Signing With Claudio Sanchez on April 22nd!

We’re excited to announce that Coheed & Cambria’s Claudio Sanchez will be at Black Cat Comics from 2pm-3pm on Saturday, April 22nd during the first day of our sale!

Many people know Claudio Sanchez as the frontman for Coheed & Cambria, but did you know that he’s been writing comics for years, too? Well, he has written several comics including Kill Audio, Transference, Key of Z, and the epic story of The Amory Wars that tell the mythology of many of Coheed’s albums.

Claudio Sanchez will be at Black Cat Comics signing *comics only* on Saturday for a short time before Coheed & Cambria’s show at The Complex  in SLC, UT later that night.

Signing is for comics only, two comics per person, and, please, no pictures. Show up early and get an exclusive variant of Sanchez’s newest comic The Amory Wars: Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV issue #1. Limited supply, so it’s on a first come first serve basis. These variants will only be $8 and we will also have copies of his other works.

We thank you in advance for adhering to these rules outlined above, we want this to be a smooth signing and want as many people as possible to get their books signed and meet Claudio Sanchez. We’re so excited!

Thanks Boom Studios, Coheed & Cambria, and Claudio Sanchez for the opportunity to host this event. It will be fantastic!

Don’t forget, we are having our Grand-Reopening-Sale that Saturday and Sunday! 50% Off Back Issues & Graphic Novels. Like us on facebook  for live updates.

Local Comic Shop Day 2016 This Saturday 11/19/16!

LOCAL COMIC SHOP DAY

Tomorrow is LOCAL COMIC SHOP DAY!

It’s a celebration of brick & mortar comic shops around the world and right here in Salt Lake City, UT we’ve got some great and very limited exclusives for you wonderful people.

In addition to these cool exclusives (we unfortunately don’t have everything that is listed on the official LCSD website!), we’ll be doing some giveaways of our Black Cat Exclusive variants including James Bond, Doctor Who, Transference, Kiss, and Li’l Depressed Boy. Offers are in-store only.

We’ll be open regular hours on Saturday. 11am-7pm. Check out our facebook for more updated information!

Check in with us on Facebook and Twitter using #LCSD2016 and @blackcatcomics.

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Head Bitch In Charge: Exploring Bitch Planet with Kelly Sue DeConnick

By Taylor Hoffman
Originally posted on SLUG Magazine!
Kelly Sue DeConnick’s tour-de-force for feminism, Bitch Planet, is a critique of patriarchy and power.

If you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift for anyone you love—or hate, for that matter—grab a copy of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s latest and greatest contribution to the comic world, Bitch Planet. This dystopian series features a patriarchy out of control that exiles women who don’t comply with its expectations to a prison planet. I spoke with Kelly Sue DeConnick about her busy writing schedule and how she plans to dismantle the patriarchy one panel at a time.

DeConnick is a true heroine and force for feminism within the comics industry. The majority of our discussion focused on her newest project and what it means to write what you want to write. It’s not easy being a woman in the industry because misogynists are inhumanly persistent with their hate. As such, even feminists can be fooled into thinking that comics are a boys’ game, all spandexed Barbie dolls for preteen masturbation. Well, get ready everybody—it’s time to sit down for some education and a tall glass of MRA tears with Bitch Planet. It’s a prison planet for bitches—

the businessmen call it an “auxiliary compliance outpost,” just like “torture” is recoded as “enhanced interrogation program.” Women who defy the will of their fathers, husbands, employers, etc. are shipped to a prison industrial complex supercharged with omnipresent technology. It’s all about power—who has it and who doesn’t—and who’s really in control of the story of the human race. It’s a feminist re-imagining of the Genesis story, an examination of sin, and just one damn-well written story with an extremely diverse cast of characters that we’ve barely met in the first issue. This familiar exploitation setting (Caged Heat, anyone?) is subverted, as the women on Bitch Planet are raw, emotional people.

DeConnick had a lot to say about her newest series published by Image Comics, from the technical to the thematic. Foremost is her affection and gratitude for the fans. Girls everywhere are already picking up this series and immediately understanding the dire warnings within. Reader support is passionate and expressive. Several people have already gotten “Non-Compliant” tattoos (myself included) to proudly stand in solidarity for women’s rights to stand individually.

It’s no wonder. By the end of the first issue, DeConnick’s characters are already distinct and vibrant. From the large and boisterous Penny Rolle to the switch-protagonist Kamau Kogo, these women are caged and enraged and already resonating with fans. Kogo in particular is “so strong and so tenacious,” says DeConnick—she’s an homage to Foxy Brown and the ass-whooping martial art stylings of Superfly. DeConnick credits artist Valentine De Landro for capturing that familiar and enchanting prison-funk vibe and being “able to say so much with just her posture.” Speaking of scripts to come, every third issue will detail the backstory of an inmate, with fan-favorite Penny up first. And for those afraid that the unnervingly plausible dystopia depicted would grow too depressing over time, we’ll find a hero in the uncompromising Violet, whom DeConnick loves because she is, DeConnick says, “as ‘classic hero’ as you can get.”

Photo: Image Comics

Photo: Image Comics

Naturally, DeConnick has received some negative feedback as well. The stark and annoying reality of overtly writing about feminism and addressing issues within a male-dominated society is certainly a scary experience. However, you must ask yourself, “Are you woman enough to survive Bitch Planet?” just as the cover does in all of its pink glory, the outline of a woman giving two middle fingers to the world behind her. What she is doing is spearheading a movement—one that is tongue-in-cheek, but extremely well-educated and not overly academic. The book is meant for anyone who can read at a mature level, of course, but you don’t have to have a master’s degree in gender studies to understand exactly what is going on. It’s intersectional reading via Grindhouse and a twist on science fiction. If you enjoy Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, DeConnick deliberately references the secret police and the Eyes of God, aka males with eyes, watching with panoptic surveillance. “There’s some Tarantino DNA in there,” she says, that helps frame the narrative, as we’re constantly going to be filling in details. DeConnick, De Landro, and colorist Cris Peters present a world of contrast as bright and uneasy fluorescents of Earth clash with the dark and foreboding Planet of Bitch. There is so much space on Bitch Planet, the panels in which there isn’t rioting are almost bare, adding in an element of Lovecraftian horror underneath the overall structure of the story. Yet, at this point in time, it’s about women in prison who must prove their strength against all odds.

If it sounds familiar, you might be thinking about the recent Netflix binge-watching trend about women in prison, Orange Is The New Black. The similarities are basic, but with DeConnick’s writing, it’s not the story of a white feminist trapped in a hell of Otherness. All of the women are “non-compliant” for a variety of logical, legal and irrational reasons. One woman is punished for driving her husband to an affair because she wasn’t as interested in sex. Bitch Planet shamelessly stresses the pervasiveness of victim-blaming and the patriarchal sense of entitlement and privilege at the forefront. The message of recognizing oppression that these fictional characters must endure is further complemented by a beautifully challenging and critical essay about real life, right now, written by a professor of gender studies, Danielle Henderson. “But I’m Not Oppressed” is just part one of the back-matter writings, an exciting addition nestled in at the end as the perfect capstone to the comic. I highly recommend checking out Henderson’s writings and seeking out her memes “Feminist Ryan Gosling.” DeConnick laughs a little as she contemplates her feelings on finally unleashing this book unto the world. It’s “terrifying,” she replies with all honesty, “I have the gift of finding the glass half empty, so as thrilled as I am with how the book is being received, it’s kind of an incredibly insane reception, and now all I can think is ‘issue two is never going to live up to this!’”

Review: Toe Tag Riot #1

Toe Tag Riot #1

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Written by: Matt Miner
Art by: Sean Von Gorman
Colors by: John Rauch
Letters by: Sean Von Gorman

Published by Black Mask Studios

Reviewed by Taylor Hoffman
Choosing a new comic can be a risk. Sometimes it can be absolutely terrifying to go outside of your comfort zone and try something different, especially if it’s from a publisher you’re unfamiliar with and you don’t know what to expect. Comics can be downright damn intimidating, so maybe you’re a bit afraid. Actually, all of these things are exactly why you should pick up Toe Tag Riot.
When branching out, it’s important to question, and it’s also important to take risks. Matt Miner and Sean Von Gorman did both in this absolutely engaging, hilarious, and thought-provoking comic. Let’s start off with some questions for you:

Do you like good writing?
Do you enjoy fantastic art?
Do you like thinking critically while still laughing?

Yes? Toe Tag Riot is for you.

Are you unsatisfied with the status quo?
Are you tired of getting pushed around by slobbery bigots at shows and on the streets?

Yes? Toe Tag Riot is for you.

Do you want a comic that represents actual diversity in sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, music, and zombie culture?

Yes? Toe Tag Riot is for you.

Are you sick of being stereotyped by the Westboro Baptist Church and other ultra conservative groups just because you happen to sometimes be a part-time zombie when you play music?

Yes? Toe Tag Riot is for you.

The basic rundown of the plot is quite simple, which lends itself to a myriad of fantastic possibilities. It’s like if Scott Pilgrim transported itself into Return of the Living Dead. It’s like if SLC, Punk and The Walking Dead had offspring that listened to The Casualties when they were younger, realized that they didn’t have to listen to awful music or their parents, and became a badass, autonomous individual with good taste. It’s like nothing I’ve ever read before and exactly what I’ve always wanted to read. Yes, I have high hopes and, with this team, I don’t expect to be disappointed in the slightest.

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If you were lucky enough to see their Comic Con exclusive #0 in which our gangly band of grotesque punks literally tore a sexist scumbag to bits for verbally and sexually harassing a cosplayer, then I can assure you, it’s all that and more. Gore without bore and the blood and guts aren’t just for the shock value. It’s social commentary at its most hilariously brutal. Oh, issue one is just the beginning of a larger and completely gleeful satisfaction of witnessing racists and homophones get what they deserve. Even if you follow the creed of “violence begets violence,” to me, it’s a surprisingly insightful examination of revenge and retribution.

This first issue sets up for how Toe Tag Riot became a band and lays the groundwork for our increasingly rotting characters. Flashing back and forth between two years ago, one year ago, and now, there’s a rushed sense of development; fast and loose like the songs they scream. Already, each character in the crew has their own struggles with self-image and self-acceptance in both forms of flesh. Whether that’s fixing their faces with safety pins to literally keep it together or confronting internalized homophobia and micro aggressions, there’s a depth to this story that’s more complex than ‘let’s kill everybody who sucks!’ Dickie, Paulie, Evie, and Annie are a diverse group of 20-somethings that won’t tolerate the bullying.

cute zombie queers!

Cute queer couples adorn these pages, too, so what else do you want to hear? Okay, fine, I’ll continue:

The characters are really the most important part of this issue, and my reading drew me into examining one character in particular. The lead singer, Dick “Dickie” Tagz, is such a… well, a dick when we first meet him. At first he’s the “no homo” kind of nice guy who assumes that any gay guy wants to get with him and then makes casual misogynistic statements about and to lesbians; however, Dickie isn’t the villain of this story. Instead, we see him evolve from scum to a more enlightened person after interacting with his new found friends and bandmates. He gets called out for his ablest joke, and though he gets defensive and sarcastic about it, the point is made clear that it’s not just about being overly PC, it’s about respect.
There’s no shortage of making sure people check their privilege here, on and off stage. When performing, they all turn into zombies for some reason and it gives them quasi super powers to totally shred. Once some skinheads start fighting in the pit, it’s all out calling out the white-supremacist neo-nazi hypocrites. Furthermore, this three page scene is great tactical development; while the band kindly asks the jerks to leave, said jerks threaten violence. Oh, the power dynamics!

It is a zombie book, but not like you’ve probably seen before. The characters are sometimes zombies, but they’re still human with emotions and real-life consequences for their actions. The need for brains is still present, so we’ll see where that leads us in issue #2! The climax to this story will be in issue #4 as a showdown between our protagonists face off with the Westboro Baptist Church, yes, the same Church that misunderstood the comic’s kickstarted campaign and actually endorsed the book on their website thinking it was an anti-LGBT book. No, really, that happened, though they’ve since amended their statement to condemn Matt Miner and Sean Von Forman as “insincere pervs” and to hail the book so important that it will “split Hell wide open.”  Now it’s the “only comic on the shelves with a pull quote from the motherf***ing Westboro Baptist Church,” a fact that the creators revel in. Really, what more do you want?

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Oh, hey, Andy Hurley (Fall Out Boy, The Damned Things, Earth Crisis) also makes a guest appearance!

Toe Tag Riot hits the shelves Wednesday 11/16/14 in store and on our website. There are several badass variants including our exclusive Black Cat Comics cover by the rad Anna Fitzpatrick and the Phantom Variant by the excellent Simon Fraser. Get them all.

Check out more from Matt Miner and Sean Von Gorman Liberator, and Liberator/Earth Crisis, and don’t forget Miner’s excellent new series Critical Hit!

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Toe Tag Riot #1 Exclusive Black Cat Variant!   Toe Tag Riot #1 Phantom Variant!

Click the pictures to buy it now!

Cover A: Tristan Jones, with Doug Garbark colors
Cover B: Rod Reis

Black Cat Variant: Anna Fitzpatrick

Phantom Variant: Simon Fraser