Comics Before Cinema! Part Two

This is the second of three posts featuring graphic novels and comics as the original source material. If you liked what you’ve seen on screen, try reading it…because sometimes the comic book is better.

I admit that I have not watched or read most of what I’ve listed (though not for a lack of trying!) and I made it a point to explore outside the expansive DC and Marvel universe. Today I will be showcasing popular family classics whose comic book roots might surprise you.

The Adventures of Tintin The Adventures of TinTin by Hergé

TinTin is a reporter and adventurer who travels around the world with his faithful dog Snowy. Since 1929, Hergé’s meticulous attention to his art and good-natured protagonist has charmed generations throughout the world and totes a Steven Spielberg directed animated movie. Continue reading “Comics Before Cinema! Part Two”

If You Enjoy Fantasy Roleplaying Games…

I know many of you out there are spending a lot of time these days playing Dungeons & Dragons or other tabletop roleplaying games (TTRPGs) on Roll20, Discord, or even Zoom. You might be playing The Witcher 3 on your Nintendo Switch, or revisiting the tundra of Skyrim on your Xbox One. Maybe you’re even going to your local comic shop for curbside pickup of the newest Magic: The Gathering release. Whether you enjoy classic Sword and Sorcery adventures, can’t get enough of political machinations, or you prefer slice-of-life tales of magic users, I have some great fantasy comics recommendations for you!

Critical Role Vox Machina OriginsCritical Role: Vox Machina Origins by Matt Mercer, Matthew Colville, Olivia Samson, and Chris Northrop

You may have noticed that Dungeons & Dragons is really popular at the moment, as are most tabletop roleplaying games (TTRPGs). One of the most popular streaming campaigns is Critical Role. This comic is a prequel to their first campaign (yes, you’re hundreds of hours and a campaign behind), and reveals how our group of adventurers, known as Vox Machina, came together in the first place, Continue reading “If You Enjoy Fantasy Roleplaying Games…”

Comics Before Cinema, Part One

Like many stuck at home, I have been looking forward to warm days that could coax me outdoors and read a good comic while basking in the sun. However, us Washingtonians do expect a spat of rain every now and again to water our Evergreen state and it is a given that most of us are back indoors when it pours.

As a fan of graphic novels and comics, I decided to spend some of my free time researching (or more accurately, binge-watching) television shows and movies that were inspired by the illustrated medium ​that I so enjoy. Thanks to online streaming there are quite a few titles available, and I admit that I have not watched or read most of what I’ve listed (though not for a lack of trying!) and I made it a point to explore outside the expansive DC and Marvel universe.

This will be the first of three posts featuring graphic novels and comics as the original source material of popular movies or shows. If you liked what you’ve seen on screen, try reading it…because sometimes the comic book is better.

The Best of Archie Comics 75 years, 75 Stories by Bob MontanaArchie: 75 Years, 75 Stories by Bob Montana

Did you know that over 300 Archie comics are available on Hoopla? Fans of the show Riverdale can find Archie and the gang across a platform of genres ranging from the light-hearted feel-good classics like The Best of Archie Comics to a more serious coming-of-age story set during the start of WWII in Archie: 1941. ​ And who could forget that time zombies infested the town (Afterlife with Archie) or when Predator came to crash Spring Break in Archie vs. Predator? There are also several titles set in the silver screen universe of Riverdale Digest for die-hard fans of the show. Continue reading “Comics Before Cinema, Part One”

Recommendations from My Precarious Piles of Printed Pictures and Prose

I moved in the middle of this pandemic, and have nearly twenty open boxes and unsorted piles of comics and graphic novels sitting around. Revisiting the books I already own (whether I’ve gotten around to reading them all, or not) while unpacking has been incredibly fun, and is the basis of the following comics recommendations.

ApocalyptiGirl: An Aria for the End Times by Andrew MacLean

From the creator of the visceral and absurd Head Lopper, ApocalyptiGirl is similarly distinct in its art presentation and story pacing. The story follows Aria and her cat, Jelly Beans, as they search through a seemingly abandoned city for a mysterious artifact. Unsurprisingly, this plan is interrupted by unsavory locals and others with designs on the artifact. This story really excels in it’s mix of frenetic action and ponderous moments, letting us ruminate over the many mysteries of the world, then pulling us back into the narrative without ever fully revealing what’s going on.

DIE vol. 1 Fantasy Heartbreaker by Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans, and Clayton Cowles

DIE is a wonderfully bleak combo of moody aesthetics and a fantasy storytelling melange. Described by writer Kieron Gillen as “Goth Jumanji”, DIE follows a group of now middle-aged “friends” who are once again pulled into the dangerous role playing game that they’d previously survived as teens. If you’re looking for a mix of Jumanji, the Bronte siblings, table-top role playing games, or Timeline, you should read this comic. Continue reading “Recommendations from My Precarious Piles of Printed Pictures and Prose”

Oh, doggone it!

Dogs can completely change the way we feel—for the better. They are funny, loving, and intelligent. Canine companions live in an estimated 63 million U.S. homes, so it’s no wonder stories, movies, and videos featuring dogs have always been big hits. Let’s not forget our own local legend, the public-transit-riding dog, Eclipse, who rides the bus throughout Seattle (except during quarantine, of course). Today, we are going to look at three dog-related titles that highlight the amazing lives of dogs and those who live with, rely on, and love them.

The Art of Racing in the Rain book cover imageThe Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

This is one of those stories, told through the eyes (and voice) of a dog, that simply works. Enzo is a dog who sees the world for what it is and would love to speak his mind directly to those around him, but cannot. However, we are lucky enough to get an inside look at his joys and frustrations surrounding the life of his human family. Publisher’s Weekly notes: “Stein’s tale of family, loss, redemption, and fast cars—recounted entirely from the perspective of a retriever-terrier mix named Enzo—ups the ante on the recent trend of high-concept anthropomorphism in popular fictions.” Continue reading “Oh, doggone it!”