Anthology: Matthew J. Brady plays the anthology game, going through The Best American Comics 2009 and picking off the ones that do and don’t belong. Good times.
Theology: Jeff Jackson provides a surprisingly touching eulogy for Kurt Wagner, explaining how he lived the ideals of religious faith. No, really. Also: Spoilers.
Psychology: Noah Berlatsky looks at the psychological underpinnings of Junji Ito’s Uzumaki:
Ito seems to be suggesting that all men secretly want to — that the only thing preventing constant man-on-snail coupling are a few thin taboos which will warp and dissolve like cardboard before the smallest liquid spray of desire. This is, of course, the fever-dream behind the most alarmist kinds of homophobia; the terror, not so much that gays are recruiting, as that, with just a little prompting, men will embrace any excuse to abandon heterosexuality, and with it humanity.
History: Ken Quattro posts a meticulously researched account of the life of E. C. Stoner, possibly the first black comics artist and maybe even the creator of the Planters Mr. Peanut logo. (Hat tip: Sean Kleefeld.)
History: Johanna Draper Carlson writes about Spire Christian Comics, a line of Christian comics that were released in the 1970s and featured the Archie characters, created by Archie artist Al Hartley.
Awards: Larry Cruz handicaps this year’s Eisner nominees in the webcomics category, using Joss Whedon’s Sugarshock as a measuring stick.
Busman’s holiday: Letterer Todd Klein reads Li’l Abner, volume 1. And yes, he does notice the lettering.
Manga: Carl Horn explores the theme of “love and wonder” in manga, showing how even a hard-boiled publisher like Dark Horse has its sensitive side.
Review: Greg Burgas looks at James Sturm’s Market Day from the point of view of the story itself and the themes it embodies.