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Graphic Policy Radio Goes to the Movies with Star Wars: The Last Jedi this Monday

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is dominating at the box office and online debates as people seem to be split as to what to think about the latest entry in the Star Wars universe. We’re becoming one with the Force to discuss the movie, its themes, and reflection on the real world.

Joining Graphic Policy Radio to talk about the film is Anthony Oliveira and Cayden Mak.

Listen in to the show LIVE when it airs this Monday at 10pm ET.

Anthony Oliveira is a culture writer and literature PhD with the university of Toronto. You can find him on twitter at @meakoopa

Cayden Mak is Executive Director at 18MillionRising.org, where he has been rabblerousing and nerding out in various roles for the past five years. Outside of work he keeps busy with local organizing projects in Oakland, California, where he lives with his two cats.

Listen in to the show live this Monday.

Review: Star Wars #40

As Queen Trios’ forces move in to strip what’s left of Jedha, the Rebellion and the remaining Partisans struggle to save the planet for its survivors! The echoes of Rogue One continue to be heard through the Rebellion!

For the last few issues, Star Wars has focused on the fallout from Rogue One, an open ended question that’s not so open ended anymore. Writer Kieron Gillen brings his talents to the beloved universe and in his first arc he’s already putting his mark on things with issues and a story that honors the past and paves a new path.

Gillen is giving us some interesting stuff by bringing the Partisans. He not only explores the relationship between the Rebels and this more extreme organization but also uses the time on Jedha to flesh out Luke’s history with the Jedi and the Force. It’s a small addition to Star Wars lore but it feels like it can be an important one.

Gillen also uses some of what has been set up in other comics, particularly Queen Trios and the mining world explored there. It’s such a great addition to the Star Wars universe and peels back a layer of how the Empire is able to fuel such a massive war machine.

The art by Salvador Larroca is amazing as usual. There’s scenes that look like the actors from the films and the action is as tight as can be. This issue is full of action sequences as well as more subtle moments of the characters talking as they figure out what’s next. There’s a few panels that get you to step back and say “woah.”

The Star Wars comic line being put out by Marvel is some of the best there is with beautiful art and stories that expand on the universe as well as honor what’s happened elsewhere. This story arc is a prime example of that by picking up after Rogue One. It answers questions and introduces us to more of the world. It’s a perfect example of how to build on a world, especially one that’s been around for 40 years. This is a must for Star Wars fans.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Salvador Larroca Cover Art: David Marquez
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.45 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Comics for Choice Anthology

The issue of abortion, has been a hot topic longer than most of us have been alive. It is also very complicated on so many levels. The thing is no matter what side of this issue you accept as right, we all should believe that it is a woman’s choice, whether she should have one. Unfortunately, the die-hard anti-abortionists don’t believe in this idea, and the sad truth is no one and no man should have domain over a woman’s body. In a recently published anthology addressing this subject, Hazel Newlevant, Whit Taylor and OK Fox, and a host of other creators share stories in a Comics For Choice.

In Encountering Abortion Restrictions: From Kenya to Texas MJ Flores and Kat Fajardo, tells MJ’s own distressing story of what lead her to an abortion halfway around the world. In They Call Her Dr. D, Dr. Cynthia Greenlee and Jaz Malone tells Dr. Dorothy Brown’s story, who was Tennessee’s first black woman legislator and pushed one of the first state sponsored pro-abortion bills. In The Outcasts Heidi Williamson and Julia Krase, imagine a future where women’s sexual activities and reproductive health decisions were monitored daily and those who don’t comply, were jailed. In Body & Soul, Science and Religion Kriota Willberg, dives into the whole evolution from conception to birth in painstaking detail.

In Saturday Morning, Benita Ulisano and Laura Martin, shows how pro-life protesters attack people who go to these clinics. In Plan C, Nomi Kane educates readers about a third effective method to avoid pregnancy, that is not as widely known. In October, Kris Louis tells her story and the anxiety, and the loneliness brought it to her. In Bearing Witness, Mick Doran tells her story as an Abortion Doula, and how her work extends beyond the clinic.

Overall, each of these stories I highlighted as well as those I did not are universal, powerful, personal and beautiful. The stories by each of these creators, are deeply affecting, some are heartbreaking, some are relatable, but all are instantly connected. The art by different creators, makes for some visually striking work while at the same time educating the reader. Altogether an excellent anthology that should be read by all, regardless of your political or philosophical ideology.

Story: MJ Flores, Kendra Josie Kirkpatrick, Jennifer Camper, Dr. Cynthia Greenlee, Rickie Solinger, Rachel Wilson, Hallie Jay Pope, Anna Sellheim, Brittany Mostiller, Lindsay Rodriguez, Sam Romero, Candice Russell, Heidi Williamson, Cathy Camper, Kriota Willberg, Katie Brown & Andrew Carl, Benita Ulisano, Steph Kraft Sheley, Nomi Kane & the Plan   C Team, Sarah Mirk, Kris Louis, Emily Lady, Sage Coffey, Rachel Hays, Leah Hayes, Tanya DePass, Tatiana Gill, Mick Moran, Anna Bongiovanni, Daniela Diaz, Renee Bracey Sherman, Jennifer Camper, Michelle Kinsey Bruns, Jensine Eckwall, Yamani Hernandez, Claudia E. Berger, Mallory McMaster, Bree Jordan, CB Hart, Anise Simon, Sophia Foster-Dimino, Vreni
Art: Kat Fajardo, Kendra Josie Kirkpatrick, Jennifer Camper, Jaz Malone, Rachel Merrill, Ally Shwed, Hallie Jay Pope, Anna Sellheim, Lilly Taing, Lucy Haslam, Erin Lux, Laura Lannes, Julia Krase, Jennifer Camper, Kriota Willberg, Ahmara Smith, Laura Martin, Steph Kraft Sheley, Nomi Kane , Sarah Mirk, Kris Louis, Emily Lady, Sage Coffey, Rachel Hays, Leah Hayes, Wren Chavers, Tatiana Gill, Mick Moran, Anna Bongiovanni, Stephanie Rodriguez, Kennedy Tarrell, Katie Fricas, Gianna Meola, Jensine Eckwall, Sharon Rimann, Claudia E. Berger, Kate Kerns, Bree Jordan, CB Hart, Sarah Crowe, Sophia Foster-Dimino, Vreni
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Anne Bonnie #4

I have mentioned in previous reviews, that one of my favorite movies of all time, is The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance?,  an excellent movie starring John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and lee Marvin. The film resonated with me from the first I saw it with my grandfather. When I saw it the first time, I just wanted to sped time with my grandfather and movies especially westerns were our favorites. He was a big John Wayne fan and watched all his movies and all his TV shows. He told when he used to act in the Philippines, he used to try to emulate Wayne in his mannerisms for many of his characters.

He said especially liked this movie, because instead of picking up acting tips, he actually watched this movie as a fan. This to me, after The Searchers, is one of Wayne’s best films, as the ain theme ring true, every time I watched it. It stays with me today, as the vanity of legend, is is what most people will remember about you long after you are gone. The truth is insignificant, as what becomes fact, is what most people remember the same way. In the latest issue of Anne Bonnie, Ariana’s sea worthiness gets tested as she runs into some real pirates.

The reader is introduced to the Bilgehart, as plunders another ship and sins its crew with no reprieve, and he is headed Ariana’s way. The crew pulls into a seaside town called Portville, which is overrun with semen and pirates. As Ariana and her crew gets entrenched in the local culture, they run in Bilgehart, who talks Ariana into finding buried gold with him. By issue’s end, Shen realizes that Bilgehart and Arian, might cross paths, and she may be making the worst mistake thus far.

Overall, a fun madcap episode which shows Tim Yates comedic chops, as this issue can easily be written for adults. The story by Yates is hilarious. The art by Yates is stunning. Overall, a funny issue, which remembers who their core audience is.

Story: Tim Yates Art: Tim Yates
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Wired Up Wrong “Deluxe Version”

At some point in our lives, and truthfully, many times across our lives, we will deal with some form of mental health issues. There is a certain stigma associated with people who deals with these issues openly which why most people are silent about their own problems. This leads to them mostly not dealing with it and that abstinence eventually becomes difficult to the people who are around them. In fiction, it is rarely portrayed correctly or with any sensitivity, as this treatment makes it also difficult for most people to be honest about their mental health.

A lot of the time, in fiction, their mental health is linked to a person or persons, and not that any of these situations aren’t real, but mental health is more complex, than this same scenario. Most of the time, I have never seen in fiction, where they talked about the psychological issues black people must deal with, in not only, racism, but also colorism. I have never seen, in fiction, where they talk about the PTSD refugees suffer from the circumstances surrounding their home country. This what I admired the most in Rachel Smith’s Wired Up Wrong. She talks about her own anxiety issues and doesn’t sugar coat anything.

Within the first few pages, Smith introduces the reader not only to her boyfriend, but her cat, and the imaginary animals, which represents her mental health problems which includes depression. The reader gets a front row seat of how her issues, affect her daily life, and what people would wrongly view as “mood swings”, is her battling depression. Eventually, we see how depression takes over her life and how everyday is a gift to her. By book’s end, she eventually overcomes depression and anxiety, only to be someone stronger.

Overall, a heartbreaking, moving, and sometimes funny story, that shows that anxiety and depression are the barbarians you keep at bay for good reason. The story by Smith, is simply beautiful and leaves the reader wanting more. The art by Smith, feels right at home with these stories, and yet looks gorgeous. Together a book where you will relate to the different mental health issues and know that you can fight it.

Story: Rachel Smith Art: Rachel Smith
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Buck Danny Vol. 3 Ghost Squadron

“Dereliction of duty” is one of those things when I was in the military, I never heard anyone getting in trouble for. People would get in trouble, but not for the things they would in the movies or television. In fact, movies like Top Gun although entertaining are not very realistic. I remember joining the Navy, 20 years after that movie, and I would work with officers who said they went to flight school because of that movie.

This is where the movies and reality split hard, if any pilot pull any of the crap Maverick, did, they would lose their flight status or even their commission. It is romantic to think that if you disobeyed orders to follow your gut, you would be celebrated for your decision. The truth is harsher. You would most certainly get an Article 13. So, when I see these things play out in books, television, and movies, we never see the actual fallout. In Buck Danny: Ghost Squadron, one of Danny’s pilots does this very thing, and it plays out a little different than we are used to seeing.

We catch up with Danny’s squadron, where they are operating in Eastern Europe, in this installment, Tuck gets in trouble for taking out a Serbian missile battery. Instead of a court martial, he gets assigned to a squadron which flies secret missions which is coincidentally also headed by Buck, and they both must learn how to fly a F-16.  As the squadron gets closer to their mission, a renegade pilot known as Lady X, starts picking apart their squadron one by one. By books’ end, the blackmail of one of their pilots leads to Buck Danny and his squadron tot the source of how Lady X decimated his squadron.

Overall, an okay installment, as the art usually takes the backseat to the story in this series, in this case, it s the opposite. The story by Francis Bergese is rigid, predictable but still enjoyable. The art by Bergese is gorgeous. Altogether, if you liked the series up to this point, buy it if you are a completest but if a good story motivates your buying, I suggest you read the other books in this series.

Story: Francis Bergese Art: Francis Bergese
Story: 5.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Read

Review: Sugar Town

I am, like some human beings, crave newness like I breathe air. The need to find something or someone, all the time, is a desire most humans crave, but tend to feel some shame, when it comes to meeting someone. There are a variety of reasons why they feel shame, as some of it can be attributed to insecurity and some of, they feel, is betrayal of their spouse. As those natural feelings most people tend to fight, as they may past a point where they don’t trust themselves to do the right thing.

Attraction can be a hard-fought battle especially when the object of your desire, is so seemingly perfect. That is why when you are in a relationship or even a marriage, it becomes difficult to “act normal,” around anyone you feel attracted to.  So, when you find yourself in a situation, like most movies, where the character says “in another life,” it makes you wonder what the universe is doing? In Hazel Newlevant’s Sugar Town, the main character, Hazel, finds herself caught in an interesting predicament.

In the opening pages, we meet Hazel, a photographer form New York visiting Portland, who has a boyfriend back home and ends up at a party, where she knows no one. This is where serendipity intervenes, and she meets Argent, a gorgeous being, whose job is a dominatrix that pulls Hazel to her like a magnet. The two eventually start dating, and Hazel is crazy for Argent, as she feels so comfortable with her. By book’s end, her struggle between both relationships, leads her back to here she was meant.

Overall, a mesmerizing tale, of love and how true understanding in a relationship can lead to so many possibilities. The story by Newlevant is engrossing, heartbreaking and better than your average romantic comedy. The art By Newlevant is vibrant and lifelike. Altogether, a tale that tells you how to follow your hear and sometimes defining your status in a relationship is part of the journey of love.

Story: Hazel Newlevant Art: Hazel Newlevant
Story:10 Art:9.2 Overall:9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Democrats on the Senate and House Antitrust Subcommittees Call for Hearings on the Disney/Fox Deal

On Thursday, Disney announced they’d be acquiring a large portion of 21st Century Fox including its film and TV studio, some cable networks, and some sports networks. The deal is priced at $52.4 billion.

Some have called into question the merger for numerous reasons including its impact on consumers, creators, and the job loss due to the merger. That questioning now includes some elected officials and Democrats in the Senate and House antitrust subcommittees have called for hearings on the deal.

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in statement said:

This week we have seen the announcement of another industry-changing merger, which would have major implications in television, film, and media. Yesterday, Disney announced that it is acquiring 21st Century Fox’s film and television studios, cable entertainment networks, and international television businesses. I’m concerned about the impact of this transaction on American consumers.

As the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, I have asked Senator Lee, who has worked closely with me in this area in the past, and Chairman Grassley to schedule a hearing on the proposed merger so that there is appropriate oversight over the antitrust review process.

Klobuchar is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee.

Klobuchar has also asked Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), who chairs the subcommittee, and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who chairs the Judiciary Comittee, to schedule a hearing on the proposed deal. Lee and Klobuchar in October called for a hearing regarding the AT&T and Time Warner merger.

The House Judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) has called for a closer look at the deal and in a statement:

Another day, another mega-merger. Disney’s proposed purchase of 21st Century Fox threatens to put control of TV, movie, and news content into the hands of a single media giant.

If it’s approved, this merger could allow Disney to limit what consumers can watch and increase their cable bills. Disney will gain more than 300 channels, 22 regional sports networks, control over Hulu, and a significant portion of Roku.

America is in a Monopoly Moment. We need more competition than before, not less, to create an economy that has more choices and innovation, lower prices, and better jobs. The House Antitrust Subcommittee should look at this proposal very closely.

In the deal, the companies said the regulatory process would take up to 18 months and that review would likely be by the Justice Department. No Congressional approval is needed.

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