The Curator of Schlock #257: Brightburn Trailer

The Curator of Schlock #257 by Jeff Shuster

Brightburn Trailer

Leave Superman alone. Just leave him alone. 

 

I don’t typically review trailers. What’s in a trailer, honestly? False advertising? Sure. Remember how excited you got after watching the trailer for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace? Did that movie live up to the trailer? No. One of the worst trailers of all time is for a little film titled Dirty Harry, but nobody cares because that movie is a classic. So reviewing a trailer is kind of a waste of time because the finished product may not even resemble what is advertised. And I will now rant about Brightburn‘s trailer.

Hollywood has a Superman problem. They didn’t used to. Back in 1978, we had Christopher Reeve with his perfect smile and perfect curl throwing out cornball platitudes with abandon and it was inspired.

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Good was good. Evil was evil. Miss Tessmacher was hot.

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All was right in the world. And then we had that Batman Killing Superman movie where Batman hogties Superman, ready to slit Superman’s throat until he realizes both of their moms have the same name. Don’t worry. Superman dies anyway.

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And now we have Brightburn from Sony Pictures. In the beginning of the trailer, we see a quaint farm being attended to by a couple resembling the Kents (Elizabeth Banks and David Denman). A spaceship falls from the sky carrying an infant boy that looks human, but is not human. As the boy grows into a pre-teen, strange powers manifest such as super strength, the ability to fly, and even heat vision. The boy’s adoptive mother hopes he’ll be a force for good, but this foreboding trailer tells us otherwise.

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What if kid Superman was a serial killer? What if he wanted to use his powers for evil and go around killing people? That’s the impression I get. He corners some waitress in a diner and we here a crunch after he flies toward her. Dani Di Placido of Forbes wrote about the Brightburn trailer in a recent column. He states that someone so powerful and so flawless as Superman would have to be some sort of sociopath.

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I don’t know. I’d like to think that if I got super powers, I wouldn’t use those powers to become some sort of violent murderer. And is it that far of a stretch to imagine that someone with super powers might actually want to use those powers to help people? Maybe the people who can’t imagine that possibility are the real sociopaths. I’m just saying.

This looks to be another gem from Sony Pictures and I know I shouldn’t judge it until I watch the whole movie. Maybe they intend Brightburn to be a part of their Spider-manless cinematic universe. Perhaps Venom, the Green Goblin, and Doctor Octopus will all join forces to take down evil child Superman. That might be something to see. I wish Sony well in their quest to not only destroy the super hero genre, but the very art form of cinema itself.

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Jeffrey Shuster 4

Photo by Leslie Salas.

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131, and episode 284) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

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Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #3: JUMP for Me

Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #3 by Drew Barth

JUMP for Me

My first major foray into print comics was with Shonen Jumpwhen I was about twelve years old. It wasn’t hard to tempt me with the first issue of it I saw at a CVS—the Yu-Gi-Ohcover and free card on the inside was enough. But, mainly just wanting to get that free Yu-Gi-Oh card because I wasn’t a great child, I flipped through multiple chapters of manga I’d never seen before out of curiosity. Shonen Jumpis where most teens and twenty-somethings were first exposed to manga due to its ubiquity in our lives. This is Dragon Ball, Naruto, One Piece, etc. Nearly everything we’d watch on Toonami after school came from this magazine.

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But times change. Shonen Jump in America stop publishing physical volumes, moved to all digital, came back to physical for a brief period, and is now utilizing a new kind of distribution platform. It’s all digital again, but works on subscriptions along with buying individual volumes. Everything that Shonen Jump ever put out in English is now available on their online portaland app to read for a fee of $2 a month. Not only that, but new chapters are being released every week, day and date of the Japanese release, for free without paying the monthly fee. And that’s massive for two important reasons.

  1. There’s an old quote that essentially says that to end piracy of media, it must be easier for the consumer to get things legally than illegally. It’s the main reason why Game of Thrones is consistently one of the most pirated TV show every year. And this goes double for print material like comics and manga. Most western publishers have found ways to make things easier through the use of Comixology as a digital service for comics, but manga never really had this same kind of platform. A volume or chapter of a series would come out and it could take actual decades for it to get translated into English and put on sale. That barrier essentially disappears now.
  2. This is a new avenue for receiving comic content that directly competes with DC Universe, Marvel Unlimited, and ComiXology Unlimited. But what makes this one different from most of the others is that this is just the comics. No live-action shows, no movies, no merchandise discounts. The new Shonen Jump is simple, cheap, and precisely what it advertises: everything they’ve ever put out in America for reading right now.

When looking at DC and Marvel’s own digital platforms, it’s odd to me that they don’t do something similar. Marvel and ComiXology are the closest with curated lists of popular characters and story lines with all of the current issues available and older ones being added, but then they don’t have everything. DC Universe has a glut of content, from old Batman TV shows to Batman animated movies to the new Teen Titans show that has Robin. They’re banking on Bats. But still, in terms of raw comic content, there’s still a lot (of Batman) missing.

If I had these services and wanted to read every issue of Spiderman or Batman or Captain America or Wonder Woman, I wouldn’t be able to. And the different services try to work around that by showing curated content or specific runs they feel are the most relevant. Or, in DC’s case, shows and movies to supplement what’s missing. But if I wanted to read the entirety of Dragonball right now, I could. Admittedly, these manga aren’t as old as Batman or Spiderman, but still, if I went crazy and wanted to read all seven hundred chapter of Naruto, there’s nothing stopping me now.

Shonen Jump does have a smaller base of printed material to put out there compared to DC and Marvel, I know this, but them putting everything out for incredibly cheap is astounding. No publisher of comics has made their material available in this way before and I can only hope that this helps to set more of a precedent for others to at least attempt getting more of the comic material out that their readers want.

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drew barth

Drew Barth (Episode 331) is a writer residing in Winter Park, FL. He received his MFA from the University of Central Florida. Right now, he’s worrying about his cat.

Pensive Prowler #27: A Modest Proposal for Politicians of all Nations*

Pensive Prowler #27 by Dmetri Kakmi

A Modest Proposal for Politicians of all Nations*

It is a melancholy truth to those who walk through this great world of ours and see capital cities filled with politicians and their minions, amassing wealth and wanting to live all of their lives on the backs of the working people, that a pressing problem begs for solution.

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It is agreed by all that this prodigious outpouring of parasites is a very great grievance; and therefore whoever should find a fair, cheap, and easy method of making the leeches useful members of society would deserve ample financial recompense and acclaim for all the world to see.

But my intention is far from being confined to provide only for current practicing members of the political classes. Like Herod with the baby Jesus, I intend to act pre-emptively, hoping to strike early and to net youngsters whose ambition is to one day rise to the dizzy heights of presidency and to prime ministership, chancellor or emir, or whatever title applies to the jurisdiction in which you, dear reader, reside and chaff under the load of hardship while those charged with looking after your welfare live in luxury and want for nothing.

As to my own part, having turned my thoughts for many years upon this important subject and maturely weighted the various schemes and opinions of others, I have found them wanting in the extreme. And I have no doubt, if put to practise, my scheme will save many a tear and lamentation in the dead of night as we sleep safe in the knowledge the office-bearer truly serves his nation with every fibre of his or indeed her ability.

I know not where you reside, dear reader, but I live in Australia—the lucky country (if you are not Aboriginal)—and therefore my comments will be limited to my borders, lest I overstep my expertise and offend.

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At any rate, not taking in the shadow ministry and local councils, the Australian parliament has seventy-six senators and 150 members of the house of representatives. It is, you will agree, a fraction of the overall population and yet these moochers avail themselves of the greater sum of monies from the public purse and think nothing of besmirching the name of the sick, needy, and unemployed and blaming them for all of the nation’s ills.

The prime minister, for instance, is lauded with $AUD527, 852. By comparison, the average cabinet minister struggles with a mere $AUD350, 209. As an addition, these honourable personages receive superannuation and business expenses, including travel expenses, health benefits, a spouse allowance, an electorate allowance, and a resettlement allowance. They get a supplementary income for taking on additional duties, such as chairing a committee. Furthermore, retiring federal politicians are awarded six figure pensions for life. The ‘reportable’ fringe benefits make for most interesting reading.

Meanwhile, the median salary in Australia is $AUD80, 000. Homelessness is on the rise. Most live under the poverty line and many struggle to find work.

Thus inspired by Monsieur Jean-Jacques Rousseau and given extra zip by Mr Rod Serling, I shall now humbly proffer my solutions to this most exasperating dilemma, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection.

I have been assured by a very knowing Greek physician of my acquaintance that a pampered, well-fed politician over the age of twenty-five makes for a most delicious, nourishing and wholesome food, whether fried, boiled or baked; and I have no doubt that the middle-aged will offer choice cuts and equally serve a mouthwatering fricassee, a ragout and, at a pinch, hamburger, thus freeing us up to reserve the grizzled elder statesman for sausages, mozzarella, and salami.

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The parliamentarian who takes especial care with his or her skin can be turned into designer handbags, shoes, belts, vests, leather chaps for sadomasochists, coats, and various other fashion accessories. Bones can be put to the service of furniture, kitchen implements and cutting-edge sculpture, thus using all necessary parts and assuring that no wastage whatsoever be entered into. We are after all in the age of recyclables.

As for up-and-coming politicians, from let us say the age of fifteen or sixteen, they can be rounded up in schoolyards as soon as they express the least interest in the political sphere and sold to Russia and China for organ harvesting, thus nipping the bud before the disease can spread far afield.

I reserve the best for the politician who treats the public with contempt and for whom lying and deceiving is second nature only to hypocrisy: round them up and turn them into pet food.

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After all, they did want to serve their country and there is no better way to do that than to serve them up in a platter.

I can think of no objection that will possibly be raised against this proposal, unless we desire to act against the number of people who will thereby find material and spiritual benefit in this endeavour.

And I profess in the sincerity of my heart that I have not the least personal interest in promoting this necessary work, having no other motive than the public good; and I challenge any politician or member of the public who dislikes my overture that they first query the patents of their morals, whether they would not at this day think a gross injustice is remedied by my modest, though far-sighted submission.

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*With sincere thanks to Jonathan Swift.

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dmetri-kakmi

Dmetri Kakmi (Episode 158) is a writer and editor based in Melbourne, Australia. The memoir Mother Land was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards in Australia; and is published in England and Turkey. His essays and short stories appear in anthologies and journals. You can find out more about him here.

Episode 349: A Craft Discussion of The Birth of Tragedy, with Vanessa Blakeslee and Mark Pisczek!

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Episode 349 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.

In this week’s episode, I croak with Vanessa Blakeslee and Mark Pisczek about the Apollonian and Dionysian origins of storytelling as explored in Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy.

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TEXT DISCUSSED

the birth of tragedy


NOTES

If you live in Orlando, come hear Mark and his band, Strange Angels, play jazz at the Imperial at Washburn Imports this Thursday, January 17, 2019, 8-11 PM.

strange angels

1800 N Orange BLVD / Orlando, FL 32804.

https://www.facebook.com/events/2187842224789407/

Episode 349 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.

The Curator of Schlock #256: Venom

The Curator of Schlock #256 by Jeff Shuster

Venom

The villain is the hero. In other news, 2 +2 = 3 because Sony says so!

I think I have a movie pitch I’d like to send over to the brass over at Sony Pictures: Snickers: The Movie. I think there’s a lot of potential in this franchise, maybe a Snickers Almond movie later down the road. After all, Snickers is the most popular candy bar in the world. You’ve got the peanuts, the nougat, the caramel. People pay up to two bucks for those king-size bars. Imagine what they’d pay to see the glory of Snickers in IMAX 3D. And think about the possibility of a Snickers Expanded Universe!

In the meantime, let’s talk about 2018’s Venom from director Ruben Fleischer. Some of you may remember Venom from 2007’s Spider-Man 3 from director Sam Raimi. He was the villain of that movie. And I read a read a Spider-Man comic or two back in the 1990s. You see the thing about Venom is that he hates Spider-Man. He wants to kill Spider-Man. That’s the character’s motivation, the reason for his existence. If you look at Venom, he looks like a disgusting version of Spider-Man, almost as if he’s mocking our hero.

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Spider-Man isn’t in the movie Venom. He isn’t even mentioned. This is because Sony gave Spider-Man back to Disney so he could be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and fight alongside heroes such as Iron Man and the Black Panther. But Sony must have retained the cinematic rights to some of Spider-Man’s super villains so waste not, want not. As a result, Venom is now an “anti-hero” instead of a super villain. This is like if they decided to make a General Zod movie without ever mentioning Superman. Sure he wants to take over planet Earth and have everyone kneel before him, but he isn’t all that bad.

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Venom starts out with a space shuttle crashing to Earth somewhere in the San Francisco Bay area. This space shuttle was carrying deadly cargo: alien parasites from outer space called symbiotes. This was all due to the machinations of Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), an evil Elon Musk-type in charge of Life Foundation, a bioengineering corporation. Drake wants humans to merge with symbiotes so the human race can move out into space since our species is destroying the planet or something to that effect. Homeless people volunteer to merge with the symbiotes for some cash, but these evil alien creatures kill them each time. Drake is confident that a successful match between human and symbiote will happen one day so he just continues letting the homeless get killed.

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Enter Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), a San Francisco hipster reporter who knows Life Foundation is up to no good. A tip from an inside source eventually leads him to the symbiote lab, where he merges with one of the symbiotes to become Venom, a living parasite that likes to bite the heads off of police officers, but rest assured, he’s still the hero because the movie tells us so. What else?

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Michelle Willaims plays a token love interest. Stuff explodes. Venom fights an even more evil alien/symbiote hybrid named Malice or Hellface or something like that. Tom Hardy makes out with his parasite. There’s a post credit sequence with Woody Harrelson wearing a Bozo the Clown wig. This movie has it all. When film historians try to pinpoint the movie killed the super hero genre, I suspect Venom may be at the top of the list.


Jeffrey Shuster 1

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131, and episode 284) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #2: Guess I’ll DIE

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Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #2 by Drew Barth

Guess I’ll DIE

First issues are weird things. They’re thesis statements on a series; a contract with the reader that assures them the three to five dollars they paid for that first issue was worth it; a firm artistic statement on what this creative team wishes to do with the comic form. A good first issue outlines what a reader is going to see going forward in a series—letting them know that this may or may not be the particular ride for them. A first issue is, without a doubt, the hardest thing a creative team working on a comic has to get through, with the sole exception being the final issue. But with a first issue like Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans’ DIE, I absolutely need to be around to see how that final issue plays out.

DIE mockup (CROPPED)

There’s been this ubiquity to issue ones in the past whenever I go into my local comic shop (A Comic Shop) or scroll through the Comixology app. Every week there’s a new series beginning with an interesting premise or a nice cover or a character design that looks fantastic. But I can’t buy them all. I’m broke. So I have to take a first issue incredibly seriously because that first issue is a potential commitment to an entire series. Starting off strong, getting hooks into a reader, is something that’s crucial for comic storytelling as a whole.

With DIE, we’re given a first issue that puts the banquet out for us. We have the premise: a group of six friends play a game of Dungeons and Dragons that sucks them inside and they disappear for two years. Only five return and none of them can talk about what happened in the game. Kieron Gillen himself described it as “goth Jumanji,” and I’m inclined to agree.

But a normal story would focus on the “sucked into a game” aspect of it and run from there. That’s where DIE differs and works with different levels of what first issues should do. The basic premise I’ve described is only the first few pages. What follows after that is a time jump of twenty-five years. We don’t have kids here anymore. These are adults. Traumatized adults. What happened in the past has scarred each of the remaining five deeply to the point where we can see how even thinking about the event triggers an emotional response that draws these characters further into themselves and traumatizing thoughts of the past.

DIE does something I wished more series would try doing. We don’t see the event. We don’t know what happened. We’re not given a massive backstory right in the first issue. We’re given the information we need. We’re given small one or two lines of characters who tell us what we need to know about that person. Like a good D&D campaign, we’re given a small hint of what’s going to happen later. A lot of the time, what I end up seeing in either first in a series or first in a new story line issues is numerous panels of exposition. That exposition feels like the story doesn’t trust the reader to actually read what’s happening. We have to be told what to notice and what’s important despite comics being the best place possible to show. Stephanie Hans is so obscenely good at showing us small character movements and facial expressions while using a color palate to invoke mood. Seeing character costumes feels like a massive moment because of the building up of action and movement and color.

Something like DIE is the kind of first issue that doesn’t come around often, but when it does you can feel a sense of excitement around its release. I’ve read through dozens of first issues that don’t have this sense of movement—they want to languish and draw out single moments that don’t leave a reader with any kind of pay off. DIE is compressed storytelling. It is lean. It shows the reader what little they need to know at the beginning and runs hard with its story. Comics can have a slower pace, there’s never not going to be room for that. But first issues are, and will always be, different beasts. They need speed. A first issue needs to let the reader know that the comic trusts them with the information being given and gives as much as it can as quickly as possible. That speed is the lifeblood of first issues. If a reader doesn’t know, a reader doesn’t care. And a reader that doesn’t care is a reader that doesn’t come back.

Get excited, first issues are happening.


drew barth

Drew Barth (Episode 331) is a writer residing in Winter Park, FL. He received his MFA from the University of Central Florida. Right now, he’s worrying about his cat.

Buzzed Books #85: Permanent Exhibit

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Buzzed Books #85 by Drew Barth

Matthew Vollmer’s Permanent Exhibit

Think of a thought process and all the ways it branches out and around. The thoughts rarely stay in one place or along one singular train of thought for too long. It’s that aspect of his own mind that Matthew Vollmer examines in Permanent Exhibit. In this essay collection, he looks to examine not only what is happening in his mind, but what’s happening around it at all times.

permanent exhibit

The organic nature through which Vollmer shares himself in this collection really helps to reinforce both its structure and how the collection presents its content. We see first in “Status Update” the scene being set: it’s 2016 and this is like going through a Facebook feed. It’s a nonstop barrage of information until it cuts off. The essay is short, sweet, and gives us the founding seed through which the rest of the collection branches and grows. From there a reader is given Vollmer’s life during these essays—little bits of bike riding, the death industry, Grand Theft Auto, ruminations on the professor who changed his life. The essays build like concentric rings in a tree as they grow and crest upward.

It’s hard to talk about Permanent Exhibit without mentioning the collection’s structure. Forty-one essays and not a single paragraph break to be found. I love it. And for a few reasons. This helps to reinforce the idea of the mental process through which our minds go through when thinking—there’s no mental paragraph breaks, the brain simply takes a topic and runs with it. But in contrast, it helps to create this kind of focus throughout the essays. We as readers are engrossed in the words on the page because there’s nowhere for our eyes to wander and break from the flow. The essays are like a slideshow of images: focused and singular until we’re enamored with the next one. But they always stick to us no matter the subject. The structure presents us with a slab of words that makes us want to remember and devour the words before us so we can keep some of the beauty in them for a while longer.

And ultimately everything done with the essays is something that Vollmer does incredibly well throughout this collection—he makes the idea of the personal permanent. While some aspects of an individual change, there’s always this concrete, personal foundation that will subsist forever. And what Vollmer typifies here is what essay collections are: this deeply individual examination of the self and how that self interacts with the world around it.

The mind we’re peering into throughout this collection is one of compassion and principle. To go through this collection is to explore what is essentially Vollmer: the father, the husband, the man who bikes and plays video games. But his mind’s eye, the lens through which we see it all, always casts a light on small moments like enduring terrible pop music after his son’s dental checkup, the circus sideshow acts he saw as a child, or the articles his father emails him. He creates the meaning through observation.

It’s a universal experience, but the idea of this collection, his collection—the exhibit of the self and the personal permanence of the self—creates this fascinating look at Vollmer’s mind.


Drew Barth

Drew Barth (Episode 331) is a writer residing in Winter Park, FL. He received his MFA from the University of Central Florida. Right now, he’s worrying about his cat.

Episode 348: Ben Fountain, Celeste Ng, and Gary Shteyngart!

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Episode 348 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.

This week has Miami Book Fair International conversations with Ben Fountain, Celeste Ng, and Gary Shteyngart!

Ben Fountain

Ben Fountain and beverages in the Confucius Institute at Miami-Dade College.

TEXTS DISCUSSED

beautiful country burn againlittle fires everywherelake success


Episode 348 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.

Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #1: New Year

Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #1 by Drew Barth

New Year

2019 is already breathing down our necks and I feel the fear. So that means it’s time to dump myself headlong into comics to displace the existential dread of the next twelve months in global warming reporting.

Ha.

Ha.

Ha.

Anyway. 2019 is going to be one of Those Years in comics and graphic novels, particularly because of the weird place it’s going to hold in terms of some rather staple series from Image either ending or winding-down-to-ending somewhere in the year. But that doesn’t mean everything is dying off. Yet. Things are coming back! Things are beginning! Not everything can be awful if the comics are good enough.

Comics to End

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  1. The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matt Wilson (Image): This is one of those series that I’ve been following since it began and, while I’m sad to see it go, I’m curious as to how it’s going to stick the landing. There’s a lot of threads and a lot of bodies and seeing Killen and McKelvie’s mad magic music end is going to be an event in and of itself.
  2. Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, and Matt Wilson (Image): Brian K. Vaughn and Cliff Chiang have been messing with the 80s teen adventure movie formula in the best way possible. I remember seeing the original teasers for this series when it first came out and it’s gone to places I didn’t imagine possible in the time we’ve had it, so I want to know where it’s going to end up.
  3. The Seeds by Ann Nocenti and David Aja (Dark Horse): This is a shorter series, only two of its four issues are out right now, but it’s one of the most interesting in terms of how it tackles story in comics and what it is as a comic itself. This is one of the first major books coming out of Dark Horse’s Berger Books imprint (so named after legendary editor Karen Berger) and it’s one of the strongest to come from the imprint so far. Ann Nocenti and David Aja work so well together and seeing how excited I was for this book just based on Karen Berger editing it makes me more excited for her imprint as well.
  4. The Wild Storm by Warren Ellis and Jon Davis-Hunt (DC): I’ll likely get around to gushing about Warren Ellis at a later period, but he is one of the best living writers making comics. And he’ll continue to be so even after he dies. I know what I said. The Wild Storm is him and John Davis-Hunt going back to the widescreen comics of The Authority and Stormwatch. Just go back to the first issue and look at that nine-panel grid on the first page and know that this is good comics.

To Begin

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  1. The Ludocrats by Kieron Gillen, David Lafuente, Jim Rossignol, and Ricardo Venâncio (Image): Announced some years ago, Kieron Gillen and Dave Lafuente’s new story is finally (potentially) making its debut this year. Gillen himself has referred to it as “an R-Rated Never Ending Story” and I’m inclined to believe him. We’re not completely sure what the rest is going to entail, but with the how long the series has been teased, it should hopefully be fun.
  2. Invisible Kingdom by G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward (Dark Horse): Another Berger Book, this has G. Willow Wilson (Ms. Marvel) teaming with Christian Ward (ODY-C) for this new science fiction series. We only really have a first cover and a series synopsis, but Wilson’s writing is always solid and Ward’s art promises an almost psychedelic fantasy.
  3. J+K by John Pham (Fantagraphics): John Pham is one of those artists whose work smacks you in the eyes. His cartooning is so distinct and is done with such care and flare that a new piece of work by him is a treat by itself. The fact that Fantagraphics are releasing this volume with a miniature magazine, stickers, and a 5” vinyl record mean it’s going beyond graphic novels into a full sensory experience. I want this book to smell like cotton candy too to complete the experience.
  4. Grass by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim (Drawn + Quarterly): To call Grass a story would be an understatement. Grass deals with a section of World War II history not often brought up in the West: the Japanese Imperial Army’s invasion of Korea. From the looks of it, this will be a devastating graphic novel rendered in Keum Suk Gendry-Kim’s delicate black ink that delves into the life of Okseon Lee, a survivor of horrific sex slavery from the Japanese army at the time.
  5. They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker (Top Shelf Productions): George Takei recounts his period of imprisonment in an American internment camp during World War II in this graphic memoir. Joined by Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker, Takei takes us back to being a four-year-old boy and having to live through America’s paranoia and scapegoating that feels all too familiar right now. Expect tears.

To (Hopefully) Return

  1. Warren Ellis: Both his series Trees and Injection, with artists Jason Howard and Declan Shalvey respectively, have been on a bit of a hiatus over the past year with other projects coming up for everyone involved. But, according to Ellis’ newsletters, scripts are completed and work is being done. I’m excited. You should be too.
  2. Free Comic Book Day 2019: The yearly event is of course coming back. For those unfamiliar, the first Saturday in May is officially know as Free Comic Book Day, a day in which different publishers bring forth specially made stories and samplers of their various works. This year is already looking massive with Stranger Things, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Doctor Who along with a handful of still secret DC and Marvel stories. This year also has the largest selection of manga of any year that I can remember, so the sampling is going to be some of the most diverse from any year prior. There’s also something called Ghost Hog that I know nothing about but I want in my hands right now.
  3. Saga?: Maybe. Brian K. Vaugh and Fiona Staples never explicitly said when the series would return when they announced the series’ hiatus back in July with their fifty-fourth issue. But after a year, who knows.

Miscellany

  1. DIE, Vol. 1 by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans (Image): DIE is a series about a group of friends playing a D&D style tabletop game. Kieron Gillen, in developing the story, also created a new RPG as the basis for the story itself. The full rules of this RPG are coming, according to his newsletter, in the first collected volume of the series. I’ve never had a need to play an RPG as much as I’ve had with this news. Just put it in my bloodstream.

And that’s all I have at the moment. Like I said, 2019 is one of Those Years. And while this list isn’t completely definitive, this is some of the stuff that looks to be the most interesting to me and is some of the stuff I really want to see comics going forward with into the future. As always, there’s going to be more announcement of new series and graphic novels later in the year, there’s probably one happening RIGHT NOW, and I’ll talk about them as my hype for them increases.

Get excited. Comics are happening.


Drew Barth

Drew Barth (Episode 331) is a writer residing in Winter Park, FL. He received his MFA from the University of Central Florida. Right now, he’s worrying about his cat.

Episode 347: Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Juan Felipe Herrera, and Billy Collins!

Episode 347 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.

This week is a cornucopia of poetry conversation with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Juan Felipe Herrera, and Billy Collins!

Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera

Billy Collins

Billy Collins

TEXTS DISCUSSED

Oceanic

JabberWalkingImagineThe Rain in Portugal


Episode 347 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.