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Showing posts from May, 2016

Rethinking how we view fictional characters

I meant to share this link a few weeks back to an article/review I wrote for Sequart. It focused on one chapter from Deborah E. Whaley's recent book, Black Women in Sequence: Re-inking Comics, Graphic Novels, and Anime. I received a review copy from the publisher late last year and I can't recommend the book enough, especially if you're at all interested in how readers or viewers perceive fictional characters. Whaley's book is one of several recent books offering serious critical analyses of comics, comics culture, and other popular culture sites, several of which (including Whaley's book) are coming from university presses. One more reason university presses rock (I'm not biased, I swear).

Whaley does an excellent job of showing just how important it is to recognize that a person's gender, race, economic background, education, etc., can play a huge role in how they perceive fictional characters.
For the article, I focused on the chapter focusing on Catwom…

A Marvel Studios wish list

I compiled a list for Sequart of film and television projects that I'd like to see Marvel Studios tackle next. You can read it here. They've done a terrific job of world building since the first Iron Man film in 2008, so I offer a few ideas on ways to expand to the further reaches of the Marvel universe.

We were able to get out and catch Civil War over the weekend and it was every bit as good as I'd heard it was. It's renewed my enthusiasm for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, after Age of Ultron had tamped down that excitement quite a bit. But everything wrong with that film was corrected for Civil War, which felt more like a natural extension of Winder Soldier than Ultron. That's fine by me because I absolutely loved Winter Soldier. In fact, all three Captain America films have been aces in my book. Chris Evans owns the character of Cap at this point. I'm already saddened by the prospect of the inevitable reboot in a decade starring someone else.

So, mighty Mar…

Darwyn Cooke, 1962–2016

Darwyn Cooke, one of the most popular artists working in comics over the past two decades, died this weekend. He was only 53 years old. His wife announced Cooke's illness on his blog just the day before his death, under the heading "Fuck cancer." My sentiments exactly. I've been touched by it personally and that feeling of anger at it, even all these years later, never fully goes away. Cooke had so much more to contribute.

From graphic design to animation storyboards to writing and drawing comics and graphic novels, Cooke did it all. He also did more with less and I don't mean less talent. What I mean is he used very few lines and they were clean and direct. He conveyed joy and exuberance through his classically Art Deco/animated cartooning style. The popular sentiment among comics fans is that noone draws the classic DC pantheon of heroes as well as Cooke. There's a reason for that: he drew these larger than life characters with a dynamism and energy befitt…

I read Preacher and you should too

Sequart has shared my review of Preacher, the epic graphic novel series from Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. Preacher was published by Vertigo from 1995-2000.It's just a few thoughts on themes and characters, really, not a comprehensive review. I might like to write about it even more down the road. I highly recommend the book, as it provides one extended story that you can read from beginning to end and feel satisfied with once you're done.

The upcoming television show was my impetus to—finally—take the leap and read it. I'd been curious for too long to remember. Sometimes it takes an TV or movie adaptation of a book to rekindle an old interest you had in reading it in the first place. I can't imagine that the show will be as good as the book, but that's my usual stance on most book-to-screen adaptations. From what I've seen so far of trailers, it looks like they're altering some things and changing around some characters, possibly, both of which might be go…