Home » Archive

Articles in the Literature Department

Art, Featured, Julytember 2010, Literature »

[15 Nov 2010 | No Comment | 2,986 Views]
Playtime Featured Artists: Team Robo

In a world where adventure comics seem to consist of nothing but grim, tortured heroes fighting grim, tortured villains for grim, tortured reasons, Atomic Robo is a comic with the apparent – and unthinkable – goal of making its readership smile. Oh, there’s violence, and vampires, and Nazis, and all sorts of that kind of thing, but they’re there in service of excitement and thrills, rather than the battling of inner demons. Its creators have described it as “a combination of Indiana Jones, Buckaroo Banzai, and the Ghostbusters.” It’s the …

Art, Julytember 2010, Literature, Subheadline »

[17 Oct 2010 | No Comment | 3,214 Views]
2010 In Comics: The Middle 48%

2010 (so far): The greatest year in the history of the comics medium? The nightmarish nadir from which it will never recover? The year when the whole industry, and our relationship with it, changed forever? Nope. But come with us nevertheless to yestermonth, for a look at some of the comic books, trade paperbacks, and funnypages/comic-strip collections of oh, say, the middlish part of the year.
Gorilla-Man #1
Creators: Jeff Parker (writer); Giancarlo Caracuzzo (artist); Jim Charalampidis (colorist); Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: Marvel
From a narrative point of view, part of the purpose of …

Art, Julytember 2010, Literature, Subheadline »

[15 Sep 2010 | One Comment | 3,534 Views]
Cleavage, In A Crimefighting Sense

It was the announcement from a major comic book publisher that split the Internet in half. Or the one for that week, anyway. Actually, it was really the one for that month – the announcement was that big. We refer here, of course, to the announcement that they were radically changing Wonder Woman’s costume. The ever-shrinking strapless one-piece swimsuit that the Amazon princess had worn into battle for over half a century was to be a thing of the past. In its place, a red, striped shirt, a jacket, and …

Cultural Comment, Julytember 2010, Literature, Subheadline »

[25 Jul 2010 | No Comment | 1,839 Views]
Video Games and Compulsory Learning

What happens when video games enter the classroom? For the past thirty years, video games have been mired in negative stereotypes. Considered revolutionary in the 70s, brainless diversion in the 80s, youth-corrupting entertainment in the 90s—attitudes towards video games have run the gamut. In the past ten years, there has been a palpable change. Games have gone from social pariahs to hotly-contested media seeking artistic validation. But it isn’t the conversation about the video game’s place in the artistic world that is radically changing the way games are used and thought of in our society. Thanks to the work of literacy and education researchers, video games are gaining prestige as powerful learning tools.

Cultural Comment, Literature, May/June 2010 »

Welcome to the Machine
[4 May 2010 | No Comment | 1,154 Views]
Welcome to the Machine

March of 2010 saw the release of Hardware: The Man in the Machine, a trade paperback collecting the first eight issues of the comic book Hardware; but it was in April of 1993 when Hardware #1 first hit the shelves. Written by Dwayne McDuffie with art by Denys Cowan, Hardware was the first title in a new line, or imprint, of DC Comics titles, called Milestone Media. The milestone referred to was easy enough to figure out. Though the Milestone imprint, on a basic level, published comics about the usual …

April 2010, Cultural Comment, Literature »

[4 Apr 2010 | No Comment | 1,950 Views]
Why e-readers suck

I’m a semi-novice at many things. Within the past few years, I’ve become more and more of a semi-novice Luddite. I’ll often see some new piece of technology, with buttons and a screen of some sort, and be absolutely smitten.

Jan/Feb 2010, Literature »

Playtime Featured Artist: Janet Skeslien Charles
[10 Feb 2010 | No Comment | 1,810 Views]
Playtime Featured Artist: Janet Skeslien Charles

Janet Skeslien Charles
Moonlight In Odessa, the debut novel from Janet Skeslien Charles, is a warm and funny story of the bleak and deceptive world of mail-order brides. Its heroine and central figure is Daria, an intelligent, strong, and educated Odessan woman who finds a job working for a ‘matchmaking service,’ and ends up one of its clients, to her eventual sorrow. It’s a marvelous book, witty and subtle and affecting, and a page-turner on top of it. Published by Bloomsbury, Odessa has been reviewed positively by the New York Times, …

Literature, Nov/Dec 2009 »

Why Owls Hoot
[26 Nov 2009 | No Comment | 3,520 Views]
Why Owls Hoot

In the lands of old when time was yet a toddler, there lived an owl. His name was Dell. Dell was a simple, modest owl but he had a special gift. He could sing better than any other bird in the world, the rest of whom could only make a variety of modest calls. His voice was so gorgeous that animals from all corners of the land would come to hear its magical sound.

Literature, Nov/Dec 2009 »

Stephen King’s Cell: Don’t Bother Recharging this One
[4 Nov 2009 | One Comment | 1,301 Views]
Stephen King’s Cell: Don’t Bother Recharging this One

I had always wanted to read Stephen King’s Cell.  Despite the intriguing central concept of cell phones turning people into zombies, I somehow never took the plunge and bought it.  This is probably due to the fact that the book was slightly larger than most paperbacks, which, I am convinced, was done solely to artificially inflate the price of the book. So I was quite excited when my editor, the living breathing anachronism, plopped an audio version of it onto my desk. 1
“Kid,” he said, a lit cigarette dangling from …

Cultural Comment, Literature, October 2009 »

Writing and Freedom in Slave Moth
[15 Oct 2009 | No Comment | 1,311 Views]
Writing and Freedom in <i>Slave Moth</i>

The neo-slave narrative, as defined by literary critic Ashraf Rushdy, is a genre of work that grew out of the awareness and turmoil of the 1960s Black Power movement. As a genre, the neo-slave narrative “assumed the form…and the first-person voice of antebellum slave narratives,” while attempting to position itself in the burgeoning debate between mainstream and minority opinion on history and cultural critique of the era.  While the 60s saw an explosion in critique based around deconstruction of dominant genres, like the novel or the tragedy 1, the neo-slave …