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Reactions: Marvel’s Doctor Strange Teaser Trailer

The world premiere of the new Doctor Strange teaser trailer has just arrived! Here are our first cinematic glimpses of Benedict Cumberbatch as Steven Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, and Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One. The film is set to debut in theaters November 4, 2016 and in addition to Cumberbatch and Swinton, stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Mads Mikkelsen. I didn’t grow up reading Doctor Strange in the comics, so I know very little about the actual comic book storyline and characters. However, there is controversy over the casting of Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, who was depicted as an Asian man in the comics. Hollywood has a long history of “whitewashing” ethnic characters and appropriating culture. It’s nothing new, but certainly something that needs to be continually addressed until people of color are regularly cast in leading roles in major big budget films. With all that said, am I excited to see this film? You’ll have to watch the video below to know for sure. Also don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

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Want to get into Comics? Here are Some Tips!

Comics are an interesting medium that anyone can get into – there’s a little something for everyone!

But getting into comics may be confusing and a bit intimidating for some people, especially women. You may be afraid of being mocked for getting into comics or rejected because of your gender (I know I was), or you might not know where to even begin, especially with series that seem to have gone on forever.

I didn’t really get into comics until about two years ago myself, so I understand the struggle that many women face when trying to jump into the comic book world. So if you want to start getting into comics, then I have some tips for you that may help!

Check out Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day occurs annually on the first Saturday in May.  Attending this national event is a great way for you to figure out which series are popular and doing well while simultaneously introducing you to your local comic book stores. These stores usually have a large and varied selection, making it very easy to collect comics and items that you might be interested in. Attending Free Comic Book Day also allows you to see what kind of fandom crowds shop at each local store and what items shopkeepers typically keep in stock. For instance, I prefer a comic book shop that is half an hour away from my location because they tend to keep Archie comics in stock and have a bigger selection of them compared to closer stores that specialize mainly in card games such as Magic the Gathering.

Click here to locate a store that will be participating in the celebration, and click here to see a list of items that store’s will be receiving!

See if your favorite TV show/movie from the past or present has a comic

If you feel more comfortable reading material that includes characters you already know and like, then consider picking up a comic book that corresponds to your favorite TV show or movie.

802549Some of my favorite shows currently on TV have their own comics, including Bob’s Burgers and Doctor Who. The latter has had some amazing stories with different doctors as the leads, and one of the new issues that just came out features the Fourth Doctor!

Many of the shows and movies that we love are based on comics. To be honest, I was first introduced to two of my favorite comic book superheroes after liking their characters in television or movies. I would have never found out about Starfire had I never been introduced to the Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans (2003-2006), and I would have never known about Thor if it wasn’t for the The Avengers (2012), let alone got into his comics.

One of my favorite TV shows as a kid was Sabrina the Teenage Witch (both the animated version from the early 2000s and the Melissa Joan Hart sitcom), was based on a comic as well, a fact I found out while researching Archie comics when I was 10-years-old.

Point is, you never know what series or show has comics! Take a look through Google or your local comic book store – you might be surprised by what you find!

Ask for recommendations

When it comes to recommendations for a great comic, you can always ask someone who likes comics (like me!), or you can check out the staff picks at whichever store you choose to go to. At a good store, the week’s picks are varied, so you will have a few different ideas of what people think are good comics.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help on which comics to read next!

Most shops have pretty friendly staff (or they are supposed to) and they should be able to help you if you need help with finding something that may not be a staff pick. They won’t judge your choice of comics and are usually very happy that more people are getting into the medium.

If all else fails, go explore a store!

Comic stores have displays full of comics and graphic novels for you to check out, so it’s always a good idea to go walking around to see what they have to offer.  If a comic book cover catches your eye, look into that comic more!

You may never know what wonders you’ll find in a comic book unless you open it and dive into it.

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Comic Review: ‘Surface Tension’ Series (#1-#5)

This week the final issue of Surface Tension was released, bringing the 5-part mini-series written and illustrated by Jay Gunn and distributed by Titan Comics to an end. As such, we wanted to reflect back on the eco-thriller that featured everything from sea-sickness water zombies, to horrifying aqua monsters, to islanders in peril.

Surface Tension Issue #4
Surface Tension Issue #4

Since our February interview with Gunn, we have gushed about the four major reasons we loved issue #1, pondered the story’s mysteries in issue #2, and commended the series for keeping us guessing even after the midway point following issue #3.

Issue #4 gave us all of the answers to our questions, and some of my own predictions ended up being correct. Without spoiling too much, the series did raise the question on who was the bigger threat to planet earth: mankind or the “monsters.” However, there were some plot points I never would have guessed. It was revealed that the “monsters” themselves had a fascinating origin story, one that, quite frankly, could very well be possible for all we know. One complaint of mine is that while the story did a good job of building up the tension (ha, no pun intended) in issues 1-3, the denoument in issue #4 was too cut and dry (not another pun, I swear). The story unfolded using too much exposition. On one hand, I appreciated that everything was made clear, on the other hand, it lacked a certain amount of drama.

Surface Tension Issue #5
Surface Tension Issue #5

Issue #5 was the grand finale. I must say, this is where the drama returned! There’s a budding love triangle that ends up being surprisingly touching and several super hero-esque battles (whose action and movement were creatively illustrated, I might add). One scene I simply adored featured Super Megumi literally having the fate of mankind in her hands, as she holds Mary in her palm and debates whether or not wiping out the humans would be the best thing for the planet. The symbolism and art work accompanied the story nicely. At the end of the issue, I really felt like there was great closure… up until the last few pages. Gunn snuck in a twist that makes you wonder whether or not mankind got a happy ending.

Overally, I enjoyed the Surface Tension series. I found the characters to be interesting and morally ambiguous, and I genuinely cared about what would happen to them. The artwork was lovely, and I particularly enjoyed the whimsy of the monsters, the selkies (sea lion/humanoid/monster creatures that I want as a pet), the coral, and the scenes of the characters’ memories. Despite the occasional bit of foul language, the violence wasn’t overtly graphic, and the story was easy to follow along, making this a series I would recommend to everyone from a middle school student to my best adult buddy.

Did you read the final issue of Surface Tension? If so, let us know what you thought! And if not, well, weigh in anyway in the comments!

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Comic Review: ’21st Century Tank Girl’ #3

21st_Century_Tank_Girl#321st Century Tank Girl is back in issue #3. Like issue 1 and issue 2, #3 is a cornucopia of stories, posters, and quotes, each overflowing with an abundance of adventure and chaos for our favorite Australian renegade and her pals.

The issue begins when hungover party-goers go on a heist for God’s tighty whities (seriously). The story ran a bit long for my liking, but random drawings in the margins (including charicature cameos by Andy Warhol, a setient hamburger, and Cheech Marin) kept my interest when the somewhat predictable story could not. With a character as wacky as Tank Girl, I was surprised and somewhat disappointed that this story had so many “spy movie” tropes. I hope they were just paying homage and poking fun at the hokey genre, because otherwise there is no excuse for being cliche.

Other stories included a local Ma and Pa shop has been taken over by BALL-MART, a “cereal-ously” ridiculous problem when Booga trades in the group’s life savings to invest in Super-Krunchy Booga Flakes, and an Evel Knievel-esque stunt beautifully crafted to look like something straight out of the Sunday funnies.

While 21st Century Tank Girl #3 had some hits and misses, I still had fun reading the issue. I do recommend that you pick up a copy of the comic in stores, as it comes with a poster. Also, there were a few stand-alone pages with gorgeous art and inspiring quotes that were so empowering they deserve to be framed and hung!

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21st Century Tank Girl #3
WRITER: Alan Martin
ARTIST: Jamie Hewlett, Warwick Johnson-Caldwell, Phillip Bond, Jonathan Edwards, Brett Parson
COVER: Brett Parson
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
PAGECOUNT: 32
COVER PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: August 12

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Comic Review: ‘Surface Tension #3’

Surface Tension #3 (the midway point in a 5-part ecological horror miniseries written/illustrated by Jay Gunn and distributed by Titan Comics) was released, and despite receiving a handy dandy electronic copy for my reviewing pleasure, I skipped over to my local comic book shop to pick up a hard copy. PDFs simply can’t compete with the vibrancy of ink on glossy pages or the crispness of leafing through a brand spanking new comic book. As I was purchasing the issue, the clerks asked what I thought of the series so far. “Weird, huh?” they quipped.

Surface-Tension_03_CoverYes, with premonitions of devastating tsunamis caused by eerie coral, frightening creatures (like a Creepy Fly Baby) attacking islanders, hypnosis sequences with lovely sherbet-colored panels, and fantastical transformations complete with new-found special powers like water juggling, Surface Tension #3 is definitely strange— but that’s not a bad thing. Actually, in a day and age when remakes are all the rage and everything is one giant recycled cliché, I’m more than okay with a little weirdness. (In fact, we even posted a blog about the 4 things we loved about the series after issue #1!)

As a good story teller should at the midway point, Gunn ups the ante, teasing readers by answering some questions while simultaneously introducing new mysteries. After perusing #2, we posted a blog about the 4 questions we had about the series thus far, and I am pretty sure I was 99.9% wrong on all my speculations. As someone who has a solid track record of predicting the ending of a movie from the trailer, I have to admit I’m thoroughly enjoying the surprises in Surface Tension. Not knowing what weird thing is going to happen next is precisely what keeps me reading the series!

SURFACE TENSION #3 (OF 5)
WRITER/ARTIST: Jay Gunn
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
PAGE-COUNT: 32PP
PRICE: $3.99
ON SALE: July 29

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Comic Review: Surface Tension #1 by Jay Gunn

Surface Tension #1, the first issue in a 5 part sci-fi/horror/adventure mini-series created by Jay Gunn and published by Titan Comics, debuts today and there are 4 major reasons I love it:

4) THE TITLE!

thumbnailThe title “Surface Tension is perfect because it cleverly, succinctly, and accurately describes the story in two-folds. First, there is literally tension on the surface of the British channel island of Breith as the townsfolk strain to rebuild and survive after a strange “sea-sickness” causes the majority of the world’s population to make a zombie-esque mecca into the ocean. Things get stranger when a year later two people return from the ocean, with teal skin and no memory of what has happened. This turn of events leads to confusion on the island, as the townspeople try to figure out what is happening.

Second, in its most basic definition, the scientific term “surface tension” is described as an effect where the surface of a liquid is strong. Going further, it is a “property of the surface of a liquid that allows it to resist an external force.” Did you ever do the experiment where you put drops of water on a penny, expecting to see water splash about, only to find it forms a bubble or “skin” of water on good ol’ Honest Abe’s face? Surface tension! It seems the title is also hinting at the strength and power of the mystery in the sea, and the way it which it has changed the people who are returning from its watery depths.

3) THE SUSPENSE!

Issue #1 is filled with quandaries that left me scratching my head and anxiously turning the page looking for answers: What caused the sea-sickness? Why are people returning now? Is this deliverance? Should they be quarantined? These are the questions our characters begin asking one another, and it’s completely in line with what the reader is pondering also. Additionally, the first issue ends with a major cliff-hanger, and it looks like things are about to get more dangerous for the people of Breith. I can not wait to see what happens next!

2) THE CHARACTERS!

10369594_589420794518003_5156077523524982521_nI am a young 20-something blessed to be living in a diverse, metropolitan city where I have friends of all walks of life: varying age groups, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds. However, rarely is that kind of diversity present in literature. In graphic novels, it’s nearly non-existent. (I will save that rant for another day.) However, Gunn does an excellent job of capturing layered and diverse characters, without relying on stereotypes or clichés.

I am particularly pleased that two of the main characters in the first issue are women. First we have Mary: a former nurse, quasi-new-age meditating hippie, and caring problem-solver whose instinct is to help others in her community. Then we have Megumi, a former biologist and environmentalist who has experienced horror and loss, and is one of the first people to return from the sea. The women are different ages and ethnicities, but their commitment to figuring out what it going on unites them, and the two clearly care for one another and rely on each other. Gunn has hinted that Mary and Megumi’s ideologies are different, and that may create conflict between the two later. However, for now, their interaction is real and genuine.

Side note: I also love that while there is nudity in the novel (like when Megumi’s nude body emerges from the ocean), the women are not overtly sexualized. Marvel and DC definitely have a thing or two to learn from Gunn on how to appropriately draw women!

1) THE AUTHOR!

In February, GeekGirl World had the opportunity to chat with writer and author Jay Gunn about his life, his work, and zombies (naturally). We were all completely enchanted by his eloquent and thoughtful responses, and I remember very vividly thinking, “If his writing and art are anything like his interview, Surface Tension will be amazing.” I am so glad to report that the first issue was just as beautiful (both in text and in art) as I hoped it would be. I will continue to follow Gunn’s work on his Facebook page, and look forward to reading the rest of the series via Titan Comics. Surface Tension #1 debuts today, and I urge you all to support Gunn’s work by purchasing a copy.

SURFACE TENSION #1
WRITER/ARTIST: Jay Gunn
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
ISSUES IN SERIES: 1 (OF 5)
PAGE-COUNT: 40pp
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: May​ 27

 

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