A movement that’s gained a lot of popularity in recent years is steampunk, and with its mixture of old and new technology, it’s not hard to see why people are interested in it. The interesting thing about steampunk is that there are so many variations, such as the dieselpunk and weird west genres. Several of these genres were on display at the TimeQuake Steampunk Convention in Manchester. Given my interest in steampunk I was looking forward to seeing what was there and I wasn’t disappointed.
In comics, it’s common for a hero to have a rogues gallery of villains who they fight on a regular basis. It could be argued that Batman has the most well-known rogues gallery, though Marvel characters have their own share of enemies. Wolverine’s rogues gallery contains a number of deadly villains, with one of the most prolific being Omega Red. A Russian serial killer turned into a remorseless cyborg, Omega Red is a villain that makes a vicious foe for anyone who comes across him.
Saladin Ahmed’s Abbott series has been one of the exciting original stories of 2018, with its focus on blaxploitation and political upheaval in 1970s Detroit. The momentum continues to build in issue three, as Elena Abbott looks to unravel a mystery that’s becoming increasingly supernatural. The story picks up directly from the second issue, with Abbott trying to escape a murderous centaur that’s determined to cut her investigation short.
The Joker is one of the most evil characters in the history of comics, captivating fans with his nihilistic approach to life. His chaotic personality continually clashes with Batman’s desire for order, making him the perfect villain. The Joker’s characterisation has typically been split between a playful trickster and psychotic monster who revels in burning everything around him. Over the years, there have been many versions of the Clown Prince of Crime, some more disturbed than others. The Comic Vault is listing the five most twisted interpretations of The Joker.
We live in a world where convenience exists at our fingertips, due to the amount of phone apps that carry out various functions. The best kind of apps combine practicality with a worthy cause, and one of the best apps I’ve come across is called The Dealer. The UK based app provides recreational discounts at a variety of restaurants and cafes in different cities. The money saving idea is paired with a charitable approach, as you can donate a portion of what you save to helping the homeless.
Having a terminal medical condition can be one of the most traumatic experiences anyone has to go through. The sufferer and their family members are forced to deal with the knowledge that only a certain amount of time is available to them. It’s a relatable kind of struggle that’s been reflected in an obscure comic character called Cardiac. Associated with Spider-Man, Cardiac is an anti-hero who doles out his own brand of justice based around his hatred for corrupt medical corporations. The Comic Vault is looking into his history to understand what makes Cardiac worth reading about.
In the modern day, technology is a common part of every day life, to the point that many people would be lost without it. Social media is a major presence, connecting everyone at all times, though it can be a double-edged sword. What would happen if your privacy was invaded and you were watched 24/7 by the kind of technology that you placed your faith in? That question forms the basis of Stefan Gutternigh’s The Common Good. The cyberpunk comic is set in 2035, where a totalitarian world government regulates the lives of its citizens by monitoring them. Themes of isolation, loss of privacy and societal manipulation are explored in a chilling tale. Gutternigh sent a copy of The Common Good to The Comic Vault in exchange for an honest review.
Reading comics is a good way of exposing people to new ideas and exploring real life issues. More importantly, they can be an educational tool for children, which is a message that the Pop Culture Classroom (PCC) is keen to promote. Focused in Colorado, PCC was created in 2012 to educate young people through the medium of comics and sequential art. I became aware of the initiative when a member of the team, Rob Keosheyan reached out to inform me about the programme and I was happy to write about it.
In pop culture, there are all kinds of phenomenons and movements, with steampunk being one that’s really taken off over the last few years. Victorian aesthetics are mixed with modern technology to create quirky designs. Steampunk has inspired a multitude of subgenres, so any time I come across steampunk inspired creations, I’m interested in getting involved. This was the case with a steampunk Iron Man statue that I came across at Birmingham Comic Con. Designed by specialist artist, Mostly Curious Games, here is a review of the statue.
As a sport, wrestling is one of the most demanding professions in world. It requires constantly being on the road, improving your skills and putting your body on the line for the entertainment of others. The men and women who’ve dedicated their lives to doing it are extremely gifted and their passion is admirable.
WWE wrestler Daniel Bryan gave his all to doing what he loved, and when he was forced to retire a couple of years ago, it was a blow to the industry. For Bryan, it caused him to sink into depression, which he’s been vocal about in the past. So when it was announced Bryan was medically cleared to wrestle again, fans around the world gave a collective ‘YES, YES, YES.’ But it also shed a light on depression and how it can be overcome by surrounding yourself with positive experiences and never giving up.