Tag Archives: goldie vance

Madison’s Favorite Comics of 2016

Last year I prioritized cutting back on cape books and diversifying the publishers and stories that I read. Though many of the comics I read weren’t published in 2016 (especially ones I read during Women’s History Month) I still found it hard to narrow down the list of ongoing series I particularly loved throughout the year.

Here are ten comics I couldn’t put down in 2016:

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10. Goldie Vance by Hope Larson and Brittney Williams

This is a series I would have loved as a child. Goldie is the perfect mix of Nancy Drew and Eloise (of Plaza fame). Goldie Vance is great for a younger audience but doesn’t shy away from emotionally complex stories. Goldie and her friends are well-rounded characters with a wide range of interests who readers–young and not-young alike–will be able to relate to.

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9. Elasticator by Alan C. Medina and Kevin Shah

Elasticator is the kind of smart, political superhero comic I wish was more prevalent. The writing is fresh and interesting and Shah’s art is lively and animated with great colors from Ross A. Campbell.

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8. Snotgirl by Bryan Lee O’Malley and Leslie Hung

Lottie Person is just about as far away from Scott Pilgrim as you could get, though they do, at times, share a similar self-absorption. Snotgirl quickly became one of my favorite series of the year, because while not many people can say they’re successful fashion bloggers, they can likely relate to Lottie’s personal problems. Leslie Hung and Mickey Quinn provide gorgeous, vibrant visuals and the best wardrobe in comics, to boot.

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7. We(l)come Back by Christopher Sebela and Claire Roe

Reincarnation? Check. Assassins? Check. Shadowy organizations? Check. A+ fashion choices? Check. Reincarnated assassins in love running from other assassins who are trying to assassinate them? …Also check. What more can you want from a story?

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6. Shutter by Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca

Shutter is one of Image’s most underrated titles. The story follows Kate Kristopher, the daughter of legendary explorer Chris Kristopher, and her discovery of some little-known family history. The comic is consistently interesting not only because of its plot, but because del Duca and colorist Owen Gieni are constantly experimenting with narrative structure and using different techniques to influence how the story is read.

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5. Clean Room by Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt

Clean Room is a creepy psychological horror comic about journalist Chloe Pierce’s investigation of self-help master Astrid Mueller, who Pierce suspects is more cult leader than anything else. Or is she? Mueller is a fascinating character, and the unknowable question of which side she’s actually on only adds to the story’s suspense.

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4. The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie

What if you could be a god, but you’d die within two years? Consistently equal parts entertaining and heartbreaking with consistently incredible art and color from Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson. You’ve probably heard of this one.

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3. Mockingbird by Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk, Sean Parsons, and Ibrahim Moustafa

One of the few superhero comics I read this year, Mockingbird was one of my absolute favorites. Cain writes Bobbi Morse as confident and smart, and the result was a fun mystery thriller with gorgeous art. The series also featured some of my favorite colors and covers this year, by Rachelle Rosenberg and Joelle Jones.

By the time I write my 2017 list, I might be over Mockingbird’s cancellation.

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2. Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Val DeLandro

2016 was light on Bitch Planet–only four issues were released throughout the year–but continued to provide insightful and relevant commentary in what turned out to be a period of rapid change in the real-life political landscape.

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1. Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

Monstress started strong in 2015 and only got better. The main character, Maika, is a teenage girl living with a monster inside, something she learns to live with and use to her advantage as the plot develops. Monstress is full of unrepentant female characters set in a stunningly rendered fantasy world.

Preview: Goldie Vance #8

Goldie Vance #8

Publisher: BOOM! Box, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writer: Hope Larson
Artist: Brittney Williams
Cover Artist: Kat Leyh
Price: $3.99

To unravel the mystery of the lady astronaut suddenly appearing on the beach, Goldie must dive deep—to a secret underwater base, that is!

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Preview: Goldie Vance #7

Goldie Vance #7

Publisher: BOOM! Box, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writer: Hope Larson
Artist: Brittney Williams
Cover Artist: Brittney Williams
Price: $3.99

Goldie and Walter have to hit up the local dive shops for scuba gear to catch up with Millie and Cheryl.

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Preview: Goldie Vance Vol. 1 TP

Goldie Vance Vol. 1 TP

Publisher: BOOM! Box, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writer: Hope Larson
Artist: Brittney Williams
Cover Artist: Brittney Williams
Price: $9.99

From Nancy Drew to Veronica Mars, we really dig girl detectives! Eisner award-winning writer Hope Larson (Batgirl) and Brittney Williams (Patsy Walker, A.K.A Hellcat!) present the newest gal sleuth on the block with Goldie Vance, an exciting, whodunnit? adventure that mixes the fun of Eloise with the charm of Lumberjanes.16-year-old Marigold “Goldie” Vance lives at a Florida resort with her dad, who manages the place, and dreams to one day become the hotel’s in-house detective. When Walter, the current detective, encounters a case he can’t crack, he agrees to mentor Goldie in exchange for her help solving the mystery utilizing her smarts, random skills, and connections with the hotel staff and various folks in town.

16-year-old Marigold “Goldie” Vance lives at a Florida resort with her dad, who manages the place, and dreams to one day become the hotel’s in-house detective. When Walter, the current detective, encounters a case he can’t crack, he agrees to mentor Goldie in exchange for her help solving the mystery utilizing her smarts, random skills, and connections with the hotel staff and various folks in town.Collects issues #1-4 of the ongoing series.

Collects issues #1-4 of the ongoing series.

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Preview: Goldie Vance #6

Goldie Vance #6

Publisher: BOOM! Box, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writer: Hope Larson
Artist:  Brittney Williams
Cover Artist: Brittney Williams
Price: $3.99

During their continuing investigation of the sudden appearance of a lady astronaut on the beach, Goldie and Walter discover some interesting things about Cheryl.

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Review: Goldie Vance #5

GoldieVance_005_A_MainRemember when two months seemed like forever to wait for the continuation of Goldie Vance, one of BOOM!’s cutest and most intriguing new series? Good news: Goldie is back. Hope Larson and Brittney Williams’s kid-friendly series returns with Goldie Vance #5, which begins a new arc for the young detective.

The first arc of the series followed Goldie as she and her friends at the Crossed Palms Resort tried to solve the mysterious disappearance of a resort guest, which culminated in Goldie losing and regaining her job as a resort valet. It set up a solid cast of characters that is equally important and developed as Goldie, emphasizing a theme of friendship and support. Issue 5 continues this theme by exploring Goldie’s relationships with her friends and coworkers as well as the amazingly cool Diane.

In this new arc, Goldie is thrown right into the center of a mystery when an unconscious Jane Doe turns up on the resort beach. And she’s an astronaut. Goldie’s friend Cheryl, whose lifelong dream is to become an astronaut, also plays a central role. This immediately causes problems for the resort and sets up a conflict between Goldie and Cheryl, a plot point that allows the reader to see that even though Goldie is well-intentioned, she is still a flawed character.

The art, as always, is another high point for the series. Brittney Williams has a fun and wonderfully consistent style that is absolutely perfect for the series. Combined with Sarah Stern’s coloring, the two create a book that, though fun for adults to read, is great for its intended younger audience. The retro style and palette is engaging and whimsical, and kids will not only relate to Goldie’s enthusiasm and nose for trouble, but her expressions as well. Williams’s comedic timing with Goldie’s expressions is a credit to the series and a testament to the strength of the creative team.

The team’s enthusiasm for the book is obvious, and the plot and characters are written, drawn, and colored with great care. The second arc has perhaps started better than the first, and while we don’t yet know where the story will go, it is guaranteed that it will be fun and full of surprises.

Story: Hope Larson Art: Brittney Williams
Story: 10.0 Art: 10.0 Overall: 10.0 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Preview: Goldie Vance #5

Goldie Vance #5

Publisher: BOOM! Box, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writer: Hope Larson
Artist: Brittney Williams
Cover Artist: Brittney Williams
Price: $3.99

Now an ongoing series! Goldie and Cheryl find an astronaut on the beach who has lost her memory!

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Review: Goldie Vance #4

GoldieVance_004_A_MainDespite its promotion to an ongoing series, Hope Larson and Brittney Williams’s Goldie Vance #3 ended on something of a sour note.

Goldie’s at-times-unwelcome penchant for sleuthing got her into some hot water when Big Boss Mr. Maple caught her trying to do right, but using a guest’s car to do it. This all came to a head when Goldie lost her job, thanks to Maple’s daughter, Sugar.

It’s a testament to Goldie’s character that even this setback didn’t throw her off the case. Instead, she used her considerable smarts to find new leads, which served to set up Goldie Vance #4, the final issue of the first arc. The arc concludes in a manner that will likely satisfy readers. The story answers all of the pressing questions, while others are a little more open-ended. It’s the perfect conclusion for the first arc, definitively ending one story while leaving it open for more. (And there will be more. Yay!)

Goldie Vance #4 carries the same consistent pacing the story has had throughout. Williams’s art and Stern’s coloring work in tandem to amp up the adrenaline, making the issue fly like Goldie in a street race. Both art and coloring lend a slightly fantastical element to the comic, pulling through some of the other more magical elements from previous issues–the race, the scramble for Ludwig’s pendant, Goldie’s mom totally being a real mermaid. As always, the art is bouncy and expressive, perfect for the story being told.

The coloring has always been a vital aspect of the comic, with a bright and warm palette that gives it an inviting feel. Stern uses color to give each page a distinct mood and the noticeable difference in the everyday palette and the action palette is well-balanced. The strategic use of the “action” colors create the electric energy that makes the arc finale so exciting.

Goldie Vance is the perfect series for all readers. Readers of all ages will likely enjoy Goldie’s tenacity, stubborn curiosity, and determination to do the right thing, and the puzzling and at times otherworldly whodunit is a sure attention-grabber.

Goldie Vance will return with Goldie Vance #5 in September.

Story: Hope Larson Art: Brittney Williams
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Preview: Goldie Vance #4

Goldie Vance #4

Publisher: BOOM! Box, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writer: Hope Larson
Artist: Brittney Williams
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Brittney Williams
Incentive Cover: Kelsey Beckett
Price: $3.99

Now an ongoing! Goldie discovers the truth behind Ludwig’s disappearance, but will she be able to find him before someone else does?

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Review: Goldie Vance #3

goldievance-003-a-main-73fb8Hope Larson and Brittney Williams have already established a cast of well-rounded, well-developed characters and a compelling plot with the first two issues of Goldie Vance, and this allows the plot to advance quite a bit with Goldie Vance #3.

Despite inching closer to an explanation for Mr. Ludwig’s disappearance in the previous issue, Goldie now faces some consequences for her actions. Her rash actions have left her in a bit of a pickle, and meanwhile, the mystery of Ludwig and his curiously engraved necklace gets a little more complicated.

Larson’s skill as a writer is highlighted with each issue of Goldie Vance. There are several places where it would be easy to slip into a series full of teen detective tropes, but Larson and Williams navigate away from this and instead use the story and characters break several stereotypes. Two examples of this include Goldie and Cheryl being interested in cars and science, respectively, and the men in the story being the ones who fawn over the female characters rather than the other way around. The mystery in the story itself is engaging, with no obvious outcome, and all of these elements create a fresh and interesting detective story.

Goldie is a great character with a strong moral compass and wonderful supporting characters. The whole crew is diverse, both in interests and in appearance, something else that subverts the typical tropes that come with teen detective stories. Williams’s character designs are wonderfully expressive and consistently drawn. It’s easy to picture the series as an animated show, and it works so well as a comic that it’s not hard to see why the series has recently gone from a limited series to an ongoing one. Sarah Stern brings vibrance to the series with a palette of bright colors. The art gives the series a fun retro aesthetic with none of the terribly oppressive social politics. 

With a fantastic creative team and a smart, diverse group of characters, Goldie Vance is a comic appropriate for all ages and one that, luckily for readers, will be around for a while.

Story: Hope Larson Art: Brittney Williams
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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