January 2011

Over the last several years, Lucy Knisley (www.lucyknisley.com) has earned a devoted following for her work in comics/illustration/music/puppets/animation…put bluntly, this is the definition of “multihyphenate.” In print, she’s earned widespread acclaim for such works as 2008’s travelogue French Milk, and she’s become more visible to superhero fans last year with her contributions to Girl Comics and I Am An Avenger at Marvel.

But Knisley’s most visible as a creator on the web, where she regularly updates her autobiographical comic Stop Paying Attention, along with various standalone cartoons and illustrations of everything from zombies to superheroes to Harry Potter, the last of which will be the subject of an upcoming comic from her this year. We talked with Knisley about her work, her life, and the unique advantages and challenges of a life online.

Read the full interview here!


Created by a six-year-old and drawn by his 30-year-old brother, it’s the webcomic that’s taken the world by storm.

Beginning a new series of interviews with some of the best webcomic creators online!

Read the full interview (where I attempt to ask questions to a six-year-old) here!

Wrote an editorial about the end of WIZARD magazine, and the role it played in my life.  People seem to have quite enjoyed it!

Read the piece here!

In which I attempt to explain the train-wreck fascination of made-for-Lifetime movies and the strange culture of middle-class paranoia they exploit.

Read my ramblings here!

An editorial I impulse-wrote about the characters and casting of THE DARK NIGHT RISES.  It has lots of Batman trivia!

Read the full story here!

Director Julie Taymor is a frequent name in the entertainment news these days with her $65 million Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark being Broadway’s most expensive and potentially life-threatening musical.

The sheer scale of the project—and its oddball depiction of a classic comic book superhero in a mythology-based story with songs by U2’s Bono and The Edge—holds an uncommon allure for the public. Sure, it looks spectacular, but it also looks like it could be nonsense, and the sheer number of actor injuries gives it the morbidly fascinating quality of “When’s someone going to die?”

All this makes Taymor’s biggest hit, The Lion King, more fascinating. The production at the Durham Performing Arts Center is the must-see for families, but it also contains a certain appeal for those who haven’t been able to make it to the Great White Way to see Taymor’s work live. For those who only know her for such films as Frida, Across the Universe and The Tempest, how does her sense for artistic spectacle play on stage?

Read the full review here!

(reprinted from the Independent Weekly)

Two stars
Opens Friday, Jan. 14

Michel Gondry and Seth Rogen’s re-imagining of the radio/ film/ TV hero better known for his name, car and Bruce Lee playing his sidekick than any actual storylines is an odd mixture of superhero-film parody and straightforward action-comedy. Displaying much of the same fascination with 1980s buddy comedies he exhibited in Pineapple Express, star/ co-screenwriter Rogen plays a disgruntled playboy who develops a ridiculous scheme to become a vigilante/ fake criminal after the death of his disapproving newspaper-magnate father (Tom Wilkinson) with help from an ass-kicking gadget expert (Jay Chou). Director Gondry has some fun with the fight scenes (the added 3-D is mostly unnecessary), and, well, that’s one cool tricked-out car. But the film isn’t quite willing to commit to being a comedy or an action flick, and there’s no real reason why Cameron Diaz is in the film for anything other than star power. Last year’s Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) does have an amusing bit as a gang lord obsessed with re-branding himself as scary and cool. Occasionally, the movie hits an inspired comic riff, such as a Clouseau-esque scene of Rogen and Chou beating up on each other in a pool house, but this is mostly the larking-about of comic filmmakers given some cool toys to play with, and the result lacks punch… or more appropriately, sting. Rated PG-13. —Zack Smith

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