This past month has been great for parents to point their kids toward NASA missions with a topic they can relate to at home: wind. Various NASA missions released findings in December 2019 that involved some innovative thinking and interesting discoveries. Let’s explore the winds of Venus, Mars, and Jupiter which provides a great way to talk to your kids about science, since they understand the notion of wind every time they walk outside.

To put it frankly, Black Stars Above is one of the most intimate comic books I have read in 2019.  The series is about a fur trapper (Eulalie Dubois) that leaves the burden that her family places upon her to find herself by wandering into the wilderness during a wintered cosmic hazard in 1887. Our protagonist Eulalie Dubois has left the confines of her family’s fur trapping business to deliver a parcel to an unknown town in the northern wilderness. Unbeknownst to her, there is a darkness enamored with what she holds.

The Geeky Parent Guide is in its third year, and 2019 was a year of focus on specific geeky qualities: trying to find positive messages for young kids and sharing enjoyable activities for parents. This year has included a variety of content. Like other years, we’ve discussed NASA research and missions, Star Wars, San Diego Comic-Con, and Free Comic Book Day to name a few.

This book wasn’t at all what I expected. The term “graphic biography” made me think it would be an account of Elvis’ life, told in graphic novel form, perhaps similarly to the way The Fifth Beatle chronicled the life of Brian Epstein and the rise of the titular band. Instead, what we’re given is a fairly standard biography, chronicling the highlights of Elvis’ life and career, alongside drawings of him and the people from his life.

“They took everything.” A statement uttered by a character in the town of Holland, Michigan, your average, middle-American town where a newly opened store called Everything is taking its toll on everyone… by giving everyone exactly what they think that want. Consumerism and, as an extension, unfettered capitalism are the villains in this new, genre-bending sci-fi comic book series by Christopher Cantwell and I.N.J. Culbard.

This collection is a joyous showcase of great scenes from the Final Fantasy series that are blended with our everyday items, including great still images of Chocobo miniatures adventuring past a field of tennis balls or Cloud and Sephiroth miniatures fighting their iconic showdown atop an open can representing the Nibel Reactor tower.

Let’s start with a couple of quick expository facts. The entirety of this hefty tome (some 472 pages) is set between the events of Rise of the Tomb Raider, where Lara encountered the Deathless Prophet in her quest for the Lost City of Kitezh, and the concluding gaming chapter to Crystal Dynamic’s reboot, Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Naturally, Trinity still looms large over her; their long shadow and longer reach are a constant threat. This large omnibus consists of 3 collections: Tomb Raider Volume 2 Issues #1 - #12, Tomb Raider: Survivor’s Crusade Issues #1 - #4, and, finally, Tomb Raider: Inferno Issues #1 - #4.

The latest (and penultimate) issue of Criminal offers new insight for this series arc, with Brubaker leaving readers with a surprising cliffhanger. While Brubaker is entrenched with all-things noir, this series consistently demonstrates his mastery of comic book storytelling. He has created a fantastically atmospheric issue while diving deep into character explorations, fueled with fantastic anxiety of the consequences of their actions.

In the past, my interaction with comics had been limited.  As a child, I read Casper and Richie Rich for a brief period of time to overcome reading challenges I was experiencing, but, once my reading improved, I was off reading books, and comics became a distant memory rather than an integral part of childhood experience; however, working with comics over the past handful of years, I came to the realization that as a (film) historian, it had become my passion to better understand the intricacies of this visual medium, its history, and its impact on popular culture.  Why?  Because I wanted to engage with sequential art as a more informed and well-read individual.  

The following is an interview with Griffin Cork regarding the upcoming release of the webseries, Abracadavers. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Cork about the inspiration behind the series, the creative process in bringing the story to life with the cast and crew, how viewers can access the show, and more!

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