Author: Claire Napier

Valiant’s Secret Weapons are Sensible Shortcuts and Condensed Character

Secret Weapons #0: Nikki’s Story does something very cute with its panelling. I’ve been saying this since the previews: it’s doing something very cute. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be something worthwhile or just a natty little gimmick. Secret Weapons #1-4 was a 2017 miniseries from Valiant, currently available in trade, about the average teenage super-people struggling to get by, not finding their powers especially delightful but coming together as a team to make a difference. At least I thought it was, having read Secret Weapons #0. Nikki’s Story is an origin story—I sent it to Emily...

Read More

I Guess We Still Need to Talk About Chris

This is a late, technical rebuttal: Chris Sims was never accused of sexual harassment by Valerie D’Orazio. I wrote the bulk of this piece soon after this Mary Sue piece re-lit the fuse on the old Catherine wheel and then forgot about it under the pressure of the season. Emma Houxbois, contacting me prior to her 2017 retrospective, which referred to a piece of my own as pointless (she’s not really wrong, but I needed to do it; we live in hope or we die without it), kindly read over this draft once I remembered it. Her suggestion that...

Read More

The Perfect Squirrel Girl Shirt And Other Stories

It’s gift-guide season, and all through the house, we’ve got presents wrapping while we scream “what else??” The listicles listing the things we could buy make us ponder and wonder and start to ask why— Is it worth it to buy things all branded and fine? Are Pop Vinyls worth much when they lose Christmas shine? As for Funkos, my reader, your heart is best searched. But I’ve gathered some reasons for the gifting of … merch. Claire Jordan: Compared to many, I started late in comics. Visiting my first comic store at 29, it’s been a bit bumpy...

Read More

IR$: A Serious-Minded Economy-Law Action Comic

IR$ Bernard Vrancken and Stephen Desberg Cinebook (English Translation), 2008 IR$ is a Belgian comic book about an American tax inspector, translated to English for the British market by Cinebook. A comic about a tax man. Wild, right? I picked it up as a nod to my abiding love for Pete Trask, T-Man, a mid-century comic hero who traveled the world investigating cash-related crimes for the American Treasury, getting in scrapes, and falling for fatal dames. This is more of that, but played serious. So serious! T-Man isn’t a joke book, but it’s a “ripping yarn”-style adventure title that...

Read More

BOOM! Bar: Every Detail Covered

Eight offerings from BOOM! this week—three licensed, five creator-owned. Of the licenses, only one (Adventure Time/Regular Show #5 of a six-issue mini from KaBOOM!) is a single issue; Planet of the Apes Archive and Sons of Anarchy (both BOOM! Studios) both see their volumes two, with the former being in hardcover and the latter soft. Apes Archive is a reprinted bumper edition—fifty-nine ninety-nine dollars’ worth of bumper edition—of Marvel’s 1970s licensed magazine. Sons of Anarchy‘s release collects issues five to eight of Sons of Anarchy: Redwood Original; issue five was first published in December of 2016, a much more...

Read More