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New Girl Gang Releases 1/27/16

Hey Girl Gang! Happy Wednesday! Here are our pulls for this week! Just in list form today. Click the links if you want to find out more!

Happy Wednesday Girl Gang!

What other titles should we be picking up that we should be adding to this list or don’t know about? Let us know in the comments or at thegeekgirlgang@gmail.com!

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New Girl Gang Releases 1/20/16

Hey Girl Gang! Happy Wednesday! Here are our pulls for this week!

  • Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #6 (Image) – The mini-series from the Gillen-McKelvie dream team comes to an end in this exciting conclusion. The Immaterial Girl, a spinoff of their original Phonogram series, focuses on the affect of music videos in a world where music is magic and on Emily Aster, who sold half her soul 10 years ago to music necromancers in exchange for power. What will happen to Emily in the end?
  • Ms. Marvel #3 (Marvel) – It is no secret that Kamala is probably my favorite superhero out there right now. In this issue, she needs to figure out how to stop the extreme gentrification of Jersey City by the Hope Yards Development Company, who use mindcontrol alongside their bulldozers. Even Bruno has been captured and controlled! How will Kamala deal with saving her friends and her city AND getting her good image back?
  • Lumberjanes #22 (BOOM!) – This issue is the second in the new arc for the girls, which features lots of evil selkies and a bear woman who does not like it when you call her “were-bear”. In this issue, the girls have to try to get Seafarin’ Karen’s boat back from the selkies, and they’re gonna need the bear woman’s help. As always, Carolyn Nowak’s great artwork is perfect for the Lumberjanes and is always a delight to see.
  • Patsy Walker aka Hellcat #2 (Marvel) – In case you didn’t see my review a few weeks ago, I really loved the first issue of this series. It’s has funny dialogue, great friendships, diverse characters, and gorgeous coloring. I think Hellcat is definitely worth picking up no matter what kind of comics you like. In this issue, Patsy keeps working on her idea for a superhero temp agency, as she takes on the ultimate challenge: working in retail!
  • Batgirl #47 (DC Comics) – As we saw in the last issue, more and more things are piling up in Barbara’s life – from her new partnership with Frankie, coworker Jeremy getting kicked out of school for plagiarizing, Alysia’s safety while on her honeymoon, and general homework, Barbara is struggling to find balance. It doesn’t help that a mysterious man named Lewis says he needs to talk and then disappears back into the shadows (cliche, much?) In #47, Barbara has to deal with her biggest problem of all – her mind is failing her, too!
  • Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel) – I know we’ve all missed Carol. Although Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps somewhat filled the star-shaped hole in all of our chests, it isn’t quite the same as the title we all loved. As of today, Captain Marvel returns to our pull lists with a new #1! Although it is really hard to see a series without Kelly Sue, the new series is written by Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, the team behind Marvel’s Agent Carter TV show. I love Agent Carter and I’m really excited to see what the duo brings to the series. The new Captain Marvel is illustrated by Kris Anka, who did a lot of work on Ms Marvel, and who I think will be a perfect fit for the book.

Happy Wednesday Girl Gang!

What other titles should we be picking up that we should be adding to this list or don’t know about? Let us know in the comments or at thegeekgirlgang@gmail.com!

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Image Humble Bundle benefits HRC

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For the next week or so, Humble Bundle is featuring an Image Comics bundle that benefits the Human Rights Campaign. Humble Bundle is a pay-what-you-want format–customers will receive the first tier of comics for paying a small amount, but will receive more if paying above, say, $16.

This Bundle features $334 worth of Image’s best, including the first volumes of ODY-C, Phonogram, and Wolf. Collections like Saga vol. 4 and Nowhere Men vol. 1 are available in the second tier, which buyers receive if they choose to pay more than $15.71. The third tier, featuring Bitch Planet vol. 1, Stray Bullets #1-41, and more, is available for $20 (or more, if readers choose to donate more).

So far, this Bundle has raised nearly $200,000. It can be purchased on Humble Bundle’s site.

A full list of the comics included in the Bundle:

Pay what you want:

  • ODY-C vol. 1
  • Virgil
  • Self-Obsessed
  • No Mercy
  • Phonogram: Rue Britannia
  • Wolf vol. 1
  • Kaptara vol. 1
  • Sunstone vol. 1
  • Wytches vol. 1
  • Image Comics Humble Bundle Preview Book
  • Image Comics New Issues + New Arcs Starter Pack

Pay more than $15.71:

  • Injection vol. 1
  • Saga vol. 4
  • Just the Tips (Sex Criminals companion)
  • Outcast vol. 1
  • Nowhere Men vol. 1
  • Jupiter’s Circle vol. 1
  • Trees vol. 1
  • Rat Queens Special: Braga #1

Pay more than $20:

  • Low vol. 1
  • Bitch Planet vol. 1
  • Wayward (Deluxe Edition) vol. 1
  • Invincible Compendium (collects #1-47)
  • Stray Bullets #1-41
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New Girl Gang Releases 1/13/16

Hey Girl Gang! Happy Wednesday! Here are our pulls for this week (weirdly all Marvel today for some reason?)

  • Scarlet Witch #2 – Hopefully you all picked up issue #1 of this series last month. It was worth grabbing just for the the outstanding coloring alone. The way colorist Jordie Bellaire contrasts neutrals and graytones with small pops of color is gorgeous, and compliments Vanesa Del Rey’s artwork perfectly. In issue #2, Wanda continues to search for the source of the sickness in witchcraft.
  • Silk #3 – Cindy’s struggle as a good guy masquerading as a bad guy just gets harder and harder, and it seems clear with each issue that her double life might not be sustainable. In this issue, some of the rising conflicts are coming to a head. The Goblin King finally finds Silk. Who will come out on top? AND we’re finally going to see Spider-Man confront Silk about her allegiance with Black Cat. Will she have to fight Spidey or will she blow her cover?
  • The Mighty Thor #4The Mighty Thor is one of my favorite titles out right now. Jane Foster has proven herself more than worthy of the hammer, although if you’re reading this comic, you know that she might not be able to keep the title for much longer. In this issue, Loki has requested a meeting just to talk, but Thor knows that with Loki its never just talk. As this is happening, Malekith continues to instigate a War of the Realms.

Happy Wednesday Girl Gang!

What other titles should we be picking up that we should be adding to this list or don’t know about? Let us know in the comments or at thegeekgirlgang@gmail.com!

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Review: CHAINMAIL BIKINI The Anthology of Women Gamers

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Copacetic Comics carries a lot of local and indie comics–if you’re in or near Pittsburgh, it’s definitely worth checking out.

I am a terrible gamer. So terrible, in fact, that I don’t really consider myself a “gamer,” rather, I’m more of a “person who plays one game and that game is the Batman Arkham series and actually I’m not too bad at it.” Batman is the exception to my rule.

However, I enjoy gaming in theory, so in the spirit of my 2016 resolution (be less terrible at video games, stop playing only Batman) I recently picked up Chainmail Bikini: The Anthology of Women Gamers at The Copacetic Comics Company in Pittsburgh. Surprisingly, I haven’t seen much buzz about it, even though the book was released in September 2015.

It’s great.

Chainmail Bikini came to fruition after a campaign on Kickstarter funded
its printing. It’s a comic anthology about many things: gaming as an escape, how gender influences gaming, how it impacted a generation. It’s a unique approach to the conversation about women gamers in the wake of GamerGate, focusing on individual storytelling rScreen Shot 2016-01-07 at 9.05.53 AMather than making a singular point. All anecdotes fall within the categorization of “about gaming,” but forty different writers/artists took this theme in different directions. Some stories focus on relationships and sense of community the storyteller developed through gaming while others are centered on how gaming helped the author develop their sense of identity. The stories range from quick and fun to deeply serious in tone with a mix of each, resulting in a tone that isn’t overwhelmingly happy or sad–it is what it is, and more than anything, it is experiences in gaming laid bare.

The two most important aspects of this anthology, perhaps, are its diversity and its definition of gaming. Women of different ethnicities, sexualities, and gender identities are responsible for and are represented in Chainmail Bikini’s stories, proving, yet again, that gaming isn’t exclusively for heterosexual white guys–it’s for everybody.

Something that I hadn’t considered before I read Chainmail Bikini is what makes a gamer. I always think of gamers as men who take things way seriously and yell at consoles, but not all gamers in the anthology play video games. LARPers and tabletop gamers are also represented, and there are references to Animal Crossing and Tamagotchi.

As it stands, I’ve reconsidered my gaming experience. Reading “Let Me Do It” by Sara Goetter reminded me of the hours my brother and I would spend working through Kingdom Hearts and Scooby Doo: Night of 100 Frights (the only games we could agree on enough to play together). “Pocket Worlds” by Anna Rose gave me a sense of nostalgia for the times my mom and I would hunch over at our desktop computer, playing through HER Interactive’s Nancy Drew fantastic computer game series (by my count, we played through an impressive eighteen of them).

The point being: This book redefines gaming. I am perhaps more of a gamer than I thought.

Though it’s not without flaws–some stories are a bit muddled in their art and are hard to understand in the first read–Chainmail Bikini is well worth a read by anyone who is interested in comics, gaming, and/or feminism. I would also encourage men who inhabit these spaces, whether they’re online or physical, to give it a read. It’s worth it just to consider a viewpoint different from your own, because the important takeaway of this book, though not stated in an explicit thesis, is to remind readers that almost everyone has experiences with gaming, because gaming is for everybody.

Buy/Preview Chainmail Bikini: The Anthology of Women Gamers

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New Girl Gang Releases 1/6/16

Hey Girl Gang! Happy Wednesday! Here are our pulls for this week! (Because I’m so late, just a list without descriptions today!)

  • Bitch Planet #6 (Image)
  • Mystery Girl #2 (Dark Horse)
  • A-Force #1 (Marvel)
  • DC Bombshells #8 (DC Comics)
  • Spider-Gwen #4 (Marvel)
  • Paper Girls #4 (Image)

Happy (late) Wednesday Girl Gang!

What other titles should we be picking up that we should be adding to this list or don’t know about? Let us know in the comments or at thegeekgirlgang@gmail.com!

 

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Molly’s Top 5 Comics of 2015

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I’m gonna be real with you, Girl Gang. 2015 was awful and I’m glad to see it end. However! There were so many good comics this year that I need to talk about first.

(Also, sorry this is so long. I meant to keep it short and sweet and then I started writing about these great titles and I couldn’t stop.)

5. Black Canary

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From Black Canary #1

When DC announced this title, I was psyched. Black Canary is one of my all-time favorite superheroes, and it was about damn time she got her own title again. I was even more excited when I heard who was put on the book. Writer Brendan Fletcher has been doing amazing things on Batgirl, where we last saw Black Canary, and Annie Wu’s issues of Hawkeye were my favorite in the entire run. It’s always dangerous to pick up a first issue with really high hopes, but I have to say: I have not been disappointed.

The story is Dinah doing something new: singing in a band, which she names Black Canary. Of course, Dinah is never safe from her past, and it becomes clear that whoever put the band together had an alterior motive to selling out venues. I’ve really loved all of the new characters in this title, especially Dinah’s bandmates.

The true star of this title is the artwork. Wu manipulates panel shapes and sizes to create dynamic movement, especially when the band is performing. You can feel the energy and intensity of the music without hearing a single note. The style is almost reminiscent of old punk flyers and zines, messy but intentional. The colors are gorgeous, perfectly contrasting muted pastel tones with intense neon hues. Really, Black Canary is worth picking up just to see this incredible art for yourself.

Buy: Digitally / Physically

4. Rat Queens

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From Rat Queens #12

The end of 2014 was not a good time for Rat Queens. In November 2014, their former artist Roc Upchurch was arrested on domestic violence charges, and it was announced he would not be on the comic anymore. I was very excited when they announced that he would be replaced with artist Tess Fowler. Fowler has been an important voice on abuse in the comic book industry.

Although some fans were worried about what an artist change would do to Rat Queens, their worries were proven unnecessary when the Rat Queens Braga Special was released January 2015. Fowler’s presence on the team obviously improved an already excellent title. I love how she draws the Queens. There is no “same face” here: each  one of them is drawn distinctly and beautifully. It’s so clear that Fowler understands and loves these characters.

With every new arc, Rat Queens continues to be one of the most interesting and unique comics out there. It has a little of everything: girl power, magic, gore, sex, and disgusting monsters. I’ll definitely be keeping Rat Queens title on my pull list until it comes to an end.

Buy: Digitally / Physically

3. Ms. Marvel

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From Ms. Marvel #17

“Good is not a thing you are. It’s a thing you do.” Kamala said this line in Ms. Marvel #5, and it has stayed with me ever since. I recently reread the entire Ms. Marvel series as it ‘ended’ after Secret Wars this summer (it didn’t really end, but Marvel restarted all of their comics at #1 in September of this year after that in-universe event). I was so struck by how special Kamala is. She stays with you. By the number of times I’ve seen this series on other bloggers’ “Best of 2015” lists, it is clear that I’m not the only one who has been influenced by Kamala.

The story of “teenager gets powers and has to deal with them” is anything but new. Writer G. Willow Wilson took that premise and created something completely unique and special. As a Muslim-American teenager, the representation Kamala brings to comics makes this story new. Kamala is special because of that and more. She is a very realistic portrayal of a young girl who suddenly finds herself alongside the heroes she always idolized. 2015 brought the long-awaited meeting between Kamala and Carol Danvers, and I cried and cried when I read it for the first time. Watching her as she grows to fill her newly-assigned “hero” status has been an absolute joy.

Kamala inspires me deep down inside in every issue. Her passion, honesty, and positivity are something I aspire to every day. Although she is fictional, she feels so real, and I want to live a life that makes Kamala proud. I want to good to be the thing that I do.

Buy: Digitally / Physically

2. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

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From The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4

I was flying alone when I read The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 for the first time. On the second page, Squirrel Girl kicks some robbers’ butts, and as she throws one of them over her head, he yells, “I am currently reevaluating the choices that led me to a criminal liiiiiiife!” This line took me by surprise and I unexpectedly and suddenly cackled very loudly, making my neighbor jump in his seat. I was slightly embarrassed, but thought it was a one-time thing now that I had a feel for the tone of the book.

Nope. I laughed out loud at just about every single page after that. I was absolutely delighted. This is the comic we all needed this year. The world is terrible and bad things happen constantly, but Doreen is a beam of light once a month with her reckless optimism and a great sense of humor. She is the hero who tries to befriend villains (see above strip) before butt-kicking, but also never holds back if a bad guy really deserves it. Doreen is a great friend, and she accepts every person she meets for who they are.

My favorite part of Squirrel Girl might be the tiny captions at the bottom of each page. They never fail to make me laugh. The above strip captures everything I love about this series in three panels: friendship, humor, and hilarious captions.

Buy: Digitally / Physically

1. Bitch Planet

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From Bitch Planet #2

Bitch Planet reminds me strongly of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which I first read in my Intro to Women’s Studies course during my first semester at college. I remember reading Atwood’s words and having one of my first “Aha!” moments of understanding in my feminist education. Reading Bitch Planet for the first time was another significant “Aha!” moment in my life. It was a much-needed reminder that those moments of discovery never stop happening, even after graduating with a Women’s Studies degree. Bitch Planet is a hauntingly realistic portrayal of a misogynistic dystopia that thrives at the cost of its women.

This series has become more than just a comic book to me and many other women. The non-compliant symbol has turned into a tattoo phenomenon, with hundreds of women worldwide choosing to permanently label themselves as going against societal expectations. Being a Bitch Planet reader feels like being part of something huge and important and bigger than yourself. When I read it, I feel connected to every other woman reading the comic having her own “Aha!” moment.

More than anything, Bitch Planet is an upsetting and glorious reminder of the discovery, the pain, and most of all the community that comes with identifying as woman. It reminds us that being non-compliant is not only okay, but something to strive for.

Buy: Digitally / Physically

So there you have it, Girl Gang. Writing this has been a nice reminder that these worlds exist for me when I need a break from my own. I hope you have a great New Years, no matter what you’re doing. Stay safe, and we will see you in 2016! Happy New Year!