J&STAC: A Whole Slew of New #1s

-J. Michael Bestul is a writer for the Addison Recorder. Stephanie Ruehl is an artist who works in a comic book shop. They’re married and have a lot of discussions about comic books and graphic novels. Combine all that into a biweekly feature and you get “J. & Steph Talk About Comics.”

Steph: So many new number ones are out today, you guys. So. Many.

-J.: Let’s get to it, then.

cover art by Chip Zdarsky

cover art by Chip Zdarsky

Jughead #1

words by Chip Zdarsky, art by Erica Henderson, published by Archie Comics

Synopsis: A new principal has come to Riverdale High, making changes to school policy and — much to the burger-loving Jughead’s dismay — school lunches. 

Steph: So after reading, and loving, the re-launch of Archie recently, I figured I’d love Jughead just as much. I was right.

J.: I was surprised how much I enjoyed the Archie re-launch. It’s not my style of book, but I absolutely loved the art and words. I particularly loved the portrayal of Jughead, and was looking forward to his standalone series. It exceeded my expectations. It was a perfect introduction to a new series. [Read more…]

A Single Girl’s Restaurant Review: Anteprima

I’ve been a resident of Chicago for two years, and after spending my childhood in the ‘burbs and nearly a decade in New England I took immense pride in having a city zip code attached to my address.  I’ve been single for as long as I’ve lived in the city, but my romance with patisseries, pubs, and GrubHub has been constant. The thrill hopping on the El to explore a new neighborhood, the smells of curry, garlic, and something fishy as I walk down Sheridan Rd.- these exciting revelations haven’t diminished over time. Perhaps this is what happens when one has spent the past several years in a small town..

Whenever I go out on dates, my friends want to know how the company was, but it seems like a good chunk of the experience can be shaped by the atmosphere. Where we meet- whether it’s a hipster coffee bar, a Kosher-style deli, or my favorite brewpub- can influence the date almost as much as the conversation and chemistry (or, more often than not, lack thereof). With this in mind, I decided to explore writing about an evening’s juicy culinary details with my company in the background- instead of the other way around. [Read more…]

STAR WORDS: Princess Leia Conquers the Universe

Star Wars Logo

A New Hope borrowed heavily from the pulp science fiction serials of the 1940s, most notably the various runs of Flash Gordon. The films didn’t stay entrenched in that milieu for long, with The Empire Strikes Back presenting a more refined, if darker, look at that galaxy far, far away and the subsequent films striving to establish Star Wars’ identity on its own. Princess Leia, the five-issue miniseries from Marvel Comics, returns Star Wars to its roots as an homage to Flash Gordon. [Read more…]

Thoughts from the Dugout: Awards Fever

Image of MLB Awards

So, in spite of what the scheduling gods and MLB marketing wizards may have told you, the postseason races this year have been, well, rather uninspired. I say this while living in the heart of Cub-Fandom on Earth – most of those involved have been decided for several weeks at least. It’s exciting and great that teams like Toronto and Kansas City are pushing each other for home field advantage, but at the moment, the only race is for who will win the AL West and which team will get to face the Yankees in the Wild Card play in.

So, on that note, here’s my picks and reasoning for the MLB awards.

[Read more…]

J&STAC: Daydreaming

-J. Michael Bestul is a writer for the Addison Recorder. Stephanie Ruehl is an artist who works in a comic book shop. They’re married and have a lot of discussions about comic books and graphic novels. Combine all that into a biweekly feature and you get “J. & Steph Talk About Comics.”

What impossible combination would you like to see on your favorite series?

There were two events that inspired us to daydream and discuss this. The first was the latest One Shot podcast episode, wherein Rat Queens author Kurtis J. Wiebe played a session of 13th Age. As J&STAC readers know, Rat Queens is probably our favorite ongoing title, and they may have guessed that 13th Age is one of -J.’s favorite RPG systems. Hearing the two combined on a Chicago-based podcast of unrivaled quality only made it sweeter.

But wait — Tuesday would not be outdone by its predecessor in the week. That’s because Marvel announced yesterday that Ta-Nehisi Coates would be writing a new Black Panter series.

We repeat: TA-NEHISI COATES WILL BE WRITING A BLACK PANTHER SERIES. That’s one of those perfect mash-ups that you dream up excitedly after a few drinks, but figure it’s too awesome an idea to actually happen.

In that vein, we’ve each come up with a “too-crazy-to-actually-happen” list of writers and artists we’d love to see on some of our favorite titles. [Read more…]

STAR WORDS: Aftermath Revitalizes Star Wars Novels

Aftermath Cover

Spoiler Warning: there are spoilers for the events, characters, and implications in Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath in this article.

Chuck Wendig is the first author to pen a trilogy of canon novels – the five previous canon novels all stand alone. The first of Wendig’s books, Aftermath, serves as the flagship novel of the Journey to the Force Awakens – a collection of novels, comics, young adult fiction, and other stories that fill in the time period between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Aftermath was released on Force Friday and has given readers the first glimpse into the state of the galaxy after the Battle of Endor. Aftermath sets the status quo for fans as we approach the seventh film in the Star Wars saga. [Read more…]