"Rejoice, my son, for thou hast chosen the Amulet of Right o'er the Sword of Might! Therefore, let there be beauty and strength--power and compassion--honour and humility, mirth and reverence--within you... Be one with thy brothers of the Round Table--with Arthur and Lancelot, Gawain and Galahad, with them all... Be thou what they were--a hero! Strive forever to maintain the rule of right--of law and justice--against those who live and rule by might."

Chris Claremont, "From the Holocaust--A Hero!" Captain Britain No. 2 (20 Oct. 1976)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Comics Get Medieval 2012

I just posted the session details for the Comics Get Medieval sessions for PCA in Boston and thought readers of this blog might also be interested as all 3 papers are devoted to Arthurian subjects. Details at  http://medieval-comics-project.blogspot.com/2011/12/comics-get-medieval-2012-update_21.html .

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Demon Knights 5, 6, 7

The latest from DC Comics:


Written by PAUL CORNELL; Art by DIOGENES NEVES and OCLAIR ALBERT; Cover by MIKE CHOIThe pressure is mounting as the Horde prepares to breach the walls of Little Spring – but inside the town, our heroes are at each other's throats! With their fragile alliance in tatters, and the enemy whispering in their ears, someone's going to break – but for a reason you never saw coming!
DC Universe
$2.99 US

On Sale January 11, 2012
DEMON KNIGHTS #6 Written by PAUL CORNELL; Art by DIOGENES NEVES and OCLAIR ALBERT; Cover by MIKE CHOIBodies are piling up, and one of their own has switched sides to lead the charge to destroy them! So how will the Knights turn the tide of battle? It all comes down to the deal Etrigan and Jason Blood have made. But can a demon truly be trusted under fire, or would he rather watch you burn?
DC Universe
$2.99 US

On Sale February 8, 2012
Written by PAUL CORNELL; Art by DIOGENES NEVES and OCLAIR ALBERT; Cover by MIKE CHOI This is it! The walls have fallen, the battle is joined, and the only possible outcome is death…but the Demon Knights keep fighting! History has a grand destiny in store for this alliance of unlikely outcasts – should they survive this issue, that is! After all, beyond the mountains, on the road to Alba Sarum, greater evils than the Horde are lurking...
DC Universe
$2.99 US

On Sale March 14, 2012

Amazon also has a collected edition now listed. The release date for Demon Knights Vol. 1: Seven Against the Dark is 17 July 2012.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Prince Valiant Paper

The Mid-Atlantic Popular American Culture Association convenes this week, and a session on Thursday includes the following paper of interest:

Comics, Cartoons, and Video Games 5
Graphic Storytelling Styles
Panel Chair: Sean I. Levenson, East Tennessee State University
Paper 2 of 4: Animated Displays of Difference: Visual Representations of Diversity in The Legend of Prince Valiant
Yvonne Fulmore, Temple University

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Demon Knights Solicitations

I just realized I never posted these:

DC Universe 
On Sale October 12, 2011
$2.99 US

Written by PAUL CORNELL; Art by DIOGENES NEVES and OCLAIR ALBERT; Cover by TONY S. DANIELThe siege that will reverberate through history to the present-day DCU begins as the Demon Etrigan and his unlikely lover, Madame Xanadu, face the Horde! What five (mostly) noble souls would be crazy enough to join them? The cover gives but a hint, and the point could well be moot by the time this issue's done. For the Horde is armed with the magic of Mordru – including some decidedly different dragons!

DC Universe
On Sale November 9, 2011
$2.99 US

Written by PAUL CORNELL; Art by DIOGENES NEVES and OCLAIR ALBERT; Cover by TONY S. DANIEL and NORM RAPMUNDUnder siege and under fire – quite literally – the hastily assembled Demon Knights find that the villagers they're trying to protect are ready to turn on them… and that they're locked behind embattled walls with a demon whose very touch can kill! And if the only human Etrigan gives half a damn about dies of her wounds, then Hell help anyone around him…
DC Universe
On Sale December 14, 2011
$2.99 US

Written by PAUL CORNELL; Art by MIKE CHOI and DIOGENES NEVES & OCLAIR ALBERT; Cover by MIKE CHOIIt wasn't a coincidence that the Shining Knight found herself in Little Spring as the Horde massed at the village gates. She's on a quest, and has been all her long life – whether she's known it or not! Now, a powerful vision will reveal to her the true stakes of the battle for Little Spring and pull back the curtain on one of the biggest secrets in the DC Universe! Don't miss "Merlin Watches The Storm," featuring guest art by the sensational Mike Choi (X-Force)! And yes, "storm" is a hint.

Superheroes of the Round Table Update

Jason Tondro's book Superheroes of the Round Table: Comics Connections to Medieval and Renaissance Literature is out now, as detailed on his blog. You can order it direct from publisher McFarland or your favorite online book seller. Developed from his dissertation, the book includes two chapters devoted to the Arthurian in comics, which should be required reading for anyone doing research in the field, and one each on Spenser, Jonson, and Shakespeare in comics.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Aquaman Reborn

Having recently celebrated his 70th anniversary, Aquaman a.k.a. Arthur Curry, King of Atlantis, has been re-envisioned by writer Geoff Johns as part of DC Comic's New 52. The presence of Arthurian elements--always elusive with regards to most renderings of the character--is unknown at this time, but Johns offers details on the series in an extended interview for Newsarama.

Demon Knights Update

Over the course of this weekend, I've come across some material on DC Comics's new series Demon Knights by writer Paul Cornell. DC now includes solicitations up to number 4. Praised by a number of critics including PopMatter's shathley Q, the series features Jason Blood/Etrigan, Madame Xanadu, Vandal Savage, and Ystina, the Shining Knight and opens at the fall of Camelot.

First up, David Uzumeri of Comics Alliance comments on its reworking of continuity in the wake of the Flashpoint event; he notes elsewhere that the new Stormwatch series (also by Cornell) is tied to Demon Knights by virtue of its founding by Etrigan.

While, shathley Q offers a more detailed commentary for PopMatters that establishes what he sees as the series strengths.

I welcome news of further comments/reviews on the series.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

RIP arthurian_comixlist

It is with deep regret that I write that The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages has closed The Arthurian Comics Discussion List effective today. The listserv, which was active from July 2000 to September 2011, was our first and, I believe, most active list during the height of its lifetime. The archives of the list will remain accessible until further notice, but all future updates will only be featured on the blog.

Michael Torregrossa
Listserv Moderator, Blog Editor, and Co-Founder, The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages

Monday, September 26, 2011

Kalamazoo 2012 Session Update

The Society has finalized the details of its comics-themed roundtable. Full details are on the Medieval Comics Project blog, and I have posted the Arthurian-themed papers below:

The Comics Get Medieval at Kalamazoo: New Perspectives for Incorporating Comics into Medieval Studies Teaching and Research

2. “Caliber (2008), or Arthur’s Mystical Six-Shooter and the Gunslingers of the O.K. Corral”

Karen (Casey) Casebier, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

3. “Arthurian Themes in DC Comic’s Demon Knights (2011-)”

Jason Tondro, University of California, Riverside

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Arthurian Comics at NEPCA

Two papers devoted to Arthurian-themed comics will be presented in November at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury Connecticut, from 11-12 November. The complete program is now available online.

SATURDAY, 12 NOV., 8:30-10 AM
6) Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend II: Legends Old and New (ROOM: WARNER 320)

PAPER 3 OF 4: “What Do Vampires Have to Do with the Holy Grail? The Transformation of the Grail Legend in Undead Arthuriana”—Michael A. Torregrossa, The Virtual Society for the Study Of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages

SATURDAY, 12 NOV., 1:30-3 PM
2) Comics and Graphic Novels II: Damsels Causing Distress (ROOM: WARNER 226)

PAPER 2 OF 4: “Vampiric Viragoes: Villainizing and Sexualizing Arthurian Women in King Arthur v. Dracula (2005) and Madame Xanadu (2008)”—Kate Allocco, Western Connecticut State University

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New from SelfMadeHero as part of their Eye Classics line, this graphic novelization of Malory presents the Arthurian story from the conception of King Arthur to the coming of Lancelot:

Le Morte D'Arthur: “The Coming of the King, Volume One”

Author of Original: Sir Thomas Malory
Adaptor: John Matthews
Illustrator: Will Sweeney

ISBN: 9781906838249
Available: Mar 2011
Binding: PB(f)
Price: £14.99
Size: 165x241
Extent: 144 pp
Colour: Full colour [actually blue color with black ink on cream-colored paper (as shown)]

Product Description
The epic legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table is re-imagined here as a visually stunning graphic novel adapted by John Matthews and illustrated by Will Sweeney. This faithful reworking of Sir Thomas Malory's chivalric masterpiece introduces the young Arthur and charts his rise to power as King of Britain and the formation of his Knights of the Round Table. Aided by Merlin, Arthur must unite the kingdoms of Britain under his banner and take on adventures that will take him closer to his destiny and a danger caused by those he loves and trusts most.

Fate/Stay Night No. 11

Despite the closure earlier this year of publisher Tokyopop, it seems that number 11 (May 2011) of the Fate/Stay Night manga was released and is available from a limited number of retailers. This issue is of particular interest in that it features a series of flashbacks to Saber's past as King Arthur, with appearances by both Merlin and Bedievere. There is also a section entitled "Pendragon" that features a dragon, which is (presumably) related to the Arthurian legend as well. In addition, as the current Holy Grail War continues, readers learn further details about the last war and its outcome.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Knights of the Lunch Table #3

The Battling Bands, volume three of Frank Cammuso's Knights of the Lunch Table, was released earlier this month. Here are the details from his web site:

A battle is looming at Camelot Middle School--a battle of the bands, that is! Artie, Wayne, and Percy enter the talent show seeking fame and fortune. But only one of them plays an instrument: Percy. And he plays the tuba. Their only hope of winning is finding the long-lost "Singing Sword," the fabled instrument of awesome power.
But how can Artie find time to rock when he's been assigned a new lab partner, Melody Claymore? Melody is a klutz and a goof, and she harbors a not-so-secret crush on Artie. Is Melody his worst nightmare or secretly the answer to his prayers?

Ages 9-12

Paperback: 128 pages

Classics Illustrated Returns

British publisher Classic Comic Store Ltd. has begun releasing reproductions of the original Classics Illustrated series, all with re-colored artwork and digitally enhanced cover art. Number 11 of their new line includes a reprint from 2009 of "Knights of the Round Table," which was originally published as Classics Illustrated No. 108 in June 1953. The book, which (as to be expected from a story from 1953) presents a bowdlerized account of the complete Arthurian story from Arthur's birth to his death and focuses on the adventures of Gareth, Galahad, and Lancelot, is nicely produced with crisp art and glossy white pages. Appendices include a history of the Round Table in medieval Arthurian literature, an overview of the Arthurian legend on film (and some TV), two versions of Arthur's genealogy (from Geoffrey of Monmouth and Thomas Malory), a short essay on the history of Excalibur, 5 questions to spark discussion on the Matter of Britain, and a timeline of Arthurian Britain.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Arthurian eComics

I came across the following last night on DriveThruComics.com:

Arthur: The Legend Continues (Cosmic Times) 1 & 2:
No. 1 tells of the death of King Arthur. No. 2 of his return in England's darkest hour.

Destiny of the Dragon: Daughters of Merlin (Jester Press Comics) 1, 2, & 3
At the fall of Camelot, Merlin gathers three women together, but they are separated when a band of dragons attack. The three are reunited centuries later and charged by Merlin (who is rather Doctor Who-like) to recreate the Round Table to save their universe.

Digital Visions (Visionary Comics) 2 & 4
No. 2 includes a preview of A. David Lewis's Gangland Avalon. No. 2 presents what I assume is the first story, which looks like we are being set up for a boy king/coming of King Arthur story. Gangland Avalon is a modern-day recasting /restaging of the legend in gangster/mob trappings.

Ex Occultus: A Matter of Britain (Saint James Comics)
The last days of an immortal Lancelot.

Pilot Season: Lady Pendragon (Top Cow)
Catches readers up to date on the Lady Pendragon Saga and suggests future storylines.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Captain Britain Action Figure

Marvel has released a new Captain Britain action figure as part of the Captain America: First Avenger line. Empowered by Merlyn, Captain Britain has long been associated with the Matter of Britain and comes with "Mighty Excalibur Sword". Yours for about $10 as the Marvel Store and elsewhere.

Details as follows:

Captain Britain is a jack of many trades and a master of all. Strength, stamina, flight and invisible force field - your Captain Britain Action Figure has got everything he needs to battle villains all across the globe.

Product Details

Includes Clip-on Rocket Blaster and Excalibur Sword
Figures in this series approximately 3 3/4'' H. Individual size may vary
Ages 4+
Part of the Captain America: The First Avenger Comic Series, each sold separately
WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD - Small Parts. Not for children under 3 years.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tonari no Shugoshin

Ako Shimaki's Tonari no Shugoshin is an Arthurian-themed manga originally serialized in 2007 and presents the domestication of Lancelot by a teen-aged girl living in modern Japan, a storyline that offers a counterpoint to the Fate/stay night anime (also from 2007) in which a female Arthur is brought forward in time and domesticated (in part) by a teen-aged boy. In Tonari no Shugoshin, Lancelot is magically brought into the present and, though he often slips back into knightly behavior, he quickly assumes the guise and costume of a high school student. Much of the series is devoted to the girl's shifting feelings towards Lancelot, and Shimaki includes some graphic scenes (thus making this yet another example of what Elizabeth S. Sklar has labeled "naughty Arthuriana") as the two attempt to resolve their relationship. The manga has been collected by Egmont and released, unfortunately only in German (with a translation by Christine Steinle), as a two-volume series, re-titled Tonari no Guardian, available through Amazon.co.uk. The series can also be read in English through various fan sites, like MangaFox. I first came across mention of the series in John Lance Griffith's essay "Integration and Inversion: Western Medieval Knights in Japanese Manga and Anime" published online in the Korean journal Medieval and Early Modern English Studies 17.1 (2009); Grifith offers a summary of the manga and an analysis of its use of the Arthurian legend.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Morgana le Fay vs the Dark Avengers

Marvel has recently re-released the Dark Avengers as an oversized collected edition (2011). An enraged, time-traveling Morgana le Fay features in their first outing (Dark Avengers Nos. 1-4) in which Norman Osborne and his Avengers battle the Arthurian sorceress to save the life of Victor Von Doom, Morgana's sometimes ally. The initial arc is also included in Dark Avengers: Assemble (2009).

More New Collected Editions

Lucid (Archaia, May 2011) from Michael McMillan and Anna Weiszcyk is set on an alternate Earth where magic works--and Merlin has inspired the formation of a league of good mages--and pits a descendant of John Dee against a group of evil mages that plot to create their own version of King Arthur reborn.

From writer J. T. Krul, DC's recent Green Arrow (2010) ties into the Brightest Day series and introduces a character named Galahad, who may (or may not) be the Arthurian knight reborn/returned. The first seven issues of the series has been collected in Green Arrow: Into the Woods.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Reprint Collections You May Have Missed

I still need to catch up on recent Captain Britain collections, but these are also of interest:

Knights of Pendragon was published in the early 1990s by Marvel UK and presents a band of heroes recruited by the Green Knight and empowered by the eternal spirits that once empowered the Knights of the Round Table. This arc features an adaptation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as an ecological allegory. The collection includes two introductions by series writers Dan Abnett and John Tomlinson who comment on the genesis of the series and its development.

A more recent series, Iron Man: Legacy of Doom series as a follow-up to the Iron Man: Doomquest collection and presents Iron Man and Doctor Doom third (technically fourth if you count the Heroes Reborn books) encounter with Morgan le Fay and Merlin. In this series Doom secures Excalibur and seeks to recover its scabbard in an effort to save the Earth from an extra-dimensional threat.

Monday, July 18, 2011

New/Recent Comics

From the Mile High Comics NICE database (thanks to Jason Tondro for the head's up on Demon Knights):

HELLBOY: FURY (2011) #1
(Dark Horse Comics)

Mike Mignola (W/Cover), Duncan Fegredo (A), Dave Stewart (C), and Francesco Francavilla (Variant Cover) War ensues between the forces of good and evil as Hellboy finally confronts the Queen of Blood one on one, setting the stage for a new chapter in Hellboy's life!

HELLBOY: FURY (2011) #2
(Dark Horse Comics)

Mike Mignola (W/Cover), Duncan Fegredo (A), and Dave Stewart (C) While Hellboy makes one last stand against the Queen of Blood the war between the forces of good and evil rages on the battlefield with heaps of dead monsters and knights!

HELLBOY: FURY (2011) #3
(Dark Horse Comics)

Mike Mignola (W/Cover), Duncan Fegredo (A), and Dave Stewart (C) With her tower in ruin, and her body a vessel for the Ogdru Jahad, the Queen of Blood shows no mercy to Hellboy as their final battle meets a stunning conclusion! The conclusion of the epic story that began in 2007's Darkness Calls. 'Everything in Hellboy for the last ten years or so has been building to something big-and this could be it. I can't wait.'-Comic Book Revolution

[Hellboy is descended from Mordred (and thus also his parents, King Arthur and Morgan le Fay). He has recently met Merlin and Morgan, been tasked as Arthur's successor, and challenged by Nimue, the Queen of Blood.]

(DC Comics)

Written by PAUL CORNELL Art by DIOGENES NEVES and OCLAIR ALBERT Cover by TONY S. DANIEL Set in the Dark Ages of the DC Universe, a barbarian horde is massing to crush civilization. It's fallen to Madame Xanadu and Jason Blood, the man with a monster inside him, to stand in their way - though the demon Etrigan has no interest in protecting anyone or anything other than himself! It'll take more than their own power to stop an army fueled by bloodlust and dark sorcery, and some very surprising heroes - and villains - will have no choice but to join the fray!

[Jason Blood is a servant of Merlin, Etrigan is Merlin's half brother, and Madame Xanadu is the Lady of the Lake and sister to Morgan le Fay.]

Thursday, July 14, 2011

CFP Comics Get Medieval at Kalamazoo

The call for papers for our roundtable on The Comics Get Medieval at Kalamazoo: New Perspectives for Incorporating Comics into Medieval Studies Teaching and Research has been posted to the Medieval Comics Project Blog.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tondro's Superheroes of the Round Table

Jason Tondro's book Superheroes of the Round Table is now available for pre-order from McFarland. Details at the Medieval Comics Project Blog.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

CFP: The Return of King Arthur in the Post-Medieval World (12/1/11; Plymouth, NH 4/20-21/12)

The Society is pleased to announce its sponsorship of "Once and Future Kings? The Return of King Arthur in the Post-medieval World," which 33rd Annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum to convene at Plymouth State University (Plymouth, NH) from 20-21 April 2011. The full CFP can be accessed at King Arthur Forever. The comics have made much use of this motif, and I would hope to receive many proposals.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Future of Fate/stay night Manga

The future of the English translation of the Fate/stay night manga series (currently at No. 10) is now up in the air as publisher Tokoypop has shut down. Numbers 11 and 12 had been solicited, but, as of today, they are no longer available for ordering on Amazon.com.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Comics Get Medieval 2012 Call for Papers

Re-posted from The Medieval Comics Project Blog:


Celebrating our sixth year in 2012, proposals are now being considered for inclusion at “The Comics Get Medieval 2012,” a series of panels and roundtables sponsored by The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages and to be hosted by the Comics & Comic Art Area of the Popular Culture Association (PCA) for the 2012 Joint Conference of the National Popular Culture and American Culture Associations to be held from 4-7 April 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts.

The goal of these sessions is to foster communication between medievalists, comics scholars, and specialists in popular culture studies in general. The organizers define “medieval comics” as any aspect of the comics medium (panel cartoons, comic strips, comics books, comics albums, band dessinée, graphic novels, manga, webcomics, comics to film/film to comics, etc.) that feature medieval themes either in stories set during the Middle Ages or in stories presenting some element of the medieval in the post-medieval era. We are also interested in papers looking at medieval comics from a pedagogical perspective.

Completed papers should be delivered in 15-20 minutes (depending on the number of presenters).

All proposals will also be considered for inclusion in an essay collection to be edited by the panel organizers beginning in late 2011/early 2012. (Individuals only interested in submitting for the collection should also send proposals by 1 December 2011 deadline and indicate their preference in the email.)

In addition, a select list of potential topics and a bibliographic guide to medieval comics will appear as part of THE MEDIEVAL COMICS PROJECT web site available at http://MedievalComicsProject.org and THE ARTHUR OF THE COMICS website available at http://Arthur-of-the-Comics.org, both organized by the Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages.

No later that 1 December 2011, interested individuals (who must be members of PCA or ACA or join for 2012) should submit full contact information (name, address, phone/cell, and email), titles, and abstracts of 300-500 words to the sessions’ organizers, who will then forward them to area chair.

Address all inquiries and proposals to the organizers at the following address:

Medieval.Comics.Project@gmail.com and include “Comics Get Medieval 2012” in the subject line.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Advance Notice Kalamazoo 2012

The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages has proposed the following sessions for the 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies to be held from 10-13 May 2012. Further details on each session can be found by clicking the respective links.

Are You From Camelot? Recent Arthurian Film, Television, and Electronic Games as Innovators of the Arthurian Tradition and Their Impact (Roundtable)

The Comics Get Medieval at Kalamazoo: New Perspectives for Incorporating Comics into Medieval Studies Teaching and Research (Roundtable)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Thoughts on Lee and Hart's Excalibur: The Legend of King Arthur

With apologies in advance to the authors, Tony Lee and Sam Hart's graphic novel Excalibur: The Legend of King Arthur (Candlewick, 2011) arrived in today's mail, and I really wanted to like it but, ultimately, could not (at least not yet). As with their Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood, the book offers an innovative (yet also derivative) take on the Arthurian story, and one wonders what the publisher means by "a faithful retelling" of the legend. The primary conflict lies in the struggle between the good and evil powers of the Faerie realm (the Seelie and Unseelie, respectively), and many characters are presented as half- or full-fey. That said, there is little new material here, though, as the authors acknowledge no sources (though Malory is misquoted once), one wonders if the borrowing is intentional. Most clearly, Boorman's Excalibur is evoked many times and quoted at least once. The portrayals of the Faerie realms (though patriarchal here) recall both the Avalon of Marion Zimmer Bradley and John Matthews's own recent graphic novel The Chronicles of Arthur: Sword of Fire and Ice (2009), and the Faerie blood of many characters is also reminiscent of Bradley while Matthews may be the source for the inclusion of Bercilack (here a somewhat unsupernatural figure and the initiator of a very disappointing version of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) in Avalon. Also, the dissociation of some of the Arthurian cast from their usual roles in the story resembles similar approaches in other twenty-first century texts, like King Arthur (2004) and BBC1's Merlin, and Guinevere's presentation as a warrior surely reflects her portrayal in that role in both King Arthur and Matt Hawkin's comic book series Lady Pendragon, which also saw Guinevere succeeding Arthur upon his death. Lastly, Arthur's love for Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, which is the nexus of the story, was featured prominently in the cartoon Camelot (1998) as was his ultimate fate to spend eternity with her in Avalon. The creation of Mordred is more unique though his training resembles scenes from NBC's Merlin (1998). There are also some truly original touches, as in the representation of Ulric and in Arthur's training in Avalon as cheat (time, of course, flows differently in Faerie), but these seem few in number (at least upon my initial reading). The story is also safely bowdlerized for its young readers (aged 10 and up, according to the website), though the dialogue, except at times when colloquialisms are tossed in, would be acceptable to older readers as well; however, although I appreciate its attempts to deviate from from Norris J. Lacy has termed, the "tyranny of tradition," one wonders of the value of this very nontraditional account of the legend as most graphic novel retellings are designed to supplement or enhance canonical versions of the tradition. In summation, this is not a Classics Illustrated version of the Matter of Britain, as are Gareth Hind's Beowulf, The Odyssey, and Shakespeare from the same publisher, though perhaps it will inspire readers to seek out more stories of the Once and Future King.

A final note on the artwork: Hart's style (as was also Mike Collins's for Matthews's book) is not typical of most contemporary comics and is, at least for me, difficult to get used to. Most of the characters seem too elongated and thin, and, at times, details are totally or partially lost. The result is not a "pretty" book that one expects would appeal to the target reader.

Michael A. Torregrossa
Co-Founder, The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Review of Arthur: The Legend Vol. 1

Dalen Books will be publishing David Chauvel and Jerome Lereculey's Arthur: The Legend Volume 2 later this year, and I just came across an extended review of the first volume on ComicBitsOnline.com. Additional reviews can be accessed from the product page at Dalen Books.

Dracula vs. King Arthur Continued

Adam and Christian Beranek's Dracula vs. King Arthur continues to spread out into other media. The series is now a web comic--with individual pages posted several times a week--on DraculavsKingArthur.com and some of the posts include annotations by Adam Beranek. Enthusiasts can also find the series as an iPhone app from Comixology and a motion comic from Comflix Studios (click menu and scroll to your left). These manifestations are of course in addition to the original comic book series, the collected editions, and digital comics released previously.

I append below a trailer for the webcomic as found on YouTube:

There are also a number of interviews available from the various creators (such as Adam Beranak and artist Chris Moreno), and these can be conveniently accessed from our links menus in the sidebar.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lilly's The Adventures of Wiglaf and Mordred

I recently came across the webcomic The Adventures of Wiglaf and Mordred drawn and written by Lilly since October 2005. The About section of the website includes the following details on the series:

Join Wiglaf and Mordred as they try to maintain their friendship through world domination plots, jealous siblings, employees with more secrets than they let on and of course the lies that the two tell each other. With a cast of colorful and unique characters, you’re sure to be entertained.

Or so says the Advertising Campaign if you wanted a nutshell summary. If you want something a bit longer:

The Adventures of Wiglaf and Mordred (aka WaM) follows the story of a lonely hero and an apathetic villain who find out they have more in common than they thought as they explore their relationship with each other and the people around them. They”ll meet up with friends, parents, siblings, rivals and all sorts of other interesting characters as Wiglaf and Mordred try to get along in a world that allows Dragons to stand side-by-side with Super Intelligent AI Computers- But that’s just the tip of the ice berg:

They also have a tendency to run into talking swords, floating orbs, zombies, serial killers, bystanders, genetic engineers, ax crazy psychopaths, obsessive older brothers, total monsters, jealous lovers, crazy siblings, imprisoned CEOs, teen genius, and concert pianists (complete with manager) - just to name a few. (If you don’t believe me, check out the cast page some time. ^_-)

Snark is their friend.
So dive in, read, laugh, smile and get to know their world. Most importantly, however, make sure to watch out for the Security.

Because he’s definitely watching you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Christina Francis on Arthur, King of Time and Space

Christina Francis has an essay in in the latest issue of Arthuriana on the webcomic Arthur, King of Time and Space. The essay can be accessed in Project MUSE. The complete reference is as follows:

Francis, Christina. "Playing with Gender in Arthur, King of Time and Space." Arthuriana 20.4 (Winter 2010): 31-47.

By developing characters with unstable and changeable sex identification, Paul Gadzikowski creates an Arthurian world with fluid gender boundaries in his webcomic Arthur, King of Time and Space. The effect of this fluidity is a cast of Arthurian characters that continuously confronts sex and gender stereotypes, inviting audiences to reconsider their own assumptions about sex and gender.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Listserv Updates (Cross-Posted)

It is with deep regret that I write to inform readers of the demise of the following listservs sponsored by the Society: The Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages Discussion List, The Medieval Studies at the Movies Discussion List and The Medieval Comics Project Discussion List. The three have been disbanded due to lack of interest by the members. Archives for these lists will remain online for the time being, but further items of interest on these topics can be found instead on the various blogs currently sponsored by the Society, including Studies of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages and The Medieval Comics Project Blog.

Michael A. Torregrossa
Blog and Listserv Editor

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Comics Get Medieval 2011 Update

A belated update on the status of The Comics Get Medieval 2011 sessions for the upcoming Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association's annual meeting this spring:

The session has been cancelled due to lack of interest.

Please consider submitting a proposal for The Comics Get Medieval 2012 sessions to convene at PCA/ACA in Boston and (pending approval) at Kalamazoo. 2012 is the 75th anniversary of Prince Valiant, and it would be great to make ourselves visible as we commemorate this landmark event.

Michael Torregrossa

Blog and Listserv Editor

King Arthur Forever Returns

The Society is pleased to announce the relaunch of KingArthurForever.org as a blog dedicated to study and debate of the representations of the Matter of Britain in post-medieval popular culture produced from the close of the Middle Ages through tomorrow.