Nothing Truly Dies in Comics: The New Micro-Publishers

In comics, nothing stays dead. Characters whose deaths clog the news over and over and over one year are assured of their resurrection the next. Series are constantly cancelled then revived. And it’s not just characters or their series; the last few years have proved that even comics publishing formats don’t stay dead.

T.S. Eliot: Employee of the Month

If Mr. Eliot had to have a day job, why is it that writers and poets today are so cagey about what they do to pay the bills?

Too Sensitive for this World?

The tragic/extraordinary archetype helps us understand the many creative, charismatic, talented people who have battled chronic depression, manic-depression, schizophrenia, or some other condition we label as mental illness. And yet, each of these people is oddly dehumanized when recalled as some inevitable force of nature, at once regarded as Superhuman Phenomenon and Uncontrollable Catastrophe.

Watching You Watching Me

Chat poses a constant negotiation of presence and absence. It’s ostensibly immediate but built on the invisibility of the interlocutor. Chat is about half-presence, half-engagement. I’m not ignoring you, of course not.

The Rebirth of Cool

South African musicians are dancing to a new drum beat and expanding a third space to meld what was once divided.

College Essays

The first step to a literary life is an education. College essay excerpts from Frank O’Hara, Cormac McCarthy, Virginia Woolf, E.L. James, and Ernest Hemingway.

Global Trends, Alternative Worlds

What’s especially interesting about Global Trends 2030 is that it includes four fictional “Alternative Worlds,” or four possible futures depending upon how current trends play out.

Whales Don’t Have Any Money: On the Successes and Failures of Paul Quarrington’s Whale Music

The literary marketplace has not been particularly welcoming to narratives about fictional rock’n’roll stars in the last several decades.

In a World Governed by Economists and Poets

Human desires and intents are more complicated than what can be captured by quantifying costs and benefits. And sometimes our real choices are much simpler than the dozens of counter-factuals an economist might want to run to find the optimal course of action.

It’s like this, Anna

Somehow, even with the tousled hair and the cheap cigarettes, Anna Karina always managed to look every bit as dazzling as Audrey Hepburm, if not more so, simply by virtue of the fact that she knew how to match a gun with a pleated skirt, and would probably recite Marx with superb accuracy if you asked nicely and offered her a light.