The Women Who Built the Horror Genre

Before Hollywood’s Scream Queens, the Ladies of Horror Comics Were at the Forefront of Fright

When you think of the iconic directors of horror movies, it’s usually male filmmakers like Wes Craven, George Romero, John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, and David Cronenberg that come to mind. The best-known women in horror tend to be “scream queens,” actors like Fay Wray and Jamie Lee Curtis, whose characters are frequently relegated to perpetual victim status and who may be occasionally awarded the role of villain. But women are rarely talked about for their off-screen contributions to horror.

So it may come as a surprise—though it shouldn’t—to learn that women …

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Positive Symbol of American Power!

Rarely an Agent of the Government, Superman Defended the 'American Way' Through Simple Decency and Acts of Charity

I can’t really remember when I first encountered Superman. It might have been through the 1950s television series The Adventures of Superman, or it might have been in a …

Is Batgirl the Next Great Feminist Superhero?

Like Wonder Woman, the DC Comics Heroine Is Overcoming Sexist Plot Lines

Last year, DC Comics’ bestselling graphic novel was Batman: The Killing Joke. Originally published in 1988, it’s one of the most famous, and infamous, superhero stories of all time. The …

How the Marginalized Invented Politically Incorrect Comedy

The Incisive Wit of Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor Paved the Way for a Generation of Crasser Comics

“Sometimes you feel guilty laughing at some of Lenny’s mordant jabs,” journalist Herb Caen once said of the taboo-shattering comic Lenny Bruce. “But that disappears a second later when your …