Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

 
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Monday, Feb 22, 2010

I confess that for years I was one of those readers that sometimes read through a comic book without paying as much attention to the artwork as I did to the writing. This was no doubt due to a combination of my laziness as a reader, and the sometimes formulaic approach some artists take to their work.


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Saturday, Feb 20, 2010

It’s a flashback to an Ennis moment from Way Back When. With Hellblazer #63, titled “Forty”, Ennis was approaching the 18-month mark on his scripting duties for the series that arguably established him in the popular imagination. By this time, his acclaimed collaboration with artist Steve Dillon was already well underway.


“Forty” was a just-kicking-back kind of standalone issue; hugely important to character development, but one that appeared between the major politics of two storyarcs. As to be expected from the title, this issue marks the fortieth birthday of John Constantine, the titular Hellblazer. And the issue tells the story of the rumpled, disheveled, curmudgeonly way in which Constantine accepts the surprise party hosted by his magickal compatriots (if not quite friends).


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Thursday, Feb 18, 2010
Liquid City Volume One, edited by Sonny Liew

There is no place called Liquid City. None of the 28 stories in this anthology states that it’s set there. However, the preoccupation throughout the collection with the myriad ways we are products of our environment suggests that the titular setting does exist. As Geoffrey Rush says in Shakespeare in Love, ‘It’s a mystery’.


Liquid City could represent the idea of home as a mental construct (it’s a state of mind, man), rather than a specific place. The liquidity in its name suggests something formless and fluid, constantly changing. Think of other water-related terms and tropes: still waters run deep; water erodes; it displaces; you can’t step in the same river twice. All seem applicable to life in Liquid City.


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Wednesday, Feb 17, 2010

Like most of the comics I have been discussing, Prime #1 is no different, in that I was too young to remember the impact it had on the comic industry. I only remember the characters and stories themselves. Strangely, I do not remember how I came across Prime #1.


 


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Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010

As part of the ramp-up to writer Warren Ellis’ taking over writing duties of Astonishing X-Men from Joss Whedon in the summer of 2008, Marvel released a Sketchbook to promote the visualizations of new regular artist, Simone Bianchi.


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