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Interview with Maia “Crown” Williams, Founder of #MeccaCon

MeccaCon (Midwest Ethnic Convention for Comics and Arts) will be held September 18-19,  2015, and we had a chance to chat with founder Maia “Crown” Williams about her thoughts on the comics industry and #MeccaCon

GeekGirl World: What inspired you to create #MeccaCon?

Maia “CROWN” Williams: I created MeccaCon, Midwest Ethnic Convention for Comics and Arts, in 2013, because Detroit and the midwest as a whole needed a prominent fixture in art representation from the black community as a whole. Far too often, Detroit is completely ignored in the the comic book community when it comes to do with black creators. Every time I read or listen to media speaking on Detroit in ANY way, it is 80% negative when referring to people of color, or of the diaspora. Detroit is a beautiful city, full of a LOT of culture. This can be widely due to the auto industry and Henry Ford being known for equal opportunity in employment. Many people migrated to Detroit back then, so we became a huge melting pot. That also helped build the foundation of Detroit art, be it fine art, dance, music, graffiti, and more. I also felt that female representation needed to be highlighted more. The female voice is very much needed in the comic book industry. We get overly sexualized, ignored, brushed off, or paid less. Even in press interviews, i have fell victim to sexism. Artists and writers like Regine Sawyer, Erika Alexander, Ashley Woods, Alitha Martinez, Arie Monroe, Micheline Hess, Jennifer Cruté, Arie Monroe, and many more have helped build and finesse this new microscope of women being held to a higher standpoint than before. And to be honest, it’s about damn time. I also wanted to contribute more to my community via arts. I have been throwing various art events around the city for over 5 years now, and although stressful, the highlight is the energy it brings into the city. Detroit is amazing, and should be uplifted more.

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MECCAcon 2014 artist panel curated by Pat Jackson with Jiba Anderson, N Steven Harris, and Jason Reeves

GGW: What do you hope to accomplish with this convention?

CROWN: I want children to know that heroes live in their own backyard, and don’t necessarily look like they have been so trained and taught for generations. Heroes come in many backgrounds, many hoods, many planet, and many suburbs too, lol. I want these children who come to MECCAcon to walk out with a strength of 1,000 soldiers, ready to create something. Doesn’t matter what: i just want these babies to CREATE. Art can help you reach your goals. Art can actually BE your goal. I want parents to be more encouraging to these children on their creativity. Take them to your local comic shop. Help them pick out age appropriate titles. Let them start studying different artists, different writers. Have their teenagers start reading up on the creators and learn how they got to the level that they are today. MECCAcon will have many classes and workshops to guide them: illustration workshops, writing workshops, dj workshops, and more. 

I also want people to get more in tune with independent films with black creators. MECCAcon also features a very prominent all day film festival. We will have movies from creators from all over the country, and abroad. Independent film is dire. Not everything has to be mainstream. Not everything has to be so generalized. It also encourages people to work on their own goals of filmmaking. 

MeccaConGGW: How do you feel about the history of underrepresentation of Black superheroes and is the comics industry catching up?

CROWN: To be honest, catching up to what or whom, mainstream? Cuz black superheroes have been present since day ONE, lol. Independent comics have been prominent with black characters for decades. Milestone Media and Brotherman are two VERY good examples of that. You also have Griot Enterprises, and a very long list of others. I try not to focus on gaining salutations of the big companies like Marvel and DC Comics, when there are people out here who have been working just as hard with their self owned entities. At MECCAcon, we focus mostly on them. With that being said, I am very happy to see projects from DC like WE ARE ROBIN. I find that to be completely brilliant. Khary Randolph is doing an absolutely outstanding job with the art, as well as the writing team. But… We also have independent titles like TRILL LEAGUE, AJALA, ONE NATION, and many more who are independent labels are also well known in the comic industry. Watson and Holmes was nominated for an Eisner award last year. So I don’t think they need to necessarily catch up. I think mainstream is doing exactly what they intended to do. It’s up to you on how hard you want to get them to notice you. Just make sure you don’t lose yourself in the process.

DETROIT TRADE CRAFT
DETROIT TRADE CRAFT

GGW: Do you feel that gender stereotypes are still prevalent in the comics and geekdom and what can we do to move forward?

CROWN: Yooooo… Just today, i cringed and left a group on social media because all i saw up and down the page were scantily clad women, severely useless and low functionable outfits, with very badly drawn breasts, lol. Like dude: at least get the breasts right if you’re gonna degrade her, ok? lol. I am so tired of it, you have no idea. I have chosen not to support many projects because they objectify women so much. Be it how she is dressed, or the WOE IS ME, DAMSEL IN DISTRESS role. I’m pretty over it at this point. 

image8GGW:  Who is your favorite comic book superhero, and what is your favorite storyline in comics?

CROWN: I would definitely say Storm… OK, the OLD Storm. I’m not really into the new one. She doesn’t look the same, didn’t act the same, and not even her skin complexion was the same half of the time. That is another conversation in itself, lol. My favorite storyline? Most definitely Shaft, by David Walker. It was very well written, and completely snubbed for an Eisner. The story was written with a lot of character, not just the characters alone. I also related to it a lot. I am more of a realistic fan than a cape and hammer kinda girl, lol. I also am a huge fan of Jem. I think it is brilliant. I’m so disappointed in this movie coming out, i might tear up as I type this, lol. I used to pretend i was Jem when i was little, sit in my mother’s backseat of her Chevy Nova, grab the long windshield scraper, and pretend it was my controller on my space ship. True story. I had her earrings, her dress for Halloween one year, lol, and had every SINGLE Misfit lol. That cartoon was my life, and the comic does not in the least bit disappoint. What i love about it also is that Sophie (Campbell) is so diverse in the art, it’s amazing. Women of all sizes and shapes are represented. Truthfully, every single “diverse” box has been checked off, lol. If i had a daughter, she would DEFINITELY be a huge fan of Jem… She’s truly outrageous. 


#MECCACon will have two different venues this year offering a “three in one” convention experience.  You can purchase tickets HERE!

Follow #MECCACon at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/501568086654943/  

Tumblr: http://MECCAcon.tumblr.com/ @meccacon 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MECCAcon @meccacon

MECCAcon/5E Gallery’s DJ & ENTERTAINMENT Night

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2015

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MECCAcon COMICS & ART CONVENTION 

SATURDAY, SEP 19, 2015

 http://wp.me/p5ETR1-gP 

MECCAcon INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL & PANELS

SATURDAY, SEP 19, 2015 

http://wp.me/p5ETR1-fY 

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Surviving the Summer Break for ‘Once Upon a Time’ Fans – Graphic Novel Review – ‘Out of the Past’

ONCE UPON A TIME: OUT OF THE PAST
STORY BY:
 Kalinda Vazquez and Corinna Bechko
ART BY: Pascal Campion, Betsy Peterschmidt, Vanesa Del Rey, and Janet Lee
PUBLISHER: Marvel
PAGECOUNT: 112
COVER PRICE: $17.99
RELEASE DATE: April 14, 2015


With just 48 days to go (from time of this publishing) to the Season 5 premiere of Once Upon a Time on September 27, I’m champing at the bit while trying to amuse myself with OUaT related activities. I don’t know how you’re faring, but I feel that if we were all on a raft right now, I’d imagine you as a big hot dog and you’d see me as a giant hamburger.

I’m actually getting antsy. Like, drumming my fingers on the steering wheel, huffing loudly as I wait for my computer to boot up, grinding my teeth watching my tea heat in the microwave antsy. As I’ve explained before, I’m deeply emotionally invested in OUaT. It’s not just about romantic relationships either. I need to know more about the characters’ history and motivations. I need to know more about how magic works. I need to meet new characters and see new realms. I need ten minutes alone in Gold’s shop, darn it! I don’t even want to steal anything– I just wanna see what surprises and secrets my non-HD TV is missing!

Well, I can’t have any of those things, so this week I settled for something that was new-to-me to tide me over another seven days. Once Upon a Time: Out of the Past was published by Marvel in April 2015. But I’ve been obsessively writing fanfic busy doing important grown up things, so I haven’t made time to read it before now. But I’m actually glad I waited, as I really needed to digest this last season and appreciate where the main characters from this graphic novel started and where they ended up.


Unlike its predecessor Shadow of the Queen, this volume is comprised of four stories. It focuses on events prior to the series start for Hook, Rumpelstiltskin and Belle, the Evil Queen, and Jefferson. Hook’s story reunites him with his brother, Liam, long-thought dead. In Rumple and Belle’s story, we find out that Belle’s devotion to keeping her promise to Rumple isn’t just about pleasing him but being true to her word. In Regina’s story we see yet another painful motivator fueling her quest to destroy Snow White. And in Jefferson’s story we learn that the Hatter wasn’t always so mad.

Out of the Past is co-authored by Kalinda Vazquez and Corinna Bechko, and illustrated by four artists. Each story has its own unique style, but all remain true to the feel of the series we love. Hook’s story, Dead in the Water, is illustrated by Pascal Campion, and it’s a gorgeous homage, intentional or not, to Mary Blair’s days at Disney.

Rumbelle’s story, “Truth and Daggers”, is some of most gorgeous watercolor work I’ve ever seen. I confess, I can’t say with certainty whether or not Betsy Peterschmidt did the entire chapter by hand, but if she did, then I want to lie prostrate at her feet and kiss those fingertips… if she’d let me.

Screenshot_2015-08-10-02-48-13

Vanesa Del Rey and Esther Sanz’s work in Regina’s story “Ghosts” has a classic feel with a modern edge, perfectly befitting a story like Once Upon a Time.


Lastly, the art of “Tea Party in March” by Janet K. Lee is easily my least favorite offering.

Screenshot_2015-08-10-02-47-33

While the storytelling and layout are nice, the style is just shy of bad fanart that one might find attached to mediocre fanfics. And let it be known that I have produced my share of both mediocre fanfics and fanart, so I think I know what I’m talking about. But just because I didn’t like the style doesn’t mean it wasn’t appropriate for the story. Campion’s art was rough and eerie like the seas the Jolly Roger sailed, while Peterschmidt’s watercolors were soft and dreamy and warm, like the light that Belle brought into Rumple’s Dark Castle. Del Rey and Sanz’s work was dark and gritty, like Regina’s sadness and vengeance. All their art was befitting their main characters and their story, and Lee’s work regarding Jefferson is no exception.

I think that if you’re missing something original while you wait for Season 5 to commence, then Out of the Past is an excellent tide over. The art is (mostly) gorgeous, and the stories are excellent additions which are true to the characters’ mythos. Both paper and electronic copies include bonus material like character sketches.

All comics come with a price, though, and in my opinion, the $17.99 or less you’ll shell out for this book is well worth it.

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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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Fan Film Friday reviews “Lego Ant-Man”

Ant-Man plans to take a bite out of the box office this weekend, so we decided to watch and review an Ant-Man themed fan film by FinalFeature titled Lego Ant Man. Check out our review to see what we think of this Lego-esque DC and Marvel mash up featuring Darkseid and Hank Pym‘s Ant-Man!

Watch FinalFeature’s Lego Ant-Man here!

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20th Century Fox Releases New ‘Fantastic Four’ Posters

This morning we received the newest posters for 20th Century Fox’s reboot of the Fantastic Four. Not only do we get a good look at our heroes in their reimagined costumes, but we catch a solid glimpse of Doctor Doom that lasts more than half a second.

Check them out below:

Focusing on exploring inter-dimensional travel, Marvel’s original superhero team gets a new, modern look that has become so popular and successful among other franchises like Iron Man and the Avengers. No more blue jumpsuits with gigantic stylized 4s emblazoned across them; the team’s new togs look more like athletic Under Armour with a practical combat flair. And Reed looks downright wired to break all the known laws of physics!

View the official 20th Century Fox 3 minute trailer below:

Directed by Josh Trank and starring Miles Teller as Mister Fantastic, Kate Mara as Sue Storm, Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, and Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm, Fantastic Four cosmic storms theaters August 7.

What do you think of the new costumes? Practical or too militaristic? Tell us in the comments!.

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Review – Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #14

DOCTOR WHO: THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #14
WRITER: Al Ewing, Rob Williams
ARTIST: Simon Fraser
PUBLISHER:  Titan Comics
PAGECOUNT: 32
COVER PRICE:  $3.99
RELEASE DATE: Wednesday, July 8, 2015


I can’t lie… the Eleventh Doctor has been my least favorite Doctor to date.

People tell me it’s because I miss David Tennant, but I know it’s because Eleven irritates me. He’s like a small child who bounces around the grocery store picking everything up, putting nothing back, and the whole time you’re screaming in your head “where are your parents!?” So this issue was particularly nerve-wracking for me because the Doctor finally has to deal with the harsh consequences of his behavior, but all he does is squirm away and whine about how unfair it is that he’s being held accountable.

By the end of the previous issue, the Doctor had defeated the Entity, but lost Jones, his eccentric musical companion. Jones, believing himself dead, floats through space signing amongst the stardust.

Screenshot 2015-07-09 at 8.54.04 AMMeanwhile, in Ancient Rome, the Doctor sits with Alice, rejected by the TARDIS. The Doctor realizes the TARDIS has been warning him for a while, and he pleads with the phone box not to spurn him. As he admits his arrogance and mistakes that he’s made over the years, the TARDIS remains significantly silent. The Doctor changes tactics and insists he could save lives again if the TARDIS would only let him. When he’s met with the same deafening silence, he snaps and demands to be let in immediately!

If the TARDIS wasScreenshot 2015-07-09 at 8.58.40 AM capable of giving the finger to the Doctor, then that’s totally what happens next.  The box lets out some signature VWOORRRPs and begins to fade as the Doctor begs it not to leave him.

With the departure of the TARDIS, the Doctor begins to have an identity crisis. He warns Alice that, in the wrong hands, the TARDIS is a weapon that can rewrite time and destroy space. It’s programed to return to Gallifrey, or to the nearest Time Lord. But since neither of those things exist any longer, the Doctor has no idea where the TARDIS has gone.

The odds are not in the Doctor’s favor, but with the combined efforts of Alice, Jones, and A.R.C., all may not be lost. But the story is not the Homeward Bound homage it sets itself up to be. Improbable odds and an impossible ending await you in this latest adventure of the Doctor!

A ridiculous-but-probably-accurate two-page humor strip by Mark Ellerby features the Doctor, River, and the pros and cons of social media!

Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #14 “The Comfort of the Good – Part 1” is in stores now.  It retails for $3.99.

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Comic Review: 21st Century Tank Girl #2

21st_TG_2_preview1Last month we celebrated the return of rough and tough Tank Girl in the first issue of her new series, 21st Century Tank Girl. This month she’s back in a new set of wild and crazy adventures, including a Mad Max-esque classic car delivery scheme gone bad (with more than one Roger Moore reference), a silly and overly literal military “how to” guide, a “journey to the centre of the tank” filled with 1970s starlets and explosive surprises, and a piece that is summed up perfectly by its title: “You’re young now, but you won’t be for long.”

21st_TG_2_preview3What I love about Tank Girl is that while Alan Martin consistently guides the stories, each vignette is illustrated by various different artists (including Jamie Hewlett, Warwick Johnson-Caldwell, Phillip Bond, Jonathan Edwards, and Brett Parson). This constant shift in art style keeps the stories fresh, fun and interesting –  just like Tank Girl.

While I enjoyed all of the art in the issue, I especially loved Edwards’ work in “Journey to the Centre of the Tank,” which was filled with thick, angular lines and interesting point-of-view shots that perfectly complimented the strange twists in the story.

I feel like every time I’ve read and reviewed a 21st Century Tank Girl issue, I have to make some sort of disclaimer: Tank Girl is not for everyone. It’s just not. However, it doesn’t try to be.

The cover (which is brazenly illustrated by Parson) features a pin-up style shower scene of three punk rocker chicks in a shower. It doesn’t hold back, it doesn’t sugar coat anything, it doesn’t pretend. It’s not fake.

But even though it’s not for everyone, maybe it should be. I believe that everyone can learn a thing or two from Martin and Tank Girl about how to be honest and authentic.

Want to see what Tank Girl is up to next? Stay tuned for issue #3, on sale August 2015 through Titan Comics!

21st Century Tank Girl #2
STORY BY: Alan Martin
ART BY: Jamie Hewlett, Warwick Johnson-Caldwell, Phillip Bond, Jonathan Edwards, Brett Parson
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
PAGE COUNT: 32
COVER PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: July 8

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Comic Review: Surface Tension #2 by Jay Gunn

Surface Tension #2 (the second issue in a five-part sci-fi/horror/adventure mini-series created by Jay Gunn and published by Titan Comics) debuted recently, and rather than doing a standard ol’ review, we thought we’d get down to the nitty gritty and address the four questions readers are asking themselves after reading the issue. (Ahoy! Minor spoilers ahead!)

Who is Mystery Memory Man?

Surface-Tension_02_Cover_ALast issue, readers were introduced to Megumi, one of two people who suddenly returned from the sea after coming down with the mysterious “sea sickness” which drove people to the ocean in waves, quite literally. When she resurfaced, she had blue skin and no recollection of what happened.

In this issue, her memories start to come back, including one of her as a child in a hospital following a disaster at a chemical plant. In what was reminiscent of a scene from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a new, seemingly masked visitor now appears in her memories. Henceforth known as Mystery Memory Man (MMM)*, the stranger warns Meg that her memories are being used against her and ominously states that “everything is connected” before disappearing.

Who is MMM? How is he able to contact Meg through her mind? It seems like he’s trying to help her, but why? He promises they’ll meet again, leaving readers in suspense and yearning to learn more about him and his intentions.

*Truthfully, we don’t even know if it’s a man. Heck, we don’t even know if it’s HUMAN. But for all intents and purposes, we’ll stick with MMM.

What is up with that sea monster?

Issue #2 upped the scare factor by showcasing a gnarly creature that surfaced from the water and crept onto land, blurting out strange, robot-esque phrases like “the flesh needs to be reconnected” and “evolve new flesh.” Visually, he’s frightening with his glowing red eyes and rows of teeth – definitely the thing of nightmares. The sea monster appears to be on a hunt, possibly for Meg and Ryan, and is willing to kill anything in its way. But what is it? Can it change its form? What does it want? All questions I pondered as I read in horror. I predict a game of cat-and-mouse in the issues to follow.

Who is worse: man or the monsters?

Surface_Tension_2_preview2A memory of a disaster at a chemical plant. Humans attacking others out of fear. Armed guards and threats of violence. Fish returning to the water near where the mysterious coral and monsters appear. All of these things are sprinkled throughout the issue, suggesting that while humans are destroying the planet with waste and cruelty, the mysterious coral (and corresponding monsters) might actually be helping the planet. Perhaps the “monsters” aren’t really terrible at all, but rather see mankind as a threat to Earth and are just trying to protect the world?

Sure, 99% of the human population has to go, but isn’t that a small price to pay to preserve an entire planet? While I’m not entirely sure that’s the direction the story will go, I do feel like it has potential to bring up deep issues about mankind, our existence on this planet, and the kind of legacy we’ll leave when we (inevitably) become an endangered species – or worse, go extinct. Worth noting: Surface Tension has been heavily promoted as an “eco-thriller,” but the emphasis on the environment is approached in an interesting way that’s understandable without being off-putting to conservatives/global warming deniers/my dad.

WHAT DOES “EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED” MEAN?!

What. Does. It. Mean? This phrase was used in Issue #1 and again in the second and seems to be the major theme of the series, though its significance and meaning isn’t quite clear yet. Is mankind connected to the monsters? Are mankind and the monsters one and the same? What are your predictions, GeekGirl World?

It seems like the first two issues of the series are full of questions, and I can’t wait to read the second half of the series to learn more. Be sure to pick up Surface Tension #2, available at your favorite comic book store now! You can even purchase a hard copy or a digital copy online!

SURFACE TENSION #2
WRITER/ARTIST: Jay Gunn
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
ISSUES IN SERIES: 2 (OF 5)
PAGE-COUNT: 32 pp
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: June 24

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Graphic Novel Review – Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the Queen

Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the Queen
STORY BY: Daniel T. Thomsen and Corinna Bechko
ART BY: Chapter 1: Michael Del Mundo; Chapter 2: Vasilis Lolos; Chapter 3: Mike Henderson and John Rauch; Chapter 4: Michael Kaluta, Scott Hanna, and Christopher Sotomayor
PUBLISHER: Marvel – Dan Buckley
PAGECOUNT: 117
COVER PRICE: $19.99
RELEASE DATE: September 4, 2013

I call myself a fan. I call myself that. But it’s been almost two years since Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the Queen was released, and I just read it this weekend. I’m a little embarrassed, not gonna lie. And since I’m getting things off my chest, I also need to confess that I didn’t start watching OUAT until Season Two was already complete. Yep. Superfan over here, kids. Don’t be jealous.

But what I lack in timeliness I make up for with enthusiasm! Never let it be said that there isn’t a method to my madness. Sure, I waited two years to read Shadow of the Queen. But that just means that now, in the doldrums of the summer break, I’ve got something to talk about. So really, my laziness benefits you!

The story is a familiar one. The Evil Queen, Regina, is trying to capture and kill Snow White in the Enchanted Forest. But this time Regina’s got new allies. Armed with the Huntsman’s heart and some silver-tipped arrows, Regina seeks the allegiance of the Werewolves in her mad quest to finally extract revenge. It’s the dead of winter, so Regina is counting on the wolves’ hardiness and tracking skills to ensure Snow White is left no quarter in the royal forests. But the wolves are not the complacent servants Regina demands, and soon she’s got a pack of clever lycans, a rogue Red, and a rehearted Huntsman between her and her quarry.

ch 3

I liked the pace of this book because it gave time for the progression of the main tale while allowing for backstory to be told. To me it felt neither rushed nor slow, and there was plenty of space for both dialogue and action. And while I wasn’t a fan of the ending, it did align perfectly with where the Evil Queen and Huntsman’s storyline picked up in the television show in Season One. And while Snow White is the prey in this tale, she is rarely the main character. Often she is layered behind the other characters, and this allows those we would normally see as “supporting characters” to become the interesting focus of the book. I really enjoyed seeing the natural and logical chemistry between the Huntsman and Red, especially in defiance of Regina’s desire to literally control his heart.

ch4Shadow of the Queen is also pretty gorgeous. The story remains linear, but the artist changes by chapter, so you get four distinct takes in one book. Some readers may not enjoy this change up because they might find it hard to follow which character is which. That being said, I had no problem whatsoever deciphering any of the main characters from chapter to chapter. The artists had an excellent grasp of the main characters’ traits and styles, so for me there was no confusion.

In fact it was nice to see so many different takes on the same characters because each artist highlighted something different about them. For example, in Chapter One, Del Mundo somehow marries Alphonse Mucha’s art nouveau grace with the imposing and sharp, intimidating angles of Citizen Kane to create a beautiful but terrifying Evil Queen.

ch 1

And in Chapter Two, Lolos changes up the tone drastically with his sexy, psychedelic tarot card style. Chapters Three and Four provide just as lovely artwork that, while more traditional, is no less impressive and dynamic. There are so many pages in this book that I would happily hang a print of on my wall.

ch 2

It’s important to state that, as of this article’s publishing, there is no word as to the Shadow of the Queen being accepted as canon, or official, despite many Tweets by fans to Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, the show’s creators. Even so, this story seems to mesh up nicely with what we already know to be true in regards to both Regina and the Huntsman’s story and also Red’s tale involving her former wolfpack. And because it doesn’t waiver too far from canon, I can happily accept it into the timeline until I’m told otherwise.

If you’ve never picked up a graphic novel before but are a fan of the show, I encourage you to give it a read. I personally read my copy on my Kindle because I didn’t want to wait for the paper copy to arrive in the mail. Full disclosure, I ordered it anyway, because books. As an added bonus, both physical and electronic copies come with character development sketches and costume design layout pages. Even if you are new to comics and don’t enjoy the storytelling style, you will definitely appreciate the artwork.

Have you read Shadow of the Queen already? Tell us what you thought of it in the comments!

All images property of Marvel comics.

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COMIC REVIEW: 21st Century Tank Girl #1

Things you need to know: Tank Girl is rude. She’s crude. She cusses. She smokes. She jokes about erections. She makes Star Trek references. She’s the most wanted outlaw in Australia and wears brown underwear. Basically, I want her to my best friend. However, her story is probably not appropriate for children, bores, or prudes. You have been warned, though if Tank Girl were real, she would never apologize for her behavior.

802f0d2d-4dc4-402e-a35f-b82e93a2bc3b21st Century Tank Girl is quite literally Tank Girl today. But let’s travel back in time to when it all started: last century, writer Alan Martin and artist Jamie Hewlett (co-producer of our favorite virtual band, Gorillaz) introduced the world to Tank Girl. Her story originated as a comic in the late 1980s and was even turned into a movie in 1995! Flash forward to June 10, 2015: she’s back with a new series of anarchic adventures brought to us by Titan Comics, Martin, Hewlett, and a slew of other artists and collaborators.

Issue #1 was a smorgasbord of her escapades, including a space exploit with a fun twist about the lengths Tank Girl will go to in order to achieve personal greatness; a bloody war story told primarily through onomatopoeias; a game show for death row inmates, where the winner gets a reduced sentence of life in prison… if she can avoid Zombie Hitler; and character spotlights highlighting adventures with friends.
166ae34b-aed4-4cf3-b4e2-940588e5cd7dThe art, like the stories, is also varied. With each new artist and collaborator comes a unique visual take on Tank Girl. In some stories, the panels are colored more vibrantly in deep, rich hues, like the fun and whimsy of a punk-rocker’s mohawk. Others are splashes of orange and red, making the reader feel she’s under a heat lamp during a dire situation. All of the styles are eye-catching, captivating, and fun. Still, amidst all the changes, Tank Girl continues to be very much herself: strong, tough, and a survivor.

As someone who was unfamiliar with Tank Girl prior, I thought 21st Century Tank Girl was a great introduction to a spunky and exciting character, and I can’t wait to see what kind of mischief she gets into next. Be sure to pick up a copy of 21st Century Tank Girl at your local comic book story, and keep an eye out for issue 2, which will be released by Titan Comics on July 8, 2015.

21st Century Tank Girl #1
Story By​: Alan Martin
Art By: ​Jamie Hewlett, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, Philip Bond, Jonathan Edwards, Brett Parson, Jim Mahfood, Craig Knowles
32​pp​ / FC / $3.99 / on sale: June 10

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