Comic Book Club – DC Comics Bombshells

There’s a fever in the air, a fever that can only be satiated by a gal named Gal, nay, a woman, a wonder woman. The interest in Wonder Woman has skyrocketed since the release of Wonder Woman which, in its three plus weeks, has grossed nearly $318 million, surpassing Logan and Fate of the Furious for 2017 domestic box office gross (from boxofficemojo.com). And if the number of tickets purchase doesn’t have you convinced, just check out how excited Felicia Day was about all this Wonder Woman swag:

While I didn’t want it to be, Wonder Woman was, at its heart, a well-told origin story. We learn about Diana’s spoiled childhood on Themyscira. We see her reactions when she learns that good is not as black and white as she thought. We watch her respond to a world which pushes against her convictions. The blend of the strong female warriors of Themyscira and the pure chaos men have caused in the outside world creating an engaging story even without the gender politics. This is a great film and for people new to these characters, they will be looking for comics featuring them to read.

The DC Comics Bombshells got their start back in 2011 when artist Ant Lucia was commissioned for a series of sketches and figurines of the women of DC Comics as 1940s inspired, plane nose cone, WWII pin-ups, first featuring Wonder Woman, Stargirl, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn. People started cosplaying as these characters even though they never had a story written about them. Their popularity soared so much that in 2015, Marguerite Bennett and various artists released the DC Comics Bombshells which we know and love today. In an interview with DC Comics News from SDCC16, Bennett stated how she wanted to give each of these characters their own agency. She also points out that each character’s story arc mimics a specific media genre from the era. Batwoman’s story is an old-time radio drama, Supergirl’s is a propaganda film, Zatanna’s a dark horror film. When you think of the characters and stories in context of genres, it adds another rich layer to the storytelling.

2017.25 Bombshells

I love stories that bend our familiar cast of characters into unfamiliar situations, which is exactly what DC Comics Bombshells does. The base premise is that none of the characters are derivative of their male equivalents; Batwoman saves the Waynes in the alley, therefore there is no Batman. Supergirl is an alien from outer space being raised in the country by Russian peasants. Zatanna, performing in a German cabaret where she unwilling releases a great evil. How will these and other DC Comics superheroines and supervillains come together to defeat the unnatural evils fanning the flames of World War II? You learn about their adventures and the lives of many more Bombshells along the way.

For you book club, here are some questions to get the conversation going:

What is it about the Bombshells lines do you think many female fans gravitated towards?

What do you think of all the Bombshell’s foes? Who do you think the main villain is?

Do the villains and other supplemental characters take the story too far away from the WWII origins?

Were you exposed to any new DC Comics female characters who you weren’t aware of before reading this book? What do you think of their place in the DC Universe?

Who is your favorite character design?

Is there another time you’d like to see the Bombshells explore?

Do you like DC Comics Bombshells? Tell me your favorite part on Twitter @librnwithissues or in the comments below.

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Comfort Comics for When Life is Rough

Unfortunately, I was emotionally unable to write the past two weeks due to personal issues which left me quite shaken. Someone broke into our apartment, grabbed a lot of stuff, and left the back door wide open. Everyone is alright, but I just needed some time to get personal and emotional affairs in order before I could focus on writing again.

It was a bit bizarre, right before this incident, I picked up The Book of Hygge: the Danish Art of Contentment, Comfort and Connection by Louisa Thomsen Brits. Hygge has been making the rounds lately and is essentially a philosophy of presentness and contentment in the moment, taking joy in small things that create a sense of coziness and security for ourselves and the people around us. Well, I was feeling awfully insecure and uncozy after the burglary and I sought out my comfort comics. So today, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite comfort comics, the comics that when I’m feeling sad or lonely or vulnerable, I pick up and feel better. Thank you to the creators and publisher for creating stories to soothe the soul.

Cat Getting Out of A Bag and Other Observations
By Jeffrey Brown
Published by Chronicle Books

2017.22 cat getting out of a bag
http://jeffreybrowncomics.blogspot.com/

You may recognize Jeffrey Brown from his widely popular series Darth Vader and Kids and Jedi Academy Star Wars comics. Brown’s simple and charming style is accessible and comforting in times which call for a short break, a cup of something warm, and a big grin. Most pages are simple 3×3 grid vignettes about quintessentially cat things; begging for attention only to eat a plant, sitting in boxes and getting stuck, and refusal to be seen by the vet. What I love about Cat Getting Out of a Bag is how much it reminds me of my relationship with my cat, Jonesy, and I’m sure the relationship most people have with their pets. I talk to him, about him, wonder what he’s up to while I’m at work, he truly is like a child to me. And there’s something magical about cats which lend themselves so well to comics. They are mischievous and coy, self-centered yet crave attention, a whole gambit of emotions difficult to capture on the page, all which Brown captures with delight.

Love is Love
By Various Authors and Artists
Published by IDW and DC Comics

2017.22 love is love
http://www.idwpublishing.com/product/love-is-love/

This book is a collaboration of IDW and DC Comics, and also features characters from Archie, many Image titles, and original works. Love is Love is a feat of collaboration spurred from creative reactions to the Orlando Night Club shooting on June 12, 2016. It’s difficult to believe that it’s been almost a year since so many innocent people lost their lives and this book stands as a testament to their memory. Each page is filled with love and understanding, teaching us to be brave and to not accept hate. Some pages are single art pieces while others are two page stories reminding us that that the smallest gesture of kindness can make a big difference. I think this is especially important after falling victim to the harmful act of a fellow human to understand who you react to a situation speaks to your character.

 
Wonder Woman: the True Amazon
Written and Illustrated by Jill Thompson
Lettered by Jason Arthur

2017.22 wonder woman
http://www.dccomics.com/graphic-novels/wonder-woman-the-true-amazon

Wonder Woman just hit the big screen this past weekend and has been a box office success. If you enjoyed the film, I highly recommend Jill Thompson’s Wonder Woman: the True Amazon. This standalone story looks at Diana’s formative years as a child and young woman on Themyscira, beloved and spoiled by all the Amazons. But when Alethea, a stable worker, does not show Diana the undying affection she’s come to expect, she challenged Diana to be selfless and genuine, a challenge she has difficulty meeting. We all go through bouts of life where we put ourselves before all others, but this book teaches us the importance of seeing yourself as part of a greater society and understanding the sacrifices you, and others, must make for the goodness of others.

 

Bandette
Written by Paul Tobin
Illustrated by Colleen Coover

2017.22 Bandette
http://www.colleencoover.net/?page_id=4131

Oh, the irony. The comic that makes me feel most comfy and cozy is about a petty art thief, but if anyone is going to make you happy, it’s the plucky sticky fingers, Bandette. Set in Paris, a place I found homey during my visits, Bandette is an art thief who has more in her hands than just candy. She embodies a Robin Hoodesque mantra of steal from the rich and give to… well Bandette, who tends to skim a little bit off the top. Along with her urchins, Parisian ballet students, food delivery drivers, and others from her arrondissement and Detective Inspector Belgique, Bandette accomplishes her heists, while enriching her community. This book is truly about seeking out a community you can rely on in your time of need and how friendships are the most priceless jewel in life.

What are your comfort comics? Do you have a title you find yourself going back to time and time again? Let me know On Twitter @librnwithissues