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Colorblind Comics: Violet Austerlitz reflects on early influences of ‘The Satanic Mechanic’

Violet Austerlitz

The world of Violet Austerlitz’s self-published comic The Satanic Mechanic first appeared in a short story. “The very, very early origins came from a little piece I wrote that was published in Little Village,” Austerlitz said in an interview in an Iowa City coffee shop. The piece, “What Happened to Violet Kubicek,” was published in […]

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Colorblind comics: Iowa’s Phil Hester takes on science, mythology, and world religion in ‘Mythic’

Mythic

Phil Hester is arguably the most prominent Iowan in comics. Hester has written and drawn a wide array of titles since breaking into comics while still a student at the University of Iowa. His credits include acclaimed runs as the artist for Green Arrow with writers Kevin Smith and Brad Meltzer. Hester’s current project is […]

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The history hiding behind the capes: an interview with Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler takes issue with novelist Michael Chabon’s origin story for superheroes. Writing in The New Yorker, Chabon, author of the comics-driven, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, maintained: “There were costumed crime-fighters before Superman … but only as there were pop quartets before the Beatles. Superman invented and exhausted his […]

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Seminal publisher and critic Gary Groth talks past favorites and new discoveries

When it comes to comics, Gary Groth is both a champion and an iconoclast. Equally committed to the notions that comics deserve the full range of critical attention and that superheroes are simply ridiculous, Groth has earned the status of legend in the industry through his ongoing work with Fantagraphics Books and The Comics Journal. […]

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Writer Deborah Elizabeth Whaley on the influence of black women as creators and characters in comics

Illustration by Cheryl Graham

In her recent book, Deborah Elizabeth Whaley, an associate professor of American Studies and African American Studies at the University of Iowa, considers black female creators and characters working and appearing in sequential art. Black Women in Sequence: Re-inking Comics, Graphic Novels, and Anime introduces readers to a variety of creators from the past and […]

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Sneak Peek: Check out an online-only segment of our interview with Dr. Deborah Elizabeth Whaley on black women in comics

In issue 192, which drops tomorrow, LV features an interview between Rob Cline and Dr. Deborah Elizabeth Whaley, University of Iowa professor and author of the book Black Women in Sequence: Re-inking Comics, Graphic Novels, and Anime. You can read the whole conversation when it hits the stands, but in this teaser, she shares her […]

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Comics: ‘Descender’ and others take us away from winter

As the Iowa winter takes hold, it’s a good time to let comics creators — both established and new on the scene — take us to various other locales. Our destinations include a galaxy in the midst of an interplanetary battle over robots, an alternate Chicago endangered by labor unrest among sidekicks and an island where mainstream […]

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The year in comics: A look at 2015’s best words and pictures

By now, you’re probably making your naughty and nice list for whatever gift-giving activity might be part of your holiday traditions. Here’s a round-up of choice comics you should wrap up. Green Arrow Benjamin Percy, Patrick Zircher Benjamin Percy is best known as a novelist, and he brings his literary sensibility, which has always been […]

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UI alum’s forthcoming graphic novel tackles social issues with watercolors that are as gentle as they are powerful

nAMUH

The origin story for Ryan Bentzinger’s nAMUH could be summed up this way: right place, right time. As a University of Iowa student studying studio art in 2009, he was in the right place when UI professor Chungi Choo suddenly appeared one day and announced she needed an assistant. Choo, in addition to keeping him […]

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The Tube: As villains take center stage, ‘Gotham’ forges its own path through the Batman mythos

Gotham

The first season of Gotham, FOX’s exploration of the Batman mythos beginning from the moment Thomas and Martha Wayne are murdered, was, at best, uneven. Driven by strong performances, including that of Shueyville, Iowa native Robin Lord Taylor as Penguin, the show nevertheless floundered about as characters and storylines were introduced, dropped and (sometimes) revisited. […]

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