Five Reasons to Join a Comic Book Club

Whether you’re new to reading comics, have been at it for decades, or fall somewhere in the middle like I do, a comic book club is a pretty cool thing to be part of. I’m fortunate to have an awesome local comic/record store that hosts a few different monthly comic book clubs. Even though I’ve only been to two meetings, but I’m completely hooked. We’re currently arranging new meeting space, so it’s been a while between gatherings and I miss it already. Here are a few reasons why you might like a comic book club, too:

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The Witch is a Crap Pile of Missed Opportunities

The Witch could’ve been an awesome movie, in so many ways. What could’ve been a great social commentary, a smart feminist piece, a chilling psychological thriller or hell, even just a really good horror movie is, instead, pretty, atmospheric garbage. I saw it last week, and I’m still annoyed about it. And I’m not saying the movie will make you sick, but I woke up the next day feeling like stepped-in poo and was couchbound for days. Make of that what you will.

Spoilers ahead.

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Lying Cat: More Than Just a One-Trick Kitty

Having just read Saga #34, which came out last week and still did not give me Lying Cat, I’m left to hope Brian K. Vaughn has her in one of the next two issues. A whole arc and hiatus without Lying Cat is too much suffering! Too much! To try to cope with my withdrawals, I’m going to give you some reasons why she’s incredible.

It’s more or less a fact that anyone who’s read Vaughn & Fiona Staples’ Saga loves Lying Cat. For the unindoctrinated, Lying Cat is a massive hairless cat who can tell whether someone is, well, lying. When someone is, she immediately announces that fact with the one word she says – you guessed it – “lying.” While she could easily be a one-note character or a slightly more cuddly Hodor, Vaughn and Staples ensure that she is not.

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Review: The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore

I acquired my love of Wonder Woman as an ’80s kid, through reruns of the TV series with Lynda Carter. She was a badass, she was pretty AND she didn’t wear pink. Of course I loved her, and had the lunchbox & pajamas to prove it. Despite that, I never really read the comics too much. I’ve read a few here and there, but as of yet, haven’t gone through any significant number or a writer’s full run. This is a thing I finally want to rectify, I think, partly sparked by reading this book and perhaps as a natural development in my full-blown comic nerdery. Anyway, I got a copy of The Secret History Of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore for Christmas and finally read it. It is a thoroughly fascinating read.

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Book Review: All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

What happens when two middle school friends bond and break up over being bullied, grow up, grow apart, reconnect and also have to stop the end of the world? A lot, as you might expect. All the Birds in the Sky is written by Charlie Jane Anders, who is the editor-in-chief for io9.com and an award-winning short fiction writer. Her ability to write fully-developed, likeable, flawed characters is at its best as we follow Patricia, a witch, and Laurence, a tech genius, from childhood to adulthood. We’re with them as they face normal human issues like challenging parents, horrid bullies, and assorted social situations, while also dealing with their own unusual abilities. Even background characters have enough personality that you find yourself getting attached. It’s never good to get attached in a book about the apocalypse, by the way.

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Storytelling, truth and fictions in Fun Home

Nearly 10 years after it was published and now that it’s a Tony-winning musical (!) I finally read Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home. (Hey, we all have gaps, right?) It definitely lives up to all the hype. The story of Bechdel and her father, mostly, it begins with her childhood in rural Pennsylvania, where she, her mother, and her brothers lived with a man obsessed with restoring their huge Victorian home, tending its gardens and generally maintaining and aesthetically pleasing appearance of a perfect home and family. He was also a part-time funeral director at his family’s funeral home, giving the Bechdel children and up-close and unflinching view of death. Really, up-close and unflinching is a pretty good descriptor for the book itself, the non-linear structure bringing the reader back to certain moments to re-examine them with new information or from an enlightened viewpoint. To say the book is peppered with literary references would be an understatement. Reading, bookishness and finding one’s own story are extremely important pieces of the narrative, every step of the way. It’s as much a love letter to reading as it is an autopsy of a father-daughter relationship.

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