Black Ship Books will release its first collection of comics criticism, Into the Comics-Verse: Comics and Contemporary Culture, in the Amazon Kindle store on March 31.
Featuring chapters from Black Ship regulars LJ Phillips, Petar Durić, Jeremy Bishop, and Evan Henry, Into the Comics-Verse will also include a special piece by Black Ship founder Lee Lightfoot on the Comicsgate movement, and a debut essay by Peter Copeland on Kingdom Come and government surveillance. Others address topics including revisionist Batman fan fiction, the 25th anniversary of Brandon Lee’s The Crow, and the feminine divine in Frank Miller’s works.
Reaching beyond simple comics journalism into the broader “comics-verse”, Black Ship hopes to broach topics that exist at the intersection of society and graphic narrative. Lightfoot’s “Comic Nazis” essay tackles the controversial Comicsgate phenomenon as a vehicle of a wider culture of nostalgia in the 2010s. Drawing on Stanley Fish’s notion of “interpretive communities,” Henry’s chapter on Moonhead Press questions whether (and how much) fans can challenge “the point” of their favorite stories. Durić, meanwhile, writes poignantly about how Gene Luen Yang’s Shadow Hero resonates with the experience of second-generation immigrants in the contemporary U.S.