Posts by Tiina Johns

  • In the Blog


    May 11th, 2009     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    I love Science. Well, I love the sort of pop culturey science that can be understood by someone who’s last experience in a laboratory was grade ten biology. Lately I’ve been obsessively listening to every episode of Radio Lab, a science-oriented, This American Life-esque podcast that covers a topics like sleep, zoos, pop music and deception. Lucky for me, there are also a bunch of great science comics. A writer named Jim Ottaviani has created a really cool … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Out of Birch Control

    May 5th, 2009     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    An old lady with an invisible house. A crust punk who discovers a water nymph. A traveling musician who has to build a magical artifact before he can marry a woman he’s never met. These brilliantly strange and beautiful stories all appear in the new issue of Laura Kenins’s immensely engaging Birch Control #2. Whether Kenins’s comics are based on a Finnish epic, or they involve teenagers walking around, being snotty, Ghost World-style, they all feel … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Free Comic Book Day! May 2nd! Hooray!

    April 28th, 2009     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    It’s here! The best holiday of the spring! Easter? Nah! Passover? Fuggedaboudit! It’s Free Comic Book Day! Okay, maybe it’s not an official holiday, but it should be! Every year, on the first Saturday in May, retailers around the world give away free comic books. Free Comic Book Day is a great way for new readers to gingerly step into the world of comics, or for comic fans to try something new, with no pressure. In Halifax, it’s … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Cooked to Perfection

    April 20th, 2009     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    When I opened the new issue of DMZ this week, I was floored by the amazing art by fill-in creator, Nikki Cook. DMZ is a series set in the near future where a brutal civil war is being waged in the United States. The comic is a critical and complex read, made irresistible by great characters. This issue focuses on Zee, a radical-medic, who is committed and unflappable in an absolutely chaotic environment. Cook does an amazing … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Growing Pains

    April 13th, 2009     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    The Color of Earth is the first in a trilogy of manhwa (Korean comics), by renowned creator, Kim Dong Hwa. The books are well known in Korea, but just being released in North America. It’s a coming of age story that follows Ehwa, a cool little girl who lives with her mom in quiet, pastoral Korea. We watch Ewha from the ages of 5 to 15, as she matures physically and emotionally. She develops crushes on … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    (Some) Comic Shops Are For Everybody

    April 5th, 2009     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    Hooray, I’m finally home after a long tour! One of my favourite things about traveling to lots of different cities is checking out their comic shops, and getting a brief glimpse into another comics community. As a comic shop employee, seeing the way other shops do it makes me think about what separates welcoming, lady-friendly shops from the creepy, alienating ones. In my experience, it’s mostly the staff. A diverse crew of friendly-as-heck and knowledgeable-but-not-pretentious folks … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Good-bye, Comic Foundry! Sniff! Sniff!

    February 24th, 2009     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    Like most Shamelesss readers, I get really excited about a quality magazine. I have been devouring every issue of the stellar comics culture magazine, Comic Foundry. My heart broke when I saw that newest issue is the second-to-last issue. Comic Foundry is all about balance–it does a great job of covering indie comics, mainstream stuff and web comics. A diverse range of creators are featured, from Marvel and DC heavy hitters, to hot new indie … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Rock and Roll Manga

    February 17th, 2009     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    The cover of Inio Asano’s new manga, Solanin, caught my eye–this band-aid faced, toque wearing, worried looking girl. What’s her deal? Solanin follows Meiko, a young Tokyo woman who feels like she might not be making the most of her life. Meiko takes a look at her savings account and realises she can survive for a few months without an income. She quits her boring office job without any real plans, just the excitement of … READ MORE

  • In the Blog


    February 10th, 2009     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    Canadian illustrator and comic artist J. Bone does so much adorable, amazing stuff. I love him. Here are some reasons why. J. Bone drew this picture for Wonder Woman Day. It’s been the desktop on my computer for a month. How can I grumble about all the work I have to do when I’m looking at that? J. Bone has a blog entirely devoted to showcasing his drawings hot dudes. Superhero-y dudes, caveman dudes, sporty dudes or … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Big Ol’ Slice of Octopus Pie

    February 2nd, 2009     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    I’ve been reading an inordinate amount of web comics lately. Probably because I’m broke and it’s too cold to go to the library, but I need new comics in the way that ladies on TV need chocolate and shoes. Web comics are great because you can say you’re “working” when you’re really just catching up on Cat and Girl. These cartoonists work tirelessly (or probably often, tiredly) to put their stuff online for free. So read … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Takes Two to Make it Outta Sight

    January 25th, 2009     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    One of the things I love about comics is that they encourage collaborative creativity. While some comics are created by one lonely soul, many are the result of what those in the industry call a “creative team.” Doesn’t that sound like a fun team to be on? Most mainstream comics have a writer and an artist (as well as an inker, a colourer, and a letterer). I think it’s really cool to see how two … READ MORE

  • In the Blog


    January 20th, 2009     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    The internet is a-buzzing with the news that Stan Lee is developing a new TV show about a gay superhero. Stan “the man” Lee is, of course, the godfather of Marvel comics and co-creator of basically every Marvel character you know, including Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and Daredevil. The Telegraph reported last week that Stan Lee was “to create world’s first gay superhero.” Um, no. Not even close. There are tons of gay superheros, and have … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    The Weird and Wonderful Templar, Arizona

    January 13th, 2009     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    I recently discovered Templar, Arizona through the Comics Worth Reading blog. Their must-read Stupid Publisher Tricks feature inspired me to set aside all my DC and Marvel books for a while, and check out some more web comics. The world of web comics can be a very diverse place, since anyone can publish their comic online. That is, anyone with lots of time, energy, talent, dedication and the right tools… Templar, Arizona is a web comic created … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Kazu Kibuishi’s Daisy Kutter

    January 5th, 2009     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    Do you think about alternate universes a lot? Yeah, me too. I especially love post-apocalyptic sci-fi Western worlds. I like space and robots, and I also like cowboys and livin’ off the land. Put them together and you’ve got a perfect world. So I was delighted to read Kazu Kibuishi’s, Daisy Kutter: The Last Train, a Young Adult graphic novel about a tough as heck cowboy lady in the robot-filled old West. Daisy has retired from a … READ MORE

  • In the Blog


    December 30th, 2008     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    Okay, I’m not saying I support hierarchies, or that all art needs to be graded and ranked, but I LOVE top ten lists. So here’s my totally biased and completely personal list of the best comics of 2008. Omega the Unknown The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For Runaways: Dead End Kids Janes in Love The War At Ellsmere RASL Skim All Star Superman Swallow Me Whole Emiko Superstar Details after the jump. Omega the Unknown Jonathan Lethem and Farel Dalrymple Surreal, strange and beautiful, Dalrymple and Lethem’s series … READ MORE

  • In the Blog


    December 21st, 2008     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    For a gal with all the powers of Superman, Supergirl has had a pretty rough go of it. In the sixties Superman sent her to live in a crappy orphanage and only got her out when he needed a pawn in some plan (usually to make Lois jealous). Her origin story is confusing: She’s Superman’s cousin? She was sent to earth to kill him? She was built by Lex Luthor? In the past few … READ MORE

  • In the Blog


    December 16th, 2008     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    It’s cold as heck out, and the dreaded holiday season is here, so I’ve been dealing with it by curling up with some old favourites. I just reread Demo, a collection of twelve monthly comics written by Brian Wood and drawn by Becky Cloonan. It’s an awesome collection of angsty teenage stories, with Buffy or X-men-style metaphors where fantastic elements represent intense emotion. Brian Wood is generally loved by the ladies for his focus on female … READ MORE

  • In the Blog


    December 8th, 2008     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    Rutu Modan is a magnificent Isreali graphic novelist whose book, Exit Wounds, was one of my favourites last year. Modan’s new book, Jamilti, is a collection of her older short stories, published by Drawn and Quarterly. Jamilti has a gothic feel, with Alice Munro-style haunting and grotesque stories about human relationships. Modan’s comics remind me of folk tales, or urban legends–stories that you’d read in a tabloid, or would be told to you by a co-worker … READ MORE

  • In the Blog


    December 4th, 2008     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    Hey Shameless folks! I’m back from tour with my band, and bringing you lots more female-focused comic-y goodness. Faith Erin Hicks, the Halifax-based graphic novelist who made Zombies Calling, has a new book out this week. The War At Ellsmere is the story of a brainy girl, Jun, who ends up at a prestigious private school on scholarship. She is immediately singled out by the snottiest girls in school, and what ensues is the kind of … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Cheap Comics!

    August 5th, 2008     by Tiina Johns     Comments

    I’m headed off on tour with my band for a couple of months, so this column will go on hiatus for a wee bit. But I’ll be back in the late fall with more comics! In the meantime, I wanted to mention some options for how to get your hands on comics. There are tonnes of amazing comics out there, but buying them new can be really expensive. Here are some more affordable options. Comic Shops Your local … READ MORE

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