Comic Crush Saturday: November 20th, 2021
Welcome to Comic Crush Saturday, our bi-weekly feature focused on the graphic elements of the book world. Comics became a huge part of my life a few years ago when I started reviewing them (and comic related TV shows) on Forever Young Adult. I’ve maintained a pull list through my local comic shop, Isotope Comics, and even got Kelly to start one ;). You’ll find mini-reviews, what we’ve read recently, and more so check it out!
Check in: Y’all, I haven’t done a comic crush since JANUARY. Practically a whole year – YIKES. You know what happened? Graduate school. A pandemic. A soul-crushing job. Moving across state lines. I can’t promise to be back with any regularity because now it’s: unpacking from said move, one more semester, and job hunting. Anyways, enjoy the goodies below!
Featured Review of the Week
Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Ravenby Kami Garcia, Gabriel Picolo
Published by: DC Comics
on September 28, 2021
From #1 New York Times bestselling author KAMI GARCIA (Beautiful Creatures) and artist GABRIEL PICOLO, the creative duo behind the New York Times bestselling graphic novel Teen Titans: Raven, comes the romantic meet-up we have all been waiting for!
It seems like years, but it’s only been a few days since Raven Roth recovered her memories, trapped her demon father, Trigon, into her amulet, and had her heart broken for the first time. But she doesn’t have time to think about the past…she has to focus on finding a way to get rid of Trigon for good.
Garfield Logan still can’t believe he has powers that allow him to change into different animals, but the price of knowing that his parents kept this secret hidden from him just feels too high. And what’s more, his difficulty controlling these abilities could have unexpected consequences.
Both are seeking answers from the one person who seems to have them all figured out: Slade Wilson.
When their paths converge in Nashville, Raven and Gar can’t help but feel a connection, despite the secrets they both try to hide. It will take a great amount of trust and courage to overcome the wounds of their pasts. But can they find acceptance for the darkest part of themselves? Or maybe even love?
Beast Boy Loves Raven is the perfect mash-up of the previous two books in the series, with the addition of further Teen Titans to kick off future stories.
Kami and Gabriel’s working relationship plays to the audience’s favor. They love these characters and the words and art tell one cohesive story. The Beast Boy panels are clearly Beast Boy and Raven is Raven, but together the story styles come together. Because these stories are told outside of canon, the creative team can take some liberties while holding true to the characters we so love. I’m excited to see where the story goes with the addition of Damian Wayne (who I have loved since he was the world’s most hated Robin haha).
Interview with Jeffrey Brown
You may know Jeffrey Brown from his Jedi Academy books (a popular thing in my Little Free Library) and now he’s here writing young Damian Wayne! We checked in with him as he released Batman and Robin and Howard – check out our interview below and pick up this book for all of the big and little kids in your life!
Batman and Robin and Howardby Jeffrey Brown
Published by: DC Comics
on November 9, 2021
Sidelined by a crime-fighting field trip gone wrong, Damian Wayne must refocus his attention on his life as an average student and learning how to be a team player--especially when he meets his match in his new rival, Howard.
To Damian Wayne, there is nothing more important than protecting the streets of Gotham City as Robin. But when he makes a critical mistake while out on patrol, Damian finds himself benched. And what's more, Damian's dad, Bruce Wayne--a.k.a. Batman--decides that starting over in a new school will be just the distraction Damian needs from his superhero routine.
Certain that Gotham Metro Academy has nothing to teach him, Damian is completely unprepared for the challenge he finds in Howard--the smartest and most athletic kid in school. The boys' rivalry is instantaneous and fierce...and both are sure only one of them can be the best in their class.
What follows is a funny story of rivalry, friendship, and mystery from bestselling author and illustrator Jeffrey Brown.
Tell us about your writing and illustrating process.
For me, making comics always starts with the writing side of things. I still find ways to be able to draw as many fun things as I can, but everything has to work for the story first. So there’s a lot of planning, starting with an outline that I repeatedly revise and add detail to, until I have a page by page guide for the book that I’m happy with. Then I’ll create a first draft, which doesn’t have final text but gives a good sense of it all, and with drawings that are sort of like stick figure thumbnail panels. After getting notes from my editor, I’ll draw a second draft, with more detailed drawing and dialogue that I’ve refined. That’s followed by another round of notes from my editor, and then I’ll work on the final artwork. I use the second rough draft on a lightbox, so I have a guide for the final art without having to pencil and erase.
What parts of Damian and Howard’s experiences in the book mirror experiences you’ve had as a person?
One thing from my own life that I drew on for this story was making friends as a kid. Looking back, I can see times when I was standoffish toward someone who I should’ve been best friends with. That experience of not realizing how well you click with someone at first is what Damian and Howard go through.
I also draw on my experiences as a dad. My older son is a teenager now, so I’m not as cool to him as I once was. I tried to show Batman through his son’s eyes the same way – even if the whole world thinks he’s cool, Batman is still an awkward, embarrassing dad to his kid
Were there specific Batman/Robin stories that inspired Batman, Robin, and Howard?
Really, there were lots of different versions of Batman that influenced this book – just the fact that there are multiple ways of depicting him gave me the confidence to figure out my own new take on him. Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns story – with an older, worn out Batman was one way of rethinking his character, but also the multiple film and TV versions, and even the Teen Titans Go! cartoon. Grant Morrison’s Batman comics were another touchstone, especially the stories with art by Chris Burnham.
It’s Hawkeye Time
Oh how long I’ve waited to see Kate on the big (little? Medium sized? idk) screen! Set during Christmas several years after Endgame, this is the perfect series (only 6 eps wahhhh) for you to dive into this winter.
Hawkeye shows us the complications that come from a world where Avengers exist as well as individual implications. From Rogers the Musical and Kate’s speech on Hawkeye’s branding, we are seeing the world as it exists now. We also see Clint wearing hearing aids. One of the best parts of Hawkeye (both of them) is that they’re humans without powers. This also means real-world complications that come with the super life.
Kate gets a brand new backstory, which establishes exactly when the story takes place and her part in the world. I won’t spoil it for you but just know, this is a big improvement over the comics and I am so thrilled for her. She’s a skilled archer and an Avenger’s fangirl. You would be, too. Also, they got her apartment so right (and then blew it up lol).
Vera Farmiga knows best how to play the cold mother and does an excellent job as Kate’s mother. We also meet Lucky the Pizza Dog and the Tracksuit Mafia. This is what I love most in Marvel; the absolute silliness.
I wasn’t expecting to love the chemistry between Clint and Kate so much, especially since I can’t stand Jeremy Renner or what the MCU has done with Hawkeye. But the two of them together do bring some magic so take my angry love, Marvel. The LARP scene may have cemented Clint in my heart just a bit.
New eps drop on Wednesdays. See you there!