Kamala Kahn by Vylla
Girls Read Comics is a labor of love, and part of what has made it grow so much and keeps it fun for me is including my friends in all our shenanigans. Today, I’d like to introduce our three new contributors to the site: Leshia, Scott, and Sarah.
Meet the team under the jump!
Skottie Young’s awesome variant cover for Storm #1. SO EXCITED FOR STORM, GUYS.
Pretty Deadly, Volume 1: The Shrike
Story: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art: Emma Rios
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Clayton Cowles
The moment that Pretty Deadly was announced, I mentally added it to my pull list. I knew that at the very least I’d be reading the first issue, likely the second as well to see how it goes. By the time issue three hit the shelves I was hooked, so I waited until the TPB was out to give it a full, rambling review. Continue reading
Sam Mandeville is a graphic design student, and spent a semester long project creating a female superhero brochure. She shared the designs on Reddit, and I just had to ask her if we could share them here, because they’re pretty damn cool.
You can find much more of her work at her website.
Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman, by Laura Truxillo
(If you’re going to be at HeroesCon this weekend, she’ll be selling this print at table 1913!)
A couple of weeks ago, I realized that I had a serious backlog of comics that I hadn’t read. Among the giant pile was the end of Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson’s run on Marvel’s Young Avengers. I know that part of the reason I hadn’t finished reading it was because I didn’t want it to end. I was late to the Young Avengers party, but I felt their iteration of the team was something special. It was funny, well-written and drawn, and it had a lot of heart. And the ending was fantastic. So once I finished, I spent the next week hunting down just about everything from the three of them that I could find. I made my way through both Phonogram Volumes 1 and 2 (if you were ever discouraged by Rue Britannia, then try The Singles Club instead; it’s a big step forward), then McKelvie and Wilson’s Suburban Glamour, then the next thing I know I was going back and reading all of Gillen’s writer’s notes on Young Avengers.
It was a hell of a week.
But on to The Wicked + The Divine. I knew just from seeing the preview on tumblr and elsewhere on the internet that I’d be an instant fan of this book (I adore the Wilson and McKelvie collaboration when it just comes to the art), but reading Phonogram kind of cemented it for me. Gods reincarnate as pop stars and then die within a few years? I’ve been in from day one, even before discovering Phonogram. I hesitate to say that Phonogram is essential reading before picking up The Wicked + The Divine, but it’ll definitely shed a new light on just what Gillen’s doing with the book. It’s not as close to Phonogram on the surface as the last couple of issues of Young Avengers were (it’s basically The Singles Club with Marvel characters), but it’s all wrapped up in the same themes of how music shapes culture, how artists shape culture, and how we as individuals are reached by the art that those artists create. Gillen goes on to talk about it a bit in this first issue’s introduction:
“The Wicked + The Divine also flips Phonogram’s core concern. Phonogram was about how individuals interact with the art that inspires, recreates and destroys them. It’s primarily about consumers. There is little to no interest in the artists, except the idea of the artists that exists inside the consumers’ heads. The Wicked + The Divine is primarily about the creators of art- and specifically the journey, choices, compromises and general fuckery that one makes along the road, the people they meet and how they help, fuck and destroy one another.”
- Kieron Gillen, The Wicked + The Divine #1, A Brief Introduction and General Yabber.
The Wicked + The Divine reads as a sister book to Phonogram, in its blatant appreciation of music and the culture that surrounds music. The pantheon of reincarnated gods that become our main characters are pop stars, worshipped in the world of the book in an almost literal way that casts a mirror on how we tend to worship celebrity in our own culture these days. In fact, many of those gods bring to mind modern pop icons: Amaterasu brings to mind a Florence Welch type, I get pretty strong Rihanna vibes from Sakhmet, and Luci is absolutely Bowie-influenced. So why I want to say that this is a completely fresh concept (don’t misunderstand me, most of it IS, absolutely), so much of it reminds me of The Singles Club. In a lot of ways, I think Laura (our protagonist and window into the world of the pantheon of pop gods), could fit right into that scene. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I don’t think Gillen is rehashing himself here. He’s taking this culture of music and expanding it, ripping it apart and analyzing it from different angles. It’s fantastic. Truthfully, my opinion may be colored by the fact that I spent time just before The Wicked + The Divine was released reading Gillen’s other books from a critical perspective, trying to find the similarities between Phonogram and Young Avengers. I’m getting my first taste of WicDiv at the end of a Gillen and McKelvie binge and it’d be impossible for me to not compare all these to each other.
All that said, this is a great, high-concept book. The idea of this pantheon of gods reincarnating throughout history, influencing the masses and then dying is beyond intriguing, and it gives Gillen and McKelvie endless possibilities in terms of the time periods and styles that they can explore. We already get a glimpse of an earlier incarnation of this pantheon in the first few pages, and Gillen has said that it’s not the first time we’ll get to look at these characters in the past. The art is crisp, and Wilson’s colors lend a lot to the basic style of these characters. I’m a bit in awe of the choices he’s made here in terms of Laura and Amaterasu’s make up, and it really works to bring the elevated world of these characters to life. (Chantaal made an attempt at Laura’s look from the cover of this issue, if you missed it on twitter.)
The Wicked + The Divine is a book that I know I’m going to be impatient to read every month, most definitely. I already kind of wish I had saved this one so that I’d have two issues to read all at once, but in the meantime, there’s always Kieron Gillen’s The Wicked + The Divine spotify playlist.
Story: Kieron Gillen
Art: Jamie McKelvie
Colors: Matt Wilson
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Webcomic Wednesdays is a weekly feature here at Girls Read Comics Too. Each week, we like to shine a spotlight on one of the webcomics that we happen to keep up with on the interwebs.
Pumpkin Spiced is an adorable little webcomic. Okay, maybe calling it “little” when it is already on its fifth issue and has two volumes in paperback isn’t exactly accurate, but somehow the adjective still feels fitting. Despite the longevity of the webcomic, there is a closeness to both the characters and the story that makes the reading experience an intimate one.
Through the entire length of my binge read I felt like I was being allowed to be a fly on the wall witness to the lives of Violett, Penelope, and Isabell. Despite the supernatural elements of the story (Penelope is a zombie and their neighbor Skarlett is a vampire), everything feels grounded. The creator, Paige Lavoie, was the one who dropped a little note about this comic into our inbox and I am eternally grateful to her for it. This was the perfect remedy for a stressful work week, being both sweet and funny all in one go. Each page is laid out in a way that makes it easy to read, the cute drawings colored in a pastel, almost watercolor style that is different from other comics I have seen on the web.
If you’re in the mood for a little Halloween fun, despite the season, then I recommend taking a look in on the lives of two sisters and their housekeeper as they cope with roommates and being young adults with a twist. If you’re anything like me, then you’ll spend some quality time wondering where you can find a pumpkin spice latte in April just so that you can fit right in (preferably in a panda mug).
Are you the creator of a webcomic? Do you have a webcomic that you love and think more people should check out? Then drop us a line either here in the comments or shoot us an email! We’re always looking for new things to read and get excited about!