Category Archives: Graphic Policy Radio

Castlevania: A Very Warren Ellis Anime. with Leslie Lee III & Kat Overland

Warren Ellis‘ Castlevania show for Netflix is about powerful old men who want to bring the world down around them and the OT3 who say “nope” to all that. I’m joined by two critics who know their anime way better than I to talk about the show: Kat Overland is a freelance culture critic and the small press editor at Women Write About ComicsLeslie Lee the 3rd is a writer and host of Struggle Session.

We open with a Spoiler-free discussion of if you should watch the show. Answer: yes, there are lesbians. And the Byronic is actually likeable. 

Then deep dive into the show:

Tea and Spinach! Politics of Popeye, King Features Comics Strips to Memes

The comic strips you grew up with, and your great-grandma grew up with, are probably from King Features Syndicate: a comics syndicate over 100 years old! Tea Fougner is the Editorial Director for Comics at King Features Syndicate and joins us to talk about comics strips past and present.

As Tea says, “Comics is a format, not a genre.”

Find out:

  • Which vintage adventure strips will modern readers enjoy?
  • Popeye: Origins
  • The kweerness of Krazy Kat
  • The 1970s splenders of Apartment 3G
  • The Lockhorns are someone’s hip meme
  • Popeye on socialism and economic policy
  • “Mandrake the Magician was Doctor Strange before Doctor Strange”
  • How to read King Features comics. Literally.
  • Popeye is compassionate

Tea tweets as https://twitter.com/teaberryblue.

V for Vendetta: A mask becomes un-Moore’d in time

V for Vendetta is marching in streets from Catalonia to Hong Kong; a centuries old symbol reinvented in the 1982 graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, and further popularized by the Wachowski Sisters movie of 2005. Even Occupy was almost 10 years ago?!  Why has this mask and story lived on in protests? How is V for Vendetta a unique dystopian text?

I’m joined by Ajay Singh Chaudhary PHD, executive director of the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research and Ange Tran, artist and designer working on projects for radical social change. 

We discuss how the mask has been an effective tool and why the movie and comics still work for us.

Discussed: 

  • Histories of the Guy Fawkes mask
  • “The movie was about Bush the comic is about Thatcher” – https://twitter.com/Elana_Brooklyn
  • If V is passe then what’s next for protest garb?
  • “The mask has a story that people understand.” – Ange
  • Mask as floating signifier “Things become Un-Moore’d from their initial foundations “- Ajay
  • More Frankfurt School social theory than usual, even for this very nerdy podcast.

Follow Ajay on Twitter and Ange Tran is on Twitter as well. See more of Ange’s work here.

Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipated Comics Critics

Perfectly choreographed fights against sexists who had it coming! Does DC Entertainment‘s Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey movie keep the spirit of the beloved comics alive? From the comics to the big screen we’ve got an expert panel: 

Nadia Shammas is an Arab-American comic writer and native Brooklynite. She’s best known for being the creator of CORPUS: A Comic Anthology of Bodily Ailments and the author/co-creator of SQUIRE, a YA Middle Eastern fantasy set from HarperCollins next year. You can find her and her movie takes on Twitter https://twitter.com/Nadia_Shammas_

Véronique Emma Houxbois is a fiercely queer critic, cartoonist, and consultant hosting Read From the Rafters on YouTube as her drag persona Judith Slays. Named one of SyFy’s Most Influential Women in Genre 2017, her credits include Love is Love for IDW/DC, Critical Chips Volume 2 for Shortbox, and Called into Being: 200 Years of Frankenstein. https://twitter.com/EmmaHouxbois

Sara Century is a writer of short stories, articles about comics and film, and many, many zines. She is an artist, comic creator, and filmmaker as well as co-host of the weekly podcast Bitches on Comics. https://twitter.com/saracentury

Join us for:

  • New Yorkers’ opinions on Harley’s accent & parking in Gotham 
  • “Disaster capitalism, Spirit Halloween costume” Emma on some of Harley’s prior unfortunate looks
  • A chaotic neutral Batman and Robin 
  • Asking for more explicit conversation about why cops are pigs
  • How I define Harley’s real superpower

Watchmen on HBO: Black Wall Street, “Trust In the Law”, masks & politics

Victor Luckerson is writing a book about Tulsa’s Black Wall Street, which was highlighted by HBO‘s Watchmen series. Felicia Perez is the Innovation Director at the Center for Story-based Strategy. We team up to look at the real history and current politics behind the most 2019 of HBO shows. Also, check out Victor’s essay in the New Yorker: “The Great Achievement of Watchmen is Showing How Black Americans Shape History

Discussed:

  • Lady Trieu is Batman
  • Why it took me so long to cover this show (partially Alan Moore)
  • The power and danger of Nostalgia
  • America’s messed-up relationship with history
  • The problem with conspiracies
  • Ohhhhhklahoma! (is not OK)
  • and of course, the actual comics. 

Victor Luckerson: Twitter and newsletter runitback.substack.com.

Felicia Perez Facebook and Twitter 

and me, send me feedback! Twitter

Jamelle Bouie, Spencer Ackerman: The X-Men at Davos, HoxPox & Dawn of X

New York Times Opinion columnist Jamelle Bouie and Spencer AckermanDaily Beast National Security Reporter, join me to talk about the new X-Men series, the ideology of Krakoa and more:

  • “Magneto as Lenin” Jamelle Bouie 
  • “This is The X-Men that I have always dreamed of existing, in my soul”- Spencer Ackerman
  • What does the Mutant Liberation Front really mean?
  • Pan Africanism, not Zionism 
  • “Based on my friends fighting between Bernie and Warren there should be a lot more fighting between being a Magneto guy vs being a Scott Summers guy.” — me, @Elana_Brooklyn
  • The utterly perfect X-Men #4

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 represent 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 4thletter.net, & tweets about everything at @hermanos. Find his life story at iamdavidbrothers.com.
  • 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 below or go here and download it for on the go.

Talking Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams Graphic Novel with Steve Horton

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams is a graphic novel from legendary artist Mike Allred and writer Steve Horton. It chronicles the rise of David Bowie’s career from obscurity to fame; paralleled by the rise and fall of his alter ego Ziggy Stardust. As the Spiders from Mars slowly implode, Bowie wrestles with his Ziggy persona. The outcome of this internal conflict will change not only David Bowie, but also, the world.

I’m joined by the book’s writer Steve Horton to talk about the making of the graphic novel and our shared love of Bowie (and shared love of artist Mike Allred’s work). Whether you’re an “Absolute Beginer” on Bowie or already deeply “Loving the Alien” you will get something out of this tremendous book– and hopefully out of this episode too. 

Share your thoughts with me and maybe I’ll show you my Bowie tattoo. 

The Mandalorian: Westerns, Samurai Manga, and Muppets

What better collapse of the Disney vs auteurism fight then Werner Herzog talking to a Muppet? I’m joined by experts in the show’s influences from High Noon to Lone Wolf and Cub. Learn about darksabers and other stuff you missed by not watching the Clone Wars cartoon.

Guests:

Brandon Wilson is a filmmaker and lecturer. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he attended UCLA where he took a B.A. in African-American Studies and an M.F.A. from the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television. Wilson has directed two micro-budget features: 2005’s The Man Who Couldn’t… which is on YouTube and Sepulveda from 2016 which is streaming for free on Vimeo. Wilson has taught Film Analysis for Filmmakers and Introduction to Editing courses at UCLA. He also teaches at Columbia College Hollywood and Long Beach Community College. In 2020 he’ll begin hosting a monthly cinema salon at The Metaphor Club, a Black-owned workspace and lounge for creatives in Leimert Park. He blogs and has been a guest on several film oriented podcasts. He tweets regularly as https://twitter.com/Geniusbastard

Véronique Emma Houxbois is a fiercely queer critic, cartoonist, and consultant most recently spotted in the Pacific Northwest writing her Transmyscira column for Comicosity and hosting Read From the Rafters on YouTube as her drag persona Judith Slays. Named one of SyFy’s Most Influential Women in Genre 2017, her credits include Love is Love for IDW/DC, Critical Chips Volume 2 for Shortbox, and Called into Being: 200 Years of Frankenstein https://twitter.com/EmmaHouxbois

& of course I’m always at https://twitter.com/elana_brooklyn

Graphic Policy Radio Talks Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Experts at pop culture storytelling, social movements and fan organizing joining me to discuss the final Star Wars movie, Rise of Skywalker.

Porshéa PattersonHurst is the public opinion research associate for The Opportunity Agenda, a social justice communication lab in New York. She consults with allies in the field to identify and obtain pertinent research needs in the areas of immigration, criminal legal reform, and poverty. She is also the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Black Girls Create, volunteers with the Harry Potter Alliance, and co-hosts CastleBlackPod. https://twitter.com/Porshea_obvi

Rafael Shimunov is an artist and political activist from Queens. He was a HIAS refugee as a child from Russian-dominated Uzbekistan. Shimunov serves on the executive board of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ), is a co-founder of The Jewish Vote and has worked with IfNotNow, Michael Moore and The Center for Constitutional Rights. His work has been covered by Rolling Stone, Newsweek, The Washington Post, NowThis News and Haaretz. https://twitter.com/rafaelshimunov

Discussed:

  • Muppets, puppets and metaphors
  • Babu Frik and the tech worker insurgency
  • “There can be another Snoke in a minute” (thank you Beyonce)
  • Redemption arcs vs Restorative Justice
  • How Star Wars’ handling of queer rep is like a Bill Clinton speech
  • Spin-offs both real and imagined (and Rogue One, the best Star War)
  • And https://twitter.com/elana_brooklyn quotes the Hagadah like its Passover
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