Latest Blog Posts

by shathley Q

23 Mar 2011

Unborn and Raised: Clive Barker's Hellraiser Prelude represents a quantum leap in social media and comics, and a peerless act of courage.

I’ve always hated mandalas. Almost intuitively, right from the very beginning.

Not the mandalas themselves so much, those seemed like 12-dimension maps imagined by Garret Lisey. Not mandalas themselves, but the meditation associated with them. The act of needing to destroy them immediately on completion. That seemed like the highest crime of all. Destruction of the beautiful before it could fully exist.

When in Tibet a few years ago, witnessing the completion of one such mandala just killed me. And in that moment I knew, knew in my soul that doesn’t exist, that I’d achieved A True Enlightenment. And what was that Enlightenment? That I loved money, infrastructure, everything that Russia (where’d I’d visited just prior) was in the face of what Tibet lacked.

And of course that wasn’t the case at all. That wasn’t the true, True Enlightenment.

by Julian Chambliss

28 Feb 2011

In April 1993 Dwayne McDuffie, editor, writer, and visionary offered an allegory on societal barriers in the pages of Hardware #1, thirty years after Marvel Comics introduced an African-American supporting character.  In the sequence, African-American millionaire inventor Curt Metcalfe (Hardware) explains how his childhood pet, a parakeet, often escaped its cage and flew toward the window only to be stymied by “a barrier of glass, unseen and incomprehensible to him.”  The lesson learned McDuffie wrote, was that the bird “mistook being out of his cage for being free”. McDuffie dedicated his career to challenging the limitations created by perception through his work in the comic narrative.

by Julian Chambliss

17 Feb 2011

Black superhero characters in comics are intended to be inspirational. Yet arguably, these characters have tended in practice to represent white aspirations for an assimilative black perspective that affirms the quixotic nature of the “American” dream.  Perhaps no creator highlights this fact more than Jack Kirby.  In November 1978 Kirby gave an interview where he explained Marvel’s heroes reflected the traits admired by creators and central to the American experience. “Comics have to reflect the society in general and society in general on the level that we admired was Angelo-Saxon. Everybody was an immigrant.”[1]  Kirby’s assertion of a White Anglo-Saxon identity orienting the United States and that everyone was an immigrant suggests a post-racial ideology based on his own Jewish identity shaped his depiction of comic heroes.

by Andy Smith

4 Jan 2011

Conan the Barbarian, the once-pulp, sword-wielding ruffian created by famed scribe Robert E. Howard, has been passed through mediums and reinventions for nearly 80 years. As the character is once again adapted for film in 2011’s Conan the Barbarian. This calls for a chronicle his comicbook narratives, as a primer for the first-time reader. In this miniseries, we will take a look at the character, his impact and the appeal of fantasy settings in our current age.

by Jimmy Callaway

13 Oct 2010

Paul the Samurai was the first spin-off of the wildly popular comic book, The Tick.  Writing of the new book in 1989, creator Ben Edlund wrote that Paul essentially worked as a straight man in his surreal adventures.  And while there is certainly a kernel of truth to this, to end there when defining the character would be inaccurate.

The straight man has long been the overlooked member of any comedy team—just ask Zeppo Marx.  It seems doubtful that anyone would remember Bud Abbott if his name had not always come first on the marquee.  This was a necessary sacrifice on the part of these performers.  In order for the funny man to shine, he needs his lines fed to him by the straight man.  A straight man is a lot like a stagehand: if he is doing his job, you will not even notice him.

//Mixed media

NYFF 2017: 'Mudbound'

// Notes from the Road

"Dee Rees’ churning and melodramatic epic follows two families in 1940s Mississippi, one black and one white, and the wars they fight abroad and at home.

READ the article