Black Future Month ’10: Brandon Thomas

February 25th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury came courtesy of Brandon Thomas and Lee Ferguson. It blew me away when it first came out. It, along with Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman, and Afua Richardson’s Genius, took a simple but clever story and turned it on its ear. I loved it, I was ready and raring for more, and bam, its publisher went through a reorganization period and publication halted.

It’s a while later now and we’ve got more Miranda Mercury on the horizon. I wanted to catch up with Brandon as part of Black Future Month because this guy deserves the attention. Miranda Mercury has a great blend of action and character, and “Not Dead Yet” is sure to be a treat.

All images here feature words by Brandon Thomas, pictures by Lee Ferguson, and are from the first few pages of The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury #295. Look for the new joint later this year in the form of three over-sized issues and, fingers crossed, more later. Check out Brandon’s website, his blog (which is the home of his long-running Ambidextrous column), and follow him on Twitter as @mirandamercury. For some fun, check the script to #297 and look at some of his notes on other books.

Buy Miranda Mercury: Not Dead Yet when it comes out.
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I Got My Uzi Back Linkblogging

December 1st, 2009 Posted by david brothers

-I liked this post by Euge of War Rocket Ajax. It’s not about comics- instead it’s about the Clipse and their place in rap culture. Preorder Til The Casket Drops here, ten bones. It leaked this weekend, it’s dope, get on that.

-I talk about The ‘Nam Volume 1 TPB and a little bit about war comics history over at Comics Alliance.

-Tom Spurgeon wrote a holiday gift guide. Everyone else should just go ahead and bow down, this is extra thorough.

-Matt Thorn discusses manga translation and man, I pretty much agree with him. I’ve had my issues with overly faithful translations, and he does a pretty good job of explaining why. I think approaching a translation project as simply transplanting the language word for word is a huge mistake. There’s something exoticizing about that, too, which makes me a little uncomfortable.

This shirt is dope.

-Nina Stone’s Virgin Read is no more!

Look at all these Marvel characters Kurt Busiek co-created!

-Brandon Thomas wraps his New X-Men retrospective.

-Timothy Callahan is basically correct in his look back at Dark Knight Strikes Again.

-Jog talks about manga and Manga. Good thing to wake up to.

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They Got More Rights Than Miranda

November 9th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Brandon Thomas, creator of Miranda Mercury, has jumped from Newsarama and launched a new blog to hold his thoughts and long-running Ambidextrous column. Ambi 316 went live this morning, and it’s a clearing of the deck/status report for Miranda. Definitely worth reading.

I wrote a review of the first issue for another site back when it first came out, but it’s apparently been lost to the wilds of site redesigns and Google page ranks. Lucky for you, I’ve reproduced it below. Go show Brandon some love, pick up his comic when it comes out again, and let’s get this book turned from a Thing into an Avalanche. It’s a little bit Kirby, a little bit Star Wars, a little bit Indiana Jones, and a lot of day-glo adventure comics. It’s fun in a way that doesn’t need modifiers.

You can see a preview of #295 here, and the sadly unreleased #296 here. Remember that the front cover is the first page of the comic.

(I love the idea of the radial pulse cannon.)

The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury

mirandamerc_295cover_thumbLet me list three of my top five favorite creators: Frank Miller, Jim Lee, and Brian Azzarello. All three of them dropped books this past week, and yet my book of the week was produced by Brandon Thomas and Lee Ferguson?

Let me introduce you to The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury #295. No, you didn’t miss 294 issues of a comic somehow- Miranda Mercury‘s conceit is that there is a storied past behind the title character and that this is just the latest of her adventures. Miranda is a hero in the Doc Savage, Tom Strong, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers mold. She’s out to have a good time, see the sights, and maybe even learn a little bit while she’s out and about.

The book first caught my eye because it stars a black female. If you’ve been reading 4l!, you know that I feel pretty strongly about the lack of positive black females in comics. Lee Ferguson’s art delivered up a black girl who is both cool and attractive without being sexed up. Thomas’s script brought it all home when it put Miranda’s quick wit and stubborn will on display.

Basically, this comic is great. The cover page ties into the story in a big way (here’s a hint: it’s the first page of the story), the art is insanely attractive, and the story is a great one. Despite being dropped in mid-scene, it’s very easy to follow. You have the villain, the heroine, the sidekick, the hook, and the twist. The villain is a short fellow with an anger problem. The heroine is a skilled fighter in that Indiana Jones kind of way. The sidekick is a supersmart kid with a penchant for possibly being too smart for his own good. The hook is a magical cube that lets you have one wish once you solve its puzzle. The twist? The twist is something I won’t ruin, but which casts the series in a new light.

This isn’t Brandon Thomas’s first comic. He wrote an issue of Robin a few months back, just pre-Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul, that was the best single issue that book had seen in probably eight years. It was just a quick done-in-one about Robin, and ended on a few pages that really nailed the Batman/Robin dynamic for me.

Thomas displayed a deft grasp of the characters and dialogue in that book, and it’s carried over to Miranda Mercury. You get a feeling of real history between all the characters, but not the kind of history that feels manufactured. There’s none of the “Like that time on Alphozon-VII, where you narrowly escaped my clutches!”-style awful exposition. Just quick lines that hint at a shared past and allow your imagination to fill in the blanks.

The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury #295 is, as far as I’m concerned, an incredible success. The characters and art are equally vibrant, the story has a great twist at the end without being an annoying cliffhanger, and I’m genuinely interested in where the story is going to go. Miranda Mercury is an A+ right off the starting block.

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Being Broke Is Something I Can’t Afford To Be

May 15th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

FCAD Cv1DC’s The Source blog put up a preview of the new Joe Casey/Chriscross joint, Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance.

Written by Joe Casey
Art by ChrisCross
Cover by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau
Japan’s Super Young Team wants nothing more than to be seen as heroes in the eyes of their adoring public. Unfortunately, their adventures during FINAL CRISIS have gone unnoticed, and they’ve been reduced to performing at public appearances and on various TV shows literally dancing for their livelihood. But the appearance of a new American teammate and a deadly threat complicates the motives of the team as they try and find what truly makes somebody not just a hero, but a sensational hero. Discover the path to greatness in this exciting 6-issue miniseries!

Even better, Brandon Thomas interviewed Joe Casey about the book and his other work. Casey is off Youngblood, so I’m off that book, too. Plus, he says something I agree with 100% on Obama comics:

JC: No way. That move is so played out. Let the guy be the President now, for chrissakes. I think he’s all through being a cheap marketing ploy, a shortcut to making a quick blast of cash in the Direct Market, don’t you?

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