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Comics

Quantum and Woody's Mildly Postmodern Gags

Are Quantum and Woody a dynamic duo, or just another wearying odd couple with a duo dynamic?

Recent
Film

Take Your Daughter to Work Day: A Father Reflects on Years of Force-feeding Pop Culture to His Child

How will my daughter feel when her friends greet her in 2030 with an enthusiastic shout-out to Hannah Montana or SpongeBob SquarePants and she can only remember Bebop, Rocksteady, the Gentleman Ghost and Gyro Gearloose?

Comics

Crisis of Faith: The Struggle to Believe in 'Preacher'

If Preacher’s longtime fans were to take a fresh look at its nine uneven volumes today, would nostalgia keep them from noticing its flaws, or would they banish it to the realm of other crude, corny, ostensibly shocking ‘90s relics like South Park, Attitude-era WWF shows and Kevin Smith movies?

Film

Sequels We Were Unfairly Denied

While most moviegoers bemoan the glut of Hollywood sequels and remakes, City Slickers II: Coffee and Cake is just one of many unproduced sequels I wish we had the chance to see.

Internet

Fruity Islands, Paw-Paw Bears and Gleaming the Cube: The Internet at Its Most Essential

Every utilitarian object in my home boasts an invitation to visit its website. Are there forums where pleased consumers come together to share their contentment about lip balm and adhesive bandages?

Film

'Cause Who Would Hear Me Scream? A Faith No More Mixtape for the Joker

One could almost make the case that the four Faith No More albums produced during the Mike Patton era were written for the Joker.

Music

Isn't This Where We Came In?

Have you ever combined the first and last sentence of a novel or a song? The results are often amusing, and sometimes revelatory.

Music

Wake the Dead or No One Will Listen: Skid Row’s Subhuman Race

In 1995, Skid Row fell back on the only choice that remains for a metal band with no place in the mainstream culture: they made the heaviest damn album in the world.

Visual Arts

Diorama-Rama: Can Playtime Produce Art?

Are toy photography "dios" a new art form, a different breed of fan fiction, or nothing loftier than playtime for the stunted?

Film

The Matrix: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

If the first act of The Matrix calls to mind eXistenZ, with Pikel licking Allegra’s bio-port and sucking gristle and skin from a gun, its third act is as antiseptic as a bad Star Trek rerun.

Film

Are We All Mythtaken About Star Wars?

Fans are mistaken about Return of the Jedi and Luke Skywalker (dismissing the Ewoks, and Skywalker is deemed a wuss). Might they also be wrong about the prequel trilogy? And how.

Film

The Ghostbusters Twinkie Defense

More surprising than the still-impressive special effects and the jokes that hold up to modern scrutiny is the fact that there are moments throughout Ghostbusters that are legitimately scary.

Music

New Kids on the Block: Hangin’ Tough, Refusing to Let Go

In 1989, I loathed the New Kids on the Block with a passion and intensity that only junior high-aged children can bring to their study of popular culture, yet when Hangin’ Tough Live hit DVD, I had to see it.

Film

G.I. Joe's Future Hangs on the Unbalanced

The fate of 'The Rise of Cobra' (both the toys and the movie) might depend on something completely out of Hasbro’s control: nostalgia.

Film

Let the Kayfabe be Unbroken: My Breakfast with Blassie

This movie provokes a guilty-pleasure curiosity, followed by a yearning to somehow feel above the ridiculous performance you’re witnessing.

Books

Truth Against Truth: The Work of Adrian Tomine

Tomine has a gift for capturing body language and facial expressions -- his characters often say more in a silent panel than most say with an entire word balloon.

Television

Footnotes in the Great Book of Gummi

Still cute, funny and entertaining, Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears holds up remarkably well on every level.

Music

Metal Up Yours, Mine & Metallica's

Metallica’s got identity and projection issues -- James Hetfield repeatedly directs a string of insights or even accusations at some mysterious "you", only to concede by song's end that he is talking to himself.

Film

Looking Back at 'Back to the Future'

The most irreverent, knowing, daring and hippest time travel story of all time has, inevitably and fittingly, become a time capsule.

Comics

Metabots and Deconstructicons: Transformers Goes Postmodern

Charming, inviting, funny, exciting and rewarding, Transformers Animated is everything that Transformers Energon failed to be (and I'm not just saying that because of its refreshingly old-school animation style.)

Comics

Metabots and Deconstructicons: Transformers Goes Postmodern

I am happy to report that after 25 years, the 'Transformers' franchise has finally gone postmodern… no thanks to 'Transformers Energon'.

Sports

Bret Hart: A Real Life in a Cartoon World

“If I’d had to write a will, it would have been a few lines, but if I’d had to write a suicide note, it would have been a thousand pages long.” - Bret Hart

Sports

Bret Hart: A Real Life in a Cartoon World

In a surreal world dedicated to a uniquely haphazard and comically inept breed of pretense, Bret Hart’s appeal was simple: he made everything seem 'real'.

Sports

There Was No Way to Tell This Man Was a Monster

Scott Keith's Dungeon of Death is a confused, unfocused, meandering account of the most gruesome death yet in an industry known for killing off its performers at startlingly young ages.

Comics

From a Fluid Culture to a Culture of Steam: Alan Moore

For all the self-serious Deep Thoughts and the sometimes unsettling material in DeZ Vylenz The Mindscape of Alan Moore, Moore can be a startlingly funny host.

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Galaxy Rangers: No Guts, No Glory, No Clue

Flawed and silly as you might rightfully expect it to be, The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers is better than all of its fondly remembered animated peers by a staggering and comical margin.

Television

Galaxy Rangers: No Guts, No Glory, No Clue

Having missed out on the show in its '80s heyday, a hapless Monte Williams shares his thoughts during his baffled first look at The Galaxy Rangers.

Film

The Incredible Hulk: Madly in Anger with You

With The Incredible Hulk ripping through movie screens in mind, Williams hunkers down on the couch with two silly, strangely stirring seasons of the TV show.

Music

We Dream We're the People in Songs

Is he strumming your face with his fingers? And singing your life with his words?

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Whitewash

A small town white boy looks back at pop culture's impact on his concept of race while growing up, and how racism and homophobia are expressed and addressed in today's pop climate.

Comics

Missing Places I've Never Been: A Love Letter to Alex Ross

The appeal, the madness of Ross' painting is that it makes a scene involving a fight between spandex-clad do-gooders seem almost as important as Rockwell's depiction of the first step to end racial segregation.

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How Far Will A Man Go for G.I. Joe?

Sigma 666: Wherein I offer my soul to Satan in exchange for G.I. Joe dolls.

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Godless

I'm not here to mock God and his fanatical fan club, I'll sit back and let much more clever men and women mock them for me.

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Autobiographigure: The Courageous Quest for a Toy in One's Own Image

The shelves of our great nation's toy retailers are seldom stocked with action figures of flabby, furry, graying columnists, but that could change . . .

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Where Gods and Monsters Watch Over Me

My DVDs and books and toys are so seductive, and the outside world so unappealing, that it's sometimes all I can do to force myself to walk out the front door every morning.


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