Three Panel Contrast
Ep 18 - Marvels & New Frontier

Ep 18 - Marvels & New Frontier

February 1, 2020

This month's episode compares Darwyn Cooke's "New Frontier" to Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross's "Marvels." Topics of discussion include trading on nostalgia, comics revisionism on a publishing house scale, and more discussion of phallic imagery than you'd think these two comics could possibly warrant. Anna will also present a review of Peter Coogan's "Superhero: The Secret Origin of a Genre."

Ep 17 - Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck and Howard the Duck

Ep 17 - Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck and Howard the Duck

January 1, 2020

This month is comparative ornithology with a close luck at Steve Gerber's iconic "Howard the Duck" comics alongside Don Rosa's "The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck." Topics of discussion will include the figure of the duck as a vehicle for absurdist metaphor, the subversion of the American dream, and the questionable erasure of historic comics production practices. Michael will also provide a review of Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart's marxist critique of American cultural imperialism, titled "How to Read Donald Duck."

Ep 16 - X-men: Asgardian Wars and HoXPoX

Ep 16 - X-men: Asgardian Wars and HoXPoX

November 30, 2019

In this episode, we explore Chris Claremont's favorite Chris Claremont story in "X-men: Asgardian Wars," alongside the latest X-men sensation, Jonathan Hickman's "House of X/Powers of X." Topics of discussion will include X-men as a metaphorical vehicle, Hickmanisms, iconic visual styles, and the fact that Anna knows "Excalibur" issues better than Andrew does. We'll also feature a review of Joseph Darowski's "X-men and the Mutant Metaphor."

Ep 15 - She-Hulk

Ep 15 - She-Hulk

November 1, 2019

This month's episode compares Dan Slott's beloved run on She-Hulk to Mariko Tamaki's more contentious run with the same character. Topics of discussion include character development vs character consistency, the complex sexualization of Jennifer Walters and the degree to which that defines the character, and an intern with a cinder block for a head who is still objectively awesome. Anna will also be providing a review of "Wonder Women: Feminisms and Superheroes" by the late Lillian S. Robinson.

Ep 14 - EC Archives & Through the Woods

Ep 14 - EC Archives & Through the Woods

October 1, 2019

In this horrifying Halloween haunt of an episode, the panel discusses the classic EC horror comics property "Vault of Horror" alongside the contemporary horror text "Through the Woods" by Emily Carroll. We'll also feature an academic review of Qiana Whitted's "EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest." Topics of the day include the unique rhetoric of horror in comics, the historic significance of horror to the evolution of comics, and the intersections of misogyny and violence in the horror genre.

Ep 13 - Maus & Jimmy Corrigan

Ep 13 - Maus & Jimmy Corrigan

September 1, 2019

This month's episode looks at the so-called "comics canon," iconic works from years passed that helped create the comics-as-literature movement and that are now considered sacred. We compare Art Spiegleman's "Maus" to Chris Ware's "Jimmy Corrigan" with an academic review of Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics." In each instance we cast a fresh set of scholarly eyes on works that are often considered untouchable. How well do they hold up, however? How well have they aged? Perhaps most importantly, what is their legacy? Welcome to Comics 101.

Ep 12 - My Faith in Frankie & Highest House

Ep 12 - My Faith in Frankie & Highest House

August 1, 2019

It's all Mike Carey all the time this episode with a comparison of Highest House (art by Peter Gross) and My Faith in Frankie (art by Sonny Liew and Marc Hempel). We explore the role of religion, faith and deism in comics, the challenges that the medium poses for high fantasy works, and the collaborative nature of the form itself, whilst also taking a slight aside to discuss the possible symbolic meaning of a person getting weed-whacked in the genitals. We will also feature a review of the academic text "Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels," edited by A. David Lewis and Christine Hoff Kraemer.

Ep 11 - Annihilation & Sinestro Corps War

Ep 11 - Annihilation & Sinestro Corps War

July 2, 2019

In this month's episode, the panel looks to the stars, comparing Marvel's "Annihilation" event to DC's "Sinestro Corps War." Along the way, we discuss the artistic challenges of cross-title storytelling, the legacy of Marvel and DC's cosmic universes, and the extent to which all roads lead back to Jack Kirby. We'll also be reviewing Charles Hatfield's "Hand of Fire: The Comics Art of Jack Kirby."

Ep 10 - Nimona & Apocalyptigirl

Ep 10 - Nimona & Apocalyptigirl

June 1, 2019

This month’s episode sees the panel discussing some speculative fiction that features a pair of strong, young, female protagonists. Topics of discussion include gender politics in genre fiction, the colonial metaphor in SF and Fantasy, and just how easily a male love interest character can be replaced with a cat. Tying things up this month, we’ll have an academic review of Ursula K Le Guin’s classic essay “American SF and the Other.”

Ep 9 - Relish & Delicious in Dungeon

Ep 9 - Relish & Delicious in Dungeon

May 1, 2019

In this episode, Anna, Andrew and Michael consume some food-based comics works with a comparative analysis of Lucy Knisley's cuisine-orbiting memoir "Relish" and Ryoko Kui's Dungeons & Dragons & Dining adventure manga, "Delicious in Dungeon." Topics of discussion include synaesthetics, recipes as metatext, and the visual aspect of contemporary food culture. We'll also feature a review of "Manga: An Anthology of Global and Cultural Perspectives" by Toni Johnson-Woods. Bring your appetite.