(Mostly) HIATUS TIME

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I’m heading off to college in about a week, and that means Imagination Superpower is going on hiatus for an indefinite period until I’m all settled in and know I can handle the work. Well, mostly- I’m still going to be covering a few things (I’m thinking at least The Woods, Morning Glories and Gravity Falls), but those posts may go up a bit later than the usual time frame, if not a lot later. I may also do extra things if I’ve got the time, like a post for a comic I’m not regularly doing during the hiatus, or even something I haven’t done before. All depends on time, of course.

I’ve been writing for this blog for a good ten months now, and it’s been maybe the longest thing of this form I’ve ever worked on. It’s taught me a lot, and I’m happy some people hang around to read it. Thanks, folks!

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“If you exist, you’re staring at me.”: The Wicked + The Divine, Issue Thirteen

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THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #13 IMAGE COMICS
ARTIST: TULA LOTAY WRITER: KIERON GILLEN
BONUS ART: JAMIE MCKELVIE & MATTHEW WILSON LETTERER: CLAYTON COWLES
DESIGNER: SERGIO SERRANO EDITOR: CHRISSY WILLIAMS

(Spoilers!)

Compared to many forms of media, comic books (and books in general) have one feature many can’t advocate: immersion. When you’re reading a comic, you have to hold it in your hand, to study it, to linger on it, to briefly become part of it. As more and more comics go digital, one would think that feature would unfortunately fade- but not if the creators of The Wicked + The Divine are going to help it. With guest artist Tula Lotay, Kieron Gillen and the rest of Team WicDiv spend this month’s issue exploring the elusive Tara, previously unseen- and with it they present a terrifying, somber look at our world today, particularly the natures of fandom and social media, using a number of clever formatting tricks to truly help us understand who Tara is.

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The Social Event of the Season: Morning Glories, Issue Forty-Seven

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MORNING GLORIES #47 IMAGE COMICS
ARTIST: JOE EISMA WRITER: NICK SPENCER
COLORIST: PAUL LITTLE LETTERER: JOHNNY LOWE
COVER ART: RODIN ESQUEJO DESIGN: TIM DANIEL

Real talk, fellow former high schoolers: did you ever go to any killer parties? I sure didn’t, so the setting of most of Morning Glories #47 is a bit foreign to me, and I can’t confirm whether or not the idea of rockin’ dance parties in secret places is legitimate. Fiction tells us it is, though, and Morning Glories has had so much fun doing its own spins on high school cliches (especially this season) that there’s no way the book would have gone on without one. Of course, this isn’t just a party- we’re nearing the end of Season Two, and that means we need to cover our bases.

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“You just have to know what needs fixing.”: The Woods, Issue Fifteen

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THE WOODS #15 BOOM! STUDIOS
ARTIST: MICHAEL DIALYNAS WRITER: JAMES TYNION IV
COLORIST: JOSAN GONZALEZ LETTERER: ED DUKESHIRE

There was a point, reading The Woods #15, where I wondered if I was watching a very good episode of, say, Teen Wolf or One Tree Hill. It’s during the scene where, in the space of five pages, we have Calder telling everyone they’ve got to go back to the titular woods, Sanami giving an exposition dump, Ben and Isaac breaking up, and the group rapidly forming a plan. It was an odd feeling, but it wasn’t inherently negative, as The Woods’ writing was for the most part as good as ever- rather, it seemed like the result of the book’s new status quo. For most of the cast, Karen’s kidnapping by the Children of the Sun is the first major event relating to their alien overlords after a full year; before this, their main priorities were relationship troubles and student elections. Teenagers are known to get emotional over their problems, but when those problems involve cosmic horrors, it’s a whole new kind of trouble.

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“At least I’m not at all keyed up to watch a kid’s show.”: Gravity Falls 2.13, “Dungeons, Dungeons and More Dungeons”

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Every serialized show has to juggle the weight of its plot with the needs of its characters and viewers. Unless a show has a shorter season- say, ten or thirteen episodes- it’s often illogical and tiring to have every episode be a large, bombastic affair. That’s especially true for Gravity Falls, which just had what may be its two most massive and game-changing episodes ever, and was in deep need of a little downtime. Luckily, it doesn’t squander the opportunity, and makes the episode worth watching for viewers more invested in the plot by using its time to develop the relationships between the two sets of Pines twins.

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The Gospel According to Esaw Goings: Southern Bastards, Issue Ten

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SOUTHERN BASTARDS #10 IMAGE COMICS
ARTIST: JASON LATOUR WRITER: JASON AARON
LETTERER: JARED K. FLETCHER

Southern Bastards #10 certainly comes off a bit less rounded than most of the issues preceding it, character-wise. When we focused on Earl Tubb, Euless Boss, and finally Sheriff Hardy, we saw complicated men, some better than others, but all coming from conflicted perspectives and backgrounds. But that’s blatantly not the case for Esaw Goings, and Jasons Latour and Aaron want you to know it. Esaw is simply flat-out horrible, and that means some tweaks are required to make an issue about him work- the addition of poor kind bible-thumper Donny Ray, and the loss of any small amount of nuance the book usually has. That may seem a bit disappointing at first, but there’s no other way to go about depicting Esaw; if there’s a most Bastard-y bastard in this book, it’s him.

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A Lifetime Ago: Gravity Falls 2.12, “A Tale of Two Stans”

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“I’m hoping this all aligns exactly with my fanfic, Stan. If not, I will be very disappointed.” Gravity Falls does a lot with that line- points out the obsessive nature of fandom, lampshades Soos’ equally obsessive love of Stan- but it’s also a rather appropriate way to describe the challenge Gravity Falls’ writers must have faced when writing “A Tale of Two Stans.” “Not What He Seems” needed to properly set up the show’s biggest revelation so far in a way that would be satisfying to both those who’d guessed at it in advance and those who hadn’t; “A Tale of Two Stans” needs to elaborate on that reveal while meeting the same expectations, along with juggling the trials of exposition. It’s remarkable that it does so well in the face of those challenges, even if it feels like no episode of Gravity Falls before, especially in terms of its surprisingly serious nature.

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