Category: genre-schooled

Used To Be You Could Trust In the Story: Mr. Robot & Genre

Yes, '90s sitcom is a genre.

Below I assume at least a passing familiarity with the series Mr. Robot, and engage in spoilers for ep 2.6 of the same. (Also contains spoilers for Supernatural ep 5.8)

Since Mr. Robot started airing on USA Network (to general critical acclaim), I’ve been asking myself as I watched, is this a “genre show” or not? It takes place in a reality that has at least plausibly recently diverged from our own, no one has superpowers, there are no supernatural elements running amok, and really the only “super-” element present is the skill of the hackers portrayed.

Continue reading “Used To Be You Could Trust In the Story: Mr. Robot & Genre”

At What Cost, Marvel?

sing it!

Over the past couple of weeks here, speaking as a person who physically rings people up in a store for comic books, I’ve touched on some things that, I believe, may have had a hand in Marvel’s troubles as of late, such as first issues and the problems they can cause, and the events Marvel has now sworn are over for a while.

Continue reading “At What Cost, Marvel?”

Lost In the Back Issues

Let’s say you’re a new comics reader, and you’ve gotten sucked into all things Marvel by their screen universe. You want to dig deeper now. Meet these characters on the page. Learn more about their pasts and go on more adventures with them.

It seemed so simple of a plan...

Then you get to Let’s get reading comics, you say!

Continue reading “Lost In the Back Issues”

Is This The Beginning?

Before I get started, I want you all to know that I really do love comics. I love the medium, the way the community is growing and expanding, and I love Marvel Comics. My favorite superhero of all time is Ms. Marvel, in fact. However, there are some things about the industry, and about Marvel in particular, that are completely broken. These are things that maybe the average consumer, and certainly new consumers, may not really know about or realize. They’re things that have been broken for a long time and can be fixed. That’s the important message here. Things are broken in an identifiable way, and therefore they still can be repaired.

Continue reading “Is This The Beginning?”

Genre’s “Evolution” Myth

Nick is sick and tired of these monday-to-friday recyclings of stale theory by these monkey-fighting think-pieces.

“This may be obvious, but is it true?”

So demands my favorite line in Tag Gallagher’s veritable molotov cocktail of genre criticism, “Shoot-Out At the Genre Corral”. An early inspiration for my own academic work seeking to shape a comprehensive theory of genre, this essay remains at least as relevant today as when it was published three decades ago. Gallagher’s aim was to question the very foundations of film genre theory: in particular the belief, widely shared amongst prominent scholars, that genres individually “evolved” in some biological way, eventually peaking at some perfect expression of the form and subsequently degenerating into mere parody or worse. Supposedly thus, genres were birthed, lived, came of glorious age, and then inevitably descended into dottage and death.

Continue reading “Genre’s “Evolution” Myth”

Is This Mic On, Marvel?

Enough, Marvel Corporate Humies!

Today marks a new event. Or, at least, it may as well. Certainly, somewhere in an office high above our heads, touching the clouds, there are men in suits and ties deciding that, once again, it is time for another new Marvel Crossover Event. Somewhere on the ground, a fan with a microphone and a speaker loud enough to blow the eardrums of passers by screams at them to stop, to calm down, to give us all a chance to breathe after whatever the latest one was, but what those men hear is We love events. Please give us more events. We will give you gold and diamonds and bonuses and our devotion if you crossover everything all at one time.

Continue reading “Is This Mic On, Marvel?”

We Are Groot


When Guardians of the Galaxy was released the summer of 2014, I was frantically at work finishing my doctoral dissertation. I also happened to be living (but not employed) in Amsterdam at that time, due to my partner’s job. I begged my friends and family in the US (getting Guardians a solid three weeks before I did*), not to spoiler me, and they came through. We went to the midnight screening at Pathé Arena, and I laughed and wept and found it an entirely tolerable bargain not to make it home to my flat in the city center until nearly 3:30a (thanks to quirks of Dutch overnight transit).

Continue reading “We Are Groot”

Screen Hygiene, Or the Problem with Divided Attentions

Multiple Screens

A staggering percentage of us now conduct our screen media consumption in multi-screen environments, where it’s not uncommon to watch film or television on one screen with another simultaneously illuminated on our laptop, with even a third one active every time the smartphone beckons with a new notification.

Continue reading “Screen Hygiene, Or the Problem with Divided Attentions”