She Knows Which One, Heading Where

She Knows Which One, Heading Where

29

Aug

2017

The apocalypse in fiction fulfills a lot of deep, and predictably dark, needs in the human psyche. Zombie stories are usually an exercise in psychopathy, indulging a curiously common instinct to portray the commission of mass murder without moral consequences; tales of nuclear or other technological holocaust portray a surf ...
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Is It Any Wonder?

Is It Any Wonder?

6

Jul

2017

I wanted to like Wonder Woman.  I really, really did.I've always enjoyed the character, for any number of reasons:  the intriguing backstory of her creator and his motivations; her origin story, steeped in some of the stranger aspects of Greek mythology; her debut during the early days of America's involvement in World W ...
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Superdelegates

Superdelegates

24

Jun

2017

In these exciting times when the only thing Americans love more than billion-dollar superhero movie franchises is petty intra-party political sniping, I thought it might be time to return to a favorite obsession of mind:  the ideological leanings of various comic book characters.  This has been explored in-universe a bit ...
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If the Right One Don’t Get You

If the Right One Don’t Get You

13

Apr

2017

One of the most common -- and accurate -- criticisms of the Netflix series based on Marvel comics characters is that they're so dreadfully long.  At a baker's dozen episodes, each clocking in at an overstuffed hour, even the best of them can become a terrible slog.  (Netflix seems to have responded at least partially to ...
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And You’ve Got Me Hating You

And You’ve Got Me Hating You

16

Mar

2017

It is a canard often, and falsely, leveled at Hollywood that it has no new ideas.  In fact, Hollywood has innumerable new ideas; they're just all bad.  If you're in the television or film business and have a really shitty idea that nobody asked for or could possibly want, you can make gobs of money, especially if your gar ...
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Unglamorays

Unglamorays

10

Mar

2017

See, here's the thing:  the Spider-Man cartoon theme was, well, amazing.  No sane person could argue against that.  But the Captain America and Hulk cartoon themes were dumb as shit.  And have they gotten any less shit-dumb in the last 40 years?  No, they have not.  All that has happened is that there are a lot more p ...
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On My Planet, The “S” Stands For “Sucky”

On My Planet, The “S” Stands For “Sucky”

9

Mar

2017

Earlier this week, we discussed how nostalgia for the superhero comics of '60s and '70s, on the basis that the Big Two were creating more original characters and taking more risks, is misguided not because it's false on its face, but because the original characters being created were fucking ridiculous. Today and tomorrow, ...
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Dial H for Half-Assed

Dial H for Half-Assed

7

Mar

2017

Many years ago, when 'blogs' were a thing, I wrote a series called the Geek Index, in which I examined the DC Who's Who and Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe series in order to illustrate that comic books were written for mental defectives.  It did not require close examination.Nowadays, geeks -- once a pejorative ...
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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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