Author Archives: Ken Parille

About Ken Parille

Ken Parille is an Associate Professor of English at East Carolina University. His writing has appeared in The Best American Comics Criticism, Children's Literature, Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, Papers on Language and Literature, The Boston Review, Comic Art, Children's Literature Association Quarterly, and The Believer. He has also published a guitar instructional book as well as a number of instructional articles in GuitarOne magazine. His monograph Boys at Home: Discipline, Masculinity, and ‘The Boy-Problem’ in Nineteenth-Century American Literature was published by the University of Tennessee Press, and , along with Isaac Cates, he edited Daniel Clowes: Conversations.

Gag Cartoons with Naked People: Abner Dean’s What Am I Doing Here?

Revisiting the “Brave Nude World” of philosopher, psychologist, psychiatrist, anthropologist, and cartoonist Abner Dean. Continue reading


Error Report?: Comics, Text, and Editing

Words, punctuation, and “orthographic consistency” on the comics page: theories and practices. Continue reading


Comics Criticism: Seven Hot Takes for Summer 2016

She tweeted that “comics criticism is trash and must be destroyed.” Does “comics” agree? In this episode, Grid veers away from comics boosterism (and moves perilously close to parody) as we search for answers. That, and Frank Cho’s unmentionables. Continue reading


Lulu Hitchcock Apocrypha!

Tim Hensley’s astonishing Sir Alfred #3, in which Alfred Hitchcock becomes what he already was: a comic-strip character. Continue reading


Black Panther #1: 31 Thoughts

Perhaps the critic had unrealistic expectations. Continue reading


“Unholy Momentum”: Daniel Clowes’s Patience

Digging into Clowes’s masterpiece with commentary and annotations on everything from the comic’s obscure allusions to its cosmic themes. Continue reading


The Truth about America’s Superheroes; Or, Real-Life Revisionism. 

In one image, Daniel Clowes defeats the superhero. Also: Eugenics, Fetishes, Word Games, Race, Feminism, Fredric Wertham, Corporate Branding, Libertarians, Pajamas, Stan Lee, Graffiti, The Austrian School of Economics, and much more! Continue reading


Daniel Clowes and Eightball, 1988-1998: Highlights, Mysteries, and Fun-Facts

To mark the release of Daniel Clowes’s The Complete Eightball #1-18, we look at the cartoonist’s career and comics from 1988 to 1998. Continue reading