Author Archives: elana_brooklyn

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True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee with biographer Abraham Riesman

“I’m not damning Stan Lee, I’m living with ambiguity” says Abraham Riesman of his essential new Stan Lee biography True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee. No matter where you stand on the debate of who gets credit for Marvel comics, you MUST read this book.

It’s past time for a serious work of history like this one examining the conflicting stories behind one of most imporant cultural forces of the 20th century. Abe has done completely new research into the Lieber familiy’s history in Romania and the Romanian Jewish mileiu of Stan’s youth. He’s interviewed the journalists who wrote key pieces around Stan’s life and times at Marvel. He’s gotten everyone to talk, from Stan’s brother (cartoonist Larry Lieber) to the vultures who plagued Stan at the end of his life.

Abraham Riesman is a journalist whose work has appeared in Vulture, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, The Boston Globe, and many other outlets. He is the author of TRUE BELIEVER: THE RISE AND FALL OF STAN LEE and the forthcoming RINGMASTER: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF VINCE MCMAHON. He lives in Rhode Island with his partner, the journalist SI Rosenbaum. His website is and his Twitter handle is @abrahamjoseph.

For more from me on Stan Lee, listen to my episode with journalist Spencer Ackermen upon Lee’s death.

Deep Space Dive: a Star Trek Deep Space Nine podcast. Ep 3rd Wave Feminism

DS9 premiered at the height of third-wave feminism. In this episode, we’ll look at how Star Trek Deep Space Nine incorporated feminist thought of the ‘90s into its depictions of women and gender. Also, how that explains why Major Kira is always wearing a full face of makeup even when she’s roaming caves with a phaser rifle. And how the real villian isn’t just the Dominion, it’s Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Got questions? Recommendations? Deep Space Dive now has our own email address: DeepSpaceDivePodcast at gmail! 

and soon we will have our own RSS, I promise.

Follow hosts: Elana Levin and Dr. Sarah Daniel Rasher

Kieron Gillen: The Eternals, Die RPG, Peter Cannon, and Canon

How are The Celestials and The Eternals like Diana Ross & The Supremes? Find out as Kieron Gillen (obviously) returns to discuss his new series for Marvel Comics, a relaunch of The Eternals, in which he and artist Esad Ribić interpret Jack Kirby’s classic “powerchord of a visual”. We follow up with his critically acclaimed re-imagining of Peter Cannon Thunderbolt as well as his current indie series Once and Future, which politicizes Arthurian legends in powerful new ways.

Plus, catch up on Die Comic’s success as an RPG and RPG’s in general during COVID.

Also Black Sabbath.

Jay Edidin; From X-Plaining to Writing the X-Men

X-Pert podcaster Jay Edidin wrote his 1st Marvel comic X-Men: Marvels Snapshots, and I love it! So of course I had him on my show to talk about the obvious topics like DC Comics, Victorian Literature, and Fun Home.

And yes, of course, his take on Cyclops in this highly personal yet accessible comic.

You can hear Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-men and read his tweets.

He’s been on Graphic Policy Radio before to talk about stopping harassment and abuse in the comics industry and Punisher Season 2.

Graphic Policy Radio: X-Men and the MLK Legacy Roundtable

One of our most listened to episodes of Graphic Policy Radio discussed the X-Men and their use as an allegory of the civil rights, it covered the series throughout its many incarnations and writers. The discussion also veered into the depiction of minorities in “comic” entertainment and Marvel’s continuity. In honor of MLK Day, we present that podcast discussion.

Guests joining in on the conversation were:

  • Steve Attewell – A political & union activist, Steve holds a PhD in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the founder and writer of Race for the Iron Throne as well as The Realignment Project
  • David Brothers – David works for a comics publisher, blogs about stuff at, & tweets about everything at @hermanos. Find his life story at
  • Gene Demby – Gene Demby is an American writer and journalist & the lead blogger for NPR’s Code Switch team.
  • Emma Houxbois – Emma is a queer blogger for hire out of Vancouver, BC most recently attached to Girls Read Comics. Follow her @emmahouxbois
  • Kendra James – a blogger who writes on race, comics, television & more for Racialicious, follow her @wriglied

You can listen to the archive above or go here and download it for on the go.

Deep Space Dive: a Star Trek Deep Space Nine podcast. Ep 2: Unionize Quark’s!

Rom quotes Karl Marx and organizes a labor union at Quark’s Bar– of course, this merits a full episode of our new DS9 podcast. Join our guest, labor unionist & Trekkie Asher Huey for a close look at Bar Association, Season 4 episode 9.

This is the second episode of our podcast spin-off series, “Deep Space Dive” a Deep Space Nine podcast hosted by Elana Levin and Sarah Daniel Rasher

In each episode we do a deep dive into the text and subtext of this most political of Star Trek series, often with expert guests like the one we had today. Asher Heuy is the digital director of the American Federation of Teachers. profiled this activism and love of Star Trek in 2019. You can follow him:

Follow Deep Space Dive’s hosts – and Send us your DS9 Questions! Or your questions about unionizing your workplace!

We’ll be launching a new RSS just for Deep Space Dive episodes soon. — thank you for your patience, comics folks who aren’t Trekkies. We haven’t forgotten about you! I’ve got some huge comics guests coming shortly.

Mark Trail cartoonist Jules Rivera: Nature Dad’s environmentalist roots & future

“I reverse engineered Mark Trail”–  Jules Rivera is the new cartoonist for the classic syndicated comicstrip Mark Trail. You know, the nature guy in the plaid! Jules gives Mark Trail a look and a new environmental justice spin on his LONG STANDING mission of conservation education. Plus a diverse cast for soap opera hijinks and humor.

Jules is the second Latina woman to become a nationally syndicated comic strip cartoonist. Jules brings her background in engineering and lifelong interest in nature and the environment to Mark’s adventures.

You can read Mark Trail every day FOR FREE

And follow Jules Rivera

Deep Space Dive: a Star Trek Deep Space Nine podcast. Ep 1: Garak

DS9 is the Star Trek with the greatest focus on political concepts like colonialism, feminism, queerness, and post-scarcity economics. Join hosts and guests who aren’t just Trekkies but activists, academics, artists, therapists, and more as we do a deep dive into the text and subtext where few Star Trek podcasts have gone before.

We’re discussing Deep Space Nine’s themes and characters– not doing recaps. Also: spoilers.


Elana Levin, also the host of Graphic Policy Radio, has worked at the intersection of comics, nerd culture and social change for over a decade. Biggest Trek cred? Giving a speech on fan activism at a rally organized by Leeta/Chase Masterson. 

When not getting paid to use math to save the world, Sarah Daniel Rasher writes about film and figure skating. They were the founding Captain of their high school Star Trek club and once got Nicole De Boer to kiss them at a convention.

Episode 1: 

Garak: All The Boys Think He’s a Spy

Is he a spy? Is he evil? Is he dating Bashir? One thing’s for sure, he’s everyone’s favorite character.

Writer Alex de Campi: Veterans, Vampires, Truth & Fiction

“If you can do comedy you can do horror”- writer and letterer Alex de Campi returns to the show to talk about her latest comics

  • Vintage pulp horror graphic novel Dracula, Motherf**ker (Image Comics) with Erica Henderson
  • Sci-fi thriller Madi: Once Upon A Time in the Future co-written by filmmaker Duncan Jones
  • Veteran action/buddy comedy Bad Karma — read it online 
  • True War Stories, an anthology of soldiers’ deployment tales by soldiers themselves.

Follow Alex on twitter

Elana’s review of Bad Karma

The Venture Bros Podcast: S 2; Ep 5: 20 Years to Midnight

IGNORE ME at your peril! Professor Steven Attewell and I, (Elana Levin) walk you through one of the most quotable episodes of The Venture Bros show. We’re here to help you understand the history, context, and pop culture references within. From the most important chair of the mid 20th century to the 1991 MTV Music Video Awards (that was a weird one indeed).

3rd image our slide show is Arishem the Judge by Jack Kirby– a massive inspiration for The Grand Inquisitor. 

Follow Steven here: 

and me: 

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