Review Roundup, Summer 2018
August 24, 2018 Jamey Alea 0 Comments
I have been falling deeper and deeper into the world of comics journalism, as evidenced by the fact that I spoke on a panel about it at Flame Con recently. Check out the reviews, interviews and news articles I’ve published about comics and gaming over the past few months!
For those of us who love queer, indie comics, Kickstarter is often the place to find them and that proves true yet again with Getting Lost! A gentle, 24-page comic about friendship, magic, and respite from regular life, it follows the story of Reed and Isaiah, two genderqueer friends who get lost in the woods — and realize that they don’t mind being lost at all while they’re together.
Listening to The Adventure Zone always gives me the itch to play some Dungeons & Dragons—and I know I’m not the only one! In fact, it seems like D&D playership has never been higher now that The Adventure Zone and other D&D comedy podcasts like it have gained traction. Maybe you’ve even wished you could play as the tres horny boys themselves. And if so, I’ve got good news for you: in the June issue of Dragon+ Magazine, Wizards of the Coast released the first ever playable Adventure Zone module, written by DM Griffin McElroy!
Dungeons & Dragons is a game that’s known for adventure, excitement and the thrill of battle! But Kate Sheridan touches on the softer, more gentle side of D&D in their charming little comic, Fallow Time. In the dedication of the book, Sheridan cites their favorite aspects of D&D — “unlikely companions, found families and quiet, stolen moments after the big battles are done.” These quiet moments, which are important in tabletop games just as they are in our real friendships, are also what make Fallow Time so unique and special.
A great example of queer representation in manga, The Bride Was A Boy is an autobiographical story about a Japanese trans woman and her experience falling in love, transitioning, and getting married in Japan. Everything about this book is cute and heartwarming—Chii’s relationship with her groom, her feelings about getting married, and especially the art! It feels good to read about how proud Chii is of her marriage. While the wedding is the titular plot point, it’s really a story about empowerment—how Chii took charge of her life and reshaped it into the life that she actually wanted. When you look at it that way, with her marriage as a point of culmination on this journey of self-actualization, it’s no wonder it felt like a huge accomplishment for her!
Another day, another Voltron #1. This is actually the third volume of Voltron: Legendary Defender comics that Lion Forge has published since 2016, but they start each of their five-issue volumes at #1 again. I rather like the statement this makes about how self-contained the story arcs are. I read Volume 1, skipped Volume 2 and now I’m stepping back in effortlessly for Volume 3.
The plot of Volume 3 involves infiltrating a Galra installation called SPRAWL, which is a key group of slave planets that the empire relies on for raw materials to build their fleet. The idea is that a strike on SPRAWL will be two-fold: not only would it be a heavy blow to the resources of the Galra empire, but freeing all those people would surely inspire hope in the hearts of millions.
From the dawn of the Golden Age of Comics, there has been one overlooked group of people that has faced the most adversity and struggled more than any other to find a place in comics: straight white men. At this year’s TCAF, a panel of talented comics creators tackled the important, yet controversial, issue of male representation in comics. Moderated by Eleri Harris, deputy editor at the Nib, the panel featured artists known for their powerful and nuanced portrayals of male comic characters — Caitlin Major (Manfried the Man), Iasmin Omar Ata (Mis(h)adra), Sheika Lugtu (Cow House Press), and Sanya Anwar (1001).
War. War never changes. But over time, the Fallout franchise does. Which is exactly why so many theories are being thrown around in regard to the newly announced Fallout 76, ever since the trailer dropped on Wednesday morning.
Vault 76 is a known game location referenced in Fallout 3 and 4. It’s a “control vault”—one of only 17 known vaults to be considered “control” vaults. But what is a control vault and why is it exciting that one is being featured in the new game? Let’s talk a little bit about the backstory behind the Fallout series.