Some of the most interesting stories feature strong POC protagonists, which is why I’ve enjoyed reading Saladin Ahmed’s Abbott series, which features tough as nails reporter Elena Abbott. Set in 1970s Detroit, Ahmed’s comic weaves together occult and noir themes to create a political thriller with memorable characters. Abbott #2 picks up from where the first issue started and it’s safe to say there’s a mystery that needs to be solved.
If there’s one thing I enjoy about being creative, it’s getting the chance to meet like-minded people. Collaboration is a great way to make new connections and produce something new, whether it’s a story or a piece of art. Working with someone else helps you elevate each other, which is useful when it comes to cosplaying. The cosplay world is built on collaboration, with people making costumes, selling costumes, taking pictures and having fun together. It’s why I was excited to do a new cosplay photo shoot with fellow creatives and embody my favourite comic character.
One of my favourite things about comics is the wealth of art that’s produced on a regular basis. Cover art is an essential part of a comic that can often be overlooked, which is why I write a feature called Comic Cover Corner that puts the spotlight on a single issue. The cover I’m looking at today is Scarlet Witch #10, drawn by David Aja. The art depicts the Scarlet Witch in Japan and there’s so much to appreciate about the colours, mood and the story that it tells.
I wanted to combine my appreciation for food and comics together by introducing a new segment on The Comic Vault called Comic Kitchen. It features a three course meal plan for a comic character made up of a starter, main and dessert. For every meal I’ll explain why it reminds me of the character and why I think they would eat it. I’ll be including meals I’ve eaten, or recipes I’ve come across on the internet. The first character to be featured in Comic Kitchen is Batman, who’s likely eaten some of the finest dishes in the world. Batman’s complexity calls for a menu that has powerful flavours.
As a writer, I’m always looking to combine my interests together and after reading a local restaurant and culture magazine by Manchester Finest, it’s inspired me to write about comics and food. Everyone loves food. It brings people together, gives them the opportunity to discover new meals and step outside their comfort zone. Superheroes and supervillains need to eat as well and there are plenty of characters who are sensational chefs. With that said, here are four of the most talented male comic chefs.
Cosplaying is a fun experience, as you’re able to dress up as a character you admire and feel like someone else for a day. The cosplaying community is huge, which is why I enjoy interviewing cosplayers from around the world to showcase their work and find out what inspires them. The latest interview is with Dan Ballestero, who is known for his work as Geralt of Rivia and other gaming characters. As a male cosplayer, it was great hearing Dan’s perspective on how cosplay can benefit mental health, create new connections and be an expression of freedom.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been going for a good ten years now and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Over the years, it’s produced some great films, with many coming with certain expectations. But I’d argue that none of them have come with the amount of expectation Black Panther has in terms of representation. After all, it’s the first time a black superhero has been presented on such a grand stage. Black Panther is an important cultural character to many comic fans, and I’m happy to say the film delivers in every way possible. There’s a great story, complex characters, awesome action scenes and plenty of word building that sets Black Panther apart from other superhero films.
The X-Men feature a variety of diverse characters and I think what makes them so popular is how they’ve been allowed to grow over the years. A lot of the characters started off as a children and readers have followed them into adulthood. One of the most developed X-Men is Jubilee, who evolved from Wolverine’s sidekick into a strong-willed mother. Even by X-Men standards, Jubilee has been put through a lot, though it’s enabled her to mature and find her place in the world. The Comic Vault is looking into her history to understand what makes her a great role model for young mothers.
Valentine’s Day is marked as a special day for couples and it got me thinking about the variety of comic couples that I’ve grown up reading about over the years. One of the most realistic has to be the relationship between Gambit and Rogue because of the journey they’ve been on together. The two X-Men have the perfect definition of an on-again, off-again relationship, yet they’ve both grown and matured as characters. Marvel recently brought out a mini-series featuring the pair and it inspired me to look into the history of Gambit and Rogue’s relationship to see how it’s developed over time.
Doctor Doom is one of the greatest villains in the history of comics. He’s taken on The Fantastic Four, Avengers, battled aliens and monsters and even ruled the Multiverse as an all-powerful god. So, what happens when he tries to make up for all the wrong he’s done in his life? You get Infamous Iron Man Vol 2: The Absolution Of Doom. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, the graphic novel follows Doom as he takes on the Iron Man identity to make the world a safer place. The second volume feels like it has higher stakes than the first because of the introduction of the evil Reed Richards from the Ultimate Universe. Traditional roles are flipped and Doom finds himself in a situation where even he doesn’t have all the answers.