Comics Disassembled: Ten Things of Note from the Past Week in Comics, Led by a Glorious Kickstarter

It’s the calm before the storm. San Diego Comic Con will be raging, or whatever it will be doing with basically no film and TV presence, by this time next week. Unlike the past few years, it seems as if publishers are keeping their powder dry for next week (or at least Friday morning). So, this week’s a bit quieter, which allows me to focus on the good stuff. Let’s get to it!

1. ShortBox, One Last Time?

If Devi Putri Megwati’s Out of Style proves to be ShortBox’s final publication (I thought I had seen it was the ultimate one, but it’s possible it may be more penultimate than I realize), then it finds the publisher going out in style. This book looks great. Out of Style isn’t a pure comic, it’s an art book, one that features 40 pages of comics plus 100 pages of illustration, 140 of which look incredible. I mean, you know I was sold when I saw a basketball on the cover, but the art itself is the draw, as Megwati seems like an unbelievable talent with an eye for observation and a gift of making worlds feel lived in.

Out of Style is being Kickstarted, and per its page, it “follows 3 young Muslim women: Mila, Yul, and Hana, giving us glimpses into their lives as they go to school, work, spend time with family and friends, shop, and more.” The art throughout the Kickstarter looks lovely as all get out, with a real personal, friendly feel to the whole thing that just makes me want to get this book and fall into the scenes it depicts. I will be backing it, but for some reason every time I try it thinks I’m in France and will not let me go through the process of doing so. It will happen, though, and you should check it out too.

Whether this is ShortBox’s final release or just one of them, let me just continue my eternal praise of ShortBox as a publisher and a force for good in comics. Out of Style is part of a larger collection of amazing comic works, and if you’ve never taken the chance to dig into what ShortBox has to offer (my favorite is I See a Knight, but it’s very difficult to go wrong with anything, and I’m happy to expand on my recommendations if you’re looking for some), I highly recommend doing so.

2. DC Universe Infinite, Embracing Manga

If I had to pick one of the Big Two as being adaptable to the current environment in comics, it’s no contest: DC, all day, everyday. This week brought even more proof of that. The publisher is rolling out its upcoming manga stories featuring its characters – as developed in conjunction with manga house Kodansha – on its all-you-can-eat comics app DC Universe Infinite well before they hit in print on September 5, with the first chapters arriving already.

“But wait? How can I read manga in their reader that’s only left to right?” Well, I and they have good news for you: they did a new update that now allows you to read right to left. So now, you can read these three new manga series – Joker: One Operation Joker, Superman vs. Meshi, and Batman: Justice Buster, each of which are more manga-like in tone rather than DC-like in tone – in the way they’re meant to be enjoyed. That’s smart! Why wouldn’t they do that?! It’s just the right thing to do, making their comics easier to read and their app more versatile. That’s how these app updates are supposed to be, which comic fans may not be aware of based on how Comixology has handled things. So, good job by you, DC. I like it. Way to make new material and new updates to make your services more appealing to a new generation of readers. That’s how to do it.

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