Dec 10

Freaky Trigger And The Lollards Of Pop (Series 4 – Week 12)

Lollards Podcast2 comments • 635 views

Another week, another conversation. This time I welcome a terrifyingly well-informed team of Magnus Anderson, Al Ewing and Martin Skidmore to talk about something I (demonstrably, audibly) know very little about – the history, present and practice of comics criticism. Links and other clarifications to follow in the comments.


  1. 1
    Tim on 7 Dec 2010 #

    As you will hear us promise in the show, for further reading you will need ths link: FA Comic Zine http://comiczine-fa.com/

    Additionally, Al provied the following addendum:



    I didn’t describe this very well – the ‘populist’/’intellectual’ axis could also read as ‘inclusive’ and ‘exclusive’, in that an article about what makes Doctor Doom so awesome can be enjoyed by far more people than a treatise on the brushwork of Stan Drake. They can both be great articles, but more people in the average comics audience will know about Doctor Doom. As for ‘mean-spirited’ – absolutely the wrong word, but I’m not sure what the right one is. ‘Snark’ has been discredited as a term, but there’s definitely room for that sort of tone – irreverent, a little savage, not concerned with making friends. A ‘hard’/’soft’ axis, maybe.

    The important thing is that this is an Axis of Tone, not of quality – a blog or podcast or critic, or indeed an individual piece by a critic, can be anywhere on that imaginary axis and still be top quality. (There probably is a z-axis of quality, but we’re concerning ourselves with the best stuff.)


    My measured tour of the critical landscape turned into a Generation Game style ‘how much of the conveyor belt can you remember’ exercise so Tim’s kindly letting me list everything I’m currently looking at here. In order on my bookmarks:

    http://www.savagecritic.com – The Savage Critics, featuring Jeff Lester, Graeme McMillan, Brian Hibbs, Abhay Khosla, Douglas Wolk, David Uzumeri, Tucker Stone, Joe McCulloch and others. The home of the Wait, What? podcast, in which Lester and McMillan talk about what’s happening right now. It’s my favourite podcast (not including LOLLARDS obv!)

    http://mindlessones.com – The Mindless Ones, home of Gary Lactus, Amy Poodle, Zom et al – a collective that looks primarily at Grant Morrison’s work but takes time out to explore all sorts of other comics. Home of the much-missed Vault Of Tymbus podcast – download it now before it vanishes – as well as a new batch of podcasts seemingly featuring the full crew.

    http://www.the-isb.com – Chris’ Invincible Super-Blog, home of Chris Sims, a critic of the Awesome School. Here and on iTunes are where you’ll find War Rocket Ajax, a podcast he did up until recently with Eugene Ahn aka Adam WarRock (I seem to remember they don’t do the podcast together anymore.) It’s a great place to go for interviews with some of the new school of US creators, including Jeff Parker, Fred Van Lente, Matt Fraction, Rick Remender etc. The blog points to a number of his articles at…

    http://www.comicsalliance.com – a news-and-comment site which regularly hosts Sims along with such luminaries as Douglas Wolk, Andi Khouri, Laura Hudson, David Brothers etc. David Uzumeri is here too with his Morrison annotations, much-needed. Speaking of david Brothers…

    http://www.4thletter.net – 4th Letter is where you’ll find him, along with Gavin Jasper and Esther Inglis-Arkell. I check this one on a daily basis and you will too.

    http://www.neilalien.com – I’ll briefly bring in Neilalien – one of the oldest and most revered comics bloggers, although, despite the occasional article, I wouldn’t class this as a ‘blog’ so much as a list of links with a laser-like focus on discussion of Dr Strange and related topics. It sounds limited on paper, but from the prism of Dr Strange comics the whole world can be viewed.

    http://whenwillthehurtingstop.blogspot.com – When Will The Hurting Stop, featuring Tim O’Neill. Worth a look.

    http://womenincomics.blogspot.com – When Fangirls Attack, a link list pointing to discussions of gender representation in comics, among other related things. This has been on hiatus since July, but it’s incredibly useful so I’m hoping it comes back soon.

    http://comicscomicsmag.com – Comics Comics – very highbrow, intellectual stuff from the likes of Dash Shaw, Jason T. Miles, Jeet Heer, Joe McCulloch and Nicole Rudick. You may be noticing some of these names repeating themselves, for instance…

    http://joglikescomics.blogspot.com – Jog The Blog, home of ‘Jog’ aka Joe McCulloch. Like the ISB, it’s now a link to other writings (albeit updated less frequently) but there’s all sorts of good stuff in the archives.

    http://joshreads.com – The Comics Curmudgeon. Newspaper comics, eviscerated by Josh Fruhlinger. Addictive.

    http://www.marvelgenesis.com – Marvel Genesis – Every Marvel comic ever, reviewed in chronological order by Don Alsafi.

    http://progslog.blogspot.com – The 2000AD Prog Slog, as mentioned by Magnus. Paul Rainey (creator of the small-press SF masterwork No Time Like The Present – http://www.pbrainey.com/tntltp.htm ) does the same thing with his 2000AD collection. Unfortunately, he stopped buying during the doldrum years, so this is now a completed work.

    http://www.2000adonline.com – 2000AD online, home of the 2000AD message board, which unlike a lot of message boards is very nice.

    http://toobusythinkingboutcomics.blogspot.com – Too Busy Thinking About My Comics – astonishing work from Colin Smith, one of the newer critical voices (to me at least) and fantastic with it. A couple of articles in his companion blog (now closed), http://thatremindsmeofthis.blogspot.com , got me thinking seriously about my own working practices. I seriously recommend starting with his amazing four-parter on JMS’s Superman vs. Morrison’s.

    http://www.factualopinion.com – The Factual Opinion, as I half-remembered when put on the spot during the show. Tucker Stone’s work can be found here, along with Nina Stone, more Joe McCulloch, Sean Witzke and others.

    http://deathtotheuniverse.blogspot.com – Death To The Universe – Matt Seneca, another new-to-me voice pumping out all sorts of fascinating criticical stuff, along with some of his own comics work.

    http://kangaratms.com – Kangarat Murder Society – where to go for David Uzumeri and Addison Godel discussing Claremont’s X-Men work and Grant Morrison. Why is everyone talking about Grant Morrison at the moment? Because he’s That Good.

    http://wolkin.com – Wolkin’s House Of Chicken And Waffles – David Wolkin! I’m starting to run out of steam.

    Douglas Wolk – google him. He’s on Techland, Comics Alliance, his own blog and you’ll want to go through his Final Crisis annotations if you read that.

    Hopefully this list will bring my babblings on this week’s Lollards into focus, or confuse things further.


    Additionally, Al provided the further following addendum:


    Somehow skipped over http://troublewithcomics.com – Alan David Doane and Christopher Allen at work. So much going on in the world of comics-crit at the moment!”

  2. 2
    Al Ewing on 11 Dec 2010 #

    An anecdote re: terminology – we were in Waterstones today looking for a particular thing – The Tale Of One Bad Rat by Bryan Talbot. Sarah asked one of the floor staff where the ‘comics’ were – the girl looked confused. “I mean ‘graphic novels’,” said Sarah. The girl nodded. “I was just going to say – we don’t sell comics here. Graphic novels are in the basement.”

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