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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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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]

reaction to jokeLight Can’t be Translated: Alan Moore and the Green Lanterns as Colonizing Force

Is there anything more intensive and fundamental to learning a language than vocabulary? Of course not. To learn how to use language without vocabulary is like learning to play hockey with out a puck, stick,… [more]

3d21Upgrade Your Vision: 3D Comics and Narrative Purpose

Within the narrative of Final Crisis, Morrison wrote a two-issue mini-series called Superman Beyond 3D (2008-2009). This story was placed into the Final Crisis collected publications, forming an integral part of the complete narrative.

Captain America #2. Cover art by John Cassaday. Copyright Marvel Comics.O Captain, My Captain (Part 2)

As I explained in part 1 of this post, Captain America was very much a product of his times. He was created to oppose the tyranny, bigotry, and brutality of the original Axis of Evil: Nazi Germany,… [more]

For a better futureConfined Spaces: Morning Glories and the Escape from Cynicism

It is not hyperbole to say cynicism has become a problem. It would also not be over dramatic to say the problem has ballooned into great proportions with each passing generation. While there are plenty… [more]

readingSuper-Hero Comics and Reader Textualization: Participation and Narrative Construction

This is a piece that explores the idea of textualization in super-hero comics and how these stories are constructed. More than that, it is an introduction to exploring purpose — why are super-heroes so engaging… [more]

08-02-2011 2PP PiranesiAnother Reality: The Spatial Imperative, Part 2

Two weeks ago, I discussed the importance of space in storytelling, and the power of two-point perspective. I left you all with the notion that two-point perspective, while powerful, was not really the whole story —… [more]

The Walls of Samaris, bottom of page 9The Walls of Samaris: A Classic French Comic You Probably Haven’t Read

Many fans of The Obscure Cities (which I introduced here) will tell you that the first volume, The Walls of Samaris, first collected in 1983, represents a freshman effort, despite the acclaim it’s won.

Captain America #1. Cover art by Jack Kirby. Copyright Marvel Comics.O Captain, My Captain (Part 1)

Captain America and Superman are pretty much universally recognized as the superheroes who best exemplify the values of justice and freedom that have been held up as our nation’s greatest achievements and still elusive goals since… [more]

Batman #655 - Page 3Vulnerable, Disabled Children: Mark Waid, Grant Morrison, and Inspirational Super-Heroes

The Joker laughs manically as he holds Batman, supposedly dead. Despite the large amount of blood on the weapon and on Batman, this isn’t even the shocking part.

HUP 1The Future of a Re-Fusion

Not long ago, I saw a post on the the Comics Beat by former Comics Journal contributor Robert Boyd remarking upon the virtual separation of the world of “mainstream comics” and “artcomics.”  Boyd didn’t comment… [more]

Superman Annual #11 (1985)Sex and “The Man who Has Everything”

Long before Alan Moore delved into literary pornography with Lost Girls, he was infusing his work with a broad understanding of human sexuality as natural. And this wasn’t limited to auteur projects like Lost Girls… [more]

CarlieCooperWhy Carlie Cooper Matters (in Just One Panel)

It’s hard to suppress the suspicion that there are comic-book creators who have quite deliberately chosen to ignore the business of storytelling in favor of butt-shots and throw-downs, pin-ups and continuity porn.

Yellowjacket 001All Things Must Pass: How Comic Books Can Never Grow Up

You and me, we are getting old. I know. It does suck.

borncoverThe Origin of the Punisher and the Narrative Power of War

I do not think it is entirely unfair to suggest that the commonly agreed upon origin for the Punisher is focused on the idea of vengeance over the death of Frank Castle’s family. This is… [more]

07-19-2011 GilgameshAll for One, One for All — The Super-Hero Story

I had originally planned to write this article at a later date, but after reading Cody Walker and Julian Darius’s columns this past week, I couldn’t resist the temptation to jump ahead. I’ve been brewing… [more]