Knowing where you come from is important. Heritage provides a connection between the past a present, a way to appreciate your family members and inform where you’d like to be in future. Living in the UK, I’ve grown up around my English relatives, but I didn’t know a lot about the Polish side of the family. Recently, I took a trip to Warsaw to get in touch with my Polish heritage, and that would have never happened if I hadn’t discovered The Witcher. What started out as an appreciation for a series turned into a pilgrimage of learning about my family’s history.
“Gurume” manga is a derivation of the word “gourmet”. Quite obviously, it refers to food. Gurume anime/manga has plots and storylines which makes food and its creators the real superheroes of the tale. Unsurprisingly, food is vital to Japanese culture and the genre centres around food found in different parts of Japan. However, (much like other anime/manga subcultures) gurume manga has a massive global cult following. The widespread availability of Japanese cuisine— such as sushi, sashimi, tamagoyaki, and gyoza—definitely helps. More importantly, it attracts fans because of the finesse of detail and design of the animated meals. Many people call gurume manga “food pornography”, because there is a voyeuristic pleasure to merely watching this animated food being made and presented.
Japanese folklore is filled with spirits and mythical creatures, and one of the most well-known beings is the tengu. Tengu are an important part of Shinto and Buddhism and form part of the yokai. Originally seen as demons, the importance of tengu have changed over time. Many people wear tengu masks and the image has been woven into popular culture. The Comic Vault is looking into the history of the tengu to see what they are and their significance to Japanese culture.
As a comic fan, I’ve wondered what it would be like to have superpowers more than once. I think that can be said for a lot of people, so it’s fitting that the desire for superpowers is reflected in certain characters. In many ways, Eddie Bloomberg is a representation of what it means to be a superhero fan, as he always dreamed of having powers of his own. Starting off as a regular person and sidekick to Blue Devil, Bloomberg took on the identity of Kid Devil in order to emulate his idol. Eventually, he gained superpowers and became a member of the Teen Titans. But Kid Devil’s powers came at a price.
When it comes to comic events, it’s easy to feel cynical about them because of how often they happen. Marvel and DC have got into a habit of altering their universes on a yearly basis, to the point it’s felt as if storytelling has become a money grab, rather than a way of building compelling characters. I’ve felt comic event fatigue before, but there’s something exceptional about the writing of Scott Snyder that keeps me coming back to his stories. Snyder has become the definitive Batman writer, which is why I was eager to pick up Dark Nights: Metal. Here are my thoughts on a graphic novel that nails all the things that makes a comic event worth investing in.
Being a superhero goes hand in hand with using superpowers to make a difference. Characters can start off with a set of powers that evolve over time. The Scarlet Witch is a character whose abilities have changed on a regular basis, growing from ill-defined ‘hex powers’ to being able to alter reality. Wanda Maximoff’s powers are as fluid as her backstory, which has been retconned more than once. Nevertheless, her abilities are intriguing and The Comic Vault is taking a closer look into the nature of her power set.
Storytelling is the oldest form of communication in the world. It allows people to connect with each other by sharing their experiences. Storytelling was the main theme of 7 Stories, which saw seven people from different backgrounds share their experiences in front of an audience. The thought-provoking event featured tales of triumph, overcoming adversity and mental health positivity.