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Everyone’s a critic: A round-up of comic book reviews and thinkpieces

Ultimates 3

Ultimates 3

* If you dare to call something the “worst comic book ever,” you better have the ability to back it up. J. Caleb Mozzocco does just that in his ongoing takedown of Ultimates 3.

* Sean Collins dubs the latest League of Extraordinary Gentlemen book “a funny, creepy, nasty piece of work that encapsulates and articulates many of Alan Moore’s most heartfelt themes as explicitly and entertainingly as any book he’s ever done.”

* Shaenon Garrity runs through the top five cartoonists/children’s book illustrators. Is your favorite on the list?

* Doug Wolk praises Carol Tyler’s You’ll Never Know, calling it “a vivid, affecting, eccentrically stylish frame built around a terrible silence.”

* Sean Howe reviews David Mazzuchelli’s Asterios Polyp for EW. Apparently the book was the darling of this year’s MoCCA show.

* TCJ critic Kent Worcester talks about the burgeoning academic interest in comics, sorry, sequential art.

* The Batman & Robin reviews just keep on comin

* Johanna Draper Carlson wants to let you know that Kabuki: The Alchemy offers a “mind-bending conclusion.”

* Paul Gravett continues to examine the “atom style” in eurocomics.

Send Us Your Shelf Porn!

ryankirkshelfporn

Hello and welcome once again to Send Us Your Shelf Porn, the only Internet comics column where you, the reader, have the chance to be King (or Queen) Geek for a day! Wouldn’t you like to be King (or Queen) Geek for a day? Sure you would! So send me photos of your comics collection, be it large or small, along with any commentary/explanations you see fit to give, to cmautnerATcomcastDOTnet and I’ll post them here so everyone can go “Man, I always wanted that book. Howcum he has that book and I don’t? Life is so unfair.”

This week our special guest is Ryan Kirk of San Antonio, Texas, who has managed to accumulate quite an impressive array of books. Take it away Ryan!

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Send Us Your Shelf Porn!

kurtyoungsp

Welcome to another edition of Send Us Your Shelf Porn. Our guest this week is Kurt Young, who hails from Ottawa, Ontario, and works for the Canadian federal government.

Thanks by the way to all those who’ve been sending photos in or just emailing comments and suggstions. Your efforts and thoughts are always much appreciated. As a reward, I’ll refrain from my usual pleas for material this week and let Kurt take over …

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Getting savage over Black Hole

Black Hole

Black Hole

The all-new, all-improved Savage Critics is off to a great start so far, as new hires Sean T. Collins and Dick Hyacinth offer their own takes on one of the best graphic novels of the past 10 years, Black Hole. Here’s Sean:

Needless to say that’s just about the most accurate depiction of the emotional life of teenagers I’ve ever seen. It’s how I remember high school. It’s not terribly far removed from how I remember college. (And to be perfectly honest, when I think of how I look at the world even now, it’s within spitting distance of how I live today, which is probably a big part of why this is one of my favorite comics.) But of course, things do change. Bad things usually get better, which is why it’s such a goddamn tragedy any time a teenager commits suicide because of a bad grade or a breakup–or when a group of sick kids feels it necessary to drop out of school, run away from home, and in the case of some characters literally throw their lives away. And unfortunately, good things often get worse; parents do understand, at least some of the time, and it’s damn hard to tell someone “I’ll love you forever, no matter what” and mean it, and two stoners driving across country probably won’t be able to find a cozy apartment where he can make an honest living and she can work on her art and they both live happily ever after. That’s a tragedy too.

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The five most criminally ignored books of 2008: No. 3, I Live Here

I Live Here

I Live Here

“Has anyone supposed it lucky to be born? I hasten to inform him it is just as lucky to die, and I know it.”

As with Most Outrageous, it’s not too hard to figure out why I Live Here, actress Mia Kirshner’s anthology of tales concerning with refugees across the globe, didn’t win more acclaim. It’s a hell of a depressing book. It’s a constant, ugly reminder of just how lucky we fat, beknighted North Americans are; how well-off and satisfying our lives are and how we may complain or think we’re suffering, but really, we don’t even have the slightest fucking clue what real suffering is like or what it entails.

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