Tag Archives: taki soma

Michael Avon Oeming Delivers Dick Tracy Forever

IDW Publishing has announced the perfect pairing of acclaimed writer/artist Michael Avon Oeming and pop culture’s enduring icon of law and order in Dick Tracy Forever, a four-issue miniseries debuting in April.

In the Forever series, Dick Tracy is the proverbial Sisyphus, pushing the law boulder up the hill as he struggles for reason and order in a world with none. His attempts at delivering justice are met with crime and chaos in the form of unpredictable and absurd villains. But Dick Tracy will never give up trying, no matter the era or incarnation… even when his startling new case defies all notions of time and space!

Oeming will be joined on the Dick Tracy Forever series by colorist Taki Soma. For the debut issue, Oeming will provide the main cover and a noir-inspired spot color variant, with renowned illustrator Kyle Bakercontributing a special incentive cover variant, as well.

Dick Tracy Forever

Review: United States vs. Murder Inc. #1

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the return of Jinxworld’s United States vs. Murder Inc.

United States vs. Murder Inc. #1 is by Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Avon Oeming, Taki Soma, Carlos Mangual, Curtis King, Jr., and Michael McCalister.

Get your copy in comic shops today. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Manga Monday: Attack on Titan Anthology

aot_anthology_nycc-450x675The manga megahit Attack on Titan, reinterpreted by some of comics’ top talent! Featuring original stories by a long roster of comic superstars such as Scott Snyder, Gail Simone, Faith Erin Hicks, Michael Avon Oeming, Paolo Rivera, Cameron Stewartand Babs Tarr!

This unprecedented, full-colour collaboration between East and West will be released first in English, making it indispensable for Attack on Titan fans and curious comic fans.

When it comes to Attack on Titan my only real exposure to the series was watching the horrendous live action film that came out. I haven’t watched the anime and I haven’t read the manga, but when I heard the Attack on Titan Anthology was coming out, I made sure to grab a copy during New York Comic Con. If I was going to buy it, might as well go with the limited edition cover.

While this anthology isn’t a traditional way to be introduced, it was an interesting one as a who’s who of Western creators tackle this manga phenomenon. And what’s nicer is that each creator gave it their own spin sticking to their style of storytelling and moving the settings of the stories around for different situations and locations.

This is an eclectic mix in a good way with stories that seem to stick to a setting and story that you’d see in the manga series while other creators went with a complete break. There’s horror. There’s humor. There’s action. There’s a little of everything and it’s all enjoyable in its own way.

What’s really interesting to me is recognizing the creators based on their entries. I read the entire graphic novel in one sitting and played guess the creator as I went along creating a fun little game and each creator really does bring their own style. So, if you’re a fan of the folks’ work, you’re probably going to enjoy this.

I knew so little about the world and what to expect going in other than the creative talent lined up, but coming out of it, I want to check out more. If you’re interested in finding out a bit about Attack on Titan, but don’t want to take the chance on manga, this is a solid way to go to find out a bit more about what it’s all about.

Story and Art: Ray Fawkes, Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, John Rauch, Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, Bill Murdon, Afua Richardson, Genevieve Valentine, David Lopez, Faith Erin Hicks, Cris Peter, Michael Avon Oeming, Taki Soma, Paolo Rivera, Gail Simone, Phil Jimenez, Alonso Nunez, Elmer Santos, Sam Humphries, Damion Scott, Sigmund Torre, Rhianna Pratchett, Jorge Corona, Jen Hickman, Ben Applegate, Ronald Wimberly, Kevin Wada, Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr, Jiji Knight, Si Spurrier, Kate Brown, Paul Duffield, Dee Cunniffe, Asaf Hanuka, Tomer Hanuka, Kate Leth, Jeremy Lambert
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.35 Overall: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Love is Love

loveislovefiOn June 12, 2016, a hateful man killed 49 people and wounded 53 at The Pulse, a gay club in Orlando, Florida. This was a terrible day for the LGBTQ community, and I was just plain sad. A couple weeks ago, I had celebrated getting a job and moving to a new city with a few friends at a couple gay clubs in my old home of Richmond, Virginia so a thought went through my head, “It could have been me.” Even though I am relatively privileged as a white cisgendered, relatively straight passing bisexual male, I had no queer friends in my new home to turn to and confide in after the events in Orlando. But what got me through was the queer comics and comics journalism community, and my Facebook inboxes and Twitter DM’s were filled with messages of hope and understanding. I may have felt alone in my current situation, but these beautiful people, many of whom I have never met in the flesh, got me through the tough days after the Pulse shooting.

The Love is Love comics anthology project from IDW Publishing with assistance from DC Comics, Archie Comics, Aftershock, and the Will Eisner estate gave me a similar feeling of the comics community coming together to mourn after The Pulse shooting. While reading the graphic novel, I simultaneously felt sadness and hope and remembered that despite the scandals that the comics industry has some great folks, whose excellent work appears in this comic. I enjoyed how well-represented all genders, races, sexualities, and religions were in Love is Love along with the different art styles and color palette. On a pure aesthetic level, most of the stories in Love is Love hit two of my favorite genre sweet spots: superhero and autobio, which made it a great read on both an emotional and intellectual level.

Honestly, I could write a book about the brilliant one to three page stories, poems, and pinups in Love is Love, and maybe I will one day. For the purpose of this review, I will hit on a few that affected me personally; those stories that through words, art, colors, and letters gave me comfort as I thought back to Orlando.

batwomanPaul Dini‘s Harley and Ivy story is insanely adorable and nails their romantic relationship in a nutshell with each one making compromises for the each other. For example, Harley goes vegetarian while Ivy is subjected to a Three Stooges marathon. Bill Morrison‘s art is very similar to the style of Batman: Animated Series and peppered with all kinds of background details to add to the humor. Another funny story (Albeit darker than Harley and Ivy shenanigans.) that provided some great comic relief in the midst of the emotionally headier material of Love is Love was a Deathstroke one by Taran Killam where he switches out his arsenal of guns for karate after the Pulse shooting. Gallows humor is a great way to stave off pain.

As someone whose sexuality is still not accepted by those close to me and was afraid to come out until I was 19, Love is Love‘s portrayal of homophobia is harrowing, yet all too relatable. Early, in the book, Daniel Beals and David Lafuente do a splitscreen story where two young boys see the same news coverage of The Pulse, but react in vastly different ways because of their parent’s homophobia and empathy respectively. Then, there is a nuanced story from Jeff King and Steve Pugh where a girl is sad about the shooting and wants to go to the memorial service, but her dad is uneasy about men kissing men. Later, he realizes how thoughtless he was and apologizes. I know Pugh from his superhero work on Fantastic Four and Detective Comics, and this appeal for forgiveness was just as fictional as Batman or Reed Richards in my own life.

The stories that bypassed my head and went straight to my heart strings were ones that focused on queer clubs as sanctuaries. In six pulsing panels and two pages, comics legends Grant Morrison and Jesus Merino capture the beat with alternating colors and skeletons in the background. Without a word, an image engulfed my mind and reminded me of fog lights, cute boys, and too many Long Island ice teas. In a similar vein, Emma Houxbois and Alejandra Gutierrez looked at the escapism of a queer club experience complete with cuties and the sad realities of the morning after. (Full disclosure: I worked closely with Emma on the Fantheon podcast and at the websites The Rainbow Hub and Pop Optiq and she has contributed to this site.) The comic had a soft color palette and intelligent narration while still connecting to my personal experiences and of other LGBTQ people. And it was followed by a silent comic by Brian Michael Bendis, his daughter Olivia Bendis, Michael Oeming, and Taki Soma that captured the joy and energy of a queer night club with people dancing with they wanted to and bright colors everywhere courtesy of Soma.

Many of the creators, who were from Florida, had very personal stories to share about the LGBTQ community of Orlando, which were sad and enjoyable, like Scott Snyder, who wrote a prose piece with a spot illustration by Jock about working at Disney World, and how some of the queer employees, who played various Disney characters, would invite him to a gay bar every Thursday and accept him.

Love is Love gave me an opportunity to listen to the stories of some queer comics creators that I have admired for quite some time, like James Tynion and Phil Jimenez. Tynion’s story was drawn in black and white by artist Molly Ostertag except for splotches of rainbow in the bracelet that he got as a youngster. It skips time frantically in a two page story as he comes to terms with his sexuality cutting from him spending time with his friends at Pride to facing the fact that he is a bisexual boy at an all-boy’s Catholic school. Jimenez did his comic with his writer friend David Kim and talked about how they had grown up from using codenames to show that they are dating men to being out and proud DC Comics creators. The comic is filled with snatches of conversations they had about relationships and even superhero oddities as they reflect on their friendship after the events in Orlando. Jimenez also excels at wispy, life drawing as well as superheroes, Amazons, and the Invisible College.

The queer DC Comics character that means the most to me is definitely Midnighter, and I was happy to see him featured in a couple of the Love is Love stories. The first one is by Dan DiDio and Carlos D’Anda and acts as a crash course in DC’s LGBTQ characters. It’s pretty amusing and features Midnighter and Apollo doing shots of tequila and getting on the dance floor with Batwoman as Renee Montoya snarks from the sides. The other one was my favorite story of the entire Love is Love collection from Tom Taylor, Emily Smith, and Michael Garland. Midnighter was angry after The Pulse shooting just like I was angry, and Garland punctuates his anger with a red background. He’s just punching aimlessly when Apollo shows up and says that he is not alone and will be safe with him. This kind of solidarity between queer people in the face of death and tragedy truly empowered me as Taylor makes good use of Midnighter’s vulnerable side that is the emotional center of Steve Orlando’s current work on his title.

Other highlights of Love is Love included Tom King and Mitch Gerads doing a rainbow-tinted Batman tale, Sterling Gates returning to Supergirl and writing about how she failed to save the day, married couple Amanda Seibert and Cat Staggs showing Batwoman comforting a child, whose mother died at The Pulse, and much more. There’s even a wonderful, yet vulnerable riff on Beauty and the Beast from Marguerite Bennett and Aneke where Bennett, and an LGBT-inclusive riff on DC’s old romance comics from project creator Marc Andreyko with art from George Perez, Karl Kesel, and Laura Allred.  A full list of collaborators on Love is Love can be found here, and I definitely plan on delving into their other work.

Love is Love is personal, beautiful, and tragic collection of comics that really affected me despite their being more “ally” creators than LGBTQ ones. I hope it will make the world a more loving and inclusive place even in the shadow of the election of two homophobes to the office of president and vice president.

As Batman says in King and Gerads’ story, “Today, I will get up. Today, I will face their hate… And I will again fight for my love.” Visual and verbal moments like that are why I love comics.

Story: Various Art: Various
Story: 9.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Sinergy #5

Sinergy #5

Story By: Michael Avon Oeming
Story By: Taki Soma
Art By: Michael Avon Oeming
Art By: Taki Soma
Cover By: Michael Avon Oeming
Variant Cover By: Skottie Young
Cover Price: $3.50
Digital Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: JAN150709
Published: March 11, 2015

Jess’ mother makes a hard choice after her suspicions are confirmed. Jess, Jesse, the hunters and the monsters all must fight for their survival- the hunters fight for humans, the monsters for a natural resource that may destroy us all- sin! Alternate cover by superstar SKOTTIE YOUNG!

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Preview: Red Sonja #100

Red Sonja #100

Gail Simone, Roy Thomas, Luke Lieberman, Eric Trautmann, Mike Avon Oeming (w)
Sergio Davila, Pablo Marcos, Dave Acosta, Taki Soma, Noah Salonga (a)
Ed Benes, Robert Hack, Andrew Pepoy, Ken Haeser, Pablo Marcos (c)
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC • 48 pages • $7.99 • Teen+

Who knows how to celebrate ten years of Dynamite publishing better than the She-Devil with a Sword herself, RED SONJA? And she’s invited some serious barbarian bards to help! Past and present Sonja scribes GAIL SIMONE (current monthly writer), LUKE LIEBERMAN (the man behind Queen Sonja), MIKE OEMING (the first scribe of Red Sonja’s tenure at Dynamite), ERIC TRAUTMANN (who swept Sonja across the many Hyborian kingdoms), and ROY THOMAS (the man who started it all) pair up with beloved artists for this phenomenal five-story, supersized anthology, celebrating Red Sonja and her many roles and sojourns throughout the Hyborian Age!

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Preview: Sinergy #4

Sinergy #4

Story By: Michael Avon Oeming
Story By: Taki Soma
Art By: Michael Avon Oeming
Art By: Taki Soma
Cover By: Michael Avon Oeming
Variant Cover By: Emma Ríos
Cover Price: $3.50
Digital Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: DEC140761
Published: February 4, 2015

Jess’s monster lover returns professing love, but she senses a trap-not romance, as the seers prepare themselves for the inevitable monster invasion! Alternate cover by PRETTY DEADLY’s EMMA RIOS!

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Preview: Sinergy #3

Sinergy #3

Story By: Michael Avon Oeming
Story By: Taki Soma
Art By: Michael Avon Oeming
Art By: Taki Soma
Cover By: Michael Avon Oeming
Variant Cover By: Charlie Adlard
Cover Price: $3.50
Digital Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: NOV140683
Published: January 7, 2015

In the wake of her father’s injury, Jess dons her full costume to become a demon hunter. Even as the police close in on her and her mother becomes more suspicious that something is horribly wrong with this family and she may want out! Special incentive cover by The Walking Dead’s CHARLIE ADLARD!

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Preview: Sinergy #2

Sinergy #2

Story By: Michael Avon Oeming
Story By: Taki Soma
Art By: Michael Avon Oeming
Cover By: Michael Avon Oeming
Variant Cover By: Michael Allred
Variant Cover By: Laura Allred
Cover Price: $3.50
Digital Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: OCT140764
Published: December 10, 2014

Monster hunting is tough on families, especially when it’s a secret! Jess can’t believe her boyfriend may be the same monster her father warned her about! Also in this issue, a back-up story about monster men written and drawn by TAKI SOMA!

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Preview: Sinergy #1

Sinergy #1

Story By: Michael Avon Oeming
Story By: Taki Soma
Art By: Michael Avon Oeming
Art By: Taki Soma
Cover By: Michael Avon Oeming
Cover Price: $3.50
Digital Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: ICSEP140544
Published: November 19, 2014

FROM THE CO-CREATOR OF THE HIT SERIES POWERS! Jess was on her way to college with an athletic scholarship—until her first sexual experience enabled her to see inter-dimensional monsters who live secretly among us and feed on SINERGY (energies emitted by sin)! Oh, and did we mention that her boyfriend is one of them and that her father wants her to start hunting these monsters with him?

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