Monday, November 16, 2015

[IGH] Book Review: Trashed

By Reboot

Hey again! Hope you've all been well.  I recently read Trashed by John "Derf" Backderf to review for you all. Already being a big fan of another graphic novel of his, My Friend Dahmer, this was not much of a chore for me to read. And I don't think it will be for you either.

If you haven't already read My Friend Dahmer, I suggest you stop reading this review right now, go get yourself a copy, read it, then come back to this. It is easily one of the most fascinating autobiographical graphic novels out there. If you are unfamiliar, it's about how Derf was friends with Jeffrey Dahmer (yes, THAT Jeffrey Dahmer) in high school and examines Dahmer from his own perspective. This is a unique blend of slice of life meets page turning suspense just in the knowledge of knowing what will eventually happen.

is a different kind of story. It has elements of My Friend Dahmer in that there is some basis on Derf's personal experiences as a garbage man. Yes, Derf was briefly a garbage man in his younger years from 1979-1980. Where the two novels differ is that in Trashed all of the characters and events are fictionalized (though the main character does go by J.B.). They are certainly based on those experiences from years ago, but we don't know exactly to what extent the events in this book happened.

Basically, this is a story about a young man, J.B., frustrated with college who drops out and has to find work. This results in pressure from his parents to get a job asap, which lands him working sanitation for the town. We are then introduced to all sorts of characters working sanitation as well as different townspeople, which immerses you into a gritty, messy, lived-in world.

Throughout the story, facts about how much garbage we create in the country and how we dispose of it are woven in. More often than not, these facts and figures are woven into the story seamlessly. However there are points, particularly towards the end for me, where the facts and figures were coming up too often and interrupt the flow of the story. Kind of like watching a movie for the first time with a friend of yours that is absolutely obsessed with it and keeps pausing said movie to tell you more facts about it. Though I love the enthusiasm, and it's very clear that this is something passionate to Derf, there were perhaps a few moments throughout the story where it could have been smoother.

Derf's artwork is top notch here. Honestly, this book is worth the purchase just to have that much Derf art available for you to look at. His gritty, often disgusting depictions of garbage pick up are beautifully rendered on the pages. And I love the way Derf captures subtle annoyances and grumbles in characters' faces. If I had any complaint, it's that some of the imagery gets a bit repetitive, with similar panels of garbage bags ripping throughout the book. Perhaps it could have been trimmed down a little bit, but at the same time I imagine the repetition was viewed as being important for the story.  It makes the reader understand how often these things happen to garbage men, and I wouldn't wanna discourage Derf from including as much artwork of his in the book as possible.

All in all, I recommend Trashed to anyone that enjoys slice of life style comics. If you're already a fan of Derf, this is a must get. 

Trashed is available in stores now.

Like what you just read? Let us know in the comments below and keep up to date by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Fuck, I’m a Brony

Look, I didn’t mean for it to happen. It just did. I had a lot of free time over the summer, so I figured I’d try a new show. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic seemed like a good ideaIt's a popular show with a huge fanbase, plus my niece has been watching it, and it's nice to have more things to talk about with her. 

I grew up with the original MLP (yes, I am completely dating myself), and I loved it. I had so many ponies and the stable. It was one of the few buildings I ever own (my brother got Castle Grayskull and Snake Mountain, I got Care-A-Lot and the MLP stable. Not sure if that was really fair, but that’s a different story), and to this day, giving them up is one of my biggest toy related regrets. I went into MLP: FIM skeptical as to whether or not it would live up to my expectations. Surprise, surprise, it did. Here are my thoughts on the show. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Vixen and Its Diversity Problem

Vixen, Vixen, Vixen. I want to like you. I do. I just binged all six of your episodes. You’re a good show. The animation is nice. The actors are good. The story is good. BUT there is one big fricking problem – You don’t seem understand that there is more than one shade of brown. 

Okay, that’s unfair, maybe you know there are two or three, but come on! Mari kept changing tones, sometimes due to lighting, sometimes not. All of the African characters were pretty much the same light shade as both Mari and Professor Macalester. You showed two characters with darker tones, a cop and an assailant. This makes no sense to me. Look at your cast! They all have different skin tones. Why is that diversity not represented in your animation?

Also, have you been to Detroit? It’s consistently ranked in the top ten, usually the top five, of cities with the highest percentage of African Americans. So why did I see mostly white people?

And don’t get me started on Cisco? I liked how you handled Barry and Oliver. You captured their essences. And I liked the vibe of Cisco, but Carlos Valdes has a different skin tone than Grant Gustin and Stephen Amell. All you had to do was change his coloring a little bit, and he would have been perfect. If my Microsoft Word can give me customized shades, I think whatever animation programs you are using can do the same. It’s lazy. And this show is too good for to be screwed up by laziness.

Get it together, CW Seed. Vixen has a lot of potential. I want it to succeed, but I also want respectable representation of who these characters are and the environments they live in. You can do better. Do not fail this show.

Like what you just read? Let us know in the comments below and keep up to date by following us on TwitterFacebook and Tumblr!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Review: Snowden by Ted Rall

By Reboot

Today I'm reviewing the new graphic novel from Seven Stories PressSnowden, by Ted Rall. As you may suspect (or hey, maybe not. It has been a while.), this is about THAT Snowden. Edward Snowden. Before we go into this graphic novel specifically, I'd like to take a little time to tell you about who Ted Rall is.

For those of you who don't know, Ted Rall is an award winning syndicated political cartoonist who has been making contributions in that field for decades. However, his career is not without controversy. Over the years he's angered people with more than a couple of his cartoons. He was both incredibly critical of the American public for re-electing George W. Bush in 2004 and also called for President Obama's resignation. And in the field of comics specifically, he made remarks about Art Spiegelman that caused Ted Rall a great deal of grief shortly after. Even as recently as this past July, he caused controversy when a story he's shared in regards to an altercation with the LAPD back in 2001 was allegedly misrepresented, leading to him being dropped by the Los Angeles Times.

Now that you have some background on Ted Rall, let's dive into Snowden. The approach of this book is fairly 101. It goes over much of the basics of the story in an easy to follow, mostly linear narrative. In this narrative, we're usually given a series of facts, followed by Ted Rall's analysis of the data. Some of the analysis makes perfect sense and shows Ted Rall's experience as a seasoned political observer. 

A few of his observations, unfortunately in this review, really made me scratch my head. Ted Rall discusses how Edward Snowden was in the Boy Scouts and harps on it to the point of near obsession for a time, and tries to draw some sort of connection between what he was taught as a Boy Scout and how that may have some how directly led to what he has done. Moments like that sucked me out of the book and made me question the integrity of the piece. That's not the kind of reaction you want for your biographical graphic novel.

The art throughout the book is a mixture of both his own art, photographs, and screen captions. Ted Rall's style is fits well with a syndicated newspaper strip. It's rough, most of the characters drawn look similar, and lacks expressiveness.  Nearly every character has the same facial expression, but the art is just a tool to tell his story. Like how someone would drive a beat up used car with the idea of it is just meant to get you from point A to point B.

If you have a vague interest in politics, and have heard of Edward Snowden, but don't really know much about him, Snowden is a good book for you and I would recommend it. If you're a casual bio/autobio graphic novel reader with an interest in politics, I'd also suggest that you give it a peek. But if you are more into high art/experimental art in graphic novels, or are looking for deep cuts into Edward Snowden's life, you're not going to find it here.

Snowden is available in the US on August 25th.

Like what you just read? Let us know in the comments below and keep up to date by following us on TwitterFacebook and Tumblr!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - Comic - Con Trailer

The new Dawn of Justice trailer has arrived, and I'll admit I'm now a little more intrigued by it. I've been fairly ambivalent to the whole thing because of the usual reasons, not a Snyder fan, hated Wonder Woman's outfit, and didn't care for Man of Steel, etc. etc., but this trailer makes me think there might be more to the movie than it just being a piece of mindless action. Take a look and tell us what you think. Does this make you change your mind? And is it just me or does Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor seem a little more like the Riddler than Lex?

Like what you just read? Let us know in the comments below and keep up to date by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Black Widow Flash Mob #WEWANTWIDOW

Today, hundreds of cosplayers and internet supporters around the globe are taking a stand about the inequality of female super heroines in the media and on the shelves, especially for the First Lady of the MCU. We want to see Black Widow given the same attention as her male counterparts. She deserves it. We deserve it. Today, we want our message heard loud and clear ‪#‎WeWantWidow‬

Spearheaded by Kristin Rielly, mob captains from all over have been covertly coordinating these flash mobs to bring awareness in a positive and fun way. 

How you can help: You can find all the deets about this multi-city flash mob movement at you're unable to get to one of these mobs, please spread the word online, using the hashtag #WEWANTWIDOW, change your profile/cover pic to featuring Black Widow or get dressed up at home and post pictures. Every little bit helps. 

Below is the press release:


WHAT   We have coordinated a massive multi-city flash mob for June 6th 2015, where hundreds of cosplayers will be dressed as Black Widow to send a POSITIVE message that this is a character we WANT to see more of. We want to see her star in her own movie, we want to see her on apparel, and she totally deserves her own action figure! 

Each city flash mob has a secret location where Natashas will appear, create buzz, get their images online, and trend our message #WEWANTWIDOW.

In collaboration with our cosplayers, we have hundreds of online supporters that will be simultaneously changing their profiles to a Black Widow image while sharing our flash mob photos across every social media site. 

When:    Saturday, June 6, 2015 beginning at 12:00 p.m. local time 

Where:   From Seattle to Boston, and Canada to Sydney

WHO:   We have hundreds of cosplayers and online supporters already signed up for this massive event. Our “City Captains” are the ladies organizing this important event in their hometown: Kristin Rielly (Founder & Event Coordinator), Jay Justice (Event Coordinator, Philly), Juli Mayers (Boston), Autumn Wheelock (NYC), Andrea Levine (NYC), Jennifer K. Stuller (Seattle), Theresa Marie Salvador (Tampa), Jennifer Williams (Las Vegas), Belle Bredehoft (D.C.), Tanya Wheelock (Orlando), Sarah Boutcher(Ottawa), Priscilla Crocker (Minneapolis), Kelly Kirstein (Detroit), Keisha Howard (Chicago), Courtney Cuellar (San Diego), John Marcotte (Sacramento), Stephanie Rector (Sacramento) Catherine Kyle (Boise), and Variable (Sydney).

*In memory of Terrance Kelly, father of our honorary City Captain Bronwyn Kelly*

Monday, May 4, 2015

May the Fourth Be With You!!

Happy May the Fourth!  Take today to celebrate all the awesome that is Star Wars!  Embrace the glory of the Force!  Or at the very least, wear a Star Wars t-shirt.

As a little May the Fourth gifty, check out Hasbro's time lapse video of fans building Cloud City! That's right, at Star Wars Celebration, Frank D’iorio’s Diorama Workshop built a massive Cloud City diorama at the Hasbro booth! They built it over four days, with the help of approximately 1500 fans who made custom pieces! The diorama is 640 square feet and consists of over 400 setpieces, including approximately 800 figures and toys by Hasbro and Kenner.


Like what you just read? Let us know in the comments below and keep up to date by following us on TwitterFacebook and Tumblr!