I Wanna Be Literated! #127

I Wanna Be Literated! #127

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Friday, 16 September 2016
COLUMN

Empowered Unchained Volume 1
by Adam Warren

You want to learn a thing or two about comics, go ahead and read Adam Warren. The man gets punk rock DIY with his “mainstream” comics. Or about as mainstream as one can get without getting jumbled up in the messy tripe that the “big two” are involved with.

I say punk rock, because Adam Warren has figured out how to make it in comics on his own terms, and completely in control of his product. His writing is fresh, interesting, and full of unique ideas. His artwork can be as polished as the best guys in the industry, but his approach to Empowered with high contrast pencils is really what’s been catching my eye. It’s definitely raw and it looks SO good. These might be layouts we’re seeing, and they are tight as fuck. In other words, the man just knows what he’s doing.

I don’t have to tell you about Empowered and how it’s a comic about superheroes and anime. It’s also heavily mixed in with pop culture. It doesn’t take itself too seriously except when it does. While the ongoing series itself is one of the best comics out there right now, Empowered Unchained collects the one-shots that have been released over the years with backstories to many of the characters. Sort of like a b-sides collection. See? The punkrockness of Adam Warren continues…

Warren does the writing duties here and recruits a wide range of artists to bring his stories to life (with his occasional input). Some work great, and other work best as a one-time thing: like a band recording in different studios. Even though there are some decent stories here, the best was definitely saved for last with Nine Beers with Ninjette (and the killer artwork by Miyazawa) and Internal Medicine (which its sci-fi weirdness).

Empowered Unchained is a nice distraction from the major story going on in the Empowered series right now. Whether it’s for fans only is debatable, but it’s most certainly hitting a sweet spot with me.

Get it here!

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