Wednesday Adventures 17th July

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A brief weekly rundown of recommendations of new releases I’m intrigued by, excited for and will be grabbing off the shelves to curl up with every new comics day before delving into them later in the week!

Have you hugged your local comic store owner today?

 

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Collapser 1- DC Comics/Young Animals

When the last series of books wound down and Doom Patrol hit delays I assumed that the writing was on the wall for this inventive and exciting imprint Young Animals and went through at least five, maybe six stages of grief before the announcement of  a new line of titles including Collapser stopped me dead in my tracks.

Young Animals was an injection of thoughtful and inventive ideas onto the shelves last year and excelled in playing around on the fringes of DC’s extensive toybox, whilst still being untethered enough to do big bold things with their stable of borrowed and brand new characters to produce the kind of mind warping comics I love. All of the main books even being reinvented between runs on the label in the case of Cave Carson, Shade and Mother Panic keeping things constantly fresh and new.

From the mind of Mickey Way and Shaun Simon, Collapser sticks close to the ideas and energy behind Way’s My Chemical Romance work as Liam James finds himself torn between his aspirations and real world responsibilities before being endowed other worldly powers in the form of a black hole, which you assume would complicate the best laid plans of most people. Another staple of Young Animals early input was a focus on the personal lives of it’s heroes, directly addressing mental health issues and Way has already hinted in interviews that Collapser will do the same, with Liam suffering form anxiety even before he is gifted with powers.

 

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Loki 1- Marvel Comics

Still apparently burdened with glorious purpose, Loki is back in a new solo series following on the line wide mega event, War of the Realms. The majority of comic characters find themselves changing with the times and none have escaped wave of new creators from tweaking them or overhauling them entirely. Marvels version of the Trickster god is no stranger to this phenomenon with the concept of dying and a rebirth, bringing out a different facet or side to his character more in keeping with whatever state the Marvel Universe is in pretty much baked into the whole, you know, god thing. However unlike other characters taking a respite for a year,maybe two at the very most, there is no such downtime for Loki as his latest reinvention starts off only a few scant weeks later and like many others before it, with his sudden demise in Marvel’s ongoing realm spanning Asgard infused event.

The beautiful cover by Ozgur Yildirim depicting Loki strolling between Rainbow bridge and Brooklyn Bridge offers up something even more tantalising than his miraculous recovery from his very, very recent and grisly death is the mischievous deity in all his smouldering glory, casually tossing around his brothers weapon, Mjolnir. In a world of constant reinvention, costume switches and shifting roles, could Loki be taking on the role the thunder god. Could Loki finally, be worthy? It would be interesting to see if this creative team continues to explore the thread most recently picked up on in Aarons’ run, of what exactly it means to be worthy and Loki finding his own way into this lofty role, something I enjoyed in the Superior Iron Man and Doom’s uncertain steps into becoming a hero in his own way and adjusting his ideals and ways of thinking. What is Loki but a character constantly at war with himself. Sounds ponderous in my hands but with TV’s Late show and Marvels own Lockjaw,the series is likely to have a funnier more sardonic take on Loki audiences are used to seeing up on screen.

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Wednesday Adventures 26th June

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Marilyn Manor 1- IDW Comics

Expect snappy dialogue, breakneck pacing and colliding genres as Mags Visaggio dives back into comics with her latest series from IDW, as the “first Brat of The United States” launches the ultimate rager of a party at the most famous address on the planet, whilst beset on all sides by time travel, sex, drugs and music television.

The writers own description of Marilyn Manor as “the weirdest thing I’ve ever written in the best way possible, like an apocalypse directed by John Hughes.” is spot on as Visaggio has a talent of taking the concepts and tropes of the 80’s and 90’s, solidified by the films of directors like Hughes and turning them on their head. Taking the glimpses of queer culture that would seep in from time to time, the scraps scattered here and there, supercharges them and puts those elements centre stage, re-purposing the tired into something dazzlingly. Genres thought long dead or on life support from being too well worn are suddenly fresh and vibrant when told through a queer lens.

The preview pages show a quantum leap for Zarcone’s artwork who had already captured the agony and ecstasy of the Madness with DC’s Shade, this time capturing every neon drenched debauched detail of the rager at Marilyn Manor, in all it’s tacky, nostalgia inducing gay-glo glory. 80’s nostalgia never really dies and the creative team of Vissagio and Zarcone having worked on books like Eternity Girl, Sex Death Revolution and Shade the Changing Girl have seen them both reinvigorating old IP’s and dead genres and Marilyn Manor shows all the promise of their combined talents to do the same to the classic “one wild weekend” story in this new four issue series.

 

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Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham- Marvel Comics

Iv’e gushed, fawned and professed my ever lasting love of Latour and Rodriguez’s Spider-Gwen and all the seemingly bizarre and strange choices for the character that has made her one of the most amazing capes to debut in the last few years. Chief among them being to have a long standing friendship not between the regular old spider-man, but the porcine web-head of Earth 8311, The Spectacular Spider-Ham. Out of all the semi obscure fan favourites to fight their way to a new and bigger audience in recent years, Peter Porkers is one of my personal favourites, back in his own title obviously following the success of a certain animated film.

As he explained in Into the Spider-Verse, he’s been doing the whole crime fighting thing for over thirty years now, so he’s no stranger to being in the limelight. While has had a few more recent outings before the comic version of the Spider-verse it will be interesting to see a modern sensibility and higher quality artwork lavished on Porker for once, with the team of Latour and Miller, who clearly have a strong grasp on what makes the web slinging trotter such a big hit with audiences even after several decades.

 

Wednesday Adventures 12th June

comic, Comic spotlight, First Impressions, Uncategorized

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A brief weekly rundown of recommendations of new releases I’m intrigued by, excited for and will be grabbing off the shelves to curl up with every new comics day before delving into them later in the week!

Have you hugged your local comic store owner today?

 

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Silver Surfer Black 1- Marvel Comics

The last, big run on the sentinel of the spaceways was an absolute delight. From the start Slott and the Allred’s acknowledged it’s debt to Doctor Who,citing it as an influence for the series and very quickly it became apparent that it was the guy with the silver surfboard who was giving us the weirdest, most spectacular and quirky sci-fi adventures, rather then the chap with the blue box. It really cemented them as maybe my favourite recent team to work on the character, that is until this week and the release of Silver Surfer black with the talents of super star writer and artist team of Donny Cates and Tradd Moore.

Cates has been quietly writing his way around the entire encyclopedia of the best Marvel characters as well as penning some new creations with Cosmic Ghost Rider and demonstrates a firm grasp on seemingly all of them to this point,leaving me eager to see what his has in mind as the “silver surfer fights for his soul” and returning the character to his more introspective roots after Slott took him on adventures flights of fancy. Moore is the perfect artist to play around with the already weird and wonderful cosmic corners of Marvel, and anyone who enjoyed his work on Ghost Rider and the deeply idiosyncratic and kinetic look he gave to Robbie’s world should check out this series.

 

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Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man 6- Marvel Comics

If both the comics and movie versions proved anything, there can never be enough Spider-men,but with Miles Morales now also residing in the Marvel Universe proper, is Spider-byte one webhead too far? Nah!

Even with so many about the writers have excelled in giving them their own distinct personality and tone of stories around them from Silk to Superior to Gwen and while a younger version of Spidey was last seen kicking around an alternate universe with his Uncle Ben during Spider-Geddon,Marvel have been unusually tight lipped about the secret identity of this ensy weensy Spider leaving fans of the web-head theorising and speculating on another Spider character in the Marvel Universe. Tom Taylor and Juann Cabal have been giving us a much more down to Earth Spider-Man returning to his roots as a local hero which should be perfect to explore his relationship to a new member of the Spider family rather then a splashy punch ’em team up. Although, that would be nice too if they can swing it!

 

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 45- Marvel Comics

Ratatoskr is back! As the War of the realms rages across marvel entire line, the squirrel girl team have found themselves with an easy slam dunk, returning to arguably one of the runs best villains and the most organic feeling tie in to the Asgard themed event with the Norse chaos squirrel teaming up with Doreen against the Asgardian hordes.

While I tend to lean towards newer comics or ones still early in their runs in Wednesday Adventures,I’m keenly aware that this weeks 45th issue puts us only five issues away from the end of this hilarious and downright touching series. Squirrel girl has established her appeal as more than just an obscure fan favourite now turning up alongside Ms Marvel in the recent Marvel series and has carved out a unique niche among the rest of the heroes as throughout North’s tenure she has sought to get out of situations through dialogue and compassion. While it’s obviously to stop every story ending with Doreen just punching out the bad guy, it really helped to make her adventures stand out among her more well known peers. Here’s to the last five issues to come!

 

“Have you ever considered freedom? Real freedom? Freedom from even yourself?” Fantasy PI in Schimer and Balboni’s Fairlady

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Comics are fertile ground for a good old genre mashup, and Schimer and Balboni’s new image series Fairlady brings the figure of the hard-worn and weary Marlowe-esque gumshoe and lands her right smack dab in the middle of a war torn modern fantasy world. Jenner Faulds is the titular Fairlady, the only woman in her field of work, a mix of private investigator and bounty hunter for hire accompanied by her huge feline partner Oanu. The pair make a living investigating the worst and most unwanted cases in the Feld, where homes and business living in and around the decaying and destroyed carcass of a huge metal figure laid out. A machine of a war that is only alluded too and mentioned briefly in this issue when Jenner muses on her past to her partner.

Jenner, a war veteran is weary but not fully jaded is shown to be making a difficult living in a line of work that resents her, balancing the need to survive while trying not to loose her own humanity as she walks a fine line trying to strike an uneasy balance between the two. As an opening issue it makes it clear that she will be operating in the shady grey areas of this fantasy world.

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Fairlady’s fantasy elements are very light and understated throughout the issue, Schirmer making a wise decision not to overload the first issue with lore and magic at the expense of tone and character development in terms of story. As much as you need explaining for you to get invested in this case and scant else, leaving future issues to really explore this world. In terms of the fantasy elements, the heavy lifting comes from Balboni’s artwork, filling scenes and panels with clues and visual word building from the Feld and the towering metal shards that curve over the business district to the intricate workings of a slave driven lift, cleverly presented in three page tall panels showing our protagonists ascent.

In the age of “decompressed storytelling” and sprawling line wide stories Fairlady offers another surprise, with the cover proudly boasting this issue “contains a complete Fairlady mystery” and indeed while it builds on the characters, the mystery is a done in one story, expanded and solved in a single issue in an effort to give the reader a sense of a full experience. Future issues covers feature this unique selling point, giving the feeling that the mysteries will be shorter and self contained, leaving the character development to build up over the series arcs and will it be fascinating to see how like it’s protagonist, the series will strike this balance.

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While we see the feline Oanu arms crossed and menacing on the cover he’s really a big kitty cat in this issue, meeting most people with a cheery disposition and pushing Jenner along when she is being stubborn. Most of the focus of this initial issue is on the private eye Jenner with Schirmer giving tantalising teasers into a character who is already surprisingly deep and complex beyond the initial tough persona she puts on around other Fairmen and criminals in order to get the job done. The ever present spectre of a war still fresh in peoples minds draws comparisons to shows like Firefly and Fairlady already has it share of lovable rouges and villains ready to be explored. As a fantasy procedural though it owes a low more to the likes of Marlowe, focusing in more on the feelings and motivations on the characters, striking a dark fantasy noir tone rather than spelling out the nuts and bolts of the solutions for the reader.

Fairlady is a strong start for a series that offers a fascinating world and compelling protagonists to explore and experience it, in a market with quite a few different spins on the classic fantasy tropes it still manages to make itself stand out with the amount of detail and attention both Schirmer and Balboni lavish upon it.

 

 

 

Wednesday Adventures 1st May

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A brief weekly rundown of recommendations of new releases I’m intrigued by, excited for and will be grabbing off the shelves to curl up with every new comics day before delving into them later in the week!

Have you hugged your local comic store owner today?

 

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Paper Girls 28- Image Comics

Usually I won’t recommend a series this far in, but with talented heart breaker Brian K. Vaughan about to leave another hole in our pull lists as the sublime time travelling coming of age story, Paper Girls starts to bring it all home in it’s final arc.

Saga started as my Vaughan series of choice but Paper Girls, with the girls being flung and pursued throughout time, overcoming each time periods dangers and the divide between a stale older generation and youth quickly drew me in. The relationships between the papergirls has felt genuine and at the core has been what has pulled many readers back each week,not least for it’s touching portrayal of an burgeoning relationship between Mac and KJ.

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Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor- IDW Comics

While I thought Jodie’s first season at the controls of the tardis was very spotty with some amazing moments (for balance I thought this about Capaldi’s entire run too) I was more than willing to trust in the writing talents of Jody Houser who over the last few years has contributed to quite a few of the major franchises from Batman to Stranger Things and Spider-Man.

I have to keep reminding myself that the last few years have seen listened properties step up their game rather than being lazy cynical cash ins and luckily Houser’s short yet staggeringly fun run with Thirteen is one of the one’s living up to it’s TV counterpart. Houser has perfectly captured the Dr after only one season and writes her with all the odd quirks and mannerisms already becoming synonymous with Whitacker including some very inspiring doctor-y speeches that rank right up their with her debut in “The Woman Who Fell To Earth”.  Slott’s art is clean, detailed and having already worked on the comic adventures of the 11th and 12th Doctors, is perfect for the time lords action packed travels through time and indeed, space.

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Giant Days 50- Boom Studios

When a comic runs for this long, it’s easy to just assume it’s still brilliant and miss out on praising it, so can we just stop to take in that Giant Days is hitting it’s 50th issue this week and refreshing it has been for the last four years or so to see Ester,Daisy and Susan change and mature,showing us the intricacies of female friendships that are often missing from, well media in general…

well, that’s what I started writing this morning until the evil world of social media conspired to inform me that sadly, issue 55 will be the series conclusion, sensibly ending when the trio finish University.  It was kinda obvious, but difficult to acknowledge that it was always going to be the natural conclusion to their story with Alisson stating he didn’t want to risk extending the book beyond this in fear of diminishing returns. What he’s left instead is a consistently amazing and laugh out loud comic. Although we can all hopefully and eagerly look forward to a This Life 10 years later style reunion, which we can start building up the bile to be used in 2029 right away! Check this out before it’s too late, it’s a book that after reading the first volume will have you rushing back to buy the rest the next day.

Wednesday Adventures 17th April

comic, Comic spotlight, First Impressions

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A brief weekly rundown of recommendations of new releases I’m intrigued by, excited for and will be grabbing off the shelves to curl up with every new comics day before delving into them later in the week!

Have you hugged your local comic store owner today?

 

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Little Bird 2- Image Comics

It’s starting to sink in that the next issue of Saga could be anywhere up to two years away, and while you put on a brave face and bunker down, Little Bird is here to help soften the blow a little with gorgeous storytelling and cinematic visuals.

Taking place in a dystopian future, Little Bird follows a young resistance fighter struggling against the forces of the Oppressive American Empire. Even in it’s first issue this book felt like it had a creative team perfect in step with other. It’s writer Darcy Van Poelgeest was, unsurprisingly a movie director before his jump to comics and alongside artwork from Ian Bertram, this comic has the feel of a lush, visually striking movie playing out on the printed page. Like Saga before it, Little Bird doesn’t appear at all interested in fitting into any neat and tidy categories just yet, combining sci-fi and mysticism in a unique, textured and often blood soaked world that is tearing itself apart.

 

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NextGen3- Marvel Comics

An exceedingly guilty pleasure that I’ve been rationalising every Wednesday for a week, The Age of X-Men has been solidly entertaining and fun. While it doesn’t quite hit the dramatic heights of War of the Realms is breaking into as we speak, NextGen in particular makes up for this with intriguing character development, making the best of it’s drama filled high school setting with Glob,who beyond the riot at Xavier;s has shied away from conflict being unceremoniously dropped right onto the front lines of the action and finds himself at odds with his own kind.

Old Woman Laura first showed us a refreshing change of scene, settling for a seeming Utopia and Age of X-Man carries on the idea of a broken,mutant anti-utopia which gives a welcome break from the noisy apocalyptic trappings to be had in stories like Age of Apocalypse and proves far more creepy and insidious. Even in this seemingly perfect Utopia that X-Man has created for his mutant kindred, they can’t help but be drawn back into conflict and relationship, resisting the gentle control and gravitating back to their core beliefs. The reptilian Student Anole being close to his unspoken “third strike” as he keep’s getting mindwipped but falling back into the same cycle of rebellion and revolution as he seeks out the underground over and over again, searching for a larger truth to this world.

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The Magnificent Ms Marvel 2- Marvel Comics

As if any proof of her popularity and impact on the Marvel Universe over the last few years, the young New Jersey hero has even succeed in making the company add a new adjective into the rotation of their titles. Kamala Khan isn’t infamous, spectacular or sensational, she’s Magnificent as the returns in this new series helmed by Exiles scribe and Eisner Award-winning writer Saladin Ahmed with art from relative newcomer Minkyu Jung who has been building up quite the reputation and fans over at DC with the Batgirl and Nightwing titles.

Out of all her incredible superpowers, longevity is perhaps her strongest and as with Spider-Gwen is forging ahead with a new creative team. Ahmed’s work on the sadly short lived Exiles run demonstrated he knew his way around both exciting action, characterisation and deeply touching character moments all evident once again in last months first issue. Still a must read title!

Wednesday Adventures 3rd April

Comic spotlight, First Impressions, Uncategorized

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A brief weekly rundown of recommendations of new releases I’m intrigued by, excited for and will be grabbing off the shelves to curl up with every new comics day before delving into them later in the week!

Have you hugged your local comic store owner today?

 

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Giant Days 49- Boom Studios

Five years,fifty issues and Allison’s Giant Days is still one of the funniest,laugh out loud comics on the stands. Entering their final year of University, Esther,Daisy and Susan are still as sharply written as ever as they tackle new challenges and changes to their lives and friendships. Issue 49 has Esther finally trying to finish her dissertation “The Liminal Spaces Of The Great American Novel 1959-1980” and finds herself struggling before returning to her own run down home town for some inspiration.

 

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Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider 7- Marvel Comics

Sometimes a character becomes so entwined with a creative team it’s difficult to imagine them being handled by anyone else. None so more than Spider-Gwen with it’s creators Jason Latour‎ and Robbi Rodriguez who brought her into the pages of Marvel in such a stunning and affectingly simple way that branded them both onto their initial run that even the recent ‘Into the Spiderverse’ movie drew very heavily from the pair in both character and visual look, choosing to have her gracefully dive into the streets of the vibrant streets of her big apple,straight from the page.

So it’s been a weird ride seeing her guided through her adventures by someone new,namely artist Takeshi Miyazawa and writer Seanan Mcguire given the unenviable task of taking Gwen in a new direction. I’m pleased to say they pull this off and Gwen’s title still remains one of the most thrilling on the shelves.

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War of the Realms 1- Marvel Comics

The next big event starts here! Nothing will ever be the same again! Yadda yaddda, you know the drill. Sarcasm aside I personally love a huge line wide sprawling event and I can think of no one better to pen such an Thor flavoured crossover than Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman who have been killing it on the Asgardian side of things for around five years now taking the entire cast of characters on wild and unexpected adventures.

As Malekith the Accursed and his forces invade Midgard it’s up to the heroes to do what they do best,band together and fight him the best they can which from tantalizing previews will include some intriguing team ups (She-Hulk, the Punisher, Blade and Ghost Rider anyone?) the usual powered up all out slugfest as well as some war like espionage with another set of seemingly mismatched heroes.

 

“You’re all just saying words. Idiot words”- Max Dlabick’s queer webcomic André and Karl

anthro, anthropomorphic, artist spotlight, comic, Comic spotlight, Uncategorized, wbcomic

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This is a song with the same four chords
I use most of the time
When I’ve got something on my mind
And I don’t want to squander the moment
Trying to come up with a better way
To say what I want to say

John Darnielle

Max Dlabick (pronounced duh-lay-bick as his website helpfully points out! )is the self described “queer, trans” artists behind the frenetic slice of life web comic loonacy that is Andre and Karl. Centred around the eponymous pair, a musician and artist respectively along with their friends including budding actress and Andre’s partner Kim, musician Jack and the unemployed fancy rat Clinton among others,Following their day today exploits in life, work, love and the pairs constantly un-named and re-named band.

Max’s creation is a webcomic that has a rough and ready, DIY zine aesthetic that perfectly compliments it’s subject matter,giving more a strong sense of capturing a time and place,more concerned with  locking a sense of place, person or feeling onto the pager rather than technical accuracy, which his gorgeous illustration work is the lush polar opposite of! Immediacy is key here and they have a fevered, frantic “this literally just happened!” feel to them that gives them a sense of urgency.

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Early strips are super sketchy and a little more in your face and snarky, but quite early in it feels like Max discovered a strong and confident voice with the later strips gradually starting to show off the introspection and self questioning lives of the characters that has become the strongest part of a comic with queer identity baked right into it’s core. As they grown and develop the comic hits it’s stride with Max seemingly more comfortable talking about the subjects he want’s to address or explore, such sexuality or gender identity. The latter shown through our lead feline Andre finding it difficult to understand himself often with the exasperated sigh of “gender stuff”.

These strips are self deprecating funny and unafraid to poke some light mocking in the direction of his characters and just how complicated it can be not just navigating the world today, but yourself. Raw, rough and very funny Karl and Andre is a perfect snapshot of a group of friends each trying to find themselves, and connecting with those around them.

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Max’s artwork lives over at his personal art site while Andre and Karl can be read here and supported over at Patreon.

 

 

Doe! A Deer! A Gay Disas-deer!- Olive Brinker’s hilarious and Heartfelt Rae The Doe comics

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Becoming a true LGBT icon takes time right? You need time to immerse yourself in the pop culture and percolate for a while surely? Icons,especially trans one don’t spring out of nothing,do they? Maybe it’s a bit premature to call Doe a dyed in the wool icon already (something I’m sure she’d refute before hiding and blush furiously about!) but after springing up a little over a year and 200 comics ago she has gained a huge fanbase and it’s hard to deny the growing impact the comic has had.

Last year the shy, socially awkward and antlered doe appeared on the scene with her overwhelmingly enthusiastic look at navigating between the cis and trans spheres in her life with a wry eye and head full of puns and anxiety. Mostly anxiety. If anything she’s strode in and made planting your flag or setting up your stall seem damn right easy “Rae the Doe is my… fifth? attempt at a webcomic” clarifies Olive Brinker, the trans artist and mind behind the doe in question and her colourful entourage, only emphasising her dedication and effort to making it look so effortless “I was at work, standing behind the register, when I thought of the joke for the first comic, “virgo” being short for “virgin”. I thought the punchline of “I’m celibate and proud!” was so funny that I just had to make it. And I thought to myself “You know what? I have a bunch of other good comic ideas too. I should make a comic.”

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It was the terrible pun that launched the first few hundred of the comics featuring the shy doe,wracked at times with social anxiety and freshly out of the closet (or bursting out of a cake,much more this doe’s style, more on that later!) introducing us to her word and her friends, including her polar opposite and skunk girlfriend, Mimi as well as others. Rae the Doe and her creator Olive have a strong, confident and established voice already with the strips tempering it’s more serious subjects with a cheeky irreverent humour, but never pulling it’s punches “I am beyond surprised. When I first started the comic, I had zero expectations for where it would go” Brinker says about how much Rae has resonated with people in such a short time “Rae the Doe started as a warm-up exercise for my thesis film, Graveyard Shift. I didn’t have any expectations for the comic outside of what it provided me: a creative outlet outside of my film. Rae was a deer because my fursona was too. She was originally supposed to be a blank slate character. She didn’t even have a name until the fourth comic. Everything about Rae the Doe we know today kind of just developed over time”

The strips range from the topical to the downright silly, with everything in-between spotlighting Olive’s interests from gaming (vintage and new),comics and the Unionisation of workers in multi-national billionaire owned corporation. Not even the shelled and wealthy mogul Elon Mollusk can escape the single eyed questioning glare of this doe! “I think my favourite characters to write for are Cybil and Lottie”of Rae’s Moth and Possum pals “There’s something that’s very fun about their obliviousness and love for trash. One of my favourite of Olives strips features the pair, and while I love the more seriously slanted strips, some of the ones that have Brinker unleashing her impressive wordplay and love of language that have me in stitches every time .Switching up the style of strips like this shows once more how unpredictable her own creation can be at times “There was one morning where I had a very small window of time to make a comic, so I had the idea to make a comic which is intentionally unfinished as a joke. It’s probably the quickest Rae the Doe comic I’ve ever made, and it ended up getting 12,000 likes on Twitter. That’s just how it works sometimes!”

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Playing with anthropomorphism is what furs do best and there is a strong element of that in Olive’s comics, with species differences and appearances being used to reflect real life and communicate her own experiences. Rae has antlers, it’s the kind of playful detail that’s super important for some readers coming into the comic but will fly completely under the radar for others “At some point, early into making the comics, someone pointed out that does usually don’t have antlers, unless they’re reindeer” says Brinker on Rae’s development into a trans character and even how what is a large part of it’s appeal was still in question at first  “That’s when I realised that I could make Rae trans. It never really occurred to me before that moment it was even an option, if that makes sense”. Addressed directly in the comic when another Doe questions them, Olive turns this cringe worthy question into a sharply funny comic,diffusing it with humour and proving there can be trans humour in comics  that doesn’t punch down.

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“Making the six “Rae Comes Out” comics the week after my own coming out was massively cathartic. I decided to have Rae’s gender reveal coincide with my own because I was worried that if I announced that Rae was trans when I was still in the closet, everyone would realize that I was trans, too. After all, Rae is heavily based on me. It’d be a pretty big hint that I was also trans if Rae came out before I did. I never thought I’d be able to come out as trans. It’s something that’s filled my life with anxiety for years and years now. The night before I came out as trans, I had such a bad anxiety attack I could barely breathe, and didn’t sleep at all that night. Taking those very painful feelings that have haunted me for years and turning them into wholesome comics was amazing for me. And a lot of trans people reached out to me to say that Rae coming out meant a lot to them. I never expected for it to have that sort of response, and it’s one of the things I’m most proud of as an artist. That I can make other trans people feel good with my work”

 Rae the Doe can be read entirely here and is updated Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. You can support Oliver via her patreon page.

 

Wednesday Adventures 13th March

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A brief weekly rundown of recommendations of new releases I’m intrigued by, excited for and will be grabbing off the shelves to curl up with every new comics day before delving into them later in the week!

Have you hugged your local comic store owner today?

 

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Assassin Nation #1- Image Comics

Brought to the attention of a wider audience as the artist who,along with writer Ryan North brought fan favourite and heavy hitter Squirrel Girl back into the punchy rumble and tumble of the Marvel Universe as one it’s major players,the two times Eisner winner Erica Henderson hasn’t been content to sit and bask in the awards glow and this Wednesday debuts a new series with Rick and Morty comic scribe Kyle Starks. Retiring from the business of travelling the world, meeting new people and knocking them off, Assassin Nation has the worlds greatest hitman hires twenty of the meanest and most ruthless assassins to protect himself and his new life.

Back in the day I used to cover music, especially up and coming bands and Henderson is one of a handful of fairly new creators that have managed to capture in their comics works, that feeling of following a new band find and refine their sound. While the clean, simple lines and composition found in the early pages of the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is what first dew me to Henderson’s art, by the time thirty one issues (and an original Graphic Novel don’t forget!) it was clear she was already stretching her artistic talents into more elaborate and experimental style. Assassination Nations debut cover, with it’s elaborate twenty hit-man standoff hints at more of this to come and sounds like the perfect fit for a book pitched as a bombastic mix of Deadpool style irreverence and Hot Fuzz comedy action hijinks.

 

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Age of X-man: Apocalypse and the X-tracts #1-  Marvel Comics

One thing that Marvel has going for it is the sheer mind bogglingly number of fasinating supporting characters it has. Not just heroes, characters, and it’s some of the lesser used obscure ones that I’ve been drawn to in the past So any X-Men event featuring Eye Boy, Idie and especially pink paraffin coated cutie Herman Glob as being essential to the action, perhaps the only mutant to know of the warping of reality will be high on my pull list. While the series so far hasn’t attempted to be as ground breaking or have the”nothing will be every be the same” bombast as previous events it’s been an enjoyable romp of titles and refreshing to see something on a smaller things,mixing things up for the sheer joy of it.

Seely and Espin’s Apocalypse and the X- tracts has the event evoking the cultural image of 60’s free love as one of the worlds most powerful mutants, the ancient and terrifying Apocalypse, finds himself radically reinvented for this new homo superior dominated world now with the unenviable position of teaching the world to love again in a world bereft of familial or romantic relationships of any kind. Throughout the series there has been a fascinating meta level idea in presenting a peaceful but bland world due to the soap opera level romantic drama that has been a staple of the X-men landscape since the Claremont days being noticeably absent. Presented as being both mutantkinds’ (and the X-men books in general) greatest asset and also the one thing that constantly throws a cosmic spanner into the works for it’s assorted players.

While another event might elicit groans from a lot of fans, Age of X-Man has thus far been an enjoyable little self contained romp showcasing a lot of the lesser used mutant characters and sets itself apart with its refreshingly unique anti-dystopian world in which the X-Men ultimate goal is twisted and distorted in a careful what you wish for.

 

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Calamity Kate #1- Darkhorse Comics

With barely time to digest the gripping world of magic and struggle for identity in her last series Sex Death Revolution,GLAAD nominated writer and mind behind the boundary expanding Eternity Girl, Magdalene Visaggio returns to the shelves along with IDW’s Ghostbusters and X-Files artist Corin Howell with another fantasy world to dive into on the pages of Calamity Kate.

In a world regularly beset with monsters, our protagonist Kate moves out to LA to escape her previous life and become the hero she has always wanted to be. Characters desperately trying to eak out a new life or new identity is already a strong recurring theme in Visaggio’s work, although she always presents it from a fresh new perspective with each title, time exploring a new facet of a huge and difficult subject. Kim and Kim proved Visaggio can handle wild, no holds bared action and Calamity Kate looks like a return to something with a more straightforward action hook after her more personal and contemplative works.