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

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HAL, from 2001: A Space OdysseyOn Jack Kirby’s 2001: A Space Odyssey

Jack Kirby’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is surely one of the strangest sci-fi franchise comics ever published. For one thing, the comic appeared in 1976, eight years after the 1968 film debuted. Most other sci-fi… [more]

orbiter_coverThe NASA Symbol and Warren Ellis & Colleen Doran’s Orbiter

Warren Ellis isn’t a prophet. Sure, 10 years ago, Ellis and Colleen Doran’s Orbiter was released and it begins with the horrific image of a shanty town built around the ruins of the Kennedy Space… [more]

Record15_BigOn the Star Trek Peter Pan Records of 1979

In the last two days, we’ve discussed the seven original Star Trek stories produced by Peter Pan Records in 1975-1976 (parts one and two). Today, we look at the company’s 1979 Star Trek offerings. The… [more]

Star Trek Peter Pan Record #2On the Star Trek Peter Pan Records of 1975-1976 (Batch Two)

Yesterday, we discussed the Star Trek stories produced by Peter Pan Records, including the first three stories. Today, we continue that discussion. “The Time Stealer” “The Time Stealer,” the first track on the second 12″… [more]

Record1_BigOn the Star Trek Peter Pan Records of 1975-1976

People who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s will likely remember Peter Pan Records (and its imprint Power Records), which published original audio stories featuring licensed properties during this time. Peter Pan Records actually… [more]

Star Trek UK headerThe British Star Trek

While U.S. publisher Gold Key was busy printing Star Trek comic books, Britain had its own Star Trek comics. Comic strips, to be more accurate.

Star Trek (Gold Key) #56On Gold Key’s Guardian of Forever (in Star Trek Vol. 1 #56)

On Monday, we talked about Gold Key’s Star Trek #1 from 1967, which had the ship exploring the dead Galaxy Alpha, then systematically eradicating the one planet it found with life one it. Oh yeah,… [more]

scan1“Now Everyone Hates Yuppies”: Shameless? Part 11

Continued from last week. There’s a sense in which The Saviour helps establish the limits of deconstruction. For Millar stripped away so many of the genre’s traditions that it ceased to be much of a… [more]

Star Trek (Gold Key) #1 (July 1967)On the Very First Star Trek #1

Star Trek has a long history in comics. In fact, the very first Star Trek comic book began in 1967, at the end of the original series’s very first season. This first series was published… [more]

Image 1Neil Gaiman: The Early Years, The Magician’s Choice in The Books of Magic

The Books of Magic was published from 1990-1991, at a time when Sandman was underway and gathering steam but the Vertigo universe was still forming, and demarcations between Vertigo and the DC Universe had not… [more]

Image 1 - VolstaggGod is Dead, Long Live God: On Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic’s Thor

“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. Yet his shadow still looms. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? … Is not the greatness of this deed too… [more]

ST“Ghost Dance”: Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing #45

Swamp Thing #45 “Ghost Dance” Cover date: February 1986. Writer: Alan Moore. Artists: Stan Woch and Alfredo Alcala. Colorist: Tatjana Wood. Letters: John Costanza. Editor: Karen Berger. This haunted house story takes its inspiration from… [more]

scan1A Superhero for the Reader’s Sake: Shameless? Part 10

Continued from last week. But even the most experienced and gifted of writers would struggle to make a success of The Saviour. It was far too ambitious and complex a project. In mixing so many genres,… [more]

Action 4Humanity, Heroism, and Action: Grant Morrison’s Action Comics #4

While the first three issues of Grant Morrison’s Action Comics could never match up to the perfection of All-Star Superman, the series had established a slow, methodical unveiling of Superman’s mythology in a way that… [more]

4d35b435dc5d0Those that Lead the Blind: Gaiman on Government

Mirrors show us a reflection and repose in stasis. We can reflect upon it, perhaps adjust our appearance to fit our whim, but ultimately the mirror captures more than just personal imagery—it captures our essence.… [more]

imgres-121986: The British Invasion, Part 2: Grant Morrison in 1986: Superman & Captain Britain

The last installment examined Grant Morrison’s early, partly comedic Batman prose story, “The Stalking,” which was published in the United Kingdom in 1986. In the 1986 British Superman Annual Grant Morrison did another text story,… [more]

scan1The History of the World?: Shameless? Part 9

Continued from last week. But despite its barnstorming high concept, The Saviour was, as Skidmore conceded, “hard to explain” (*1). Some of this was caused by the need to keep key plot-reversals under wraps. But… [more]

Underworld Unleashed #1On Underworld Unleashed, Precursor to Kingdom Come

DC’s 1995 crossover Underworld Unleashed — scripted by Mark Waid, penciled by Howard Porter, and published as a three extra-long monthly issues (though the third issue ran late) – featured no less than Satan as its villain.… [more]

Image 1Neil Gaiman: The Early Years, Black Orchid (Part 2), “Gangsters and Scientists”

Continued from part 1. In the introduction to the first collected edition of Black Orchid, Neil Gaiman wrote, “I know that some people regard this writing as escapist fiction, but I think that tales of… [more]

joke1That’s Not Funny: Alan Moore’s Tragic Joker

The ’80s for comics is something akin to the British Invasion. American Rock-and-Roll saw a exponential boost in popularity when British acts invaded the already well-established scene, bringing with them unique stylistic influences that would… [more]

Swamp thing 44“Bogeymen”: Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing Issue #44

Swamp Thing #44 “Bogeymen” Cover date: January 1986. Writer: Alan Moore. Artists: Stephen Bissette, Ron Randall & John Totleben. Colorist: Tatjana Wood. Letters: John Costanza. Editor: Karen Berger. The issue opens with a scene in… [more]

scan0001From Shazam to the Devil, from Brother Power the Geek to Jesus?: Shameless? Part 8

Continued from last week. It’s impossible to say how much the young Millar wrote or how often he sent off his work to publishers in the years before he landed the Trident Comics contract. His… [more]

Armageddon 2001 #1On Armageddon 2001 and the Annual-Based Crossover

Armageddon 2001 was the first DC universe-wide crossover to run through the company’s annuals. The central mini-series of Armageddon 2001 was only two issues long, acting as “bookends” to the tie-ins, which ran exclusively through… [more]

action-comics-3Humanity, Heroism, and Action: Grant Morrison’s Action Comics #3

Gene Ha takes over on art duties for the first seven pages of issue #3 in order to show what Krypton was like. The first page of issue #3 depicts Krypton as a colorful utopia… [more]

san 25Ascending the Throne: Dream’s Return to Dominance in Sandman #25-28

Obligation to duty is an odd way of exacting revenge for a condemned archangel. Thus far in Season of Mists, Gaiman’s philosophy of duty and right work ethic encircles the conundrum of Lucifer’s Miltonian Hell,… [more]