In this episode, Anna, Andrew and Michael offer some deep cuts with a look at a pair of long-running, indie comics that have committed cult followings. We're reading Linda Medley's "Castle Waiting," and Carla Speed McNeil's "Finder." We'll consider long-form comics narrative, fantasy world-building, and the nature of the relationship between a loyal reader and the comics that either hurt or comfort them. We'll also review Farah Mendlesohn's academic text "Rhetorics of Fantasy."
In this episode (our first in stereo), Michael, Andrew and Anna will put on some nostalgia goggles and compare Bill Watterson's iconic comic strip, "Calvin and Hobbes", to Joe Kelly and J.M. Ken Niimura's "I Kill Giants." Topics will include the manner in which adults write children, the newspaper comic strip tradition, and the trope of the childhood protagonist who withdraws into a world of imagination. We’ll also be conducting a review of "Animal Comics: Multispecies Storyworlds in Graphic Narrative," edited by David Herman. *note: some slight microphone reverb in the cold opening.
In this episode, Anna, Andrew and Michael look at a pair of iconic occult heroes with a comparison of Mike Mignola’s "Hellboy: Wake the Devil" to Garth Ennis’s version of John Constantine in "Hellblazer: Dangerous Habbits." Topics include the antihero, the intersections of horror and the superhero genre and trenchcoats: who wore it better? From the academic side, we’ll also be conducting a review of Scott Bukatman’s “Hellboy’s World: Comics and Monsters on the Margins.”
In this episode, Michael, Anna and Andrew tackle the issue of representation in a pair of teen team books with a look at Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz's "New Mutants: The Demon Bear Saga" alongside Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's openly queer heroes in "Young Avengers: Alternative Culture." We'll discuss topics such as the handling of queer youth, institutional censorship, and avant-garde visual strategies in mainstream superhero comics. We'll also provide a review of Ramzi Fawaz's "The New Mutants: Superheroes and the Radical Imagination of American Comics." *Note: Episode edited from original cut to remove some ableist language.
In our third episode, Michael, Anna, and Andrew discuss the cultural juggernaut that is "Saga" by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples in contrast with Daniel Warren Johnson's "Extremity. We'll cover the intersecting subjects of aesthetics, sexuality, and brutality, among others, while also reviewing Hilary Chute's academic text "Disaster Drawn."
In honour of Halloween, our second episode features a look at the cult classic "Tomb of Dracula" by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan, alongside the more recent "American Vampire" by Scott Snyder, Stephen King (yes, THAT Stephen King), and Rafael Albuquerque. We'll talk about creating horror in a graphic medium, the treatment of women in the horror genre, and the eternal question of just who is the real protagonist in monster stories. We'll also feature a review of the academic text "Gothicka" by Victoria Nelson.
In this episode, Michael, Anna, and Andrew kick off the new show with a deep dive into G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona's "Ms. Marvel" series, alongside Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr's "The Batgirl of Burnside." Along the way, we'll discuss the representations of youth culture, of contemporary fashion, and of so-called "legacy characters." We also review the academic text "Superwomen" by Carolyn Cocca.