The ’80s killed comic books.
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!
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]
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 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]
Night in the city. “Papers!” a boy calls out into the storm ravaged night.
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]
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]
As a comic book character, Batgirl only really took flight once she became permanently grounded.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
Fresh 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]
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]
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.
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]
Fresh 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.
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?
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]
“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]