Monday, July 1 2013
What does it mean to be an Avenger? The journey continues through Young Avengers and Uncanny Avengers.
Friday, June 28 2013
The elephant in the room... did DC Comics have the right to resurrect Watchmen in the pages of Before Watchmen? Here's an exclusive preview of Before Watchmen: Minutemen & Silk Spectre and Before Watchmen: Ozymandias & Crimson Corsair.
Thursday, June 27 2013
There'll be no more Hellblazer after this one. It's John Constantine's final appearance in the magazine, and it's the final collection of the same, Death & Cigarettes. Earlier this year I argued, maybe it's time to move on. But now I'm thinking, may it's time to remember…
Friday, June 21 2013
There's a schism between the hopefulness and wonder of science fiction, and the dry analysis of science. But sometimes if the idea is big enough, it can overcome that sociocultural schism. Sometimes all you need is Superman, or Frank Drake.
Thursday, June 20 2013
Every superhero owes Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's incredible creation a debt of gratitude for their very existence. And at the time of this writing, the hands-down runaway box-office hit is none other than The Man of Steel, just in time for the first Superman's 75th birthday. Time for a pastiche, don't you think?
Friday, June 14 2013
Who are the Mythbusters? Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman take time off the set of Mythbusters to answer Gillette's challenge of "How Does He Shave?" And in a discussion with PopMatters, the Mythbusters get to the heart of why they make popular culture, and why it matters.
Thursday, June 13 2013
What hath Bendis wrought?! In unravelling the traditional structure of the Avengers nearly a decade ago, writer Brian Michael Bendis lay the groundwork for something truly unimaginable at the time. Something both Joss Whedon with the 2012 blockbuster, and current writer Jonathan Hickman are heirs to.
Friday, June 7 2013
In his last review for the U.S. version of The Office, Erik Adams of The A.V. Club explained that the final episode of one of the biggest TV shows of the past decade “…gets sentimental, but it deserves to get sentimental.” But it was also more than that. As was Geoff Johns decade-long run on Green Lantern…
Thursday, June 6 2013
There's a pause from John Ficarra, then a slight chuckle, then, a wistful sigh before he answers. A special edition format like MAD Super Spectacular: Superman highlights John's stewardship of not only the cultural mainstay that is MAD, but his mentoring of an entirely new generation of MAD talent…
Friday, May 31 2013
Watchmen co-creator John Higgins talks about his opus Razorjack and his road to self-mastery as a comics creator's creator.
Wednesday, May 29 2013
Instability underpins this maps-and-Manhattan-centric graphic novel from Charles Soule.
Friday, May 24 2013
Before Sandman, huh? Well that must mean there's at least a Sandman before, Before Sandman. So let's start at the beginning…
Thursday, May 23 2013
With an acclaimed career in writing TV shows and videogames, Christy Marx was practicing transmedia long before the term became popularized. Her reimagining of DC's classic Amethyst stories only underpin her mastery…
Friday, May 17 2013
Why would Neil Gaiman return to the proverbial scene of the crime, the scene of his greatest, grandest, longest-running comics success, the Sandman? Perhaps the answer lies in the work itself…
Thursday, May 16 2013
While the Cold War might be over, for the creative teams behind Winter Soldier and Suicide Squad, the Cold War itself becomes a powerful metaphor.
Friday, May 10 2013
Just as westerns in the 1950s addressed the role US geopolitical concerns during the Cold War, the superhero and pulp-hero movie seems to have slid comfortably into that same popcultural space.
Thursday, May 9 2013
Great literature is instantly recognizable, regardless of how its stories are relocated in historical context. Brian K. Vaughan's Saga reminds us that the same is easily true for the medium of comics…
Wednesday, May 8 2013
Each page that comics creator Matt Kindt produces is marked by an ability to communicate nostalgia that is immediate and striking.
Friday, May 3 2013
In Iron Man Three incoming director Shane Black presents us with a perfectly-crafted vision of Tony Stark that we didn't realize we needed to see, until now…
Thursday, May 2 2013
In Iron Man Three incoming director Shane Black presents us with a perfectly-crafted vision of Tony Stark that we didn't realize we needed to see, until now…
Wednesday, May 1 2013
Iconic sound effects like Wolverine's snikt or Spider-Man's thwip have always been crucial in comics storytelling. Iron Man and Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau has shown how the right soundtrack can come to identify a superhero in the same way on the big screen…
Friday, April 26 2013
Jon Favreau's Iron Man wasn't only a reboot in the thinking behind how superhero movies hit the popular imagination, it also reminded us that when we asked, "How do you make money from the internet?" we were really asking something far deeper, something far more meaningful…
Thursday, April 25 2013
If Li'l Depressed Boy creators Struble & Grace achieve anything, it's a magnificent artistic range that can conceptually connect even Parks & Recreation with Beat icon Neal Cassady…
Friday, April 19 2013
With the soft reboot of Marvel Now!, and incoming director Shane Black, no longer share even the semblance of being connected, thematically at least if not by narrative. So what happens now?
Thursday, April 18 2013
While some comic writers and artists find inspiration in the past or the future or other artists or other genres, there are others that choose to jump platforms and find a muse in, say, television. Case in point: Batman #19…
Friday, April 12 2013
Cartoonist Jonathan Mahood's Bleeker is a genuine cultural flashpoint, embodying the struggle between print and digital, and dealing with the larger issue of why we are beginning to resemble our machines. No wonder Bleeker is the mascot for National Robotics Week…
Thursday, April 11 2013
The ultimate Grant Morrison reaches its conclusion, only to discover that ultimates are like ultimatums, there should be no place for them…
Wednesday, April 10 2013
It was only recently that I figured out how much film critic Roger Ebert has influenced my work as a critic and writer. You see, he and I shared one thing in common: we both love the Alex Proyas film Dark City…
Friday, April 5 2013
The ultimate Grant Morrison interview reaches its turn…
Wednesday, April 3 2013
What would the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who coined the term "suspension of disbelief" say to Batman, Inc. and the Superior Spider-Man? Surely they stretch the term too far, surely Daredevil is more is speed?…
Friday, March 29 2013
One the eve of Grant Morrison wrapping up his legendary runs having written both Superman and Batman, we can't spend our time talking about Justine Bieber, surely?…
Thursday, March 28 2013
A difficult new work of nonfiction graphic journalism chronicles human rights atrocities in Central Africa.
Friday, March 22 2013
Jay-Z, Hunter S. Thompson, Muhammad Ali!, and Gwen Stefani, and of course John Constantine…
Thursday, March 21 2013
I scanned the pledge levels, but hesitated to commit my money. I have a very uneasy relationship with Kickstarter. Crowd-funding, a seeming necessity of the 21st century economy, strikes me as borderline exploitation…
Friday, March 15 2013
In December last year, DC announced a shocking move--occult powerbroker and con artist mage John Constantine would not only leave the Vertigo imprint, but leave behind the Hellblazer title altogether after more than a quarter-century of publication. This first act looks back at the difficulties with Constantine getting his own start…
Thursday, March 14 2013
What were the Mayans really getting at with the ending of their 5,126 year long calendar that ended this past December. As All-New X-Men and the Massive show, maybe the fear is more universal than we recognize…
Friday, March 8 2013
The death of Damian Wayne, current Robin and actual son of the Batman in Batman, Inc. #8 signals the exit of industry legend Grant Morrison after six years of having written the character…
Friday, March 1 2013
The 12-issue mini-series The Shade is possibly writer James Robinson's final return to the world-within-a-world of Opal City and its unique cast of characters. Robinson takes the time to offer frank and unique insights into a book that is the culmination of decades of writing…
Thursday, February 28 2013
A chance encounter with NPR's Planet Money sparks a sincere wrestling with the deepest of creator and fan rights issues still haunting the comics industry…
Wednesday, February 27 2013
"Yeah, we're waiting for a blizzard this weekend," John Ficarra says, bending my ear in that way he usually does as a lead-in to saying something profound, "And it's going to be a big one…"
Friday, February 22 2013
Jonathan Hickman's New Avengers offers a profound meditation on the ideals underpinning the advent of New Journalism…
Thursday, February 21 2013
It takes courage to write iconic heroes, almost as much courage as it does to write their villains. And an even greater dose of courage is required when iconic villains are reinterpreted in works like Batman #17 and Peter Panzerfaust #9…
Thursday, February 14 2013
Can comics be literature? The debate reaches a crisis point for Michael D. Stewart with Image/Shadowline's gorgeous Dia de los Muertos, a book that simply breaks all established conventions of format and genre…
Thursday, February 7 2013
I’m reminded of the Beats’ desire to bring common language to fiction and poetry thanks to a few recently read comics including Ethan Rilly’s Pope Hats, Adrian Tomine’s Optic Nerve and especially S. Steven Struble and Sina Grace’s The Li’l Depressed Boy #15
Friday, February 1 2013
The debate over sexism and Eurocentrism in superhero comics simmers constantly, an easy charge for cultural critics and fans alike. Yet, the fact that superhero comicbook struggles with questions of race and gender bias should not be a surprise.
Thursday, January 31 2013
What's the value of Brian Wood writing an interstitial Star Wars tale (between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back), nearly 40 years on? Perhaps more than we can realize…
Friday, January 18 2013
What’s lost in the circus atmosphere of the new Superior Spider-Man is what critics should be picking up on: is this a good direction for the Wall-crawler, are the comics in question good, and what does this all mean in the larger picture of comics and popculture?
Thursday, January 17 2013
"For a moment I imagine that scary Go-To-Bed Clown that used to appear at your window, each night as you tried to fall sleep. But talking about the sheer masterfulness of the Joker's creation isn't the scary thing in this interview. The scary thing is Scott himself…"
Thursday, January 10 2013
Django Unchained is quite possibly the finest example of an adapted-from-film comicbook, except of course, it's really not, not entirely…
Wednesday, January 9 2013
Earlier on in the Batman storyarc "Death of the Family", we were introduced to the idea of the Joker as court jester, but this obfuscates seeing him for what he is: Peter Pan…
Thursday, December 27 2012
PopMatters Comics Editor Shathley Q and Associate Editor Michael D. Stewart didn't get to talking about everything…only the things they connected with emotionally, and the ideas that these things brought them into…Here it is, your view of comics, superheroes and transmedia…Enjoy it in good health, this Mayan Doomsday…
Friday, December 14 2012
It's not right on the cusp of Amazing Spider-Man #700, writer Dan Slott takes us back to 80s body-swap comedies, or even that those comedies have a pedigree in Gilded Age satire…it's what pushing Spidey into those genre do to the hero's characterization…
Thursday, December 13 2012
After the success of Joss Whedon's summer blockbuster the Avengers, there needs to be a title that captures the essence of the movies while retaining the force and the intricacies of the comicbooks. Jonathan Hickman's Avengers is that series.
Monday, December 10 2012
In some sense, Scene of the Crime birthed the universe of grifters, drug runners, and unlucky bar flies that help make Ed Brubaker's books what they are…
Friday, December 7 2012
It's the kind of conversation that can only play out on Black Friday, sequel to what this year became know as Black Thursday, the day we used to call Thanksgiving…
Thursday, November 29 2012
In "Throne of Atlantis", the crossover that spans both Justice League and Aquaman, writer and DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns sees the culmination of a theme decades in the making. Enjoy a sneak preview…
Wednesday, November 21 2012
In the '90s, Valiant set the bar for comics very high by blending together modern art and characterization with storytelling modes of classic horror comics from the '70s. But did they set the bar impossibly high? Even for their own relaunch 20 years after?
Thursday, November 15 2012
The soul-crushing, heartrending exuberance of a voyage through "everyone's happy place"…
Thursday, November 8 2012
I don't know Neil Dregrasse Tyson, we've never met, but to me, he's just about as mythic as Superman himself…
Thursday, November 1 2012
It's four in the morning on Halloween night, and it's a time to begin rebuilding as much the comics industry as the devastation left in the wake of Sandy.
Thursday, October 25 2012
It will be Halloween soon enough, and surprisingly, perhaps a key to Halloween can be found in Tony Parker's critically acclaimed comics adaptation of Philip K Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the novel that formed the basis for Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.
Thursday, October 18 2012
With the end The Mighty Thor, perhaps now's the perfect time to reconsider Kenneth Branagh's critical box office success as a metaphor for the challenges facing the upcoming Thor: God of Thunder.
Wednesday, October 10 2012
What happens when Vegas is everywhere? MAD's recent blog post about nude Royals provides a vital clue to the nature of the post-Empire moment…
Wednesday, October 3 2012
Over a late NY lunch-hour, and in the space of just one minute, both Christy Marx and Justin Jordan articulate grand-vision views of the New 52, of Zero Month, and the ongoing relevance of popculture.
Wednesday, September 26 2012
Catwoman does not exist. By the end of The Dark Knight Rises we see, what could be, the end of Batman. And in a future without Batman, Selina becomes the rebound girl for a man who just dumped his alter ego…
Wednesday, September 19 2012
Says Snyder, “I think writing comics, you have to have that North Star for each thing you are working on”…
Wednesday, September 12 2012
What's your perfect poker table? Mine would never include either John Reed or Thomas Jefferson, pretty much because, between the two of them, they'd hustle the socks off me…
Wednesday, September 5 2012
Just as music should never be harmless, pop culture should never diminish those who read it. If DC's proven anything over this last year, it's that the grander experiment of pop culture can succeed even for a genre as marginalized as superheroes.
Wednesday, August 29 2012
Ten years gone, and John Reed (playwright of All the World's a Grave and political cartoonist-writer behind Shitty Mickey) meditates on the post 9/11 condition and his 2002 novel Snowball's Chance…
Wednesday, August 15 2012
With his most recent novel, The Survivor, comics- and screenwriter Gregg Hurwitz underlines his already incredible mastery of transmedia and charts a new course for the American psyche after the last horrific decade…
Wednesday, August 8 2012
"I guess somebody, somewhere must be tolling a bell," Meat Loaf reminds us. Lieberman and Lorimer's Harvest is all about sometimes needing to toll those bells ourselves.
Wednesday, August 1 2012
There's a strange promissory to Greg Pak's relaunch of X-treme X-Men, perhaps it has something to do with Jason Aaron having rarefied the essence of Wolverine's immortality over the course of some 60 issues…
Thursday, July 26 2012
The story of Aurora, the real story of Aurora isn't the story of psychotic action. Jim Holmes will not inscribe himself into this. I will simply not allow it, and neither will you...
Wednesday, July 18 2012
Like it or not, something's missing from Marc Webb's cinematic reimagining of the Amazing Spider-Man, the exact piece that makes Spider-Man, Spider-Man…
Wednesday, July 11 2012
In April 2012, New York Times bestselling writer Chris Roberson re-tabled a debate around creative rights many believed long-settled...
Wednesday, June 27 2012
Perhaps Peanuts creator Charles Schulz's greatest advantage in being a social crusader is that he never appeared to be one…
Thursday, June 21 2012
The true art of the New 52, and of "The Culling" lies in a core idea identified by the three writers of the series in this crossover. Here are their views, in a PopMatters exclusive.
Thursday, June 14 2012
Rob and I talk about the deep, meaningful connectedness inherent to comics fandom, and then, we talk about something else entirely, about a Human Revolution…
Wednesday, June 13 2012
Nothing lasts forever, nor should it… The careful art of writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV make a bone-chilling stand for creativity, by articulating a newer, deadlier Mr. Freeze.
Wednesday, June 6 2012
Serial killer Gary Ridgway's legacy is horrific, and the Green River Killer graphic novel sheds light on this tragedy's most marginalized victims.
Friday, June 1 2012
DC Comics announces today that its iconic Green Lantern, Alan Scott, is gay. But in conversation with PopMatters, writer James Robinson suggests that this move isn't about the iconic at all.
Wednesday, May 30 2012
It's shortly before dawn on Memorial Day and I'm thinking about Lt. Colonel Virgil Ivan Grissom and Apollo One. Could it be because of Howard Mackie's beautiful Ravagers #1?
Thursday, May 24 2012
The Avengers highlights a persistent anxiety about equality in the U.S. experience.
Wednesday, May 16 2012
James Robinson begins, and there's a kind of building-up. In my mind I imagine great machines powered by steam, machines of bespoke engineering from a bygone day, now already just slightly out of reach…
Wednesday, May 9 2012
“I completely feel like a kid writing it,” China says with a smile that transcends the phone line we are using to have this conversation. “The biggest reason for me to do this title is this feeling of being a kid coming up with these absurd superheroes; the joy we all have is in inventing superheroes”…
Friday, May 4 2012
There's a reason Robert Downey Jr. refers so poignantly to his Iron Man armor as a "terrible privilege". But to understand that, you'll need the full backstory on not only the Avengers, but on Free Comic Book Day as well.
Wednesday, May 2 2012
It's going to be an interview with John soon. Poor guy, he doesn't yet know it's going to be about the ziggurats. But he'll figure it out soon enough…
Wednesday, April 25 2012
MAD #515 is the summer issue, and it's exactly what you'd expect, "The Hunger Pains", Siri parody ads for the iPhone 4S, and "The 50 Worst Things About America"… wait, what now?
Wednesday, April 18 2012
Brian Wood's DMZ is a work of extremes, but its parallels to our real-life "civil liberties crackdown" are integral to the story.
Thursday, April 12 2012
The last time we spoke, Alex Segura and I, we spoke about his having written Archie Meets KISS, already a critical piece of Archie Comics-lore. After yesterday's release of the hardback collected edition, I've had a few thoughts. About the summer, and about ourselves.
Wednesday, April 4 2012
Writer, DJ and journalist Selwyn Hinds collaborates with comics industry giant Denys Cowan to produce Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child, a book as much about post-Katrina New Orleans, as it is about a young woman's journey into the past to redeem that past. This book couldn't have come at a better time. This couldn't be a more demanding interview.
Friday, March 23 2012
Filmmaker and series regular writer of DC's New 52 Suicide Squad, Adam Glass, offers a sincere, focused and above-all revolutionary reinterpretation of the action-thriller genre in a PopMatters Exclusive conversation.
Wednesday, March 21 2012
Art Baltazar and Franco remind us that comics is the art of not-yet-but-soon. But not without reminded us of the great cultural debt we owe to giants like Will Eisner and Charles Dickens.
Wednesday, March 14 2012
It's not simply a change in logo, for DC. It's that this change in logo captures the unique power of comics as a medium hinged on the promise of conditionality, and this idea of conditionality is littered in these issues of DC's New 52.
Wednesday, March 7 2012
Is John Carter a simple action movie or an indication of continuous struggle over values in the United States?
Wednesday, February 29 2012
The recent storyarc of Hellblazer, "Another Season in Hell", returns Vertigo alumni Peter Milligan to one of his most enduring formative works in founding Vertigo title, Shade: the Changing Man. Some 20 years after, this is why Milligan's comics is still art.
Wednesday, February 22 2012
The Flash has always been, not so much about moving forward, but about how creative teams execute that vision of moving forward. In a PopMatters exclusive with writer-artists Francis Manapul and Brian Bucellato, we uncover exactly how this New 52 team is effecting this change.
Wednesday, February 15 2012
Uncanny X-Men isn't half the missed opportunity it first appears to be. It's art lies exactly in the tension of walking a highwire of commercial interests and unchecked creative impulses.
Wednesday, February 8 2012
It's the turning of the final tide, the groundbreaking Blue Estate wraps issue #8, which closes the second volume of the collected editions, and launches issue #9, which opens the final volume. The stakes, and the value, couldn't be higher.
Friday, February 3 2012
It's been our longest interview for an exclusive yet, Editor John Ficarra, the mind behind MAD. And it ends in the most unexpected place; compassion.