The Disappointment of an Exclusionary Man-Eaters: Issue #4 Review

I’ve been sitting on this essay, but in light of NPR naming Man-Eaters one of their favorite graphic novels in their 2019 Book Concierge, I’m publishing this as a counterpoint and why it shouldn’t be on that list.

Man-Eaters #4

Erica gives this comic one star.Man-Eaters #4 by Chelsea Cain (writer/creator)
Art: Lia Miternique (cover/creative producer), Lia Miternique and Stella Greenvoss (additional interior art), and Eliza Fantastic Mohan (additional writing)

I wrote some glowing reviews for issues #1-3. Reviews, which at this point, I won’t ever publish.

Unfortunately, Cain has expressed a disinterest in talking about gender issues — namely gender identity and the many genders or non-genders a person could be — while writing a book about gender. Man-Eaters has become a binary gender essentialist text, and it breaks my heart. Continue reading “The Disappointment of an Exclusionary Man-Eaters: Issue #4 Review”

Check Please!: Year Three Graphic Novel Review

Check Please!: Year Three

Erica gives this comic five starsCheck Please!: Year Three by Ngozi Ukazu
Rating: 5/5 stars

This volume was the best yet, and I gave it five stars because, finally, all the feelings happened on-page. As much as I love Check Please!, too much of the story’s emotions in previous volumes took place off-page. With Jack and Bitty now officially dating and in a long-distance relationship, their feelings are upped by a lot.

Much of queer life is defining your own story. For Jack and Bitty, they are establishing their relationship for themselves and how to navigate the world with their families and teams and with Jack being an NHL rookie. Yes, there’s a lot of coming out, but how the story’s framed, this isn’t a coming out volume, but mired in the reality that as a queer person, you are always coming out. Continue reading “Check Please!: Year Three Graphic Novel Review”

The Best Comic Books of the Decade: 2010-2019

I’ve been doing comic book reviews for over 10 years, culminating in over 1,000 reviews. What I enjoy most about reviewing comics is sharing what I’ve loved, and hopefully, you’ll pick up the book. I did not create lists for 2012, 2013, and 2014. All my recommendations are books that I read that year, not necessarily published that year.

While I won’t be giving you my ultimate list, here’s a rundown of my reviews that capture the time and the place, listing my #1 best pick from each:

2010

I, Zombie #1 S.W.O.R.D. #1 Detective Comics #860

This format took me far too long to do, so after this year, I switched to the format I still use today. Continue reading “The Best Comic Books of the Decade: 2010-2019”

The Best and the Worst of 2019 Comic Books

It’s the time of year for recommendations and best-of lists. These are my favorites and least favorites of the comic books I published reviews of in 2019. My rankings are averaged from my individual reviews.

In 2019, I reviewed 338 pieces of individual media. This year, I focused a lot of reading down my to-read pile and also reaching into my unread bookshelves.

For the most reviewed series, I reviewed 21 issues of The Wild Storm and Wonder Woman respectively, and 16 issues of Giant Days.

I read and review at my own pace. Sometimes I read more comics, and other times I read more prose books. For many comics, especially superhero ones, I find myself around one year behind. I’ve found myself more and more interested in indie comics and other stories.

Unfortunately, the big two superhero producers (DC and Marvel) seemed to have regressed, and they’re now telling more crossover stories to sell single issues, and when I look over Previews catalogs, the creator names seem more white and male than in previous years — which just aren’t points-of-view I’m interested in. And when these companies do bring in creators from marginalized groups, those books aren’t headliners and often don’t find enough support to create a lasting impact. I’m a bit tired of books getting canceled before they’ve been able to breathe.

A theme of the books I loved this last year has been incredible art, along with great stories. The more comic books I read, the picker I find myself about, not just the writing, but the accompanying art and what it does to bring life to the story.

The Best Series (reviewing 6+ issues)

28 different series were eligible in this category.

Blackbird1. Blackbird by Sam Humphries, Jen Bartel, Paul Reinwand, Nayoung Wilson, Tríona Farrell, Jodi Wynne, and Dylan Todd
Average rating: 5/5 stars

A stunning series with the stand-out gorgeous art of Jen Bartel, who may be my favorite artist working in comics right now. The story follows Nina, an early 20s-something, who cannot seem to get her life together or work through her trauma. When her sister goes missing, Nina finds out what she’s been missing: a magical world which she believes is the key to everything wrong in her life. Continue reading “The Best and the Worst of 2019 Comic Books”

Moonstruck Vol 2: Some Enchanted Evening Graphic Novel Review

Moonstruck Vol 2: Some Enchanted Evening

Erica gives this comic three starsMoonstruck Vol 2: Some Enchanted Evening by Grace Ellis (writer)
Art: Shae Beagle (artist), Kat Fajardo (Pleasant Mountain Sisters artist), Caitlin Quirk (colorist), Clayton Cowles (letterer), and Laurenn McCubbin (editor/designer)
Rating 3/5 stars

Unfortunately, this volume wasn’t as good as the opening story. Time and place were very muddled, and not just because of the moveable fairy houses. I wanted to cheer for Julie and Selena, but their relationship gets incredibly toxic as the story goes on.

Chet remains the very best here, and it makes me wish this story was about them. Chet and Manuel are so cute together.

I’m sad we didn’t get more of Cass; she mostly played a floating future-seeing head who kept predicting doom and gloom for Julie and Selena’s relationship. Give Cass more of her own characterization! Continue reading “Moonstruck Vol 2: Some Enchanted Evening Graphic Novel Review”