Childish Gambino - "Bonfire"
Does it look any good? Sure does. Even though Gambino fills his rhymes with confidence (which isn't Li'l Depressed Boy's thing), another side of Donald Glover's persona fits the book's vibe. “Both Childish Gambino and hip-hop as a whole music culture [are] about bravado, and you have to have a lot of confidence to be a hip-hop artist and talk about these things that they do. The funny thing with Childish Gambino is the music is fraught with uncertainty. 'Am I gonna make it? Am I gonna be big? I'm just trying to live here.' It's incredibly human, but it's in a superhuman musical genre, so that's what drew us to Camp. It explores all of these themes we are constantly toying with and questioning in The Li'l Depressed Boy, so it was a real fit,” Grace explains. “The fact that Donald responded to us was even more telling of how this collaboration came together. From beginning to end, it was just always about two art forms coming together and trying to create something bigger.”
The Nine Rings of Wu-Tang
Does it look any good? Not really. The Wu is one of the most unfuckwithable entities in rap, but this comic looks about as substantial as the video game (i.e. not very). The art is heavy on the garish, overly muscular designs that were Image Comics' calling card in the '90s, and none of the group members resemble their real selves. Based on the evidence, Nine Rings captures the Clan's fantastical, martial-arts-loving side while neglecting all their other facets and quirks. If you're really on the hunt for a Wu-related comic, Cell Block Z: Ghostface Killah (2009, Grand Central) looks marginally better.
Sentences- The Life of MF Grimm
Does it look any good? Definitely. Carey's fascinating history and perspective appear to be addressed in detail, and Ronald Wimberly's art is heavy on blacks, whites, and grays—an effective palette for a story that values itself on being sobering and earthy.
Does it look any good? Yes, as the us-against-corrupt-powers angle has a solid grasp on what makes Public Enemy appealing. Also, Chuck D, Professor Griff, and S1W's James Bomb write the series—a good omen.
Felt- True Tales of Underground Hip Hop
Does it look any good? Oh yeah. The indie-friendly Mahfood is a crack shot artist with an idiosyncratic, graffiti-influenced style (his work appears in the Clerks comics, too), and Slug and Murs are strong rappers, so if the whole is like the sum of its parts, Felt must be pretty cool.
Fame- 50 Cent
Does it look any good? Nope. Don't be fooled by the crisp, glossy cover art, as this biography's interiors are haphazard anime-style illustrations that don't fit the 50 Cent world. 50 doesn't look like 50, and Vivica A. Fox sure doesn't look like Vivica A. Fox. Moreover, Fame's dialogue is too obvious for its own good, and the story does little to go under the surface of Jackson's public persona. On the fourth page of the first issue, it gets a key detail in the 50 Cent saga wrong when a fan gushes over him and says, “He's a genius. And he's lived his music. How many other rappers have actually been shot seven times?” Whether or not the legend is true, the correct number is nine, and getting that wrong is an awful sign.
Does it look any good? It's a Vanilla Ice comic released in 1991. It shamelessly plugs his appearance in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. It features this exchange:
Mama Ice: “Well, son, I'm proud as punch that you did all this without cursing and carrying on like some of these 'wrappers.'”
Vanilla: “I call it 'aboveground.' The kids respect it 'cause they can tune into it any time and they don't have to be 18 to buy the record.”
It looks great!
Punisher- Kill You
Does it look any good? Cracked.com broke down the whole story (spoilers ahead), and it looks gory and absurd enough to entertain in a turn-your-brain-off way. Any comic that makes a barely veiled reference to the Parents Music Resource Center hiring someone to murder Eminem must be worth your 15 minutes. If nothing else, Kill You has to be a better crossover than the time when The Punisher met Archie.
Does it look any good? Imagining the above five working together is some Avengers kinda shit, so yes.
Does it look any good? It is good. Gold, even. You can read the whole thing free of charge ASAP, so visit Boing Boing to catch up.