Tag Archives: bitter root

SDCC 2020: Comics as a Conduit panel, an essential watch

San Diego Comic Con 2020 has been forced down the road of remote programming due to current COVID-19 concerns, but it’s taken the opportunity to present some high quality, highly important pre-recorded panel discussions that people can access whenever they want after they’ve been made available via the SDCC at Home schedule website. One such panel took place on opening day (Wednesday, July 22 ,2020), called Comics as a Conduit, and it immediately set a high bar with an urgent tone and an infectious sense of excitement when it comes to dealing with History as a current and present problem that comics can and should address.

Moderated by Chloe Ramos, Comics as a Conduit centered on the specific uses and intentions of real world developments in comics to inform and engage with the problems currently on display in our streets today. Henry Barajas (author of La Voz de M.A.Y.O.: Tata Rambo), Rodney Barnes (author of Killadelphia), Darcy Van Poelgeest (author of Little Bird: The Fight for Elder’s Hope), and David F. Walker (author of Bitter Root) participated in the panel as their comics are, essentially, great examples of the very conduits under question.

I’ll go through some of the highlights as the panel is up on YouTube in its entirety for anyone interested. I truly recommend taking the time to see it to get everything straight from the source. It was a powerful panel and a great conversation.

Chloe Ramos had an impressive set of incisive questions that didn’t settle for simple answers. In general, they homed in on the expectations that come with incorporating history into a comic and what type of reactions or expectations creators aim for when presenting their extensively researched stories to the public.

Barnes spoke to the necessity of making racism a more complicated type of discussion in media as a whole to really get to explore the actual ramifications of it. His Philadelphia vampire comic, Killadelphia, approaches this idea through the politics of poverty and how it shows apathy and displacement to be a product of a racist history. With such a dense point of view, Barnes also mentioned the importance of making history “not seem like medicine” in comics, so that everyone can get into it.

Van Poelgeest, creator of Little Bird, went a similar route. He emphasized the importance of making books that don’t keep readers out of the loop and, thus, unable to engage with these type of stories. Poelgeest said that accessibility keeps readership diverse and that the opposite “keeps a lot of people out of the world of reading.” This is perhaps one of the most important things mentioned in the panel and it really hits home when considering how certain works of non-fiction stay within the realm of academia without setting up different avenues for dialogue with the world outside of it.

Barajas’ interventions also expanded on this point as his book is a work of comics journalism whose intention is to shed light on a history that doesn’t make it into popular history books. The story of Tata Rambo deals with generational trauma and how it led to a movement that fought for better working and living conditions for the Pascua Yaqi Tribe in Toucson, Arizona. One of the things Barajas added to the conversation considered the inclusion of supplemental material in these type of books. Getting people in touch with actual documents and news clippings can only further the learning process, something La Voz de M.A.Y.O. does very well.

For Walker, a self-proclaimed research junkie (which wonderfully shows in his writing), looking at the Harlem Renaissance for his monster hunting book Bitter Root was an exercise in looking beyond the romantic version of history and into the aberrant racism of early 20th century America. The concept of entertainment as a conduit came to him when he watched George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and saw how a movie about zombies could say so much about race relations and war. He also mentioned that there’s an interesting discussion to be had with horror in terms of responsibility and who’s supposed to fight the monsters. This is a running theme in the genre, across all mediums, and one that Bitter Root explores well. If you haven’t read it yet, now’s a good time to do so.

Again, these blurbs are meant to offer a taste of the panel rather than a summary of it. I whole-heartedly recommend giving it a watch as it says a lot about how we as readers learn through comics and how we can be doing more of it.

For the full Comics as a Conduit panel, click here.

Around the Tubes

Bitter Root #6

It’s a new week and we’ve got lots coming at you. While you wait for that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Newsarama – Dynamite’s Nick Barrucci Decries ‘Cancel Culture’ and ‘Retail Minority That are Loud & Equivalent of Keyboard Cops’ in ComicsPRO Keynote – An interesting read.

NBC – Minnesota’s only black-owned comic book store celebrates black history year-round – Go check out this shop!

Live Law – How A Footballer Turned Lawyer Created A Graphic Novel For Legal Awareness? – There’s been some “legal” comics and graphic novels but it’s a space that has the potential to grow.

CBLDF – CBLDF Launches Rory D. Root Comics Ambassador Grant To Support Retailer Programs Celebrating Free Expression – This is fantastic to see.

Reviews

Talking Comics – Batman: Pennyworth R.I.P.
Comic Attack – Bitter Root #6
ICv2 – Churchill: A Graphic Biography
AIPT – Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues #3
Comics Bulletin – Hellblazer #27
CBR – Tomorrow #1

Sanford Greene Pays Homage to My Neighbor Totoro with a Bitter Root #6 Variant

Bestselling, Eisner Award nominated artist Sanford Greene pays homage to popular Miyazaki film, My Neighbor Totoro, in forthcoming Bitter Root #6 by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, and Greene.

The new story arc of Bitter Root kicks off with issue #6 and will feature the work of new colorist Sofie Dodgson.

In Bitter Root #6, the monster-fighting Sangerye family returns for another adventure. Loved ones once thought lost forever have returned—though the bliss of this family reunion doesn’t last for long. Cullen has changed, and everyone is concerned. But they’ll need all the help they can get, as a new threat has arrived on Earth…

The Bitter Root series takes place in the 1920s while the Harlem Renaissance is in full swing and follows the Sangerye Family. Once the greatest family of monster hunters in the world, the Sangeryes must move beyond the tragedies of the past, or be forced to sit back and watch an unimaginable evil ravage the human race.

Bitter Root #6 Cover C by Greene (Diamond Code DEC198586) will be available through Power Comics.

Bitter Root Gets a New Colorist and New Arc as it’s Developed for Film

Image Comics has announced the return of the critically acclaimed series Bitter Root this February. Nominated for multiple awards including the Eisner and the Ringo, Bitter Root is currently in development as a film from producer Ryan Coogler and Legendary.

The new story arc of Bitter Root kicks off with issue #6 and will feature the work of new colorist Sofie Dodgson. The series is by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene.

In Bitter Root #6, the monster-fighting Sangerye family returns for another adventure. Loved ones once thought lost forever have returned—though the bliss of this family reunion doesn’t last for long. Cullen has changed, and everyone is concerned. But they’ll need all the help they can get, as a new threat has arrived on Earth…

The Bitter Root series takes place in the 1920s while the Harlem Renaissance is in full swing and follows the Sangerye Family. Once the greatest family of monster hunters in the world, the Sangeryes must move beyond the tragedies of the past, or be forced to sit back and watch an unimaginable evil ravage the human race.

Bitter Root #6 Cover A by Greene (Diamond Code DEC190073) and Bitter Root #6 Cover B by Chris Brunner [limited] (Diamond Code DEC190074) will hit stores on Wednesday, February 19.

Bitter Root #6

Around the Tubes

Quincredible

It’s a new week and we’re heading to our Captain Marvel screening(s)! We’ll have our first review tomorrow when the embargo lifts so while you wait for that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

AV Club – West Coast Avengers is a sunny, screwy superhero romp that’s ending too soon – Who’s reading this series? So much fun!

The Beat – Prestigious Literary Writer’s Conference Offers Scholarship for Graphic Narrative Writer of Color – This is awesome to see.

ICv2 – Jillian Tamaki to Edit ‘The Best American Comics of 2019’ – We’re excited for this!

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: A Curse of Loneliness in Niv Sekar’s Mermaid – Free comics folks!

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: Josephine Baker by Way of Bianca Xunise – More free comics!

Reviews

AIPT! – Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #1
Comic Attack –
Bitter Root #4
The Beat –
Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death
The Beat –
Quincredible

Around the Tubes

The Batman Who Laughs #2

The weekend is almost here and we’ve got some organizing to do at our HQ! What will you all be doing? Anything fun and geeky? Sound off in the comments below! While you wait for the work day to end and weekend to begin, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: A Light Comedy about Gardening in Darryl Ayo’s Little Garden – Free comics people!

Reviews

Adventures in Poor Taste – The Batman Who Laughs #2
CBR –
The Batman Who Laughs #2
Talking Comics –
Bitter Root #3
Geek Dad –
Detective Comics #996
Laughing Place –
Fantastic Four #6
Comics Bulletin –
Star Trek vs. Transformers #4

David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene’s Bitter Root #1 is Rushed Back for a Second Printing

Image Comics has announced that Bitter Root #1 by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene is being rushed back to print in order to keep up with overwhelming demand.

Bitter Root takes place in the 1920s with the Harlem Renaissance in full swing. The new series will follow the Sangerye Family—New York (and the world’s) only hope for salvation from supernatural forces threatening doom and destruction. Once the greatest family of monster hunters in the world, the Sangeryes must move beyond the tragedies of the past, or be forced to sit back and watch an unimaginable evil ravage the human race.

Bitter Root #1, 2nd printing (Diamond Code OCT188242), Bitter Root #2 Cover A by Greene (Diamond Code OCT180144), Bitter Root #2 by Cover B Sienkiewicz (Diamond Code OCT180145), Bitter Root #2 Cover C by Cho (Diamond Code OCT180146), and Bitter Root #2 Cover D by Woods (Diamond Code OCT180147) will hit stores on Wednesday, December 12th. The final order cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, November 19th.

Review: Bitter Root #1

One of the most underrated filmmakers of all time is Mario Van Peebles. His movies both entertain and provoke thought. New Jack City brought the world to the inner city and made it face the crack dilemma. Panther told the story of the Black Panthers through a rather unique perspective. Then there is the movie which I consider his best, Baadasssss, about his father’s monumental film that started the conversation of what Black people would like to see in theaters.

His movies filled a space where people rarely saw themselves on screen. The films sometimes were based on real life and sometimes delved into other genres where he made sure to change the game. He challenged the trope that black people usually died in fantasy and horror films by making them the heroes. His most recent show on Syfy, Superstition, revolved around a demon hunting family in New Orleans. This last foray into television yielded mixed results. It lacked a few things but was an exceptional concept. In the first issue of David Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene’s Bitter Root, the promise shown in that show is fully realized in a similar concept with a few twists.

We are transported to 1920s Harlem where a young couple is killed by mysterious circumstances. In the comic we meet the Sangerye family, a group of demon hunters whose purpose is to protect New York and cancel the apocalypse. We also meet Doctor Sylvester who is searching for a serum to control his supernatural condition. The Sangeryes may be his only hope.

Overall, the first issue is an excellent debut that unfolds like Dirty Dozen meets the Italian Job where one badass family is about to save the world.  The story by David F. Walker and Chuck Brown is action packed, epic, smart, funny and challenges just about every supernatural trope. The art by Sanford Greene is stunning and luminous. Altogether, one of the best books to come from Image in a while, one that already has changed the game.

Story: David F. Walker and Chuck Brown Art: Sanford Greene
Story: 10 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day tomorrow! What’s everyone excited for? Sound off in the comments below! While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

The Comichron – October 2018 comics sales estimates online: Strong month for the midlist – For those that enjoy the horse race.

Kotaku – “Realistic Pokémon” Artist Got A Job On The Detective Pikachu Movie – This is kind of cool.

The Philadelphia Tribune – Princeton’s comic book exhibit spotlights superheroes of civil rights movement – This sounds really cool.

DC Entertainment – Swamp Thing: Will Patton Joins Cast as Avery Sunderland – Can’t wait for this show!

DC Entertainment – Swamp Thing: Kevin Durand Cast as Jason Woodrue – Another reason we’re excited!

 

Reviews

Talking Comics – Batman #58

Comic Attack – Bitter Root #1

Advance Review: Bitter Root #1

One of the most underrated filmmakers of all time is Mario Van Peebles. His movies both entertain and provoke thought. New Jack City brought the world to the inner city and made it face the crack dilemma. Panther told the story of the Black Panthers through a rather unique perspective. Then there is the movie which I consider his best, Baadasssss, about his father’s monumental film that started the conversation of what Black people would like to see in theaters.

His movies filled a space where people rarely saw themselves on screen. The films sometimes were based on real life and sometimes delved into other genres where he made sure to change the game. He challenged the trope that black people usually died in fantasy and horror films by making them the heroes. His most recent show on Syfy, Superstition, revolved around a demon hunting family in New Orleans. This last foray into television yielded mixed results. It lacked a few things but was an exceptional concept. In the first issue of David Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene’s Bitter Root, the promise shown in that show is fully realized in a similar concept with a few twists.

We are transported to 1920s Harlem where a young couple is killed by mysterious circumstances. In the comic we meet the Sangerye family, a group of demon hunters whose purpose is to protect New York and cancel the apocalypse. We also meet Doctor Sylvester who is searching for a serum to control his supernatural condition. The Sangeryes may be his only hope.

Overall, the first issue is an excellent debut that unfolds like Dirty Dozen meets the Italian Job where one badass family is about to save the world.  The story by David F. Walker and Chuck Brown is action packed, epic, smart, funny and challenges just about every supernatural trope. The art by Sanford Greene is stunning and luminous. Altogether, one of the best books to come from Image in a while, one that already has changed the game.

Story: David F. Walker and Chuck Brown Art: Sanford Greene
Story: 10 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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