Fandom and Community in Best of Show

Between 1996 and 2006, mockumentaries, films spoofing the documentary form, enjoyed their heyday thanks in large part to the creative team behind This Is Spinal Tap (1984) who then moved on years later to produce The Return of Spinal Tap (1994), Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show (2000), A Mighty Wind (2003), and For […]

Silicon Valley: A Father and Son Conversation

Verle (Father) Chuck (Son) CHUCK: You first came to came to California in 1954? VERLE: 1954, yeah. CHUCK: And you just had Tom at that point? VERLE: Yeah, well, actually it was 1955 when we came. Because Tom was born in 1954 in September and we came down to California in June of 1955. CHUCK: […]

Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter by Tim Hanley

Over the past two years, my comic-reading habits have shifted to titles featuring female leads.  I can’t get enough of Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s Velvet, Greg Rucka and Michael Lark’s Lazarus, James Robinson and various artists’ Scarlet Witch, Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk’s Mockingbird, and my favorite female superhero of all time, the Black […]

The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis

An ongoing debate over steampunk’s viability has been underway for some time. In 2013, an IBM algorithm, the Social Sentiment Index, predicted that by 2014 steampunk would become a major force within the retail industry, a dominant influence on clothing, jewelry, and accessories.  Well, not so much, as time has shown, except for those dedicated […]

The 2017 Hugo Awards: Best Graphic Story

During an interview at the most recent Marvel Retailer Summit, David Gabriel, Vice-President of Sales, blamed declining sales of Marvel’s titles on people who were “turning their nose up against” diversity in Marvel’s titles.  This inspired a storm of online articles by commentators disagreeing with Gabriel, most of whom cited instead Marvel’s glut of crossover […]

Five Moments That Define My Batman

To augment a special issue of the popular fanzine Journey Planet dedicated to Batman, co-editor Christopher Garcia asked fans to name their first memories of that hero.  To answer, I shared about how at four-years old I wandered into my two oldest brothers’ shared bathroom to peek at their stag magazines.  What confronted me instead was a stack of half-ruined […]