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Liveblogging the Seventies

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On Saturday morning, I awoke at 6 am and then decided that was too damned early to be awake on a Saturday. So I decided to stay in bed as long as possible, which meant reading Twitter and, eventually, going through my nightstand looking for those issues of Casanova I bought a while back but never read.

What I stumbled upon was a bag of vintage comics I'd purchased probably two years ago at an antique store for $4 apiece. Included was Lois Lane #129, and Supergirl #2, both with amazing covers. Basically the recipe to get me to buy a silver or golden age comic is to have an amazing cover (the ones that are "cliffhangers" are my favorite) and to be less than $5. (Because I am not actually a collector, just cheap.)

The end result is me, lying in bed and tweeting my reactions, which I'll recap here, because not only am I cheap, I'm lazy.

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Comic Reviews and Parenthetical Asides

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It was a pretty big week for comics last week. Brian K Vaughn's Saga finally dropped (I didn't read it), and another much-anticipated book, Womanthology, showed up in comic stores (I sort of read it, but I'm in it, so I mostly just obsessed over my mistakes.) (I'm on page 194, go look it up.)

However, three much more exciting (to me, anyway) stories ended up on my digital (and actual) doorstep this week. I didn't think I could top the thrill of seeing my own work in print, but the following three comics were so well done, they have confirmed my choice to only read creator-owned / indie comics from here on out.

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Carey's Comic Roundup

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I've been remiss in writing about comics for Geektress. I'm a slacker, but isn't that what comic readers do? DC's relaunch has given me the chance to start fresh, and read comics I've never looked at before. Here's what I think as a new reader to the DC-verse (selected titles only since I can't afford to read them all):

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Batman Odyssey: Shirtless and Caffeinated

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Neal Adams' Batman: Odyssey returns from hiatus, post-DC-reboot, with a new #1. Except, once you look inside, you realize it's the same story that was going on pre-reboot. But this is Neal Adams and he didn't get the chance to finish his (apparently) epic tale of Ra's Al Ghul and his son, Sensei, blah blah blah.

I am not reading this book because there are heists and people killing children and Deadman possessing The Joker, even though that was cool.

No, I am reading this title because five out of the previous six issues have started with a shirtless, hairy-chested Batman talking to someone about what's happening in the story, and as with this issue (#7, labeled #1, but... it's #7,) I read the shirtless parts, set the comic down, and somehow forgot I didn't finish the comic until I tried to review it.

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Green Means Go, Red Means Kill

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My obsession with the Red Lanterns is no secret. (See here and here.) I love angry cats and I also love being angry. Really, I do. It’s liberating. This is why I’m pleased with the direction the Red Lantern book is going. In the second issue Atrocitus asks the all important question for the Red Lanterns: is some rage more justifiable than others?

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Review: Dead Man's Run

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Dead Man's Run #0 by Greg Pak, Tony Parker, and Peter Steigerwald (colors) & Josh Reed (letters) came out today from Aspen Comics. (Walking Dead producer Gale Anne Hurd is also producing Dead Man's Run through her Valhalla production company.) I received a review copy in the mail this week and couldn't wait to read it, as Pak is quickly moving up the list of my favorite writers (my first experience with his writing being the Battlestar Galactica comics.)

Laura always suggests, and I now second this, that if you don't know what titles to read, follow the author. Lots of people followed Gail Simone and are now discovering the Batgirl title for the first time. (Though, I still recommend everyone check out Bryan Q. Miller's run on the title.) After Vision Machine, and this comic, I'm pretty sure I'm going to follow Greg Pak around, too.

...It doesn't hurt that he apparently really likes robots.

I never know whether to put my criticisms first, or the praise, so let's put it this way:

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If Only DC Made Edible Comics

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Yesterday Carey gave you her thoughts on some of the DCnU #1 issues. Today it is my turn. I read a lot of the DC relaunch comics. I didn't realize how many until I had to do his post. I probably would have read more if it weren't for the fact that they cost money. I'm not completely new to the DCU, like Carey, but clearly this relaunch worked for me as if I were. I tried more titles than I probably would not have previously. I loved many of them, and plan to continue reading most of them.

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In the New DCU, Wonder Woman Means Business

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As you all know, I'm pretty new to the DCU and I've used this relaunch to get involved in comics again for the first time in a while. I read trades that are already well under way, but this is the first time I've read floppies in years. So far, I'm really enjoying myself and feel like I have current stuff to talk about with Geektress and the CBQs for a change. You know, instead of what happened in X-Men back in 2003.

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Matchmaker Batman: Does It Work?

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For quite a while, Laura has been fascinated by the idea that Batman, having nothing better to do, would hook up his friend Barbara Gordon with his friend Clark Kent. Batman, in addition to solving the world's mysteries, has also unlocked the key to matching people up. Ever since the idea of Superman and Batgirl as a couple was brought up, I've been more fascinated by that than just The Dark Knight's SuperheroMatch.com.

I decided to take this intrigue one step further, and do some actual research.

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"DC Comics! Got that DC Comics here!"*

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*This was a poorly handled reference to The Wire. Thank you.

It's DC Week here at the 'Tress, and we've decided that Tuesdays should be filled with comic book crack. We've previously brought you a very special edition of World's Finest, and on the podcast, we've discussed the above-referenced issue of Wonder Woman (#155) where she marries a brussel sprout. (Read the whole thing here.)

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The Vault: Diving In To My Heart!

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Yes, I know that headline was completely cornball.

The Vault is a three issue miniseries from Image, written by Sam Sarkar and drawn by Garrie Gastonny. (Sakti Yuwono and Bagus Hutomo did the colors and cover for Issue #1, respectively.) The first installment was released last Wednesday, and it did not disappoint. I admit, I'm a little biased because I had no idea what the comic was going in to it, but on the first page, there's an intro talking about the Oak Island Treasure Pit.

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Fun With Marvel Team-Up

Last week, when Marvel announced the new series Avenging Spider-Man, for me and probably most long time comic readers, it immediately brought to mind the classic Marvel Team-Up, which featured Spider-Man teaming up with a different character every issue. It was great, and I couldn't help but think that the new series could never live up to it. Superhero comics just aren't nearly as much fun anymore. However, when I made a joke on twitter specifically referencing two of my favorite team ups, Red Sonja and Frog-Man, I got absolutely no response. Either people just don't know what they are missing, or I'm insane. I'm going with the former.

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Double Feature Robots!

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In March, we told you about the launch of Double Feature Comics. Since April, Four Star Studios have been launching a double feature, downloadable digital comic book for $0.99.

This month's feature is "Science Fiction," featuring a story by Four Star's Joshua Emmons (with art by Joe Song,) and one from Robbi Rodriguez.

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Sweets

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I have a very small local comic shop that doesn't carry indie comics, but will order anything you want if you tell them about it. They actually started ordering extra copies of iZombie because I asked for it and they hadn't heard of it, but liked the covers, and thought it'd be fun to stock. So when I saw the preview images for Sweets in the back of another comic, I knew I had to request it. Even though I wasn't entirely sure what sort of story it was going to be, the art was intriguing, and that's half the reason I read a comic at all, so I needed to roll the dice.

When I read the first issue of Sweets, I liked it a lot, but I realized it may be the sort of comic that would be easier for me to read all at once. So I patiently waited until I had all five issues of the mini-series in my possession before I continued reading. Each month I got a Sweets comic in my pull was like knowing I was getting another Christmas present that I had to wait to open.

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American Vampire: Now With 100% More War

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Starting last week with issue #13, Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque are taking their tales of Skinner Sweet, Pearl Jones and her hubby Henry Preston in to the forties, with a story set during World War II. If you haven't been reading the series, first of all: It's pretty much the only thing we talk about on the podcast other than Wonder Woman, why the heck aren't you listening to us? Second of all: It's worth it to start now. Go now. We'll wait. Here's a handy locator.

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Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Siren Mind

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Those of you who are making it a regular habit to check the website for new updates, first of all: Thank you. You may have noticed that instead of updating once a month, we're making a concerted effort to post once a day now. Second of all, you'll note that up until last week, we had maybe one, possibly two comic book reviews written here in a three year span. This is certainly not because we don't read comic books, but more because we devote a good portion of the podcast every week to reviewing comics. After that, we don't have much to write about.

However, I'm trying to change that. A lot of the stuff on my pull list isn't read by either Laura or Rania, particularly Gotham City Sirens. They just don't have much interest in Bat books, or Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn. To quote Laura "I like the way Zatanna looks more than I actually like the character, which is how I feel about most DC characters."

So, for the past three months I haven't been reading Gotham City Sirens. (Don't judge me, at least I still buy it. And since it's confession time, I haven't read Birds of Prey since issue 5, I think, which is a far greater crime to some people.) I actually have no good reason why, I was enjoying the storyline and I love all three characters. I'm not blaming Laura or Rania, I've just been largely indifferent to a lot of things lately.

The guys at the Gotham Central Podcast heard tale of this the other day on our Twitter, and their surprise guilted me in to catching up. So, if you don't listen to the podcast, I'll recap a little bit of 16 here (even though I reviewed it months ago, I re-read it for this story arc.) For those of you that do listen to the podcast, you probably barely remember anything not having to do with gold lamé bitch fights anyway, so you should be okay.

But lets start with this:

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Cinderelly, Cinderelly, You Show Off A Lot Of Belly

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Cover by Chrissie Zullo, click to embiggen

(Again, apologies for the title, I know, I'm terrible.)

The version of Cinderella that Bill Willingham re-invented for his Fables comics is probably one of our favorite characters here at Geektress. She wasn't often featured in the main title, though, and last year she was given her own spinoff mini-series, Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love. I'll admit that I was critical of that series. I was unfamiliar with Chris Roberson's work at the time, and felt the voice he gave to Cindy didn't necessarily feel "right." (I'm still unsure how to describe what was off about it, perhaps that she was too flippant?) I did like the artwork, the introduction of Aladdin, and the story and plot, so it wasn't as though the entire thing was a waste of my time.

Now we have a second mini-series, Cinderella: Fables Are Forever, which re-teams Chris Roberson with artist Shawn McManus. In the interim I managed to fall completely in love with Roberson's new series for Vertigo, iZombie. It's funny, it's highly stylized, and it has a grumpy talking monkey. I really don't know what more I could possibly ask for except perhaps a second attempt at telling a super secret Cinderella spy story. In other words, I was very happy last Wednesday.

(If you aren't caught up on Fables and don't want to be spoilered, you should stop reading now.)

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Danny Husk: Hollow Planet

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At the end of his introduction for The Hollow Planet, Scott Thompson writes, “I hope you like it, but just remember that if you don’t you must hate life and love cancer.” This isn’t arbitrary silliness on his part. Thompson fought stomach cancer through much of the creation of this book and used the imaginary world of Danny Husk as a way to escape the pain and suffering of reality. Holy crap, the pressure was on.

While this is Thompson’s first foray into the world of comic books and graphic novels, the character of Danny Husk has been around for a couple of decades now. Remember The Kids in the Hall? Thompson was one of them – the openly gay one who regularly mocked homosexuality on the show with sketches like “Homo Alone” and monologues by his fabulously slutty alter ego Buddy Cole. I met Thompson in 2008 when the KITH went on tour. I’m not even kidding when I say I can put that night in the top three of my life. I’d been watching KITH since before I was old enough to understand the jokes. I mean, look at that picture – I look like I just wet myself from excitement.

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All You Want For Christmas Is More Comics

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Last month I was browsing around Amazon and noticed someone complaining about how her young daughter loves Marvel heroes, but she doesn't know what to buy that's appropriate for her. I suggested Girl Comics, the collected trade of a three issue miniseries that Marvel put out earlier this year. We mentioned it on the podcast a few times. It's a great combination of female artists and writers, all of whom were tasked with creating two-or-three page stories about female Marvel characters. There are even articles in-between, talking about female Marvel authors and illustrators from days gone by.

That got me thinking, though. What are some good comics to gift for Christmas? Whether you're looking for a series to draw someone in to the world of graphic novels, or you have a small child that loves Batman or Spider-Man, hit the jump link for our list of books you might want to consider as gifts this year.

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LOLCats Take My Mailbox By Storm

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Let's start this review out the right way -- by pretentiously reminding you that I, at one time, had a webcomic, and can therefore refer to myself as "a web cartoonist."

As a web cartoonist, I find myself to be a big fan of comic strips in general, and web comic strips more specifically, because I was a web cartoonist with a web comic, web. My list of favorite web arts is lengthy, but there is one that holds a special place in my heart, and that's Adam Koford's "Hobotopia." I was first introduced to these hobo LOL cats through the comic you see displayed above, which was forwarded to me by occasional Geektress contributer Golfwidow.

When asked to review the book "The LOLCats Sell Out", it was with this in mind: it's probably just a collection of comics I've already seen, know, and love; gimme gimme free stuff. So, as you can guess, my thoughts on the project are biased. If I didn't already like the comic (and I do,) I probably would've liked it anyway due to its freeness. That didn't stop me from doing some thorough research in to the matter. (Or, reading the press release. It all depends on how you define "thorough research.") (I define it as "reading stuff people send me.")

Review and statistical analysis after the jump.

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Batwoman Reborn

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Diversify! Diversify! DC Comics Must Diversify! Or at least that's what they were shouting two years ago as they announced a slew of upcoming "diverse" characters ranging from a Hispanic "Blue Beetle" to a lesbian "Batwoman", Kate Kane. Blue Beetle passed under the radar as far as a major fan outcry goes, however Lezzy Kane did not-- not that this is a surprising turn of events.

The very first appearance of the new "Batwoman" was in my comic book store in 52's issue number 7. The introduction was short and wanting for more. Several weeks passed before Kate's first caped appearance would flap its way across the panels, and admittedly, it was pretty bad-ass.

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