Flintlock 1Ahead of the Birmingham Comics’ Festival this coming weekend, I thought I would mark the debut of my new reviews column ‘Olly’s World of Indie‘ by looking at three titles debuting at the festival. Even if you’re not there, but like the sound of ‘em, hunt them down, or speak to your local comic book store. Indie is where it’s at, and these independent titles can often offer something completely different to your average superhero diet.

Charlie-SaysIn her latest column Charlie Says: Body image in comic books seems only reserved for the incredibly skinny or muscular, and not usually indicative of the numerous body shapes and sizes that our society actually possesses (even when a comic book is supposed to be “realistic” and “grounded in real life”)

New-DC-Logo_BlueIn mid January, comics writer and columnist Joe Glass posted a question on his Twitter feed which went along the lines of ‘what DC comic would I be most suited to write if asked?’ This was a question I responded to, starting a discussion which ended at True Believers between us about what he would have done with the book I suggested. Well, since then I’ve become intrigued by his ideas and it has gotten me thinking; what other indie creators would I put on DC’s titles?

amazing-spider-manDespite the fact that this spring’s addition to the MCU is technically a Captain America film, much of the focus on Marvel cinema these days is revolving around Spider-Man. That’s because thanks to a bizarre agreement between Sony and Marvel Studios, the latter has finally gained the right to insert Spider-Man into the MCU. And sure enough, we’ll see the web-slinger’s debut in Captain America: Civil War.

Charlie-Says“Gather round! Gather round! Today we’re going to look at all-age comics and why they’re beautiful and wonderful and address the fact that you’re probably not reading enough of them.” Columnist Charlie Says looks at why all ages books should be for everyone and not just for kids.

Marvel ComicsFor over half a century, Marvel has been unsurpassed for the sheer imagination that it has brought comics, movies and even computer games. And whilst much of the credit for the creative offerings must lie with imaginative geniuses such as Steve Ditko, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Marvel has sometimes drawn inspiration from further afield.

Charlie-Says“There is one serious lacking element to the comic book world and that’s diversity in the mainstream. We’re talking diversity of race, gender, sex, sexuality, ability, religion and more besides.” So says our new columnist Charlie Humphries who takes a look at the issue of diversity in the All-New All-Different Marvel Universe in our new column Charlie Says….

Crime Fiction LoverAs part of their recent ‘Classics’ month the folk at CrimeFictionLover website asked our editor Alex Thomas to pick out 10 of his favourite classic crime graphic novels that are available digitally. He picked out a range of all-time classics along with some modern masterpieces and you read the full line-up here.

Do you agree with his choices, if not then let us know which ones you would have included instead?