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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

A Mixed Bag

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: November 2010

It’s been such a beautiful fall season so far. With the leaves changing a little more every day I find myself wishing I could freeze time, with those colors staying so brilliantly vibrant. I would of course, want to freeze time while still being able to move things forward in my life. I don’t want to get too “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret” on you, but there aren’t a whole lot of areas in my life that I’m content with at the moment. But oh that weather… you gotta love it. Whatever the reason, I’m having trouble concentrating on any one thing at once. With that in mind, this week we’ll be taking a look at a few different new issues and graphic novels hitting the shelves this week. Without further delay, onward to matters of nerdery and the like.

Sophie Crumb: Evolution Of A Crazy Artist

Fans of NPR might have heard the recent interview with Sophie and her father Robert Crumb. This collection of drawings spans decades, with a staggering number of drawings done by Sophie and saved by her parents. You might be familiar with her father Robert Crumb from his work as a founder of Zap Comix, and his work on Fritz The CatMr. Natural, and most recently Book Of Genesis. Artistic talents certainly run in the family, but this collection is a fascinating look at the way creative endeavors can be simultaneously innate and nurtured to fruition.

Boys: Highland Laddie

Although this six-issue series has almost reached its conclusion, I’m still torn on how I feel about it. I do love The Boys, and maybe it’s just the liberal usage of hard-to-follow Gaelic, but something about this spinoff doesn’t quite pack the punch of its predecessor.

Art Of Tron Legacy

Every once in a while, the powers that be actually get one right and deliver to the masses a shining, glittering, beacon of entertainment. Jeff Bridges in a remake of Tron? Yes please. Daft Punk for the soundtrack? Sweet baby Jesus, you are speaking my language. This book, now available in hardcover takes a look at concept illustrations, set designs and character bios from the film, with an afterword by the film’s director, Joeseph Kosinski. I probably won’t shell out the forty bucks to pick this up, but I definitely will be seeing this film in IMAX when it comes out. Anyone want to camp out in Sacramento with me?

Zombie Tramp

Well… this one is pretty self explanatory. Zombie. Tramp… yep. From Super Real Graphics, Dan Mendoza has created one of those guilty pleasure comics that rides the coattails of zombie popularity. So yes, it’s super cheesy and lame, but it’s a self contained trade for about ten bucks and chronicles the life, and more notably death, of Hollywood’s most popular call girl. Pick it up, but maybe just keep it on the bottom row of your bookshelf. 

Arielle Mullen