Tag Archives: carla speed mcneil

Preview: My Little Pony: Friends Forever Omnibus, Vol. 1

My Little Pony: Friends Forever Omnibus, Vol. 1

Alex De Campi, Jeremy Whitley, Ted Anderson, Rob Anderson, Thom Zahler, Katie Cook, Christina Rice, Barbara Randall Kesel (w) • Carla Speed McNeil, Tony Fleecs, Agnes Garbowska, Amy Mebberson, Andy Price, Jay Fosgitt, Brenda Hickey (a) • Jay Fosgitt (c)

Friends Forever celebrates the magic of friendship in these stand-alone tales featuring all of your favorite characters. Share adventures with Pinkie Pie and Applejack, Princess Celestia and Spike, Fluttershy and Zecora, Rainbow Dash and Trixie, Twilight Sparkle and Shining Armor, and many more! Collects issues #1–12.

TPB • FC • $24.99 • 292 pages • 6” x 9” • ISBN: 978-1-63140-771-0


Review: No Mercy #9

nomercy09_cvrThis is the most powerful issue of a comic you will read this month. It actually can stand alone if you haven’t read the series, because it’s that good and complete.

No Mercy features the only trans male character in a mainstream comic currently. The ONLY one. Issue 9 is a flashback that tells a pivotal part of that character’s past.

No Mercy is the story of a group of Princeton bound teens going on one of those “build schools in Central America to make yourself and your resume feel better” trips. And then their bus goes over a cliff. Literally. The series shows what happens next to each of the teens.

#9 is a flashback issue focused on the aforementioned trans male character, Sebastian. Sebastian, who we’ve known as Charlene up till this point, is twins with the abusive Chad. He introduces himself as Sebastian for the first time in issue #8. He is intentionally misgendered as Charlene by his family and others and subjected to abusive “conversion therapy” in this issue.

No Mercy I'm Not a GirlI’m not surprised that a series which has dedicated itself to portraying a brutally honest, diverse and realistic range of teens is the comic that finally has a transgender male character. But it is entirely fucked up that there are no other trans male characters in a mainstream comics title.

The story that Alex de Campi and Carla Speed McNeil are telling is dark and complex and the cast they have built are believable and fascinating. It would have been easy for Sebastian’s only characteristic to be that he’s “the trans one”. Instead, these characters represent a range of people who may come across as “types” but not stereotypes. No one is as standard as they may seem at first. Sebastian is bilingual, resourceful and he’s probably going to grow up to be Batman– except with evil parents as opposed to martyred parents.

This issue offers insight into a great injustice happening not only to transgender kids but all sorts of young people who society labels as “deviant”. It takes place in what’s called a “Teen Residential Treatment Center” – sometimes called a “teen boot camp”. I knew kids who were disappeared to them when I was younger and it is never ok. These centers are literally deadly. The comic shows how and why.

Groups like the ACLU regularly take on cases against these torture centers, like this one in Utah— the same state where Sebastian was confined at one point. Just as importantly, the comic also reveals why parents use them.

No Mercy digs behind the facades of both the characters we like and the characters we hate. It holds nothing back. You can’t guess what’s next and it will always be shocking yet plausible. That brutal integrity Is why I’m always on the edge of my seat when I’m reading it.

We’ve described No Mercy as a great choice for people who are turned off by the standard comics genres (like superheroes or sci-fi). I love those genres but this is a comic you can give to your friends who won’t read comics. I’d tell them this series more resembles prestige television then anything in comics but even television is rarely this diverse and honest.

This issue is a must buy, even if you aren’t reading the series (but seriously, go read the series).

I’m sure the series as a whole and this issue in particular could be triggering for some people. This month’s cover shows Sebastian’s body being forced into female clothing and misgendered, scars from self-harming visible. But I suspect the cover is actually a good trigger warning for what’s inside.

I want to salute the amazing work of art team Carla Speed McNeil and colorist Jenn Manley Lee whose use of black is devastating in this issue. The art throughout series is some of the most accessible around to non comics readers. It’s clear and communicative and believable.

Graphic Policy Radio interviewed Alex de Campi about her work when the book first came out. You can listen to her on our podcast here or get it on iTunes.


Thank you to CK Stewart https:/twitter.com/ckcucco for sharing his insight and editing my review.

Review: No Mercy #6

NoMercy06_coverNo Mercy #6 zeroes in on three of our ten surviving characters. Chad, Charlene and Travis continue their tale of how badly things can go wrong when you travel abroad. The book continues to have its brutal moments but holds its fire in this issue.

It was an attempt to get a leg-up into Princeton. A group of students travel to Central America to help build schools. When their bus careens off a cliff, their group of fifteen begins quickly dwindling. Alone in a dangerous wasteland with no help coming, the kids begin wandering off searching for rescue.

The sharp teeth of this story are starting to dull a bit. As each different group makes it to safety, the reader begins to wonder when No Mercy plans to make good on its promise that no one gets away alive. With so many characters left, in so many different places, it seems strange to focus on only three. It can get a bit difficult following everyone’s story when there is so much going on. If something tremendously pivotal had happened, I could understand the attention but nothing that happens in this issue really translates to the bigger picture.

Charlene and Chad make it to town this issue only to discover their parents may not be too upset they’re gone. These siblings are the most interesting to watch because the intense vitriol between them. Actually, ever since Charlene’s failed attempt to kill Chad a few issues ago, the reader has been in quite a bit of suspense waiting to see what happens. If there were a pair to follow this issue, Alex de Campi chose well. While things continue to be brutal between the two, the issue ends a bit ambiguously. There’s no closure within their own turmoil nor even a clear way in which they have made good on their efforts to rescue the others. Consequently, the story seems to stop suddenly not as a cliffhanger but an interrupted thought.

Mitch, our fake-freegan frying in the… I have no “f” word for desert, is discovered by a few tourists and taken in by them. Not only does his subplot here not advance the story at all, it seems to raise more questions about what the ultimate outcome of the story will be. Not to sound blood-thirsty, but if all these kids aren’t dead when this is over, the second page of the first issue will seem well-crafted but misleading. Obviously, not every issue can be dripping with blood (even if the back of the book is made to suggest otherwise). However, issues that don’t drip blood need to further the story. The amount of time given to the tourists could have made even two pages to further someone else’s plight in the story and keep the tension riding high.

Though de Campi excels at writing brutal stories where no one is safe, this issue takes the steam of out of it a bit and seems to add a bit of punctuation to the title, No… Mercy. To be perfectly clear, while a review copy was provided to me, I still plan on buying my own. While every story must have a slower chapter, I look forward to having the complete collection because of Alex de Campi’s is one of the best writers when it comes gruesome tales and there is no doubt No Mercy will be worth owning.

Story: Alex de Campi Art: Carla Speed McNeil
Story: 6 Art: 6 Overall: 6
Recommendation: Read (if it’s your first issue, but buy it if you have the others)

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Dark Horse to Publish The Secret Loves of Geek Girls

Dark Horse Comics has announced plans to publish the highly anticipated anthology The Secret Loves of Geek Girls. Editor Hope Nicholson has assembled a dazzling mix of prose, comics, and illustrated stories about love, dating, and sex featuring more than fifty creators, including Booker Award–winning novelist Margaret Atwood, Mariko Tamaki, Trina Robbins, Gisèle Lagacé, Marguerite Bennett, Marjorie Liu, and Carla Speed McNeil. It also features a foreword by Kelly Sue DeConnick and a new cover by Noelle Stevenson.

The anthology was originally funded through Kickstarter and will be published through Dark Horse in October 2016.

The Secret Loves of Geek Girls includes:

  • Cartoons by award-winning novelist Margaret Atwood that detail her personal experiences as a young woman
  • A comic by Fionna Adams and Jen Vaughn about what it’s like being a trans woman trying to figure out romantic and sexual inclinations while entrenched in comics
  • A story by Mariko Tamaki and Fiona Smyth in which a seventeen-year-old Tamaki dreams of being Montreal’s first chubby Asian Frank N. Furter
  • A story by Marguerite Bennett about fandom and how it allows us to say what we feel to our loved ones
  • New comics by Meaghan Carter, Megan Kearney, ALB, Meags Fitzgerald, Gillian G., Diana Nock, Roberta Gregory, Laura Neubert, Sarah Winifred Searle, Natalie Smith, Jenn Woodall, and Irene Koh
  • Illustrated stories by Janet Hetherington, Sam Maggs and Selena Goulding, Megan Lavey-Heaton and Isabelle Melançon, Cherelle Ann Sarah Higgins and Rachael Wells, Annie Mok, and Stephanie Cooke and Deena Pagliarello
  • Prose stories by Brandy Dawley, Diana McCallum, Jen Aprahamian, Katie West, Adrienne Kress, Soha Kareem, Loretta Jean, J. M. Frey, Trina Robbins, Twiggy Tallant, Hope Nicholson, Crystal Skillman, Emma Woolley, Gita Jackson, Natalie Zina Walschots, Alicia Contestabile, Tini Howard, Cara Ellison, Jessica Oliver Proulx, and Erin Cossar


No Mercy rips into a new story arc this December


Writer Alex de Campi, artist Carla Speed McNeil, and colorist Jenn Manley Lee will launch a new story arc in their ongoing thrilling drama series No Mercy this December.

Previously in No Mercy, a bus full of privileged college freshmen got a brutally rude awakening on their way to build schools in a Central American town when they careened off a cliff and became stranded in the unforgiving desert. They quickly realized that the rules of their old lives did not apply to their current predicament, fraught as it was with the dangers of a harsh environment, cutthroat enemies, and hungry wildlife.

In No Mercy #5, Gina finds her spirit animal.

No Mercy #5 (Diamond code: OCT150504) hits stores Wednesday, December 9th. Final order cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, November 16th.

Preview: No Mercy #4

No Mercy #4

Story By: Alex de Campi
Art By: Carla Speed McNeil
Cover By: Carla Speed McNeil
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: MAY150475
Published: July 1, 2015

First arc finale.


Preview: No Mercy #3

No Mercy #3

Story By: Alex de Campi
Art By: Carla Speed McNeil
Cover By: Carla Speed McNeil
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: APR150661
Published: June 3, 2015

A long and vicious night ends in savage recriminations, fire…and death. Sister Ines, along with the evening’s unlikely hero, go in search of rescue.


Preview: No Mercy #2

No Mercy #2

Story By: Alex de Campi
Art By: Carla Speed McNeil
Cover By: Carla Speed McNeil
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: MAR150581
Published: May 6, 2015

Chad and Charlene make a second startling discovery. But with nightfall, death comes for them all again…this time, on four feet.


Preview: No Mercy #1

No Mercy #1

Story By: Alex de Campi
Art By: Carla Speed Mcneil
Cover By: Carla Speed Mcneil
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: FEB150483
Published: April 1, 2015

It was just a trip, before college. Build schools in a Central American village; get to know some of the other freshmen. But after tragedy strikes, a handful of once-privileged US teens must find their way home in a cruel landscape that at best doesn’t like them, and at worst, actively wants to kill them.


Preview: Legends of Red Sonja Vol. 1 TP


Gail Simone, Nancy A. Collins, Devin Grayson, Meljean Brook, Tamora Pierce, Leah Moore, Nicola Scott, Rhianna Pratchett, Mercedes Lackey, Marjorie M. Liu, Blair Buttler, Kelly Sue DeConnick (w)
Jack Jadson, Noah Salonga, Carla Speed McNeil, Mel Rubi, Cassandra James, Tula Lotay, Doug Holgate, Naniiebim, Nei Ruffino, Valentine de Landro,
Phil Noto, Jim Calafiore (a)
Jay Anacleto (c)
FC • 152 pages • $19.99 • Teen+

In this unique collection, ongoing RED SONJA series writer GAIL SIMONE hand-picked eleven of the fiercest, most talented, and most popular female writers from the worlds of comics, prose, games and television, to help her tell the greatest legends in the She-Devil’s long history!  A group of savage mercenaries hired to hunt and kill Sonja come across campfire tales of her at every turn, and Sonja does NOT like to be hunted. Tamora Pierce, Mercedes Lackey, Marjorie M. Liu, Kelly Sue DeConnick and many more tell fascinating bits of Sonja’s legend, with a wrap-around tale by Simone herself, and art by the likes of Phil Noto, Jim Calafiore, Jack Jadson and more! Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime collection!


« Older Entries Recent Entries »