Comic Natter – my current top 5 side characters

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Peanut digs the Rat Queens too

Short and painless: I have been obsessing over some comics lately. Mostly Image comics. My pull list isn’t very long as I am not reading any superhero comics, I guess because I would have a lot of catching up to do. I did sign up for Marvel Unlimited this month, which I would describe as Netflix for comic-book lovers and has a whole back catalogue of issues . The thing is, I don’t have an iPad (which is what this really needs to be used on) and although my phone is compatible with their app, well, have you ever tried reading a comic on your phone? Let me tell you this, It’s not a good experience.

Anyway, I’ve invested in some new comic books – the real life paper variety and I would urge you to do the same, because these books rock. Rather than writing reviews about each comic (which I haven’t the time to do right now), I thought I would make a list of the cutest side characters that I spotted in recent comic publications. Let’s face it: Yes, we all like our protagonist being complex and not a walking cliché, but it’s also a plus if the side characters are a little zany and not just there to drive the plot forward. Perhaps I am stretching the word ‘side character’ here, but they are still pretty damn cute. So let’s take a closer look…

 

 

 The Horned One – A Bantha Crossbread

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From the pages of Rat Queens by Wiebe/Upchurch


Don’t you wish you could meet this little fella? – I am probably stretching it more than a bit when saying that he is a side character, as he only makes this one appearance within the first tradeback of Rat Queens. I wonder what his name is and if he can tickle you with his split tongue? Are his horns hard or soft? And do you see this little neat bend at the tip of the tale? Does he have magic powers? Is he a crossbread with a Bantha? But the most important question I have: where the hell can I buy one?!

 

It’s an 80s throwback – The Black Cat Clock

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From the pages of Shutter by Keatings/Del Duca

Back in the 80s, Micky Mouse telephones and black cat clocks that waggled their tales were hip. Unfortunately, my parents never bothered to buy me either of these. Maybe that explains why I really like the cat character in Shutter. First time I read about this comic, it was described as an Indiana Jones for the 21st century. Of course I needed to get this. I like that it has a female hero, but also that the pages are full of weird characters: Lions dressed á la Al Capone, an ox in a business suit and a corrupt platypus, to name but a few. And of course there is this cat clock that not only talks but even bakes! If that is what the future holds for us, the world won’t be a bad place.

 

The Walrus and The Seal Pup

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From the pages of Saga by Vaughan/Staples

 Once you have picked up the Saga bug, it will never leave you.  The story itself isn’t new: two soldiers from enemy tribes fall in love and have a kid. Now all the universe is searching for them, ready to kill. So far so non-exciting, what makes Saga special is its characters; they are splendiferous and that’s why you will invest in the story. You just feel the need to find out more and more. Plus, you are always in for a treat thanks to the fantastic art of Fiona Staples. I mean look at it, there’s a plump seal pup in yellow rain trousers walking a walrus on a leash! This could be a line from Alice In Wonderland or The Wizard Of Oz, if they were Science Fiction novels.

 

Lucky aka Pizza Dog

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From the page of Hawkeye by Fraction/Aja

 I always seem to jump on the bandwagon pretty late. I only just recently picked up Hawkeye. When Clint Barton doesn’t hang out with the Avengers, he deals with petty crime and  other catastrophes. He meets Lucky in issue #1. After being hit by a car, Lucky was rescued by this Hawkguy. Needless to say that the dog will stay with him. Main characteristics of the dog: after accident he becomes blind in one eye and develops a love for Pizza.  #11 of HawkeyePizza Is My Business is told from Lucky’s point of view  and Aja really hits the ball home in coming up with unconventional ways of telling Pizza Dog’s story to give the reader a better understanding of a dog’s world. Take a look here to see what I mean, plus read the rave review: klick.

 

Lying Cat

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From the page of Saga by Vaughan/Staples

I will spare you my ongoing jabbering about Saga as best as I can, but I need to share my excitement for Lying Cat. She belongs to The Will, a bounty hunter, and can tell if people are lying. She’s also a battle cat and like every great cat, she is a comfort whenever you feel miserable. Her emotions are congenially expressed through the drawings of Mrs. Staples. Loving Lying Cat makes you even consider getting a naked cat yourself! In the current strand of the Saga story, the cat doesn’t play any role and I am desperately waiting for her reappearance.  I miss her. All hail to Lying Cat!

Let me know in the comments down below if you have spotted any exciting creatures!

The eye catcher #1

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I failed miserably again: I didn’t want to buy any new books until next pay day. But I couldn’t resist some comics that people have been talking about, so I ordered myself two tradebacks, one of it being Rat Queens. I thought I share this fun little panel with you. It’s in the end of the tradeback when the Queens are having a party and the socially awkward Dee enjoys her time reading a book instead of mingling with others. Book reading > flirting. Who cannot relate to this?

If you fancy a high body count or just want some action packed story line with female heroines kicking ass and on top of all this beautiful illustration, Rat Queens is your comic.

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ISBN 978-1607069454, Prize £7.50, Publisher Image Comics

 

 

Bookshop plunder – Haul #1 in June

 

The Haul #1

 

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  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
  • The Invention Of The Jewish people by Shlomo Sand
  • The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
  • Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Intuition Pumps And Other Tools For Thinking by Daniel Dennett
  • Orientalism by Edward Said
  • Julius Caesar by W. Shakespeare
  • Origami All You Need To Know by Ashley Wood
  • Under The Banner Of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

Let’s start at the top of the pile.  I may never read half of them but the feeling that I could do makes me a happier person.

This week the longlist for next year’s Booker Prize was announced.  Shame on me, I hadn’t read a single title from it (I’m still waiting for the publication of the new David Mitchell and Ali Smith). In an attempt to change this, I read the first few pages of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler and as you can see, I must have enjoyed it. I am now 100 pages in and all I want to do is – finish it. Expect a review of it at a later date. So far I would say I am loving it.

Perhaps one of the most controversial books in this pile: The Invention Of The Jewish People by Shlomo Sand. I guess, I am curious what all the fuss is about.

Right under it we find Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth. – You probably know that I work in a bookshop, right? And what do we do all day in a bookshop? We certainly don’t read books – there’s no time, but on our breaks we often talk about them. This book was recommended by a colleague of mine. We were talking about beauty ideals and I had confessed that for years I hated my eyebrows. Compared to other people’s, mine seemed odd; never growing in a beautiful curve but always with a tendency to grow together. Can you imagine what a life changing event it was when I found out that those other girls’ brows were plucked and not natural?  Anyway, my colleague and I went on debating feminism (and yes, I call myself a feminist but unfortunately I still seem to care about my eyebrows and the shape they come in).  To cut a long story short, my colleague said I would have to read this book and it would change everything.  Big promises here, I hope it delivers.

The next one is a classic – Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The book is from  Ealing Oxfam and has a beautiful 70’s porn-style cover. But it will do. I read The great Gatsby two years ago and was impressed by the lyricalness of the prose. It’s time to gain a similar reading pleasure, I hope this can deliver…

Don’t ask me how Intuition Pumps And Other Tools For Thinking written by Dennett ended up in this pile. It was free, so I took it.

Orientalism is one of those texts you hear about because you study. Or studied. With all the islamophobic tendencies in society today, it’s probably a good thing to arm yourself with some counter arguments. Purchased. I had a photocopied version of this back in Germany but never read it.

So I went to the Globe today to see Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar . Preparation is key.

Another free book – this time about Origami. I like Origami although I am far from being good at it. It always was my dream to sit in a boring lecture and fold the most complicated paper models. Never happened before, but now it might.

This is that strange case where someone mentions a book to you and you think “perhaps” and then the book suddenly appears everywhere. At one point you will give in and accept fate – you have to buy it. Happened with Krakauer’s book Under the banner of heaven. I really liked Into Thin Air, fingers crossed this will be equally as good.

 

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This week I also bought the new issues of Saga and Revival. I love Saga, I started by buying the tradebacks but I am so intrigued with the story that I cannot wait for the next trade to come out. It is that good! When it comes to Revival I am a little bit behind, I still need to catch up with the story line and #17 & #18 are missing.