Comics
Books

Political Cartoonist Art Young Was an Aficionado of all Things Infernal

Fantagraphics' new edition of Inferno takes Art Young's original Depression-era critique to the Trump White House -- and then drags it all to Hell.


Recent
Books

French Comic Artist Blutch Makes an Experiment of 'Mitchum'

The images in Blutch's Mitchum are technically cartoons, but the style is idiosyncratic, sometimes warping into full abstraction.

Film

The Action in 'Avengers: Infinity War' Is Relentless

The focus on Thanos single-handedly saves Avengers: Infinity War from becoming the overstuffed mess many feared and lends the film a relentless action pace more akin to Mad Max: Fury Road than a superhero blockbuster.

Film

Bhogwan Singh: Hollywood's Longest-Serving 'Turban Wrapper'

Bhogwan Singh performed with snakes for a beach sideshow in Los Angeles before he got his chance with Universal Studios to fix Rudolf Valentino's turban.

Film

Marvel's 'Black Panther' Has Its Claws in the Zeitgeist

Ryan Coogler's Black Panther engages with deep and timely social, cultural, and psychological concepts, and completely taps into America's zeitgeist.

Books

Graphic Novel 'Big Black' Is a Stunning Depiction of the Attica Prison Uprising

Fifty years ago Attica prisoners rose up for justice -- and were slaughtered. Graphic novel Big Black: Stand at Attica is a powerful story from a survivor's point of view.

Books

Shintaro Kago's 'Dementia 21' Showcases Surrealist Manga

As much as I admire Shintaro Kago's oddness as a writer, his artistic pen is even sharper (but not without problems) as evident in Dementia 21.

Film

'Thor: Ragnarok' Destroys and Discards the Thor Mythos

Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok takes a refreshingly iconoclastic approach to Thor, throwing out the old, bringing in the new, and packaging the story in a colourful, gorgeously trashy aesthetic that perfectly captures the spirit of the comics.

Books

Classic Shōjo Today: Moto Hagio's 'The Poe Clan'

Moto Hagio's The Poe Clan manga series a gender-fluid melodrama marked by deep psychological trauma.

Books

John Pham's ​J​&K​​ - It's a Matter of Perspective

In J&K, John Pham explores perspectives in the psychological sense. Like Picasso, he views things from more than one angle.

Books

You Become the Watcher in Eric Haven's 'Cryptoid'

In his latest work, Cryptoid, Eric Haven takes an idiosyncratically weird approach to the horror genre of the Weird to produce a hybrid graphic novella that belongs to no genre but his own.

Books

Nazism Repackaged? A Closer Look at the "Fascist Subtext" of 'Attack on Titan'

Many fantasy writers have incorporated the visual footprint of the Third Reich into their fictional worlds. Few, however, have done so as extensively as the creator of Attack on Titan, who revisited this terrible chapter of history not to find inspiration for a fearsome antagonist, but to excavate the divisive ideas that lay buried there.

Books

The Two Worlds of Graphic Novel Umma's Table

Where fiction typically emphasizes plot, Yeon-Sik Hong's Umma's Table emphasizes a rich layering of events that creates the artful impression of memoir-like fiction.

Culture

Love in the Time of Coronavirus: The Series, the Call for Papers

#Coronavirus #COVID19 #Pandemic: Love in the Time of Coronavirus is a new and hopefully short-run PopMatters series of art and life and the art of living in these times of global health crisis.

Books

'Goblin Girl' and the Fiction/ Nonfiction Dichotomy

Moa Romanova's "semi-auto-bio" graphic fiction, Goblin Girl, explores the dating world with a mysterious mix of art and influences.

Books

Striking for Its Art, 'New World' Is a Magic Parable of Resistance, Guilt, ​and Forgiveness

David Jesus Vignolli's graphic novel, New World, chronicles Indigenous resistance to European monsters in gorgeous art and mythic undertones.

Books

'Sports Is Hell' Narrows the Field to Identity Politics

Ben Passmore's Sports Is Hell is an apocalyptic parody of racism in US sports and politics.

Books

For All Governments: Gendry-Kim's Graphic Novel, 'Grass'

The powerful graphic novel Grass documents the atrocities against WWII "comfort women" through the recollections of a survivor. This is an incredibly powerful and urgent work that, frankly, should be read by the governments of all nations that must face, admit to, and begin real reparations for their country's atrocities.

Books

Rikke Villadsen's 'Cowboy' Is Warped

Rikke Villadsen's graphic fiction, Cowboy, is an aggressively peculiar take on an already aggressively peculiar genre.

Books

What's to Be Believed in Yoshiharu Tsuge's 'The Man Without Talent'?

Tsuge's narrator's mustache is no more convincing a disguise than Superman's Clark Kent glasses—which is the paradoxical point in The Man Without Talent.

Books

A Boy, a Dog, a Gang of Peanuts, and the Meaning of Life

For all the Charlie Browns in the world, Library of America has published The Peanuts Papers: Writers and Cartoonists on Charlie Brown, Snoopy & the Gang, and the Meaning of Life.

Books

Sjöblom's 'Palimpsest' Is Visually Unlike Most Graphic Memoirs

The title of Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom's graphic memoir, Palimpsest, is an excellent metaphor for adoption generally and especially the literally erased and rewritten documents that define many Korean adoptions. But it is also a visual metaphor.

Books

'Horizontal Collaboration' Tackles Sexist Judgements on Women's Lives in War-Time

Horizontal Collaboration, the superb French comic by Navie and Carole Maurel, reassesses the sexist biases of history.

Books

Tsuge's 'The Man Without Talent' Is a Perfect Manga Parable on Capitalism's Failed Dreams

In The Man Without Talent, Tadao Tsuge captures the element of fantasy reflected in the childish utopianism of free market capitalism and the committed entrepreneurs who are its happy-go-lucky evangelists.

Television

In Nickelodeon's 'Rocko's Modern Life', Corporations Steal Our Souls to Enchant Their Commodities

In a society of things, social responsibility requires a recognition of the influence of commodities upon our most foundational spiritual experiences. Nickelodeon's animated series, Rocko's Modern Life, puts it simply.

Comics

How to Draw Like a Child and Become a Better Person: Lynda Barry's 'Making Comics'

If you can't take a class with Lynda Barry, Making Comics is the next best thing. But what kind of class is it?

Books

​Jaime Hernandez's 'Tonta', Hit Men, and High School Shenanigans

Jaime Hernandez conveys an exuberance and vitality in his characters that make them easy to relate to and sympathize with. This is no less so in his latest graphic novel, Tonta.

Books

Size Matters in Eleanor Davis's 'The Hard Tomorrow'

Award-winning graphic artist Eleanor Davis likes to accent key moments in Hard Tomorrow through panel size. Big moments are literally bigger. Layout is a way of making meaning.

Books

Graphic Artist ​Gina Siciliano 'Paints' Artemisia Gentileschi

Gina Siciliano's I Know What I Am is a formidable work of comics scholarship, including 50 pages devoted to detailed notes and bibliographic sources about the fearless artist, Artemisia Gentileschi.

Books

Despair and Hope in Chris Ware's 'Rusty Brown'

Chris Ware's parallel storytelling, his ability to jump time periods, and his meticulous attention to detail create an immersive world in Pantheon Graphic Library's compilation, Rusty Brown.

Books

Sylvia Nickerson's Graphic Memoir, 'Creation' Is ​an Emotional Thought Experiment

The differences between Sylvia Nickerson's realistically-depicted homeless and the blob-like privileged establishes Creation's central dichotomy and critique.

Books

Time, Space, and Ethnic Divisions Collapse in Aimée de Jongh's 'TAXI!'

De Jongh constructs a jigsaw puzzle of personalities, life experiences, and national identities, where even contrasts ultimately reveal connections in her graphic memoir, Taxi!

Books

'Best American Comics 2019' Is Strange, Beautiful, and Challenging

Not all entries in Best American Comics 2019 will go down easily. Some might be undercooked. Some left too long on the fire. But the strongest will satisfy for a long time.

Books

Who's He in Connor Willumsen's 'Bradley of Him'?

Connor Willumsen keeps the narrative in his graphic fiction book, Bradley of Him, as lean and off-balance as his maybe-deranged main character.

Books

Graphic Novella 'Stunt' Seeks Escape from Perpetual Entrapment

Like the title letters, the physical format of Michael DeForge's Stunt creates a kind of cage holding the main character inside rigid panels.

Film

Sub-Atomic Particles and Brilliant Heist Sequences: 'Ant-Man' Masters the Tiny Universe

There are strong emotional stakes and likeable characters in Peyton Reed's Ant-Man, but they are all rooted in a, well, less than epic scale. This makes Ant-Man refreshing, an MCU palate cleanser.

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