When I was growing up, no one talked about comic books, not really. Sometimes teachers would disparage comics as books for kids who could not—or would not—read. Sometimes librarians would do the same. Even five years ago, I still knew teachers and librarians who did not believe reading comics counted as reading. Perhaps there were students in my classes who did read comics. But, in a culture where liking comics was equated with laziness and stupidity, I can see why no one would have dared to talk about them. Continue reading
I loved Chelsea Cain’ Mockingbird. It was a comic as fun as it was intelligent and laugh-out-loud funny, easily one of the best Marvel was publishing…until they prematurely cancelled it. So you can imagine my elation when I realized Chelsea Cain was back together with her entire Mockingbird team to do another comic! This time she’s writing for Image Comics and the result is the darkly satirical horror/comedy comic Man-Eaters. It’s narrative is richly symbolic and deeply mythological all while delivering a unflinching assault on patriarchal oppression. It’s funny and creepy and has this fascinating slow building mystery. If you’d like to know more (and who wouldn’t?!?) then you can click here to read the piece I wrote exploring it for Reads & Reels! I would be super happy if you clicked and read because I dig the piece, love the comic, and am happy to be featured on Reads & Reels :). So, um, what are you waiting for? Click away! Continue reading
So you’re new to comics…or you’re new to the Marvel Universe…or you’re new to Spider-Man and you’re thinking to yourself, “Self, I’d like to immerse myself in the amazing world of our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man BUT there’s over sixty years of comic books out there. That’s intimidating! How do I just jump in with decades of characters and continuity?? Where do I even begin?!?” Well you’re in luck. I’m here to help in my new series, “My Comic Advice,” where I’ll outline the best place for any newbie to begin reading a popular comic series. What makes me the person for this job? Well, I’ve loved comics for over thirty years but, more importantly, you are here reading this so it seems like we already have a bond :). That being said…where do you begin reading Spider-Man? Let’s find out! Continue reading
I began reading The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl because I love Ryan North’s Dinosaur Comics. When I heard he was writing for Marvel, I had to check it out. I instantly fell in love with the comic and I’ve been so impressed with what I continually find in its pages that I’ve chosen Doreen Green as the subject of the paper I’m writing for this year’s PCA/ACA National Conference on Popular Culture. As I began my research, I figured I’d read the comics featuring Doreen before she began to kick butts and eat nuts in The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. I wanted to get a handle on how her character has evolved in the authorial hands of Ryan North and artistic hands of Erica Henderson and now Derek Charm. I was expecting a one note joke character but I was happily surprised by what I found! Continue reading
The brilliant new podcast Pods & Ends – “the junk drawer of pop culture” – asked me to write a piece for them about Spider-Man movies. Hot dog! I excitedly agreed and I think you should excitedly read this. In the post, I reflect nostaligically on everything from this Spidey movie whose name I cannot find no matter how hard I try from the ’80s up to and including the MIND-BLOWINGLY AMAZING Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. I was honored to write for this great show and would love you to check it out.
This thoughtful and prayerful reflection on the March for Life this past weekend was written by my good friend and co-worker, Matthew. I deeply appreciate his words and am proud to share them here. Please give it a read.
Yesterday, I returned to the March for Life for the first time in at least a decade. After participating for a few years, I quit the March in my late teens. This was not because I lost my moral opposition to abortion, mind you. Rather, with the War on Terror in full swing I was overwhelmed by the myopic focus on abortion at the expense of tens (eventually hundreds) of thousands of civilians sacrificed to the false gods of war and wealth in Afghanistan and Iraq. That the march began with the Pledge of Allegiance and a rally filled with star-struck praise for the right wing in power was too much for my Catholic, consistent life ethic conscience to bear.
Recently, students from my school formed chapter of Students for Life. Two dozen of them excitedly planned to travel to Washington, DC. They needed support from teachers to go with…
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Since I pushed Mike to present his Avenger’s Dream Team he, in turn, told me that I had to share my own squad of Avenging superheroes. As I have been soaking up Marvel stories lately, and not really interested in the Star Wars content being pumped out by Disney (which has resulted in my having absolutely nothing to say about Star Wars over on my site), I figured I would take Mike up on the offer and share my own team – “The Imperial Avengers.” That said, I should note that whereas I am a savant with Star Wars, my knowledge of the Marvel-verse is plebian compared to Michael. Soooo, you know, just bear with me here as I struggle to explain my rationale for choosing my team. Continue reading