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Columns > Comics

Thursday, March 14 2013

You Can’t Escape Your Future or Your Past

In storytelling, the past dictates the future. Plots are laid out like traps that our heroes inevitably fall into. And we, watching Bruce Willis in Looper, or reading of Dream in The Sandman, are thus fated, as well.


Monday, March 4 2013

What Happens When ‘Downton’s Head Valet, John Bates, Loosens His Vest?

Forget Bates the valet and his perfect Windsor knots. Agent Gates wields a gun, kicks ass, and otherwise protects Devonton Abbey from unsavory spies.


Sunday, February 24 2013

Why Is It Like That Here? Comics As a Medium for Exploring Our Varying Senses of Place

Comics give writers and artists a unique kind of freedom to make and remake places for their stories.


Tuesday, January 22 2013

The Conscious Materiality of Chris Ware’s Building Stories

If the digital ereader has made anything clear, it's that the physicality of the book is, for most practical purposes, incidental, an accident of time and place. Building Stories, by contrast, is deliberately material in a way that most books are not.


Wednesday, November 28 2012

What’s Lost in Translation When Print Comics Are Digitized?

Be they in analog or digital form, the struggle between art and commerce in comics presses on.


Monday, November 12 2012

Drawing Sound: James Stokoe and Godzilla’s Roar

James Stokoe's approach to visualizing how Godzilla's "EEYAEEEARRGH" sounds is one of those things that you didn't know you wanted to see until you see it.


Tuesday, October 16 2012

Your Friendly Neighborhood Hero: Clint ‘Hawkeye’ Barton

Clint Barton, while extraordinarily skilled in respect to his weapon of choice, is still human in the same sense that the characters he mingles with, or the readers of Hawkeye, are human. He has not had 'great power' thrust on him by accident, nature or social position.


Thursday, September 13 2012

Daniel Clowes’ Cranky, Comical World

Some of Daniel Clowes’ exaggerated bitterness about his vocation comes from a willingness to see himself as just as ridiculous as the characters he gets paid to doodle. But he also harbors a deep disillusionment with art itself.


Tuesday, September 11 2012

In All Things Pop Culture, Reinterpretation is the Key to Relevancy

Everyone bemoans the remake, the bastardization of their memories, of something they hold dear. But times are constantly shifting, and our heroes cannot exist in a static universe. Without proper reinterpretation, would our pop icons still be relevant?


Monday, September 3 2012

The Major Comics Publishers Skipped Geek Girl Again, But Is That Such a Bad Thing?

In my review of last year's convention I made the case for Marvel and DC to be in attendance. After attending this year's convention, I think a case could also be made for the major publishers to stay away.


Monday, August 20 2012

Fanboy Fury and Authoring ‘Before Watchmen’

Why have fanboys, this group of devoted readers, turned against the mainstream comics industry?


Monday, July 30 2012

Brian Wood’s New York: The Conclusion of the DMZ Series

Whatever the social and political issues Brian Wood and Ricardo Burchielli, and their occasional collaborators, chose to examine through the DMZ series, those examinations were always grounded in and refracted through New York.


Wednesday, June 6 2012

Animated Inspiration: TV Artist Jean Kang

Like Suzi, the character she drew for Womanthology, Jean Kang tells stories in “her own small way to take a stand against stereotype.”


Monday, May 28 2012

Epic Ideas, Epic Images: Adapting Comics to Film

Superhero comics have become eminently exploitable resources for filmmakers seeking images, characters, and concepts that can be matched to the scale of the theater screen.


Monday, April 23 2012

Comics to Film (and Film to Comics): The Two-Way Street Between Page and Screen

Movies like The Avengers are better thought of as character adaptations than adaptations of specific books. When seen that way, we recognize the characters as transmedia creations.


Tuesday, March 27 2012

Pulp, Bricks and Mortar: Why Local Comics Shops Still Work in the Digital Age

Many comics stores have adapted in the same way that many comics conventions have: by developing new aspects of their business in related, but still distinct, areas of pop culture and fandom including comics-related merchandise, role-playing games, and genre entertainment.


Tuesday, February 14 2012

Digital Comics and the Limits of Sharing

Digital publishing and distribution not only changes the nature of reading for readers/consumers, it also has implications for another important aspect of American comics culture: sharing.


Monday, February 13 2012

Some People Have a City Instead of a Life: The Work of Tim Hall

Tim Hall possesses the uncanny gift to compress startling insight into short phrases with such care and concision that he could likely turn a Twitter feed into a system of philosophy.


Wednesday, January 11 2012

Killing the Page: Comics’ Digital Conundrum

There are thorny creative and artistic questions to be addressed in the development of comics for e-reading; we'll have to get beyond models that see the digital as little more than an adaptation of the analog.


Wednesday, November 30 2011

Hard to Make a Living: Kickstarter and Comics Creators

Comics writers and artists are turning to Kickstarter both to fund specific projects and to buy themselves time to create.


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