In just over a month's time, THE PANELISTS has become one of my favorite comix blogs. It's a must read, especially if you feel the comix medium should and can be taken seriously. As they explain in their first post:
Our goal here is to bridge the gap between academic and popular criticism, to write reviews and essays with the rigor of good scholarship but in an accessible voice. We also plan to use the convenience of blogging to support experiments in collaborative criticism that would be harder to pull off in print.
And, so far, those "experiments in collaborative criticism" are my favorite aspect of the blog. Consider these two comix panels...
... The first is from John Porcellino's KING-CAT. Panelist Derik Badman evaluates its elements here; fellow Panelist, Isaac Cates reinvents and reevaluates it here. One panel. Total word count? Over 1200(!).* The second is from Jean-Michel Charlier and Jean “Moebius” Giraud's BLUEBERRY. Panelist Craig Fischer critiques it here; Badman follows up by critiquing it here. Total word count? Over 1000.
The above are just a couple examples of the entertaining scholarship that Badman, Cates, Fischer, et al. are regularly posting. (See also: "Brickbrickbrick" and its comments' section.) If you love comix and smart writing, THE PANELISTS is a joy to read.
"Like" them on Facebook; follow them on Twitter.
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* Because of this exchange, I was moved to finally purchase a KING-CAT collection for myself after years of knowing I should. I loved it. I've purchased more since, and intend to subscribe to the zine ASAP. John P.'s rightly considered a comix genius.