Comics Stuff What I Wrote in 2015

Hiya! I wrote a load of things across 2015 about comics, almost solely for Comic Book Resources and ComicsAlliance. Mostly I’m an interviewer, and this year I got to speak to everyone from Garth Ennis, Sonny Liew and Matt Kindt to Gail Simone, Peter Milligan and Warren Ellis; Jen Van Meter and David Walker to Simone Bianchi and Jeff Stokely. I also did countless Kickstarter profile pieces with a load of new, upcoming, established and establishing comics talent, and a weekly linkblog-type piece called Weekender which focuses only on independent and creator-owned works. Simple, solid stuff, I hope.

I also put out a few essays and things, and wanted to go through some of them here. ComicsAlliance set up a 300-word essay format called Thumbnail, for starters, and I did a handful of those across the year. Following the Bulletproof Coffin team cutting up an issue of Fantastic Four from the classic days, I wrote about how comics should be a little more disposable. They get wrapped up and boarded and put away and never read again, and if more comics made themselves slightly more destructible it could do a lot to make them more memorable in whole. Here’s a piece on the covers for The Wicked and The Divine, which are all shown in stark simple portrait, and became somewhat memeworthy across the year as a result.

It’s easier for me to write about Marvel and DC Comics, I find, because this year Image weren’t particularly inspiring. Most of their comics felt like “the last days of humanity… in space!” and within that mass of dystopian sci-fi nothing stood out. Much more interesting were projects like Silk over at Marvel, which brought us Stacey Lee’s art style and offered a slightly different kilter on the typical Spider-Man stylings. Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy were stated to be a couple by their creative teams on Twitter, so I took a look at how the pair have changed and evolved over the years, and the ways in which various suggestions and innuendos took root (pun!) and grew into something huge.

Most of my pieces were focused on artwork over writing, like this one which writes about the ‘sameface’ problem which many female characters are affected by. You take an artist like Terry Dodson or Chris Bachalo, and literally the only thing distinguishing their women is the hairstyles. It means hair is much more important in comics than an initial thought would suggest! An artist who has never fallen to that fault is Phil Jimenez, and this article looks at his ‘more is more’ philosophy.

At CBR I mainly do interviews for Valiant, and bits and unexpected interviews with other folk. But beyond those, there was also this profile on Action Lab, which was somewhat delayed but featured contributions from most everybody who works at the publisher. I liked that this pitch got approved, and actually ran – it’s not something everyone does, I think? I also had a roundtable on Wonder Woman as a character, which I think was pretty fascinating – you’ve got people like Gilbert Hernandez, Amy Mebberson, Afua Richardson, Ollie Masters, Marguerite Sauvage and so many others all pitching their considerations on her. It’d be nice to have the time and ability to do more pieces like that one.

Other longer pieces came irregularly, like this one on Preacher. ComicsAlliance did a ‘villain’s month’ a few months back, and so I wrote about the secret villain of that book. You think the series is going in one direction, but in fact it has a huge surprise held behind its back throughout the first half of the run. I got back into wrestling this year too, surprisingly, thanks to the female wrestlers over at NXT – and they got me to write a piece comparing the two forms of entertainment to one another. Possibly my favourite piece to write of 2015 was this one, though, a look from Kitty Pryde to Kamala Khan. It tracks through a series of young female characters in superhero comics, and how they have grown, developed, evolved over time.

 

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