to go in the series. If readers have to wait eight or nine more years to get them, then that is testimony to the fact that something is terribly wrong with the comic industry and needs fixing.
It can't all be old school material though, I hear you. And is there anything more 2018 than a hugely popular manga series spawning a tie-in series? If there is, I haven't heard of it! Thankfully, we've got just the cat for that bucket of slop: Alex Hoffman, who is here to pass judgment on My Hero Academia: Vigilantes #1. Today's Comics Journal review, now:
The premise of the comic is that the world is super powered - over time, humans started developing "Quirks" that give them unique powers, and these "Quirks" have become more and more common. Due to the rise of superpowers, superpowered crime is a major concern, and so the government has created a “Hero Licensing System” that allows people with Quirks to register with the government and fight crime as a job.
If you’re not completely immersed in Japanese comics, you’re probably thinking “Quirks sound a lot like the mutants in X-Men,” and you'd be right. The My Hero Academia universe is deeply indebted to modern American superhero comics, and it is clear that the series’ creator Kohei Horikoshi holds American superhero comics in high regard. But those influences are a sort of subtext for the original comic; the structure of My Hero Academia is based around the traditional Japanese school year and other Japanese constructs that make the series unique and not just a New Mutants knockoff.
We've got an interview with editor Frederick Luis Aldama coming to these digital pages very soon, but if you're in the mood for pregaming, head over to Comicosity for their dive into Tales From La Vida: A Latinx Comics Anthology.
As a whole, Latinx are a mix of bloodlines, religions, foods and more. This, sometimes discordant, mixture becomes more evident as you “zoom in” oo the country, family and finally individual. It is the internal and external culmination of years of forced and chosen assimilation. As diverse as we are, though, many of our stories share common themes, emotions, and life events. This commonality of experiences and diversity of being is laid bare in the pages of Tales from La Vida: A Latinx Comics Anthology. This new anthology is a collection of 80 comic book shorts by Latinx creators that visually share defining moments in their lives as a Latinx.
Didn't make it to SPX? Nor did I, friend. But never fear, they've already started uploading videos, and the first one is a 50 minute panel with Rebecca Sugar. You can keep this page bookmarked (if you didn't already bookmark it back in 2011) to get all the latest updates.
How much should I pay for a cassette tape of New Order's Power, Corruption & Lies? I'm having a hell of a time deciding.