Author: Leslie Anderson

Interview with Joan Reilly

Joan Reilly is a fantastically talented artist and half of the amazing team that put together an anthology discussing feminism in, and through, comics. The Big Feminist BUT: Comics About Women, Men and the IFs, ANDs & BUTs of Feminism came out July 8th and is available online. Her work has appeared in Studs Terkel’s Working: A Graphic Adaptation and I Saw You: Comics Inspired by Real-Life Missed Connections. About herself she says: “I was always fascinated by the cartoons and illustrations in my Dad’s New Yorker magazines, even back before I could read–there was something about the drawn representation of mundane, everyday life that was incredibly appealing to me. And when I discovered my older brother’s copies of 70s-era Mad magazine in the basement, I obsessed over all the comic strips and tiny margin cartoons in those. Then in high school a friend introduced me to Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor, and I absolutely loved it, and knew that I wanted to do something like it. But I actually went on to study writing in college, and got a degree in language and literature, then worked in book and magazine publishing for 5 or so years before switching to freelance illustration and comics–I never studied art or comics in any formal way. I think what I love most about comics (and I’m sure I’m not the first to use...

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Review: The Wolverine, The Softer Side of Awesome

I’m going to say it. The Wolverine was my favorite X-men movie thus far (sorry, X-men First Class). Those who enjoyed the campy, super-power driven earlier movies might be disappointed though. The movie took its time, and took itself very seriously. That’s probably best for a movie that features atomic bombs and suicide. One of the most exciting things about this movie was that, not only did it pass the Bechdel test, there was about a 50/50 split of badass ladies and guys (not counting goons). The female lead, Mariko, (Tao Okamoto) is kidnapped approximately six hundred times over the course of the movie and still gets to kick some serious ass, not to mention being directly responsible for saving the entire day. Rila Fukushima also plays a truly fantastic (and beautifully complex) Yukio, Wolverine’s ‘bodyguard.’ Most badass of all was the main villain, a cross-title villainess named Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova). Fun fact: in one comic story line, these two were married until Wolverine blackmailed Viper into a divorce. I especially liked that she really owned her motivation. Although she was part of the overall evil plot, she had her own reasons and her own approach. In the climactic scene she was particularly sadistic, taunting Mariko and Logan – a flavor I haven’t often seen in female villains. When she finally squares off against Rila she feels dangerous, and ruthless, and the tension...

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