Author Archive

The Success of Failure

Posted by on September 20th, 2010 at 9:55 AM
In the best of these one-panel one-shots, Wheeler gives us something more than a gag. He gives us a quick look into an entire life -- or even, an entire way of life. The one image and the one line of text implies, or sometimes contains, a complete story, or perhaps an essay.

Garth Ennis’ Crossed Vol. One

Posted by on August 19th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
It is one of the paradoxes of our culture that post-apocalyptic literature is perhaps our best example of moral fiction.

Planetary: Spacetime Archaeology

Posted by on August 17th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
With Planetary, Warren Ellis holds a seemingly distorted mirror up to the world of our pulp, sci-fi and superhero stories. We recognize what we see there, and at first we think that something's wrong. Slowly we realize that something is right.

War is Boring

Posted by on July 8th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
What David Axe finally encounters, less in the combat zones than in his return to the safe and sheltered United States, is not really boredom, but nihilism.

It Was the War of the Trenches

Posted by on June 22nd, 2010 at 12:01 AM
Tardi has produced a beautiful comic on a ghastly subject.

False Starts, Part Three of Three: Dazzler #1

Posted by on June 16th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
Of the small set of comics I'm reviewing in this series — all of them, current Marvel #1s — the Dazzler one-off is actually the best. The comic is, at least, in touch with its own kitsch.

False Starts, Part Two of Three: Astonishing X-Men #1

Posted by on June 15th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
The first issue in the new Astonishing X-Men series doesn't manage to astonish in the least.

False Starts, Part One of Three: Avengers #1 and Secret Avengers #1

Posted by on June 14th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
In the abstract, one might assume that the first issue of a new series would represent a fresh start, and that one might pick it up and simply read it, without wading into a morass of back-story dozens of titles wide and hundred of issues deep. In the Marvel Universe, at least, that assumption would be wrong.

Pictures of Dorian Gray, Images of Oscar Wilde; Part Nine: Oscar Wilde: Martyr, Saint, and Superhero

Posted by on May 27th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
“The Outcast of one age is the Hero of another.” – Edward Carpenter Martyrs necessarily begin as outlaws. Wilde's trials established him as a criminal, made him a prisoner and an exile — and produced a gay icon.

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight.

Pictures of Dorian Gray, Images of Oscar Wilde; Part Eight: The Tribute Mediocrity Pays to Genius

Posted by on May 26th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
"Caricature is the tribute which mediocrity pays to genius," Oscar Wilde said. But in fact, Wilde had the distinction of being ridiculed by the best. Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven.

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