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Entertainment Weekly and ‘The Best Comics of 2017’

Excerpt of Adam White artwork.
By José Cano (2015). © Paul Hair.
Entertainment Weekly published its list of “best comics” for 2017 on Dec. 14. And while I haven’t yet produced any comic book work, it’s worthwhile to look at the list just to note how much difference there is between established pop culture and what I’m creating.

EW picked 12 different comic books for its list of, “The best comics of 2017.” Two of them in particular caught my attention. First, the book it selected for “Best Political Commentary” was, Shaolin Cowboy: Who’ll Stop the Reign? After mentioning that, “Donald Trump’s ascent to the presidency provoked a lot of pop culture reactions this year,” EW summarizes the story.

As the unnamed monk protagonist continues his journey across America, he now runs into the symbols of a broken culture: People in immiserating poverty, given over to crime and openly walking around with swastika tattoos. Trump references litter the background of the comic, and even though the real villain is a talking mind-controlling crab, the parallel with another leader feeding off his followers’ desperation is readily apparent.

The “Superhero of the Year” (America Chavez) selection also caught my attention, with EW gushing over why it likes her.

In a year that featured a Nazi Captain America in comic book pages, real life Nazis walking the street, and overt bigotry in many areas of the country, America Chavez, a.k.a. Miss America, has been the inspiring symbol we’ve needed. In her first and immensely fun and colorful solo series — written by Gabby Rivera, with art from Joe Quinones — this queer, Latina superhero is a powerful role model for both men and women of color.

These two selections are wonderful because they are a great way to juxtapose my own fiction, which is exactly the opposite of them.

If you aren’t yet familiar with my work, now is as good as time as any to start reading it. I definitely want you to purchase my books, including the brand new Appalling Stories: 13 Tales of Social Injustice (paperback version coming soon), but you can also read full stories here on Liberate Liberty—for free.

Regardless of which stories you choose to read, you’ll find tales unlike anything you’ll find anywhere else. They are particularly different than the tales Entertainment Weekly selected as, “The best comics of 2017.”