Forrest Helvie

Dr. Forrest C. Helvie lives in Bristol, CT with his wife and two sons. He is an assistant professor of developmental English at Norwalk Community College in Connecticut. He received his Ph.D. in English Literature & Criticism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he wrote his dissertation on the influence of canonical American literature on the development of the comic book superhero. His literary interests are broad-ranging from medieval Arthurian to 19th-century American, and most importantly, pedagogy, comics studies, and super-heroes. He regularly writes for Sequart and reviews comics for Newsarama. Forrest can also be found on Twitter (@fhelvie) discussing all things comics related.

BOOKS AND MOVIES BY FORREST HELVIE

Essays exploring the whole of Daredevil's history.

The Devil is in the Details: Examining Matt Murdock and Daredevil (contributor)

TOP MAGAZINE CONTENT BY FORREST HELVIE

Image Founders 2007Sharpening the Image: Introduction

Comic readers from Gen X and (older members of) Gen Y remember 1992 as a sort of zeitgeist for comics.  Change was in the air in all strata of the field

OTHER MAGAZINE CONTENT BY FORREST HELVIE (41 TOTAL)

Robert-Ebert-Your-Movie-SucksDon’t Ignore the Art: Reviewing and Commenting on Comics, Part 3

Comics Journalism with Lucas Siegel (Newsarama Site Editor) and David Pepose (Newsarama Reviews Editor) Because this article is geared in many regards to help encourage readers and reviewers to develop a more critical eye, especially… [more]

Batman 29Don’t Ignore the Art: Reviewing and Commenting on Comics, Part 2

Line Work (Pencils / Brushwork) One of the first things I look at when opening up a comic is the style that’s being used. Is it more lifelike (realistic) or cartoonish (iconic)? Scott McCloud discusses… [more]

UnderstandingComicsDon’t Ignore the Art: Reviewing and Commenting on Comics, Part 1

What’s the difference between a comic book and a novel? The answer seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? Yet, it still confounds me to no end that someone will take the time to write a review… [more]

Logo-Brooker InterviewMy So-Called Secret Identity — A Superhero Comic That Breaks the So-Called Norms

Look around the world of superheroes today, and it is clear the winds of change are blowing. Although it is true that many of the people donning spandex, capes, and cowls who take to the… [more]

Bechdel TestThe Bechdel Test and a Sexy Lamp: Detecting Gender Bias and Stereotypes in Mainstream Comics

Recently, the Swedish Film Institute began sponsoring a movement spearheaded by a number of theaters who are now making use of the “Bechdel Test” to evaluate their films in order to determine the extent of… [more]

In the Dark coverIn the Dark with Rachel Deering: An Interview About a Horror Anthology

Billed as “A monstrous collection of all-new, original terror tales from the darkest and most brilliant minds in comics,” Rachel Deering’s Kickstarter In the Dark promises to deliver a hefty tome of over 250 pages… [more]

Furious CoverA Furious Interview with Bryan J.L. Glass, Victor Santos, and Jim Gibbons

Billed as a “five-issue miniseries where celebrity, fame, and superheroes meet,” FURIOUS brings together Mice Templarcollaborators, Bryan J.L. Glass and Victor Santos for a creator-owned series from Dark Horse Comics. Not only does this mini-series represent… [more]

Man of Steel-SA Tale of Two Choices—Reflections on Man of Steel

Warning: If you somehow have managed to not see Man of Steel or had its controversial ending spoiled, turn away. In The Man of Steel from 2013, Superman faces a man that appears to be… [more]

WatchmenThoughts on Reviewing Comics

Every Wednesday, local comic shops and online retailers provide readers with a bevy of new comic book titles and issues.  Some superhero series take flight while others crash without rhyme or reason.  Some of us… [more]

Golden Age SupermanIs Superman Still Relevant in a Postmodern World?

Superman. The name alone conjures up images of capes flapping in the skies over thriving metropolises, walls exploding as a rock-hard fist punches through them, and criminals quaking in fear before a hulking mountain of… [more]

Cover art from Superman #14 by Fred Ray, Feb. 1942.Superman’s Rejection of American Exceptionalism

In February of 1940, Superman ended World War II and prevented the future Cold War altogether through flying around the world by capturing both Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin and delivering them to international authorities… [more]

WoB-TWhen the Present Makes Contact with the Past: Comic Adaptations and Translations of Medieval and Early Modern Sources

In past papers at the Plymouth State University Medieval & Renaissance Forum, I have advocated for the use of comics in the classroom in spite of the fact that this is a relatively modern and… [more]

reMIND-coverOf Cats and Lizards: An Interview with Jason Brubaker—Creator of reMIND

Comixology has defined part of its business model by giving away first issues of on-going series and samples of other comics as a means of catching reader’s attention and hooking their interest for the long-term.… [more]

the Joker from "Mad Love"What Makes for a Great Joker Story: In Defense of Batman #17

Recently, I wrote a review on Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman #17—the much-anticipated finale for the “Death of the Family” story arc, and I gave it a solid “10.” (I’ll spare the details as… [more]

You Are Not Alone Cover-1Interview with Andrew Goletz from Gray Havens Comics – You Are Not Alone Anthology

Gray Haven Comics is an independent comic publisher making a name for itself with its on-going anthology, The Gathering.  Recently, publisher Andrew Goletz began mobilizing fellow comics creators—both pros and up-and-coming writers and artists—to contribute… [more]

ShadowHawk -CoverJim Valentino’s Shadowhawk: Year One

At the time of Image Comics’ inception, Jim Valentino openly admitted to being the least known founder.  Valentino stated in the first edition of the trade paperback of Shadowhawk vol. 1 that “I was pretty… [more]

Darkness-Night-CoverA Review of Darkness Outside of the Night

I am fortunate to have enjoyed the opportunity to write for Sequart over the past year and a half.  From one-shot reviews, articles and editorials, to beginning to write selections for my serialized critical book,… [more]

Star Wars #1 (2013)A Review of Star Wars #1, “In the Shadow of Yavin”

Script: Brian Wood. Art: Carlos D’Anda. Colors: Gabe Eltaeb. Lettering: Michael Heisler. Cover Art: Alex Ross. Brian Wood is a creator who, over the past few years, has built an impressive resume working in the realm of both creator-owned… [more]

Youngblood 1Sharpening the Image: Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood, the Man and the Comic that Started It All (Part 4)

Part Four: Final Thoughts

Saddam's Head Blown UpSharpening the Image: Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood, the Man and the Comic that Started It All (Part 3)

Part Three: When Pictures Aren’t Worth a Thousand Words

Image-Youngblood 1 CoverSharpening the Image: Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood, the Man and the Comic that Started It All (Part 2)

While one certainly should not judge a book by its cover, applying this adage to the cover of a comic book can be problematic.

Image-Youngblood LiefieldSharpening the Image: Rob Liefield’s Youngblood, the Man and the Comic that Started it All

By many accounts, it was Rob Liefield who initiated talks about forming Image Comics and encouraged other rock star artists of the late 1980s and early 1990s into breaking away from the mainstream to form… [more]

Pyongyang CoverA Peek Behind the Curtain: Into North Korea with Guy Delisle in Pyongyang

Guy Delisle’s travelogue, Pyongyang, takes readers on a journey to a country that has been closed off to the West for years, and instead of dispelling fears of a fascist nation oppressing its people in… [more]

fun-home-coverComics as Catharsis: Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home

Comic literature is truly an exciting field, as it expands its canon to include more than the super-hero genre that got things started in the 1930s and ’40s.

Asterios ProfileMazzuchelli’s Asterios Polyp and the Fine Line

Have you read David Mazzuchelli’s Asterios Polyp? If not, you should. This graphic novel exemplifies the type of comic that makes excellent use of its visual components and economic use of language

Mont BlancMy Introduction to Manga, Part 2: A Mechanical Emerson for the Future in Urasawa’s Pluto

In 1942, Isaac Asimov introduced the world to the three laws of robotics and, in doing so, set the stage that later science fiction writers interested in writing about robots would have to cross.

Suppli CoverMy Introduction to Manga, Part 1: Suppli Takes on Batman and Loses. By a Landslide.

Like many Western comic fans of a certain age (which will go unmentioned), I have had little exposure to manga and anime.

Kafka-1Kafka and The Bunny Suicides

During the last week of December, savvy shoppers are aware of the 50% discount on new calendars for the upcoming year.

Black Hole coverBlack Hole… Where Everyone is Welcome!

Charles Burns’s Black Hole starts off like so many other bildungsroman stories before it: girl and boy meet, girl and boy fall in love, girl and boy experience sex together for the first time, girl discovers… [more]

Dark Knight Strikes AgainThe Anxiety of Influence and Failed Sequels: Frank Miller and The Dark Knight Strikes Again

“I mean the criticism teaches not a language of criticism […] but a language in which poetry already is written, the language of influence, of the dialectic…” (Bloom 25).

incognitoThe Difficulties of Being “Just” Good and Bad in Comics of the New Millennium

In 1974, Frank Castle—also known as The Punisher—made his debut in Amazing Spider-Man #129, and the comics world was introduced to what would become one of the most popular anti-heroes—though he certainly was not the… [more]

chrisware_superman_cover_fullJimmy Corrigan and Smartest Deconstruction of the Superhero in the World

When dealing with 20th-century novels, James Joyce’s Ulysses is arguably the most significant work in terms of its influence on writers who would follow in the modern and postmodern traditions.

Herge-Group ShotThe Adventures of Tintin in Critical Controversy

It is commonly held that the United States helped create the comics art and literary genre; however, what is often overlooked is the significant comics community thriving in Europe during these early years, particularly in… [more]

Eisner-BluddLife on Another Planet: Because the Options Here Don’t Look Great

The notion of discovering intelligent life on another planet and discovering new worlds in space might initially seem to be an exciting field of exploration rife with optimism.

Morrison-HeroesGrant Morrison’s All-Star Superman: Science Fiction or Science Fiction Appropriated?

Like traditional literature, graphic novels and comics approach the science fiction genre in a variety of different ways, and this should come as no surprise given the various approaches to sequential art in the United… [more]

DodolaHabibi: Open Dialogues with Difficult Literature

My first impression upon picking up my copy of Craig Thompson’s latest work, Habibi, was one of both excitement and trepidation.

MoneyMan2010Rethinking “Modern Era Comic Books Aren’t Bad… They’re Just Not Worth the Money”

In the Spring 2010 newsletter of the Comic Book Collector’s Association, I wrote an article called “Modern Era Comic Books Aren’t Bad…They’re Just Not Worth the Money.[1]”

Comics JournalismComics Journalism: Learning about Current Events through Funny Books

It’s an exciting time to work in the field of comics today, even for those us—the comics critics and scholars—who possess far less artistic ability to create captivating images or weave spellbinding tales.

pride of baghdadWhy I Believe in Comics

On NPR, there is a program called This I Believe… where respondents briefly explain their particular belief about a certain topic in around 500 or so words.

Monkey KingFresh Off the Boat: Stories of the Americanization Process in Anya’s Ghost and American Born Chinese (Part Two)

While Anya’s Ghost subtly weaves the theme of the “FOB” and the struggle with Americanization into its story of coming of age and the supernatural, Gene Luen Yang’s award-winning American Born Chinese takes direct aim… [more]

american born chineseFresh Off the Boat: The Americanization Process in Anya’s Ghost and American Born Chinese (Part One)

One concept that often shows up in multiethnic literature is the “FOB”— Fresh Off the Boat—immigrant.

STATISTICS FOR FORREST HELVIE

Total Words for All Magazine Content: 69,550