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Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013
by Steven Romano
Aside from some ambiguities and continuity inconsistencies, Age of Ultron excels in capturing the human drama in a post-apocalyptic landscape that we all dread…

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”
—Albert Einstein

If Albert Einstein were alive in today’s world and an avid reader of comicbooks—he may have very well been if it weren’t for the Manhattan Project devouring nearly all of his downtime—there is no doubt in my mind that he would have made an addendum to that statement, being sure to include Marvel’s propensity for releasing a new company-wide crossover event that kicks off in the spring of every new year since 2005.

Back When the waning Bronze Age was close to ushering in the arrival of this generation’s Modern Age of Comics, Marvel had released its first crossover in the form of 1982’s Contest of Champions, only to be followed—albeit sporadically—by the likes of Secret Wars (a promotional vehicle for the titular line of action figures) and The Infinity Gauntlet among others. Due to the infrequency of their respective releases, the concept of an eclectic who’s who of the Marvel Universe uniting against a common foe was novel and a real treat for readers, with the Marvel of today vying to capitalize on this nostalgic sense of fan fervor being a forgone conclusion. Though there are some detracting purists that aren’t coy to say otherwise, House of M and Civil War were momentous as the underlying circumstances behind the crossovers gave them plausible reasons for occurring and weren’t done for the sake of doing so. Additionally, they injected the then languid status quo with a sorely needed redefinition that reverberates even today.

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Thursday, Feb 28, 2013
Trip City's new crime webcomic 'Suckers' moves fast, just as a con artist would.

The “Suckers” crime webcomic at Trip City is served in spurts. In late 2012, Brooklyn, NY-based writer Eric Skillman began to tell the story of an inner city teen named Corey White who happens to get nabbed by the cops for a stick-up just after he turns 18. Subtitled “Lies My Mama Told Me”, “Suckers” has White already in prison at the onset of the comic’s second chapter, where he runs into the father he was pretty sure had been dead for years. The story sounds like it moves fast because it does—Skillman’s narrative packs three panels in per page at most, with only a handful of pages going live online for each installment. That’s a lot to sort out in such quick chapters, but it’s done well.

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Wednesday, Feb 6, 2013
The most frightening passages in Hannah Berry's second graphic novel evolve on an inexplicably stalled underground train car, where the bulk of the horror takes place.

There’s hardly a lot to go on in “Connection Lost,” a new sci-fi webcomic drawn by UK comics writer and artist Hannah Berry. For a quick but intriguing three-pager built on a script by novelist James Smythe, Berry uses algae green tones and pale blues to establish an air of dread in the drafty corridors of a spacecraft. It lurches toward what appears to be a disintegrating Planet Earth when the story closes out abruptly. Berry is given far more room to shimmer in her 2012 graphic novel Adamtine, even if some questions go unanswered.

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Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013
For Daytripper, Brazilians Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá explored a volley of riches and failure from the desk of an obituary writer.

Much was made of obituary writing last year, with The New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan combing the archives to discover that “the number of front-page obits more than doubled in 2012 over the year before.” Sullivan noted that 30 obituaries appeared on page A1 in 2012, including those that marked the passing of Maurice Sendak, Joe Paterno, and more.

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Thursday, Dec 20, 2012
We're drawing to a close on the year-end wrap conversation between comics editors Shathley Q and Michael D. Stewart, but the conversation wouldn't be complete without weighing the 20 years after of Image Comics, Dark Horse and DC/Vertigo who in the '90s redefined both comics corporate culture and creative product…

@uu3y324rdry: That’s why for me, for writer of the year, I’ve really got to call it for Geoff. For that. And for Harvey Bullock’s fall in Batman: Earth One

So yeah, just to swing back to Baz…what you get is an Arab-American being framed in the same way as a mythic hero of the Old West. And I know how deeply you wrestle with these ideas of identity…and also the re-ignition of America from its European roots.

So really for me Geoff’s Simon Baz unites the new electoral map of America…(the Democrats leveraging the increase in ethnic diversity versus the GOP just kinda flopping about on the issue)…with your concerns around American Vampire.

@MichaelDStewart: It certainly plays into this narrative of the US changing, of evolving into the meltingpot it was hyped to be.

@uu3y324rdry: Agreed. Let’s shift gears a little. It’s been 20 years of Image this year. You think there’s anything still left on the table from the old creator-vee-corporation debates?

@MichaelDStewart: Yes and no. I think Image is filling in the gap of new creations, mainly because the Big 2,  Marvel and DC are set-up not to incubate that kind of creation. And Image has changed. Their new marketing campaign with their creators says it all, experience creativity.

@uu3y324rdry: Yes, I really do like where Image is right now.

Y’know what? I can’t think of a “bad” Shadowline book off the top of my head.

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