Category Archives: Graphic Novels


The modern world tells us that anything we desire can be ours. The problem inherent with this generous philosophy is that no one truly knows what it is that they want. We can ask for cars and money and sex, but ultimately what fulfills us is not something that can be purchased on stores or […]

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Freaks of the Heartland

Greg Ruth and Steve Niles deliver a curious and macabre tale of isolation and morality in Freaks of the Heartland. The story of a pair of rural American brothers, Heartland is a rarity for a horror piece. being both disturbing and warm. It is an excellent example of the versatility of the graphic novel as […]

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Mike Richardson’s Cut is a compelling, wonderfully bleak graphic novel which makes expert use of the devices of the horror genre to depict an unusual and ghastly series of events. Yet like most unusual works of fiction, it can be deconstructed into a story which is far more fundamental to the human condition, and to […]

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Civil War

The two major comic book companies– DC and Marvel– periodically release multi-franchise epics which are meant to forever change the landscape of their universes (and drive sales). Civil War is the latest such event for the Marvel Universe. The story places the company’s heroes at odds with one another. Increasing accidents among super humans which […]

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Kingdom Come

Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ graphic novel Kingdom Come is one of the most profound, beautifully written, masterfully illustrated, and important graphic novels in the DC Comics library. This book leaps forward a hypothetical decade into the continuity, and provides the long DC tradition with closure and meaning. It draws on both established comic book […]

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This book is the story of the first half century of the Marvel Comics universe. It is revealed to us through the eyes of Phil Sheldon, a newspaper photographer who lives in New York City and witnesses the rise of the Super Hero Age. The story starts out in 1939 with the birth of the […]

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It seems that new art forms go through a shake down. The initial examples of any new art form are often steeped in genre. Comic books are no exception. That medium is still dominated by the actions of super humans or other extraordinary individuals. They hearken back to ancient tales of gods and heroes that […]

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Superman & Batman vs. Alien & Predator

Franchise mash-ups are fair game for comic books. Batman and Superman have tangled many times in the past, and the Alien and Predator franchises have faced off in print and on the big screen and have ultimately become symbiotic. Conversely, both Superman and Batman have faced down Aliens and Predators. This, however, is the first […]

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Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam, United States, us. This graphic novel tells the story of a nation finding its way. Uncle Sam reminds us where we have been, and for better or worse, who we’ve become.

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    Novus Literae is an ongoing web publication which reexamines film, television, websites, video games, magazines, comic books, and other forms of 'new media' using the canon of literary criticism.
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