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Wednesday, September 15 2010

Bloodletter: Ennis & Ezquerra’s Autopsy of the Female Action Hero Genre

Far from enforcing sexually exploitative stereotypes in the female action hero genre, Bloody Mary and sequel Bloody Mary: Lady Liberty simply explodes them.


Thursday, August 26 2010

Missed Directions Reboot: Assembling ‘Unthinkable’

Reading comics promotes specific psychic resiliences, ones that go beyond well beyond the comics page and carry on into civic discourse.


Wednesday, August 25 2010

Things Will Be Worse Now: John Reed and Breaking the Spell of History

With his most recent book, Tales of Woe, John Reed takes a creative and a commercial risk in producing a 'handmade alien object'.


Tuesday, August 24 2010

MAD’s Maddest Artist Gets Even: Don Martin Strikes a Blow for Creators’ Rights

In 1988, MAD's Don Martin helps set the stage for the move towards comics creators' rights in the '90s.


Pressing Issues: Wizard Press and the Trapeze of ‘90s Fan Culture

Following the apparent reconciliation between Wizard and Frank Miller in 2005, have issues are the publication's quality of journalism finally been settled?


Monday, August 23 2010

Swamp Monsters and Stoners: When Mainstream Comics Tuned In, Turned On and Dropped Out

Writer Steve Gerber's 39-issue run on Man-Thing exemplifies a crucial period in the development of comics: when the mainstream and underground collided.


Trail Blazers in the World of Academia

As we continue to enter this new era in which comics become more integrated into both the larger popular culture and the resulting professional areas that examine it, it is important to remember that until very recently it wasn’t always so.


Milagro: Image Comics Makes Creators’ Rights an Issue for a New Generation

Image Comics was the game-changer. Not only did they proactively assert their rights as creators, but instilled in those to follow, the notion of creator autonomy.


Sunday, August 22 2010

Life and Anti-Life: Kirby’s Fourth World Gambit

Already having established himself as the co-creator of the Marvel Universe, Jack "the King" Kirby, ran very little risk in moving to rival publisher DC. The gamble of producing a single story told over four distinct titles however, proved to be an incredible commercial challenge.


Thursday, August 12 2010

Catwalk: Images of Female Power

For over 70 years Catwoman's Selina Kyle has been a character to offer a more credible voice to questions of power in the representation of women in comics.


Wednesday, August 4 2010

Confederacy of Bad-Asses #2: The Life of Reilly

From here on in for the next few years, The Punisher would be published exclusively under Marvel’s mature-readers MAX imprint, allowing Ennis to explore the character in a more realistic setting, with more swear words and fewer men in capes.


Sunday, August 1 2010

Captain Jack As a Digital Weapon: Launching ‘Torchwood’ Comic #1

Is Torchwood the true “digital weapon” that can successfully market its stories in any medium—not just TV episodes, but also novels, radio plays, and now a comic book?


Wednesday, July 28 2010

“Patty Hearst Heard the Burst”: Joshua Dysart’s Unknown Soldier

It’s impossible, while reading Joshua Dysart and Alberto Ponticelli’s superlative Unknown Soldier, to not think of the late, great Warren Zevon’s ballad of Roland, the so-called “headless Thompson gunner”, and his seemingly endless battle. Perhaps there's a reason for that.


Wednesday, July 21 2010

Lone Wolf and Cub Part 7: A Wall of Swords

In the classic Lone Wolf and Cub writer Kazuo Koike achieves the redemption of the villainous Yagyu Clan by a meticulous depiction of their fighting style, the infamous Wall of Swords.


Wednesday, July 14 2010

Getting Better Than They Are: Harvey Pekar Obituary

At the age of 70, comics giant Harvey Pekar passed on July 12th. Survived by his wife of 27 years, Joyce Brabner, and his daughter Danielle, Pekar leaves a legacy of having nurtured a generation of cartoonists.


Wednesday, July 7 2010

Goblin on Our Back: Norman Osborn’s Path From Killer to Savior and Back Again

Marvel’s writing staff of the last seven years created an iconic, status quo-shifting series of events that redefined a universe and, most importantly, showed a staggeringly real, organic evolution of a character whose time, many thought, was over.


Tuesday, June 29 2010

Who Is Henry Pym, and Why Are They Saying Such Terrible Things About Him?

Dan Slott has redeemed the founding Avenger and leader of the "Mighty" team, deftly and expertly removing him from the ghetto of mischaracterized misanthropic anti-heroes just in time for the Heroic Age.


Wednesday, June 23 2010

Confederacy of Bad-Asses 1: You ‘n Me, We Onna Same Side, Homes

The first in a series of Iconographies examining Garth Ennis-scripted Punisher villains spotlights Barracuda, one of the Punisher's sickest, most deranged enemies, who also turns out to be almost the exact same man.


Tuesday, June 15 2010

Gotham After The Rain: The Cult of Personality of Batman and Robin

Morrison's "Bat-God" gets a makeover after the seeming death of Bruce Wayne, revealing Gotham's near-deification of not just the man, but of everything from the costume to his methods to his legend and legacy.


Wednesday, June 9 2010

It’s Not Easy Being Green: Swamp Thing, Ecology and the (Sometimes Slimy) Nature of Being

Continuing the critical analysis of the Swamp Thing character as it transitions from creative control of Len Wein and Berni Wrightson to Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and Jon Totleben.


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