One and done

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Comic books aren’t great with beginnings and endings, to be honest. As a serialized medium, very few stories have their complete start and finish in a single volume and often rely on a whole host of other stories to make complete sense. When I was a kid, though, nobody I knew really cared if it … Continue reading

The darkest of knights

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I was recently at a party in which I met a gentleman who tried to convince me that the third Matrix film is the finest of the trilogy. Needless to say, I was aghast and spent the next several minutes arguing against this delusional notion until finally my wife wisely and diplomatically separated me from … Continue reading

Earth’s mightiest heroes — sort of

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A mythical warrior wielding armaments of legend. A hero encased in metal who becomes a living weapon. A normal man thrown into extraordinary circumstances armed simply with a shield. A big green monster caught in the crosshairs of a secret government agency. All told, seven soldiers out to save the world from an incursion too … Continue reading

The coyote savior

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I have a confession to make; I don’t understand some of Grant Morrison’s stories. What I mean to say is that I usually can follow the plot and generally comprehend the basic narrative but I feel like I’m missing important things within the tales. It seems as if I am only reading the surface and … Continue reading

Catman, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways

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It’s been a year since I wrote my first column for The Idler, and in that time I’ve been able to tackle a whole host of things I felt were important to me. From the earliest comics that drew me into the medium to some of the most thought-provoking material I’ve encountered as an adult, … Continue reading

Five years later — a thousand years from now

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Imagining the future can be tricky. On one hand, we picture ourselves wearing jetpacks, flying through the open sky to get to work in the morning, and sending our relatives off (if we’re lucky) to live in space colonies on the moon. Love triumphs over our petty hatreds and we live in peace, not just … Continue reading

Sisters and brothers, wonder girls and boy wonders

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It’s probably pretty clear by now that I’ve read more than my share of comic books. I have about fifteen thousand in my personal collection, curated carefully over the last thirty years, not to mention the thousands more I’ve read and subsequently donated to worthy causes. I still pick up an insane number of new … Continue reading

52/1: The varieties of horror

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I’d like to clear up a bit of a myth — you can actually follow either Animal Man or Swamp Thing without reading the other. Writers Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder have clearly spent the first year of the two titles building a common world with a number of common elements and themes, but they … Continue reading

Law and order on trial

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The morality of comic book characters never used to be up for debate. If you were a superhero, you wore a bright costume, helped kids rescue kittens and shook hands with the police when you dropped off the criminals you apprehended, sometimes without even having to land a punch. If you were a supervillain, you … Continue reading

My summer stack of comics

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Did you know that scientists recently calculated how much we actually read in our work and personal lives? It seems a typical person today consumes the equivalent of 174 full newspapers a day in information — nearly five times as much as 25 years ago. Between email, print material, internet browsing, and advertising, we are literally inundated with text … Continue reading