My review of Comic Book Tattoo is up at Fantasy Magazine right now:
The reason you should buy this anthology is simple: it’s awesome. The diversity of art styles in the book range from stark lines to photo-realistic to “cartoonish” to the avant-garde. And the plots are just as diverse. Almost every genre is represented — science-fiction, romance, paranormal, dark thriller, fantasy, and slice of life. The true thrill of the book is how none of these differences detract from the stories or seems jarring. They just flow from one to the next until you find yourself on page 300 without realizing it. You don’t go from a story of joy directly into one of pain; instead, you’re led in a slow wave of emotion from depressive to euphoric and everything in between.
Check out the whole review here.
This is one of the things I picked up at WisCon32, Therefore Repent a comic independantly released in Canada, then by IDW in the US is the joint work of Jim Monroe (an author who left a deal at Harper Collins to DIY publish his following books, you can read up on his experiences and Indie publishing in general at his blog/website: nomediakings.org ) & Salgood Sam (you can see his amazing artwork and list of credits on his website: salgoodsam.com)
The comic takes place in Chicago, post-Rapture. That’s right people have floated bodily in sky leaving great squats just readily available for the punks, dykes, unbelievers and radicals left behind, like Raven and Mummy. That’s not all though because those that have been left behind have started exhibiting amazing abilities: making it snow, rain or thunder, healing, distant-seeing, ethernet capabilities, and on and on. But even that’s not all because occasionally para-military angels descend and gun down anyone using these abilities. How can you not be interested yet?
There’s a great balance in this comic, the relationship between Raven & Mummy is well contrasted to the overall mystery of why the rapture happened and what the angels want. Neither one feels rushed or less important than the other and neither feels boring through the novel. The pace of the story keeps you interested throughout and there are just enough mysteries that you can’t help but want the comic to be longer. All the Chicago supernaturals are being hunted by the angels and hiding out but when Raven’s old friend Lilith, a demonic adept rolls into town well lets just say things are never the same. I can’t go into too much detail without giving away the whole bag but I will say that this is one of the few comics I’ve read that had an actual twist at the end that I was not expecting. The situation and the things that were left open literally blew me away.
So yes! Totally recommended, pick it up as soon as you can and while you’re at it pick up the prequel, Monroe’s indie published novel “An Opening Act of Unspeakable Evil” which gives you backstory on Raven, Mummy and Lilith. I haven’t read it yet but in a pleasant bit of chance it turns out I picked it up at WisCon32 and then forgot about it until I opened my box of books and there it was lying on top. It was kind of hilarious because I’d intended to order the book when I got my next paycheck but now I don’t have too. For those saying “How could you forget you bought the book?” Well I bought 49 books at WisCon looking through the box I had forgotten over half of them.
Kirikou & the Sorceress is a French animated film from 1998 based on an African folktale and it’s something I’ve been meaning to check out for years. It got a good review from one of the feminist blogs I frequent a few months ago (can’t remember which one) and a couple of my friends with ties to France have recommended it to me multiple times. Anyway my friend Bankuei owns it and ended up lending it to me and last weekend I finally watched it.
Now I know a lot of my friends and people I respect loved it and it’s hugely popular in France but for me personally my reaction verged on – Meh. I mean I thought there were great things going on but there were also things that really bothered me and made me twitch. Weighing those two reactions against each other makes it an unenthusiastic thumbs up from me. I’m not sorry I watched it but is it one of those films I would buy and re-watch, not so much.
Viewed through my anti-racism lens I liked it a lot, there were no parts that were problematic or made me cringe. In fact I thought it was very relaxed and wonderfully set up. I thought that despite the fact that it was made in France it had a very African feel to it. The animation of the characters was fantastic with different colors of skin, different breast shapes and sizes and most of the characters were simply human. The characters that were snappy or mean, were just snappy or mean there was no attempt to really link that with their blackness which I found refreshing. I also really liked that the nudity of characters was not a huge factor. I thought that Kirikou was a very interesting character and I liked him from the start and I felt the same about Karaba, the evil sorceress who has eaten all the men of the village, that he must fight. I thought she was an intriguing character that could have done something revolutionary. In that little “could” lies the problem.
Viewed through the lens of my feminism, I was much less happy with the story. I felt that Karaba was pretty two dimentional but in a way where they seemed to be actively trying to not make her flat and just failed, which made it even more disappointing because there was all this potential. I have a couple of specific issues with her characterization and a couple of plot points but they’re quite spoilery and I think will go in a post for Feminist SF – The Blog (I’ll let y’all know when that goes up).
Overall I say rent it, watch it, it’s definitely worth that and you might actually like it a lot and want to buy it. I mean the feminist blog I read loved it for some good reasons, those reasons just didn’t outweigh the problems I saw.