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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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Hellblazer 3Sifting Through the Ashes: Analyzing Hellblazer, Part 2

Issue #3 “Going for It” Writer: Jamie Delano Art: John Ridgeway Colors: Lovern Kindzierski Letters: Annie Halfacree Of all the issues of Hellblazer written by Jamie Delano, fewer are more politically charged than “Going For… [more]

Peter-Cushing-Van-HelsingVampire Films and Catholicism

The vampire movies that are the most likely to treat issues of theology and religion seriously are the Gothic melodramas and the art house pictures, while the films in the other categories are more interested… [more]

"Morrison & Miller(sic) Move Over To Marvel": The cover to 1995's Comics International #52, with a scan from Alan Davis' Captain Britain tales.“To Shoot Every Last Skrull On Earth”: On Skrull Kill Krew #1-5 (The American Superhero Comics Of Mark Millar, Part 41)

Continued from last week. Despite the precipitous collapse and subsequent flatlining of Swamp Thing’s sales in the second half of 1994, Millar’s career at the half-point of the decade still appeared to be in rude… [more]

The Shining, PosterThe Strange Case of Dr. Pretentious and Mr. Clown

I’ve always loved Halloween.  It’s one of the few holidays that is fun and festive but requires no travel and only nominal shopping.  When it’s done right, it’s a wonderful excuse to dress up, eat… [more]

OMAC02Oh, My Aching Cranium!: Jack Kirby’s OMAC Deconstructed And Reconstructed, Part Six

The cover for OMAC #2 lays things bare – “In The Era Of The ‘Super Rich’ – Mister Big Can ‘Rent A City’ For Assassination!”  And while, admittedly, this may have sounded a bit far-fetched… [more]

constantineSifting Through the Ashes: Analyzing Hellblazer, Part 1

When the term “magic” is observed by a member of the Western world, certain images undoubtedly come to mind. Long bearded men with staffs and pointy hats, a young boy with a lightning bolt scar,… [more]

blackjesus_6_dup-20140730-08_2Discovering Black Jesus, Episode 6: “Love Thy Enemy, Part 1”

“You better slow down Joe Brown. You know God’s love will get you f*cked up quick.” God’s love dominates Black Jesus as a recurring theme, but what it means exactly has yet to take shape… [more]

lemora-posterCategorizing Vampire Movies

In their classic form, vampires are immortal, nonhuman beings who sustain themselves by drinking human blood.  Sometimes referred to as nosferatu or wurdalak, vampires are most often portrayed as “undead” individuals who have come back… [more]

from Mark Millar's Swamp Thing“About Sixty Per Cent Happy”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 40

Continued from last week. The rest of Millar’s Swamp Thing tales shared the same weaknesses as River Run, although they only intermittently reflected the same strengths. The likes of Twilight of The Gods and Chester… [more]

maxresdefault-1“For the Man Who Has Everything”: The Animated Adaptation

Getting Alan Moore to approve of an adaptation is like… getting Alan Moore to approve of an adaptation. So, it’s very interesting to hear that the 2006 WB Animation adaptation of “For the Man Who… [more]

from Swamp Thing #158, by Millar, Hester, DeMulder et al.“So Many Questions are Left Unanswered”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 39

Continued from last week. For the third time in ten months, Millar’s Swamp Thing had presented abortion in a wholly negative light. Nothing that he’d write in the remainder of his tenure on the book… [more]

Photo by Do615Obsession and Superhero Movies: Scenes from a Comics Convention, Part 2

If you read last week’s column, you know that I recently attended the second annual Nashville Comic Con.  This week, I’d like to talk about one of the panels that made a particular impression on… [more]

cap 24Capital Thoughts: Captain America #24

Superhero families have always been something of a mystery.  As most serious readers of comics know, the 1955 Comics Authority banned virtually all sexual activity from comics, and even within the bounds of marriage, sex… [more]

batman-returns-pic-1The Politics of Batman, Part 5: Batman Returns, Enron, and the Buying of American Democracy

I first saw the film Batman Returns when it was released in 1992. I was young and didn’t understand it. I found the Penguin disgusting. I had a sense that the movie was condemning American… [more]

Black Jesus giving Lloyd a salad as a gift, even though Lloyd is actively undermining him.Discovering Black Jesus, Episode 5 “Fried Green Tomatoes”

Boonie: Man, God ain’t good man. God sucks right now. Black Jesus: Oh negro of little faith, isn’t the miracle of the forgivin’ cholos enough proof to let yo’ disbelievin’ ass know that God want… [more]

from Swamp Thing #157, by Millar, Hester, DeMulder et al.“Why d’You Think God Created Abortion Clinics?”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 38

Continued from last week. After abortion as a vehicle for laddish jokes and abortion as a means for evoking terror, Millar turned to abortion as a symbol of crass irresponsibility. (ST: 147/152/157) In Sink Or… [more]

William Shatner, Nashville Comic ConThe Shatner News No One Covered: Scenes from a Comics Convention, Part 1

Recently, Denise Dorman, the wife of the great Star Wars artist, Dave Dorman, posted a blog where she described the financial difficulties faced by many of the comics creators who attend conventions.  Hers was a… [more]

Cromagnon OrgasmIs Cromagnon’s Orgasm Worth Your Time?

Austin Grasmere and Brian Elliot were successful pop producers in the mid 1960s. Despite their eminent reputations in the popular music industry, they wished to create a more experimental album, as a sort of hobby… [more]

errolandsisterTrue Detective Explores the Roots and Branches of Southern Gothic

Set on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, and filled with images of hurricane-wrought destruction, the first season of True Detective uses many Southern Gothic visual elements. Physical decay evokes themes of moral decay, which are… [more]

deadwood1lgThe Second Coming of Television

The Beast -with sincere apologies to W.B Yeats. Blogging and blogging in widening participation The ‘twoten to’ cannot follow the timeline; Schedules fall apart; the box-set cannot hold; Cyber-anarchy is loosed upon the world, The… [more]

comic-book-snap-poll-are-you-a-twd-comic-book-readerZomBeing and Nothingness: Part 2

Previously: Being faithful to your genre, monsters as liminal beings, and horror as fascination. Beyond Thunderdome If the archetypal zombie story is apocalyptic, it’s worth considering what apocalyptic stories actually are. Chandra Phelan notes that… [more]

36094-5415-40307-1-man-called-a-x-theBrian’s Comic Book Grab Bag: The Man Called A-X Volume 1 #3

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]

buildafriendOh, My Aching Cranium! : Jack Kirby’s OMAC Deconstructed And Reconstructed, Part Five

Hey, look! It’s our “girl” from the cover—and apparently she’s got a name and everything! Dear readers, allow me—by way of Jack Kirby, of course—to introduce you to Lila, a manufactured “Build-A-Friend” that comes our… [more]

from Swamp Thing #157, by Millar, Hester, DeMulder et al.“Terminate This Pregnancy”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 37

Continued from last week. Millar makes more use of the topic of abortion in Swamp Thing than most superhero writers do in a lifetime. In each case, abortion is used either as a symbol of… [more]

ftmwhecoverThe Last Temptation of Supe: Christian Overtones in “For the Man Who Has Everything”

On those rare occasions when I teach students about superhero comics, one question that always comes up is what defines a “hero”. Is, for example, a hero simply an individual who does heroic things? Or… [more]