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Alicia Korenman

Comic-Booktoberfest!

October is right around the corner (I’m as surprised by that as you are! If you are.) which means HALLOWEEN is coming! Actually, according to my supermarket, Halloween has been coming since September 1st. But since they now make Cadbury Crème Eggs for Halloween, I’m not complaining. ANYWAY.  Halloween time means it’s time to read some creepy stuff! The nights are getting longer, the shadows are getting scarier, it’s all chilly out, which means you need to be curled up in your house with the jitters. To that end, here are some kind-of-creepy things to read to get you in the mood. –Walking Dead is super famous and has a popular TV show, so maybe you’ve read it already, but if not, it’s worth checking out. I should say here that I hate zombies (I have terrible zombie-related nightmares) and also think this series is kind of terrible — BUT I still read the first twelve volumes because I HAD TO KNOW what awful thing would happen next. It is a soap opera of gore. The TV show is terrible and compelling in an entirely different way. Both are perfect for your October media consumption.  –Pretty much anything by Mike Mignola. Mignola is probably most famous for writing Hellboy (also a major motion picture), but for my money, Hellboy spinoff BPRD is where it’s at — BPRD stands for...

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Bohemian Yop City

Hey guys, do you know what you need to read? Aya: Life in Yop City. It’s been previously published as three different hardcovers, but is now coming out as one big awesome book—and it’s definitely worth reading. (The conclusion of the series, Aya: Love in Yop City, which comprises three volumes not published in English yet, comes out in November, and I can’t wait!) Aya is the story of teenage Aya and her two best friends as they navigate coming-of-age in 70s-era West Africa, dealing with family, romance, and jobs. And it’s hilarious and touching, with really cute art....

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Y Not The Last Man

Well, rumor has it that a Y: The Last Man movie is back in the works, and I really wish this is a project that would just die already. Not because I don’t love the series — it’s one of the best series of the 2000s, and Agent 355 is high up on the list of comic book lady badasses. But it’s way too much story for a movie — I mean, the series is twelve volumes long! Even assuming you can get the basics into a two hour film, you’d be missing a ton of good stuff. And even the basics are pretty crazy — if you haven’t read it (and I strongly urge you to give it a try), it’s the story of one Yorick Brown, amateur escape artist and slacker son of a politician and a Shakespeare professor (don’t be sexist — it’s his mom who’s the politician, which becomes important), who, after some weird plague thing, becomes the only male left alive on Earth. Well, him . . . and his pet monkey. But all other male mammals are dead. It’s a fascinating concept, and Vaughn does pretty well with it, I have to say (I have mixed feelings about the Amazons and that one Israeli Army chick, but otherwise, great stuff). I’ve heard the argument that one reason it wouldn’t be successful as a...

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Pilgrim's Progress

I’m going to be honest with you guys—I’m not sure I’m qualified to be writing this column anymore. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Don’t worry; she is.] I participated in bar trivia at Pinhook in Durham this week, and did very little to help my team to victory on the Marvel Comics round (we did come in second, but only due to the valiant efforts of another friend). Of course, I’ve been pretty open about my lack of interest in most superhero comics, and there was definitely a dearth of X-Men related questions, which obviously I would have nailed. (I did know the names and alter egos of all the Fantastic Four, at least). I am sorry to be a disappointment to my dear readers, who count on me for comic book nerdery, and I promise to read up on the Skrulls sometime. At least you can still count on me to be a nerd about indie comics, so let me wax rhapsodically about color Scott Pilgrim. I’m a huge fan of the original series—I have long said it’s my favorite series after Love and Rockets (the new issue of L&R came out this week, by the way, and as always is worth checking out). There’s so much to love about Scott Pilgrim—the general adorableness, the large cast of lovable (or wonderfully hateable) characters, the insane sense of humor, the many pop...

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We'll Miss You All! (Except for you, Liefeld)

Guys, ohmygod, Doctor Who is finally back with new episodes on Saturday! And BBC has put out a bunch of minisodes called Pond Life! I am pretty excited about the new season, and not just because of the Doctor, Amy, Rory, and supposedly scary Daleks, but because there will apparently be dinosaurs in spaceships. Oh, Doctor, Who, you’re so silly. I’ve finally finished rewatching seasons 5 and 6 in preparation (it counts as a rewatch even if you skip the boring episodes about flesh clones and the very creepy peg doll one, right?). I still think the episode with baby Stormageddon is my favorite, even if the end is a little bit cloying. Another TV show I am getting excited about way too far in advance is the recently announced Joss Whedon pilot about SHIELD  (the organization Nick Fury works for—you know, all those dapperly dressed individuals in the background of the Avengers movie).  I’d love to see Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill in a starring role, but she has at least one more year on the increasingly drawn-out How I Met Your Mother. She’s so much more fun as a bad-ass, though! (Speaking of badass ladies, have you all seen the BAMF Girls Club? Hilarious.) And here’s an interview with Whedon about all sorts of Marvel stuff! And two kind of important pieces of comic book news—Ed Brubaker...

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Faulty Power Coupling

So the big news in the comic book world this week is that Superman and Wonder Woman are becoming a couple and will be a couple in every relevant DC book (and probably some irrelevant ones, to sell more copies). For someone who ostensibly doesn’t care about superheroes — and definitely has little-to-no interest in Superman specifically — this is really bugging me, and I am going to try and tell you why. –First of all, I’m not at all into the cover, which falls way into overly sexy/sexist territory (don’t get me wrong, Superman looks terrible too). I...

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It's The Remix To Ignatz Wins

I’ve talked about comic book awards here before — specifically, the Eisners, which I likened to the Oscars of comics. But this week the Ignatz nominees were announced, and I’ll confess that I often like Ignatz Award winners/nominees more.  They’re aimed at awarding independent comics (more or less — in any case, you won’t see DC or Marvel superheroes on the list) and tend to have a lot more variety than the Eisners. — and the winners will be announced at SPX (the Small Press Expo, a convention aimed at small/independent comics and publishers.  So, for those of you who aren’t really into superheroes and other mainstream stuff, all of these titles are worth checking out. I”ll talk about a few that I particularly like and recommend. –My very favorite Jaime Hernandez received THREE nominations! Especially awesome since he was snubbed at the Eisners. Seriously, read Love and Rockets, how many times do I have to tell you. He’s up for Outstanding Artist, Outstanding Story (for a story that made me straight-up sob), and Love and Rockets is up for Outstanding Series. –I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about Kate Beaton and Hark a Vagrant before, but it’s up for outstanding collection. You can read it all online too, but it is a great little package of a book, and Kate Beaton for sure deserves all of our money. She does...

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I'm Playing The Whedon Game

I know, I know: just last week I was trying to stay away from getting all excited about superhero movie news. But with the whole Joss Whedon being officially on board not just for Avengers 2 but for an Avengers TV show, I couldn’t contain myself! First of all, it’s hard to go wrong with a Joss Whedon TV show, especially one about people with powers. Second of all, I’m with TV critic Alan Sepinwall in hoping to finally see that Jessica Jones series. Seriously, a PI with a superheroine past and ties to the Avengers is a goldmine, and I would watch the heck out of that show with Whedon behind it. (Also, if you haven’t read Alias yet, get on it! It’s available in two handy volumes now, and it’s great.)   And in non-superhero news, check out Matt Madden on the evolution of comics in 6 panels.   And in only barely comic-book-related news (there is actually a tie-in to comics!), I am getting super excited about the new season of Doctor Who. Current head writer/showrunner Steven Moffatt is occasionally heavy-handed and likes to re-use tropes (The Doctor meeting women at various times throughout their childhoods/adulthoods, disembodied voices of the dead, etc), but I still love the show and am especially excited about a few teases from the upcoming season, particularly this one (SPOILERS, as River...

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Enough with the Movies!

I’ve been thinking lately that, for someone who doesn’t really read superhero comics, I spend a lot of time on this column talking about superhero movies. To be fair, those are a whole different animal. But instead of talking about recent news re: the new X-Men and Thor movies (which I’m sure I’ll get to soon enough), this week I want to tell you about some of the non-superhero comics I’ve read recently. –Jaime Hernandez’s God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls. OK, technically this is actually a superhero book, except that it’s one that’s set in the Love and Rockets universe, and features non-superhero Maggie pretty prominently. And it’s also kind of all about friendship? With lots of fighting!  NPR just ran a review of this with a brief excerpt, if you’re curious! Anyway, Jaime Hernandez is basically the best and this is highly recommended for, say, high school and up.  It’s fine for younger readers too, I just think they wouldn’t relate to it as much. –Jaime’s brother Gilbert Hernandez also put a small collection out recently — The Adventures of Venus, which collects his stories from the long-defunct Measles anthology. This didn’t hold up as well for me, though I remembered liking it a lot when I first read it. It’s aimed at a younger audience — middle-schoolers, probably. The story isn’t very strong, but the...

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Who Put Deh-Shay In Deh-Shay De-Bah-Sah-Rah?

Even though the new Batman movie came out a week ago, this is really my first chance to talk about it (since I hadn’t yet seen it when I wrote my last column). I went to see it with a good friend of mine who, in general, loves superhero movies much more than I do. After the movie, she tweeted “saw The Dark Knight Rises with @wordnerdy and, bucking tradition and expectation, she really liked it whilst I fumed for three hours.” (@wordnerdy is me, feel free to follow me for my thoughts on books, comic books and comic book movies, pop culture in general, …and my cat.) To be fair, Dark Knight Rises is far from a perfect movie –the politics are really weird– it was stridently anti-Communist in my mind, and I’m pretty sure Bane was supposed to be from Afghanistan (all those references to warlords), so presumably there’s some metaphor about the war in there. Plus parts of it were slow and ridiculously scientifically inaccurate.  But I liked it anyway! Of course, a lot of my positive feelings were due to much of the movie being filmed in what was obviously my hometown of Pittsburgh—though I did burst into tears during the Steelers scene and what followed, because it is really weird to see your hometown get blown up by a supervillain (that’s not really a...

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