For We Are Many

For We Are Many

16

Feb

2017

It can be extraordinarily difficult to write about mental illness, in fiction and in reality.  Even now, as I write this, I select my words with care when I say that the current trend in television to try and make entertainment out of mental illness -- intelligent and empathetic entertainment, that is, rather than condesce ...
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Peace Won’t Pay the Rent

Peace Won’t Pay the Rent

27

Dec

2016

Joe Sacco's Palestine was first published in 1993 as a series of single-issue comic books, based on the author's trip to the occupied territories of the Gaza Strip towards the end of the First Intifada.  It was collected by Fantagraphics into a single edition in 1996, at a time when there seemed to be some cause for optim ...
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Black Power

Black Power

26

Oct

2016

The inexorable march of the Marvel Cinematic Universe* goes on, and its latest manifestation is the Netflix series Luke Cage.  Debuting earlier this month, it stars Mike Colter as the black Harlem-based action hero, based on the bruising '70s comic book creation and brought to life by Cheo Hodari Coker.Luke Cage -- known ...
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Dark Satanic Mills

Dark Satanic Mills

18

Jul

2016

We kill our idols at such an alarming rate, you'd think we could afford to replace them.  At a time when great artistic achievement is increasingly hard to find, we have been gripped with a mania for casting the few geniuses our culture manages to mint aside with great force, usually less because we find something flawed i ...
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Bein’ Good Isn’t Always Easy

Bein’ Good Isn’t Always Easy

16

Jul

2016

Preacher was a comic of its time, and that time was the 1990s.To put it another way, Preacher was a comic of the time when many of its biggest fans -- fans who are now television-watching adults, and, for that matter, television-criticism-writing adults -- were in their 20s.  Which is all well and good; there's nothing w ...
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Until There Were Lists

Until There Were Lists

28

Apr

2016

SERGEANT’S DUTY LOGWeek ending 04/29/201631 incidents of jawin’ with intent to slanderfy26 incidents of reported sinful doin’s involving minors, blood kin, livestock and tree hollers16 incidents of a-whoopin’ and a-hollerin’9 lynchings without a permit8 incidents of Katie-bar-the-door Saturday nig ...
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Real Talk About Real Time

Real Talk About Real Time

16

Mar

2016

I like continuity.No, scratch that:  I love continuity.  I realize that's unfashionable to say these days, when the artist is king (unless it means giving them control of their own work) and there's a reboot of the entire Marvel or DC meta-history every other month; but continuity is what keeps a lot of people involved i ...
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Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose

Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose

13

Mar

2016

Lately I’ve been thinking about the revivalists.That is, the wave of writers – whose God is Roy Thomas and whose Jesus is Grant Morrison (Neil Gaiman, I guess, would be the Holy Ghost) – who specialize in rescuing old characters from Marvel & DC’s equivalent of limbo and then tinkering with them, rejigging them, ...
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Send Rosa On Over

Send Rosa On Over

21

Jan

2016

I take Rosa Luxemburg very seriously.Since feminism and class consciousness have been two of my passions my entire adult life, it's easy to see why I'm drawn to women who vocally espoused both, and Rosa Luxemburg is perhaps the greatest of them all.  I've read her writings, studied her life, and held her up as an exemplar ...
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Marvel Re-Re-Re-Rebooted

Marvel Re-Re-Re-Rebooted

20

Jan

2016

With this week’s release of the long-delayed and possibly awaited conclusion to Secret Wars, Marvel wraps up it most pointless event comic ever and finally prepares fans for the all-new, all-different NEW Marvel Universe.  No, not that one.  No, not that one either.  This is the NEW new new new universe (not to be conf ...
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Darkness Visible

Darkness Visible

15

Dec

2015

With new installments of both Star Wars and Star Trek on the way, it could not be more clear that nerd culture has had its revenge on cinema.  Rather than waiting to see either of them -- I don't really care to, since I've never been especially interested in either franchise -- I decided to revisit The Dark Knight.  S ...
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Ask the Defenders: Game On!

Ask the Defenders:   Game On!

14

Dec

2015

Years ago, my pal Calamity Jon Morris came up with an occasional series called Ask the Defenders, the conceit being that Marvel's infamous superhero 'non-team'  of the 1970s was actually an aggregation of dysfunctional, if highly entertaining, personalities who featured into a sort of workplace sitcom.  Jon and I encou ...
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Kringle the Kimmerian

Kringle the Kimmerian

13

Dec

2015

“HO HO HO! And what is your name, champ?”“Thulsa.”“And do you have a last name, Thulsa, so Santa can find your house from the mailbox?”“Doom.”“Well! Er, ho ho! That should be easy to remember! How many little boys named Doom can there be on your block?”“Just me and my cousin Vic.”“And what do you w ...
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Keeping Up with the Jones

Keeping Up with the Jones

25

Nov

2015

Let's get one thing out of the way:  Jessica Jones, the new Netflix series based on the troubled but fascinating Marvel Comics heroine, isn't noir.  That word has gotten tossed around endlessly by just about every critic that's written about it, but it's so far from accurate that it's not even worth arguing against.  It' ...
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Rebel Alliances

Rebel Alliances

29

Oct

2015

So, yesterday, we talked about problematic art, and how it can be dealt with in a productive and respectful way and not in a way that's just griping that doesn't accomplish anything.  Hooray!  I'm solving all the world's problems!  Now let's talk about the concept of  "allies".Like "problematic", this is a word that get ...
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