Monday, September 19 2011
With DC's New 52 reboot of their entire universe, the comicbook company is evolving a greater media savvy and a far deeper cultural relevance than ever before. But has DC simply borrowed from more adaptable publishers like BOOM! Studios?
Wednesday, September 14 2011
The learning curve is steep, but it breaks down like this; Potter's Field is the story of patriotic values set to detective fiction, and the medium of comics. Mark Waid displays true genius in sculpting the kind of tale he has.
Wednesday, September 7 2011
At the dawn of the 21st century, some of us are only now beginning to feel the wave of super-connectedness that comes from emerging social media technologies, some of us have lived in NYC all our lives, and some of us just read Spider-Man.
Friday, September 2 2011
How does Radical enter the digital economy in a groundbreaking way that both redefines the entertainment industry and yet remains true to core values of support for creativity and precision of user-driven environments?
Wednesday, August 31 2011
Perhaps more than a long, critical gaze at DC's history, Secret Origins makes the incredibly savvy move of rendering the company's 70-plus years as both heartwarming and resilient.
Thursday, August 25 2011
Is Disney's decision to let go of its subsidiary Marvel's entire West Coast marketing team a sound one? The question is certainly nowhere near as interesting as what this decision signals about the entertainment industry as a whole.
Thursday, August 18 2011
With the series coda to Geoff Johns' six-year run on Green Lantern just completed, the once bright Silver Age hero's adventures leave a bitter taste, more because of magical promise of Johns' early work.
Wednesday, August 10 2011
At first glance, Captain America seems dated. But viewers are quickly reminded that WWII was as much an ideological conflict as a military one. On the battle of ideas, icons matter.
Monday, August 8 2011
In the wake of the recent ruling against the Kirby Estate what is at stake may no longer be simple creator rights, but a deep psychology entwining creator, company and fan.
Thursday, July 28 2011
In perhaps the savviest move for a print-vs-digital environment Bluewater has re-inscribed their August release of Fame: Conan O'Brien with the core values of emerging social media. Download a free exclusive preview of the book.
Wednesday, July 27 2011
After the debacle that was "Shadowland" incoming Daredevil scribe Mark Waid brings a carefree exuberance and a psychological depth that was rarely glimpsed in the last 30 years of the character's publication.
Wednesday, July 20 2011
In 2009 writer Ed Brubaker left Daredevil on a high note, with the character literally ready to take on the world. But incoming writer Andy Diggle failed the test of both New York as an idea and Daredevil as a character. What can Mark Waid's Daredevil, released today, look like in the wake of past misfirings?
Friday, July 15 2011
The real story of the Schwarz brothers isn't their improbable and meteoric rise in Hollywood after being marginalized by the Australian film industry, but the generational shift they bring to staid thinking in the media of both comics and film.
Wednesday, July 13 2011
Robert Venditti arrives at the comics medium as a fully formed artist, vested in the act of making a critical choice of medium. But he enters the popular psyche like Tom Waits or Harry Houdini, an artist in the midst of transitioning into becoming a performer. Perhaps this is what makes his recent Homeland Directive spellbinding.
Friday, July 1 2011
The real story of the Schwarz brothers isn't their improbable and meteoric rise from being marginalized by the Australian film industry to Hollywood. But the generational shift they bring to traditionalist thinking in the media of both comics and film.
Friday, June 17 2011
When The Unwritten first appeared in print, it promised to be unique and endearing if for nothing other than its peerless high concept. Ironically it's writer Mike Carey's reliance on this high concept that provides savvy readers with insight into the dangers of the high concept in general.
Wednesday, June 15 2011
Image Comics’ Li'l Depressed Boy isn't the most conventional series on comic stands. Part comedy, part romance, part drama, it’s also charming, whimsical, snarky, and offbeat. In an exclusive and frank interview with its creators, PopMatters gets to the heart of the cultural influences that go into making this critically acclaimed bestseller.
Wednesday, June 8 2011
With Bryan Singer back in the creative chair as producer on X-Men: First Class, the movie should easily exceed the heights of X2, right?
Wednesday, May 25 2011
An unexpected, but hardly improbable success story, publisher BOOM! Studios finds themselves in the position to both care for popculture of established legacy, and build new stories and settings. In an exclusive interview, BOOM! CEO Ross Richie talks frankly about how the stakes have never been higher.
Tuesday, May 24 2011
What's really behind the Council of Conservative Citizens' call to boycott Kenneth Branagh's Thor? It couldn't be so obvious a matter as Idris Elba's race. Could it?
Thursday, May 12 2011
This is the final of a three-part series of articles about Kill Shakespeare, each featuring an exclusive interview with the comic's co-creators Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery. Read part one and part two.
Friday, May 6 2011
Jake the Dreaming not only offers readers an unmitigated boyhood that tilts at the world as much as Cervantes or Louis Stevenson, but also taps the changing cultural moment articulated recently by novelist Ken Follett.
Thursday, May 5 2011
Kenneth Branagh's Thor really is Hamlet. Larger than life, but withdrawn and meditative. It's Joseph Conrad to the kind of immersive action hero trope that has spawned thousands of Chuck Norris jokes.
Friday, April 29 2011
Jake The Dreaming is Radical Studios' first illustrated novel for the iPad and iPhone. It is also the vein of American literature that goes back to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Download your full FCBD preview here
Wednesday, April 20 2011
This is the second of a three-part series of articles about Kill Shakespeare, each featuring an exclusive interview with the comic's co-creators Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery. Read part one.
Friday, April 15 2011
With the rise in contestation between print and digital distribution, the very medium of comics seems to be at stake. In a PopMatters exclusive, Radical's Barry Levine opens up about the company's rise, his own career path, and the future of the comics medium.
Wednesday, April 13 2011
With convention season in the US rapidly becoming a yearlong calendar event, the London Comics Small Press Expo still makes those small, personal connections between reader, newbie creator, and established pro.
Thursday, April 7 2011
This three-part series examines the extraordinary Kill Shakespeare, and each part includes an exclusive interview with the comic's creators. This is part one.
Friday, April 1 2011
With the rise in contestation between print and digital distribution, the very medium of comics seems to be at stake. Newcomers Radical Publishing have had the truly sublime idea of viewing other media as a death-knell, movies and gaming might be an opportunity.
Thursday, March 24 2011
BOOM! Studios harnesses the power of social media. In launching Hellraiser: The Prelude as downloadable, viral PDF, they've achieved what legendary inventor of the graphic novel format, Will Eisner dreamed of so long ago.
Wednesday, March 16 2011
The horror-quake that hit Japan this past Friday has no context in recorded history. The human price is unimaginable. But it is a cultural shift in the popular imagination from the 1980s that allows us to understand the simple heroism of perpetually rebuilding.
Wednesday, March 9 2011
With the competition between print and digital distribution, the very medium of comics seems to be at stake. Newcomers Radical Publishing have had the truly sublime idea of viewing other media as a death-knell, movies and gaming might be an opportunity. In a PopMatters exclusive, Radical President and Publisher Barry Levine opens up about the company's rise, his own career path, and the future of the comics medium.
Wednesday, March 2 2011
Robert Venditti has always managed to use his narrative art as a staging area for wrestling with deeper issues around identity. PopMatters was afforded a rare sneak peek at Robert's forthcoming Homeland Directive, which promises to exceed even the sublime The Surrogates: Flesh & Bone.
Thursday, February 24 2011
With the passing of Dwayne McDuffie this last Tuesday we're left with the loss of a pioneer in film, television and comics, and a man of singular vision.
Thursday, February 10 2011
The conclusion of Daytripper, in its own way, both subverts and expands upon the ending of another notable work of literature to emerge from the post-911 condition, the TV show Lost.
Thursday, February 3 2011
In the closing segment of PopMatters exclusive interview with Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater, the Iconographies considers not simply the cultural complexity of Goldwater's embrace of technology, but the bold moves he is making in redefining both the brand, and the business model.
Wednesday, January 26 2011
A reprint of a classic '70s comic triggers schoolyard memories of an odd kid, and reignites a personal interest in the “big blue boy scout”
Thursday, January 20 2011
With an ever-growing percentage of the population entering into social media through smartphones, the radical shift of Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater is focusing not on access, but on what you carry with you.
Wednesday, January 19 2011
More than escapism, the Green Hornet gives an U.S. audience nurtured on frontier imagery an example of individual agency that resonates with the effort to believe and achieve the American dream.
Thursday, January 13 2011
Following on from their landmark announcement to synchronize their print and digital publication schedules at close of business yesterday, Archie Comics led by CEO Jon Goldwater is taking a leadership role not simply in comics, but in business.
Friday, December 10 2010
Brian Wood's DMZ reads like a savage critique of the fracturing of political life that has led to the formation of the Tea Party. What makes DMZ all the more compelling, is its prescience in having identified those politics never six years ago.
Friday, December 3 2010
Tony, Ex Machina!: In Iron Man: Rapture, a very real, very human brush with death sends Tony Stark over the edge. When faced with his own mortality, what does the smartest man in the world do? It’s simple: build a better body. But at what cost?
Wednesday, November 10 2010
The man who made me love Superman, now makes me terrified of someone with such god-like powers.
Thursday, November 4 2010
After five decades of self-censorship stemming primarily from the Frederic Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent, can comics reassert its rightful role in promoting literacy during childhood? Wertham had a few valid points, contends filmmaker Todd Kent.
Friday, October 15 2010
In picking up the well-worn Golden Age classic Moon Girl, writing duo Johnny Zito and Tony Trov table the central debate of 21st century creativity -- an open source of intellectual property.
Wednesday, October 6 2010
This past week Columbia College hosted the Chicago Women in Comics but rather than unearth a discourse of marginalization, the event showcased a deep wellspring of talent and widescale commercial success.
Thursday, September 30 2010
While Julie Benz and Michael Chiklis both shuffle off darker roles in their recent past to become the core of ABC's new No Ordinary Family, the show itself might prove exceptional in its use of simple social structures in a time of a collapsing middle-class.
Wednesday, September 22 2010
Joe Field, owner of Flying Colors Comics and founder of Free Comic Book Day, shares his insights into comicbooks, new media and the prospect of a world without print.
Wednesday, September 15 2010
Far from enforcing sexually exploitative stereotypes in the female action hero genre, Bloody Mary and sequel Bloody Mary: Lady Liberty simply explodes them.
Wednesday, August 25 2010
In 1988, MAD's Don Martin helps set the stage for the move towards comics creators' rights in the '90s.
Thursday, August 12 2010
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
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.
Wednesday, July 28 2010
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
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.
Thursday, July 15 2010
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.
Thursday, July 8 2010
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.
Wednesday, June 30 2010
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.
Thursday, June 24 2010
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.
Wednesday, June 16 2010
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
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.
Wednesday, June 2 2010
New Swamp Thing scribe, Alan Moore evolved the character in the early 1980s by introducing stories around the frailty of human consciousness into a book which until then examined human/plant interaction.
Wednesday, May 26 2010
Cross-media project "The O>Matics in Comics", tables a wide list of talking points around comics, the web and the sustainability of the garageband music industry.
Wednesday, May 19 2010
Ultimate X-Men was perhaps not the radical departure from Stan Lee's original vision it has always been taken as. The common ground lies in Ultimate writer Mark Millar's evolution of the theme of danger.
Wednesday, May 12 2010
Koike and Kojima explore the nature of true loyalty in this story of a disgraced ronin.
Wednesday, May 5 2010
Threatened to be consumed by a world not ready for technological evolution, Tony Stark wrestles with the ghost of his father, and escapes self-destructive narcissism.
Thursday, April 22 2010
The warriors Ogami meets on his quest for revenge offer different interpretations of the path of honor, and even challenge legitimacy of his quest for revenge.
Wednesday, April 14 2010
For the past 30 years, Miranda has been an avid reader and collector of comicbooks. Now working at Manhattan's Forbidden Planet, Miranda uses his encyclopedic knowledge to connect people with the books that they will love.
Wednesday, April 7 2010
By now the story is well-known, the outcry against Captain America and Marvel from conservative bloggers. But why have cooler heads not prevailed?
Wednesday, March 31 2010
Ogami's actions become an indictment of the corruption and degradation of the samurai code and his forsaking of that path ultimately and symbolically redeems it.
Wednesday, March 24 2010
Azzarello and Morales tap the roots of modern popular culture to offer a highly stylized view of the birth of comic books.
Friday, March 12 2010
Oscars hopefuls Up in the Air and An Education offer different but complementary views on popular culture. "American Century" throws this neat paradigm into question.
Wednesday, March 3 2010
Racked by delays, pushed aside by creative commitments, and years after the phenomenal Green Lantern: Reborn, Flash Reborn couldn't really matter. Could it?
Wednesday, February 24 2010
The third installment of Shawn O'Rourke's series on Lone Wolf and Cub. This feature examines the way Goseki Kojima brilliantly uses different artistic devices to draw the reader into the story.
Wednesday, February 17 2010
Primetime TV may prove to be a necessary rescue of a classic DC character.
Thursday, February 11 2010
Story these days is a battlefield, and Mike Carey and Peter Gross are the new generals.
Thursday, February 4 2010
DMZ creator Brian Wood offers a cultural catharsis for our times, one that is enduringly artistic, despite being overtly political.
Friday, January 29 2010
Rick Veitch wonders where the next step in superhuman evolution will take us.
Thursday, January 21 2010
For something to be an "epic", it must be replete with cultural significance and deal with important themes on a grand scale, just like Lone Wolf and Cub.
Thursday, January 14 2010
There’s someone every journalism student should know. The iconic, irascible and deeply compassionate Spider Jerusalem has proven to be darkly prescient of the decade that lay immediately ahead.
Wednesday, January 6 2010
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?
Wednesday, December 16 2009
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.
Wednesday, December 9 2009
Andi Ewington's 45 appeals to an audience that transcends 1970s Batman, and even the phenomenal Watchmen.
Wednesday, December 2 2009
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.
Friday, November 20 2009
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.
Friday, November 13 2009
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.
Wednesday, November 4 2009
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 14 2009
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".
Wednesday, October 7 2009
J Michael Straczynski's storytelling stands out as one of the most inventive in recent mainstream superhero comics.
Wednesday, September 30 2009
Could Ed Brubaker have written the definitive version of a character renowned for its production of 'definitive' visions?
Wednesday, September 23 2009
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?
Thursday, September 17 2009
If nothing else, it seems that Abstract Comics makes explicit that the line between comics and high art is beginning to disappear.
Wednesday, September 9 2009
The fears of a Disney planet are fears that these characters we cherish will be tinkered with or even taken away from us.
Wednesday, September 2 2009
Jules Feiffer's groundbreaking Village Voice comics delivered a satirical take on current events and paved the way for many contemporary strips.
Friday, August 28 2009
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.
Monday, August 24 2009
Hellboy essentially argues that biology indeed need not be destiny, and that to exist as a human means something more than possessing a certain normative appearance.
Wednesday, August 19 2009
In writer Mark Millar's visionary recasting of Superman as a Soviet dictator, questions of personal and social identity become the staging point for a central drama around global justice.
Wednesday, August 12 2009
The true legacy of Mike Wieringo is his radical redefining of the comics industry's obsession with navel-gazing.
Wednesday, August 5 2009
One is an acknowledged master of the modern short story, and the other is an influential figure in the world of alternative Japanese comics.
Wednesday, July 29 2009
The Starman is a generational tale of a young hero assuming his father’s mantle, which takes the reader on an educational journey through DC Comics’ past.
Wednesday, July 22 2009
In this Iconographies feature, I Saw You will be used as a spring-board to understanding how the internet might be examined and made sense of through comics.