Dept. H: You’re Smarter Than Me If You Realized That Looks Like “Depth”

I really need to cut back on my comics. Lately I’ve been scooping up series after series that have been recommended to me by the one guy at my shop, and it’s starting to get a little out of hand. There’s so much good stuff out there, though! From the feel-good roller derby shenanigans of Slam to the artsy and weird world of The Electric Sublime, comics continue to do cool things.

This recommendation spree began with an indie series called Dept. H, which was recommended to me based on my interest in unique art styles like Christian Ward’s in ODY-C. I wasn’t actually in the market for new books at the time—comics cost money—but the premise and art style were so intriguing that I decided to give it a look anyway. And now, at the risk of making some kind of terrible ocean/fish-based pun, I’m hooked.

Some vague spoilers for the series so far (through issue #9) below the jump.

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Web Crush Wednesdays: Superheroes in Full Color

As we Americans slog on toward Thanksgiving, it sometimes feels like there isn’t a whole lot to be thankful for this year, what with politics, celebrity deaths, and natural disasters coming one after the other in one big avalanche of awful. Even though Tumblr is often not great as well, I tend to use my malfunctioning blue hellscape of a dashboard as a handy mental escape, particularly this month. So today, I’d like to rec a site I’ve followed on Tumblr for a long time called Superheroes in Full Color.

webcrush picThough we often bemoan the lack of characters of color and works created by people of color in our mainstream media, the fact remains that the content we seek is likely out there somewhere, just sorely under-hyped. Our major franchises are things like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars, all universes created by white people and all of which feature few, if any, characters of color. So if you’re the type of person who wants to read a more diverse, inclusive story, where should you start looking for this type of content? Today’s web crush is going to be a handy resource for you.

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Dom Reads: Hyper Force Neo

Dear readers, I cannot stress the importance of conventions enough, as I still have comics from New York Comic Con to talk about! The reason these experiences mean so much to me is that you can simply walk around with the hope that something catches your eye, and Hyper Force Neo definitely fits that bill. The title features a Black main character, a Black author, Jarrett Williams, and an aesthetic that was totally my style (think Steven Universe meets Scott Pilgrim), so I had to give it a shot.

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Dom Reads: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe

I’ve been a fan of the Marvel movies for some time now; they’re usually, at worst, a great visual spectacle. But for me, this never really translated into reading the comics. Superhero comics don’t exactly jump out at me visually, and even when socially inclusive, they typically have borderline impenetrable lore. So when I heard there was a standalone graphic novel for Squirrel Girl, I knew I had to pick it up: even though my knowledge of the character is very limited, I did know she is one of the funnier heroes and has a far above average success rate at defeating the universe’s villains. I had been interested in Squirrel Girl for a while, but wasn’t sure where a good jumping on point would be. Additionally, who wouldn’t want to see one character (other than Thanos) beat up the whole Marvel Universe? I was not let down.

Minor/early story spoilers for The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe ahead.

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Rebirth, Rucka, and Redemption: Why You Should Be Reading the New Wonder Woman

For better or worse (mostly for better, from what I can tell), DC has finally laid the grim, poorly structured, and laughably undiverse New 52 to rest, and has started over under the header Rebirth. This sort of reboot to continuity is often a boon for readers looking for a convenient jumping on point, and Rebirth was no exception for me. When I heard that Wonder Woman would be starting over at #1, and more, that Greg Rucka, author of the iconic modern Batwoman story Batwoman: Elegy, would be writing her, I was super hyped. Wonder Woman has suffered any number of woes during the New 52, not least of all a writer/artist duo who didn’t seem to understand that feminism was not a dirty word.

I read the first issue of Wonder Woman Rebirth when it was released in June, before I got a new brickspace job and moved to a different state. Once I finally got settled, priority number one was catching up on the comics I missed during the whole process, and the first point of order of that mission was to acquire the Wonder Women I’d missed in the interim.

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#RelationshipGoals? Addressing Fictional Relationships that Should in No Way Be Goals

Harley&JokerSince Suicide Squad came out, I have seen a lot of pictures of Joker and Harley or just blog posts talking about them and occasionally I will see #RelationshipGoals on the posts. People are saying that they want a Joker to their Harley, and I’m not going to lie, that worries me a little bit. I don’t care what people ship necessarily or what they write fanfic about, but it very much worries me when fans look at a canonically clearly abusive relationship and claim that they want a relationship like that. These relationships almost always involve men with female victims, which makes it very disturbing to me as a woman that so many people view such relationships as romantic. It makes me worry for people’s safety and reminds me how much we need feminism.

Trigger warning for abusive behavior and relationships below the jump.

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Web Crush Wednesdays: A Tale of Two Rulers

Ladies in video games have come a long way from Pauline getting manhandled by Donkey Kong in his self-titled arcade game. Yet, still, the trope of the damseled woman is one of the staples of video games, and her love at the end of a heroic rescue is the ultimate reward for the hero du jour. One of the series that suffers a lot from this is the Zelda franchise. It’s true that Link and Zelda don’t always have an implied romantic relationship, or that Zelda just sits there waiting for Link to come and beat Ganon in any of his incarnations. However, the minds behind Zelda seem adamant against creating a game that gives Zelda a more active role—or even makes her the protagonist—and thus she inevitably becomes a victim in each and every game.

As the wielder of the Triforce of Wisdom, Zelda is intelligent and cunning, so it really is a shame that players only get to see the tip of what this really entails, even though they do get to see how Link’s Courage and Ganon’s Power work. Today’s webcomic Web Crush finally gives Zelda the spotlight she deserves, and in, perhaps, one of the most unlikely of ways.

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