Jem and the Holograms #5 Review

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Let’s just say that Issue #5 of Jem and the Holograms is all about building tensions.

From the first panel, we’re sucked into a rush of plot thickening and getting to spend a little more quality time with our favorite characters. I felt like the characters – Holograms, Misfits, and everyone in between – are able to show us a new kind of vulnerability that we haven’t seen before. It’s the montage showing us time passing, and we’re allowed to get a peek into what makes everyone tick beyond the lights of the stage. Like every other Jem reader, I’m loving how Kimber and Stormer’s relationship is progressing. It’s a lot more than the cuteness of the two together – it’s the fact that their relationship isn’t seen as weird or othering in any way. Yes, I’m still turning the pages to see when both bands will find out about this cross-band love, but it’s that normalization that speaks louder than any piece of dialogue on the page.

Jerrica and Rio are getting closer as well, but once again, tensions between Jerrica’s big secret keep coming between the two of them fully getting to express their feelings to each other. But mushiness and relationships aside, there’s plenty to keep you turning those pages.

The Misfits continue to be my favorite rival band that I love to hate (admit it – Pizazz makes it too easy for you too). Even when the truth behind the stage snaffu of Issue #4 comes to light, it unfolds in the most hilarious four-page colorful spread I’ve seen.

Really, Issue #5 elaborates on the familiar, but still manages to keep you engrossed. We’re leading up to the big Vs! show after all, and the offstage tensions between the Holograms and the Misfits will just make the show all the more satisfying.

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Diversity in Comics – Jem and the Holograms #1-4 Review

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If I’m being honest, I’ll admit that I was never the biggest Jem and the Holograms fan.

I kind of missed the boat of being immersed into the cartoon series as a kid, as it was already cancelled before I was old enough to really enjoy it. But even getting older and reintroducing myself to plenty of revamped series, I was somewhat hesitant to familiarize myself with Jem. After all, I knew the story. I knew the characters. What other possible twist could there be to draw me in?

Oh, how I ate my own words by the middle of the first issue.

Writer Kelly Thompson and artist Sophie Campbell do a fantastic job of creating a colorful, jam-packed, dynamic world where female friendships, queer representation, and being yourself always win. The first issue gave a fresh lift to the familiar story of Jerrica Benton and the crew. We get the image of a shy and talented Jerrica; one that is so frightened of fame and attention that she almost lets the chance she deserves slip away from her. But after uncovering her late father’s last birthday present to her – a pair of special hologram earrings – she has the chance that she and the rest of the Holograms need to reach their stardom.

What’s great about this revamped Jem series is that we get the same story with a contemporary twist. Technology like social media and blogs frequently make cameos in the issues, making the story feel fresh.

What’s also great is how seamlessly Jem is able to bring in positivity on more marginalized issues that rarely have their own space in comics. This isn’t solely because of Sophie Campbell becoming more of a vocal advocate as a trans artist; I genuinely believe it is because she, Thompson, realizes the impact that a series like Jem has. I even got excited seeing Shana on every page, with massive natural hair (that’s PURPLE) and rocking out on the bass guitar. I loved the chemistry that Kimber and Stormer had from their first meeting in Issue 2. And best of all, I loved seeing the look on the children at the Starlight Community Center as they see the Holograms make their visit. It’s the look of “I can do it, and you can too”. That’s the kind of simple, genuine positivity that too many diverse fans of comics lack seeing in their favorite series… until now.

Diversity in comics still has quite a long way to go, but it’s great that there are options beginning to emerge for diverse fans craving something more than the typical superhero comic or a gritty fight fest of an action comic. Jem offers something more; something that many fans will be able to appreciate. This is one reboot that I’m glad to have made the jump from television to comic pages.

#BlackComicsMonth: May 20th – Blacks in Comics – Jem and the Holograms #3 Preview

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I know you remember Jem and the Holograms, one of the best cartoons that didn’t have anything to do with super heroes or super powered felines. Jem was an updated Josie and the Pussycats minus the tails and tambourine. Jem debuted in 1985 and lasted 3 seasons, now here it is 2015 and Jem has a comic book! It was announced during NYCC that a book would be coming from IDW Publishing and created by the dynamic duo Kelly Thompson and Sophie Campbell with eye popping colors from M. Victoria Robado.

Unlike the Jem cartoon, the Jem and the Holograms comic features two beautiful black characters; Shana, a Hologram and Jetta, a Misfit.

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If you enjoy the Jem cartoon, you won’t be disappointed by the comic…check out the preview for this #BlackComicsMonth title, Jem and the Holograms #3

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Jem and the Holograms #3
STORY BY: Kelly Thompson
ART BY: Sophie Campbell
COLORS BY: M. Victoria Robado
LETTERS BY: Shawn Lee
COVER BY: Sophie Campbell, Sara Richard, David Lafuente, John Rauch
PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing
COVER PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: May 20th, 2015

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Hot off their video win, Jem and the Holograms perform at the Starlight Foundation’s annual fundraiser—but the Misfits, anxious the Holograms’ overnight success, plan to bring them down.

#BlackComicsMonth: April 22nd – Blacks in Comics – Miami Vice: Remix #2 Preview

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This #BlackComicsMonth title takes me back, I can’t believe we used to dress like that. Sheesh! Nostalgia at its finest. IDW’s Miami Vice: Remix #2 features one of the smoothest cats on television back in the 80’s, Tubbs. This series comes from Joe Casey, Jim Mahfood and Justin Stewart and I have to admit, I’m not opposed to a reboot of the series as long as it’s set in the 80’s and not starring Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell. Check out the dope preview below and grab this book today!

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Miami Vice: Remix #2
STORY BY: Joe Casey
ART BY: Jim Mahfood
COLORS BY: Justin Stewart
LETTERS BY: Jim Mahfood
COVER BY: Jim Mahfood
PUBLISHER: IDW
COVER PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: Apr 22nd, 2015

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Someone from Crockett’s past is back and promises that Detective Sonny Crockett will pay for his crimes!

IDW Publishing Emerald City Comic Con Schedule

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All things IDW for Seattle’s upcoming Emerald City Comicon, including booth locations, creator signing schedule, and an exclusive variant cover!
via press release
IDW Takes Seattle!
Where To Be At Emerald City Comicon

San Diego, CA (March 25, 2015) – Attendants of Seattle’s renowned Emerald City Comicon are in for surprise announcements, exceptional signings and a weekend full of fun from IDW! Taking place this weekend from March 27th – March 29th at the Washington State Convention Center, come by the IDW booth (#1802) to stock up on your collection, meet your favorite creators, and score a truly outrageous exclusive. Additionally, Top Shelf can be found at booth #1225, where you can meet the creative team behind the hit satire God Is Disappointed in You, Mark Russell and Shannon Wheeler!

Available exclusively at the IDW booth, grab yourself
a copy of the book that’s got everyone talking, Jem & The Holograms, with a variant cover by Agnes Garbowska! The cover can be purchased for $5, limit 3 per customer.

The IDW booth will be packed all weekend long with talent from across the industry signing their acclaimed work:

Friday March 27th

11:00 – 12:00 Orphan Black – Jody Houser
12:00 – 1:00 Samurai Jack, Powerpuff Girls –
Andy Suriano, Derek Charm
1:00 – 2:00 D4VE, The Bigger Bang –
Ryan Ferrier, D.J. Kirkbride
2:00 – 3:00 Jem & The Holograms
Agnes Garbowska, Sara Richard
(*Check out the show exclusive variant!)
3:00 – 4:00 Dirk Gently – Chris Ryall, Tony Akins
4:00 – 5:00 Godzilla: Cataclysm – Cullen Bunn
5:00 – 6:00 Kill Shakespeare – Conor McCreery
6:00 – 7:00 Nelvana of the Northern Lights  – Hope Nicholson

Saturday March 28th

10:00 – 11:00 Skylanders – David A. Rodriguez
11:00 – 12:00 Edward Scissorhands – Kate Leth, Drew Rausch
12:00 – 1:00 Dirk Gently – Chris Ryall, Tony Akins
1: 00 ­– 2:00 The Fly: Outbreak – Brandon Seifert
2:00 – 3:00 My Little Pony, Jem & The Holograms – Sara Richard
3:00 – 4:00 Wild Blue Yonder – Zach Howard
4:00 – 5:00 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & More! – Erik Burnham, Paul Allor
5:00 – 6:00 Judge Dredd – Darick Robertson
6:00 – 7:00 Transformers – Mairghread Scott, Andrew Griffith, Livio Ramondelli

Sunday March 29th

10:00 – 11:00 My Little Pony – Amy Mebberson, Georgia Ball, Ted Anderson,
Agnes Garbowska
11:00 – 12:00 Powerpuff Girls – Derek Charm
12:00 – 1:00 G.I. Joe Cover Art – Jerffrey Veregge, Drew Johnson
1:00 – 2:00 Amelia Cole, Artful Daggers  – D.J. Kirkbride, Adam P. Knave,
Sean E. Williams
3:00 – 4:00 Dungeons & Dragons: Legends of Baldur’s Gate – Max Dunbar

And don’t miss out on the panels that are sure to be a highlight of your weekend!

Friday, 1:00 – 2:00 Room Hall C (TCC 301)
IDW: 2015 and Beyond—IDW invites you to join in their first big panel of 2015! Join VP of Marketing Dirk Wood, Editor-in-Chief/Chief Creative Officer Chris Ryall, alongside editor Sarah Gaydos, Erik Burnhamof Ghostbusters fame, and Jody Houser, writer of the hit Orphan Black comic for a spirited chat filled with announcements, hijinks and Q&A!

Saturday, 2:00 – 3:00 Room Hall C (TCC 301)
God is Disappointed in You (The Sequel), with Mark Russell & Shannon Wheeler—Last year’s standing-room-only hot ticket returns — now with even more Biblical bewilderment! God Is Disappointed in You, published by Top Shelf, is the tongue-in-cheek “condensed” version of the Bible you never knew you needed — hilariously modern, but surprisingly authentic — packed with cartoons by Eisner-award-winner Shannon Wheeler (The New YorkerToo Much Coffee Man). Join him and author Mark Russell (writer of DC Comics’ upcoming Prez) for an hour of unforgettable irreverence, including Q&A, audience sketches, and the hilarious-yet-accurate “ten-minute Bible.” PLUS: a taste of the Audie-nominated audiobook, read by Dr. Venture himself, James Urbaniak (The Venture Bros), and an exclusive announcement about the upcoming sequel!

Sunday, 3:30 – 4:20 Hall F (TCC 304)
Kevin Eastman: A Life With Turtles—Join the legendary co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and he talks about his long career in both comics and Hollywood, and how he brings his beloved Turtles to the world in a variety of media!

Sunday, 4:00 – 5:00 Room Hall C (TCC 301)
IDW Presents: The New Class of Licensed Comics—Transformers, Adventure Time, Star Trek, Orphan Black, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic… What do these comics all have in common? They’re all licensed comics, and although some may STILL look down on them, they’re also home to some of the best talent telling the best stories around. Come hear about the good (and the sometimes challenging) aspects of working on books like these, from host Editor Sarah Gaydos (Star Trek, Disney, Edward Scissorhands), with special guests Kate Leth (Bravest Warriors, Edward Scissorhands), Corinna Bechko (Star Wars, Planet of the Apes, Once Upon a Time), Jody Houser (Orphan Black), Editor Shannon Waters (of BOOM!), Chris Roberson (Aliens, Star Trek), and Gabriel Hardman (Planet of the Apes, Star Wars).