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The Iconographies
"The Iconographies" is a series of weekly features focusing on iconic moments, creators, characters or publications in the ongoing 'biography' of graphic literature.

Wednesday, April 21 2010

Lone Wolf and Cub Part 5: Half Mat, One Mat, A Fistful of Rice

The warriors Ogami meets on his quest for revenge offer different interpretations of the path of honor, and even challenge legitimacy of his quest for revenge.


Tuesday, April 13 2010

Sedition of the Ignorant, No More: A Profile of Comics Evangelist Ruben Miranda

For the past 30 years, Miranda has been an avid reader and collector of comicbooks. Now working at Manhattan's Forbidden Planet, Miranda uses his encyclopedic knowledge to connect people with the books that they will love.


Tuesday, April 6 2010

Bleed American: Cap and the Watchdogs of the Internet

By now the story is well-known, the outcry against Captain America and Marvel from conservative bloggers. But why have cooler heads not prevailed?


Tuesday, March 30 2010

Lone Wolf and Cub Part 4: Ogami Itto and the Rejection of Bushido

Ogami's actions become an indictment of the corruption and degradation of the samurai code and his forsaking of that path ultimately and symbolically redeems it.


Tuesday, March 23 2010

Beneath the Great Wave: Azzarello and Morales Return to the Roots of Comics

Azzarello and Morales tap the roots of modern popular culture to offer a highly stylized view of the birth of comic books.


Thursday, March 11 2010

Oscar Afterglow, “American Century” and a War of Popular Cultures

Oscars hopefuls Up in the Air and An Education offer different but complementary views on popular culture. "American Century" throws this neat paradigm into question.


Tuesday, March 2 2010

Sorry I’m Late: The Real Return of Barry Allen

Racked by delays, pushed aside by creative commitments, and years after the phenomenal Green Lantern: Reborn, Flash Reborn couldn't really matter. Could it?


Tuesday, February 23 2010

Lone Wolf and Cub Part 3: Artwork and Swordplay

The third installment of Shawn O'Rourke's series on Lone Wolf and Cub. This feature examines the way Goseki Kojima brilliantly uses different artistic devices to draw the reader into the story.


Tuesday, February 16 2010

Another Chance: Fox’s Reboot of DC Comics’ “Human Target”

Primetime TV may prove to be a necessary rescue of a classic DC character.


Wednesday, February 10 2010

A Modern Promethea: Mike Carey and Peter Gross Pen the Unwritten

Story these days is a battlefield, and Mike Carey and Peter Gross are the new generals.


Wednesday, February 3 2010

Life During Wartime: The Cultural Catharsis of Brian Wood’s DMZ

DMZ creator Brian Wood offers a cultural catharsis for our times, one that is enduringly artistic, despite being overtly political.


Thursday, January 28 2010

Die With Your Mask On: The Grim Superheroics of Rick Veitch

Rick Veitch wonders where the next step in superhuman evolution will take us.


Wednesday, January 20 2010

Lone Wolf and Cub Part 2: Revenge in the Epic Narrative Tradition

For something to be an "epic", it must be replete with cultural significance and deal with important themes on a grand scale, just like Lone Wolf and Cub.


Wednesday, January 13 2010

Iconic Spider Jerusalem and The New Journalism

There’s someone every journalism student should know. The iconic, irascible and deeply compassionate Spider Jerusalem has proven to be darkly prescient of the decade that lay immediately ahead.


Tuesday, January 5 2010

What’s Past Is Prologue: The Best Comics of the Past Decade?

Could Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca have produced six perfect comics pages in the recent "Counting Up from Zero" issue of The Invincible Iron Man?


Tuesday, December 15 2009

Good Memories of Bad Times: Wolverine Under the Boardwalk

Under the Boardwalk taps hidden micro-genre in Wolverine, reaffirming the inexhaustible inventiveness of the character, and delivering hard comment on the need for human resilience.


Tuesday, December 8 2009

The Sociology of Superheroes: Andi Ewington and 45

Andi Ewington's 45 appeals to an audience that transcends 1970s Batman, and even the phenomenal Watchmen.


Tuesday, December 1 2009

Lone Wolf and Cub Part 1: History and Influences

This unparalleled tale of honor and vengeance illustrates the full scope of human drama. In this introductory feature, appearing monthly, a brief overview of the series is sketched.


Thursday, November 19 2009

Masters of Horror Manga: Kazuo Umezu and Hideshi Hino

Perhaps more so than any other artists, Kazuo Umezu and Hideshi Hino defined the genre of horror comics in Japan, an influence that extends to the West, and also to the world of J-horror films.


Thursday, November 12 2009

We Few, We Happy Few, We Bandaged Brothers: Jeff Lemire’s The Nobody and the Quest for Self

A touching, heartfelt meditation on identity and isolation in a small town, Jeff Lemire is able to redress an H.G. Wells classic and make it as timely and disturbing as ever.


Tuesday, November 3 2009

Celebrating the Death of the Dark Knight – and His Rebirth

With the recent passing of Bruce Wayne, can the Batman character escape the tragedy of Bruce Wayne's life that originally birthed it?


Tuesday, October 13 2009

Beautiful and Unique Snowflakes: Warren Ellis’ ‘Planetary’

Warren Ellis, once thought of by many as comics’ resident Orson Welles, an angry, embittered artist, is actually the industry’s Kurt Vonnegut, sent here to make us feel as if "everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt".


Tuesday, October 6 2009

Hollow “Victory”: J Michael Straczynski ‘Reboots’ the Mighty Thor

J Michael Straczynski's storytelling stands out as one of the most inventive in recent mainstream superhero comics.


Tuesday, September 29 2009

The Devil’s Due: What Ed Brubaker Did to Reinvent Daredevil

Could Ed Brubaker have written the definitive version of a character renowned for its production of 'definitive' visions?


Tuesday, September 22 2009

Maximum Carnage: A Look Back

I was a kid when I first read Maximum Carnage and it became my favorite comic book series. How well does the story hold up over time? Is it still as good as I remember or was my innocent childhood love misplaced?


Wednesday, September 16 2009

Abstract Comics

If nothing else, it seems that Abstract Comics makes explicit that the line between comics and high art is beginning to disappear.


Tuesday, September 8 2009

Fear of a Mouse Planet: What Disney’s Acquisition of Marvel Means for the House of Ideas

The fears of a Disney planet are fears that these characters we cherish will be tinkered with or even taken away from us.


Tuesday, September 1 2009

Explainers: Back to the ‘50’s and Up to the Present

Jules Feiffer's groundbreaking Village Voice comics delivered a satirical take on current events and paved the way for many contemporary strips.


Thursday, August 27 2009

The Devil You Know: Mignola’s Hellboy in the Chapel of Moloch and the Old Debate

Modernist drama around the popularizing of the cultural archive, or postmodernist deliberation on the redemptive value of art in world awash in mass consumerism, the story of Mignola's Hellboy is also the story of comics' struggle for legitimation both as art-form and industry.


Sunday, August 23 2009

The Boy Who Would Be The Beast of the Apocalpyse: Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, Mythology, and the Human

Hellboy essentially argues that biology indeed need not be destiny, and that to exist as a human means something more than possessing a certain normative appearance.


Tuesday, August 18 2009

Red Menace in the Mirror: Identity, Politics and Identity Politics in Superman Red Son

In writer Mark Millar's visionary recasting of Superman as a Soviet dictator, questions of personal and social identity become the staging point for a central drama around global justice.


Tuesday, August 11 2009

The Legacy of Mike Wieringo: The Flash Years

The true legacy of Mike Wieringo is his radical redefining of the comics industry's obsession with navel-gazing.


Tuesday, August 4 2009

Manga and Minimalism: The Shared Visions of Yoshihiro Tatsumi and Raymond Carver

One is an acknowledged master of the modern short story, and the other is an influential figure in the world of alternative Japanese comics.


Tuesday, July 28 2009

Jack Knight’s First Team Up

The Starman is a generational tale of a young hero assuming his father’s mantle, which takes the reader on an educational journey through DC Comics’ past.


Tuesday, July 21 2009

I Saw You: Comics, the Internet, and Everyday Life

In this Iconographies feature, I Saw You will be used as a spring-board to understanding how the internet might be examined and made sense of through comics.


Tuesday, July 7 2009

Collapse: 1989’s Legion of Super-Heroes

This comic offers a profound meditation on the far-reaching effects the confluence of a literary revolution, engineering miracle and scientific doctrine would have on popular culture.


Wednesday, June 17 2009

The History of Comic Conventions

This edition of "Iconographies" looks at the rise in popularity of the comics convention, and the pop-cultural changes conventions have brought to comics.


Tuesday, June 9 2009

The Death of Captain America

"The Iconographies" is a series of weekly features focusing on iconic moments, creators, characters or publications in the ongoing 'biography' of graphic literature. This edition looks at the 2007 death of Marvel superhero, Captain America.


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