Friday, December 6 2013
Falling in love is hard on the knees, Aerosmith reminded us some two decades back. Between President Obama's "backpedaling" on the Syrian red-line and Miley's twerking, 2013 has been a little like that.
Thursday, December 5 2013
Unlike the Thanksgiving leftovers reheated, going for seconds is hard when it comes to comicbook issues.
Friday, November 22 2013
"Nostalgia is a seductive pleasure these days, but I worry about what it means for the ongoing health of comics…" A Look at Superman: A Celebration of 75 Years and Lois Lane: A Celebration of 75 Years.
Thursday, November 21 2013
While the primary focus of this narrative is Miles Morales’ return as Spider-Man, the road there is paved with the tribulations of all the other characters involved.
Friday, November 15 2013
It's been said that the power in the X-Men is that of social commentary, that the X-Men stand in for any oppressed minority. But could the X-Men really have made it to 50 years on the strength of nothing more than a thinly-veiled analogy?
Friday, November 8 2013
The shift to digital distribution in the comics industry is having a significant impact. Today, comics is witnessing its very own Birth of the Cool.
Thursday, November 7 2013
When it comes to character death, it’s necessary to split the discussion into two parts: mainstream superhero books and everything else.
Friday, November 1 2013
Inside MAD proves that sometimes novelty and innovation parades as marketable nostalgia.
Thursday, October 31 2013
In Hawkeye #8-13 six smaller stories come together to form the larger one, with each chapter written from the point of a view of a different character. Then the real magic begins.
Friday, October 25 2013
I almost never sleep on the night before Halloween ('cept really for that Devil's Night back in 2002, and y'know, when I was a kid). And that has absolutely nothing to do with comics.
Thursday, October 24 2013
The magic of comics is the magic of perpetual fiction--the idea that the well-worn and familiar can easily pop up in new and unexpected scenarios like the Silver Surfer appearing in analog on the cover of Joe Satriani's Surfing with the Alien.
Friday, October 18 2013
The crimeboard become the signature of high quality comics storytelling nearly a decade ago, but it would take another decade before metaphor would become medium. With Justice League of America #8, we seem to be on the cusp of another evolutionary leap in storytelling.
Thursday, October 17 2013
If you’re not reading Saga, you’re robbing yourself of Lying Cat.
Friday, October 11 2013
"We're comedy first responders," John Ficarra says, "…but it's going by too fast." And that's really all that needs to be said, comedy as a rescue from a grand danger we cannot yet conceive.
Thursday, October 10 2013
Granted, none of the individual sections of an issue of Catalyst Comix are full-length, but Joe Casey and his artistic partners make them dense and brisk, so even with a smaller page count, they do a great deal of storytelling.
Friday, October 4 2013
Will Robert Venditti's singular achievement with the opening chapter of "Lights Out" be eclipsed by what appears to be sublimely prescient timing?
Thursday, October 3 2013
I don’t know how to start this column in a way that isn’t self-defeatingly dull. How do you dissect how fun something is, and why it’s fun, without spoiling the fun of that thing, even just a little bit? But that's the thing about Archer & Armstrong, it circles back around you.
Friday, September 27 2013
Talking with Amanda Conner, co-writer and artist on Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre it's easy to become drawn into thinking about the recent evolutions of artists like Miley Cyrus.
Thursday, September 26 2013
The premise of Dream Thief is sneakily simple: the spirits of recently murdered people take over John Lincoln’s mind and body while he sleeps, using him to get revenge on whoever killed them.
Friday, September 20 2013
Growing up means realizing how little you know. Even if you should have been a superhero…
Thursday, September 19 2013
On September 24th, 2013, the great creator of Buffy, Angel and Firefly, Joss Whedon, will unveil his newest show on the ABC Network: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
Friday, September 13 2013
The spat between Batwoman’s creative and editorial teams has dominated comics news recently. And while the sexual orientation certainly makes the story sensational, this turn of events is solely about publisher DC’s editorial decisions.
Thursday, September 12 2013
In a world of TMZ and Wikileaks, do secret identities even matter anymore?
Friday, August 30 2013
This summer has highlighted the new shape of the comics industry and maybe the best way to engage these changes is through the poetry of Adrienne Rich.
Thursday, August 29 2013
The cancellation of Dial H came as a bummer but not a shock. Its sales were never off-the-charts, and its story, characters, setting, and tone aren’t quite like those of any other title coming out of DC right now.
Friday, August 23 2013
Yeats wrote, in "The Second Coming", "Things fall apart; the center cannot hold." In a way, we see this exact line fleshed out as a comicbook narrative within New Avengers…
Thursday, August 22 2013
Thor was a superhero’s superhero, battling evil on a scale inaccessible to most if not all of his colleagues in the Marvel Universe.
Friday, August 16 2013
Think of it as the natural counterpoint to the entire debate around "personal liberty vs. public good…"
Thursday, August 15 2013
It's when I imagine myself standing in line to tomorrow's premiere of Jobs, that the idea begins to formulate in my mind. Like Steve Jobs himself, Robert Siciliano's keen appreciation and leveraging of pop culture is perhaps what makes him one of the keenest minds in cybersecurity.
Friday, August 9 2013
With two big screen releases to establish the franchise-wide reboot under the belt, Star Trek: The Ongoing Series becomes a focal point for fan interest. We talk to series regular writer, Mike Johnson.
Thursday, August 8 2013
A young woman is murdered and nobody knows by whom, including the woman herself who, miraculously, has returned to life. To complicate things further, she’s not the only person in her small town to recently beat death likes this.
Friday, August 2 2013
How did the old school, more sombre, more tired Avengers of the '80s and '90s become the hip Avengers of the new millennium? Posing the question, and attempting an answer delineates some crucial insights into the perpetuating longevity of pop culture.
Thursday, August 1 2013
What makes Braithwaite the right choice as artist for this series isn’t just his ability to bring the same level of detail and care to everything, from tiny space slugs to massive spaceships. It’s the way he makes common elements from so many different genres seem like they belong in the same world.
Thursday, July 25 2013
The Black Beetle is a Francavilla original, a superhero character living in a pulp noir world. Because it is his own creation, and undoubtedly also because it’s a genre he’s passionate about, Francavilla’s art has never looked better than it does in this book.
Thursday, July 11 2013
Exclusive artwork from MAD #522 lights up an exclusive interview with the legendary MAD Editor John Ficarra.
Wednesday, July 10 2013
A solid film, but a solid Superman? A comparison between the latest version and the collective and popular history of Superman is most certainly warranted, especially with some of the more surprising aspects of Zack Snyder's “reboot to the head" that is The Man of Steel.
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…
Tuesday, May 7 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.