The Top 5 Graphic Novels You Should Check Out

Hello everyone and welcome to a Top 5 list of Graphic Novels that you should check out that are NOT superheroes nor are from Marvel or DC Comics.

There is also a really good review of Kevin Keller’s mini series, which is part of the collected work that I reviewed, done by my good buddy Dennis Upkins that you can check out here and here.

In looking at the list, you’ll notice a few things about it:

1. No books on the list have a straight, white, cisgender, and able bodied male as the lead.

2. Women and women of colour are the leads in 4 of the 5 books.

3. There is LGBTQ representation in 3 of the 5 books.

Yes, I collect some Marvel and DC Comics, but those comics are few and far between, and more often than not they’re not the new comics coming out today. If the Big Two are not willing to change for the better and faster, then people WILL go elsewhere for comics, and they’ll find better alternatives that reflect who they are.

Brain Food – Episode 34

Hello everyone and welcome to the latest episode of Brain Food, wherein I discuss the latest series from Marvel written by G Willow Wilson, Ms Marvel!

And wouldn’t you know it? It’s a top seller at Comixology, actually beating out one Batman title as of the time of the release of its 4th issue!

Not bad for a new legacy character.

Brain Food At The Movies – Episode 7

Hello everyone and welcome to the newest episode of Brain Food At The Movies! I hope that you all enjoy it!

Just… bloody hell, people… if you can have more diversity in your movie about a giant, radioactive mutant than a movie about some stupid little magic ring and dwarves and elves, something’s wrong.

Also, I’m not seeing Blended. I don’t think I need to watch a comedy about white people healing their souls by going to Africa… and not just any country in Africa, but, you know… just Africa.

 

You can’t make this shit up (“Alice in Arabia”)

You ever see something so fucked up that you can’t even get mad?

It’s one of those things that, if somebody told you about it, you wouldn’t believe it unless you saw it yourself. And if you saw it, you’d just stand there staring at it like, “This is so fucked up that I wanna keep it as a specimen for further study. I wanna pin it to a board and dissect it.”

That’s how I feel about Alice in Arabia.

Here’s how ABC described it:

“Alice in Arabia” is a high-stakes drama series about a rebellious American teenage girl who, after tragedy befalls her parents, is unknowingly kidnapped by her extended family, who are Saudi Arabian. Alice finds herself a stranger in a new world but is intrigued by its offerings and people, whom she finds surprisingly diverse in their views on the world and her situation. Now a virtual prisoner in her grandfather’s royal compound, Alice must count on her independent spirit and wit to find a way to return home while surviving life behind the veil.

(And the English major in me notes the parallel between Alice in Arabia and Alice in Wonderland. That’s right–countries with lots of Brown people in them, especially Arabs, are not real places in the real world with real people in them. No, they are nonsensical realms akin to an alternate universe where cakes turn little girls into giants and people play croquet with fucking flamingos and Johnny Depp can breakdance.)

Get this: this was not satire. This was not a joke. This was not a market survey designed to test the waters for what audiences like and don’t like.

A real live human being–not an alien, not a robot, not a mermaid who recently switched out her fins for legs–decided that this was a good fucking idea. Even more than that, that human being convinced other real live human beings that this was a good fucking idea. And they didn’t even need to make an offer the other people couldn’t refuse!

Pro-tip: If you have an idea for a story about people of color, and it sounds like some shit straight outta The Onion or The Colbert Report, DON’T FUCKING DO IT!

 

Equinox – Cautiously Cautious… With A Side Of Caution

Hello everyone, and in this video I discuss my concerns about DC Comics’ newest character, the Canadian Cree teen superheroine, Equinox.

My main concern boils down to DC Comics’ past racial failures, so anything like this just makes me awfully damned cautious.

For added context, here is an article from the CBC talking about Equinox.

You need to watch “Princess Tutu” ASAP

It’s no secret that I’m a huge anime nerd. I admit this without shame. My taste tends to run toward feature-length anime and limited-run serial anime over How Do They Get People To Make All These Episodes serial anime (Inuyasha being one exception).

Alas, whether because of maturity (ha!) or because there is something with contemporary anime that just lacks a certain something, my anime tastes pretty much grind to a halt after the late 90s.

But then a friend told me that I needed to watch Princess Tutu.

Y’all. Y’all. Go see this shit.

For real. Watch Princess Tutu. Right now. Queue it on your Netflix, find it on YouTube, order it on Amazon. Do what you have to do to see it.

You can find a description online. Princess Tutu even has its own wiki (SPOILER ALERT). Don’t let the name and the weird bits fool you. The story is actually very mature and extremely complex, and they achieve this without gratuitous T&A or blood and gore (there is quite a bit of verbal, emotional, and physical abuse in a few episodes). And then there’s that not-so-small falctor of having a lot of layered female characters–none of whom are necessarily cis–who actually fucking interact with each other and not just to talk about men or be on some Mean Girls type shit.

And did I mention the themes of this shit? Princess Tutu is a story about stories, about the power storytelling has, and the ways in which using that power responsibly or irresponsibly can affect people. If you are a writer, an artist, or a storyteller of any kind, especially one who has any sense of integrity about your work, you need to watch this shit. Princess Tutu is also about the importance of emotions, about how  we need even the “bad” feelings like sorrow and disappointment to be whole.

You ever saw something so good that everything else compared to it just pisses you off? That’s Princess Tutu for me. Princess Tutu is why I give Once Upon A Time so much shit. You wanna talk about subverting and deconstructing fairy tales, Princess Tutu pirouettes around Once Upon A Time without breaking a sweat (I’ve often thought to myself that Princess Tutu is the story that Regina deserves, but she’s unfortunately stuck on ABC).

Y’all need to watch Princess Tutu.