Graphic novels and comic books have been in the news recently, with the announcement that Nick Drnaso’s graphic novel Sabrina has been included in the longlist for the 2018 Man Booker Prize. Many column inches have been generated on the topic: lists of other “literary” graphic novels; asking why it has taken so long for … Continue reading Top Comic Book One Shots and Graphic Novels
One evening, a distracted teacher scribbled a sentence atop the exam papers he was marking: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” These words became a novel, and in 1937, The Hobbit was published, the first in a series of works which form the epic legendarium of Middle Earth.
Albert Einstein was born on 14th March 1879 – or, if one adopts the month-day-year format as is used in the United States, 3/14, familiar to us as the first three digits of the mathematical constant π, or pi. In honour of both, March 14th is often regarded as “π day”.
In July 2008, Vanity Fair published an article entitled “Why America worships superheroes” – this was the summer of The Dark Knight and Iron Man (whose post-credits scene effectively birthed the Marvel Cinematic Universe); but also of the dawn of a global financial crisis, whose effects are still influencing politics and lives a decade on. … Continue reading The Superhero – our ongoing infatuation
Summer evenings, when the blistering heat of the afternoon gives way to a cooler twilight, are ideal for taking a stroll in the park. Of course, spring afternoons with the falling of the cherry blossoms, or windswept autumnal days with their vibrant canvas, or the crisp chill of a winter morning are all ideal for … Continue reading A Walk in the Park: Whitworth Park
Ever since H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine was published in 1895, the concept of time travel was been a popular mainstay of the science fiction genre. Sometimes it’s a mere plot device (for example, in The Flash TV series); others, it forms the basis for the story itself. From the Back to the Future … Continue reading Doctor Who, Timeless, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: The TV Tropes of Time Travel
(A sweltering alternative to my original post, based on the Tumblr “Regional Gothic” meme. Or perhaps the heat is just making me crazy and creative) You wait for a bus – the sky is on fire, your skin is on fire. There is no shade, not a breeze; the sky is aggressively blue and cloudless. … Continue reading North West Gothic – Summer Edition
Website io9 celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, and marked the occasion by publishing a list of the most important 100 pop culture moments of the last decade. The inventory encompassed a huge variety, from the loving 1980s nostalgia of Stranger Things to the zeitgeist that is Ms Marvel, from the complex fandom feelings towards Star … Continue reading Half-time: 2018 in pop culture
After I moved away from Scotland in 2015, it was a rare treat to hear another Scottish accent unexpectedly - something warm and familiar about the elongation of the letter R, the use of “Ah” as the pronoun to describe oneself, and the rolling cadence of the Scots tongue. I could hear my Dad’s Maryhill … Continue reading Encounters with the Glaswegian diaspora
Are you familiar with the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon? If not, be prepared to see it everywhere in the next few weeks. Also known as the frequency illusion, the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon is a form of cognitive bias whereby, on encountering something either for the first time, or the first time in a while, it suddenly appears everywhere … Continue reading Statues, statues everywhere!