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Monday, Apr 12, 2010
Ten years after the Comics Code Authority put an end to the now-iconic work of EC Comics, James Warren brought horror comics back to life with Creepy.

Ten years after the Comics Code Authority put an end to the now-iconic work of EC Comics, James Warren brought horror comics back to life with Creepy. Among the surprising joys that come from reading the first Creepy collection now, there are appearances from two horror movie icons in pivotal and strangely similar stories.


“Turned off by the insipid, preadolescent blandness that plagued the comics industry of the day, Warren dreamed of making a significant impact of his own, but outside the stifling regulations of the Comics Code, away from the stupefying trappings of the superhero genre,” writes Jon B. Cooke in his introduction to Dark Horse’s first hardcover collection of Creepy.


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Thursday, Apr 8, 2010
Is 'good or evil' really the correct frame through which to view Marvel's recently announced relationship with Apple's new iPad?

Comic book fans can sometimes apply the hero and villain convention to many things outside of the medium. We may ask ourselves questions when coming across new trends and innovations.


“Will this tech be used for good or evil?”


“How can we rise up to defend or defeat this thing?”


“Is Loki behind all of this?”


And as of last week, some of us are asking one question.


“Is the iPad a friend or foe?”


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Tuesday, Apr 6, 2010
Hanako and the Terror of Allegory presents an intriguing combination of quirky characters and traditional Japanese myths, and seems to be a meditation (albeit one with an incredibly goofy sense of humour) on the relationship between storytelling and psychology.

A self-conscious young woman is teased by her classmates, who compare her to the yokai known as the “slit-mouthed woman.” She takes their taunts to heart, and believes in the myth of the yokai so deeply that she eventually turns into the powerful and destructive demon.


As we learn more about her story, we find that her transformation is an allegory that involves deeper and more touching themes of honesty and love. In order to challenge her “possession” by the story of the yokai, it must be interpreted and understood on more than one level. As heady as that sounds, bear in mind that this challenge is led by a porn-addicted, hiccuping detective and his bathroom-dwelling partner, who is another yokai.


Hanako and the Terror of Allegory presents an intriguing combination of quirky characters and traditional Japanese myths, and seems to be a meditation (albeit one with an incredibly goofy sense of humour) on the relationship between storytelling and psychology.


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Monday, Mar 29, 2010
Late-Night Thoughts on a Mean Little Book of Noir

Raymond Chandler wrote that “everything written with vitality expresses that vitality; there are no dull subjects, only dull minds.”


The 13 tales in Dark Horse’s Noir demonstrate that vitality in spades. It’s a lean black and white anthology with an invigorating sense of energy that presents an intriguing cross-section of crime narrative and visual styles.


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Thursday, Mar 25, 2010

Saturday morning cartoons were a staple of my childhood. From time to time a new cartoon would appear for a season or two, then disappear. Such was the case with King Arthur & the Knights of Justice. From what I remember, this was a great cartoon. Great enough, in fact, to merit a three-issue mini series released by Marvel Comics to help promote the series in the early ‘90s. A comicbook mini-series, based on a Saturday morning cartoon, published by Marvel Comics usually finds a way to fail miserably.


The premise is lofty, to say the least. A college football team, lead by quarterback named Arthur King, is transported back in time by Merlin to help defend Camelot and save the real King Arthur and his knights. After landing in medieval Camelot, the former football players-turned-knights suit up, putting on the armor of their imprisoned counterparts, and start beating up bad guys. By the end of this mini-series, Lady Guinevere has been saved, but the true King and his knights are still held prisoner by the evil sorceress Morgana. Arthur and his new knights vow to defend Camalot, free King Arthur, and return home, someday.


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