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.
Friday, January 27 2012
It's especially hard to shift between being a world-class media theorist writing nonfiction, and a writer of fiction. That's even more so when the fiction appears as comics. Why does Douglas Rushkoff make it look so easy?
Friday, January 20 2012
J. Torres is a mature, creative voice, a powerful storyteller, and a gifted intellect. Exactly the kind of person you'd want reimagining a classic from your childhood.
Thursday, January 12 2012
Can comics be meaningful and personal and accessible to all, without the elaborately stylized rituals of ComicCon? Co-creators of the forthcoming New Crusaders series offer a genuinely new way of thinking about meaningfulness in a PopMatters exclusive.
Wednesday, January 11 2012
There's a deep sense of duty to John Ficarra and his work as Editor of MAD, as well as a practiced, finely-tuned, Olympic-level athlete mindset and an ability to tease out the patently ridiculous in everything. This is why MAD catapults beyond entertainment, and into the orbits of truly great satire.
Wednesday, January 4 2012
As the writer at the helm of signature DC titles like Batman and Swamp Thing, Scott Snyder flawlessly bleeds horror into the body of his stories. But where does that inner, darkening fear come from? In an exclusive interview with PopMatters, Snyder opens up.
Wednesday, December 14 2011
Why has Aquaman, a longstanding mainstay of the DC Universe, never excelled in capturing the popular imagination? In an earnest conversation with Geoff Johns, New 52 writer of Aquaman and DC's Chief Creative Officer, PopMatters meets someone for the very first time -- Aquaman himself.
Wednesday, December 7 2011
In a time when the novelty of DC's company-wide reboot seems to push writers in the direction of a ground-up redesign of their characters, Grant Morrison does the unexpected with the original superhero. PopMatters presents Grant Morrison, and his thoughts on Action.
Thursday, November 17 2011
Screenwriter and comics creator Joshua Hale Fialkov pens one of the most perfect horror-romances in I, Vampire. The horror, and the romance, shouldn't be mutually exclusive story elements, he reminds us in the first part of this exclusive interview.
Wednesday, November 16 2011
At it's heart, DC's New 52 is all about re-introducing characters that in many senses have gone missing over the course of their publication history. In this edition of The Iconographies, Superman, and how he is being reclaimed both now and "five years ago".
Wednesday, October 26 2011
Timeous and pitch perfect, writer Grant Morrison's Action offers a much-needed reinvention of Superman. In a rare opportunity, publisher DC grants PopMatters an exclusive interview with one of the keenest intellects working in comics today. This is Grant Morrison, in his own words.
Tuesday, October 4 2011
DC demonstrated the full power of their operation by delivering sales numbers that haven’t been seen in quite some time. Month one was a complete success. See you in month two.
Sunday, September 25 2011
A chat over Twitter last Sunday picks up on the halfway mark of DC's New 52. We talk about why we liked what we liked, why we hated what we did. Muse on where DC might be going. And how it got to go there because of where it's been.
Wednesday, September 21 2011
With the launch of his first web-based TV show, Adults Only, Project Fanboy Award winner Jason Burns makes his visionary expectations of entertainment available to a much, much wider audience.
Sunday, September 18 2011
With DC's New 52 reboot of their entire universe, the comicbook company is evolving a greater media savvy and a far deeper cultural relevance than ever before. But has DC simply borrowed from more adaptable publishers like BOOM! Studios?
Wednesday, September 14 2011
The learning curve is steep, but it breaks down like this; Potter's Field is the story of patriotic values set to detective fiction, and the medium of comics. Mark Waid displays true genius in sculpting the kind of tale he has.
Wednesday, September 7 2011
At the dawn of the 21st century, some of us are only now beginning to feel the wave of super-connectedness that comes from emerging social media technologies, some of us have lived in NYC all our lives, and some of us just read Spider-Man.
Friday, September 2 2011
How does Radical enter the digital economy in a groundbreaking way that both redefines the entertainment industry and yet remains true to core values of support for creativity and precision of user-driven environments?
Wednesday, August 31 2011
Perhaps more than a long, critical gaze at DC's history, Secret Origins makes the incredibly savvy move of rendering the company's 70-plus years as both heartwarming and resilient.
Wednesday, August 24 2011
Is Disney's decision to let go of its subsidiary Marvel's entire West Coast marketing team a sound one? The question is certainly nowhere near as interesting as what this decision signals about the entertainment industry as a whole.
Thursday, August 18 2011
With the series coda to Geoff Johns' six-year run on Green Lantern just completed, the once bright Silver Age hero's adventures leave a bitter taste, more because of magical promise of Johns' early work.
Wednesday, August 10 2011
At first glance, Captain America seems dated. But viewers are quickly reminded that WWII was as much an ideological conflict as a military one. On the battle of ideas, icons matter.
Monday, August 8 2011
In the wake of the recent ruling against the Kirby Estate what is at stake may no longer be simple creator rights, but a deep psychology entwining creator, company and fan.
Thursday, July 28 2011
In perhaps the savviest move for a print-vs-digital environment Bluewater has re-inscribed their August release of Fame: Conan O'Brien with the core values of emerging social media. Download a free exclusive preview of the book.
Tuesday, July 26 2011
After the debacle that was "Shadowland" incoming Daredevil scribe Mark Waid brings a carefree exuberance and a psychological depth that was rarely glimpsed in the last 30 years of the character's publication.
Tuesday, July 19 2011
In 2009 writer Ed Brubaker left Daredevil on a high note, with the character literally ready to take on the world. But incoming writer Andy Diggle failed the test of both New York as an idea and Daredevil as a character. What can Mark Waid's Daredevil, released today, look like in the wake of past misfirings?
Thursday, July 14 2011
The real story of the Schwarz brothers isn't their improbable and meteoric rise in Hollywood after being marginalized by the Australian film industry, but the generational shift they bring to staid thinking in the media of both comics and film.
Tuesday, July 12 2011
Robert Venditti arrives at the comics medium as a fully formed artist, vested in the act of making a critical choice of medium. But he enters the popular psyche like Tom Waits or Harry Houdini, an artist in the midst of transitioning into becoming a performer. Perhaps this is what makes his recent Homeland Directive spellbinding.
Thursday, June 30 2011
The real story of the Schwarz brothers isn't their improbable and meteoric rise from being marginalized by the Australian film industry to Hollywood. But the generational shift they bring to traditionalist thinking in the media of both comics and film.
Friday, June 17 2011
When The Unwritten first appeared in print, it promised to be unique and endearing if for nothing other than its peerless high concept. Ironically it's writer Mike Carey's reliance on this high concept that provides savvy readers with insight into the dangers of the high concept in general.
Wednesday, June 15 2011
Image Comics’ Li'l Depressed Boy isn't the most conventional series on comic stands. Part comedy, part romance, part drama, it’s also charming, whimsical, snarky, and offbeat. In an exclusive and frank interview with its creators, PopMatters gets to the heart of the cultural influences that go into making this critically acclaimed bestseller.
Wednesday, June 8 2011
With Bryan Singer back in the creative chair as producer on X-Men: First Class, the movie should easily exceed the heights of X2, right?
Wednesday, May 25 2011
An unexpected, but hardly improbable success story, publisher BOOM! Studios finds themselves in the position to both care for popculture of established legacy, and build new stories and settings. In an exclusive interview, BOOM! CEO Ross Richie talks frankly about how the stakes have never been higher.
Tuesday, May 24 2011
What's really behind the Council of Conservative Citizens' call to boycott Kenneth Branagh's Thor? It couldn't be so obvious a matter as Idris Elba's race. Could it?
Thursday, May 12 2011
This is the final of a three-part series of articles about Kill Shakespeare, each featuring an exclusive interview with the comic's co-creators Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery. Read part one and part two.
Friday, May 6 2011
Jake the Dreaming not only offers readers an unmitigated boyhood that tilts at the world as much as Cervantes or Louis Stevenson, but also taps the changing cultural moment articulated recently by novelist Ken Follett.
Thursday, May 5 2011
Kenneth Branagh's Thor really is Hamlet. Larger than life, but withdrawn and meditative. It's Joseph Conrad to the kind of immersive action hero trope that has spawned thousands of Chuck Norris jokes.
Friday, April 29 2011
Jake The Dreaming is Radical Studios' first illustrated novel for the iPad and iPhone. It is also the vein of American literature that goes back to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Download your full FCBD preview here
Wednesday, April 20 2011
This is the second of a three-part series of articles about Kill Shakespeare, each featuring an exclusive interview with the comic's co-creators Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery. Read part one.
Friday, April 15 2011
With the rise in contestation between print and digital distribution, the very medium of comics seems to be at stake. In a PopMatters exclusive, Radical's Barry Levine opens up about the company's rise, his own career path, and the future of the comics medium.
Wednesday, April 13 2011
With convention season in the US rapidly becoming a yearlong calendar event, the London Comics Small Press Expo still makes those small, personal connections between reader, newbie creator, and established pro.
Wednesday, April 6 2011
This three-part series examines the extraordinary Kill Shakespeare, and each part includes an exclusive interview with the comic's creators. This is part one.
Friday, April 1 2011
With the rise in contestation between print and digital distribution, the very medium of comics seems to be at stake. Newcomers Radical Publishing have had the truly sublime idea of viewing other media as a death-knell, movies and gaming might be an opportunity.
Thursday, March 24 2011
BOOM! Studios harnesses the power of social media. In launching Hellraiser: The Prelude as downloadable, viral PDF, they've achieved what legendary inventor of the graphic novel format, Will Eisner dreamed of so long ago.
Wednesday, March 16 2011
The horror-quake that hit Japan this past Friday has no context in recorded history. The human price is unimaginable. But it is a cultural shift in the popular imagination from the 1980s that allows us to understand the simple heroism of perpetually rebuilding.