• Ladies Making Comics

    Viviane Schwarz’s Welcome to Your Awesome Robot is part comic and part activity book. It takes as its initial premise that belief, long-accepted by all parents as a universal truth, that there’s nothing that will stimulate the imagination of a small child more than a large, empty cardboard box!


    Creative Review - Jambonbon's Flying Eye film

More from this board

"Chloé C.’s webcomic Headless Bliss reveals what happens to the stories we make up after we forget about them. It starts when a figure born of the human realm encounters a curious young princess, the child of two cruel and monstrous demons. The comic is by turns funny and sad, but it’s also just plain gorgeous..."

"In only a few panels [of 8house: Arclight #1], Graham and [Marian] Churchland suggest an ancient world, rich in its own customs and history, with a unique flora and fauna as well as its own systems of governance and magic...The art is dense but uncluttered, and Churchland and Graham layer pencil-like linework over stretches of color that are flat and opaque but look slightly translucent in the paler hues..."

"Written by written by G. Willow Wilson and Marguerite Bennett and penciled by Jorge Molina, [A-Force #1]’s basic concept is that an all-superheroine team defends a small territory in Battleworld...not only establishes the idea of its territory, the chain of command that it functions with, the law and order of Battleworld in general and how it fits in, but a conflict and discovery as well that will last through more issues..."

[She Makes Comics] is both entertaining and educational. It stresses the need for a more inclusive industry, arguing not just for women, but for everyone. But most importantly, it is a documentary that inspired my daughters to run off and start drawing their own comics as soon as it was done. And I hope that it will empower other young girls and talented women to do the same.

Tove Jansson: Work and Love [by Tuula Karjalainen] is a beautiful book to look at; pictures and photographs swarm over the pages, but the text is a bit of a plod. It’s good on the various postwar Finnish art movements and it’ll fill you in at length on Moomin interrelationships, but it wanders around Jansson’s life in an indistinct way and is sometimes repetitive. If you want to get excited about Tove Jansson, read her autobiographical writings: pure fireworks.

Back in 1984, cartoonist Ulli Lust was a rebellious Austrian teenager…[who] drops out of art school, hangs out at her older sister’s Vienna apartment, and joins the punk movement…Much of 'Today is the Last Day' of the Rest of Your Life is spent recounting [an] eventful trip. On the surface, her experience reads like a "sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll” type of story. But what remains long after is the impression of hard-won knowledge about how class and gender function in the real world.

In Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Roz Chast has produced an amazingly honest and clear-eyed memoir of her relationship with her parents in their declining years. It’s both a universal story of something many of us will go through and a very particular account of a single family of quirky individuals…Chast doesn’t flinch from the serious stuff, be it her difficult relationship with her mother or the indignities of age and illness, but she tells her story with a strong dose of humor.

I’ve never had any knowledge of where [Pippi Longstocking] came from…until I saw Drawn & Quarterly’s new edition of the classic Pippi comics in 'Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Won’t Grow Up'. The fact that she found early expression in comics is just the ultimate icing on the cake for me. I should have suspected, given her absolutely anti-authoritarian riot of behavior that comics might have been part of her legacy.

Drawn and Quarterly is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Tove Jansson’s birth with Moomin: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition, a beautiful, slipcased book that collects all the Moomin comics drawn by Jansson in a single oversized volume…Jansson fills the comics with oddball side characters and imaginative little details, and her draftsmanship is amazing. Although the Moomins appear to be a simple collection of curves, Jansson brings a full range of emotions to their faces with just a few strokes

How do you take the exploitation inherent to the “Women in Prison” genre fiction and turn it on its head to be an allegory for patriarchal oppression giving way to an unapologetic feminist theme? You do it like Kelly Sue DeConnick, completely on purpose and with intent to provoke your visceral instincts of non-compliance and discerning taste in entertaining comics. (10/10)

In Project Superhero, written as Jessie’s journal, their class embarks on the Superhero Slam, a year-long 8th-grade project to explore heroes and superheroes—culturally, scientifically, and sociologically—culminating in a one-on-one debate for superhero supremacy…Project Superhero is a fiction/non-fiction hybrid extension of those themes targeted at tweens, particularly girls…wrapped in a package of a lot of comic book history with a dash of science, history, and language lessons.

[In Kelly Sue Deconnick's] Bitch Planet’s universe…the patriarchy has ceased to be a subtle force and become a more open one…Women who refuse to accept a subordinate role, who attempt to grow out of confining social structures are mocked, isolated, repressed and shunned by a system that relies on the collaboration of other women and men to suppress them…Bitch Planet lays this idea brutally bare, but it doesn’t invent it, or even significantly change it. It is metaphor, not hyperbole.

Sindicalismo 89 takes place in a building of the same name, a real apartment complex located in Mexico City. Inés Estrada defines this web of residential boxes as a “dysfunctional hive” where “lives coexist in a comfortably natural state of chaos.”...What Estrada’s comic does best is give a frank portrayal of the hardness one acquires when living in a big city...the point is time will go on, and its inhabitants will move on to new anxieties, boys, and parties right along with it.

Lowriders in Space, by Cathy Camper and Raul Gonzalez, looks like a new iteration of Zap Comix, but it’s actually a cheery, energetic all-ages comic about, well, lowriders in space.

Latvian comic book writer and artist Laura Ķeniņš‘ book “She Wants to Tell Me” is a gently told tale of exploration, love and sadness. Daina is a young woman and a photographer...when one night she...stumbles upon a severed human ear. As she’s standing over it, the real protagonist of the story rides her bike...into Daina’s life. This is Monta, a soft spoken lingerie shop worker. The two of them strike up a quick friendship that soon turns into something more.

[Carla Speed McNeil's Finder:] Third World is so good that it appears structureless, until you get to the end and realize where it’s been driving all along. I don’t want to say anything specific about the third act of Third World, because it was frankly as thrilling and surprising as anything I’ve read in comics. Simply put, there are more ideas in six pages of Finder than you’ll find in entire films...by the end of Third World you’ll have found something great.

An Age of License…[is] more diary than memoir, a travelogue comic about Knisley’s trip through Europe in 2011…A few weeks before she leaves, she meets a handsome Swedish guy, Henrik, and they hit it off…It is difficult to write unsparingly about a recent romantic relationship…she paints an affectionate portrait of Henrik, making it clear what she saw in him while leaving the readers with no doubts as to why the relationship couldn’t last.

If you’ve heard of Mary Cagle, it’s probably because of her webcomic Kiwi Blitz…She’s still a fish out of water, however, and there are many things about Japan that Cagle works hard to adjust to…Through it all, though, Cagle treats the experience with a great amount of understanding and patience. She expresses some doubts about her decision to live in Japan, but with each strip she makes it clear that it has been an overwhelmingly enjoyable experience.

Baby Bjornstrand, the new Renee French graphic novel completing and collecting the webcomic of the same name…As the uniform proscenium staging of its panels suggests, Bjornstrand remains much closer to Samuel Beckett than Stephen King, despite French’s astonishing proficiency with painstakingly penciled menace. Yet its morose ending has a bite that doesn’t require the jaws of a monster.

Carolyn Alexander, whose work I first saw when I had the pleasure of looking through the 10th issue of Team Girl Comics where Alexander’s…was one of the standouts of the issue…Amber and Chelsea is the tale of two people, told by two artists, each taking a different point of view. Or as they say "Amber is looking for Chelsea. Chelsea is looking for Amber. One story, two perspectives. A Graphic Novel "

Red Jack by John Dickinson and Sally Jane Thompson. Thompson’s thick lines suit the mood of the tale, where evil Counts usurp power, roving bands of red-coat soldiers keep the populous cowed and a young girl finds herself involved in a deadly world where her skills at cards may see her through.

Heads or Tails [is] a coherent, witty volume that constantly plays on its title. It refers to 50-50 chances and choices, but it also refers to being in a state where one is unable to distinguish up from down…Thematically, [Lilli] Carré tells tales of people out place and out of their comfort zone. She offers few judgments as a narrator, other than providing witty obstacles for her characters to grapple with…[with] a deep sense of empathy for each character's confusion and befuddlement.

Emily Carroll’s collection of horror comics, Through the Woods…are spellbound stories through which every strength of the comics medium is put into employ. There are frankly very few writers in comics who can go toe-to-toe with Emily Carroll in this regard. The totality of these comics is a testament to the largely untapped potentials inherent in this medium…Through The Woods is, without question, one of the singular experiences in comics this year.

Though [Eleanor] Davis' tales can be wildly different in look and narrative, they are united by themes of yearning, of characters searching for the thing that will make their lives better…"How to Be Happy" left me wanting more. The book feels like an appetizer for something bigger…Davis is a good storyteller, and her color panels are stunning.

It's not easy being Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and Abominations of the Earth and star of the webcomic Mystery Babylon. She has to deal with cultists who worship her, crusaders who want to kill her, and a seal that could release all of the demons—her former friends—into the world again. Val Hochberg's Mystery Babylon is a fun fantasy romp through a loosely Revelations-inspired post-apocalyptic setting.