Tag Archives: Aditya Bidikar

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DC Reveals First Look at Mariko Tamaki’s ‘I Am Not Starfire’ a New YA Graphic Novel Illustrated by Yoshi Yoshitani

Next summer, New York Times bestselling author Mariko Tamaki is teaming up with talented artist Yoshi Yoshitani, and letterer Aditya Bidikar to debut I Am Not Starfirean original young adult (YA) graphic novel that follows Mandy, the daughter of Starfire, as she navigates the highs and lows of high school along with the pressure of having a DC Super Hero for a mom.

Filled with the same humor and wit readers have come to expect from Tamaki, I Am Not Starfire introduces seventeen-year-old Mandy—an original character—who is struggling to find her own identity as she deals with her school crush while also learning to understand her mom who feels so different from her.

I Am Not Starfire is available to pre-order now and hits stores everywhere books are sold on August 10, 2021.

Seventeen-year-old Mandy, daughter of Starfire, is NOT like her mother. Starfire is gorgeous, tall, sparkly, and a hero. Mandy is NOT a sparkly superhero. Mandy has no powers, is a kid who dyes her hair black and hates everyone but her best friend Lincoln. To Starfire, who is from another planet, Mandy seems like an alien, like some distant angry light years away moon.

And it’s possible Mandy is even more distant lately, ever since she walked out on her S.A.T.s. Which, yeah, her mom doesn’t know.

Everyone thinks Mandy needs to go to college and become whoever you become at college, but Mandy has other plans. Mandy’s big plan is that she’s going to move to France and…do whatever people do in France. But then everything changes when she gets partnered with Claire for a school project. Mandy likes Claire (even if she denies it, heartily and intensely). A lot.

How do you become the person you’re supposed to be when you don’t know what that is? How do you become the person you’re supposed to be when the only thing you’re sure of is what you’re not?

When someone from Starfire’s past arrives, Mandy must make a choice: give up before the battle has even begun, or step into the unknown and risk everything to save her mom. I am Not Starfire is a story about teenagers and/as aliens; about knowing where you come from and where you are going; and about mothers.

I Am Not Starfire

Review: Home Sick Pilots #1

Home Sick Pilots #1

I was not expecting that. That’s the main thought after reading Home Sick Pilots #1 an interesting ghost/horror debut. The first issue delivers some twists and turns and does it with a certain flair and style. It’s one of the more intriguing starts of the year.

Written by Dan Watters, Home Sick Pilots #1 centers around a punk band and its lead singer Ami and a haunted house. It’s 1984 and in its opening, a house strides across the suburban landscape like a wooden kaiju delivering restorative destruction. At its center is a woman who seems to be controling the constructed behemoth. It’s an unexpected start to the series teasing the reader with what’s to come and then delivering the steps of how we get there.

There’s a certain sense of style and cool about the world Watters has put together. The issue revolves around punk bands and their outsider status, a plot point that works and enhances the story. Like the house at the center of the story, the kids in these bands are broken a bit and rejected by society. The house and each character have much in common in how they’re perceived by society. They’re present and neither knows what to do with them.

Caspar Wijngaard‘s art brings a haunting eeriness to the series. Along with lettering from Aditya Bidikar, Home Sick Pilots #1 delivers a calm before its shocking moments drop. That calm helps to enhance and emphasize the crazy which is a literal house of horrors. Characters are murdered with almost glee widdling them down to a few to care about. It’s unexpected twists as to this point Watters’ story and dialogue had set up an interesting rivalry between groups making for an entertaining team-up. But, the house has a different direction to take it.

Home Sick Pilots #1 is a solid debut setting things up before pulling the rug out from under the reader. It takes us into a haunted house and delivers bodies without taking things over the top and making it about the gore. It focuses on the mystery of it all and like its victims, catches the reader off-guard. In what was expected to span out over a few issues, the body count is quick and swift hooking the reader and getting their attention. For those into horror and mystery, this is a debut to check out.

Story: Dan Watters Art: Caspar Wijngaard
Letterer: Aditya Bidikar Design: Tom Muller
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Discover the Destiny of the DC Universe! What is Swamp Thing’s Obsidian Sun? Get a Look at Future State: Swamp Thing #1

Welcome to DC Future State, a two-month extravaganza that reveals what lays in store for the World’s Greatest Heroes! Spinning out of the finale of Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 (on sale January 5), DC Future State will take you on a journey from the near future to the end of time to witness the destinies of heroes like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Justice League, the Teen Titans, and so many more.

In Future State: Swamp Thing #1from the ashes of a terrible war, life blooms anew in Swamp Thing’s image. The remnants of humanity lie in hiding, forever in the shadow of the green god who now rules the planet. When the new avatar of the Green uncovers a stray human, a rebellion is revealed! But this Swamp Thing is no stranger to violent ends, and neither are his creations. If it’s war humanity wants, it will be at their doorstep—and Swamp Thing will never be the same!

Future State: Swamp Thing #1 (of 2), “Obsidian Sun,” written by Ram V. with art and cover by Mike Perkins, colors by June Chung, lettering by Aditya Bidikar, and a card stock variant cover by Dima Ivanov, hits shelves January 5.

Future State: Swamp Thing #1

Wynd Will Return in 2021

Wynd will return in May 2021 with issue #6, kicking off the next chapter in the acclaimed original series by award-winning writer James Tynion IV and artist Michael Dialynas, with letterer Aditya Bidikar, and published by BOOM! Studios. Tynion IV and Dialynas previously collaborated for three years on the GLAAD Award-winning series The Woods.

Wynd #6 continues the adventure with fresh faces and untold dangers in a world where magical heritage is feared and in certain parts, punishable by death. The young boy named Wynd has kept his true identity – and pointy ears – a secret from everyone in Pipetown, even if it means he’ll never have the normal life he wants. But when his secret is threatened, Wynd is forced to leave his home behind to embark on a dangerous quest that will put him at the heart of a royal conspiracy beyond his imagination.

Now on the run with the boy of his dreams, his best friend Oakley, and a literal prince, Wynd will have to embrace the magic within himself in order to survive the great, wide world full of vampires, faeries, conspiracies, and even greater dangers than those he left behind!

Every issue of Wynd will feature over 40 pages of story – more than twice the standard comic.

Wynd #6 teaser

Comics Deserve Better Episode 13: These Savage Shores by Ram V, Sumit Kumar, Vittorio Astone, Aditya Bidikar

On this week’s Comics Deserve Better, Brian, Darci, and Logan dig into These Savage Shores by Ram V, Sumit Kumar, Vittorio Astone, and Aditya Bidikar. It’s historical fiction-meets-horror set in 18th century Southeast India and effectively decolonizes the vampire story while also riffing on epistolary novels and nine-panel grids. They also chat about the 2020 Ringo Award winners, Copra‘s new publishing format, and Elsa Charretier’s Kickstarter. Other comics mentioned on the show include Dracula Motherf**ker, Shuzo Oshimi‘s Happiness, Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood, Sympathy for No Devils, Papaya Salad, and Sophia Yanow‘s Contradiction (Episode art by Sumit Kumar)

Review: Giga #1

Giga #1

Nobody knows why the skyscraper-sized mechs known as ‘Giga’ fought their bitter, centuries’ long war. All they know is that when the fighting finally stopped, the dormant Giga became humanity’s new habitat and new gods in one. When disgraced engineer Evan Calhoun finds an apparently murdered Giga, his society and the fascistic tech-centered religious order that controls it are rapidly thrown into chaos. Enter this new world with Giga #1.

There aren’t many writers whose work I will pick up without question, and Alex Paknadel is quickly becoming one of them. I have yet to read a comic written by him that I haven’t enjoyed, and given the quality of Paknadel’s writing, With Giga #1 Paknadel takes you to a distant future that finds humanity living inside of giant robots, docile veterans of a long war, acting almost as a symbiotic partner to the robot’s existence. This idea, that the robots need the humans like humans need bacteria, is brought up a couple of times in the comic, and it’s something that sets the series apart from a lot of the other science fiction I’ve been read of late.

The idea of humanity as a virus isn’t new, but humanity as a bacteria isn’t something I have ever seen before. It provides a fascinating backdrop as the story plays out within the dormant giant robots and a world that’s not quite post-apocalyptic anymore, but the scars of the war are still evident if you know where to look. John Lê‘s art, colored by Rosh, is beautiful.

Stylistically the art is clean and vibrant, with the details never getting lost on the page – the world is at times muddy, the interiors often caked in dirt and the detritus of years pushed to the side in a vague attempt at cleanliness, but it’s drawn so well that you never lose focus on what is happening on the page. An interesting factoid from a recent conversation with Paknadel is that one of the textures in the comic was taken by Rosh from bird shit, which makes me wonder what else is lying just beneath the surface of the art in this comic.

It is one of the many reasons to reread this book.

Giga #1 is clearly a labour of love. I have never read a comic from Paknadel that I haven’t enjoyed, and this is another prime example of why. From the very start of the comic this is a wonderful experience; Paknadel treats his audience with a level of respect and trusts us to pick out the history of the world from what we’re shown within the story itself, he doesn’t waste a page on an opening crawl (although there’s nothing wrong opening crawls, they can be over used and tell you too much about what’s about to happen). The comic continues with that level of trust and respect, both for the characters within the book who are fully formed from the moment you see them, and the audience ourselves. Whether it’s the pacing, the dialogue, the world building, the narration boxes… there’s isn’t a wasted syllable in this comic.

I also want to take a moment to point out the lettering of Aditya Bidikar; the speech bubbles are one of the things you’ll notice on the second read through (or first at this point), and at first you may not understand why they grabbed your attention because there’s a subtle uniqueness to them that adds to the visual presentation of an already stunning comic.

If I’m honest, while I expected to like this book, I didn’t expect it to take me the way it has. I should be surprised, honestly, given how much I enjoy Paknadel’s other work. Giga #1 is easily the best thing I have ever read that has come from Paknadel’s keyboard; there’s something here for so many different aspects of fandom, but at the end of the day, what’s most important is whether this comic is any good – and it is. It’s one of those comics that you need to add to your pull list immediately (and thankfully a lot of you have been as the book has already gone for a second printing).

Giga has the potential to be the kind of generational story that’s talked about for decades. Don’t miss the first issue.

Story: Alex Paknadel Art: John Lê
Colorist: Rosh Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
Story: 9.2 Art: 9.1 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Vault Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXology – Kindle – Zeus Comics

Review: Giga #1 is a Small Step into a World of Conflicting Beliefs and Giant Robots

Giga #1

Imagine a world where the Transformers (Called Giga in the story) are worshiped like gods and have a fanatical religion dedicated to them called the Order of the Red Relay. Also, humans live in their bodies. This is the world of Giga from writer Alex Paknadel, artist John Lê, colorist Rosh, and letterer extraordinaire Aditya Bidikar whose use of single lines connected to word balloons adds to the dystopian vibes of the book. The first issue introduces readers to the protagonist, Evan, a disabled Black man, who uses a wheelchair and has left the Order to follow his own path. There’s lots of dead human and Giga bodies, but Paknadel and Lê take the slow burn route and show what life is like in this post-apocalyptic, mecha-filled world before setting up a bigger conflict or mystery.

Alex Paknadel and Lê show the tension between devotees of the Giga, the Luddite Duster gang, and then folks like Evan and his robot buddy Laurel, who are caught in between these various parties. But there aren’t epic battles or big “gotcha” moments beyond an incident in Evan’s past that is responsible for him leaving the Order, or him and his friend Mayra finding a bunch of dead bodies in a heavily damaged Giga that is similar to that incident. Paknadel and Lê seem more concerned in showing what day-to-day life is like for Evan and his complex web of relationships that include the aforementioned Mayra and Laurel (Who is adorable is hell and an action figure or plush waiting to happen) as well as Mason, his buddy from the Order, who wants him to return. Their conversation is relatable for anyone who was raised in any kind of fundamentalist-adjacent religion, still interact with friends and family from that background, and maybe even still feel a little guilty for leaving to forge their own path.

Giga #1

Lê and colorist Rosh’s art do an excellent job showing the size and scale of the Giga and the humans that either hate, worship, or simply tolerate them. For example, the opening scene with explosions, bodies flying everywhere, and intense reds from Rosh cuts to a wide, double page splash of just a little smoking in the the head area of Giga, which is surrounded by other Gigas. It’s like they had an ear infection or accidentally burned a burger on the grill. It’s a slight convenience for them compared to the utter trauma on Evan’s face. The sequence of pages also drive the home the elegant, yet scatological metaphor that he mentioned to his teacher about humans basically being the cleaning/regulating microbes of the Giga. They’re not friends or beloved followers; they’re the plumbing system or the little remora fish that eat parasites off sharks.

John Le’s art truly drives home the point that Giga #1 is set in a post-apocalyptic world with all kinds of small touches like annoying rain puddles, cluttered living arrangement, and fluids dripping from the ceiling. (That might serve a larger plot point down the road when Mason wipes one off his Order outfit.) This is a world where you’re on your own unless you comply to the Order or anti-tech Dusters, who get a short scene that shows that being anti-technology might be a bad idea when it comes to healthcare. They come across as a metaphor for anti-vaxxers, but more post-apocalyptic chic. Even if they don’t directly connect to Evan’s story yet, it’s cool to see the world of Giga from a variety of perspectives.

Giga #1 has some interesting world-building and ideas and is a solid mash-up of mecha and post-apocalyptic fiction with a color palette that is both bleak and intense courtesy of Rosh. There are a couple of explosions and some big damn (and one little) robots, but Alex Paknadel and John Lê structure their story around Evan’s relationships with the world around him instead of going the blockbuster action route and use these relationships to ask big picture questions about the connection between humans with different beliefs and humans and technology. Giga is sure to be another SF jewel in the Vault crown.

Story: Alex Paknadel Art: John Lê
Colors: Rosh Letters: Aditya Bidikar

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Vault provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Dark Horse Announces an Afterlift Comics Retailer Incentive

Dark Horse has announced a new incentive for comic shops ordering the comiXology original series Afterlift. Shops that order 5 copies of the graphic novel by the final order cutoff of November 2 will receive 5 free book plates (a max of 20 per store) with original artwork by Jeff Lemire and signed by Chip Zdarsky and Jason Loo.

Arriving in print February 2021, Aferlift is colored by Paris Alleyne, lettered by Aditya Bidikar, and edited by Allison O’Toole, includes a Jason Loo Sketchbook with commentary by Chip Zdarsky as well as a process piece called Anatomy of a Page.

Afterlift is a fast-paced story about car chases, demon bounty hunters, and figuring out your place in this world and the next. Janice Chen recently quit her day job in finance and signs up to be a driver on a ride-sharing app. She has enough to deal with, from annoying passengers to overbearing parents. But what was at first a mundane yet enjoyable way to pass the time takes a terrible turn when she picks up a pair of mysterious passengers who are pursued by otherworldly forces, Janice realizes that her already-terrible day might be headed straight to hell.

Giga #1 Sells Out Before Release and Heads Back to Press

Vault has announced that Giga #1 is going back to press for a second printing after selling out of a generous overprint at the distributor. The second print cover features a new “Starry Night” version of the now-iconic original cover by Giga artist and co-creator, John Lê. It will hit store shelves on December 2nd, the same release date as issue #2.

The Giga #1 second print will be available in two different versions. The first version (SEP208040) will be a standard comic cover with a $3.99 SRP. The second version (SEP208041) will be a special foil cover on deluxe heavy-weight card stock, with a $9.99 SRP.

Nobody knows why the skyscraper-sized mechs known as ‘Giga’ fought their bitter, centuries’ long war. All they know is that when the fighting finally stopped, the dormant Giga became humanity’s new habitat and new gods in one. When disgraced engineer Evan Calhoun finds an apparently murdered Giga, his society and the fascistic tech-centered religious order that controls it are rapidly thrown into chaos.

From writer Alex Paknadel (Friendo, Empyre: Celestial Messiah) and rising star John Lê comes another Vault & White Noise partnership about what happens after the mechs stop fighting.

GIGA is co-created by writer Alex Paknadel, and artist John Lê, with colors by Rosh, letters by Aditya Bidikar, and designs by Tim Daniel. The sold out first printing of issue #1 goes on sale October 28th, 2020.

Giga #1 2nd printing

Get a First Look at James Tynion IV, Michael Dialynas, and Aditya Bidikar’s Wynd #5

BOOM! Studios revealed the first look at Wynd #5, the final issue of the first arc of the original series by the highly-acclaimed team of writer James Tynion IV and artist Michael Dialynas, with letterer Aditya Bidikar. Tynion IV and Dialynas previously collaborated for three years on the GLAAD Award-winning series The Woods.

It’s Wynd vs. the Bandaged Man! But if Wynd wants to save his friends, he’ll need to accept who he truly is – and the power that comes with being a Weirdblood.

Wynd #5 features a main cover illustrated by series artist Michael Dialynas and variant cover art by acclaimed artist Peach Momoko. It comes to shelves on October 28, 2020.

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