Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged comics

Lynchpin #1

You’re a bold Canadian Mr. MacLean. For your first full-length comic, Lynchpin #1, you decide to tackle sexual assault in high school, and then sent it to the Elevate Difference. You even went so far as to specifically request our uncensored assessment. Well, you asked for it. Though you clearly had the best of intentions and appear to want to help your friend find a little justice by sharing her story with the world, you missed the mark. Your courage in tackling this very personal subject matter is astounding.

A Home For Mr. Easter

Tesana is a teenage girl lacking love. Her mother belittles her behavior, and the kids at school make fun of her. She is huge—both very tall and very overweight. She feels like a walking target, so it’s understandable that she has learned to escape into her imagination. When the bus ride home sucks, she dreams up a unicorn to carry her across the city. But daydreams can’t make everything better. When the popular jocks and cheerleaders try to make a victim of a bunny rabbit, Tesana unleashes all her pent-up anger on them. This is no ordinary bunny. He lays Easter eggs! He talks!

Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics

My taste in female-authored comics is pretty obvious—Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil), Wendy Pini (Elfquest), Donna Barr (Stinz, Desert Peach—and I am also a fan of women embedded in the production line comics (such as artist Lily Renee Phillips). But I have never been much drawn to the rather sordid memoirs of the overtly feminist artists covered in the book I am reviewing today (Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Phoebe Gloeckner, Lynda Barry, Marjane Satrapi, Alison Bechdel).

Secret Weirdo

Well, for a twenty-page minicomic that is filled with embarrassing stories about childhood, cat police, imaginary adventures, and an opening page offering “free hugs,” artist Lauren Barnett definitely set herself up for a difficult task. One of her biggest pet peeves as a female artist is having her comics be called cute.

Florida Supercon (6/18 – 6/20/2010)

Since I live in Miami, a city of fashionable sameness, it can be difficult to find alternatives to the mainstream culture. So I was convention curious. Yet all I knew about anime was what I’d seen on Adult Swim or the Syfy channel: doe-eyed, borderline pornographic girls in their miniskirts and ponytails. I can never get past the not-so-subtle little girl fetish.

Was That Supposed To Be Funny?

One can never truly pinpoint what feminism looks like. Sometimes it’s the faces of celebrities, proudly claiming the F-word; sometimes it’s a swarm of protesters gathering on the National Mall. And sometimes it’s a crown of broccoli asserting its dancing ability to a bullying stalk of asparagus.


The field of comics, also sometimes known as graphic novels, is dominated by male creators and readers. However, there's been increasing push in the last few decades by women to enter the field and make their mark. Though comics drawn by women are gaining popularity, most are classified as "indie," distributed by small publishers that may not be able to advertise or place volumes in prominent bookstores.

Iron Man 2

Before Iron Man hit theatres in 2008, most of us thought of Jon Favreau as the guy who was so money, baby—and he didn't even know it. Critics and audiences expected little from yet another Marvel Comic-inspired film. So when director Favreau delivered an entertaining film with tons of personality (mostly in the form of the amazing Robert Downey Jr.), it was an underdog smash.


Kick-Ass, the movie, ruled. And though I thought the central character's journey was an interesting one, by far the movie appealed to me because of eleven-year-old Hit Girl. I had a big plan to dissect the movie here, but then this gal over at Jezebel totally stole my brain and wrote the most eloquent review ever.

Aya: The Secrets Come Out (Volume Three)

Last summer, in dire need of some pure escapism, I stumbled upon the four-volume Aya comic book series. Inspired by author Marguerite Abouet’s childhood, this series takes us back to the late 1970s on the Ivory Coast to a suburb of Abidjan, Yopougon, known affectionately as Yop City to its residents. What initially piqued my interest was finding a series taken from the point of view of Aya, a nineteen-year-old African woman—indeed a rare occurrence.

You Don’t Have to Fuck People Over to Survive

You Don’t Have to Fuck People Over to Survive is a collection of graphic work by comic artist and activist Seth Tobocman.

Nancy: Volume 2

Drawn and Quarterly’s second compilation of the John Stanley-penned Nancy comics are simply enjoyable, and deliver what the Dell Comics stamps promise: “clean and wholesome entertainment.” More exceptional, however, than the Little Rascal-esque hijinks is Stanley’s clever writing and humorous narrative.

Geek Mafia

Rick Dakan’s novel, Geek Mafia, tells the exciting tale of Paul Reynolds, a recently unemployed comic book artist/videogame designer who befriends a wild crew of techie con men and women living in Silicon Valley.

The Real Cost of Prisons Comix

As activists know all too well, crafting a political message and effectively mobilizing an audience is an elusive task. In The Real Cost Of Prisons, Lois Ahrens and her contributors beautifully stage a difficult dialogue—about mass incarceration, mandatory sentencing, and the “war on drugs”—with comics. Comics are an accessible, popular form of education, and most importantly, addictive, and hence become a subversive way to raise awareness.

Neil Gaiman’s American Gods: Bilquis

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has created a line of perfume oils inspired by the characters, places and ideas from Neil Gaiman’s best selling novel American Gods. In addition to always being animal testing-free, 100% of the proceeds from the American Gods Collection go to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund which protects the First Amendment Rights of the comic book community.

Cat and Girl

Since 1999, Dorothy Gambrell’s Cat and Girl has graced the internet with its mordant critique of consumer society, indie rock, hipsters and everything that takes itself too seriously. A volume of more than 200 of these strips was published last year, making it available for the first time in a format suitable for reading on the subway. There are actually two girls in Cat and Girl, versions of each other: the nerdier Girl and the punkier Girl.

Girl Stories

A friend once described the experience of being a Smiths fan at age twelve. Listening to the lyrics of “Half a Person”—“Sixteen, clumsy, and shy, I went to London and I booked myself in at the Y…WCA…”—he felt a pang of recognition with that teenager. Precociously morose, he told me, “I felt so old for my age!” Reading Lauren R. Weinstein’s comics, I feel a similar sympathetic pang – albeit from the far side of sixteen. It makes me think that the ageless adolescence of the sensitive, artistic, somewhat nerdy kid is a permanent state of being.

Sounds of Your Name

Sounds of your Name is an anthology of comics written and drawn by Nate Powell. The collection is fantastic for anyone who is a fan of Powell, or of classic newspaper comic strips. The stories are well drawn and deal with serious political issues. The artistry itself is very good, characteristic of this genre. However, it doesn’t have much appeal to the teenage age group that has been spurring the comic book market. The stories are more adult in nature and require a person to pay attention to what they are reading.

Comic Book "Girl Power" & "Ladies Night" Tees

Batgirl has been my hero since I was a small girl. As a young comic book geek, Batman was my favorite comic universe, and I absolutely adored Batgirl, because she had all the cool things that Batman had – but she was a girl. Supergirl was another favorite. I remember being four years old or so, and staring at the cover of a novelization for “Supergirl” the movie; it was frustrating, because I hadn't learned to read, but I liked looking at the picture. Needless to say, these shirts are a fun homage to my childhood heroes.