Comics

25 Essential Graphic Novels

Long dismissed as a less serious art form, graphic novels have finally started to gain more mainstream credibility over the last 20 years. There are many, many excellent examples out there, but if you’re looking for a place to start, start here! The world of the graphic novel is one that spans a wide range of authors, artists, styles, and subject matter, and this primer covers all the… Read More

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‘Captain America’ Star Anthony Mackie Is Right: Kids Deserve More Diverse Superhero Movies

Anthony Mackie is one of those underrated and substantially gifted actors who livens up just about any movie he shows up in, and his unique fusion of genuine warmth and unflappable cool is particularly welcome in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But his most important contribution to the comic-book movie universe may well have occurred off-screen, at a recent promotional roundtable, when he said this about playing a black superhero: “When I first got this role I just cried like a baby because I was like, ‘Wow, next Halloween, I’m gonna open the door and there’s gonna be a little kid dressed as the Falcon.’ That’s the thing that always gets me. I feel like everybody deserves that. I feel like there should be a Latino superhero. Scarlett does great representation for all the other girls, but there should be a Wonder Woman movie. I don’t care if they make 20 bucks, if there’s a movie you’re gonna lose money on, make it Wonder Woman. You know what I mean, ’cause little girls deserve that.” Or, to put a more cynical spin on his comment: why are all the comic book superhero movies about white guys? … Read More

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Flavorwire Interview: Adrian Tomine on Drawing Everyday People and Fantasies of Writing a Novel

Although he’s originally from California, if you look at any of Adrian Tomine’s many illustrations for publications named after the city that he currently calls home, it’s difficult to think of Tomine as anything other than a New York artist. His work for The New Yorker and New York magazine capture the everyday look and feel of contemporary New York City, with single scenes begging you to fill in the blanks for the rest of the story: the New Yorker out of his element (in this particular case, a Yankees fan in a sea of Red Sox caps), two readers on passing subways making eye contact, and the bored teenage tourist reading great literature set in the city instead of looking at the tourist destinations. If you’ve spent any prolonged amount of time here, Tomine’s illustrations are scenes with which you’re familiar. … Read More

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A Good Doctor Strange Movie Could Make Up for all the Bad Marvel Comics Films

It’s time we have an open and honest discussion about just how poor films based on Marvel comic-book heroes have been in the last three decades. For every decent X-Men film (not including the Brett Ratner-directed X-Men: The Last Stand, which was pretty meh), you have your Ben Affleck as Daredevil, your truly horrible 2004 Punisher (which made the 1989 version starring Dolph Lundgren look like a masterpiece), and I’m still unsure why the hell they keep beating the poor Hulk and Fantastic Four franchises to death. The kid from Billy Elliot as Ben Grimm? That just doesn’t seem right. … Read More

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Tracing the History of ‘Sherlock’s’ Illusory Homoeroticism

Two weeks ago, Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch announced that a scene set in a gay club had been cut from the 2014 season of Sherlock, and of course, the word “gay” coupled with the word “cut” caused a small tizzy. The show, it seemed, in its incessant gay pseudo-subtext and systematic revocation of its every gay insinuation, had gotten itself into a pickle with this fraught scene — had they kept it, it would have added another notch to their “queerbaiting” belt, and a small tizzy would have likewise been caused. To emerge tizziless, they opted, suddenly and uncharacteristically, to eschew all gay implication. Thus, bereft of the freedom and the desire to gay it up, Sherlock’s dance with gayness is an equivocal burlesque, revealing, at the last minute, the gayish pasties atop heteronormative nipples. … Read More

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Calvin and Hobbes’

This week sees the release of Dear Mr. Watterson, a documentary about Bill Watterson, the author and illustrator of the much-beloved cartoon strip Calvin & Hobbes. Happily, the film is as much a celebration of the strip as anything else. Calvin & Hobbes has always inspired a special brand of obsessive geekdom, after all, and it’s good to see that the filmmakers didn’t go out of their way to pursue the strip’s reclusive creator. And indeed, watching the film has roused our own Watterson geekdom — so here’s a selection of things you mightn’t have known about the artist and his work! … Read More

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Neil Gaiman on the Writers Who Influenced and Inspired Him

Neil Gaiman is a hugely important figure for comic-book fans in their 20s and 30s. For many of us, he represented a shift from the traditional superheroes we had been raised on — the caped crusaders, the men of steel — but Gaiman, and most notably his creation The Sandman, also marked the first time many of us felt like there was someone cool within the ranks of comics geeks. Gaiman was, and continues to be, one of the only writers in any genre who can effortlessly excite comic-book fans, literary fiction readers, and everybody in between. He is pleasing to read whether you’re a fan of horror, a fan of sci-fi, or even a fan of T. S. Eliot, whose The Waste Land is quoted in this 1988 advertisement trumpeting the eerie arrival of Sandman: … Read More

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