Tag Archives: little bird

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.

Ian Bertram and Darcy Van Poelgeest’s Little Bird gets Collected this November

The bestselling, critically acclaimed miniseries by Ian Bertram and Darcy Van PoelgeestLittle Bird: The Fight for Elder’s Hope—will be collected, in its entirety, into a hardcover edition and available from Image Comics this November.

In the world of Little Bird: The Fight for Elder’s Hope, North America has been devastated by three decades of war as the American Empire expands under an ultra-nationalist, theocratic government. But from the ashes of defeat rises Little Bird, a 12-year old girl who sets out to reignite the Canadian Resistance and discover her own identity in a world on fire.

With the same limitless scope as a new East of West or Saga—and the drama and surrealism of AkiraLittle Bird follows a young resistance fighter in a science-fiction style reminiscent of Alejandro Jodorowsky and Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale.

Little Bird: The Fight for Elder’s Hope hardcover edition (ISBN 978-1534313453, Diamond Code AUG190079) collects all five issues of the miniseries and will be available in comic shops on Wednesday, November 20 and in bookstores on Tuesday, November 26.

Little Bird: The Fight for Elder’s Hope

Little Bird #1 Sells Out Again and Gets a Fourth Printing

The debut issue of award-winning director/screenwriter Darcy Van Poelgeest and fan-favorite artist Ian Bertram’s bestselling miniseries Little Bird is being rushed back to print yet again to keep up with customer demand.

The miniseries’ final issue—Little Bird #5—will release on July 15, but the series will not be immediately collected.

In the world of Little Bird, North America has been devastated by three decades of war as the American Empire expands under an ultra-nationalist, theocratic government. But from the ashes of defeat rises Little Bird, a 12-year old girl who sets out to reignite the Canadian Resistance and discover her own identity in a world on fire.

Little Bird #1, fourth printing (Diamond Code MAY198629) will be available on Wednesday, July 24. The final order cutoff deadline for comics shop retailers is Monday, July 1.

le Bird #1, fourth printing

Little Bird #1 goes Back for a Third Printing

Award-winning director/screenwriter Darcy Van Poelgeest and fan-favorite artist Ian Bertram’s breakout miniseries Little Bird is being rushed back to print to keep up with increasing customer demand.

In the world of Little Bird, North America has been devastated by three decades of war as the American Empire expands under an ultra-nationalist, theocratic government. But from the ashes of defeat rises Little Bird, a 12-year-old girl who sets out to reignite the Canadian Resistance and discover her own identity in a world on fire.

Featuring the same limitless scope as a new East of West or Saga—and the drama and surrealism of AkiraLittle Bird follows a young resistance fighter in a science-fiction style reminiscent of Alejandro Jodorowsky.

Little Bird #1, third printing (Diamond Code MAR198649) will be available on Wednesday, May 29. The final order cutoff deadline for comics shop retailers is Monday, May 6.

Little Bird #1, third printing

Little Bird #1 Gets a New Printing

Award winning director/screenwriter Darcy Van Poelgeest and fan-favorite artist Ian Bertram’s highly anticipated Little Bird launched this week from Image Comics and is already being rushed back to print to keep up with overwhelming fan enthusiasm for the unique, eye-popping miniseries.

With the same limitless scope as a new East of West or Saga—and the drama and surrealism of AkiraLittle Bird follows a young resistance fighter in a science-fiction style reminiscent of Alejandro Jodorowsky.

In the world of Little Bird, North America has been devastated by three decades of war as the American Empire expands under an ultra-nationalist, theocratic government. But from the ashes of defeat rises Little Bird, a 12-year old girl who sets out to reignite the Canadian Resistance and discover her own identity in a world on fire.

Little Bird #1, second printing (Diamond Code JAN198548) will be available on Wednesday, April 10. The final order cutoff deadline for comics shop retailers is Monday, March 18.

Little Bird #2 (Diamond Code FEB190164) will be available on Wednesday, April 17. The final order cutoff deadline for comic shop retailers is Monday, March 25.

Little Bird #1, second printing

Review: Little Bird #1

Little Bird #1

Little Bird follows a young resistance fighter who battles against an oppressive American Empire and searches for her own identity in a world on fire.

Little Bird #1 is a comic I’ve been looking forward to reading for some time. The concept of a resistance standing against a religious fundamentalist American empire is a story that sounds intriguing to me. While there’s a lot to like in the first issue, there’s also some stumbling as well in its world building.

Written by Darcy Van Poelgeest, the first issue feels like a cross between Saga, We Stand on Guard, and East of West. A Canadian resistance attempts to take on the evil American empire which works as a story, it’s something we’ve seen before. Where the issue stumbles a bit is in the small details of its worldbuilding which at times feels like weird to just be weird. Bathing in blood with what looks like intestines coming out. Weird baldheaded floating intestine creatures. It’s all visually interesting but with so little explanation we’re expected to go with it. What it winds up being is somewhat of a distraction.

Little Bird is a techno-organic religious world that we’re expected to go with. While the visuals are solid, we’re left wondering about those interesting concepts and it doesn’t help matters. A more straightforward visual would have helped. Getting rid of the weird focuses the story a bit. All of these things might be explained but in the first issue it’s all left hanging.

The concepts though are neat and the story pretty easy to get in to if you’re willing to overlook these open questions. The characters are interesting. The conflict has a lot of potential. The juxtaposition of societies is solid. There’s a lot of set up for what’s to come and a good inclusion on what we need to know of the past.

The art by Ian Bertram is absolutely interesting and as I said above, it can be distracting as well. Joined on colors by Matt Hollingsworth and lettering by Aditya Bidikar, the issue is one that has so many small things for you to linger on the page and stare at. While those visuals absolutely help build the world and hint at what we’re dealing with, they also aren’t explained enough and seem a bit odd for odd’s sake. Those cool visuals also distract without an explanation of the “why” and “what.”

The first issue has a lot of potential and I want to see where it goes. There’s a good chance the miniseries will read better as a whole than it does as single issues and those issues I have with the weird visuals will be explained later. Little Bird #1 absolutely creates and builds an interesting world but leaves too much out there not explained or acknowledged to not distract from the main story.

Story: Darcy Van Poelgeest Art: Ian Bertram
Color: Matt Hollingsworth Letterer: Aditya Bidikar

Design: Ben Didier
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Darcy Van Poelgeest, Ian Bertram, and Image Explore an Ultra-Nationalist North America in Little Bird

Director/screenwriter Darcy Van Poelgeest boasts a long list of awards and accolades for his storytelling prowess and brings the same writing finesse to Ian Bertram’s breathtakingly detailed artwork in the gorgeous, hyper-detailed miniseries Little Birdlaunching from Image Comics this March.

In the world of Little Bird, North America has been devastated by three decades of war as the American Empire expands under an ultra-nationalist, theocratic government. But from the ashes of defeat rises Little Bird, a 12-year old girl who sets out to reignite the Canadian Resistance and discover her own identity in a world on fire.

Little Bird #1 (Diamond Code JAN190099) will be available on Wednesday, March 13. The final order cutoff deadline for comics shop retailers is Monday, Feb. 18.

Little Bird #1