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In my previous post I talked about the idea of conceptual space and how fictional works that bend or defy genre classification can reveal new and interesting creative dimensions. I wanted to continue on with that line of thought a bit and discuss how it relates to my problems with the New-52 era at DC Comics.

If you’ve been listening to the podcast, I think we’ve been very clear about many of our issues with DC. There are any number of criticisms that can be leveled against DC, from their ongoing problems with the depiction of female characters, to the general undercutting of creators, to the way in which they’ve actively sought to undermine (or outright eliminate) any sort of character growth that has occurred in the DC Universe over the past 30 years. These are all issues we’ve touched on that I consider problematic. But I also feel that they are all symptoms—or at least byproducts—of a greater and more pernicious problem: DC is intentionally trying to strangle the life out of the DCU. Continue Reading

In conceiving View from the Gutters, one thing we agreed about early on was that we didn’t want to just do another review show where we yacked about which issues we’d picked up new that week. We wanted to engage in a conversation; not just amongst ourselves but with the whole comics reading community. To discuss stories—both new and old—and to learn more about the medium we love by experiencing comics we wouldn’t normally read on our own.

That conversation, however, extends beyond what we can meaningfully discuss in our weekly book club format. I—perhaps more than the other hosts—have on occasion steered us away from getting lost in conversations too far afield from what is ostensibly our topic for the week. However, those are important conversations to have, and as our club matures we intend to delve into those topics more deeply.

One way we’ll be doing this is in special bonus episodes devoted to topics we feel to be important to comics both as a medium and a community, rather than discussing a specific comic work. Another is through a regular series of blog posts in which one member of our group or another will attempt to speak on a particular subject important to them. We invite our listeners to comment on these posts, as with all of our content, and add your own voice to the discussion.

In this, the first such blog post, I wanted to talk a bit both about a comic which is near and dear to my heart and more broadly about genre, setting, and the idea of “conceptual space” as it relates to comics. The particular comic I want to discuss is one I’ve pitched on the show, but as of the date of this writing we have not yet discussed: Elfquest. Continue Reading