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Manifest Destiny #19: Teamwork

When undertaking a task as dangerous as the exploration of unknown lands, teamwork is an absolute necessity. Other writers (such as Stephen Ambrose) have noted that it was this capacity for group unity, strong leadership… [more]

Black Road #2: A Little Kindness

It should come as no surprise that Black Road has the narrative structure of the “journey”. (The word “road” is right there in the title, after all.) While we were introduced to the characters and… [more]

Revisit The Dark Knight Rises With Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman

Kevin Smith is naturally a positive and forgiving personality, which makes his podcasts fun, but often prevents him from really getting into a serious critique of a film, especially when it’s a film close to… [more]

Science Fiction Elements of Infinite Jest: Part 3, Subsidized Time

The twentieth-anniversary rereading and discussion of the greatest novel ever written, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, has just ended. The discussion continues, and this is part of it. Many thousands of fans worldwide including me… [more]

Sifting Through the Ashes: Analyzing Hellblazer, Part 60

Issue #72 “Damnation’s Flame Part One: Brave New World” Writer: Garth Ennis; Artist: Steve Dillon; Colors: Tom Ziuko; Letters: Clem Robins; Editor: Stuart Moore; Assistant Editor: Julie Rottenberg; Cover: Glenn Fabry; When Hellblazer started 71… [more]

Rethinking and Re-inking Catwoman

A few months ago I started reading Deborah E. Whaley’s recent book, Black Women in Sequence: Re-inking Comics, Graphic Novels, and Anime. In it, Whaley explores how women of African descent are portrayed in various visual… [more]

Kevin Smith’s Critic-Proof Yoga Hosers Trailer Debuts

For the past few years, particularly since the release of 2011’s Red State, Kevin Smith has led a (mostly) one-man campaign to carve his own path through 21st-century popular culture. Temporarily ditching his film career… [more]

Southern Bastards #14: “Homecoming” Ends

As we reach the end of the “Homecoming” story arc in Southern Bastards, it becomes fairly clear what this particular storyline has always been about. Not football, or even race, necessarily, but the rather the… [more]

Until the End of the World: Thoughts on Preacher

Tulip: The way I hear it, there’s two good places to look for God: in church, or at the bottom of a bottle. Jesse: Maybe I’ll go find a liquor store, then … ’cause lemme… [more]

Of Squirrels and Girls

This exposes me to some risk, having to look over my shoulder for Steinbeck’s vengeful spirit, but that’s the life we choose in the thrilling, fast-paced world of sequential art criticism.  Not like music reviewers… [more]

A Tour of the 2016 Eisner Nominees, Part 9 – Monstress

Monstress wastes no time in creating a lush, vivid fantasy world and giving us some great characters to populate it. This Image Comics release by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda builds all manner of artifice… [more]

Sifting Through the Ashes: Analyzing Hellblazer, Part 59

Issue #71 “Finest Hour” Writer: Garth Ennis; Artist: Steve Dillon; Colors: Tom Ziuko; Letters: Gaspar Saladino; Editor: Stuart Moore; Assistant Editor: Julie Rottenberg; Cover: Glenn Fabry; Last we left John Constantine he was in a… [more]

They Were Lost in Space-Time and Then They Found God

Written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Al Milgrom, the Lost in Space-Time saga ran from West Coast Avengers #17 to 24. The real meat is between 18-23, with the others serving as a prologue… [more]

Academics on Batman v. Superman

Released on March 25, 2016, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was a movie decades in the making.  As the first live action film featuring both Batman and Superman it was a movie featuring two… [more]

A Tour of the 2016 Eisner Nominees, Part 8 – I Love This Part

Comics is a diverse and flexible medium, and one of the greatest examples of that is how it can tell both big stories and small stories. Many people are aware of the degree to which… [more]

A Tour of the 2016 Eisner Nominees, Part 7 – The Fade Out

The Fade Out is a comic about Hollywood, specifically that magical post-war late-1940s Hollywood that is so often romanticized. It’s one of America’s true mythic places, full of hard-drinking writers, bombshell girls (and the occasional… [more]

A Look at East of West (Volumes 1-5)

East of West is an ongoing series that hasn’t exactly been getting the attention it rightfully deserves. So, if you haven’t been reading this series, then you need to run to the nearest bookstore and… [more]

A Tour of the 2016 Eisner Nominees, Part 6 – Two Great Web Comics

As they recognize achievement in all of the widely diverse world of comics, it makes sense that the Eisner Awards have a category for Digital/Webcomics. Two of the nominees this year are Lighten Up, by… [more]

Sifting Through the Ashes: Analyzing Hellblazer, Part 58

Issue #70 “Heartland” Writer: Garth Ennis; Artist: Steve Dillon; Colors: Stuart Chaifetz; Letters: Gaspar Saladino; Editor: Stuart Moore; Assistant Editor: Julie Rottenberg; Cover: Glenn Fabry; After nearly 6 years of being published as a monthly… [more]

A Tour of the 2016 Eisner Nominees, Part 5 – The Spire

The Spire is a comic that’s overflowing with creative ideas, determined to build its own rich fantasy world and completely heedless of any limits or restrictions in terms of genre. Some comics blend genres, but… [more]

The Music of Defiance: Thoughts on Early American Punk Rock

“To me, punk rock is the freedom to create, freedom to be successful, freedom to not be successful, freedom to be who you are. It’s freedom.” — Patti Smith “To me, punk is about being… [more]

A Tour of the 2016 Eisner Nominees, Part 4 – The Faceless Ghost, and Other Macabre Tales from Japan

If there’s anything at all to old cliche that to understand someone, you must know what they fear and what they desire, then reading ghost stories from a different culture must qualify as some sort… [more]

A Tour of the 2016 Eisner Nominees, Part 3 – Lady Killer

The title of Lady Killer, by Joelle Jones and available from Dark Horse Comics, sort of says it all. This is a comic about Josie Schuller, a killer who stabs, punches, kicks and spins without… [more]

Batman V Superman and the Lack of Emotion

SPOILERS AHEAD… I wasn’t moved. There I was, watching my three all-time favorite superheroes together on the big screen for the first time and I wasn’t moved. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were there, in… [more]

Superweapons vs. Supervoices: What the Beliefs and Opinions of Super-Villains Are Telling Us About the Present Day

To hell with negotiations, most want to see a good blow’em-up story: the Death Star, Starkiller Base, the Red Matter from the famed Star Trek reboot, and GORT from legendary The Day the Earth Stood… [more]