CategoryComics

The Line Is Drawn // They Cry Moore, Moore, Moore

The Line Is Drawn features floating thoughts on recent comic book happenings. They may be gathered for a more substantial meal at a later date.

WITH A REBEL YELL

Whether you know it or not, you’ve probably experienced something co-created by the reclusive wizard Alan Moore. He’s the writer behind comics such as Watchmen, V for Vendetta, From Hell, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and a myriad of others. To many, he’s a god made mortal, spinning tales that are filled to the brim with craft. To others, he’s a dude who is way to into his own shit, building to please himself rather than satisfy with story. Regardless, he’s one of the big names in comics, and his influence can not be denied.

Because of this, and because of the way this industry runs, his ideas are coming back, without Moore at the helm. People are upset by this which… I understand. There are very few projects in media that seem to spring into life, and are left alone when the initial story and purpose is laid to rest. For most of Alan Moore’s career, he’s focused almost exclusively on ideas with with more of a finite being – in direct contrast to the bulk of the content in the comic book industry. Now, there’s Before Watchmen, a series Watchmen prequels. There’s Doomsday Clock, which brings many of the characters from Watchmen explicitly into the DC universe. And now, Tom Strong and Promethea (two characters from his America’s Best Comics line at DC) are popping up in comics that are about to hit the stands.

Naturally, there’s a debate raging on if the use of all of these characters are appropriate. Honestly? It’s something that I’m not sure of myself. As a person, I like a good finite story – one with purpose and meaning. On the other hand, I’ve helped build a business that thrives off of the never ending narrative… and quite honestly, built on the bones of a lot of poor creators. Some days, I have a harder time balancing all of that than others, but at the end of the day, I am in the business of selling this product to folks who really enjoy it – and I have yet to let the morality of, say, the creation of Superman or the Fantastic Four stop me. Which is where my disconnect lies.

I can’t quite reconcile all of the fervour that the use of Alan Moore’s co-creations get with the machinations of the rest of the industry. I understand that people can be many things, and have many opinions… but it always seemed weird to me that a line be drawn at Moore with sure passion, while everything else… just is. I can definitely appreciate the concern with which they bring up Moore’s contributions and wishes, just like I do when folks bring up Jack Kirby. I ache at the thought of where comics left Jack, and he wanted the industry’s respect. Moore almost clearly doesn’t – or at least he’s resigned himself to the fact that it won’t. If resignation involves kicking dirt when prompted.

It’s a tough thing. But at the end of the day… I’m excited to see what Jeff Lemire and Ivan Ries will do with Tom Strong and his family, and curious as to what the future has in store for Promethea in the pages of Steve Orlando’s Justice League run (which has many artists). I like those ideas, and I’m genuinely curious as to what another voice has to say about them. That might make me a bad person. Or at least a thoughtless one. But hey, I guess we’re still also reading Mister Miracle and I’ve heard significantly less hand-wringing about that book. So.

Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Submetropolitan is powered by Variant Edition Comics + Culture – Edmonton’s best source for comics, used books + mindful pop culture.

Variant Edition // Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Pod People // Danica on That’s So Maven

In which Danica gets down to business. And talks about business!

Episode 69: Danica LeBlanc (listen here)

This week, I sat down with Danica LeBlanc, co-owner of Variant Edition Comics and Culture, to talk about what it’s like to be a woman in the comic world, what it’s like to run a business with your partner, and more.

Yegs & Bacon // Episode 001 // The Comics Industry Is Doomed

Welcome back to a brand new season of YEGS AND BACON!

On this week’s episode – is the comic book industry doomed? Yes! Or… no? Maybe. Danica and Brandon discuss what needs to change if comic shops want to see tomorrow, and they have the math to prove it.

All this, plus traffic and weather from Devin R. Bruce – and our amazing theme song by Apocalypse Kow

Show Notes:

Yegs & Bacon // Episode 000 // If You’re Just Joining Us

Gooooood morning Edmonton! Grab your coffees or your general morning beverage of choice, because YEGS AND BACON is here!

On this week’s PREVIEW show, we give our statement of purpose, ad talk about the days ahead. You want some feminism and general mindfulness in your comics culture? Then you’ve come to the right place.

Yegs and Bacon’s theme music is by the incomparable Apocalypse KowYou should give them money, because they are wonderful.

What Kind Of Wife Am I?

Reflections on Bitch Planet: Triple Feature

Recently, I re-read Bitch Planet Volume 2 for WTF+ YEG Book Club. This led me to shamefully admit to the group that I had not been reading the mini-series, Bitch Planet: Triple Feature!, even though the issues were conveniently located in my comics subscription file. I read the 3 issues that had been released so far a couple nights later.

As I was reading the short stories taking place in the world of Bitch Planet, but on Earth rather than the offworld jail of the main series, I couldn’t help but think about my role in this world as a married woman.

It’s not news, and there have been countless articles on Bitch Planet, but here I am anyway.

In my teens, I grew a fascination for 1950’s culture. Drunk on my white privilege, I reveled in boomerang tile and ranch houses, never once thinking of the pervasive racism of the day and gender roles women were forced into. I didn’t dream of being a housewife, but I sure as hell created a future for myself that may have ended that way. Nowadays, I’ve moved past that obsession and only have an attraction to the aesthetic. My current ideal space is a cozy mix of 1940’s minimalism and 1970’s comfort, and deep, earthy tones(oddly, both decades where women were expected to step up to join the workforce and the waves of feminism rose higher).

I grew up with little interest in marriage. I assumed I would get married “someday”, but never put too much thought into it. When I was very young, I believe 28-29 was my “someday” range – perhaps it seemed old enough. Or perhaps I was raised by society to believe that 30 was the End Times for a woman, so never questioned why I had put my nebulous marker ahead of this dreadful milestone. In my early 20’s, I was in a long term relationship with a man who I assumed I would marry. We dated for around 4 years, and it became quite obvious he was never going to propose. Around that age, I was full force into thinking that’s what a relationship needed to move to the next level. Of course, it ended with us falling out of love with each other, so really nothing was going to improve anything.

As it happens, I am currently married. I did not end up a 32-year old spinster. The best man I’ve ever known saved me from the terrible fate of Being Alone In My 30’s(sarcasm heavily implied). I knew marriage could be hard, but I didn’t realize that much of the stress would come from myself. I didn’t realize I had put myself in a box of my own making until I had been married a couple years. I stressed about Having It All. I was bound and determined to work a fulltime job AND cook dinner AND keep the house tidy AND feed the cats. I felt guilty asking Brandon to help out with housework, as if I was shirking my duties. I felt as if I had poured my own glass of the proverbial Kool-Aid and given in to what I thought a wife should be.

It took a long time, and I still have difficulties. Brandon and I are equal partners in many ways. We live together, own a business together, plan together, we make sure the cats are happy together. Reading Bitch Planet has been healthy for me, because I can often readdress who I am as a wife and woman.

I’m going to leave this idea to simmer for a bit. Please leave a comment below if the series has, or has not, made a similar effect on you. If married, did you have to fight against any gender roles to find a comfortable way to live with your partner? If not, how do you see a married you? And if marriage isn’t in your plans, do you have any issues cohabitating?

ha ha no

It’s a funny joke right? I mean, my first thought was to laugh, but after a couple of seconds, I just got tired.

Valiant is advertising the most gimmicked variant of all time for this December, and they’re asking retailers to order 250 copies of the new Quantum and Woody title to get it. And I just… no. No. You can’t actually promote how ridiculous stuff like this is and then turn around and ply your very own stipulations. It’s not funny, it’s part of the problem.

Sell us the story. Then we’ll talk.

Comics Are For Kids

“Kids are our future.”

You’ve all heard this. Whether it’s spoken in response to climate change, supporting girls to begin working in STEM fields or politics, or comic books. While I have opinions on many things, I’m an expert on one thing.

From day one, I wanted my store to have a vast all ages section. And not for the reasons many stores do. I have no interest in putting a child in a corner so their parents could get rid of them for a while. I am not a babysitter. I wanted somewhere kids would willingly go, a space that was all their own. I’m still building on that, but the section has come a long way since Variant Edition opened.

I’ll admit, there have been some drawbacks. Money is tight, so I can only grow the section when I have some room in the budget, but I’ve been able to find some amazing books along the way. There was the time a customer (who has two sons) asked if there could be more books with young boys in them. I had been growing the section for a fictional Young Danica, finding more and more books I felt would have had a positive impact on me as a child. I had neglected to add books with positive male characters. He was also kind enough to remind me to focus on books with boys, sans “punching is the answer” (you would be amazed to discover the number of male-focused books that contain this). I have the weirdest blinders on when I’m ordering, and a lot of my customers who are parents have been helping me immensely.

I’ve been keeping my eye out for books about talking out problems, about girls going in STEM careers, LGBTQ+ kids being loved and accepted, princesses who run their lives, dinosaurs who are helpful friends, anything positive that will help build a kid up strong when the world comes knocking to crush them down. And yes, I look for books that I believe make me stronger, even now.

Business talk time. When I see other comic stores ignoring what is a huge and growing market, I get sad. Angry. Disappointed at their unwillingness to be a better business. Yes, that makes my job easier, but wouldn’t it be nice if all children could go to any comic store and find something magical, just for them? Brandon and I work hard to market comics to all age ranges. It would be so easy (and limiting) to market to people our age and up. People who have been reading comics for decades and are somehow more “justified” to be in a book store. I see a lot of customers stepping on their child’s wonder, possibly destroying a habit before it’s formed.

You can’t raise a reader if you begin by teaching restrictions (and no, I’m not talking about age restrictions – I always read above my age group, but I realize there are limitations).

There is no such thing as a “boy comic” or a “girl comic”. There are stories, and if your child is interested in it, and the content is age appropriate, give it a try. This could be the gateway to a future career. It could be the start of a passion. It could just be a wonderful phase of reading about dinosaurs. We all had those. We’re not all archeologists, but wasn’t it nice to dream about digs in Egypt when we were 8?

Comics Taste Test for Sept 13, 2017

Happy new comic book day, party people!

Here at Submet, we’re starting up a weekly feature where we gather up all of our #preNCBD (pre New Comic Book Day) tweets into one easily digestible blog post so that everyone can get a little taste of what’s hitting the stands.

For a full list of what’s coming out, feel free to check out Variant Edition’s Incoming Post from this week.

Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook
Danica LeBlanc // Twitter

Submetropolitan is powered by Variant Edition Comics + Culture – Edmonton’s best source for comics, used books + mindful pop culture // Submet on Facebook
Variant Edition // Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Comics Taste Test for Sept 6th, 2017

Testing out a little thing in preparation for THE WORLD TO COME.

Hmm.

HMM…

 

Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook
Danica LeBlanc // Twitter

Submetropolitan is powered by Variant Edition Comics + Culture – Edmonton’s best source for comics, used books + mindful pop culture.
Variant Edition // Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

#VERecommends: Beauty

WHAT IT IS: A young woman wishes for beauty in order for her life to be better, but dudes are horrible, and so is she.

FROM THE PUBLISHER: When Coddie unintentionally delivers a fairy from the spell that held her prisoner, she does not realize how poisoned the wish is she gets in return. From repulsive and stinking of fish she becomes perceived as magnetically beautiful, which does not help her in her village. A young local lord saves her but soon it becomes apparent her destiny may be far greater.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: Beauty is a dark modern fairy tale in a handsome hardcover volume. While the story features familiar light fantasy trappings, the story itself veers headfirst into a vicious cautionary tale with lush illustrations. While there are few redeeming characteristics about many of the cast, the story is compelling, taking what at first blush appears to be a more standard fairy tale and adding modern storytelling blemishes to drive the story through a few bloody curves to quite a surprising ending. Definitely not for children, unless you want them to learn some tough lessons really fast.

Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook

Submetropolitan is powered by Variant Edition Comics + Culture – Edmonton’s best source for comics, used books + mindful pop culture.

Variant Edition // Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

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