Reviews and Blog Posts: comic books

Pow! Kaboom! Twak! Ping! Vrooom!....The History of African Americans in Comics

The untold story of African American superheroes.

Did you know that African/African Americans have had a lengthy yet unrecognized presence in comics? The first comic book created by an African American (Orrin Evans and All Negro Comics #1) didn’t arrive until 1947. But there were a number of Black people featured in both mainstream and Black newspaper press strips for many years before that. Not all of the images that were presented were positive or free of stereotypes, but all of them were steps towards the explosion of characters present today.

The cape

by Jason Ciaramella

DPL Rating:
3

I picked up The Cape simply because I recognized Joe Hill’s name on the cover, which should have been a warning from the first. I do not usually enjoy the horror genre, but the premise piqued my interest. What if there was a cape that granted the wearer the ability...

Rust: Playful Steampunk with Heart (and Word Balloons)

Steampunk is kind of silly. It's hard not to smirk at someone in 19th century garb, complete with top hat and coattails, who also has goggles and a raygun. But the silliness of steampunk is part of the charm. And just because something is silly, doesn't mean it can't be great.

Case in point: Royden Lepp's wonderful graphic novel RUST.

Rust is an imaginative adventure story set in the prairie lands of an unknown time. It has all the hallmarks of steampunk: goggles, jet packs, big clunky robots with lots of gears. It's even colored in shades of sepia (it doesn't get more steampunky than that!). But it's also touching, funny, and intriguing. The graphic novel is drawn in an engaging, playful style that's reminiscent of both Calvin and Hobbs and Manga. The story centers around a mysterious boy with a jet pack who crash lands on a struggling family's farm. Then the big robots show up...

Hammer time! Thor's not just a comic book movie (really)

Thor DVD cover

Kenneth Branagh's Thor, coming to DVD this week, is more than just the latest superhero movie from Marvel Studios (tying in to the Iron Man and Hulk movies), it is also (loosely) based on classic Norse mythology. That combination gives those interested a lot to check out....

In 1962, Stan Lee thought it might be "fun" to use the Norse mythology as a starting point for a new character. The result was Thor.

The movie adaptation of the comic book deals with the Viking legend source material, introducing various Norse gods (though these versions are a lot more like their Marvel comics versions than the originals). Kenneth Branagh partially got the job directing because he was familiar with family troubles between classical royalty after his Shakespeare adaptations.

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