Brainiac On Banjo 078: Self-Image For Fun & Profit

Brainiac On Banjo 078: Self-Image For Fun & Profit

Thank heaven for little girls / For little girls get / Bigger every day / Thank heaven for little girls / They grow up in / The most delightful way • Thank Heaven For Little Girls, written by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe for the musical Gigi, 1958.

I was a wee child, a kitchen table conversation happened that, I gather, was not meant to include me. My sister, seven years my senior, was talking about some sort of a problem with body tenderness. My mother suggested perhaps she should use a training bra.

I was confused. I knew what a bra was, but I failed to understand the “training” part. As far as I could tell, breasts kinda grew all on their own and there was no need for coaching. I probably asked a lot of dumb questions, because, well, that’s what I do. I got a lot of blank stares. Hey, it was the mid-1950s; adults didn’t even admit to having bowel movements back then.

As I grew into my role as a hyper-involved pop culture historian, I came across various articles and resources that explained to me that “training bras” were sold to girls so that they might grow into the self-image of womanhood while they were awaiting the more physical image of womanhood. Like it or not, they were gonna become consumers and that was what the “training” part was all about.

According to JSTOR Daily, the period between 1921 and 1930 (when the middle class had a few bucks) clothing manufacturers started pushing age-and-gender specific clothing. In order to sell their phony-baloney products, they had to convince the customers that they really needed to buy that which they never knew they needed. That’s capitalism for you: we’ll talk you into overpaying for something you don’t need, and then sell you something else when you figure out you’ve been had. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo 078: Self-Image For Fun & Profit”

Everything We Read This Week – 3/18/20

Everything We Read This Week – 3/18/20

Welcome back to Everything We Read This Week. This is the place that we make our weekly trip through this week’s pull-list. It features mostly spoiler-free brief analysis and commentary of each book.

This week we read a bunch great comics.  We encourage you to go out (or order in) and find the comics you like, and remember, Read More Comics!!

We reviewed books from DC Comics, Boom! Studios, AfterShock Comics, and Image Comics this week. As always, we hope you might find what we say interesting enough to try some of these comics. Don’t forget we welcome comments on these and any other comics that you read. Feel free to leave a comment and get the conversation moving.

Also, Don’t forget to check our hotlist of new books debuting this month over here.  There are a couple on this list.

And here are the books we read in alphabetical order:

Continue reading “Everything We Read This Week – 3/18/20”

New Number Ones For the Week of 3/18/20

New Number Ones For the Week of 3/18/20

Hey There Folks!! This column is designed to bring you reviews of new comic book series that came out this week. We will try to focus on independent and original series for the most part. This week we have four series for you. They are from AfterShock Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and Marvel Comics.

You will usually find the books that we review in this space on our month list of New Number Ones. You might want to check over there to see what you can expect for the rest of the month.

This week we will bring you our thoughts on four books: Artemis & The Assassin #1, Spider-Woman #1, Starship Down #1, and X-Ray Robot #1 

Check out the reviews below in alphabetical order:

Continue reading “New Number Ones For the Week of 3/18/20”

Weird Scenes #081: Visions, Softly Creeping

Weird Scenes #081: Visions, Softly Creeping

DEAD COLLECTOR (Eric Idle): Bring out your dead! / CUSTOMER (John Cleese): Here’s one. / DEAD COLLECTOR: Nine pence. / DEAD PERSON (John Young): I’m not dead! DEAD COLLECTOR: What? / CUSTOMER: Nothing. Here’s your nine pence. / DEAD PERSON: I’m not dead! / DEAD COLLECTOR: ‘Ere. He says he’s not dead! / CUSTOMER: Yes, he is. / DEAD PERSON: I’m not! / DEAD COLLECTOR: He isn’t? / CUSTOMER: Well, he will be soon. He’s very ill. / DEAD PERSON: I’m getting better! / CUSTOMER: No, you’re not. You’ll be stone dead in a moment. • Monty Python and The Holy Grail, 1975, written by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Sir Thomas Malory

What… too soon?

I really did not want to write about The Plague. Or Donald Trump, a.k.a. The Other Plague. I wrestled with this while reading texts from my younger friends about waiting outside of Costco for 45 minutes only to be stuck in a 60-minute check-out line behind a plethora of people buying their daily limit of rolled corpses of dead trees. Yeah, no disease spread there, right?

There’s little we can do about stopping The Plague itself, and there’s nothing we can do about The Other Plague until November… assuming The Other Plague grows balls big enough to try to call off the election. My latter comment does not fit the textbook definition of paranoia.

There are other things going on. For example, Tulsi Gabbard just quit the Democratic Party presidential race. I’ll pause while you go Wiki her. Ah, Tulsi, we hardly knew ye. Then again, given her exceptional loathing of the LGBTQ community, we hardly want to. She tossed her massive support – she won two delegates in American Samoa – to Joe Biden, who responded: “Thank you. And you are…?” Continue reading “Weird Scenes #081: Visions, Softly Creeping”

An Open Letter to Comic Book Publishers from Eric Stephenson of Image Comics

An Open Letter to Comic Book Publishers from Eric Stephenson of Image Comics

Eric Stephenson posted this open letter on Image Comics website today. In this time of crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we applaud this sense of community.  The comics community is supported by a very fragile financial infrastructure. We are also concerned like Mr. Stephenson about its future.


3/18/2020

Dear Colleagues,

When you’re younger, you don’t think about being old enough to tell “I remember when…” stories, but for most of us that day inevitably arrives.

Today, I’m remembering when there were no comic book stores.

Finding comics back then could be a real challenge.

Finding them today, though, without the efforts of the Direct Market to evangelize on behalf of our industry to readers everywhere would be next to impossible. Continue reading “An Open Letter to Comic Book Publishers from Eric Stephenson of Image Comics”

With Further Ado #86: Interview with Joel Meadows of Tripwire Magazine

With Further Ado #86: Interview with Joel Meadows of Tripwire Magazine

Tripwire was one of those magazines about comics that always made you feel smarter after you read it. Or maybe that conversion happened right when you bought it. It was a gorgeous magazine and always looked smart too.   I’m excited to say that Joel Meadows, the man behind Tripwire, is at it again and Tripwire is returning. I had a lot of questions for Joel, and he had a lot of thoughtful answers.

Ed Catto: The news that Tripwire is returning is just fantastic, Joel. But first, can you tell me, or remind me, how it all started?

Joel Meadows: Tripwire began way back in March 1992 – or actually it began the previous year. We published one issue of a magazine we called The Review, which was a very basic fanzine that I did with someone I went to school with. We printed about 100 copies, but it was fun to do. So, we came up with Tripwire in February 1992 and published our first issue in March 1992. At that point, I was doing it with a neighbour of mine and someone I went to sixth form college with. We launched the same weekend as Vertigo.

EC: I loved those Tripwire issues. In your opinion, what made it special and unique among all the Geek Culture magazines?

JM: When it started, we were a lot more sarcastic and a lot more irreverent towards our material. I was only nineteen when it began, and I learned a hell of a lot as we continued to publish issues. We had a very British attitude to our material, which initially was comics and music, but we dropped the music and replaced it with film and TV in 1999. We were prepared to take chances, and we were the first place to cover the Vertigo creators, like Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, Peter Milligan, and Frank Quitely. I was a big fan of former UK magazine Speakeasy, and I think that had a big influence on me when it came to Tripwire. Continue reading “With Further Ado #86: Interview with Joel Meadows of Tripwire Magazine”

Preview Reviews of the New AWA Upshot Comics: Resistance, Archangel 8, Hotell, and Red Border

Preview Reviews of the New AWA Upshot Comics: Resistance, Archangel 8, Hotell, and Red Border

Artists Writers & Artisans (AWA) is a new comic publishing company that we told you about a few weeks ago. This week they are launching their Upshot line of comics.

We have read the first four books, and I have to say they are really good. Below you will find the the solicitations and reviews for Archangel 8 #1, Hotell #1, Red Border #1, and Resistance #1.

All of these books will be available at you LCS on Wednesday March 18, 2020,

 

Archangel 8 #1
AWA Upshot
Written by: Michael Moreci
Art by: C.P. Smith
Colors by: Snakebite Cortez
Letters by: Sal Cipriano
Cover Art by: Jeff Dekal

Original Solicitation:

In a world beyond the sight of mortals, Heaven and Hell wage war for the souls of man­kind. Principal among God’s legion are seven archangels written about in religious texts for millennia. But there is an eighth archangel, known only from passing allusions in Apocrypha, who operates under a different code. Fighting without God’s sanction, he faces the enemy on his own terms, and shows just how bad good can be.

PCS Review:

This book has a heavy tone with a lot of shadow work. It is full of violence and mystery. The initial issue presents an interesting premise and is certainly dramatic. Michael Moreci has created a ominous story that appears to be brining biblical conflict to a modern special ops military conflict. The plot is intriguing, and C.P. Smith‘s art is powerful. The color palette used by Snakebite Cortez is excellently designed. The limited colors enhance the foreboding feeling throughout the book. Great start Continue reading “Preview Reviews of the New AWA Upshot Comics: Resistance, Archangel 8, Hotell, and Red Border”

Brainiac On Banjo #077: Disasterbaiting – The Lighter Side of Doom

Brainiac On Banjo #077: Disasterbaiting – The Lighter Side of Doom

I learned our government must be strong / It’s always right and never wrong / Our leaders are the finest men / And we elect them again and again • “What Did We Learn In School Today?” written by Tom Paxton, 1964.

It does not matter if your favorite movies and teevee shows and steamers have halted production – as most have. Theaters and binging parties and gas stations and toilet paper are history, at least for the nonce. Most sex workers are off the stroll but, hey, soft white gloves are impossible to find, so WTF.

Therefore, as a card-carrying obnoxious bastard (yes; I have a card – as does our Pop Culture Squad HBIC), I decided to bother a bunch of friends, contacts, and complete strangers who can mumble through their useless face masks. Hey, it’s a living. I asked them the following question:

“How does the ‘Hollywood’ shutdown affect you personally?” Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #077: Disasterbaiting – The Lighter Side of Doom”

Everything We Read This Week – 3/11/2020

Everything We Read This Week – 3/11/2020

Welcome back to Everything We Read This Week. This is the place that we make our weekly trip through this week’s pull-list. It features mostly spoiler-free brief analysis and commentary of each book.

This week we read a bunch great comics. The storytelling  was impressive.  We encourage you to go out and find the comics you like, and remember, Read More Comics!!

We reviewed books from DC Comics, Marvel Comics, AfterShock Comics, and Image Comics this week. As always, we hope you might find what we say interesting enough to try some of these comics. Don’t forget we welcome comments on these and any other comics that you read. Feel free to leave a comment and get the conversation moving.

Also, Don’t forget to check our hotlist of new books debuting this month over here.  There are a couple on this list.

And here are the books we read in alphabetical order:

Continue reading “Everything We Read This Week – 3/11/2020”