Tag Archives: brian k vaughan

Underrated: Pride Of Baghdad

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Pride of Baghdad



Prideofbaghdad.jpgPublished by Vertigo  in 2006, Pride of Baghdad is graphic novel that tells the story of four lions who escaped the Baghdad zoo after an American bombing in 2003. Although the tale is based on a true story, the points of view it is told from trend further toward fiction than truth. Written by Brian K Vaughn, with art by Nico Henrichon the graphic novel actually won IGN’s “Best Original Graphic Novel” award the year it was released, but there has been very little chatter about the book since – though my benchmark for that is the fact I found the book in a thrift shop for $5 and had never heard of it before, and so twelve years after it was released, I wanted to let you know about the book.

I’m a little behind.

Pride of  Baghdad can be enjoyed on multiple levels, making it the rare book that can provide a different story each time you read it depending on what you want to take away from it. If you’re looking for a family’s tale of survival in a strange and barely familiar world then you will find that here. If you want a questioning look at the nature of freedom, war, family, captivity… then you will also be able to experience that. Vaughn and Henrichon were able to deliver a multifaceted book that offers an astoundingly deep story juxtaposed against a survivalist tale that works even if you don’t want to delve further into the commentary on the deeper aspects of the tale – it’s also possible that you simply didn’t pick up on that commentary – no judgement here. I didn’t the first time I read it, which leads me to my final point: the more you read this, the better it gets.

Pride of Baghdad is a phenomenal work, and it’s featured here because I had never heard about it until I saw it in the thrift shop – that’s why this is Underrated.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Barrier is Collected at Panel Syndicate

If you missed it, now’s your chance to get Barrier! Panel Syndicate has collected all five issues into a monster 190-page volume!

If you haven’t read the single issues, yet, this is the perfect way to catch up with the adventures of our kick-ass Texan woman, Liddy, and her unlikely partner, the no-nonsense undocumented Honduran immigrant, Oscar, in what’s surely got to be Donald Trump’s favorite comicbook series!

Check it out at panelsyndicate.com for whatever price you want to pay!

Saga #54 Heads Back to Print

Image Comics has announced that issue Saga #54 of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ multiple Eisner Award-winning series—which marks the “season finale” of the space opera’s ninth arc—is being fast-tracked for a second printing in order to keep up with overwhelming customer demand.

Saga’s ninth—and most shocking—story arc tackles fake news and genuine terror through the lens of our favorite spacefaring family and their fellow outcast companions.

Saga #54, 2nd printing (Diamond code: JUN188387) will be available on Wednesday, August 22nd. The final order cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, July 30th.

Saga, Vol. 9 (Diamond code: JUL180297, ISBN: 978-1-5343-0837-4) hits comics shops on Wednesday, September 26th and bookstores on Tuesday, October 2nd.

Review: Barrier #1

Barrier is an unconventional drama about violence, language, and illegal immigration…with a shocking sci-fi twist. Originally published on Panel Syndicate, the five issue miniseries is a deeply layered entertaining comic that will make you think.

In print for the first time by Image Comics, this first issue is a bit special. One version was released for free on Free Comic Day, but today sees the release of a special collector’s edition in a larger size to match the next four issues which will be released weekly through May. The comic features a cardstock cover, printed in the original landscape format, and is meant to be a durable work of art. You’ll need to get it as these print issues as there’s no plan to collect these issues in print.

So, the printing is special but how about the comic?

Barrier is amazing with a multilayered look at society and those things that divide us written by Brian K. Vaughan. Language, immigration, borders, class, it’s all touched upon and is as relevant today as when it was first released digitally. The story follows two individuals, Liddy, a rancher in Texas, and Oscar, an immigrant making his way to the United States from Honduras. That aspect of the story feels like it’s an even greater punch in the stomach considering the recent migrant train that has reached the border of the United States from Honduras attempting to escape violence and threats to their lives. Through the two of them we see the abuses when it comes to undocumented immigration and the story touches upon the horrors.

Presented in English and Spanish, without translation, the story at first leads you to believe the barrier is distance, or borders, and the ability to seek a better life. This alone is the material for a long comic series and one that would be emotionally heartbreaking. From there the barrier of compassion is explored with a focus on the white nationalism and racism that accompanies the Minutemen and their militant border protection. That too could be a story by itself. And going even further the story then leads you to believe the barrier is one of language as the story of Liddy and Oscar collide. Their inability to communicate due to language is a barrier. And finally there’s… well, I’ll leave that twist to the reader.

But, what especially amazes me is that the story and presentation itself is a barrier in some ways to the reader. My Spanish is near non-existent so reading Oscar’s story is a barrier in some ways to me. The same could be said for those who only speak Spanish. What’s interesting is even without knowing what is said, I still understood what was going on and that’s due to the power of the art by Marcos Martin with color by Muntsa Vicente.

And Martin’s art too is a barrier in some ways. It’s brilliant in that it can tell the story without dialogue but in a landscape it creates a small barrier for those that have traditionally read comics. Digitally I didn’t notice this as much but in a physical format, the holding of the comic in a non-traditional, Western-standard way, is in itself a small barrier in how you interact. It’s an interesting choice that enhances the story in many ways and I found myself enjoying it even more as a physical product.

Barrier is unconventional in every way exploring violence, language, and immigration in a story that weaves together in an unexpected way. Writing this review I have the hindsight of have read the entire series digitally but rereading it all this time later, I can’t help be amazed at how good this is. Now, more individuals can read what is a comic that’s as timely today as when it was first released a year ago.

Story: Brian K. Vaughan Art: Marcos Martin Color: Muntsa Vicente
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Y: The Last Man May Finally Be Coming to Television

After starting and stopping and starting and stopping, the modern classic comic series Y: The Last Man is a step closer to coming to the screen.

FX has ordered a pilot for an adaptation of the comic series title Y. It’ll be from writer/producer Michael Green who has worked on American Gods, Logan, and Bladerunner 2049. The series will be co-run between Green and Melina Matsoukas. Matsoukas will direct the pilot. Comic series writer, and co-creator, Brian K. Vaughan will executive produce. The comic series debuted in 2002 and ran until 2008 with 60 issues.

The comic featured Yorick Brown and his pet monkey Amerisand who are the only male mammals to survive a global plague. They travel the world attempting to find Yorick

FX’s press releases describes the series:

All of the men are dead. But one. Based on the DC comic book series by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, Y traverses a world of women — exploring gender, race, class and survival.

The series was published by DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint and was created by Vaughan and artist Pia Guerra. The two control the rights to it. New Line Cinema was attached for a film in 2007. When that didn’t materialize the rights returned to Vaughan and Guerra. FX picked up the rights in 2015 and had announced Michael Green would showrun a television adaptation in 2016.

A pilot is a positive step but also doesn’t guarantee we’ll see a series. Still, it’s closer than we’ve been.

Image Reveals Four Artist Appreciation Variants

Image Comics has revealed the first four of a series of virgin editions of highly anticipated new issues—Infidel #1 by Pornsak Pichetshote and Aaron Campbell, Moonshine #8 by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso, Saga #50 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, and Gideon Falls #1 by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino—each of which will feature back cover quotes from the writers on the importance of their collaborating artists.

The front covers of these variants will be without series logo, Image logo, issue number, or price.

Gideon Falls #1 by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino will be available on Wednesday, March 7th.

Infidel#1 by Pornsak Pichetshote and Aaron Campbell will be available on Wednesday, March 14th.

Moonshine #8 by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso will be available on Wednesday, March 21st.

Saga #50 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Diamond Code JAN188081) will be available on Wednesday, March 28th. The final order cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, March 5th.

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone getting? What are you excited for? Sound off in the comments below. While you wait for shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

Newsarama – BKV Writing Silver Surfer Movie For 20th Century Fox – Report – When it goes into production, we’ll care.

 

Reviews

Comic Attack – The Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #1

The Beat – The Green Hand and Other Stories

Comics Bulletin – Ice Cream Man #2

Comics Bulletin – Punks Not Dead #1

Image Comics to publish Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin’s miniseries Barrier

Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin, the Eisner Award-winning creative team behind The Private Eye, are reunited in Barrier, the five-issue miniseries originally published in digital format via Panel Syndicate and featuring color work by Muntsa Vicente. This May, all five issues will be available in print for the first time, exclusively from Image Comics.

Barrier is a truly unconventional drama that tackles violence, language, and illegal immigration—with a shocking sci-fi twist. Printed in its original “landscape” format and graced with gorgeous cardstock covers, each comic is meant to be a durable work of art.

Mature readers will be able to pick up the massive 50-plus-page first issue for free on Free Comic Book Day on May 5th. The following week, a special collector’s edition of the first issue will be released in a larger size to match the next four issues being released weekly throughout the rest of May.

Barrier #1 (Diamond code: MAR180571) and BARRIER #2 (Diamond code: MAR180573) hit comic book stores Wednesday, May 9th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, April 16th.

Saga Gets Funko Pops!

Saga, the epic space opera/fantasy comic book series created by acclaimed writer Brian K. Vaughan and award-winning artist Fiona Staples, is coming to Funko!

Saga depicts two lovers from long-warring extraterrestrial races, Alana and Marko, as they flee authorities from both sides of a galactic war. Traveling with their newborn daughter, Hazel, they encounter astonishing aliens, fearsome bounty hunters and a host of allies and enemies alike as they try and keep their new family safe.

The figures are out this February. Figures include Lying Cat, Alana, Marko, Prince Robot IV, and The Will. Look for The Will chase! A rarity of 1-in-6.

Look for exclusives! Izabel the ghostly babysitter is available at Hot Topic!

Check your local comic book shop for a bloody version of Lying Cat! A Previews exclusive.

At Barnes & Noble look for pink Lying Cat.

Review: Runaways: Parental Guidance

It’s Wednesday which means comics are hitting comic stores all across the world. This week from Marvel is a trade dedicated to the Runaways!

Runaways: Parental Guidance collects issues #13-18 by Brian K. Vaughan, Adrian Alphona, Craig Yeung, and Christina Strain.

Get your copy at comic and book stores now. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Runaways: Parental Guidance
Amazon or TFAW

 

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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