Lloyd: amateur hobo/burglar.Discovering McGruder’s Black Jesus: “The Shit Heist,” Episode 3

I had the opportunity to meet Christopher McCulloch (AKA Jackson Publick) and Doc Hammer this year at the San Diego Comic Con. (It was a random affair, the sidewalk meeting of a minor hero/celebrity that… [more]

Harley-Quinn-DeadshotThe (de)Evolution of DC Animated Movies

The DC Universe Animated Original Movies (DCUAOM) has long been one of my favorite areas of the expanded media empire that comes along with DC Comics being part of the Warner Brothers family.  Although they… [more]

03 cas-faceLiving Like a Comic Book: Casanova vol. 1 “Luxuria”

Note: In my previous article on Matt Fraction, Gabriel Ba, and Fabio Moon’s Casanova, I examined the series in its relation to themes present in the fiction of Thomas Pynchon. This next series of articles… [more]

manifest_destiny_2_web_72_by_shinolahead-d6m4aiiManifest Destiny: Death is their Ally

There’s a line in Oliver Stone’s criminally underrated film Nixon in which the titular character muses to a painting of Abraham Lincoln, “What is that’s helping us? Is it God? Or Death?” That must express… [more]

New_Warriors_Vol_1_33Brian’s Comic Book Grab Bag: The New Warriors Volume 1 #33

On Christmas Day 2013, 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… [more]

coverComic Con Discoveries Part 3: American History Z and Bob the Angry Flower

There’s no denying the power and popularity of zombie stories, even if I, and others including Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, can’t fully understand why. Obviously there’s the horror genre thrills, the sheer grotesque power… [more]

10350515_10152209315356246_4351025307162405339_nThe Fisher King: Love and Mercy

For those of you playing the home game, some time ago I did an MA dissertation on the works of Terry Gilliam. Like most things I wrote as a student, today I find my middlebrow… [more]

from JLA #8, by Morrison, Porter, Dell.“Ritual Must Be Observed”: On Swamp Thing #140-171 (The American Superhero Comics Of Mark Millar, Part 31)

Continued from last week. As for his two warring Lodges of super-mages, Millar seems to have used them as a symbol of religious sectarianism and reconciliation. Their differing interpretations of how to save the world… [more]

Black Jesus wants to grow a community garden.Discovering McGruder’s Black Jesus: “Fish and the Con Man,” Episode 2

My previous article was an introductory exposition on Black Jesus and the treatment of Jesus by Aaron McGruder that discussed setting Black Jesus within an environment akin to the historical Jesus’ milieu.  Now that I… [more]

The O.N.A.N. seal. The American eagle wears a sombrero (symbolizing Mexico), and clutches a maple leaf (symbolizing Canada) and cleaning products (which germaphobic then-president Johnny Gentle uses compulsively).Science Fiction Elements of Infinite Jest: Part 1, Videophony

David Foster Wallace’s 1996 novel Infinite Jest is, for my money, the greatest novel ever written. It appears regularly near the top of “best novels of all time” lists such as Time Magazine’s. It has… [more]

from Inside the Actor's StudioWhen Vultures Weep: Reflections on Robin Williams and the Alchemy of Joy

I didn’t want to write this column.  From the first moment I heard about the death of Robin Williams, it was hard enough just to process the news.  Besides, I knew millions of other people… [more]

Mad-Max-Fury-Road-Vehicles“This Mutant Dreamtime” – Language in Australian Post-Apocalypse Horror Broken Line

Broken Line, available digitally from Perth-based Australian publisher Gestalt Comics, is set after a typical Cold War-era nuclear war. In the familiar nightmare image of a man-made apocalypse, artist Emily K. Smith renders the mushroom… [more]

1We Dig Giant Robots: Transformers vs. G.I.Joe

Transformers vs. G.I.Joe Writer: Tom Scioli, John Barber Artist: Tom Scioli Publisher: IDW One would not expect Transformers vs. G.I.Joe. Well, one would expect there to be a title called “Transformers vs. G.I.Joe” – seeing… [more]

sexcriminals_07Sex Criminals #7: More Real Life

In a week in which many of us are wondering if there’s any justice left in this world, one bright spot is to remember that Sex Criminals was honoured with an Eisner recently, which means… [more]

CommunityAdvanced Creative Storytelling and the Art of Metanarrative: Community’s Journey to #sixseasonsandamovie

As the spring television season began its descent into summer, Community fans shared a collective thought:  this truly is the darkest timeline.  For five seasons, the battlecry of #sixseasonsandamovie had proven to work as Community… [more]

Dr__Killinger_by_EastCoastCanuckVenture Bros. is Awesome

You’d think designing a show almost purely to mock and taunt things I love would more or less instantly earn my hatred. Well almost instantly. Well in some cases almost five seasons. But Big Bang… [more]

Star Trek Harlan Ellison's City On The Edge Of Forever 001(2014)(Digital)(TLK-EMPIRE-HD).cbr - Page 1The City on the Edge of Forever: IDW Re-imagines Harlan Ellison’s Original Teleplay

The original draft of City on the Edge of Forever by Harlan Ellison is one of the more famous unproduced screenplays in television or indeed film history. The final episode itself was justly recognized as… [more]

coverBrian’s Comic Book Grab Bag: Ghost Rider Annual Volume 1 #2

On Christmas Day 2013, 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… [more]

imageDefending Guardians of the Galaxy

Okay. Let’s do this. *Cracks knuckles* Recently Julian Darius wrote a real mic-drop of a response to Guardians of the Galaxy. It was pretty incendiary. Like everything Julian writes it was excellent, and made me… [more]

Top SecretComic Con Discoveries Part 2: Ghost Cop and the Works of Arthur Ball

Many of the comics I acquired at SDCC were true flukes. Both of the books here were simply handed to me by friendly, approachable creators who were happy to discuss the work and have it… [more]

Monkey D Luffy and the Strawhat Pirates of One PieceJapan’s “New” Anti-Piracy Campaign for Anime and Manga

There has been much discussion of a newly enforced law in Japan regarding online piracy. A-Kon, for which I run various programs, and most other anime conventions do not permit bootlegging at events and internet… [more]

ttWhy Don’t We Trust Filmmakers?

Where is the trust? That is the question I asked after the recent flurry of criticisms leveled at Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice. It got me thinking about fandom reactions in general when it… [more]

Marlon Brando WritingMarlon Brando and the Problems with Collective Cartooning

In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud defines the act of cartooning as “amplification through simplification.”  In other words, a cartoon ignores most of the details, focusing instead on only one or two key components.  In the… [more]

Maine Hearst newspaperMedia and Conflict: Reflections on the Centenary of WWI

Today, as I write this, it is 4 August 2014, the centenary of WWI. Or, as I prefer to conceptualize it as a historian, Act I in a Century of Tragedy. Niall Ferguson calls it… [more]

black-jesus-tv-reviewOn Black Jesus: Adult Swim’s Reimagining of the Messiah

I wasn’t surprised to see that late night programmer Adult Swim was going to put on a show called Black Jesus. I’ve been watching the network since my early teens (now about 10 years), recalling… [more]