A Rose City Comic-Con Primer

This weekend I’ll be attending Rose City Comic-Con down in Portland Oregon. As someone who came into his own nerddom late in life, this is exciting for me as I’ve never been to a comic convention before. With it comes all the staples of a comic convention, guests like movie stars, comic creators, pop culture icons, and more. However, what I’m really interested in is sitting down with some of the indie comic creators and presses and asking them some questions about the changing landscape of the industry. See, I’ll be attending RCCC as a press member of Sequential Planet. Therefore, I’ll be covering the event with an angle. How is technology changing the way people read, create, and distribute comics? Of course, anyone who reads comics knows that the internet makes buying a volume or compendium almost instantaneous, but how does this change the way presses promote their new work? How does it influence the creation process from a writer’s or artist’s perspective? What, if any, does the infinite canvas afford both comic book fans and creators? Perhaps I’ll find the answers to my questions, but perhaps not. What I’m interested in is engaging in the conversation of comics in the digital age and how the scene may change heading into the future.

Another, lighter, topic I’m interested in is the profound impact comics have on readers. I remember the first time I was flipping through the pages of a comic and it was just blowing my mind in terms of character development. The way characters just seem to naturally flow off the page, how they had real lives and complex motives and suddenly this spark came into my head and I was like, damn, these stories are serious fiction. And I mean serious in the sense that it touches on the big questions of human existence. Those questions, I’ll let you decide what those are for yourself. So, to fans and creators, I’m going to try and scrounge up some personal stories about empathy within comics, and I have an article to support the theory that comics create empathy in some pretty profound ways. It will be a fun piece, but one that hopefully is grounded in research. Of course, maybe I won’t get the ideas I think I will, and then the project will change. All I know, is I want to talk with fans and creators and understand what comics mean to them.

Follow my RCCC adventure on the Sequential Planet Instagram, starting tomorrow.

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Comic Review: Isola #9

Isola #9

Image Comics

Writer: Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl

Artist: Karl Kerschl and MSassyK

Isola returns for its #9 this month, but fans can’t help but feel a wee-bit detached from a comic with such a staggered release. While I usually wouldn’t comment on the release schedule of a comic, I do here, because this release schedule is certainly part of the experience. It changes the way I read this comic. Every two months I have to remind myself–oh, yeah, Isola comes out soon. Then I go through the previous issue to refresh my memory. The drawback is that my excitement and investment in the story has to be put on hold for two months after every issue. That’s sadly just part of the experience of this comic.

Read the whole review on Sequentialplanet.com

Comic Review: DIE #7

Die #7

Image Comics

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist: Stephanie Hans

Die, #7 picks up the other half of the story readers left behind after the dramatic conclusion of the first arc. Since that sequence of events all transpired way back in #6, some months ago, recall Chuck “the fool” and Isabelle, or Izzy, “the godbinder.” Both decide to stay in the land of DIE, though for different reasons. This #7 sheds light on these characters’ motives.

Die #7

Story:

Izzy can barely hold it together. She journals about the debt she owes to the gods. Sure, she might be a godbinder, but that comes with a price, one that will someday need to be repaid. The problem is, she just keeps asking more of the beings above, and when Chuck acts like–well, like Chuck–a complete asshole, Izzy calls in another favor from the Mistress of Woe. The consequences are unintended and perhaps catastrophic.

Read the full review here