Articles

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

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Frank Miller’s Daredevil Saga, Part 1: Introduction

Introduction Few writer/artists have been able to leave such an impact on a character that it has forever transformed comics after. Frank Miller was able to breathe life and vitality to characters that had been… [more]

The Fountain Comic Book: Many Roads to the Same Summit

The Fountain, Darren Aronofsky’s heartfelt sci fi masterwork, had a difficult road to the screen. This story is fairly well known: by 2002, he had written and designed the film, hired actors and started building… [more]

Superheroes in the Autopsy Room or: How a TV Star Tried to Save my Life

As I write this week’s column, it’s New Year’s Day—that one magical holiday when most of us sit around following a week of indulgences and resolve to do all manner of great things.  It’s one… [more]

“What Happened To Happy Endings?”: The Multiversity: New Thunderworld Adventures #1

Forgive me if I start by stating the obvious, but there something quite archetypal and mythic about Captain Marvel. Obviously because his powers derive from some pretty mythic figures themselves. Add to this a halcyon… [more]

Furries are Fellow Fans and Attacking Them Isn’t Funny

Recently, there was what appears to be a chlorine gas attack at Midwest FurFest in a Chicago suburb. Press reaction has ranged from just barely neutral to outright mocking, as in the case of Mika… [more]

Sifting Through the Ashes: Analyzing Hellblazer, Part 11

Hellblazer Annual #1 “The Bloody Saint” Writer: Jamie Delano Art: Bryan Talbot Colors: Lovern Kindzierski Letters: Todd Klein Cover: Kent Williams Life has a sense of never really turning out exactly as we would like… [more]

X-Men Franchise: A Spoiled Opportunity? Part 1

Logan: This is what you guys wear? Scott: Well what would you prefer, yellow spandex? In acknowledgment to fan outrage of the change of costumes in the first X-Men film, the screenwriters included a line… [more]

Breaking the Silence: How Comics Visualize Sound

Of all the elements defining comics, the most paradoxical is that it is a silent medium that nonetheless has sound represented.  Comics are in the peculiar position of needing to imply sounds through images, making… [more]

Manifest Destiny: My Comic of the Year

As I’ve written, I’m not a fan of lists or of ranking art in general, although of course I do acknowledge that there’s bad stuff and good stuff, and some great stuff. But beyond those… [more]

Race, Racism, and Italian-American Crimefighters – Part 4: The Punisher, Immigrants, and the Middle-Class Squeeze

This article appeared originally in the anthology Pimps, Wimps, Studs, Thugs, and Gentlemen (2009), edited by Elwood Watson. I’m reprinting it here because I believe it has things to say about Italian-Americans, law enforcement, and… [more]

Oh, My Aching Cranium!: Jack Kirby’s OMAC Deconstructed And Reconstructed, Part Eleven

Jack Kirby created many – some would even argue most – of the iconic villains in comic book history.  The list of Kirby rogues is a long and distinguished one, a veritable “Bad Guy Hall… [more]

Quintessential Superman: Tom De Haven’s It’s Superman!

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column praising Michael Daugherty’s Metropolis Symphony.  Near the end of that column, I called the Grammy-winning piece one of “the quintessential creative works” about Superman, listing it alongside… [more]

2014 in Movies Part Three

So I watch a lot more old movies than new movies in a year. Which means I see a ton of great movies in a year that I can’t throw on an end of the… [more]

2014 in Movies Part Two

So after scribing a list of the best movies I didn’t see there’s only one natural follow up – my favourite movies of the year! After all my quick-and-dirty defences of ranking and lists I’m… [more]

Why Upstream Color Makes Jurassic Park Amazing Again

I recently saw Shane Carruth’s second film, Upstream Color, and it was exactly what I was expecting—a quiet but tremendously heartfelt, beautiful science fiction story, innovative in its ideas on many levels.  What was unexpected… [more]

2014 in Movies Part One

Doing just one end of the year list is kind of lame. Doesn’t really cover the facets worth exploring. And that’s even discounting the perpetual “lists are meaningless” argument. Of course lists are meaningless, but… [more]

Sifting Through the Ashes: Analyzing Hellblazer, Part 10

Issue #13 “On the Beach” Writer: Jamie Delano; Art: Richard Piers Rayner, Mark Buckingham, Mike Hoffman; Colors: Lovern Kindzierski; Letters: Todd Klein; Cover: Dave McKean; When thinking back on our childhoods, the notion of life… [more]

Finding Comfort and Joy in Justice League this Christmas

Christmas episodes are generic now in the year of our Lord, two thousand and fourteen, but they are embedded in a larger history of seasonal programing that transcends mediums of all forms. Holiday festivals, derivative… [more]

No One Told the U.S. Court System that the X-Men are Human

Back in 2003, the US Court of International Trade handed down its decision in the case of Toy Biz Inc. v. United States that declared the Uncanny X-Men were not human. The decision may have… [more]

Capital Thoughts: All-New Captain America #1

The “All-New” Captain America begins, curiously enough, with a nostalgic turn:  Sam Wilson flying into a fortress and kicking Hydra ass.  But, even as fisticuffs fly, Sam’s mind is elsewhere:  he replays a childhood filled… [more]

Tim Burton’s Inspiring, Gentle Ed Wood

It seems to me, and perhaps this is a gross exaggeration, that Tim Burton’s best films are the ones in which he genuinely cares about the protagonist. As a filmmaker, Burton’s eye tends to wander… [more]

Race, Racism, and Italian-American Crimefighters – Part 3: The Punisher, The Boondock Saints, and Bill O’Reilly

This article appeared originally in the anthology Pimps, Wimps, Studs, Thugs, and Gentlemen (2009), edited by Elwood Watson. I’m reprinting it here because I believe it has things to say about Italian-Americans, law enforcement, and… [more]

Oh, My Aching Cranium!: Jack Kirby’s OMAC Deconstructed And Reconstructed, Part Ten

I suppose if we were in the business of drawing parallels – which, I’m reliably informed, is something that comic book critics and scholars (whether or not I fit into either category, much less both… [more]

Sensual Female Guardian Angels: Luc Besson’s Early Films, Part 3

Not unlike the stereotypical “whore with a heart of gold,” the title character of Leon (1994) is a kind-hearted, Italian-American hit man with an ennobling ethical code. Leon Montana (Jean Reno) refuses to kill women… [more]

Subversive Season’s Greetings: Tim Burton’s Christmas Trilogy

One of my favorite Christmas songs is the opening track on Elvis Presley’s first holiday album.  The album itself was a largely traditional collection of songs—“O Little Town of Bethlehem” and such—but Elvis insisted that… [more]