Tag Archives: killadelphia

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.

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Adventureman #1

It’s a new week and we’ve got lots on tap coming your way from interviews, reviews, and more! While you wait for things to get rolling, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

iO9 – The Punisher’s Logo Can’t Be Turned Into a Symbol for Black Lives Matter or Real World Justice – Agree? Disagree?

GamesRadar – DC and Diamond extend working relationship temporarily – Bets this gets resolved?

Reviews

Talking Comics – Adventureman #1
Monkeys Fighting Robots – Blacking Out
Talking Comics – Daredevil #20
Comic Attack – Excellence #7
Talking Comics – Killadelphia #6

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Killadelphia #1

The weekend is almost here as the weekday begins to wind down. What will you all be doing? Anything fun and geeky? Sound off in the comments. While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

Deadline – Levantine Lands Rights To Turn Graphic Novel Series ‘Killadelphia: Sins Of The Father’ Into TV Series – Another comic is possibly coming to television.

CBLDF – Announcing the League of Graphic Novel Educators – This sounds like a great thing to get involved with.

How to Love Comics – Marvel Zombies Reading Order ChecklistFor those who want to check out the popular series.

Reviews

The Beat – Altitude
Newsarama – Batman: The Adventures Continue #2

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Killadelphia #4

It was new comic book day yesterday! What’d everyone get? What’d you enjoy? What didn’t you like? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

The Conversation – Graphic novels help teens learn about racism, climate change and social justice – here’s a reading list – A good list.

Reviews

Talking Comics – Killadelphia #4
The Geekiary – The Oracle Code
Geek Dad – The Oracle Code
CBR – The Oracle Code

Review: Killadelphia #4

KILLADELPHIA #4

Rodney Barnes and Jason Shawn Alexander’s Killadelphia has been setting its sights high since the very first issue. It established conflicting racial politics and creates a history that dates back to early independent America. A time when the Founding Fathers still roamed the land. One of them turns out to be a vampire looking to start a revolution of his own in present times. A vampire revolution. Killadelphia #4 is where that revolution starts, where we hear the first shot of the vampire uprising. It’s loud enough to become the new ‘shot heard around the world.’

Father and son James and Jim Sangster along with chief medical examiner Jose Padilla have stumbled across several big pieces of the larger puzzle, namely that President John Adams is patient zero of the vampire virus and that some of Philadelphia’s poorer neighborhoods have become his personal vampiric breeding grounds. Our merry group of novice vampire hunters is worried about the conquest-level amounts of bloodsuckers that are awaiting their orders, but they still don’t know when it’s all going to go down. This fourth issue is when everything starts.

Barnes’ script and Shawn Alexander’s art never waste an opportunity to comment on the fact that most of Adams’ vampire army is composed of black people. This is interesting because Adams is widely regarded as one of the few Founding Father to have not owned slaves. The actual facts behind this are somewhat muddy as the President did hire white and free black servants but also rented out slaves from slave owners, paying a service fee for their employment.

On top of that, Adams tolerated slavery and was very much a man of his time, meaning he might not hold up in a court of public opinion in today’s political climate (or perhaps he would’ve, given the state of things). This might say something about the drive behind his vampire revolution, especially in terms of how traditional or nuanced his perceived villainy will end up being.

It doesn’t seem like Barnes and Shawn Alexander are looking to frame Adams as a mere ‘white bad guy’ type of character for Killadelphia. The next two issues should reveal a lot more about the agendas pushed forward by the second President of the United States. The race dynamic between the white leader and the black vampires speaks volumes, but just exactly what it’s truly meant to represent is still up for debate.

I will say, while I am completely invested in the series and have loved how dense each entry has been, I did feel the revolution started a bit early. I could’ve done with two more issues of world building and perhaps more exploration of the vampires themselves. Issue #4 takes a plunge into big story developments and, while exciting, it does feel a bit rushed.

Shawn Alexander’s art continues to impress. It really digs into the grittiness of the setting, but it also plays with realism in a way that keeps the more fantastical elements of the story grounded. It heightens the horror and continues to produce some nasty-looking vampires.

Luis NCT’s colors, on the other hand, do a fantastic job of helping the art maintain a balance between its fantasy and its realism. They have a way of accentuating the more visceral sequences while also setting the tone for the moments that need an additional dose of darkness to really be effective. Visually, this comic is a well-oiled machine. The script wraps itself around this beautifully.

Killadelphia #4 speeds things up quite a bit—perhaps a bit too quickly—but the quality of the storytelling hasn’t dipped not one bit. There are traces of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend here, and even a bit of Candyman in terms of ambiance. I’m eager to see what else gets thrown in the ring, because we got a vampire revolution firing up and it looks like it’s about to get real bloody.

Story: Rodney Barnes Art: Jason Shawn Alexander Colors: Luis NCT
Story: 8.0 Art: 10 Overall: 9.0
Recommendation: Buy, and then make sure it’s in your pull list

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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Spirits of Ghost Rider: Mother of Demons #1

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

Kotaku – Every Marvel vs Capcom Character, Together At Last – Nice!

The Mary Sue – 11 Books and Graphic Novels Every Queer Woman Should Read – A good list. Any you’d add?

Reviews

Talking Comics – Killadelphia #3
Newsarama – Spirits of Ghost Rider: Mother of Demons #1
NPR – Sports is Hell

Killadelphia #2 and #3 Get Second Printings

Supply of Killadelphia #2 and #3 by award winning writer/producer Rodney Barnes and artist Jason Shawn Alexander has been sucked dry at the distributor level and Image Comics has fast-tracked reprints for both issues in order to keep up with feverish demand for the hot new horror title.

In Killadelphia #2, Jimmy’s horrifying discoveries regarding his father’s murder lead him to seek police coroner Jose Padilla’s help. But when they discover the force behind Philadelphia’s vampire outbreak is none other than former U.S. President John Adams, will Jimmy’s investigation reveal a way to save the city, or is he just dragging Jose to hell with him?

In Killadelphia #3, founding father John Adams has stepped out of the shadows to reveal himself as the undead source of Philadelphia’s vampire outbreak. With a legion at his command, he makes plans to cut the rot from America’s core. Meanwhile, Jimmy and Jose must fight for their lives at the city morgue as the dead rise off their slabs.

Killadelphia #3, second printing (Diamond Code DEC198681) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, February 26.

Killadelphia #2, second printing (Diamond Code DEC198680) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, February 26.

Killadelphia #1 (Diamond Code SEP190042) is available at comic book shops now.

Killadelphia #2, second printing
Killadelphia #3, second printing

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Killadelphia #1

It’s a new week and we’re still reeling from last night’s Watchmen reveal. Wow! While we recover, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: Faith Erin Hicks retells Anakin Skywalker’s The Phantom Menace journey – Free comics!

Jakarta Post – Female comic superhero fights India’s sex traffickers, challenges stigma – We should check this out.

The Financial Express – Vanni | A new graphic novel revisits Sri Lanka’s disastrous civil war – This sounds interesting.

Reviews

ICv2 – Blade Runner 2019 Vol. 1 Welcome to Los Angeles
Monkeys Fighting Robots – Books of Magic #14
ICv2 – Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor – Old Friends
AIPT – Killadelphia #1
The Beat – Pound for Pound
Batman News – Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis #1
AIPT – X-Force #2

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Venom #20

It’s Thanksgiving at GP HQ but we’re still bringing you a day of news! We wish everyone celebrating a great day.

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: Cupido invites you to cozy up with a cup of tea for some seriously sweet soulmate content – Free comics!

Newsarama – Former Marvel CCO Joe Quesada’s New Title Confirmed – Congrats to him.

Newsarama – Marvel Promotes Steve Wacker to Head of Content, New Media – Lots of titles changes at Marvel apparently.

Newsarama – Former DC President Diane Nelson Exits Quibi – Interesting and not a good sign.

Reviews

Newsarama – John Constantine: Hellblazer #1
The Beat – Killadelphia #1
The Beat – Revenger
The Beat – Sentient
Newsarama – Tales of the Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis #1
Newsarama – Venom #20

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