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Robyn Chapman's Drawing Comics Lab is a distillation of the Abel/Madden textbooks, something she cops to right upfront...The book is as much a distillation of Brunetti and Barry as it is Abel & Madden, but it's a much breezier and simpler read than those other texts...The chapters on materials are a perfect crash course for an aspiring artist....Overall, Drawing Comics Lab creates a unique balance between theory, practice and readability.

Stephanie Ledoux

Whores of Mensa #2: This anthology is presented by Jeremy Dennis, Mardou and Ellen Lindner. The theme of this issue seems to be a sexual exploration of "east meets west", many of them period stories....When reading an anthology, I often think about if I've read this kind of story a million times before, because such stories tend to fade from my memory moments after I've read them. With this comic, I'm happy to say that this isn't the case, and that it even rewards multiple readings.

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Life Through The Lens #1, by Kent Olsen and Sabine ten Lohuis. There are a lot of interesting ideas in this comic about two TV film critics who also happen to share an apartment together in Chicago...This is the first of what promises to be a dozen or so issues...setting up the initial friendship and fracture between the two men. Hilariously, ten Lohuis depicts the two men as being model-handsome, which is not exactly the rule in the critic business.

Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona is the story of an impetuous, eager, and (most notably) successful villainous sidekick, who is also a shapeshifter. Set during a time of knights and black magic and lancing and people living in tents, Nimona is a silly but thoroughly charming webcomic which has grown impressively in style and content over the space of eight chapters...

Grindhouse: Doors Open At Midnight # 3 -- The story is perfect sci fi camp brought to life once again by writer Alex De Campi…It will arouse, disgust, and shock you. The entire ordeal is a provocative and irresistible tribute to an era of cinema long forgotten…This comic can achieve things in the voice of grindhouse that the cinema equivalent could never due to budgets, actors, and special effects. So the result is something better than the idea that inspired it.

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.

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[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.

I know Elfquest has been a classic since the late seventies but I never got in to it till now. I’m all about whimsical fantasy so it was impossible not to become completely absorbed with this franchise once reading this issue. Be warned, this issue will lead you to down a road of expedited Amazon orders of all the back issues and elf fan fiction. I think Wendy and Richard Pini knew exactly what they were doing.

Avengers Assemble #9 Review - Talking Comics: "I’m at a loss for words. I don’t know what to comment on first. There’s the inclusion of Spider-Woman as a main character, Carol and Steve juicing, Bruce and Tony hypothesizing about the future, playful bets, Wolverine eating popcorn…Honestly, I loved every moment of this book."

Elaine M. Will's depiction of a teen's descent into psychosis in Look Straight Ahead...clearly had a powerful story that she wanted to tell. There's no question that she's a skilled artist who is quite proficient at using a number of different storytelling techniques and formal tricks to create her narrative. She's certainly talented enough to perhaps use a bit more restraint and subtlety in future projects, allowing her considerable talent to show more and tell less.

JASON GATHORN

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Learn to Draw Noses! Cute as a button in 4 simple steps. (Seriously, the easiest nose ever tutorial)

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