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.

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


Cartoon Solitude

A look at sentimentality in an Ivan Brunetti image and time in a Charles Schulz strip. Continue reading


2014: Comics, New and Old (Part II)

More reflections on “the state of the art.” Along the way we talk Lichtenstein, meta-characters, the ideal format, page orientation, Spidey vs. Spiderman, “philosophical nihilism,” cat sneakers, and the like. Continue reading


2014: Comics, New and Old (Part I)

Reflections on the “state of the art.” Along the way there’s talk of editorial malfeasance, lyrical ambiguity, feminism, fannish-ness, Kirby, Byron, motorcycle comics, etc. . . . Continue reading


2014’s Critic of the Year!

The title says it all. Or does it? Continue reading

SPimage (1)

“The Sponsor”: A Fourteen-Step Problem Comic

All about interpretation and responses to James Sturm’s comic strip “The Sponsor” . . . Continue reading


2014: New Comics, Old Problems

A generally positive TCJ columnist goes negative, finding something wrong with five recently-released comics: Seconds, Vertigo Quarterly, Ragnarớk, The Death of Archie, and Multiversity. He also answers the question: “Who is the best American-comics-influenced British writer?” Continue reading


Don’t Move: The Still Life of Pete Morisi

Ken Parille explores the work of Pete Morisi, an unsung master of un-action comics . . . Continue reading