Professor Xavier is a total fuckboi. Let me explain, on the Fuckbois of Literature podcast.

My friend Emily Edwards has a delightful podcast called Fuckbois of Literature, that, well, pretty much explores exactly what it promises: fuckbois, in literature.

The characters of literature other readers exalt, but you hope never to meet. Maybe they screw everything that moves (and moos). Maybe they’ve locked their first wife in the attic. Maybe they’re the author of love poetry that’s screwed up our concept of romance for over 150 years. The literary fuckboi toys with your heart and leaves you hung out to dry. Join host Emily Edwards every week to discuss the most toxic characters, writers, and tropes of literature, folklore, myths, and legend. Topics include feminist literature, toxic masculinity, gender roles, and intersectional representation in books. These are the Fuckbois of Literature.

There are lots of great and insightful episodes, from comedian Sara Benincasa talking about the Bible, to my personal favorite one on David Foster Wallace. But Emily was also kind and/or foolish enough to invite me and one of my best friends onto the show to discuss the various fuckbois of the X-Men universe — but namely, that hedonistic bald manipulator Professor Charles Xavier, and his fickle, horny protege, Scott Summers AKA Cyclops.

I have been waiting a long time for an audience to let me indulge in my deeply serious literary analysis on sex and the X-Men, and I'm just so glad that there's more than one person in the world who cares to hear my rant about the cycle of abuse and patriarchal privilege that make Professor X and Cyclops alike both treat women like crap in the pursuit of their self-righteous goals. Read the rest

Review: "The Nobody People" is like a literary X-Men novel for the Trump era

The X-Men are often cited as a pop culture metaphor for the struggles of persecuted peoples in the face of bigotry. But the allegory is far from perfect. It's barely even present in the foundational DNA of the earliest comics. The idea of "mutants" was initially just an excuse to skip over the origin stories and get straight to the super-powered superhero antics. These days, we commonly hear comparisons between Magneto and Professor X to Malcolm X and MLK. Even though it's, erm, not quite accurate. And even though Magneto started out by literally calling his team "The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants."

But Bob Proehl's new novel, The Nobody People, takes the opposite approach. Proehl is a friend of mine — I even wrote a song to help him promote the book, before I actually I read it — and he'll pretty openly admit that he envisioned it as a sort-of love letter to the X-Men. Whereas the X-Men began as pulpy superhero comics that eventually mutated into a political metaphor, The Nobody People starts with the metaphor, and mutates into a powerful personal drama. Here, the super-powered individuals are known as Resonants, and at the start of the novel, their presence is largely hidden from the modern world. The first part of the book mostly follows war correspondent Avi Hirsch, an amputee who learns that his biracial daughter is one of those powered Resonants; once they're outed, the book shifts into a sort of Bildungsroman, with a series of episodes that follow the logical progression of what always happens when a marginalized group tries to claim their own tiny corner in a world full of ignorance of hate. Read the rest

Wizard Magazine 22, June 1993, Cartoonist Kayfabe

Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg continue to dissect the turbulent comic book speculator boom on the 1990s while looking through antique copies of Wizard Magazine.

What to expect in this issue:

* Malibu's Ultraverse is announced!

* Chris Claremont's life after X-Men. An interview.

* Joe Quesada is talking is hopes and dreams about wanting to leave a mark on the industry.

* Ron Wagner, the Morbius Artist, cuts promos on the series writer, Len Kaminski

Subscribe to the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel for more comics vids and analysis like this. Read the rest

The first trailer for X-Men: Dark Phoenix is here

I enjoyed the first two movies from the current round of X-Men flicks. Mutants causing the Cuban Missile Crisis? Love it. Wolverine traveling back to the 1970s to try and stop a future holocaust AND contend with a waterbed? Totally enjoyable--although I far preferred Chris Claremont and John Byrne's Days of Future Past over what the film had to offer.

X-Men: Apocalypse? Eh, not so much. The pacing was weird as hell and I can't help but feel that Oscar Issac was wasted under way too much makeup.

I'm hoping that the latest installment in the series will be a return to form. For better or worse, this'll be the last X-Men movie we'll be able to lay our eyeballs on before Marvel Studios has a chance to bring their spin to the franchise. Who's in? Read the rest

Ed Piskor's X-Men: Grand Design

Have you read "Grand Design", Ed Piskor's remix of the X-Men's epic history? You must, even if you're not into Marvel's legendarium, because it's amazing work. Not just a more engaging distillation of the characters and their history than the movies, either. With Ed's style and wit, it's like something from a parallel world where the X-Men were alt comics. Truly uncanny!

When you’re taking 8,000 pages of material and turning it into a 240-page story, there isn’t an infinite amount of room for exposition and character stuff. So it’s Piskor style. It’s documentarian...

I come from hip hop, and in hip hop, the core of everything is sampling. I have an ego into the stratosphere, no doubt. But I also recognize that if Neal Adams draws the Sentinels flying into the sun, that is such a beautiful, mind-bending composition…how can I compete with that? Most of the comic is my doing my interpretation of things. Whenever there’s an iconic moment, it’s an iconic moment. I might pay very close homage to that. Sampling is hip hop, and I’m hip hop to my core. Just because I’m working on a different comic doesn’t mean I stop having that kind of mind.

Even if you think about the work I did in issue #1 with Magneto on the cover where he’s levitating and power is gravitating from his hand, I just scanned in a piece of wood so I could get the wood grain to look like a warped magnetic field. It’s the same thing.

Read the rest

If Wolverine and Cyclops went to a birthday party

It might go something like this.

[via thefrogman.me] Read the rest

X-Men line-up decade-by-decade

Ed Piskor drew this cool pin-up of an X-Men family tree (abridged). Each row represents a decade of the X-Men from 1963-1992. [Download] Read the rest

The art of Grant Gould

Grant Gould is probably most well known for his Star Wars trading card art and illustrating two Star Wars books, Draw Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Draw Star Wars: Rebels. He's also the creator of the original comic series Wolves of Odin and has done awesome art from just about every fantasy and scifi series out there (and even some pop culture characters too). Read the rest

‘X-Men’ director Bryan Singer accused of raping teen boy in 1999; case mentions sex offender Marc Collins-Rector of DEN

Bryan Singer, the director of the forthcoming film “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is accused in a lawsuit filed today in Hawaii federal court of drugging and raping a teenage boy in 1999. The case is a civil case, not a criminal case, and Singer's attorney says the charges are "without merit." AP reports that the lawsuit was filed in Hawaii "because of a state law that temporarily suspends the statute of limitations in sex abuse cases."

Also mentioned in the lawsuit is Marc Collins-Rector, a sexual predator and founder and chairman of Digital Entertainment Network (aka DEN or <EN), an early internet video startup that made headlines for high capitalization and sex parties involving founders and teen boys. Collins-Rector is a registered sex offender who fled to Spain, and was arrested there in 2002. In 2004, Collins-Rector pled guilty to charges he lured minors across state lines for sexual acts. The allegations of sexual abuse involving Collins-Rector and other DEN executives shocked the web startup world in 1999, and led to the collapse of DEN's IPO.

Variety reports on the charges against Brian Singer filed today: Read the rest

Forging Wolverine claws

Earlier this year, I posted video of Hollywood's master blacksmith Tony Swatton forging Jaime Lannister's sword for "Games of Thrones." Above, he replicates Wolverine's claws. No, they are not retractable. But they are clearly sharp as hell. Read the rest