Tag Archives: comic books

Consuming Comics – Geek 501

After checking out a whole bunch of comics and graphic novels from our local library it got me thinking of all the forms that comics take. There is the comic strip in the newspaper that so many of us grew up reading. Now we have online web comics that for many of us have probably replaced reading any newspaper comics. Then there are the serial comics that come out monthly with longer stories that can happen over years. These are the typical superhero comics, such as Batman and X-Men. They might be released on a regular schedule, but then the stories will get compiled into a trade paperback. On top of that there are graphic novels that are single releases of a story. Often times they are fictional, but they have also been used for memoir or other non-fictional stories. This has even gone so far as to be used to help explain concepts such as copyright and media consumption.

Using drawings to help tell a story means that the visuals of the story can be shown through the pictures instead of explained and interpreted. The interesting thing is that even though all the elements are the same there seems to be a class difference between the various comic types. Graphic novels definitely seemed to be treated as a higher form than the regular weekly / daily comics. Even though there is an art to being able to get out so much content every week. Continue reading

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Character Study: Scott Lang (Ant-Man)

Ant-Man army

Real Name: Scott Lang

Powers: Thanks to Pym Particles, Scott (Ant-Man) can shrink to the size of an ant. He can also communicate telepathically with insects. When he shrinks, he retains his human strength.

Abilities: Scott has expertise in electronics.

Background

Scott Lang is the current Ant-Man, though he achieved the title by unorthodox means. He stole the Ant-Man suit from Dr. Henry (Hank) Pym, in order to save his daughter’s life. Not the first time Scott stole in order to support his family. He turned to crime when he was no longer able to support his wife and daughter, and became a skilled thief as a way to make ends meet. Of course this path didn’t end well, and Scott spent a time in prison.

After his release, he worked in the design department at Stark International; trying to turn over a new leaf. When he discovered his daughter had a fatal heart condition, he decided to call on the help of Dr. Erica Sondheim. It turned out she had been kidnapped by Darren Cross of Cross Technological Enterprises, who had a heart condition of his own. Scott stole Hank’s suit to rescue Dr. Sondheim and save his little girl. The mission was a success, and Hank allowed him to keep the suit – as long as he continued to use it for good.

scott and his daughter

Continue reading

Why Fans Love Ms. Marvel

Ms. Marvel #1 has recently entered its seventh printing. Seventh! That’s practically unheard of in comics, especially for a total newcomer like Kamala Khan. As Marvel.com puts it: “Marvel Comics presents the all-new MS. MARVEL, the ground breaking heroine that has become an international sensation! Kamala Khan is just an ordinary girl from Jersey City–until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the all-new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm, and prepare for an epic tale that will be remembered by generations to come. History in the making is NOW!”

Hyperbolic, perhaps… but seventh printing. Meanwhile, the series is still going strong at nine issues and a collected first volume. The critics, including me in my monthly reviews, are about as excited as Marvel seems to be. Why do we love Kamala? Well, it would be a mistake to discount her minority status as a Pakistani-American Muslim. She provides a brand-new, yet long-awaited perspective on superhero comics. It would also be a mistake to reduce her to token status, though — there’s so much more to this comic and this character. The story, provided by G. Willow Wilson, turns a typical superhero origin story into something affecting and delightful. The art, usually provided by Adrian Alphona, is fabulous and full of sight gags. Kamala herself is funny, endearing, and brave.

All this is true, but there’s one more element that tends to get glanced over in reviews — Kamala is a geek like us, and I’ve got pictures to prove it!

Pics are screencapped from the comics, links go to my blog for more detail about particular issues and events. Spoilers! Continue reading

Documentary: Comic Con Episode IV A Fan’s Hope

This weekend David and I watched the documentary Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope and it was really good. It gave an interesting look at the various types of people who come to comic con. As well as interviews with various creators who love San Diego Comic Con and some of whom have gone every year since they started. In the end they followed six individuals stories of going to comic con. They had a couple of people trying to break into the comic industry, a comic book seller, a costume designer, a couple who met at comic con, and a collector. These are all people who come to the San Diego comic con for different reasons and shows a different part of what the con has been about and is about. Continue reading