Articles

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

RSS for ArticlesRSS feed for Articles

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]

The Walls of Samaris -- sundew motifThe Walls of Samaris, Part 4: Textual Variants

We’ve previously examined the story of The Walls of Samaris, a French masterpiece that deserves to be known among comics-literate Americans. In part two, we looked at several implications of its trompe-d’oeil device. In part three, I wrapped up… [more]

Monkey KingFresh Off the Boat: Stories of the Americanization Process in Anya’s Ghost and American Born Chinese (Part Two)

While Anya’s Ghost subtly weaves the theme of the “FOB” and the struggle with Americanization into its story of coming of age and the supernatural, Gene Luen Yang’s award-winning American Born Chinese takes direct aim… [more]

08-23-2011 Page 4Reading Direction and the Story Experience

Comics are a strange thing. When you look at a comic page, if you’ve beheld a few of them before, you usually get right into reading it. Panel one first, then panel two, and so… [more]

The Walls of Samaris - final panelThe Walls of Samaris, Part 3: More Mysteries… and Some Possible Solutions

We’ve previously examined the story of The Walls of Samaris, a French masterpiece that deserves to be known among comics-literate Americans. In part two, we looked at several implications of its trompe-d’oeil device.

This retro movie poster by Paolo Rivera recreates the cover of the 1941 Captain America #1.O Captain, My Captain (Part 4)

I started this series three weeks ago to examine the suspicions of blogger Bosch Fawstin that director Joe Johnston’s movie, Captain America: The First Avenger, would reveal the filmmaker’s lack of pride in his country… [more]

american born chineseFresh Off the Boat: The Americanization Process in Anya’s Ghost and American Born Chinese (Part One)

One concept that often shows up in multiethnic literature is the “FOB”— Fresh Off the Boat—immigrant.

Moby DickThe Linking Myth

So why do I claim that “archetypal criticism” should be a principal (if not exclusive) means to understand the connections between mainstream and art comics?  

The Walls of Samaris, panel from the top of page 3The Walls of Samaris, Part 2: The Trompe-d’Oeil and You

Having introduced The Obscure Cities and walked through its first volume, The Walls of Samaris in some detail, I ended with that book’s conclusion. I’ll pick up there, so it’s necessary that you read part… [more]

mcmc-3-captain-america-332O Captain, My Captain (Part 3)

“There’s no patriotism like American patriotism, and there’s no patriotic superhero like Captain America.” So proclaims Bosch Fawstin in his recent post on the conservative blog site FrontPageMagazine.com. My only problem with Fawstin’s statement is… [more]

AC_Cv1_hiresx_02Further Defending the DC Relaunch — Superman

The air has been cleared a bit regarding Superman’s status in the DCnU, and (of course) it’s caused people to flip out a bit. Here is a quick rundown of the major changes: 1) A… [more]