In Brightest Day: Addiction in Geek Media

Many people do not understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. It is often mistakenly assumed that drug abusers lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop using drugs simply by choosing to change their behavior. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting takes more than good intentions or a strong will. In fact, because drugs change the brain in ways that foster compulsive drug abuse, quitting is difficult, even for those who are ready to do so.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (x)

demon_in_a_bottleFrom Tony Stark’s alcoholism to Sherlock Holmes’s 7% solution, geek media is rife with portrayals of addiction and substance abuse. As someone who has watched close friends and family members struggle with real addiction, I have a very personal stake in these fictional portrayals. It means a lot to me if a show that includes an addict among its characters takes the time to treat addiction as the complex problem it is. And because of this, I am tremendously turned off by shows that act like an addiction is something that can easily be gotten rid of.

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Saika Reads Sex Criminals and You Should Too

sc12-630x339Ah, Thanksgiving: a time where we reflect on the many things we’re grateful for. This year, I’m giving thanks for Sex Criminals. No, wait—don’t go. Sex Criminals is a relatively new comic out from Image Comics, written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky. It follows Suzie, a young woman trying to get the money to save her library. Oh, and also when she orgasms, time stops. When she hooks up with a guy who has the same power, they decide to turn to crime as an—ah—alternative method to raise the money Suzie needs.

tumblr_mqx7zu5tqY1qj97xmo4_1280I originally didn’t plan to pick up this comic, fallaciously thinking to myself that I didn’t need to buy everything Matt Fraction writes. But pretty much every source I trust for comic reviews was singing its praises, and so I bowed to the court of public opinion and picked up #1 while I was at New York Comic Con. And boy, am I glad I did. This comic is a sexy laugh riot and it’s only getting better as new issues come out.

Fair warning: some of the panels I’ve included may be a little not safe for work, or, well, your family/Thanksgiving company.

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So You Want to Read Comic Books 2.0: Hawkeye

I’ve been teetering on the edge of picking up a current comic book series for a while.  I mean, I have Sandman, and Watchmen, and a couple Marvel Essentials I picked up at Comic Con, and I’ve read the first two Runaways, but I didn’t really feel like I had properly gotten my feet wet because I hadn’t read anything with a big-name superhero(ine) in it.

I really wanted to pick up an ongoing series, but I wasn’t sure what to read. I would go into my local comic book store and awkwardly stare at the new release shelves and then buy a collection or an Adventure Time comic instead of just… asking for help.

And then I heard really great reviews of both the current Hawkeye and Captain Marvel books on Tumblr, over and over again, and I thought, “self, this is it. We are going to get these books while they’re in print and read them and open a new path in my road to ultimate geekdom.” So I grabbed my debit card, abducted my roommate to be moral support, and marched into the comic store ready to go. I talked to the guy at the counter! He was very helpful and nice! I was saddened to learn that Hawkeye #1 was out of stock and probably not getting another print run, and that Captain Marvel #1 was similarly out of stock but might be in next week. Undaunted, I put my name on a list, bought Hawkeye #2 and #3, and Captain Marvel #2-5, and marched home with my spoils.

So the friend of anyone who wants to start a series like Hawkeye but is foiled by an out of print #1 is Comixology.  This website lets you buy a digital copy of the book you want, downloadable to several mobile devices or readable on the website. They have a really cool guided reading setup that guides you through each page panel by panel rather than making you squint at the entire page on your computer screen. This is where I found Hawkeye #1. And now I get to the actual review part of this post.

The first page of Hawkeye #1 states:

Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, became the greatest sharpshooter known to man.

He then joined the Avengers.

This is what he does when he’s not being an Avenger.

That”s all you need to know.

This was terrifically reassuring to me as a new reader. I know what a Clint Barton is. I know what a sharpshooter is. I know what an Avenger is. That was all I needed to know to understand this comic. And before I say anything else, let me say this: Go buy it right now.

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