Category: Trade Reviews

march cover

I consider myself to be an exceedingly lucky person. I have a loving family and good friends. I’ve never felt the threat of poverty. I was born in a time and place where even with tan skin and unusual features I have rarely felt endangered or even outcast. But, for the moment, I want to talk about one small good fortune from my childhood.

When I was young I took a trip to Washington DC. I was there to visit my uncle, who took us around and showed us some of the sights. My uncle had worked with a number of notable people in Washington and, on a trip to the capital building, we had the good fortune to have one of them come out and say hello.

That man was Congressman John Lewis.

He was obviously busy, but he took a little time to show us around and, finding ourselves before a large window, he lifted me up and showed me the national mall, where he had spoken some thirty years earlier, preceding Reverend Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

“That was an historic day,” he told me in his distinct way of talking.

I was a small child, without any full conception of the true significance of what was happening, but he lifted me up and showed me where it was that the history happened.

Over fifteen years later, Congressman Lewis is doing it again on a far grander scale, with the release of a graphic novel based on his life and experience. Continue reading


Godzilla The Half Century War

To some he’s a punch line, Barney the dinosaur by another name. To others, he’s a cherished symbol of spectacle on a budget. But to me, and countless others, he’ll always be far more. Godzilla, that tortured titan of the nuclear age, started as a serious and deeply unsettling reaction to the fears of a nation that sees god in all things. They say that he’s immortal; he shrugs off missiles, gas, and sixty years in a changing world. Godzilla has endured because he is a symbol, and a changing one, for his nation and the world. With this in mind, and a clear love of the character in his heart, James Stokoe has given Godzilla another playground. And, lucky us, we get to watch – and without hazmat suits, no less!

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Bound and Gagged

THE DEFENDANT: The Amazing Spider-man, Vol. 2: Revelations, J. Michael Straczynski, artwork by John Romita Jr. and Scott Hanna, Marvel Comics

THE VERDICT: This trade contains the infamous “The Amazing Spider-man #36”, which dealt directly with the events of 9/11 within the Marvel Universe. This garnered a great deal of attention, praise, and controversy. In addition, the trade itself was challenged at one school for reasons unrelated to the 9/11 issue.

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Remember that episode of Justice League where Green Lantern is on trial? It’s like that, but with drugs!

Bound and Gagged

As stated in my previous posts, I thought we’d mix it up this week by reviewing something that had to be approved rather than something that was banned. Most books are innocent until proven guilty, however the need for literary content to gain approval before being circulated is far from an abstract concept. Throughout history and under many governments the world over, written works have required approval for various reasons. For an interesting glimpse into this legacy, be it the Catholic Church censoring books or the Nazis burning them, I recommend Geraldine Brooks’s People of the Book.

THE DEFENDANT: “Snowbirds Don’t Fly” and “They Say It’ll Kill Me…But They Won’t Say When”, written by Denny O’Neil, artwork by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano, DC Comics

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Welcome to my first official comic review. I thought I’d start with a personal favorite of mine, Heart of Hush by Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen. I’m going to write this review in two parts, one spoiler-free section for those of you thinking of picking up the book and a second, more in-depth look at it for those who have already read it or want to know a bit more before you make a decision. I’ve never tried this format before and I foresee the possibility that it might lead to some light redundancy as I backtrack to points that deserve more detail, but I think it’s worth a shot. Anyway, without further ado… Continue reading