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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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Comics JournalismComics Journalism: Learning about Current Events through Funny Books

It’s an exciting time to work in the field of comics today, even for those us—the comics critics and scholars—who possess far less artistic ability to create captivating images or weave spellbinding tales.

2007-11-03_091528_MotherBox450Siri Ushers in the Era of the Digital Sidekick

In a recent article for The Huffington Post’s tech section, author Steve Rosenbaum equated the new Siri software found in the latest iteration of Apple’s iPhone with robot sidekicks found in works of science fiction.

from The Fever of Urbicande, page 5The Fever of Urbicande, Chapter 1

We’ve previously looked at The Fever of Urbicande‘s prologue and some of its implications. This time, we’ll dive into the story itself.

2022547-2022359_wolverineandthexmen_1_teaserheadmasterWolverine, Loner / Conformist

Always a fan favorite, Wolverine is a character that is in no fear of falling out of the public eye. It seems like every time a team book is pitched or a major event hatched… [more]

Palace of the Soviets (from Mechanix Illustrated, Sept 1939)The Fever of Urbicande: Ayn Rand, Totalitarian Architecture, Brutalism, and Busselization

We’ve previously looked at The Fever of Urbicande‘s prologue, which sets up Eugen Robick’s status quo as the story starts. This time, we’ll explore some fascinating parallels and implications of that status quo. Also, I’ve… [more]

Superman Vs the Amazing Spider-Man (1976)On Superman Vs. the Amazing Spiderman

Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man was the most impossible thing. It simply could not be. It was a category error, a fanboy’s absurd daydream, a conceit to be associated with an alternate Earth where each family… [more]

lolita0Picnic, Lightning: Panel Economy as Art

More is better. This seems to be a mantra reverberating through Western culture, finding its way even into comic books. But this is nothing new. Most readers will be more than a little acquainted with… [more]

mfw_sivana_snbWhatever Happened to the Big Red Cheese, Part 5: Reboot

As much as people have blown the DC Relaunch out of proportion, reboots and relaunches have been a part of comics for decades now.

09-27-2011 Detective Comics SplashThe Art of the Hook

Why read comics?  We certainly have no lack of alternative material.  In fact, we are inundated with it!  There are enough web blogs and magazines to fill our entire lives with reading material.  Why should we choose comics, and… [more]

Fever in UrbicandeThe Fever of Urbicande: A French Masterpiece You Probably Haven’t Read

More than any other, this is the the book for which The Obscure Cities is famous. In his afterword to The Walls of Samaris, Benoît Peeters writes that his main criticism of that initial volume… [more]

Shazam_-_The_New_Beginning_1Whatever Happened to the Big Red Cheese, Part 4: The Roy Thomas Defense

The ’80s killed comic books.

10-18-2011 - Door CloseStorytelling from 1978 — The Rule of Action

Detective Comics #475 and #476 — “The Laughing Fish” and “Sign of the Joker” — are considered some of the most essential Batman reading of all time. And for good reasons! 

BatwomanThe Twice-Named: Batwoman and the Use of Space

Comics are often rigorous in their use of panels and page space. The shape the content takes through its panels has changed drastically through out the years, but a certain economic theory of panels has… [more]

Cece1Whatever Happened to the Big Red Cheese, Part 3: The Name of Captain Marvel

Everyone knows the origin of Freddie Freeman. Even if they don’t know the specifics of how Freddie became Captain Marvel Jr. in Whiz Comics #25, the basic framework for the character is imbedded in our… [more]

The ChampionWhatever Happened to the Big Red Cheese, Part 2: The Name of Vlarem

The motif of the power of names was established from the very beginning of Captain Marvel’s history, but it would take another 40 years for the Wizard Shazam to be developed beyond the all-knowing God… [more]

After setting down his giant globe and big book, the only place to put his white marble throne was right under the granite cube.Whatever Happened to the Big Red Cheese, Part 1: The Naming Curse

Night in the city. “Papers!” a boy calls out into the storm ravaged night.

High drama necessitates a break from the established norm.The Right Number – Rules, Structure, and Rhythm

Earlier this month, I had a look at Scott McCloud’s The Right Number, an experimental web-comic with a unique format based on digital technology. The zooming format and the forward reading convention were both novel… [more]

Red Hood and the Outlaws #1, page 10Sexism, Sexuality, and the DC Relaunch

Last week’s DC relaunch offerings didn’t prompt much serious debate over which title was the best, but they launched a flurry of reactions against their portrayal of women. But first, a warning: my goal here… [more]

Dramatic storytelling or violent misogyny? You decide. Panel from Batman: The Killing Joke. Copyright DC Comics.Adding Insult to Injury

As a comic book character, Batgirl only really took flight once she became permanently grounded.  

xmen_schism_teaser-592x900Through a Siege Perilous: Rebooting the X-Men, Again

Much like any super-hero team around for 50 years, you eventually run out of stories to tell. Especially with a property like the X-Men, you can only tell the persecution story so many years before… [more]

batgirl-1Man of Steel, Woman of Legs

Given how often Superman and Batman have been paired into dualisms ranging from “day and night” to “Apollo and Dionysus,” it’s surprising that in the second week of DC’s “new 52” they paired the Grant… [more]

Superman Returns Prequel #4, bottom of page 30Superman Returns Prequel #4: Lois Lane

Five years ago, around the release of Superman Returns, I began a look at its four-part prequel mini-series, examining how it changed Richard Donner’s original films and what it revealed about Superman’s five years of… [more]

images (1)Exposing Triple-D Tits: Sexuality and the Comic Book

There is no limit to what can be said about sex. Such a simple, almost industrial an act, yet mind boggling broad in its implications. The wealth of films, TV shows, and countless songs about… [more]

Captain MarvelWhatever Happened to the Big Red Cheese?

As I write this, Captain Marvel’s future at DC comics is uncertain. Before the relaunch, Freddy Freeman was Captain Marvel (or maybe he was going by the name “Shazam” to clear up all those pesky… [more]

09-06-2011 Right Number Panel (2)The Right Number – A New Reading Convention

Scott McCloud’s The Right Number is a compact, experimental web-comic.  It is also one of the most successful web-comics ever produced.  This is primarily due to it questioning something that most creators take for granted… [more]