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Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Magical Beatdown Vol. 1

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Conan the Barbarian #3 (Marvel) – The first two issues were fantastic and the third is most likely more of the same. One of the best new series in 2019.

Daredevil #1 (Marvel) – A hell of a debut which gets Daredevil back to basics.

Die #3 (Image Comics) – A great spin on roleplaying games, Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans, and Clayton Cowles have been knocking it out of the park.

Female Furies #1 (DC Comics) – A mini-series focused on the Female Furies? Yeah, we’re in.

G.I. Joe: Sierra Muerte #1 (IDW Publishing) – Michel Fiffe takes on G.I. Joe, that’s all you need to know.

Magical Beatdown #1 (Silver Sprocket) – Hyper violent street harassment revenge fantasy in the style of Sailor Moon about about an average schoolgirl who transforms into a foul-mouthed and rage-fuelled Magical Girl. Yeah, we’re sold.

Marvel Action: Avengers #2 (IDW Publishing) – The first issue was solid all-ages fun and we’re expecting the same from this second issue.

Red Sonja #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) – Mark Russell taking on Red Sonja? Yeah, we’re intrigued.

Vindication #1 (Image Comics/Top Cow Productions) – We’re nervous and intrigued on this one which seems to be taking on police corruption and our broken judicial system.

The Wrong Earth #6 (AHOY Comics) – One of the best new series in the past year from the best new publisher wraps up its first story arc.

Review: F*ck Off Squad

There is something surreal and beautiful about stories which examine just one day. One of the most memorable series is the “Before” film trilogy which star Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. The films start with a chance meeting and find these two people over different times of their lives getting to know and catch up with each other over a course of a day. The first film encompassed the beauty of young love. The second film examines how one becomes more cynical about love and relationships. The third film examines the flaws that the concept of love encompasses and the very institution of marriage in all its complexities.

Not all stories that revolve around one are about love and just like life, it should not be alone. Sometimes a good story can be just about three friends having one great day. In Dave Baker and Nicole Goux’s F*ck Off Squad, we get one such fine day.

We meet Jimmy, Megan, and Clark, three friends who could not be more different but bond over their love of skateboarding and the many challenges of being a teenager. We follow this tri of friends as Megan as she heartbreakingly falls for the lead singer of her band, Teenage Switchblade, begins to dissipate, while Clark tries to get Jimmy to talk about her breakup with her girlfriend, a relationship she hoped was going somewhere. We also find Clark catching feelings for a girl on his high school basketball team, Saanvi, as his attraction to her reaches a fever pitch.  Meanwhile, Jimmy has secretly been seeing her ex-girlfriend, Kate, keeping it a secret from her friends, trying to avoid the judgment from her friends. By book’s end, we find out more about Clark’s home life, Jimmy does what is best for her, and they all realize that relationships suck.

Overall, it’s one of the best slice of life comic books I have read in a very long time. It will make you fall in love with each of the characters and you’ll become engrossed in their beautifully flawed world. The story by Dave Baker is relatable, funny, and heartbreaking. The art by Goux is stimulating and vibrantly drawn. Altogether, this duo proves that sometimes your friends is all the family you need.

Story: Dave Baker Art: Nicole Goux
Story: 10 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Facebook Censors the Critically Acclaimed “Your Black Friend” Animated Film (Updated)

On Friday January 26th, Facebook took action against an animated short film made by a black artist, about anti-black racism, posted by independent comic book publisher Silver Sprocket.

The animated adaptation of Ben Passmore‘s award winning Your Black Friend comic book received positive attention when it was posted last Monday, garnering more than 130,000 views between YouTube and Facebook.

Based on Passmore’s comic book of the same name that in 2017 was nominated for an Eisner Award and won the Ignatz, Dinky, and Broken Frontier awards, and coveted spot on NPR’s 100 Favorite Graphic Novels list.

The animation was produced by Silver Sprocket and Doggo Studios to promote Passmore’s upcoming hardcover collection, Your Black Friend and Other Strangers, collecting 120 pages of comics from VICE, The Nib, and various other publications to be released in March of 2018 and available for pre-order now from Silver Sprocket’s online store.

Though unavailable on Facebook, the video remains on YouTube.

Update: Facebook says it was taken down in error.

Your Black Friend is Now an Animated Short Film

Ben Passmore‘s critically acclaimed Your Black Friend indie comic book is now a 3-minute animation courtesy of Silver Sprocket and Doggo Studios, with narration by Passmore himself.

Addressing topics of racism, identity, and alienation, the comic is a necessary contribution to the dialogue around race in the United States.

The print version of the comic won numerous awards in 2017 including the Ignatz, Dinky, and Broken Frontier, as well as an Eisner Award nomination, and coveted spot on NPR’s 100 Favorite Graphic Novels list.

The video precedes the release of Your Black Friend and Other Strangers, a 120 page hardcover collection of Passmore’s comics previously published by VICE, The Nib, and a variety of independent outlets, to be released in March of 2018 by politically charged indie comics publisher and art-crew Silver Sprocket.

Review: Your Black Friend

I can proudly say now that I am a “bookworm”, as this has not always been a tag I would have said aloud before. As I not only read books that my parents and my family have told me to read, but teachers as well. One of the books I have read growing up which not only my teachers made required reading but also members of my family, did, was Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man.” I am not going to lie, this first time I read it, I did not quite know what to make of it, nor did I understand their insistence.

It was not until years later, back home in NYC, when I was 14, and got stopped by the police for the first time, and subsequent times since, that a stop like this for a person of color, can be a matter of life and death. Then it sunk in, as his book, and books like Claude Brown’s Manchild in The Promised Land made me comprehend what society thought of me and yet I can still write my own narrative. Which lead to like Dr. Francis Cress Welsing’s The Isis Papers and Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of The Earth, which gave me a greater understanding. Which is only fitting that Ben Passmore’s Your Black Friend begins with a quote from Fanon, which quite simply hits the gut.

Within the first few pages, Passmore gives light to how subtle racism exists, as most people do not even realize what they say or how they say it are microaggressions. He also gets into how careful a person of color must be in their monitoring of their speech, affectations, and mannerisms, relative to the environment they inhabit, so that they don’t get profiled. He gets into the “fetishizing” aspect of having a black friend, where, to relate, their white friends bring up black authors just so that they can relate or have something to talk about. Lastly, Passmore, gets into the “acting white” aspect as well, as gets into the revalidating of your “black card,” when you have friends of other races.

Overall, an important book in today’s day and time, which is a touchstone in many facets, to understanding one another. Passmore’s prose packs punches in every panel. Passmore’s art may seem rudimentary to the passing eye but has shadows of Basquiat ad Pollock, once one digs into. Altogether, the length of the book, is deceiving at best, as it packs more in these 16 pages, than books ten times its length.

Story: Ben Passmore Art: Ben Passmore
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy NOW!!

Entertainment Earth