The Comics Classroom articles

YOUNG JUSTICE: A Masterclass in Youth and Friendship

YOUNG JUSTICE: A Masterclass in Youth and Friendship

In some ways looking back on the original Young Justice run that started back in the 90s can come off as a bit of a rough ride. One of the first villains the team (which started with Robin, Superboy, and Impulse) faced was a character called Mighty Endowed, a busty catgirl who literally couldn’t stand

SAMURAI EXECUTIONER: How History and Fiction Collide

If comics can be said to be a conduit for mythological symbols, both ancient and modern, to help us solve problems, what does this look like in practice when we turn from the familiar to the unexpected? For many American readers, there is a tendency to absorb and appropriate Japanese terms such as “samurai” and

Modern Mythology, Death, and Resurrection in Comics

You might consider this two-part series a kind of ‘companion’ or ‘extension’ piece to a three part column series I did way back in 2014 (!). While those three articles dealt with some specific characters such as Superman, Wolverine and the Phoenix manga, these particular entry will touch more on Captain America directly, thus keeping

The Comics Classroom: Captain America as Modern American Myth

With the global impact of Avengers: Infinity War still raging on in theaters around the world, I think now is as good a time as any (possibly, the best time, even) to address something about comics. I am very invested in what I can only call at the moment ‘comic mythology,’ a term I am

The Comics Classroom: Exploring 47 RONIN, Part 2

In the previous entry, Dark Horse’s 2014 adaption of the 47 Ronin story was submitted as a superb example of the famous Japanese story for modern audiences. Stan Sakai’s art was also favorably compared to the woodblock prints of Ogata Gekkō. So, how can Mike Richardson and Stan Sakai’s comic be useful in exploring the history

The Walden Connection in DOOMSDAY CLOCK, Part 3

Promising paradise or threatening hell-fire is, we assumed, generally admitted to be unproductive. It is based upon a fundamental fraud which, when discovered, turns the individual against society and nourishes the very thing it tries to stamp out. What Jesus offered in return of loving one’s enemies was heaven on earth, better known as peace

The Walden Connection in DOOMSDAY CLOCK, Part 2

All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be. – Henry David Thoreau, Walden It is a mistake to suppose that the whole issue is how to free man. The issue is to improve the way in which he is controlled. – B.F. Skinner, Walden Two  

The Walden Connection in DOOMSDAY CLOCK, Part 1

Quick! Think of one of the most important books in American literature. While there are many reasonable answers to this question, works such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or Gone With the Wind, it might seem reasonable that you’d be confused if you heard somebody answer “B. F. Skinner’s Walden Two!” I was confused when I

COMICS CLASSROOM: The Role of Comics in Politics and Art [Part 3]

In the second part of this series I took the commentary surrounding Action Comics #987 to task, and while most aspects of the criticism leveled against the issue don’t stand, they got me thinking. What came to my mind was this: how do we tend to see, visually, immigrants in comics put out by companies

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