The best Marvel comics to read if you’re enjoying Marvel’s movies.

It’s becoming harder to find a place to jump in and start reading the comics that inspire Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. A new movie arrives almost every three months.

However, there is one solution:

Listen to comic book experts for their advice on what’s worth reading.

The Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in Brisbane hosted a panel discussion on comics in the real world last Sunday, May 28. The panel is part of the Marvel exhibition in Brisbane. The guests shared their expertise on comics  and the Marvel Universe – in print, and on screen.

The GOMA website summarised the career of each guest:

  • Professor Jason Bainbridge, Head of the School of Communication, University of South Australia
  • Ryan Griffen, Creator of sci-fi television series Cleverman
  • Dr Naja Later, Sessional Lecturer in Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne. And Sessional Academic, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne
  • Dr Paul Mason, Lecturer in Art Direction, Griffith Film School, and comic book illustrator on Kid Phantom (Frew Publications)

I was excited to see Ryan Griffen, the creator behind the new Cleverman series, share his thoughts and expertise. The season one story arc and plot were excellent.

Dr. Paul Mason is the skilled artist behind the new Kid Phantom comic from Frew Publications based in Sydney, Australia. It is always worth listening to Paul’s insights.

And for the first time, I thought it was exciting and interesting to listen to Dr. Naja Later, Prof. Jason Bainbridge, and the panel MC Scott Stephens.

Goma Panel Guests shared which comics are excellent “jumping in” points for new readers. Here’s their recommendations:

Ryan Griffen – Black Panther And The Crew (2017)

Paul Mason – Fantastic Four 1960’s collected editions or omnibuses

Naja Later – Bucky Barnes as Captain America (2004 – 2010)

Jason Bainbridge – The original Secret Wars (1984)

Four excellent recommendations for any Marvel fans who are enjoying the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

You can find more comics content on the Wallflyer and you can follow me, Joe, on twitter @thewallflyer.

Art from Queer Content for the MELT Festival, Brisbane

queercontentcomix: “ Day 2 of watercolour hell: we’re ready for a background. > This baby’s for this year’s MELT Festival, where I’ll be showing some comic work with a whole bunch of people (who haven’t been revealed to me yet) at Powerhouse...

Brisbane celebrates queer culture with the annual MELT Festival, which brings together cabaret, art exhibitions, and comedy. The Brisbane Powerhouse expressed the best summary of the festival core message:

“Brisbane’s LGBTI+ voice is loud and clear, bursting with pride, humour, humanity, and rebellion. The community is bounding towards equality in many vital aspects of life and MELT is a vehicle for these leaps.”
Brisbane Powerhouse

Queer Content is a Brisbane based Zine and blog that collects diverse and powerful content that celebrates the diversity.

They also feature original artwork, created by writer and artist Wolfram-Jaymes VonKeesing. Their entry for Melt festival captures the diversity and punk side of the queer community, alongside the jovial, Australia culture, expressed through the native Lorikeet and Galah birds.

You can find more Queer Content on their tumblr blog page, and Etsy store.

Queer Content is running a crowdfunding campaign for travel to the Festival of the Photocopier in Melbourne, Australia. If you’d like to support an independent artist, their YouCaring page has more information.

The Netherworld Arcade and Bar in Brisbane – Opening Night

A journey to the Netherworld evokes a feeling of transgression, and crossing over into a underworld carnival. A cursory internet search show the concept of a Hellmouth emerged from European myth coming into contact with early Christian faith, and has charged into pop-culture namely through Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but also in the name of a hardcore punk band.

Brisbane’s new arcade bar and diner Netherworld touches just a little on this history, certainly creating a thrilling space with darker artwork, but the new establishment comes from a place of passion and thoughtfulness. A love of gaming, community, and creativity is alive in this space..

There are collections of pinball machines around the wide and welcoming bar entrance. One or two arcade cabinets wait here, but they’re just representatives from a much larger arcade space two rooms away from the bar. Moving past the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cabinet on the edge of the bar space, and into the centre of Netherworld is the Hellmouth diner, from which you can see the electric, stimulant arcade room. If the Hellmouth diner is the heart of Netherworld, the Pinball Bar and Arcade room are the left and right brain. Logic and coordination, creativity and passion run through this place.

I enjoyed being here on the opening night. The heart and thought really shines through. I enjoyed seeing the mural depicting a legion of eldritch creatures that could have walked out of a Lovecraft short story. It’s another key detail, showing the thought that has gone into this space. The bar selection was also excellent, and I ‘m looking forward to trying out the menu when I return.

Tropes and Television at the Brisbane Writers Festival, 2016

Tropes are broad literary motifs and symbols, but they can also refer to ongoing and recognisable cliches and patterns that readers and other audiences can pick up on and,  possibly, glean an idea of where a story is going, or how a character arc might resolve.

Trope patterns might explicitly outline what to expect in a story. A man in a dark coat obscured in shadow means mystery and danger. The colour red invoked passion, particularly when it’s the colour of a long, evening gown. These two examples are the Trenchcoat brigade or Lady in Red respectively.

Some Tropes don’t describe specific character design, but instead build narrative, or form a coherent and believable world. When subverted, the surprise can be enough to make a story or character resonate in pop-culture.

A generation growing up with television programs is one of the reasons why tropes and television are important to look into.

The event coordinators at the Brisbane Writers Festival in 2016 are aware of this significant change in culture as a younger generation comes of age.

On Sunday, September 11 2016, the festival scheduled held a discussion as a part of their program; Everything I Know, I Learned From Television.

Master of Ceremonies Sophie Overett asked the three speakers to name examples of several pop-culture tropes.

Here’s what Alexei Sayle (Actor in Indiana Jones and the last crusade, author of Barcelona Plates), Caroline Kepnes (Author of Hidden Bodies and You), and Mark Fennel (SBS program The Feed, author of Planet According to the Movies) had to say on each point.

Going by numbers, Caroline is one, Mark two, and Alexei number three:

  • Evil is Sexy
    1. Dylan McKay from Beverly Hills: 90210
    2. Heather Locklear’s entire career
    3. Lord Petyr Baelish from A Game of Thrones
  • Forgotten Accent
    1. Ewan McGregor in any film not set in Scotland
    2. Any non-Bostonian attempting a Boston accent
  • The Unwitting Instigator of Doom
    1. Homer Jay Simpson of The Simpsons (The panel agreed unanimously)
  • Shouldn’t We Be In School  Right Now?
    1. The Cast of 7th Heaven
    2. The Cast of Buffy The Vampire Slayer
    3. The Cast of Twilight
  • Hands-Off Parenting
    1. Roseanne from the Sitcom of the same name (another complete agreement across the panel)
  • No Fourth Wall
    1. Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City
    2. The voices and animation of Family Guy
    3. Ferris Bueller from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
    4. Honourable mention – Snowy the Dog from The Adventures of Tin Tin.
  • A Very Special Episode
    1. Episodes of Saved by the Bell.

Have the panel missed any more good examples? Do you agree with the choices? What tropes are in some of these shows? Let me know what you think in the comments.