Happiest of Tuesdays, comic fans! Welcome back to your bi-weekly stop for comics and pop culture news in the River City. Every issue we talk to industry experts and Richmond creatives who love comics and dig deep to find their recommendations on the next big read, with a little bit of news so we eat our vegetables, too.
This week in news we enjoy a mini Post-Oscars theme as some of the best in comics from 2019 went for the gold Sunday night. Plus, Sam Raimi makes his big return to Marvel-Land, and Scarlet Witch and Vision take us down sitcom memory lane in the trailer for WandaVision. However, before we dive in, we have some new recommendations to investigate.
This week our recommendations come from indie artist Gianna Meola. Based in Brooklyn, Meola has been reading comics since she was young, but didn’t start drawing them until college when she was an illustration major. Professionally she focuses on young adult and children’s comics, but personally enjoys reading anything horror-focused. It’s good to stay balanced.
She makes her own self-published zines and comics, but this year she will be releasing a book with Graphic Universe. Without a doubt that will be on all of our future recommendation lists once it drops.
All Over Coffee, by Paul Madonna
“All Over Coffee is a collection of Paul Madonna’s comics from the San Francisco Chronicle,” said Meola. “They’re great, they blend sketches and comics/observations in a beautiful way.”
Mexican Horror Story, by Simone Rein
“Simone’s work is funny, and touching and beautiful,” said Meola.
Gleem, by Freddy Carrasco
“Incredible and inspirational ink work– a really great and interesting read,” said Meola.
“Carmen’s work has incredible personality and is ridiculously cool,” said Meola.
Tekkon Kinkreet, by Taiyo Matsumoto
“Everyone knows this one but it’s one of my all time favorite comics,” said Meola. “The pacing and style are amazing.”
The Oscars have long been the Super Bowl of the film industry, and with a groundbreaking four wins that included Best Picture, Parasite made the ceremony a night to remember in its 92-year history as it became the first non-English language film to take home the highest honor.
While Parasite did its thing on stage, comic book fandoms celebrated in the corner as they quietly infiltrated the ceremony. Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker saw two nominations for best score, visual effects, and sound editing, and trailing behind was Avengers: Endgame best visual effects.
However, Joker swept them both not only by receiving eleven nominations but bringing home awards for best musical score and best actor for Joaquin Phoenix, who gave a powerful acceptance speech. It’s almost like comic films hold merit and are seen as actual art forms after all.
Oh, Spider fans, have you missed Sam Raimi? Niche horror fans in the Marvel universe are getting their forbidden wish in the form of Evil Dead/Army Of Darkness director Sam Raimi returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Raimi has been officially hired as the new director of the awaited Doctor Strange sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The Marvel universe hasn’t seen Raimi since his direction of the original Spider-Man film trilogy, then still owned by Sony Pictures, between 2002 and 2007. While the overall plot of the Strange sequel still has not been released, what is known so far is that it will be Marvel’s first dip into the water of horror. Who better to guide us on this new journey that the man who brought us Ash Williams of the legendary Evil Dead franchise?
Marvel also finally dropped the trailer for the heavily anticipated WandaVision series trailer during the Superbowl last week. While the 40-second trailer does not reveal much, it still gives us something to work with until a longer trailer is released.
Scarlet Witch Wanda Maximoff and android Avenger Vision, together at last, appear to be traveling through various eras of time, represented by homages to various sitcoms of times gone by. There is a clear I Love Lucy reference in the beginning all the way down to what appears to be the typical 90s sitcom, which leaves the door open to a Full House bit. Between the shot of Wanda and Vision standing over two cradles (take note, Young Avengers fans), and the fact that Scarlet Witch actress Elizabeth Olsen is the sister of the famous Olsen Twins of Full House fame, it’s an easy door to walk through. There is even a reference to Wanda’s classic Scarlet Witch costume from the comics.
While a specific release date is still unknown, we do know that it will drop this year on Disney+’s streaming service. Personally, I’m just glad that Wanda just might finally get the happy ending she so deserves.
That wraps it up for us this week, comic fans. What kooky shenanigans and sitcoms should Wanda and Vision get into this year?
Until next time.