Tag Archives: webcomic

Webcomics Weekly: Olympus’ Forgotten Children

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s spotlight on webcomics, where we take a look at one of the many comics available online every Monday: Webcomics Weekly (but don’t be fooled by the “weekly” part of the title; the feature may happen more or less frequently than that). We’re defining webcomics as any comics published online for free consumption by the general public that doesn’t require a  subscription service.

This week we’re taking a look at Olympus’ Forgotten Children. The strip is created by former Graphic Policy contributor Kenny Coburn, who was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about the webcomic below.

Graphic Policy: In a nutshell, can you tell us what the strip’s about?Cover

Kenny Coburn: Olympus’ Forgotten Children is an ongoing full length 22 page web comic that takes an honest look at the superhero trope that there are people with god like powers who are above corruption. The world of Olympus’ Forgotten Children is much more honest in how it views humanity than anything you will see at DC or Marvel. The world is not perfect and neither are the people with the most power.

The United States government had finally created a superhero serum to use in war. But, because of crippling debt caused by funding the research necessary to create the serum, the government was forced to sell it to the highest bidding civilians. After a year, those who purchased the serum began to fight back and war began. Fifteen years later, the former superheroes, now known as the Power Cartel, rule the planet. The only other survivors are those working for the Power Cartel or those that have gone into hiding.

It is in this world that three longtime friends, Monya, Kiarynn, and Baxter, begin to try and take the world back from the Power Cartel by any means necessary. Their journey takes them from their underground home through the wastelands of the former United States with only the faint hope of a better future driving them.

GP: How often do you update?

KC: The comic will be released quarterly as currently constructed. We are already hard at work on issue #2. For anyone who does enjoy the project and wants to support it, you can donate to our crowd funding page which will help us fund the project and greatly shorten the timeframe between issues. Every dollar is greatly appreciated.

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

KC: The first issue has just been released for free in its entirety. Currently, there are thirteen issues in total planned for the project so the series still has a long way to go before it is complete.

GP: Where did the idea for the comic come from?

KC: The idea for Olympus’ Forgotten Children came after watching Captain America: The First Avenger. The premise that a serum that turns a basic human being into essentially a god happened to go to the kindest person in existence just seemed ludicrous. The world doesn’t work that way and I wanted to explore the finer nuances of what would really happen if a superhero serum was created.

It isn’t exactly a pleasant conclusion that I came to, but I think it is an infinitely more interesting one. People don’t normally fit perfectly into the categories of good and bad. This is the idea I wanted to explore. Once I had that premise, I just continued to build logically into the way I saw the future shaping out.

The idea was very simple, but I think the results have been extraordinary.

Why it’s awesome: Honestly, anything I say here will just be a repeat of what Kenny had said above. Instead, I’ll just direct you to the introduction below and the first four pages in the gallery underneath the intro and let you see for yourselves.


If you’d like to have your webcomic featured here, then drop us an email.

Webcomics Weekly: Bun Toons

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s spotlight on webcomics, where we take a look at one of the many comics available online every Monday: Webcomics Weekly (but don’t be fooled by the “weekly” part of the title; the feature may happen more or less frequently than that). We’re defining webcomics as any comics published online for free consumption by the general public that doesn’t require a  subscription service.

This week we’re taking a look at Bun Toons. The strip is created by Ty Templeton, who was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about the webcomic below.

Graphic Policy: In a nutshell, can you tell us what the strip’s about?

Ty Templeton: Bun Toons isn’t “about” anything in particular, except a challenge to my brain:  Every Saturday morning, I wake up and draw a cartoon strip about SOMETHING.  I often don’t even know the subject matter when I go to bed on Friday night, and sometimes wake up without the slightest idea of what it will be.  If there’s something major in the news, either in comics news or real life news, the strip might be about that because it’s where my brain is hanging out…if there’s nothing current happening worth commenting on, I’ll tell a true story that’s amusing enough to share, or I’ll just do something silly and surreal that made me laugh when it crossed my cerebellum.  It’s about allowing my creativity to work without a net on a crushing deadline.  Each strip MUST MUST MUST go up before 4.00 pm no matter what.  (It used to be earlier, but I often get up around noon on a Saturday, and that gives me a little time…).  I allow for about an hour to conceive and write it, about an hour to draw it, and about an hour to colour/letter and post it, and then it goes up online without a backwards glance.  Some weeks I accidentally make something worth remembering, some weeks it’s not funny and best forgotten.  It’s the once-a-week challenge to my creativity that drives it.  I started doing it without any preparation one Saturday a few years ago, and have produced a strip every Saturday I’ve been home ever since then (except a brief hiatus when I was recovering from my heart attack, and my medications left me too spaced out to draw or write with any clarity).   On days when I’m out of town, or attending a store event or a comic convention, I post a re-run, since I’m literally no where near my scanner and computer, I don’t have a choice.  Every Saturday I’m home, it’s my wake up and draw ritual.

There are some Saturdays I grumble about it.  Some weeks I will tell myself “No one is making you do this, you don’t have an idea, just let it slide…” but I get over that in ten minutes and set my mind to SOMETHING.  There have been strips that are read by less than a thousand people, and then there are strips that are read by many tens of thousands of people and get passed around the net virally.  Obviously I prefer it if people read ’em, but in the long run, it’s about a relationship with my own brain, and the concept of “improvisational” cartooning.

Now, if it has any sort of theme or continuity, it’s sort of about what it’s like to be a comic book freelancer.  Many of my strips are about trends in comics, the trouble with deadlines, how my family and I interact.  I show up as a character in about half of them, and when I’m in the story, I appear as a six foot tall white rabbit wearing a t-shirt with my name on it.  But I also DON’T appear in about half of them, which might feature Donald Trump mud-wrestling an alien or something.  I find the ones that feature myself don’t go viral anywhere near as much as the ones that feature Frank Miller, or Batman or something the internet can bite into.  But that’s the nature of spontaneous creativity…I sort of have no control over it, and it goes where it goes.

GP: How often do you update?

TT: As mentioned in the above answer, I update every Saturday that I’m home.  That works out to about 45 a year.  There have been VERY rare occasions when I’ve done two in one week, because something occurred mid-week and I couldn’t help myself and I pipe in.  That’s happened maybe three times in the last few years, so it’s just something when I can’t stop myself.  Normally it’s about the challenge of being clever or worth reading because the clock says I have to.  I always loved the Lorne Michaels line about Saturday Night Live:  “The show goes on, not because it’s ready, but because it’s 11.30 on Saturday night, and we don’t have a choice”.  That attitude informs Bun Toons.  If it’s Saturday morning, I don’t have a choice.  Get creating, mofo.

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

TT:  I’ve been doing them as a weekly webcomic for about five years …BUT I’ve been doing the self-portrait rabbit cartoon strips for decades now.  The rabbit-icon first appeared in an old Fantagraphics comic series called “Critters” and he’s appeared in various industry newszines like SHOPTALK, REALMS, AMAZING HEROES, THE COMICS JOURNAL, etc.

Whenever I’m asked to do a column or an essay about something, I tend to do the rabbit.  Some of the rhythms of the strip are inspired by Feiffer’s stuff, as well as the basic idea of having a rodent stand in for me coming from MAUS.

GP: Where did the idea for the strip come from?

TT: The very very first rabbit strips came from nearly thirty years ago, when I was just starting out as a cartoonist.  I was married to a model, and she used to take work trips to Europe to do photoshoots, or spend a week or so in Manhattan on a gig, etc, and I used to do these little comic books for her when she got home, each entitled “What I did while you were gone”.  This was so she wouldn’t feel she was missing anything at home…and it made drawing them SO much easier to give all the characters animal totems instead of having to do recognizable portraits each time I needed a character to appear.  So I became a rabbit, and my friend Glenn because a squirrel, and various people because dogs and cats and badgers so that anyone could follow the story without wondering who was who.  The first time a Bunny story was actually published was because of a cartoonist friend of mine named Bernie Mireault, who was staying with me in Toronto for a few days, and he saw one of the little comic books, and asked if he could draw it up on full sized paper and “do it up right” for a story in Critters Magazine (a comic devoted to “funny animal” stories from Fantagraphics).  Bernie was insanely talented, so I said “Sure”…and then Bernie took the story and drew it up WONDERFULLY…except he changed my animal totem into a bear.  When I asked him why, he said I struck him more as a bear than a rabbit.  The story ran in CRITTERS (I forget the issue number, sorry…)…it’s called ‘THE TOTALLY TRUE TO LIFE 11:15 PM McDONALDS DRIVE THROUGH WINDOW CAPER” and you can read it here.

It got a good response from folks who read Critters, so I did a few more for the magazine, returning to being a rabbit in the second instalment, when I started drawing them myself.

Why it’s awesome: Because you honestly never know what to expect. Whether it’s a strip about Bill Finger’s involvement with Batman, or everything you need to know about something in four panels, there’s always something worth reading uploaded to the page. I read the webcomic every Sunday morning, and it never disappoints.

Below you’ll find a couple of Alex’s favourite strips (although it was tough it pick out just two, we stayed away from the Bill Finger strips that we recently linked to back in February for Graphic Policy’s Bill Finger week).

The first was posted to the site in November of 2015.thats-my-sickness.jpg

The second, is from October 2015;


If you’d like to have your webcomic featured here, then drop us an email.

Webcomics Weekly: Blood Catalysts

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s spotlight on webcomics, where we take a look at one of the many comics available online every Monday: Webcomics Weekly (but don’t be fooled by the “weekly” part of the title; the feature may happen more or less frequently than that). We’re defining webcomics as any comics published online for free consumption by the general public that doesn’t require a  subscription service.

This week we’re taking a look at Blood Catalysts. The strip is created by Griffin Cost, who was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about the webcomic below.

Graphic Policy: In a nutshell, can you tell us what the strip’s about?

Griffin Cost: Blood Catalysts is a magical realist action-crime drama with absurdist undertones, taking place in 2003 in Northern Chihuahua, Mexico. The story follows a “family” of hitmen under the shaky new leadership of their old boss’ daughter, and begins when a young American boy is thrust into their world due to near-impossible circumstances.

I don’t wanna reveal much more, but I do feel compelled to point something out: this is NOT a fantasy webcomic, despite the genre having “magical” in the name. Maybe I’m mincing words, but I’ve had to explain this to almost all of my friends, some of whom were genuinely confused as to the whereabouts of the magic. Essentially, the story itself takes place in a world where the laws of reality still very much apply, save for one or a few exceptions that impact the characters within it. In a lot of ways it’s like a sandbox, or a social experiment in fictional form, where the craziness of one or a few instances help shed light on otherwise foreign and unrelatable human experiences.

GP: How often do you update?

GC: I update chapter-by-chapter on my site, with release dates for each chapter being announced about a month in advance. There’s a lot of reasons I don’t release Blood Catalysts page-by-page or in a similar system, but it boils down to three major factors:

-I’m a full-time college student.

-Some chapters and pages are more difficult/time consuming to draw/write than others. I’d rather build hype for one big release at a time than fuck with people by occasionally changing up the posting schedule.

-Releasing in bulk rather than in pieces lets me edit each chapter up to release, resulting in fewer (or zero) errors, less dead weight in the story, and an all around superior product. Plus, you, the reader, get a full-fledged story with every upload rather than breadcrumbs over the course of weeks.

In spite of this irregular schedule, I still average well over a page per week in terms of actual page count divided by weeks since launch.

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

GC: Chapter Zero (The prologue to the series/Volume 1) was released on June 16th, 2015, but I went through at least thirty drafts of the script over the course of a few years beforehand.

GP: Where did the idea for the strip come from?

GC: The original idea came when I was in high school, wanting to be edgy as fuck and prove to everyone I was DIFF’RENT.

At the time, I was immature and just kind of angsty and nihilistic about everything. Even though I’ve (hopefully) grown out of that mindset, the underlying sentiment of being angry and confused at a world you can’t understand, of feeling like every time you think you understand something having it blow up in your face, and of being constantly weighed down with fear about what the next day will bring, or even how many days you have left, that sort of adolescent existential crisis and need to matter still comprises the thematic core of the comic. However, rather than being a comic about nihilism and the worst of humanity, and being written by someone who advocates those viewpoints, the story is more or less an treatise on death and decay (moral, mental, physical, societal, etc.), as well as the realities and unexamined shadows that lead some to adopt certain philosophies and lifestyles. It’s less about the politics of Mexican crime and more about the human tragedies that everyone shares, and the ones could’ve been our own had life dealt us a different hand of cards.

Couple that with a personal interest in Mexican art, magical realism, psychology, and my guilty love of late 90’s/early 2000’s action movies, and you can get a decent idea of what Blood Catalysts reads like. If that piques your fancy, give it a go.

If not, do it anyway. It’s free.

Why it’s awesome: Blood Catalysts is a fantastically well illustrated comic that really makes excellent use of both light and dark textures in the artwork. The strip often uses some really interesting story telling methods that combine the art and text into some genuinely fantastic comic strips that give the reader a lot to love. I don’t, honestly, have much to say beyond what Griffin has already said above because I don’t want to simply repeat what he says, but Blood Catalysts is well worth a read when you get a chance. You won’t regret it.

Below you’ll find a selection of strips that originally appeared on the site.




If you’d like to have your webcomic featured here, then drop us an email.

Webcomics Weekly: Woohooligan

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s spotlight on webcomics, where we take a look at one of the many comics available online every Monday: Webcomics Weekly (but don’t be fooled by the “weekly” part of the title; the feature may happen more or less frequently than that). We’re defining webcomics as any comics published online for free consumption by the general public that doesn’t require a  subscription service.

This week we’re taking a look at Woohooligan. The strip is created by Sam Dealy, who was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about his webcomics below.

Graphic Policy: In a nutshell, can you tell us what the strip’s about?

Sam Dealy: The official tagline for Woohooligan is “Our madness is method free!”

It started out as a variety comedy, in the vein of Gary Larson’s Far Side, just individual, unrelated strips.

Since April, I’m publishing a very tongue-in-cheek, ongoing story about a typical(?) Midwestern girl’s adventures in heaven and hell. It was meant originally as a very loose parody of Dante’s Divine Comedy that started with the premise of reversing traditional conservative Christian ideas about sin, so in this story God is fine with gay people, but you still go to hell for eating bacon. Jesus is black, all the interesting people are in hell and the gods of other religions (Thor, Loki, etc) are also real. More recently, our snappy-dressing, gay Lucifer is more or less date-raped by an unassuming girl from Ohio.

This current story is about half-way through, so I expect to finish it some time probably late this year. It starts here.

GP: How often do you update?

SD: This past year it’s usually at least once per week, but it’s a little more involved than that.

I got a cancer diagnosis a few months ago and it shocked me out of my complacency about a career change I’ve been working on since 2006. So I set a goal for myself of replacing my disability income with my comedy by Jan 1, 2017. That’s a really ambitious goal that means I have to roughly double my income every two months.

Anyone who’s curious about that goal or would like to help can read more about it here. And for those willing to help spread the word about Woohooligan and my goal for this year, I’m giving away free copies of my first ebook, Into Dorkness. More info about that is also on that page.

So realistically to earn a living from my comedy by the end of the year, I have to put in at least 40hrs/week on both new pages as well as a lot of self-promotion and marketing. I’m probably putting in closer to 60 hours a week on average right now, but that also means my earnings are currently a little under $1/hr right now, so I need to improve on that.

My Patreon page promises at least two pages per month once I get to about minimum wage for those two pages (at about ten hours per page), which happens at around $187/mo. My target date for that goal is May 1st. So far I’ve produced a lot more than I’ve promised. So, if it seems like I’m not promising much on my Patreon, that’s because I don’t want to promise more than I can deliver and fall short. I’d much rather make smaller promises and be able to exceed those expectations. So I’m not going to promise to deliver the moon in the early days before I’m even earning minimum wage, and I hope people are happy with me delivering more than I’ve promised. :D

In January, I put out four pages (so one a week), two bonus pages just for my Patreon supporters, and a tribute to David Bowie. Patreon supporters also got access to a high-res copy of that David Bowie tribute, you can see here.

I also publish a progress report detailing all the things I’ve worked on over the previous month and how we’re doing toward the goal. It helps keep me honest with myself and it lets everyone else know what I’m doing to promote Woohooligan! The first update for January showed that we’re ahead of schedule. :D

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

SD: Man, it’s been a while now. :D I started in 2006, so this is year ten.

I had a couple of stumbles in previous years. I didn’t publish anything in 2008 due to not having the computer equipment I needed (and also still working a full-time job elsewhere).

At the end of 2013, I was in the hospital with the doctors worried I would slip into a diabetic coma and then immediately after that we moved across country to Ohio to the best house we could afford, which needed about $11k in immediate major heating and plumbing repairs, so I had to scramble for software engineering work to pay for all that. So there was another gap through most of 2014.

And then in April is when I started on the current story and have been publishing that consistently several times per month, so if you only counted the current story that’s almost a year now.

GP: Where did the idea for the strip come from?

SD: Depends which idea you’re talking about. ;P

I started in 2006 because I didn’t like where my life had gone. I wanted to do something better and in particular I wanted to make people laugh. That’s still the dream I’m after today. I have this crazy goal to earn a living making other people laugh. :D

The current story started innocently enough… it was an offhand joke about gluten-free diet advocates being zealots, like Jehova’s Witnesses or other missionaries. Once I’d shown someone sent to hell for eating bacon, I thought, “what if God hates bacon, but he’s fine with fags?” (I’m pansexual, I can say “fag”. :P) That led to “what if we just reverse all the rules that conservative Christians have?” So once you start down that road, obviously rich people don’t get into heaven, etc. The rest of the story grew naturally from there.

Why it’s awesome: The mind of Sam Dealy is a hell of a place to visit. Whether it’s his single panel comics (of which you’ll find one below), or the longer form episodic story that he’s producing (two installments are below), his website is one that I was lost in for hours, and his first book literally almost made me late for my day job. His comics are funny, engaging and sometime very thought provoking. Whether you pick up one or two of his books (and they’re all good), or just spend time reading the website, prepare to loose yourself for hours. And you’ll love every minute.

Below you’ll find a selection of strips that were originally posted to the site;

Woohooligan 1.pngWoohooligan 3.png

Woohooligan 2.png

If you’d like to have your webcomic featured here, then drop us an email.

Webcomics Weekly: Pirate Mike: Maladjusted Suburbanite

In a new feature here a Graphic Policy, we’ll take a look at one of the many webcomics out there that the staff enjoy each week (but don’t be fooled by the “weekly” part of the title; it may happen more or less than that). We’re defining webcomics as any comics published online for free consumption by the general public that doesn’t require a  subscription service.

This week we’re taking a look at one of Alex’s favourites, Pirate Mike: Maladjusted Suburbanite. The strip is created by Brad Perri, who graciously answered a few questions for us about Pirate Mike below.

Graphic Policy: In a nutshell, can you tell us what the strip’s about?

Brad Perri: Pirate Mike quit his life on the high seas to raise a family in the suburbs. He’s doing a really lousy job.

GP: How often do you update?

BP: New strip on Monday. Archive strips on Wednesday and Friday.

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

BP: Since October of 2013.

GP: Where did the idea for the strip come from?

BP: The first time I thought of Mike was one morning I was getting for work and putting on a tie when I thought of a pirate talking about how he was ready to do battle but then it turned out that he was just cleaning the gutters. For some reason, this just made me laugh. I didn’t do anything with it yet for maybe another year, though. I was doing a different strip, but then I came down with a good case of tendinitis (which I still have) and laid off on doing comics until  I got it under control. When I started doing comics again, I decided to start drawing strips about this little pirate guy and he continues to occupy my imagination.

Why it’s awesome: Pirate Mike is a strip that you can start reading at any time; there are very few weeks – if any –  where you’re required to have prior knowledge of the strip’s history. Usually, I’ll read the strips the morning after they’re posted with a cup of tea as I get ready for the day, and I’ve  found any day with the lovable scallywag is a good day. There’s something innocently fun about the idea of a pirate settling down in the suburbs with his family, but despite his failings Pirate Mike is a pretty decent guy. Think Homer Simpson with more than a dash of Jack Sparrow and you’re not far off the character.

Below you’ll find two strips that were originally posted to the site in November of 2015. The first is an archive, and the second was new that day. Exact dates are below.

This strip was posted November 18th 2015;Pirate Mike november 18This strip is from November 16th 2015;Pirate Mike november 16

If you’d like to have your webcomic featured here, then drop us an email.

Shinobi: Ninja Princess Announces Free Webcomic

Action Lab Entertainment’s popular coming of age action series, Shinobi: Ninja Princess is well into its run with issue 4 coming soon. Now, Series creator Martheus Wade is introducing new fans to the world of Shianndrea “Jetta” Toshigawa with a new tie in webcomic.

These 1-4 page webstories weave into and out of the existing 6 issue mini series published by Action Lab Entertainment. Each story will give readers more information on the characters and world of this martial arts adventure as well as serve as a gateway for new readers.

The stories mix the lighter side of the series and answers those burning questions fans have been asking for such as “how did the Azumi Ninja Clan get the contract to find Shianndrea Toshigawa in the first place?” and “What do young ninjas do to blow off steam?”

The free webisodes are available at the official Jetta website at http://toshigawa.com/


Egypt’s Hijab-clad Superheroine

8451I_qahera1Egypt has its own superhero, and the comic book crime fighting Qahera is a hijab wearing crime fighter taking on prejudice and representing strength.

Created by Deena Mohamed, the character was started as a web comic as a way to respond to frustrations at the time. The web comic has gained a following world-wide, not just in Egpyt. The popularity has grown to the point it’s moved from digital to print.

Qahera is the Arabic word for Egypt’s capital, Cairo and also means the conqueror or the vanquisher. An appropriate name for a character whose donning of a hijab is to fight the stereotype that women who wear the Islamic attire can’t also be strong.

The comic is written in English as Mohamed had a Western audience in mind from the beginning, another reason for the hijab. The character is partially a response to the backlash to Islam and meant to address that. In a recent story, that was the main plot with western women calling the outer-wear a sign of “oppression.”

The character also takes on the increase of sexual harassment and attacks on women in the streets of Egypt. An issue that’s been on the rise in recent years. She’s taken up arms, literally with a sword, to battle the issue.

Lately the web comic has taken on more recent history, paying tribute to the women who took part in the 2011 uprising protests.

A fine example of a comic series documenting recent experienced history through the guise of a superhero.


Review: Hominids #1-3

This review originally appeared in a slightly different form on my now-dead, short-lived personal blog back in May. But Graphic Policy is a much better location for this review!

Chapter-2_cover_SmallA few months ago (back in May) I helped to organize a local convention at my university, serving as a panelist coordinator, and while the convention wasn’t the most successful to date in the history of cons, it was nonetheless a wonderful experience to be involved in, and especially to meet all of the wonderful artists, writers, cosplayers, and even actors who participated in our wide-ranging panels. I got the opportunity to check out our exhibition hall, where we had several comic book industry insiders, including Brandon Jerwa (VampirellaBattlestar GalacticaG.I. Joe), Mark Rahner (VampirellaWarlord of MarsRotten), Mike Catron and Gary Groth (co-founders of Fantagraphics Books and the guys who took over The Nostalgia Journal and turned it into today’s famous The Comics Journal), James Taylor (artist and co-founder of Jet City Comic Show), and a number of authors (Danika Dinsmre, Janet Lee Carey), several professors from Western Washington University and the University of Washington, and many vendors from Portland, OR to Vancouver, B.C.

One of the best finds of the con, however, was meeting Jordan Kotzebue and cashing in a well-spent $15 for the first three issues of his Hominids series. Kotzebue’s work in this creator-owned, independent comic series is outstanding, with a playful artistic style that is beautiful, fun to look at, and richly detailed. One quick flip through his books and I was sold (quite literally) on their ability to at least visually captivate and tell and solid story. I was not disappointed, either, by the writing, especially after the story comes into its own in issues #2 and #3 (it feels as though #1 was written by someone completely different).

Hominids is not just good and original art, though, it’s also a really intricate and playful story which deals with complex issues that plague society today. While it’s not necessarily a good review to say “this connects to society,” since almost every comic or piece of Nerd media nowadays is talking about issues pertinent to modern, globally conscious citizens (this is, after all, due to the fact that media is partly a reflection of its time and grapples with the complexities its consumers face in situ), Koztebue’s work does more than just calmly allude to race and, to a lesser extent, gender relation in the U.S. and elsewhere. Instead, Hominids vividly challenges notions of biologized racial attributes by showing that culture and historical circumstances are what shape individuals’ and groups’ actions.

Disavowing the idea that racial and ethnic groups have innate, born-in-the-bled differences is incredibly important to achieving racial inequality, since arguments about biologized race have been the basis for oppression, genocide, ethnocide, linguicide, and slavery for hundreds (thousands) of years of interaction between Western Euro-America and the largely non-White rest of the world. And while I can’t say for sure that Kotzebue means to create a parable about race and the nature vs. nurture/biology vs. culture debates, the prehistorical context with multiple Hominid groups vying for dominance in their respective ecological niches provides a great foil for this kind of fun, lighthearted exploration of a very serious present-day issue.

By virtue of its temporally distant setting, Hominids can call into question the belief that race is something genetic. The Homo sapiens (Humans) in the second issue are shown as a violent species, constantly warring with the other Hominid groups, but especially Kotzebue’s forest-dwelling, tree-climbing Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthals). With the introduction of the human character Icari, who was cast out of his human city for believing he found the One True God (which looks like a demon on a spaceship…time travel?!), antagonism and mistrust erupts in the Neanderthal pack, who want little to do with a violent human. However, pack leader Zona points out that this human might be proof that the humans’ culture is to blame for their violence, and not their nature.

The second and third issues are packed full of useful insights that hearken to issues of colonialism worldwide, but which especially parallel the struggle of Native Americans against Whites, a point made all the more potent since all the humans drawn thus far are ‘Caucasian’ (and, curiously, so are the Neanderthals). There are also issues raised about disability, given that two of the main characters are albino; while not a physical or mental disability, albinism is definitely a social one.

In terms of gender dynamics, it could be pointed out that the female characters bearing their breasts is sexualizing, but given the context of the story (Hello, they’re Neanderthal’s…who look just like humans…) and the fact that Zona and Sno don’t seem to be hyper-sexualized like most comics these days, Hominds doesn’t strongly reinforce stereotypes about female characters, and even goes so far as to provide a major female leader. It is possible, though, that Sno’s albinism and Icari’s fascination with her could easily develop overtones of objectification of Sno as a goddess figure. I trust in Jordan, though, given Hominids‘ other overall themes.

Issue-3_store_largeAs a reader, I’m wondering whether or not the savage and chimp-like peoples will get their fair say as well, or if Zona’s argument about culture driving action will fall in on itself and contradict what is one of the most socially conscious and critical points of the whole series thus far.

I find Hominids a thrilling, light-hearted and yet somehow serious, additional to my comic collection. Primatology and Hominid evolution is great fun to study in class, but it’s so much more exciting in fiction (think, Planet of the ApesTarzan of the Apes, Auel’s Earth’s Children series), not the least of which because pondering what-ifs regarding our nearest ancestors and cousins is so delightfully threatening to our assumed specialness as evolved, intelligent, and evolutionarily successful critters.

If it could be put on your local comic bookstore pull list, I would recommend everyone to do so. Unfortunately, for now, we’ll have to settle for the online version and what becomes available in Kotzebue’s e-store. Hominids is available page-by-page online and updated every Tuesday, but I thoroughly suggest that you buy the individual issues through his e-store, not only because they are a wonderful addition to any comic collector’s stash, but because they look so much better in person! Also, I’m a sucker for getting to interact physically with the media I consume–there’s nothing better than smell and feel of new comics and old books! And supporting an up-and-coming artist is a way you can contribute personally to the creation of great, socially conscious art.

You can check out Hominds on Facebook, and follow Jordan Kotzebue on both Twitter and Tumblr, where you can check out his non-Hominids art and experience the full range of his dynamic style.

Story and art: Jordan Kotzebue
Story: 8.5  Art: 9  Overall: 9  Recommendation: Buy

Around the Tubes

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We should be pretty back to normal this week as far as coverage, going a bit heavier when it comes to games since we just came off of Gen Con.  We’ve missed a few “Around the Tubes,” so below is catch up with some older news and throughout the day, we’ll be posting news we might have missed.

Around the Blogs:

Bleeding Cool – The Superhero With Irritable Bowel SyndromeWell that’s just shitty…

Bleeding Cool – How A Soft Cowboys & Aliens Opening May Affect Platinum StudiosDoh!

IGN – Race in Comics: Spider-Man’s ImpactA take on Marvel’s recent announcement.

Bleeding Cool – Joe Quesada Commissioned By President ObamaWe are so raising revenues through sales of alternate covers.

ICv2 – Sony Sets Date for Garfield ‘Spider-Man’ SequelYes, that’s a sequel to a movie that hasn’t even been released yet.

Kotaku – Sunday ComicsEach week, Kotaku brings some great web comics.

Obsessive Reaction – Race in comic books, does it even matter?An interesting take on the new ultimate Spider-Man.

Comics Alliance – Warner Bros. Purchases Film Rights to Nate Simpson’s ‘Nonplayer’Has the second issue even come out?

ICv2 – ‘Game of Thrones’ Helmer in Talks for ‘Thor 2’ – Could be a really good fit.

Monthly/Quarterly Sales Numbers:

ICv2 – Game Sales Grew in Q2

ICv2 – Top 10 Card Games–Q2 2011

ICv2 –Top 5 RPGs–Q2 2011

ICv2 – Top 10 Board Games–Q2 2011

ICv2 – Top Collectible Games–Q2 2011

ComiChron – July initial, June final comics orders online; IDW sets record

Con Coverage:

MTV Geek – Gen Con: New Marvel Comics RPG Games Announced By Margaret Weis Productions

CBR – Geoff Johns & Jim Lee Named Guests of Honor at New York Comic-Con

Around the Tubes Reviews:

Cambridge First – Batman: Hush Unwrapped Deluxe Edition

English Chick 21 – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel

CBR – Rachel Rising #1

CBR – Scalped #51

IGN – Comic Book Reviews for 8/3/11

Paste Magazine – Comic Book & Graphic Novel Round-Up (8/3/11)

Read The Final Two Episode Of The Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Prequel Today!

Official Press Release



August 3rd, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA – Apes fans, prepare for the final two episodes of the RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES free online prequel – available now at www.apescomics.com. At BOOM! Studios we’re going Ape over the worldwide premiere of RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Friday, August 5th. And to whet your appetite we’re releasing the final two episodes where Burke and Bright Eyes plan their escape from the Gen-Sys Labs. But will they make it out alive? Find out by reading the free online prequel, then watch the feature film this Friday, August 5th, 2011!

“The Apes will rise this week, and we’re keeping Apes mania alive by releasing not one but two more episodes of the RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES free online prequel!” says BOOM! Studios Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ross Richie. “That’s right, these are the final episodes of the series! So if you know anyone who hasn’t read the RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES free online prequel, link, chat, tweet, or facebook www.apescomics.com and see the events leading up to the feature film!”

The RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES free online prequel is written by PLANET OF THE APES comic series writer Daryl Gregory and drawn by Harvey Award-nominated artist Damian Couceiro (HAWKS OF OUTREMER) and Tony Parker (DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?). This free online prequel details the events leading up to the RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES feature film debuting worldwide this Friday, August 5th.

Since its debut on July 13th BOOM! Studios has released a brand new 5-page episode of the RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES free online comic book prequel every Wednesday at www.apescomics.com. Today marks the final two exciting installments of the online prequel released two days before the RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES movie premiere this Friday, August 5th.

In April BOOM! Studios announced they were publishing an all new ongoing PLANET OF THE APES comics series set in the original classic 1968 movie continuity. Subsequently, a flurry of fan interest caused a complete sell-out of PLANET OF THE APES #1, sending the seminal issue into second print even before hitting store shelves!

About BOOM! Studios
Award-winning “Best Publisher” BOOM! Studios (www.boom-studios.com) generates a constellation of bestselling comic books and graphic novels with the industry’s top talent, including Mark Waid’s series IRREDEEMABLE, Stan Lee’s SOLDIER ZERO, THE TRAVELER, and STARBORN (the first new series in print from the industry icon in 20 years), new HELLRAISER comics written by Clive Barker as well as 20th Century Fox’s PLANET OF THE APES, 28 DAYS LATER, and DIE HARD, Philip K. Dick’s DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?, and The Henson Company’s FARSCAPE. BOOM!’s recently rebranded all-ages imprint, KABOOM! will see publication of PEANUTS, SPACE WARPED, Roger Langridge’s SNARKED, Scholastic’s WORDGIRL, as well as continuing to publish fan-favorite Disney Afternoon series DARKWING DUCK, CHIP ‘N’ DALE RESCUE RANGERS and DUCKTALES along with Disney standards MICKEY MOUSE, DONALD DUCK, UNCLE SCROOGE, and WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES.

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