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Various Anthologies – Broad Appeal


Broad Appeal

In case you missed the pun, this is a collection of work from mostly female cartoonists and, like most anthologies, has good things and bad things. It’s a great concept though, as it has bios for everybody in here along with links to their sites and even interviews with a few people. At least two of them work for Marvel in some capacity, but who am I to judge? Granted, a few of the stories are more than a bit cute (as admitted by the creators, so it’s not like I’m being sexist or anything), but the strength of this collection is the sheer variety of stuff involved. You have a nine year old girl reading and dealing with a comic about the atomic bomb in Japan on one page and a mostly wordless story about lazy cats working in a glue factory on the next. All kinds of great female cartoonists in here too. Check out the website if you don’t believe me. $9.95 is pretty cheap for something this packed too, so check into it, see what you think.  Contributors: Sara Varon, Becky Cloonan, Raina Telgemeier, Ariel Bordeaux, Ellen Forney, Diana Sprinkle, Miss Lasko-Gross, Missy Kulik, Jen Benka, Kris Dresen, Hellen Jo, Kristen Petersen, Jen Sorenson, Michele Roman, Abby Denson, Jenny Gonzalez, Rachel Hartman, Mary Minch, Megan Kelso, Doreen A. Mulryan, Lark Pien, Sarah Anderson Lock, Elena Steier, Jennifer Moore, Lela Lee, Vanessa Satone, Shaenon K. Garrity, Catherine Tutrone, Ellen Lindner, Elayne Riggs, Robin Riggs, Janet Hetherington, Donna Barr.

Denson, Abby – The Doctor of Dolltopia



The Doctor of Dolltopia

In case you can’t make out the fine print on the cover, this is the second book of the Dolltopia story (out of a projected four), so three cheers for her for getting back to this.  She’s been a little busy with the Tough Love graphic novel and, judging from the impressive list of people praising it, it’s probably worth seeking out.  Still, how about this issue?  This time around we get to learn the story of Scotty (the boyfriend of Kitty from last issue) and how Kitty’s departure has led him to question his existence.  His new girlfriend is a dolt and he eventually finds his way to the outside world… and he’s sadly not prepared for it.  Meanwhile, the lone rescued doll from the last issue adjusts to her new home, the leader of the raid comes to terms with being a failure (as, in her mind, only rescuing one doll was unacceptable) and we get a clearer picture of the doll society as a whole.  There’s also an excellent cliffhanger at the end, as it looks like Dolltopia might be found out by regular people.  Um, spoiler alert.  Hey, it’s a cliffhanger, who knows where it really goes from here?  I love this kind of stuff, where the creator makes their own complete world, and Abby is doing an excellent job with the concept.  Here’s hoping she manages to make a complete story out of this, as it has all the makings for a great graphic novel.  $2


Denson, Abby – Dolltopia



Who out there ever wanted to throw off the shackles of oppression that were holding your dolls down? You know, back when you were kids and they were all so set in their roles, whatever they were? This is all about a couple of dolls (Kitty Ballerina and G.I. Joe) who are sick of their roles, so Kitty decides to leave her assigned husband and Joe wants to throw off his crappy clothes and get a kilt. Joe knows about a place for runaway dolls called Dolltopia, and they run off to check out this strange new world. There they find a world of new possibilities, as well as a doctor who does work on articulating elbows and facial expressions (although, and I’m probably a horrible person for even thinking this, no mention of new genitalia). Kitty and Joe eventually decide that they want to conduct a raid on the doll factory in the hopes of setting more dolls free before they’re forced into conformity, and any more information is going to ruin the whole book. Obviously things are happening here on many levels, as this is also an indictment of the blind conformity of so many people in the world, but it also works just as a straight up adventure stories with a couple of dolls. The artwork is suitably weird and creepy for the subject matter, and it’s an all around good time for anybody who’s ever had these sorts of thoughts about the rigid “lives” that these dolls were supposed to live. $2