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Tuesday, January 5 2010

What’s Past Is Prologue: The Best Comics of the Past Decade?

Could Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca have produced six perfect comics pages in the recent "Counting Up from Zero" issue of The Invincible Iron Man?


Tuesday, December 15 2009

Good Memories of Bad Times: Wolverine Under the Boardwalk

Under the Boardwalk taps hidden micro-genre in Wolverine, reaffirming the inexhaustible inventiveness of the character, and delivering hard comment on the need for human resilience.


Tuesday, December 8 2009

The Sociology of Superheroes: Andi Ewington and 45

Andi Ewington's 45 appeals to an audience that transcends 1970s Batman, and even the phenomenal Watchmen.


Tuesday, December 1 2009

Lone Wolf and Cub Part 1: History and Influences

This unparalleled tale of honor and vengeance illustrates the full scope of human drama. In this introductory feature, appearing monthly, a brief overview of the series is sketched.


Thursday, November 19 2009

Masters of Horror Manga: Kazuo Umezu and Hideshi Hino

Perhaps more so than any other artists, Kazuo Umezu and Hideshi Hino defined the genre of horror comics in Japan, an influence that extends to the West, and also to the world of J-horror films.


Thursday, November 12 2009

We Few, We Happy Few, We Bandaged Brothers: Jeff Lemire’s The Nobody and the Quest for Self

A touching, heartfelt meditation on identity and isolation in a small town, Jeff Lemire is able to redress an H.G. Wells classic and make it as timely and disturbing as ever.


Tuesday, November 10 2009

The Four-Color Adventures of the Fab Four: The Beatles and Comic Books

Comics have often used characters from Greek and Norse mythology to populate their books. What we see with the following examples is that the Beatles had, at the time, become the new mythology.


Tuesday, November 3 2009

Celebrating the Death of the Dark Knight – and His Rebirth

With the recent passing of Bruce Wayne, can the Batman character escape the tragedy of Bruce Wayne's life that originally birthed it?


Wednesday, October 21 2009

We’ll Stay Quiet: Comics in an Age of Social Media

In the comics industry, the hit-driven economy was already decimated in the early ‘90s. It is in this way that comics' recent history becomes a roadmap for the navigations that await the major genre of the popular culture mainstream.


Tuesday, October 13 2009

Beautiful and Unique Snowflakes: Warren Ellis’ ‘Planetary’

Warren Ellis, once thought of by many as comics’ resident Orson Welles, an angry, embittered artist, is actually the industry’s Kurt Vonnegut, sent here to make us feel as if "everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt".


Tuesday, October 6 2009

Hollow “Victory”: J Michael Straczynski ‘Reboots’ the Mighty Thor

J Michael Straczynski's storytelling stands out as one of the most inventive in recent mainstream superhero comics.


Tuesday, September 29 2009

The Devil’s Due: What Ed Brubaker Did to Reinvent Daredevil

Could Ed Brubaker have written the definitive version of a character renowned for its production of 'definitive' visions?


Tuesday, September 22 2009

Maximum Carnage: A Look Back

I was a kid when I first read Maximum Carnage and it became my favorite comic book series. How well does the story hold up over time? Is it still as good as I remember or was my innocent childhood love misplaced?


Wednesday, September 16 2009

Abstract Comics

If nothing else, it seems that Abstract Comics makes explicit that the line between comics and high art is beginning to disappear.


Tuesday, September 8 2009

Fear of a Mouse Planet: What Disney’s Acquisition of Marvel Means for the House of Ideas

The fears of a Disney planet are fears that these characters we cherish will be tinkered with or even taken away from us.


Tuesday, September 1 2009

Explainers: Back to the ‘50’s and Up to the Present

Jules Feiffer's groundbreaking Village Voice comics delivered a satirical take on current events and paved the way for many contemporary strips.


Thursday, August 27 2009

The Devil You Know: Mignola’s Hellboy in the Chapel of Moloch and the Old Debate

Modernist drama around the popularizing of the cultural archive, or postmodernist deliberation on the redemptive value of art in world awash in mass consumerism, the story of Mignola's Hellboy is also the story of comics' struggle for legitimation both as art-form and industry.


The Horror of Science and Magic in Hellboy

While the popular imagination often depicts science and magic as locked in a fundamental opposition, Mike Mignola's Hellboy depicts the true horror that lurks beneath.


Wednesday, August 26 2009

Hellboy Versus Hellboy: The Competing Authenticities of Mignola and del Toro

Is avant-garde horror director Guillermo del Toro's vision of Hellboy too compromised to achieve the cultural impact of the original comicbook?


Tuesday, August 25 2009

Dylan Dog vs. Hellboy: A Study of Pulp and Pop Pastiche

Horror stories and Mignola's cultural project with Hellboy, at home and abroad. If Hellboy is the all-American, indestructible demon with the Right Hand of Doom, then Dylan Dog is his handsome, eccentric, phobic (and horny) European cousin, with a penchant for the clarinet.


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