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.


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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.

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

#Coronafirus #COVID19 #Pandemic: Love in the Time of Corona Virus 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.

Books

​Frank Santoro's 'Pittsburgh' Is a Permanently Preliminary Sketch of Life

The metaphor of imperfection and transition flows beneath every page of Frank Santoro's graphic memoir, Pittsburgh.

Books

Compelling Grotesquery in Graphic Novel 'Vivisectionary'

In Kate Lacour's graphic novel of imagined medical oddities, Vivisectionary, the viewer is the main character and the images the deranged antagonist.

Books

Change Course! George Takei Warns in 'They Called Us Enemy'

In graphic memoir They Called Us Enemy, iconic Star Trek star George Takei draws from his family's experience of Japanese-American internment camps to warn of a potentially dark future.

Comics

Nakazawa and Aoki's Atom Bomb Manga Could Educate World Leaders

While Keiji Nakazawa never hesitated to loose his wrath on fascist or right-leaning tendencies through the fury of his irrepressible cartoon hero in Barefoot Gen, Takeo Aoki's Hiroshima's Revival weaves a more cautious path through the political jungle of wartime memory.

Comics

Fighting the '90s Culture Wars with Grant Morrison's 'The Invisibles'

In Pat Buchanan's 1992 presidential address he evoked fear of "crossdressers in our midst" as a metaphor for the infiltration of liberal political culture. Grant Morrison's The Invisibles comics proved he had reason to fear.

Books

Sometimes Words Are Just Too Blunt: Travis Dandro's 'King of King Court'

Travis Dandro's King of King Court is an excellent reminder of how evocatively effective comics are in the hands of a skilled memoirist.

Film

'Big Hero 6': Disney Viewed through a Marvel Lens

Big Hero 6 draws its themes and central relationship from the classic Disney and Pixar templates but includes all of the trappings of a Marvel superhero origin film.

Books

Judgment Day!: Social Protest and Censorship in EC Comics

Scholar Qiana Whitted's EC Comics: Race, Shock & Social Protest explores a different path in EC Comic's history: their work with social justice stories and the resulting censorship in 1950s America.

Books

Would the 2,000-Year-Old Zhuangzi Approve of Tsai's 'The Way of Nature'?

A Yoda-proportioned philosopher provides a humorous undercurrent in C. C. Tsai's adaptation of the Daoist text, The Way of Nature.

Books

Ana Galvañ's 'Press Enter to Continue' Gets Weird with the Storyboard Format

Is the ghost-child forming pixel-by-pixel in Ana Galvañ's Press Enter to Continue a repressed memory, a government-induced hallucination, or something weirder still?

Books

The Art of Sequential Art in 'The Book of Sarah'

While the art world is full of excellent artists, few have the comics savvy to construct the sort of complex narratives and image-text relationships that Sarah Lightman achieves in her memoir, The Book of Sarah.

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