Articles by Paul Morton

November 19, 2014

Emancipation from Irony: On ‘The Best American Comics 2014′ 3

When you read a comic, you are accepting a direct message from one singular honest soul. Your hand touches theirs. That soul can be strange. That soul can be sick. And it can also be oh-so earnest,

July 22, 2014

John Waters’s America 1

In the back of his mind, Mark Twain probably imagined a dogshit-eating transvestite, but couldn’t find a place for him in Huckleberry Finn.

May 23, 2014

The Survivor: On Magneto, Mutants, and the Holocaust 13

You can read Magneto as the nightmare of every post-1945 Jewish humanist. He is the Jew who lost the soulful liberalism of the Yiddishkeit, and who has allowed the Holocaust to turn him into everything he despises. He is the Jew who will bomb Gaza and say, with some credibility, that it is for defense while privately acknowledging a pleasure in revenge. He is the Jew who has allowed the Holocaust to instill in him a debilitating paranoia.

May 2, 2014

A Beautiful Man: On Peter Parker and the Amazing Spider-Man 4

The problem with Spider-Man is the same problem with all popular comics heroes. Eventually, after several hundred issues, he hit a moment of stasis in which he stopped evolving, stopped discovering the strange hidden facets of his personality.

April 24, 2014

You Can’t Avert Your Eyes: The Millions Interviews Teju Cole 0

You don’t become a war reporter because you love war. You report on war because it expands and complicates our idea of what war is. As a Nigerian-American who lives in the United States, I would like to complicate our sense of what Nigeria is, of what Lagos is, of what Africa is like.

March 10, 2014

Why Does Roddy Doyle Wish to Disillusion Us?: The Millions Interview 1

I couldn’t care less really if I’ve disillusioned you. It is within your gift not to read the book. So really, it didn’t give me the minimum pause for thought.

November 29, 2013

Difficult History: On John Lewis’s March 0

The civil rights movement is a brutal place, where young men torture themselves for the great cause, and where the moments of euphoria are all too rare.

June 26, 2013

Immersion Therapy: The Millions Interviews Ellen Forney 0

I set up a tripod and posed for every panel. I was drawing myself crying and lying. I got a chair that looked like my psychiatrist’s chair. I posed like my mother. I posed like my psychiatrist. And really, literally embodying these other characters, me and people who were around me, thoroughly immersing myself in that world and that time. 

May 8, 2013

The Superhero Factory: An Unauthorized Corporate History of Marvel Comics 4

Sean Howe covers the entire history of Marvel, from 1939 to Disney’s acquisition of the company 70 years later. The book has few heroes and villains, only figures who, with varying degrees of success and failure, negotiate the politics of a large enterprise for their own wants and needs. It’s a portrait of what capitalism can create and what it can’t create — and what it can destroy.

January 31, 2013

Getting Away with Murder: The Millions Interviews Ursula K. Le Guin 11

I think to admit despair and to revel in it — as many 20th- and 21st-century writers do — is an easy way out.

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