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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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Rothfuss CartoonSix Reasons Why the Kingkiller Chronicle is the Next Game of Thrones

Everyone knows about Game of Thrones – seriously, everyone. Fantasy fiction fans can gloat that they’ve known about it since 1996, when George R. R. Martin published the first Thrones novel. The HBO series has… [more]

from 1990s Firestorm 90, by Ostrander, Mandrake et alKilling the Planet: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 22

Continued from last week. Those first four issues of Swamp Thing by Morrison and Millar set the template for the rest of the series. The pretence of an everything-you-know-is-wrong reboot was swiftly abandoned, and “Alec… [more]

Layout 1Not Your Father’s Classics Illustrated

“Who’s there?” It’s the opening line of William Shakespeare’s most famous play, Hamlet, and it’s also one of the most important.  Like all great opening lines, “Who’s there?” sets the tone for the entire story. … [more]

Hector HammondGreen Lantern: How Not to Write a Comic Book Movie Supervillain

Green Lantern has gotten a bad rap. Critics like to point out that if a DC movie doesn’t have Batman or Superman, it doesn’t work. Some blame Ryan Reynolds as being miscast. Some say Martin… [more]

DrNoJames Bond’s Scrambled Eggs Recipe and Ian Fleming’s Quirks

The James Bond films are, in many ways, fairly weird and offensive to notions of good taste, political correctness, and plausible storytelling, but many of us are used to their excesses and enjoy them as… [more]

thumbX-Men: To the Outback & Beyond… Part 8

Writer: Chris Claremont Penciler: Marc Silvestri Inker: Dan Green Colorist: Petra Scotese Letter: Tom Orzechowski Editor: Bob Harras With this issue, Marc Silvestri is back on pencil duty along with Dan Green on inks.  In… [more]

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 031.cbz - Page 2Buffy: Turbulence

From issues #32-40, the climax of Buffy Season 8 plays out on an epic scale. We have yet to have a visit from Spike and Angel, for example, and they’ll both make appearances as circumstances… [more]

The quintessential reunion.Fighting for Control: Present Masculine and Feminine Emotion in X-Men: Days of Future Past

I very much enjoyed X-Men: Days of Future Past.  Even with its flaws, who can complain about that ending, or the post-credits scene? Hands down, my favorite element of the film, outside of the ending,… [more]

titleAn Unknown Soldier in an Unknown War: Joshua Dysart’s Unknown Soldier #4

Joshua Dysart explores the “eye-for-an-eye” model often used against violent “terror” groups in Africa and the Middle East in this issue of the Unknown Soldier #4. [more]

1Brian’s Comic Book Grab Bag: Suicide Squad Volume 1 #26

Last Christmas 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 a time… [more]

Swamp Thing 140 by Morrison, Millar, Hester, DeMulder et al“Make Him a Monster Again, Make Him Dangerous”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 21

Continued from last week. Morrison later made a point of emphasising how central his contributions to Millar’s Swamp Thing had been; “I worked out a large scale thematic structure based on a journey through the… [more]

Bugged 13Bugged Out!: Scarab Reconsidered 20 Years On, Part Thirteen

And so the big wind-up (or wind-down, depending on how you look at things) begins — I have no idea how much tinkering John Smith had to do with “The Power And The Glory,” his… [more]

Neil Gaiman and Hayley CampbellThe Lion, the Witch, and The Art of Neil Gaiman

Does Neil Gaiman ever get into your dreams?  I don’t mean literal dreams where you toss and turn in the middle of the night and wake up convinced that the Goodyear Blimp is being piloted… [more]

Captain America #20 cover artCapital Thoughts: Captain America #20

Steve Rogers wakes in a hospital bed.  He’s been dreaming of his mother, whether she made the right decision to stay with her worthless husband. Maybe it was a mistake; maybe she just should have… [more]

George R.R. Martin's fifth installment of his "A Song of Ice and Fire" seriesGame of Thrones and True Blood: I Read the Audiobooks!

Eric Northman describes Oklahoma as empty, economically exploitable territory containing nothing but oilrigs and Indian casinos in Charlaine Harris’s final Sookie Stackhouse novel, Dead Ever After. While not all of Oklahoma matches this description, the… [more]

The World of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle EarthWhy Worldbuilding Matters

A staple in genre fiction is the act of worldbuilding; when a creator crafts a mythology of certain fantastic elements and illustrates how they interact within the setting of the story. It is not just… [more]

Uncanny X-Men #235 - coverX-Men: To the Outback & Beyond… Part 7

Writer: Chris Claremont Penciler: Rick Leonardi Inker: P. Craig Russell Colorist: Glynis Oliver Letter: Tom Orzechowski Editor: Bob Harras When we left our mutants last, the team had returned to their Outback home following a… [more]

Agent Coulson“I Spent Time with Coulson. He’s a Good Man.”

I trusted Phil Coulson from the first moment he appeared onscreen, because he reminded me of someone I knew, a good man, who had a good heart. He was self-effacing and simple, with a sharp,… [more]

Superboy_Vol_4_35Brian’s Comic Book Grab Bag: Superboy Volume 4 #35

Last Christmas 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 a time… [more]

From 1994's Swamp Thing #150, by Millar, Hester & DeMulder. Here Millar pointedly has the Traveller described in a way that (1) evokes Barry Allen's defining tardiness while (2) reminding us that the second Flash's funeral took place in the absence of his corpse.Sneaking Barry Allen Back: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 20

Continued from last week. Millar’s habit of writing Swamp Thing tales, which demanded the presence of off-limits DCU characters, never entirely faded. Even at the climax of his run, and despite almost three years of… [more]

Uh...Zombie Tramp: Exactly What it Sounds Like

One of my favorite features of comics is that, unlike prose fiction, you can judge a visual book by its cover.  Covers can mislead you by juxtaposing compelling external art with mediocre artistic guts (shout-out… [more]

Falstaff and ShallowIf a Bell Chimes at Midnight, Does it Make a Sound?: Orson Welles’s Chimes at Midnight

It’s my favorite picture.  If I wanted to get into Heaven on the basis of one movie, that’s the one I would offer up. [1] –Orson Welles This week Marvel releases the first collected volume… [more]

monsters posterGareth Edwards’s Other Giant Monster Movie

A year ago I took a gamble with the cable in my hotel room after a long day of travel and tuned in to what I discovered to be Gareth Edwards’s 2010 film Monsters, and… [more]

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 027.cbr - Page 1Buffy: Retreat

After six issues that were essentially standalone stories, some of which were very experimental one-off character or thematic explorations, Jane Espenson’s five-part “Retreat” arc is a vital turning point in Buffy Season 8. In fact,… [more]

Uncanny X-Men #234 - coverX-Men: To the Outback & Beyond… Part 6

Writer: Chris Claremont Penciler: Marc Silvestri Inker: Josef Rubinstein Colorist: Glynis Oliver Letter: Tom Orzechowski Editor: Bob Harras That is without a doubt one of my favorite X-Men covers of not just this portion of… [more]