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Analytic articles, whether historical or literary, scholarly or popular. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Sequart.

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crop from John Totleben's cover to 1976's Swamp Thing #171.“Not Walking In Alan Moore’s Footsteps”: On Swamp Thing #140-171 (The American Superhero Comics Of Mark Millar, Part 33)

Continued from last week. Of course, there’s no reason why an obvious ending can’t also be a satisfying one. Similarly, a protagonist that seems to lack personality or potency can still be used in a… [more]

All Night Long, PosterPrisoner Number Six, Willie the Shake, and All that Jazz

Will you do me a favor?  No matter what I write in the next paragraph, I want you to commit, right now, to continue reading this column—no matter what.  Do we have a deal?  Okay,… [more]

X-Men - Inferno HC - Page 481X-Men: To The Outback & Beyond… Inferno Finale

Writers: Chris Claremont (X-Men), Louise Simonson (X-Factor) Pencilers: Marc Silvestri (X-Men), Walter Simonson (X-Factor) Inkers: Dan Green/Hilary Barta (X-Men), Al Milgrom (X-Factor) Colorists: Glynis Oliver (X-Men), Tom Vincent (X-Factor) Letters: Tom Orzechowski (X-Men), Joe Rosen… [more]

omac buddy blankOh, My Aching Cranium!: Jack Kirby’s OMAC Deconstructed And Reconstructed, Part Three

It occurs to me that, before we dive too deeply into the contents of the first issue of OMAC, a brief overview of our title character’s “civilian” identity of Buddy Blank might be in order,… [more]

Cap 23Capital Thoughts: Captain America #23 (Remender / Pacheco / Taibo / White)

Issue 23 has more than its fair share of mayhem, so much so that finding a theme to discuss is difficult.  Oh, there are plot twists, to be sure:  Zola is invading from Dimension Z… [more]

Devil Dinosaur 6Re-Entering the Garden: Late Mythic Work in Jack Kirby’s Devil Dinosaur

To understand the reverence in which Jack Kirby is held by (much of) the comics culture, one need only look to the title of Mark Evanier’s biography of the artist, Kirby: King of Comics.  Or… [more]

Justice_League_America_61Brian’s Comic Book Grab Bag: Justice League America Volume 1 #61

On Christmas Day 2013, my brother gave me a booster pack of random, non-sequential issues from a variety of popular comic book titles that syndicated in the late eighties to mid nineties. The nineties was… [more]

image 1Only Humanoid: The City and The City

District 14 Writer : Pierre Gabus Art : Romuald Reutimann Possibly the most enjoyable thing about District 14 (and I say “possibly” only because there is so much to choose from that I wouldn’t begrudge… [more]

O.M.A.C. #4 by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer.“The Wholeness That’s Way Too Big”: Imagining the Sublime With Kant, Derrida, and Jack Kirby

Since I earned my master’s degree in art and philosophy, it may be unsurprising that two of the most dog-eared books on my shelf are Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgment and The Truth in Painting… [more]

from Swamp Thing #158, by Millar, Hester, DeMulder et al.“Even The Worst Among Them Has Potential”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 32

Continued from last week. So, the Millar who wrote Swamp Thing was enthusiastic, ambitious, and ethically engaged. But for all his efforts and good intentions, and for all the occasional highpoint, the run was heavy-handed,… [more]

Give in. Die for Darkseid.Jack Kirby and His Pal Darkseid

Jack Kirby is among the greats in comic book culture, not for his creations really, but for his signature tone that set the stage for what would become modern comicbooking. His antiquated writing style, outlandish… [more]

rust-cohle-true-detective-hallucination1True Detective as Minotaur Myth

I recently binged all of HBO’s True Detective. Though not perfect, the show is gorgeous and full of enough mystery and symbolism to keep me puzzling over it long after I was finished watching. Nic… [more]

Hunger Dogs, Splash PageNo Country for Old Men: Jack Kirby, The Hunger Dogs, and the Modern Age of Comics

Jack Kirby’s a great artist.  He just can’t draw very well. –Anonymous comics fan Okay, so it was me.  I’m not proud of it, but that “anonymous” quote was something I actually said a few… [more]

4Oh, My Aching Cranium!: Jack Kirby’s OMAC Deconstructed and Reconstructed, Part Two

15 pages a week — written, penciled, and edited. Think about that for a minute. That’s the number that Jack Kirby’s fairly-lucrative-for-its-time DC contract called for when he created the concept of the One-Man Army… [more]

Lloyd: amateur hobo/burglar.Discovering McGruder’s Black Jesus: “The Shit Heist,” Episode 3

I had the opportunity to meet Christopher McCulloch (AKA Jackson Publick) and Doc Hammer this year at the San Diego Comic Con. (It was a random affair, the sidewalk meeting of a minor hero/celebrity that… [more]

03 cas-faceLiving Like a Comic Book: Casanova vol. 1 “Luxuria”

Note: In my previous article on Matt Fraction, Gabriel Ba, and Fabio Moon’s Casanova, I examined the series in its relation to themes present in the fiction of Thomas Pynchon. This next series of articles… [more]

New_Warriors_Vol_1_33Brian’s Comic Book Grab Bag: The New Warriors Volume 1 #33

On Christmas Day 2013, my brother gave me a booster pack of random, non-sequential issues from a variety of popular comic book titles that syndicated in the late eighties to mid nineties. The nineties was… [more]

10350515_10152209315356246_4351025307162405339_nThe Fisher King: Love and Mercy

For those of you playing the home game, some time ago I did an MA dissertation on the works of Terry Gilliam. Like most things I wrote as a student, today I find my middlebrow… [more]

from JLA #8, by Morrison, Porter, Dell.“Ritual Must Be Observed”: On Swamp Thing #140-171 (The American Superhero Comics Of Mark Millar, Part 31)

Continued from last week. As for his two warring Lodges of super-mages, Millar seems to have used them as a symbol of religious sectarianism and reconciliation. Their differing interpretations of how to save the world… [more]

Black Jesus wants to grow a community garden.Discovering McGruder’s Black Jesus: “Fish and the Con Man,” Episode 2

My previous article was an introductory exposition on Black Jesus and the treatment of Jesus by Aaron McGruder that discussed setting Black Jesus within an environment akin to the historical Jesus’ milieu.  Now that I… [more]

The O.N.A.N. seal. The American eagle wears a sombrero (symbolizing Mexico), and clutches a maple leaf (symbolizing Canada) and cleaning products (which germaphobic then-president Johnny Gentle uses compulsively).Science Fiction Elements of Infinite Jest: Part 1, Videophony

David Foster Wallace’s 1996 novel Infinite Jest is, for my money, the greatest novel ever written. It appears regularly near the top of “best novels of all time” lists such as Time Magazine’s. It has… [more]

from Inside the Actor's StudioWhen Vultures Weep: Reflections on Robin Williams and the Alchemy of Joy

I didn’t want to write this column.  From the first moment I heard about the death of Robin Williams, it was hard enough just to process the news.  Besides, I knew millions of other people… [more]

coverBrian’s Comic Book Grab Bag: Ghost Rider Annual Volume 1 #2

On Christmas Day 2013, my brother gave me a booster pack of random, non-sequential issues from a variety of popular comic book titles that syndicated in the late eighties to mid nineties. The nineties was… [more]

Monkey D Luffy and the Strawhat Pirates of One PieceJapan’s “New” Anti-Piracy Campaign for Anime and Manga

There has been much discussion of a newly enforced law in Japan regarding online piracy. A-Kon, for which I run various programs, and most other anime conventions do not permit bootlegging at events and internet… [more]

Marlon Brando WritingMarlon Brando and the Problems with Collective Cartooning

In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud defines the act of cartooning as “amplification through simplification.”  In other words, a cartoon ignores most of the details, focusing instead on only one or two key components.  In the… [more]