Biographies have become a driving force in the graphic novel industry. As a mainstream genre, they seem to attract mediocrity; they’re a perfect fit for the bland, not-going-to-offend-anyone stance that typifies much of the mainstream graphic novel market. We’re fortunate … Continue reading


The Ballad Of Sang

Here’s how to tell if The Ballard of Sang is for you: at one point, the protagonist plucks out someone’s eye and squishes it in front of its owner with a smirk and a “SQWAP”. Sang’s a mute assassin, just … Continue reading



Early in Don DeLillo’s Underworld the author offers up visions of a Staten Island landfill in terms that evoke not the filth and disgust inherent to mountains of waste but instead in a poetic cant that intentionally recalls the Romantics … Continue reading


The Cult of the Ibis

There are different kinds of silence. There is peaceful quiet and there’s eerie stillness, and while the former is conducive to reading, the latter could mean listening too intently for what might soon intrude to pay attention to what’s before … Continue reading


Little Girls

So let’s talk about negative space. A very important principle throughout the fields of visual art and design, and no less important in comics where negative space often fulfills the very necessary task of helping to pull the reader’s eyes … Continue reading


This Land Is My Land

Andy Warner excels at creating bite-sized pieces of unusual history, as seen in his first book, Brief Histories of Everyday Objects. Those observations weren’t neutral, as he was careful to discuss the cultural and political ramifications of familiar objects. Much … Continue reading


When I Arrived at the Castle

What does pain look like—to us, to others? How does it impress itself into our bodies, moving through us, reshaping us? Where does it go when it is through with us? What do we do when we are through with … Continue reading


To Have & To Hold

In Graham Chaffee’s Big Wheels, published by Fantagraphics in 1993, the narrative is handed off from one character to another as they pass by each other or interact throughout a single day in the city. This is a timeless device in … Continue reading