Utilitarian No More (July 2016)

Noah Berlatsky announced a few days ago that The Hooded Utilitarian will cease publication. That is bad news for comics criticism, and it is especially bad news for those of us who write it.

I’ve written for HU on an off for years. Or more precisely, I’ve written a lot of comics criticism — if that’s the right term for idiosyncratic essays that relate, for example, Albert Camus to V for Vendetta — and then thought, “What the hell am I going to do with this?” The obvious answer was to send it to Noah. Too often, that was the only answer.

The site was always entertaining, often enlightening, and sometimes provocative. It managed to preserve a fairly high level of discussion and yet seem casual and inviting — not really like wandering into a bar and finding it full of literature professors talking about Superman, but a lot like what you wish it would be like to wander into a bar and find it full of literature professors talking about Superman.

It was nice while it lasted.

Two New Reviews (May 2016)

Those of you interested in anarchism might want to check out two reviews I have out this week (and, for that matter, the books they discuss).

The first is a review of the collection Queering Anarchism: Addressing and Undressing Power and Desire. It’s a pretty standard review — strengths, weaknesses, major points. You can read it in the new issue of Perspectives on Anarchist Theory. (Print only. Sorry.)

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The second, concerning Andrew Cornell’s Unruly Equality, is less of a review and more of a response essay. Cornell offers a history of American anarchism from (roughly) World War I to the end of the Vietnam War. I cover the main argument of his book (probably too briefly), and then go on to consider what that history tells us about anarchism now — how it arrived in its present state and, more importantly, what can be done about it.

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