comics, comics criticism, writing

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Writer Tom Waltz Looks Back on The Last Ronin

I, a lifelong TMNT fan (see proof below) recently had the chance to chat with Ninja Turtles writer Tom Waltz to look back on his run on the recent dystopian miniseries The Last Ronin, and ahead to the upcoming Armageddon Game storyline at IDW. This was a very exciting opportunity for me and I was thrilled with how it turned out.

Read the interview on CBR here.

A little Urbane Turtle
comics, comics criticism, marvel, writing

Panel x Panel #49: Thor! Jane Foster! Job! Crohn’s Disease!

Extremely proud to say that my essay on Thor by Jason Aaron & Russel Dauterman is out in PanelxPanel today! As always, the issue is a beautiful package, but I think this issue in particular looks great. This is a particularly special release for me both because PanelxPanel is such an excellent periodical, but also because, while I’ve been published since submitting this article a long while ago, this was the first pitch that got accepted & the first time I got paid for my writing. So I’m grateful to Hass for taking a chance on this piece. It’s both very personal and highly analytical about the medium. I got to talk theology and superheroes: two of my favorite things, and reflect on my own journey with Crohn’s. You can purchase the issue by clicking on the slick image below. It goes live and to email inboxes in a couple hours.

comics, comics criticism, writing

Image Comics’ Ordinary Gods Questions Heroism and Mythmaking

Comics are often synonymous with superheroes; they dominate the industry whether you like it or not. Their myths and their tropes and their cycles of stagnation, reinvention, and their inevitable return to the way things Always Are. Heroes win, and more important than that: they are heroes. There is comfort in them; I am a fan of them. I don’t begrudge the status quo in and of itself. But often these demands and these cycles hide the hard truths of the industry that creates these stories, the way the corporate sponsors of these lucrative properties exploit and stifle the creators they rely on for their tentpole films and licensing initiatives. The heroes and gods are the myth, but the reality is as ordinary and petty and deflating as any other industry, with its dark secrets and interpersonal frustrations. While Ordinary Gods is not a superhero story, their dominance of the medium and the expectations readers bring to the comics reading experience are inescapable.

Ordinary Gods is a new creator owned series by the red-hot writer Kyle Higgins and artist Felipe Watanabe. Higgins looks to explore and unmask these ideals of heroism and take a harder look at the truth. It serves as a commentary not only on our human tendency for myth-making and hero-worship more broadly but also a metatextual commentary about the comics industry itself that channels his professional frustration of the work for hire system into a cosmic, eternal cycle of death and rebirth.

Continue reading “Image Comics’ Ordinary Gods Questions Heroism and Mythmaking”
comics, comics criticism, writing

Urbane Turtle on CBR

As mentioned in my last personal update I have started a paying freelance gig as a review over at Comic Book Resources. I have covered a broad range of different books, to varying degrees of enjoyment and recommendation. You can find all of my reviews here. I will be spotlighting a few over time and linking to them individually moving forward.

CBR Author Page

Drawings and Art

TypeSet Poster

In November I enrolled in an online graphic design course. Last month’s class was centered on Typography, with the final assignment a typographical poster that was to both provide a background on a typeface and reflect the feeling of the type itself.
Here is my poster for Avenir, in which I hoped to evoke a sleek, futuristic vibe that also conveyed a more human softness.