Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past


Sunday, January 1 1995


There is a particular sub-genre of science fiction -- Let's call it Riddle. In Riddle, the protagonists are simultaneously fulfilling a quest and seeking the nature of the quest.


PopMatters Comics Feature by Stefan Economou - When Charles Schulz announced that he was retiring Peanuts after almost 50 years, the tone of the media reportage was as if a distinguished and now-doddering senator had shuffled out of his chambers for the last time; i.e. a respectful salute to the end of an institution.

Murder Me Dead

American comics have become so closely associated with the super-hero, it is difficult to imagine an American comic which does not feature a muscle-bound protagonist clad in spandex and tights.

Berlin: City of Stones, Book One

It seems as though Lutes seeks to restore individuality to the citizenry of Germany, to show them as humans trapped in a bizarre time rather than just recurrent global villains. He wants to display the 'truth' about Germany, regardless of 'fact'.

The Authority

That theme of loss and heartache echoes throughout the issue.

The House on the Borderland

For far too long has the work of William Hope Hodgson lain dormant, forgotten by all but a few devoted horror literature students. His work spanned the gamut of the imagination with stories of nightmare futures, shipwrecked sailors on islands of terror, and demons of the sea rising through ocean-choking seaweed.


Even primitive man was aware that the universe moved in cycles. The sun rose and set. The seasons came and went and then came back again. Animals migrated and returned at regular intervals. So too moves the human consciousness. Styles come and go and, should you wait long enough, they come back. So perhaps it's not that unusual for old superheroes to be popular again.

Odds Off


Green Arrow

With many superhero comics, it is senseless to look for any depth or meaning beneath the blood and thunder because it's usually not there. With some books, there is an exploration of what it means to be a superhero in today's world and our own search for the lost meaning of heroes. Kevin Smith's 'Green Arrow' is not a magnum opus, but it does do something that is very difficult these days: entertain while making the reader think at the same time.

PopMatters Comic Book Interview


Peter Parker: Spider-Man

Spider-Man has experienced a noticeable revitalization in the past year.

Underworld Volume 3: Ink Punk

Every week for years, the cartoonist known as Kaz has doled out an Underworld strip to his readers. There was a time when an Underworld collection was the only place to see this little-known strip outside of a few big-city alternative tabloids, but thanks to the Web and the Fantagraphic collections, it is reaching a new audience.

Portraits from Life

Canadian David Collier likes to root around in the dusty corners of his country's history, resurrecting lives that virtually no one outside of Canada has ever heard of, and which many Canadians may be unaware of themselves.

I, Paparazzi

A very interesting commentary on reality, our perceptions, and the nature of existence itself.

El Diablo #1 & #2

And that, in the end, is the problem of 'El Diablo'. It's the new breed of western that we've already seen before. The 'adult' western has already become tired and needs a new sun-kissed wrinkle to distinguish it again.

Promethea: Book One

As a superheroine comic book, 'Promethea' brandishes the requisite amounts of action, but Moore also lays a solid intellectual foundation that's only heightened as the series progresses past this first collection.

The Punisher

With the Punisher series, Ennis suffers no illusions that he's making any statements on society or culture. After all, if the primary appeal of Superman is to see a man fly, then, at its most fundamental, the draw of the Punisher is to witness the 'punishment' of the predators and parasites of modern civilisation.


'User' depicts just one of the many forms in which this ancient quest can reveal itself in the modern age — an age in which we find ourselves continually creating new identities to cope with an sometimes disappointing existence.

Drawn and Quarterly, Vol. 4


Superman: Where Is Thy Sting?

In the end, 'Where Is Thy Sting?', which desires to convey the humanity of Superman, succeeds only in proving what an alien freakball he is. Watch your back, Lois.

Now on PopMatters
PM Picks

© 1999-2014 All rights reserved.™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.