Tag Archives: i speak comics

Symbolia Half-Off Sale This Weekend Only!

tumblr_moeafdLWFf1rqjcjlo2_r1_500If you guys haven’t heard, Symbolia is having a subscription sale during the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo! You better jump on this deal though, because it ends Sunday night. Normally a Symbolia subscription is $11.99 for six issues. Now you can get 6 issues of impeccable comics journalism for $5.99 – $0.99 an issue!

Hurry up team, Sunday will be here before you know it! Get it now: on iPador via PDF.

Follow Symbolia on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and be sure to pick up issues or subscribe to the magazine here!

Six-Gun Gorilla #1 – The Review

Six-Gun Gorilla #!
Six-Gun Gorilla #!

Hey folks, I just happened to review Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokely’s sensational new comic, Six-Gun Gorilla #1, over at DestroyTheCyborg. If you’re a fan of giant apes or gunslingers, or think you might be interested in a combination of the two, you should: 1) read my review and 2) go buy the book!

It’s more silly space-age simian fun than you can shake a stick at!

Want to stay abreast of all the awesome things I write about? Follow me on Twitter, follow my Tumblr, and check out my YouTube channel!

TMNT: Out of the Shadows – Talking Raphael

comics-teenage_00365201Raphael, the turtle with the ‘tude, gets the special I Speak Comics treatment today. We’ll be looking at the furious hero’s Out of the Shadows trailer in an attempt to dissect his playstyle and see what makes him tick. Hopefully we won’t be getting a sai in the eye for our trouble. As I stated in the previous Donatello breakdown, take everything you see and read here with a HUGE grain of salt. Biggest one you can find. This is based on what? Pre-alpha footage? Everything here is subject to change. But let’s get started shall we? Check out the trailer below!

Unlike Donnie, who can use his bo staff to lay the smack down from a distance, Raphael is an in your face sort of guy, someone who likes to get up close and personal while shelling out the pain. In TMNT: Out of the Shadows, the turtles’ resident bad boy appears to be the token grappler, with a host of throws ready to send foes into a whole new galaxy of pain. Add in some brutal knees, elbows, and sais and you’ve got one mutant you do not want to mess with.

Green Zangief?
What intrigues me most here is the sheer number of different throws Raphael has at his disposal. Let’s dig into this video, the first throw we see is an awesome looking izuna drop (:15). Next up is what looks like a modified, extra brutal Osoto Gari (:19). Did I mention he has a power bomb too? Check out 21 seconds in. Oh and Raph has no problem grabbing a leg and straight up giant swinging a baddie into next Tuesday (:25)! Also if you look at a few other videos, namely the IGN breakdown video, you can see him doing a suplex of sorts at 2:26 into a ground pound. It even looks like you can combo into these throws, as you can see at :29 in the Raph trailer.

He also has a throw, possibly a special move/contextual where he face slams a duo of punks into the pavement (:47). Finally, like Donnie’s parry/counter, Raph has one too. However, instead parrying and landing a single strike, Raphael counters and tosses his opponent away (:45). I like we’re seeing a different flavor of counter for each character. Just adds to the awesome.

Now that we know he has all these awesome throws, the question becomes, are they safe? So many of these have a ton of startup and the animations, while super cool, take forever to complete. Can enemies knock Raphael out of his throws? Because if so, using them will be incredibly dangerous unless you’re finishing off a lone enemy.

teenage_mutant_ninja_turtles_by_deemonproductionsMuai Thai Master
Raph’s fighting style looks heavily influenced by Muai Thai forms. The attack he does right after that first izuna drop at 15 seconds is a picture perfect copy of Sagat’s focus attack in Street Fighter 4. Maybe a little Brian fromAll you need to do is look at all those huge elbows and knees he’s dropping on fools to know Raph’s watched more than a couple of Tony Ja’s flicks. If we were going to compare these big knees to Batman, I have a feeling that they’re momentum based. The more you whomp on guys without getting hit and keeping your combo going, the easier it is to put down bad guys with one hit.

Special Moves
At the beginning of the video we see Raph send himself careening into foes, sais out (:11). You can bet this is a shout out to Tournament Fighters. It looks great for tagging folks and closing the distance quickly, but there is some start up on the attack so you don’t want to just throw this out while surrounded in a brawl. Also this video gives us the first real example of a turtle using the environment to attack. At 38 seconds Raph wall runs on a big ol’ truck trailer, leaps off and sais a dude in the face. He looks like he actually throws his weapons too, which is a little odd?

The Numbers Game
Finally, remember how we were messing around and broke down Donnie’s stats relative to the rest of turtles in power, range, mobility, and speed? Well if we do that for Raph, purely based on what we see here in the videos he might be – Power: 3, Range: 1, Mobility: 2, Speed: 3. You know now that I think about it, it might be better to do a 5 point scale, just so that Leo can be a 3 in ever category… Ah well.

Final Thoughts
I think Raph is going to be a lot of fun to play as and brings some interesting things to the table. His throws look devastating, all his moves are brutal; he definitely appears to be channeling his rage into people’s faces. If you guys dug this little bit snippet of turtle soup, I’m going to be putting up a Mikey breakdown in the very near future, so keep your eyes peeled!

Ryan Claytor’s Crowdfunding Comic: Autobiographical Conversations

Comic of Ryan Claytor talking about autobiographies with Henry PilkinhornDo you like autobiographies? Are you into comics? Then my pal Ryan Claytor has a treat for you! Ryan, or R-Dog as I like to call him, is the big brain behind Autobiographical Conversations, a collection of stories compiled from his latest work in And Then One Day

If you know anything about Ryan’s work you’ll know that he loves writing about himself (kidding!), but more than that he loves the ideas behind autobiography, and playing with those ideas through graphic storytelling. Now you can help him bring his unique brand of comics goodness to the masses!

Ryan’s just launched his first ever crowdfunding project over at Indiegogo to support his monstrous 96-page Autobiographical Conversations and he explains it better over there than I ever could:

Autobiographical Conversations centers on a discussion between Harry Polkinhorn (a professor of English who teaches classes on the personal essay) and me (at the time, a graduate student studying Comics and Fine Art) about autobiography, comics, and the intersection of the two. 

I have spent several years researching, developing, and illustrating this project and I’m eager to share it with you in its final collected edition, as I envisioned it from the start.  My hope is that the comics medium will provide a more visual approach to understanding autobiographical theory and framing the subject matter in the context of a conversation will allow the reader to feel more engaged, almost as though they were part of that conversation unfolding. 

There’s also a brilliant little Youtube video Ryan made that further delves into the work going into this awesome book.

Head on over to Ryan’s Indiegogo page and consider donating. He’s got some awesome rewards at a host of price points, including collections of his existing work, and the big kahuna, a shot at flying Ryan anywhere in the US for an hour long talk about comics! If supporting independent comics creators is your thing, look no further than Autobiographical Conversations.

You can also check out Ryan’s official website at Elephant Eater Comics and follow him on Twitter at ElephantEater!

Back and Better than Ever

It’s been a while since my last post but I’ve been hella busy. I hope you can forgive me. That being said, I’ve got some cool news for you guys that I’m excited to get out there. Firstly, I’m a master! That’s right, on May 5th I graduated with a Masters degree in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing from Michigan State University! Where did the past two years go? I just want to give a shout out to all my awesome, intelligent, and supportive classmates and professors who helped me out along the way. You’re all tall glasses of alright.

Second thing, remember my interview with Symbolia’s Erin Polgreen? Well I was so smitten with what they were doing over there I asked if I could help them out. They totally said yes! Now I’m a Digital Fellow working on all kinds of cool stuff, copy editing, social media, secret fun projects, the whole deal. You can check out the announcement over at Symbolia’s Tumblr and while you’re at it, if you’ve got a tablet device, why don’t you check out some issues and see if you’re into the mag? It’s pretty righteous so if you get a chance you absolutely should!

Oh and did I mention that Symbolia’s other co-creator Joyce Rice did this awesome illustration of me? Sweet mother of grud it’s awesome!

Illustration of me
It’s a me!

I’ve got more awesome stuff coming down the pipeline, though I may be moving this blog somewhere else in the near future, but no worries, I’ll be talking to you soon. Stay classy.

Unlimited Highlights: Mark Waid’s Daredevil

Unlimited Highlights: Daredevil by Mark Waid

This week in our uncanny Unlimited Highlights I got to talk about one of my current favorite series hitting newsstands, Daredevil! Post-Shadowlands I wasn’t sure where Matt Murdock was going. He went off and did a little soul searching, kicked some ass, then he decided Hell’s Kitchen was still the place to be. That’s when Waid took over and charted a course for the crimson clad crusader that has remained solid over 25 issues. It doesn’t hurt that he has an absolutely crack team of phenomenal artists backing him up, Chris Samnee, Paolo Rivera, Khoi Pham, killers all.

My favorite issue this week? I mean it’s gotta be Daredevil #1. The artistic use of onomatopoeia in that issue, and really the entire run, is really just beautiful but that was the first I had seen it so I’m definitely giving it the mention. I mean just look at that cover! Ok that’s a tiny image, click the link and you’ll see I swear! Not only that but it sets the stage for this new Matt, one who has decided to be happy, against all odds and in the face of his own brutal history.

If you haven’t gotten out and grabbed up #25 absolutely do. Matt goes up against a new foe with his own set of super senses and kung fu power and is pushed to his limits. And go check out Unlimited Highlights folks, you’ll be glad you did!

Grad School Stuff: The Light at the End of the Tunnel!

Michigan_State_Spartans2For those of you that know me, you’re probably aware that I’m currently sludging my way through grad school. What you may not know, at least if we’re not in constant daily contact, is that if all goes according to plan, I’ll be finishing up my Masters degree at the end of May. Wild right? I can hardly believe it.

I mean where the heck did these two years go? However, before I don my second cap and gown and blow out of East Lansing for parts unknown, there are still a couple of important obstacles I must overcome. Specifically I need to submit a five to seven piece portfolio for review by my graduate committee as well as reflective essay tying the pieces together, and answer two specific committee ok’d questions at 10 pages a pop.

Doesn’t sound too bad right? That’s cause it’s not. At least I don’t think it is. I think I can do this! The beautiful thing about the portfolio review is that it’s already finished. I mean not totally finished, but the component parts are done. I’m thinking about including:

And I’m even looking forward to my reflective essay. It’s going to be fun tying all of these pieces together because very rarely do we get to articulate what our work means to us to an audience that’s willing to listen. Here I can trace a narrative through my time here at MSU and hopefully show my growth as a student, scholar, and writer.

I also turned in six questions to my grad committee, of which they’ll choose three, and I’ll choose two of those to write on. They went a little like this:

  1. Use the work of three rhet/comp scholars, specifically those who do work in digital rhetorics, to articulate one or two potential futures for digital comics.
  2. Choose a particular web comic and using it as an example, explore what digital rhetoric is in light of this web comic. How do the different modes of meaning-making in this web comic (e.g., visuals, audio, interactive experiences) change our understanding of digital rhetoric?
  3. How do technical communicators use comics? What industries utilize comics? What is valuable about comics that is able to translate across industries and disciplines?
  4. Due to the financial disparity between print and webcomics, most webcomic creators can’t afford professional editors to edit their work; thus they rely on family, friends, and fans. How do these non-professionals change what it means to be a comics editor? What sort of tasks do they engage in, what literacies to they bring to the table, and how does the immediacy of the internet and fan culture change the editorial experience?
  5. Editors are tasked with a multitude of duties and employ a variety of skill sets to accomplish their work. How has your own editorial understanding and philosophy grown, changed, or been influenced by experiences in the Writing Center and DRPW coursework?
  6. Look at your AL 805 final project, your Personal History of Rhetoric. AL 805 was the first class you took as a graduate student. In light of that, what have you learned about rhetoric and writing in the following three semesters? Specifically, address the five main points outlined in the Personal History: Questions, self-consciousness, appeal to classmates, an attempt at understanding historical contexts, a connection with comics.

And then I’ve just got to write ten pages on those bad boys and we call it a day! I’m not particularly fond of the third question, but I really like my fifth and sixth questions, and one and two are pretty awesome as well. Best part? I’m nearly ready to answer all of these, right meow!

Basically I just wanted to get all this stuff out into the ether so I can take a look at it. I’ve got some crazy busy weeks ahead of me, a conference to prepare for, big assignments due and everything, but like I said, I got this. Wish me luck folks.