Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
It’s time once again to take a look at those comics that were unfairly ignored. With more graphic novels and comic books coming out in stores than ever before, it’s perhaps inevitable that some titles slip through the cracks, not due to a lack of quality, but simply because they got lost in the Wednesday shuffle. The books listed here aren’t necessarily my personal favorite books of 2012. Rather, they’re good — even great — books that, for whatever reason, didn’t get the sort of praise — either online or in print — that they deserved.
You know, I briefly debated whether to slap the gloriously offensive cover for Gangsta Rap Posse #2, the latest installment in Benjamin Marra’s fictionalized/sensationalized homage to the likes of N.W.A. and other Tipper Gore–terrifying rap acts of the Bush-Clinton era, here on Robot 6. But then I realized: Is it really any worse than any given superhero comic image the Internet kicks around every week?
Marra’s series is a knowingly nasty-looking thought experiment, imagining what it would be like if hardcore hip-hop really were as Rambo-level violent as its practitioners sometimes made themselves out to be. This issue, which Marra unveiled on Thursday, sees the title characters square off against the LAPD, skinheads, record labels, and an ersatz George Clinton and Bootsy Collins, out for blood over uncleared samples. It’s coming straight outta Traditional Comics, Marra’s pulpy publishing imprint. Parental Advisory: Explicit Content.
She specializes in zeitgeisty op-ed columns featuring schoolyard-taunt nicknames for the most powerful people in politics…and in MAYHEM! She’s New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, and she’s kicking ass and uncovering the crime of the century in The Incredibly Fantastic Adventures of Maureen Dowd, “A Work of Satire and Fiction” from Night Business and Gangsta Rap Posse author Benjamin Marra.
Told in Marra’s inimitable, po-faced ’80s-trash throwback style, TIFAoMD‘s preview pages show Dowd — winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary and recently named the eighth-biggest hack in journalism by Salon’s Alex Pareene — lounging in lingerie, battling burglars, flirting with fellow Times columnist Tom Friedman, and trying to blow the lid off the Valerie Plame scandal before her big date with George Clooney. And for a political junkie like me, it’s basically heaven. (Ordering info and preview page after the jump.)
Sex! Violence! Rockin’ guitars! Bearded dudes in Iron Maiden t-shirts gazing thoughtfully into the distance! Pretty much anything you’d want in a commercial for a comic book company you get in this ad for Traditional Comics, the self-publishing outfit of trashmeister Benjamin Marra. If you’ve ever read Night Business or Gangsta Rap Posse, the throwback jewels in the Traditional Comics crown, you know what to expect. If not, you’re in for a treat.