A Chat With: Brenna Thumler

 Hey gang!

   With August right around the corner, so are some brand new comic concepts that I've never seen before but am dying to read. In my August Previews video one comic mentioned is Sheets, a graphic novel written and illustrated by Brenna Thumler and published by Lion Forge, I scored an interview and I can't wait for you guys to meet her. 

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NAL: Tell us a little about yourself.

BT: I received my degree in illustration, but not once during college did I think I’d work on graphic novels. In fact, I actively avoided them, assuming I wouldn’t be happy with or suitable for that type of work. But sometimes fate knows you better than you know yourself, and won’t take “no” for an answer. When I began illustrating my first - an adaptation of Anne of Green Gables - it was like finding true love, a dream home, and the secret recipe for that restaurant sauce no one can replicate. Storytelling has always played a significant role in my life and my art, so clearly I was stubborn and blind. Now I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.

NAL: Walk us through your typical day.

 BT: When I’m in the middle of a graphic novel, my day starts the same as any other: with coffee, breakfast, and Sudoku puzzles. Then I dive into my work, which might mean writing, storyboarding, drawing, or coloring, depending on where I am in the process. And here I stay, hunched over my desk, with Spotify or my umpteenth run of The Office playing in the background, until I decide I should probably sleep. I do take breaks to cook meals, attend nightly Zumba classes, and play music, which are my three favorite ways to unwind! I love my job, but it’s demanding. Being an artist means being an artist at all times. It’s a powerful thing, though, to be willing to make whatever sacrifices necessary and be so indescribably passionate about something so intimidating and challenging.

NAL: Who are some of your favorite writers or artists?

 BT: Where do I begin!? Some of my favorite writers are Jodi Picoult, John Green, Daniel Handler, and Emma Donoghue. As for artists and creators, this is even harder to narrow down. I’ll say Jillian Tamaki, Vera Brosgol, Jon Juarez, Quentin Blake, and Michael Byers, but stress that there are about fifty other favorites.

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NAL: What was your favorite thing about Sheets?

 BT: My favorite part of working on Sheets was the freedom to create a world that was entirely my own, with characters that I have become so personally attached to. (They’re my friends!) I put a lot of myself into the book, but discovered, even more, growing as both a person and artist. When I complete a graphic novel project, I am shocked by how much I’ve learned and how much my skills have improved. I love knowing that there’s no end to the creative process; there’s always another level for you to strive to work towards.

NAL: What would you consider your most favorite project?

BT: Sheets has been the most incredible project I’ve ever worked on. Because it is my first original graphic novel, it will always hold a special significance. It was a great challenge that transformed both my abilities and my perspective, and I have never felt such a strong sense of purpose. Plus, it has ghosts.

NAL: If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be and why?

BT: I would love to do a graphic novel with Lemony Snicket, whether it be an adaptation of his Series of Unfortunate Events, or a new work. To illustrate his dark sense of humor and quirky scenarios would be a thrilling experience. And a visual adaptation of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny’s story would involve one bizarre, action-packed adventure after another, each in a unique and dynamic setting. Also, if the Duffer Brothers ever want a graphic novel version of Stranger Things, I’m so on board.

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NAL: If you could live in any fandom world where would you choose and why?

 BT: Is Hogwarts too obvious? My other choices would be Wes Anderson films, because my surroundings would always be color-coordinated and symmetrical, or Stars Hollow, because the worst thing that would ever happen would be Taylor Doose installing a traffic light.

NAL: Do you have any tattoos?

BT: I don’t, but admittedly, the thought of a small ghost tattoo has crossed my mind ever since I started Sheets.

NAL: Any advice for aspiring artists?

 BT: Make connections and don’t stop drawing. It’s easy to get stuck in your own little art corner, but meeting others in the industry is critical. If an opportunity to network presents itself, jump on it! And if you assume you’ve reached your maximum artistic potential, don’t. I just finished my second book and I still don’t believe my art is good enough, yet. Keep drawing every day, because there is always room to get better, and share these drawings with the world.

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I'm so excited to read Sheets! Make sure to visit Brenna on all her social media.

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August Comics I’m looking forward too!

 Hey Gang!

  Don’t drag me, I know that there have already been two weeks of comics released. I started a new job and time has just really gotten away from me. Here are some of the comics I’m looking forward too in the month of August.

- Crowded: Image Comics: W:Sebella A:Stein 8/15: In the time of crowdsourcing for something people really want. Now there’s an app to crowdfund for an assassin. In true millennial fashion, you have an app to counteract that and hire your very own bodyguard. Now our main character is being hunted down, and they have 30 days to figure out who wants to kill them before time and their lives are up. I’m really looking forward to this one.

- Leviathan: Image Comics W:Layman A: Pitarra 8/1: It seems like the month of fantasy! The main characters having a party, runs out of ice, comes back and is met with a ginormous smiling Dragon. His friends decided to pull out some magic tarot cards, and now there are demons and such running amok. Sounds like a fun time to me. 

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- Modern Fantasy: Dark Horse Comics W: Roberts A:Gudsnuk 8/29: In this series, you follow two girls who are trying to keep their crappy office jobs afloat and complete magical side quests. They battle dragons, collect gold and generally save the world, while trying to figure out how they’re going to pay their student loans. I wonder how many pieces of gold you’d need to pay off a student loan...

- Sheets: Lion Forge A + W: Thummler 8/15: I’m pretty excited to read this graphic novel. There’s a washing machine, and a ghost, and the fall, and I’m just so ready for an adorable ghost story. Even better, on the day this comes out, Nerdette At Large has an interview with Brenna Thrummler! I can’t wait to introduce you to her gang, She’s amazing and I know her story will be great! 

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What are you interested in reading this month? Let’s talk about it on Twitter!

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Comics #36: 10 Superpowers that terrify me.

Hey Gang!

  I was actually inspired while watching Ant-Man and the Wasp, to create this post. Everyone talks about super powers that they would like to have, but no one talks about powers that may scare them, or be terrifiying to actually possess. Well here I am to fill in this gap. I’m going to list 10 different powers, why they scare me and what character they belong too, just because I’m a thorough nerd. 

- Rogue (X-Men) Power Siphoning: She is unable to touch with skin to skin contact. If she touches another mutant she gains their powers, if she touches a human, she drains their life. If she accidentally brushes up against someone she could steal years off of their life. That’s absolutely terrifying to me. She wears long sleeve and gloves, but there is always that nagging concern. Also to never be able to have skin to skin contact with someone I cared for, would be really weird to me, and I would find it difficult to do. 

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- Ghost (Ant-Man) atomic level shifting: Due to an accident when she was younger, She is unable to keep a corporal form. Which means that occasionally she moves through things, like floors, walls or even people. What if she moved through someone and then became corporal? She’d be severing that person's atoms, that isn’t something they would survive. What if she herself got stuck in a floor or wall or something? On top of which, it seems like shifting is physically painful for her, so she’s in pain every day of her life. That’s not worth the price, no matter what the power is. 

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- Cyclops (X-Men) Gamma Eye Beams: Scott has to wear glasses that block his ability so he can open his eyes and go on with his life. If he’s isn’t wearing his glasses, or his eye beam adapter, he is unable to even open his eyes! I’m way too clumsy for that, I knock things off all the time, that could destroy a person, or half of a building if I’m clumsy enough, I just know I am way too clumsy to have that kind of responsibility. To know that if I let my guard down just once, something, or someone I love could be destroyed, that’s too much to bear. 

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- Dr. Fate (Justice League) Helmet of Fate:  Albeit, I don’t know much about his powers, but in the episode "Denial"  from Young Justice, Wally has all the knowledge and magic and power he could ever need, but once he put on the helmet and gained it he lost the thing most important, control. He was no longer in control of himself, his movements, even his mind. 

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- Mr. Freeze (Batman) Ice powers: Driven to thieving diamonds in order to finance his research to cure his wife, he has a run in with Batman, which results in him gaining his ice powers. He can manipulate and shoot ice through his machinery, but he can’t be outside of his suits, or he dies. He can only exist and function in below 0 degree weather. I for one HATE cold weather, so I would hate this power and the downsides that it represented. 

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- Olivia (Peculiar Children) Manipulate air:  Due to the changes in the film from the novel, the person I’m talking about you may no better as Emma. Her body is light as air, and to keep her from floating away completely, she wears these huge claudhoppers that are made out of metal. She can manipulate air, which is a pretty cool skill if you think about it. She could create bubble of air and breathe underwater, or she could capture someone and put them in a bubble. However, this would be terrifying for me at least, because my shoes are always untied, I would literally float until I reached space, and lets not even think about what would happen to my body once I was up there. 

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- Toad (Xmen) Actually resembles a toad: As unfair as it was, I always felt like the mutants were split into two. The X-men and the Morlocks, Morlocks being any mutant who didn’t or couldn’t keep a human form. The unpretty mutants. Toad, who literally has a toads tongue, his leaping ability and the craving for flies. I guess it isn’t too terrifying, but I would feel some type of way to just wake up and suddenly have a long green tongue and other frog like attributes. 

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- Clayface (Batman) Can morph to resemble someone else: Although being able to resemble someone else would be pretty cool, Mystique has always been one of my favorite mutants, but she has the ability to turn back into herself. Clay face can’t turn back into himself. He just becomes a blob. To always be able to be someone else, and do whatever, would be cool, but to never be your real self, or to see yourself again, that would cause some serious identity issues, that I definitely don’t have the money to fix. 

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What are some powers that scare you? Let’s talk about it on Twitter

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Comics #35: Justice League Dark #1

I've been a fan of DC comics for pretty much all of my life. Zatanna has always been one of my favorites, but it's difficult to find her in media. She always pops up just enough to make you fall in love with her, and then she goes away until you get the opportunity to see her again. DC's Sorceress Supreme, is a magic trick in and of herself, just enough to draw you in, entertain you, and then leaves you wondering how in the world she did it.

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Justice League Dark is one of the few series you will always be able to find Zatanna in. I attempt to read it every time it comes back to DC's timeline. This is the best first issue of Justice League I have ever read. It's dark, Convincing and leaves nothing to the imagination.

Magic is dying, and a war is brewing, and everyone who has ever been able to conduct a magical spell in the DC universe is trying desperately to find out what side they belong to, and what side will survive. This rendition of JLD includes Wonder Woman, Zatanna, Detective Chimp, Man-Bat and Swamp Thing. Wonder Woman is trying her best to recruit magic users to join her league, and fight the other kind in the light when for so long, magic has always just been a shining beacon in the dark.

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The art is dark and brooding, yet wonderfully vibrant and full of magic. The lines aren't as clean as I like them, but the art overall does a good job of showing you just what is happening and helps to bring the story to a crescendo.

The writing is good and thorough. I was left with no questions in this issue other than exactly who are the other kind and what do they want with magic? I love Detective Chimps dripping sarcasm, and can't wait to learn more about him.

I give this issue 8.5 out of 10 stars.

Written by: James T. Tynion IV | Art By: Raul Fernandez and Alvaro Martinez | 7/25 | DC

What did you think? Let's talk about it on Twitter!

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Comics #34: Nancy Drew #1 Spoiler Free

 Hey Gang!

  I talk about Nancy Drew all the time, as one of my favorite fictional detectives I am always on the lookout for new material. I've currently been reading through her Case Files Series. so when I found out that Dynamite was giving us a Nancy Drew series written by Kelly Thompson and illustrated by Jenn St-Onge, I, A knew I had to read it and B, definitely wanted to pick Jenn's brain about the series. You can read that interview here.

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  I just finished the review for Issue 2 on Comicosity which went out last Wednesday, so I thought I would write about the first issue here. As soon as I saw the cover in Previews, I knew this was a comic I was going to want to read. Now that I’ve actually read it, I can’t wait to tell you why I was right.

This issue is great at introducing the cast of characters that are going to be in the series. So even if you’ve somehow never heard of Nancy Drew and her friends, you will not be lost in the shuffle. We find Nancy Drew, hanging on a rope, holding onto a goat, I was already hooked.

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The art is bright and vibrant without being overtly peppy, which isn’t this Nancy’s vibe.  I think St-Onge did an amazing job of bringing Nancy into a more modern time. I love her style and think it will inspire quite a few cosplays in the future.

The story doesn’t take long to take off like a locomotive, so I was very excited about that. Nancy receives a very ominous anonymous letter made of magazine cut outs on the anniversary of her mother’s death which brings her back to a place, she didn’t think she would visit again.

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I give this issue a 10 out of 10, it gave us a bit of backstory, introduced new characters well, and has intrigued me to get the next issue for the rest of the mystery. I can’t wait.

Are you a Nancy Drew Fan? Let's Fangirl on Twitter!

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Spokhette On Youtube #81: July Comic Previews

 Hey Gang!

  I know I missed June, but I'm ready for July and I have August already to go as well! Lots of awesome titles are hitting the comic book shops in July, and I did a video to talk about them and why I'm interested in reading them! Make sure to give the video a like and follow me so you don't miss out on my next video!

 Here are the comics featured in my video:

- Captain America. Marvel. Written by Coates and Art by Yu. 7/4

- Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark. Dynamite. Written by Avallone and Art by Acosta. 7/11

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- Nancy Drew. Dynamite. Written by Thompson and Art by St-Onge. 7/11

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- Archie And Batman '66. Archie Comics. Written by Parker and Moreci, Art by Parent. 7/18

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- Unnatural. Image. Written and Art by Mirka Andolfo. 7/4

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- Catwoman. DC. Written and Art by Joelle Jones. 7/4

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- Justice League Dark. DC. Written by Tynion IV and Art by Martinez and Fernandez. 7/25

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- Big Hero 6. IDW. Written by Blumenreich and Art by Baldari. July.

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- Jughead The Hunger TP. Archie Comics. Written by Tieri and Art by Kennedy.  7/18 

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What are you looking forward to in July? Lets' Talk about it on Twitter!

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