James Orbesen
Image: James Orbesen

Rocketed to Chicago as a young adult from a doomed suburb, James now writes for truth, justice and the conspicuous consumption of comic books. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Jacobin, The New Humanism, Salon, Bookslut, and elsewhere. He blogs, occasionally, at Graphically Apparent.


Features

Tuesday, October 5 2010

The Three Creators: PopMatters at the "Chicago Women in Comics" Panel

This past week Columbia College hosted the Chicago Women in Comics but rather than unearth a discourse of marginalization, the event showcased a deep wellspring of talent and widescale commercial success.


Sunday, August 22 2010

Life and Anti-Life: Kirby’s Fourth World Gambit

Already having established himself as the co-creator of the Marvel Universe, Jack "the King" Kirby, ran very little risk in moving to rival publisher DC. The gamble of producing a single story told over four distinct titles however, proved to be an incredible commercial challenge.


Wednesday, August 11 2010

Catwalk: Images of Female Power

For over 70 years Catwoman's Selina Kyle has been a character to offer a more credible voice to questions of power in the representation of women in comics.


Reviews

Monday, March 24 2014

Once Again, it's Come to This: "Fantastic Four #1"

Fantastic Four #1 seems too beholden to its history to make much of an impact. Part of this stems from the fact, as first issues do, that all characters need to be introduced.


Tuesday, March 11 2014

Dynamic Duo Squared: "Batman-Superman #8"

The latest ongoing team-up book for Batman and Superman, helmed by Greg Pak, continues a tradition of grand storytelling, albeit in a much smaller universe.


Tuesday, February 25 2014

After the Coca Cola Commercial of Super Bowl XLVIII: "Ms Marvel #1"

Look at most superhero comics and you’ll see a white, probably male, face staring back at you. Yet, while the culture has moved forward, most comic characters’ racial and sexual identity remains fixed in the past.


Monday, February 17 2014

Quite Literally, Guerrillas in the Mist: "The Mercenary Sea #1"

As first issues go, The Mercenary Sea #1 quickly establishes the cast and setting, packing as much in as possible, therefore giving the reader a wide window into this world.


Sunday, February 27 2011

Keep It Rolling: Gordon McAlpin's 'Multiplex'

In Multiplex creator Gordon McAlpin attempts to track the same path as the sublimely successful South Park by scripting his webcomic around topical media goings-on.


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