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Michel Fiffe’s Copra: The Most Well-Known Secret in Comics

Copra is the most well-known secret in comics. Everyone seems to know its name, one repeatedly shouted from digital rooftops in choruses of “all hail!” by ardent fans and critics alike, and it’s a roar… [more]

The Marx Brothers as Guardian Angels—Part 2: Chico Helps Fellow Poor Kids From Brooklyn

A Day at the Races was one of the most dramatically satisfying Marx Brothers films to feature a financially strapped romantic couple. However, it was not the only one to get the storytelling formula right.… [more]

Superhero Fever Strikes India: Maharakshak Aryan on Zee TV

You can hardly swing an unconscious henchman without hitting a superhero in American popular culture these days. Solo and in teams, superheroes dominate our comics and movies; they’re making rapid inroads on television too, on… [more]

Descender #1: A Great Science Fiction Story Off to a Great Start

Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s Descender does what every successful comic does in its first issue: build the world, hook the reader, establish the themes and leave them wanting more. As space opera, it’s remarkably… [more]

Blind Swordfighting and Consumption: The Tale of Zatoichi

So Amazon is telling me that Gamera the Brave might not ship for months. Months! So while I’m waiting to finalize that particular series I thought I’d start another series I’ve been planning to review.… [more]

Tracing Some of the Roots of Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor, Part 1

In the midst of this very Postmodern setting, The Sculptor winds up echoing some very old legends with roots tracing back through 19th century Germany, 16th century England, and 1st century Rome. [more]

Harve Bennett Left His Mark on Star Trek

This has been a tough time for us Star Trek fans. Not only did we lose Leonard Nimoy, we lost Harve Bennett, one of the important creative personalities behind Trek in the 1980s. It should be… [more]

On Escape from Tomorrow

If you’re going to launch your film career, shooting a wild movie at Disney World without permission isn’t a bad idea. That’s what first-time director Randy Moore’s Escape from Tomorrow (2013) is most known for.  It’s… [more]

Rat Queens Returns!

We should probably play a bit of catch-up for this new issue of Rat Queens. After all, issue #8 ended on a cliffhanger (as did issue #7) but that was back in October. Now, here… [more]

The Only Part I’ll Remember: The Dream States in Charles Burns’ X’ed Out Trilogy and Terry Gilliam’s Brazil

This article will attempt to explore of some of the obvious and not so obvious similarities of the dream imagery that appears in both the X’ed Out trilogy and Brazil and what that imagery represents.… [more]

Nameless #2: All Spaced Out

While the first issue of Nameless explored dream territory and the kind of dark modern-day occultism of Sandman or Constantine, the second issue literally takes right off into space, going to Event Horizon territory and… [more]

Nikkatsu Noir: A Colt is My Passport

Nikkatsu is Japan’s oldest movie studio. It was founded in 1912 but hit its peak from the fifties to the sixties. After that they started pushing pink films, basically Japanese soft-core. However before that slow… [more]

Sifting Through the Ashes: Analyzing Hellblazer, Part 20

Issue #23 “Larger Than Life” Writer: Jamie Delano Art: Dean Motter, Ron Tiner Colors: Tom Zuiko Letters: Elitta Fell Cover: Dave McKean Without a doubt, the most memorable aspect of fiction are the characters—figures that… [more]

Spotlighting Underrated Films: The Hit (1986)

Boy, do I love the poster for the Stephen Frears film The Hit. It looks like a super-cool 80s noir and it sports the wonderful tag line: “Even bad guys have bad days.” Now, the… [more]

Better Call Saul vs “Slippin’ Jimmy”

Here we are, back in the world of Better Call Saul, where the themes of ethics and fraternal loyalty are firmly in the foreground. We learn a little more about Chuck’s specific medical condition, and… [more]

Honest Bees and a Critique of Capitalism: Jupiter Ascending

I loved the design of this movie. Jupiter Ascending feels like someone took Dune (the book) and mashed it up with every Tor book cover, then seasoned it with the kind of contemporary science-fiction design that rarely makes it into movies. [more]

Mud, Myth, and Metaphor in Matt Phelan’s Storm in the Barn

An exploration of narrative therapy and myth-making in Matt Phelan’s The Storm in the Barn, a beautiful graphic novella about a young boy who’s getting older but not growing up in the terribly bleak conditions of the Dust Bowl. [more]

Oh, My Aching Cranium!: Jack Kirby’s OMAC Deconstructed and Reconstructed, Part Fifteen

Sometimes, friends, it seems like OMAC is a comic that can’t win no matter how hard it tries. Fans of Jack Kirby’s original eight-issue run didn’t like how it ended, while readers who weren’t fans… [more]

A Look at Better Call Saul, The Comic Book

The first Better Call Saul comic book I’ve had the chance to read is an online comic, available freely from AMC, titled “Client Development”. It tells a story from the Breaking Bad days, covering scenes… [more]

Arrow Season 3 Episode 15 Review

The League of Assassins has loomed large over the third season of Arrow. Malcolm’s attempts to escape the death sentence he’s been saddled with has been the motivating factor for much of the season’s overarching… [more]

Smorgasbord #13: Satan, TM

In this hour-and-40-minutes spectacular, Shawn and Tom wrestle with the solicitations for the month of May, grapple with the first image of the cienametic Aquaman, tussle with a whole host of TV announcements (including a… [more]

James Bond and Class Politics: Kingsman

Kingsman: The Secret Service is a killer action flick with a cool aesthetic, great actors, and a surprisingly vivid thematic bent. [more]

In Search of the Early Leonard Nimoy: Kid Monk Baroni, The Balcony, and Deathwatch

Like the rest of the world that could only see him as the logical Mr. Spock, I had typecast him, but in my case I had done so in a way that was doubly wrong. Not only had I misread Spock, but I had misread Nimoy as well. [more]

“I’m Making Dream Art”: Further Thoughts on Nameless #1

There are at least two ways to write Lovecraftian horror. One is to take the various elements of the Cthulhu mythos and tell your own story within that framework. Another way is to use various… [more]

Oh, My Aching Cranium!: Jack Kirby’s OMAC Deconstructed And Reconstructed, Part Fourteen

After the original OMAC series ended with a literal—if too-goddamn-tidy-for-its-own-good—bang in 1975, all was quiet in “The World That’s Coming!” for a couple of years, but one should never underestimate DC’s ability to milk a… [more]