Posts tagged Greg Rucka

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Review: Lazarus #1-2

lazarus2-webThis week marked the release of the second issue of a new series from Image Comics, Lazarus, by Greg Rucka, Michael Lark, & Santi Arcas.  Lazarus takes place in a future where there are no more political or geographical nations, but rather nations built around wealth and “Family.”  Each Family has a certain number of workers who provide them with basic labor. These people are called “Serfs.”  All other people (ie the majority of the human population on Earth) are considered “Waste.” In addition, each Family choses one child to serve as their “lazarus,” a soldier that protects and fights for the Family.  This super-soldier is given the absolute best that science and technology has to offer.

The first issue sets the basic groundwork for the story and the main character, Forever, the “Lazarus” of the Carlyle family.  After an incident on the Carlyle farm involving an invasion from another Family (Morray), Malcolm Carlyle summons all of his children, including Forever, to the family estate in order to determine the next course of action.  That is where Issue #2 picks up.

As always, Greg Rucka delivers in a big way.  The first issue is mostly set-up so the majority of the character development is focused on Forever.  She is, as one would expect, more than just a killing machine.  She feels regret and remorse, emotions that other members of the Carlyle family would clearly prefer their Lazarus not to feel.  I loved the additional development of other characters in the second issue, especially Malcolm Carlyle.  I cannot wait to see where Rucka takes Forever and her relationships with her family members.

I also love the idea behind the story.  Rucka does not go into too much detail in the first issue as to how society broke down from nations designated by geography/politics to nations designated by wealth/Families.  I don’t think he needs to right away.  Honestly, this is not a future that is too difficult to envision, especially given a post-apocalyptic type environment (it is revealed in the second issue that Los Angeles was mostly destroyed in an earthquake).  In his epilogue at the end of the first issue, Rucka states that the idea for this series was partially inspired by the Occupy Movement and the general state of the global economy.  He then proceeds to detail all of the research on economics and science that he put together before May 2013 (when he wrote the epilogue).  As Rucka states, “It’s not news to say that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  What is news is just how stark that divide has become, and how much deeper and wider it looks to grow.”  Keeping this statement in mind, I think it is fascinating to explore a world in which this divide has grown so vast that the majority of humanity is viewed as “waste” with only the extremely wealthy controlling food, power, etc.  While the subject matter is extremely dark, I am very excited to see whatever glimmers of hope (if there are any) that may be revealed within this bleak future that Rucka and Lark envision.

Furthermore, the art in Lazarus is gorgeous.  Lazarus reunites Rucka with Michael Lark.  The two previously worked together on Gotham Central (another amazing series that everyone should check out at some point, especially fans of Batman stories).  Lark’s art is realistic and detailed without losing the feel of comic book art.  Perhaps one of the characteristics I love most about his illustrations are the eyes of his characters.  The story moves so quickly it might be easy to miss on the first read-through, but try to look at the eyes of the characters in each panel.  They oftentimes say more than whatever is written in the word balloons.

Only two issues in and I am hooked.  I highly recommend this series to anyone who is a fan of strong female characters and post-apocalyptic story lines.  If you have not read any books by Greg Rucka yet, Lazarus is a perfect place to start.

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Chicks Dig Comics Slated for April 2012 Release

Official Press Release

DES MOINES, IA, Nov. 15, 2011- Mad Norwegian Press is pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of Chicks Dig Comics: A Celebration of Comic Books by the Women Who Love Them, an essay collection edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Sigrid Ellis, slated for release on April 10, 2012.

The book is very much in the vein of Lynne M. Thomas’s and Tara O’Shea’s Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It, featuring essays by female creators and fans on a wide array of comic book-related topics. Contributors to the book include Gail Simone, Rachel Edidin, Carla Speed McNeil, Jen Van Meter, Colleen Doran, Jill Thompson, Seanan McGuire, Marjorie Liu, Jill Pantozzi, Kelly Thompson, Tara O’Shea, Sarah Kuhn, Sara Ryan, Delia Sherman, Sarah Monette, Elizabeth Bear, and many more. Also featured is an introduction by Mark Waid and exclusive interviews with Amanda Conner, Louise Simonson, Greg Rucka and Terry Moore.

An eBook version of Chicks Dig Comics will be available on the Kindle and the Nook the same day of release as the print version.

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Chicks Dig Comics: A Celebration of Comic Books by the Women Who Love Them

Edited by: Lynne M. Thomas and Sigrid Ellis

Release date (print, Kindle and Nook): April 10, 2012

Retail Price (print edition): $14.95

Retail Price (Kindle and Nook): $9.95

 

ISBN (10 digit): 1935234056

ISBN (13 digit): 978-1935234050

 

Synopsis of Chicks Dig Comics:

In Chicks Dig Comics, editors Lynne M. Thomas (Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords) and Sigrid Ellis bring together essays by award-winning writers and artists who celebrate the comics medium and its creators, and who examine the characters and series that they love.

Gail Simone (Birds of Prey) and Carla Speed McNeil (Finder) describe how they entered the comics industry. Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil) reveals her superhero crush, while Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother) confesses to being a comics junkie. Jen Van Meter (Hopeless Savages) sings the praises of 1970s horror comics, and Seanan McGuire (the October Daye series) takes sides in the Jean Grey vs. Emma Frost battle.

 

Other contributors include Marjorie Liu (Dark Wolverine), Rachel Edidin (Dark Horse Comics), Jill Pantozzi (Newsarama), Kelly Thompson (Comic Book Resources), and SF/F authors Sara Ryan, Delia Sherman, Sarah Monette, and Elizabeth Bear. Also featured: an introduction by Mark Waid (Kingdom Come) and exclusive interviews with Amanda Conner (Power Girl), Louise Simonson (Power Pack), Greg Rucka (Queen & Country), and Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise).

 

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About Mad Norwegian Press

 

Mad Norwegian Press is a Des Moines, Iowa-based publisher of science-fiction guides, novels and essay books. It was founded by Lars Pearson, a former staffer at Wizard: The Guide to Comics, in 2001.

The company has enjoyed particular success of late as a producer of essay books pertaining to women and fandom – the first being Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It (2011 Hugo Award Winner for Best Related Work), followed by Whedonistas: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon by the Women Who Love Them, and the forthcoming Chicks Dig Comics. The company also published the comic-book related More Digressions: A New Collection of “But I Digress” Columns, collecting many of Peter David’s essays from Comics Buyers’ Guide, in 2009.

Authors who have worked with Mad Norwegian Press include Elizabeth Bear, Seanan McGuire, Catherynne M. Valente, Emma Bull, Sarah Monette, Peter David, Harlan Ellison, Lyda Morehouse, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jody Lynn Nye, Jeanne C. Stein, Nancy Holder, Maria Lima, Jackie Kessler, Steve Lyons, Robert Shearman, Lance Parkin, Lawrence Miles, and Tat Wood.

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