emanata

Emanata: Draw What You Know

Jesse Reklaw is probably best known for “Slow Wave,” the weekly strip he’s been drawing for 15 years, in which he adapts his readers’ dreams into comics (and has more recently been connecting those dreams into an odd kind of extended story). In mid-September 2008, as he prepared to head off on a tour to promote the Slow Wave collection …

Emanata: Eight Questions for Comics Creators

I declare today that the creators of every comic book must be able to answer these questions, or at least make work that shows they’ve considered them all.

1. Why is this a comic book?

Does it want to be a movie instead? A video game? A piece of prose? (If so, you should probably go make whatever it’s supposed to be instead. I have …

Emanata: Three Versions of Bendis

Thanks to a scheduling pile-up, all three parts of Brian Michael Bendis’s conclusion to his part of the Siege crossover–Siege #4, Dark Avengers #16 and The New Avengers Finale–came out this week. (Spoilers for all of them follow.) Bendis is a fascinating and occasionally frustrating writer to follow: he’s incredibly prolific, he tends …

Emanata: Where to Start With Love & Rockets

In the last month or so, there have been three new books by the Hernandez brothers, the brilliant cartoonists responsible for Love & Rockets: Gilbert Hernandez’s High Soft Lisp, Jaime Hernandez’s Penny Century and a big hardcover called The Art of Jaime Hernandez: The Secrets of Life and Death. Los Bros, as they’re sometimes called, have …

Emanata: Brendan McCarthy’s Fever Dreams

There are certain comics that are really just meant to be looked at, and Brendan McCarthy’s Spider-Man: Fever is one of them. McCarthy makes images that lunge for whatever part of the brain feels the tremor of the uncanny. His most spectacular pages elicit a giggle, then a slow stare, and then (if you’re really lucky) nightmares. The …

Emanata: Forward-Looking Statements

The two Geoff Johns-written or -cowritten series that launched this week, Brightest Day and The Flash, both feature one of Johns’ signature tricks. A few pages before the end of Johns, Peter J. Tomasi and Fernando Pasarin’s Brightest Day #0, the story’s narrator is suddenly surrounded by visions of the future: ten panels, each drawn by a …

Emanata: A Sense of Where You Are

The first issue of Jonathan Hickman and Dustin Weaver’s S.H.I.E.L.D. is one of the most visually spectacular mainstream comics of the last few months. The premise of Hickman’s story is that Marvel’s espionage organization S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t just a relic of the Cold War era: it’s actually a secret society of scientists that’s been …

Emanata: Blackest Night, Into the White

The final issue of Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis’s Blackest Night came out this week, and it’s a profoundly reactionary comic book–a story that doesn’t just roll back a chunk of its fictional setting to the way it was decades ago, but argues that actual change isn’t meaningful or possible.

Blackest Night was deftly put together in a lot …

Emanata: One Chord Wonders

Comics about pop music are a tempting, vexing proposition. You can tell stories about bands (D.M.C., Greatest Hits); you can try to build narratives around lyrics (Comic Book Tattoo); you can make fantastic comics about the subcultures that arise around music, and the way people respond to it (Scott Pilgrim, Hate). But it’s nearly …

Emanata: Permanent Tidal Wave

When the Sentry first appeared in 2000, he was a clever idea: Bob Roberts, one of Marvel’s most famous characters in the ’60s, the star of Startling Stories–oh, wait, you’ve never heard of him? That’s because his archenemy the Void forced him to use his incredible telepathic powers to make everyone forget him! And the Void is actually …

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