In this month's episode, the panel tackles the subject of sexual awakenings as they manifest in "Blankets" by Craig Thompson and "This One Summer" by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki. Topics of discussion include censorship in comics, how our hormones can lie to us, and the unique capacity for comics to visually embody profound physical experiences.
In this episode, the panel compares "Excalibur" by Chris Claremont and Alan Davis to "Exiles" by Judd Winick and Mike McKone. Topics of discussion include franchise-branching in the X-Universe, alternate-reality storytelling challenges/opportunities, and character voice within a group dynamic.
In this episode, the worlds of gaming and comics collide with a comparison of the cult classic "Diceman" by Pat Mills & various 2000AD creators to "You Are Deadpool" by Al Ewing & Salva Espin. Topics of discussion include procedural rhetoric in comics, the experience of peripheral time in layouts and the eternal question of which Deadpool is peak Deadpool.
In this episode, Anna, Michael and Andrew return from pandemic hiatus to discuss two stories about heroes and the bodies that define them....or perhaps don't. We're reading Box Brown's "Andre the Giant" against Osamu Tezuka's "Dororo," discussing ableism in comics, embodied identity, and the grim terrors of the Sengoku period of Japan weighed against the glory days of WWE (then WWF) wrestling.
For this episode, the panel compares the 1980s classic series "Justice League International" by Keith Giffen and JM DeMatteis to the 2013 "Superior Foes of Spider-Man" series by Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber. Topics of discussion include the comedic potential of the superhero genre, the complex nature of group dynamics, and the relative punch-ableness of Guy Gardner vs Fred Myers. Additionally, Anna provides an academic review of "The Superhero Film Parody and Hegemonic Masculinity" by Jeffrey A Brown.
In this episode, the panel looks at a pair of recent reboots of iconic intellectual properties, Mark Russell and Steve Pugh's "Flintstones" and Tom Scioli's "Transformers vs GI Joe." We discuss reboot culture, visceral escapism, farcical social commentary, and a vacuum cleaner who can crush your soul with its unflinching optimism toward its armadillo friend who is also a bowling ball. Michael will also be providing a review of "Show Sold Separately" by Jonathan Grey.
For this episode, the panel compares Adrian Tomine's "Summer Blonde & Other Stories" to Daniel Clowes' "Ghost World," leading to an in-depth discussion of the 1990s alternative comics scene, the portrayal of isolated youth, and the trope of self-flagellating, sex-obsessed male protagonists. Andrew provides a review of Charles Hatfield's "Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature."
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."
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."
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."