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Original concept painting by Ralph McQuarrieA Much Longer Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away: On Reading The Star Wars

Star Wars began for me in the toy section of an old five and dime store called TG&Y.  It was there I discovered a whole collection of new and unusual looking figures—“dolls” as my Arkansas… [more]

Guardians of the GalaxyWe are the Candy Bars of Pop Culture: Guardians of the Galaxy Broke Something in Me

I just can’t take it anymore. I know we’re in a new age of Hollywood spectacle, in which intelligence is largely relegated to a few TV shows, and viewers feel there’s no point shelling out… [more]

1c CoolOutsourcing War and Profiteer Heroism in the Jacamons’ Cyclops

The Jacamons’ Cyclops is a science-fiction war thriller about a world where wars are delegated to private mercenary companies and televised for entertainment. Gruesome, amoral, but close to home with the modern reliance on mercenaries, the progress of communication technologies including helmet-cams, and the rising popularity of reality television. [more]

3020269-slide-sandman2coverb-mckeanA Sandman Miscellany: Sandman Overture #3 Review

Written by: Neil Gaiman Art by: J.H. Williams, III Cover by: J.H. Williams, III Dave McKean Variant Cover by: J.H. Williams, III Dave McKean Since its genesis in the long distant past of December 2013,… [more]

Erica as Thor GirlWhy Can’t Erica be Thor?

This is Erica. She will be the first to tell you all about the meaning of her name, and how it’s described in various books as the name for a female warrior, with adjectives like… [more]

photoMy First Comic Con

My first experience at San Diego Comic Con was almost overwhelming. And I mean that in a literal sense: there were many times when I felt an almost irresistible temptation to “take a knee” and… [more]

kaliyugaarticlethumbShe Who is Beyond Time – Kali Yuga #1 Review

The relationship between comic books and magic fascinates me. One day I want to write a book, or a very long series of articles, about the links between them. With several comic professionals claiming they… [more]

10468073_700013543381961_346021762295534240_nThe Fifth Beatle Revisited: An Update from San Diego Comic Con

This has been a big year for one of the most elegant and beautiful comics to come along in some time, The Fifth Beatle by Vivek J. Tiwary and Andrew Robinson (which I had previously… [more]

85_121384_0_Bloodstrike2LethalActionBrian’s Comic Book Grab Bag: Bloodstrike Volume 1 #2

Last Christmas my brother gave me a booster pack of random, non-sequential issues from a variety of popular comic book titles that syndicated in the late eighties to mid nineties. The nineties was a time… [more]

Covers by Nick Roche with colours by Josh Burcham, Letters by Shawn Lee for #1 and Tom B. Long for #28.Reinventing the Cog: A Conversation with The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye’s James Roberts – Part Two

Ok, so I have something of a confession to make. This interview in its original conception was a single piece and was meant to have been published quite some time ago. James had originally hoped… [more]

Don Roberto & El Senor Blake face the supposedly ominous prospect of The Word's intervention; from Swamp Thing #147, by Millar, Hester, DeMulder et al.“Take a Look Inside My Mind”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 29

Continued from last week. It’s impossible to believe that Morrison and Millar’s Swamp Thing wasn’t intended as an allegory. For all that Morrison’s original plans appear to have been significantly modified by his junior partner,… [more]

FireflyGuarding the Galaxy, Part 2: Cosmic Avengers

One of the papers I usually assign in my composition course is a cultural antecedents essay.  The students choose something from popular culture and then examine its relationship to its cultural antecedents.  Or, put in… [more]

nasa-mohawk-guyNASA vs Popular Culture: They’re Cooler Than You Think

Along with several others in the Sequart family, I’m going to be attending San Diego Comic-Con this week. One of the panels I’m excited to see is hosted by Seth Green and called “NASA’s Next… [more]

Jeff Baldwin Supes picPower Fantasies: Superman, Jeffrey Baldwin and the Worth of a Publishing Brand

Jeffrey Baldwin was powerless. The five year-old had lived, and died, locked in a cold bedroom in the Toronto house where he was left unchecked after being removed from the custody of his parents. In… [more]

DKR4Eternal Return: The Enduring, and Problematic, Influence of The Dark Knight Returns

When the Man of Steel sequel was officially announced at Comic-Con back in July of 2013, director Zack Snyder claimed that the film would be “inspired” by Frank Miller’s classic Dark Knight Returns. Even though… [more]

giles-flesh-Cover-NEW-Colors-c.jpgUnder The Flesh #1: Violence, Zombies, and Weird Plot Choices

A strange virus comes to Earth and starts turning every human male into brainless impulse-driven zombies in Under The Flesh. The nefarious zombification urges the male populous to satisfy their most primordial, sexual needs. The… [more]

St.-George-Slaying-the-Dragon-Hans-Von-AachenKnights of Sidonia (Shidonia no Kishi): Mecha Anime and Primordial Evil

The Netflix Original Series Knights of Sidonia is a triumphal tour of the mecha genre and a major coup for Netflix as their first anime series. While it’s not a true original, as it aired… [more]

920539-p00001Brian’s Comic Book Grab Bag: Gen13 Annual 2000

Last Christmas my brother gave me a booster pack of random, non-sequential issues from a variety of popular comic book titles that syndicated in the late eighties to mid nineties. The nineties was a time… [more]

HolyTerrorThe Politics of Batman, Part 1: Batman vs. Osama bin Laden

The following is an excerpt from the book War, Politics and Superheroes: When Frank Miller announced that he would be crafting a graphic novel in which Batman would confront real-world terrorist Osama bin Laden, journalists… [more]

X-Men - Inferno HC - Page 349X-Men: To the Outback & Beyond… Inferno Part 2

The son of Scott Summers/Cyclops, Nathan Christopher, is finally in the hands of his demonically twisted mother Madelyne Pryor aka The Goblin Queen.  Her promises to turn the world to ashes seem very probable given… [more]

Image4As Human as You Want to Be: A Review of Charles Soule’s Swamp Thing: Seeder

It’s an obvious pun when the subtitle here is “Seeder”, but Charles Soule’s first Swamp Thing book is such a scattershot of ideas and beginnings that it’s like he’s planting the seeds of larger storylines… [more]

10502289_285570028282686_1288632860811235006_nRat Queens #7

Rat Queens continues to deliver on all cylinders: sparkling dialogue, rich characters and just the right amount of horror and action for this genre. In issue #7, more plot elements start to fall into place… [more]

fr cover 0002Only Humanoid: Everything Louder than Everything Else

Armies Writer : Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Picaret Art : Jean-Claude Gal I always found it hard to square my ideas of what European (well, French) comics was meant to be with what most of it turned… [more]

How to tell a charming rogue from a complete rotter; from Swamp Thing #169, by Millar, Hester, DeMulder et al.“Old Souls, Dark Agendas”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 28

Continued from last week. The final pages of Millar’s Swamp Thing depict the Earth on the eve of a historically unprecedented golden age. (*1) Humanity has been empathetically transformed through the god-like Swamp Thing’s influence,… [more]

3962993-08Manifest Destiny #8: Sacagawea Keeps Score

Things are getting “curiouser and curiouser” for the Corps of Discovery in Manifest Destiny #8. Aside from the usual thrills this comic provides, giant frogs, giant insects, scary jungle, etc, in this issue you can… [more]