By coming to today’s Journal, you’ve hit the trifecta. First up, it’s time for the latest installment in Billy Burkert’s Cartoonist Diary. Was quitting his job the right call? Will we find out before Friday’s conclusion? Only one way to find out.
And in other deep questions of the day, Tegan’s latest column is here! In this installment of Ice Cream For Bedwetters, we get her take on Valiant’s attempt to take their media empire to the next level. Things aren’t looking good!
Here’s the thing about Valiant: Valiant as it exists in 2018 is really only half a company. These characters – the hundreds of characters who make up the fictional firmament of the Valiant Comics Universe, long may it wave – are a group of IP without any real desperate need to exist in comics form. And I say that because Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe #1 acts as a kind of negative advertisement, influencing me not to purchase more Valiant Comics but to question the very existence of Valiant Comics. I’ve never read a promotional comic that did a worse job of selling its product.
Trifecta means three, and here’s the proof: Rich Barrett’s debut for The Journal, with a review of Paper Girls: Book One. Here, Barrett grapples with the question of who the Brian K Vaughan/Cliff Chiang series is aimed at, and whether it lands.
With young adult fiction dominating the bookstore market, it’s tempting to label this as YA but it actually doesn’t fit cleanly into that category. Although the protagonists are pre-teens, the tone of the story and some of its subject matter is written with violence and language that, while not unlike what you might hear in an ‘80s film, may not fly with parents who supervise what their pre-teens are reading. Also, a general rule of thumb is that kids prefer to read about older kids, so the age of these characters might be disqualifying for consideration by some teenagers. In fact Paper Girls reads like what it actually is – a trade paperback collection of an ongoing Image Comic – more than it does, say, a Scholastic or First Second YA graphic novel. It’s written for adults who grew up in the ‘80s, grok Dr. Who-level complexities in time travel paradoxes and are in for the long-haul on a multi-year read.
Sorry for the delay in blog posting–i’m in another time zone that doesn’t have snow. A revelation in the making!