My Essays

The University Press of Mississippi published my first book, Captain Marvel and the Art of Nostalgia, in December 2016. Here’s the fabulous cover by the amazing Keiler Roberts. Can you find Mr. Tawny?


Meanwhile, here is a list of some of my recent essays, online and in print. If you’d like a copy of one of the print publications here but are unable to find it, please contact me at brianwcremins AT gmail DOT com.

Here’s an interview I did with Osvaldo Oyola this summer at his excellent site The Middle Spaces. This is part of his series “The (re)Collection Agency,” which has also featured interviews with scholars Chris Pizzino, Qiana Whitted, and Leah Misemer!

Print Publications (Articles from Academic Journals and Collections) 

Current Project:

I am now co-editing the collection The Other 1980s: Essays on Comics’ Crucial Decade with my friend and colleague Brannon Costello. You can read the original CFP for the book here.

Forthcoming Publications: 

“Curious His Entire Life: Remembering Tom Roberts,” with Charles Hatfield, Stephen R. Bissette, and Gene Kannenberg, Jr., to be published in The International Journal of Comic Art, Fall 2018.

“‘How quickly we forget’: Immigration and Family Narrative in James Sturm’s The Golem’s Mighty Swing and Unstable Molecules” in Immigrants and Comics: Graphic Spaces of Remembrance, Transaction, and Mimesis edited by Nhora Lucía Serrano, forthcoming from Routledge (January 2019).

In print: 

“Walt Kelly’s Bridgeport.”  Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society 2.1 (Spring 2018): 1–17.

“‘An Imaginary Story’: Comic Books and Graphic Novels in the 1980s,” in D. Quentin Miller (Ed.), American Literature in Transition: 1980-1990. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017. Print.

“‘A Space of Concentration’: The Autobiographical Comics of Richard ‘Grass’ Green and Samuel R. Delany” in  African American Autobiography: Twenty-First Century Contexts and Criticism. Ed. Eric D. Lamore. Madison: U. of Wisconsin Press, 2017: 145-173.

“Funny Animals” in The Routledge Companion to ComicsEds. Frank Bramlett, Roy Cook, and Aaron Meskin. Routledge, 2016: 146-153. Print.

“Fighting Distance, Fighting Time.” Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby. Eds. Charles Hatfield and Ben Saunders. San Diego, CA: IDW Publishing, 2015. 141.

“Quotations from the Future: Harvey Kurtzman’s ‘Superduperman,’ Nostalgia, and Alan Moore’s Miracleman.” Studies in American Humor. New Series 3, No. 30 (2014).

“Bodies, Transfigurations, and Bloodlust in Edie Fake’s Graphic Novel Gaylord Phoenix.” Journal of Medical HumanitiesVolume 34, Issue 2 (2013). 301-313.

“‘What Manner of Man Is He?’: Humor and Masculine Identity in Captain Marvel’s World War II Adventures.” Studies in American Humor.  New Series 3, No. 27 (2013). 33-62.

“Bumbazine, Blackness, and the Myth of the Redemptive South in Walt Kelly’s Pogo.”  Comics and the U. S. South.  Eds. Brannon Costello and Qiana J. Whitted.  Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2012.  29—61.

“Depersonalization, Mysticism, and Mourning in John Porcellino’s Perfect Example and Carrie McNinch’s You Don’t Get There from Here.”  International Journal of Comic Art 13.1 (Spring 2011): 249-274.   

“‘I Asked for Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)’: Tim Truman’s Scout and Social Satire in the Independent Comics of the 1980s.”  International Journal of Comic Art 5.2 (Fall 2003): 339–350.

“Oscar Micheaux, Charles Chesnutt, and the ‘Historical Novel.'” Journal of American and Comparative Cultures 25.1–2 (Spring/Summer 2002): 155–160.

“‘Why have you allowed me to see you without your mask?’: Captain America #133 and the Great American (Protest) Novel.” International Journal of Comic Art 4.1 (Spring 2002): 239–47.


“Pekar’s Ghost” in Harvey & Me by Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes (Pressing Concern Books, April 2016). Read more about the series here!

Foreword to Marnie Galloway’s In the Sounds and Seas (One Peace Books, 2016). Order a copy here! Or, better yet, get a copy from your local bookstore or comic book shop.


“A Review of Edie Fake’s Gaylord Phoenix in the Form of a Birthday Greeting for Jack Kirby.” Closure: Kieler e-Journal für Comicforschung no. 4, November 2017, Accessed 6 June 2018. 

Review of Art Spiegelman’s WORDLESS! performance at the University of Chicago, International Journal of Comic Art 16.2 (Fall/Winter 2014). This is a print version of the review that appeared here on the blog in early 2014. I just changed a few words here and there.

Thierry Groensteen’s Comics and Narration (Trans. Ann Miller) in Studies in American Humor. New Series 3, No. 30 (2014).

“The Carnivalesque Humor of Walt Kelly’s Pogo.”  Review of Kerry D. Soper’s We Go Pogo: Walt Kelly, Politics, and American SatireStudies in American Humor, New Series 3, No. 27 (2013). 225-233.

Non-academic Print Essays from Alter Ego and The Jack Kirby Collector 

“’A Fabric of Illusion’: C. C. Beck’s Critical Circle and His Theory of Comic Art,” Alter Ego #149 (November 2017).

“Steamboat and Sabra Holbrook’s Youthbuilders: Captain Marvel & African American Stereotypes During World War II,” Alter Ego #144 (January 2017).

‘NAY, NEVER WILL I SERVE THEE, MR. MIND!’ Or, ‘I Think I Was Always a Fawcett Kid’: An Interview with Harlan Ellison,” Alter Ego #138 (March 2016).

My essay on “Captain Marvel and His Feud with Mr. Tawny” from Captain Marvel Adventures No. 113 (October 1950) appears in Alter Ego #136 (November 2015) as part of a Fawcett Collectors of America 75th anniversary tribute to the hero.

“‘A Leader of Men’: Bill Parker on King Arthur & the Origin of Captain Marvel (Excerpts from Parker’s 1948 Testimony).” Alter Ego #131 (March 2015).

“‘Fairy Tales and Impossible Stories’: C. C. Beck, Santa Claus, and ‘The Year Without a Christmas!'”Alter Ego #130 (January 2015).

“‘The World’s Mightiest Mortal Gets Analyzed!’ Captain Marvel Adventures No. 56 and John Huston’s Let There Be Light.Alter Ego #127 (August 2014).

“The Secret Life of Mr. Tawny: Captain Marvel Adventures No. 102 and James Thurber’s Walter Mitty.” Alter Ego #125 (June 2014).

“Otto Binder’s Magic Words: The Writer’s Plan to Save Captain Marvel Adventures.” Alter Ego #123 (March 2014).

“‘Join the Parade to Victory!’: Captain Marvel and the Army War Show, 1942.” Alter Ego #121 (November 2013).

“Jack Kirby’s Midnight Masterpiece.”  The Jack Kirby Collector #44 (Fall 2005): 24-26.

Non-academic Online Essays 

From The Los Angeles Review of Books

“Trust Your Demon”: On Roger Zelazny’s A Night in the Lonesome October 

“How to Read The Curse of the Werewolf

From Bright Wall/Dark Room

Brass City: Notes on Jane Fonda’s Stanley & Iris (Bright Wall/Dark Room Issue #13, June 2014)

From Maura Magazine

“Always Back to the Rain: Lou Reed’s ‘Wild Child,'” Maura Magazine (Issue #45), April 23, 2015.

“Ask Yourself Who They Are,” Maura Magazine (Issue #29), July 23, 2013

“Peter Laughner’s Ghost,” Maura Magazine (Issue #21), May 23, 2013

From Pencil, Panel, Page

“Like Comics Without Panels”

Is Otto Binder and Joe Orlando’s “I, Robot” a Protest Novel?

Is Bill Mauldin’s Back Home a Graphic Novel?

“Midnight Movies,” Jack Smith, and the Amazing Spider-Man

From The Comics Reporter 

Tom Spurgeon talked to me for his 2013 Holiday Interviews series at The Comics ReporterHoliday Interview #04 (December 21, 2013)

Rock and Roll Essays for Roctober

“‘Cold Earth Warriors’: The Return of Athanor, Chicago’s Psychedelic Warlords.” Roctober #51 (Fall 2013).

“Daniel Lanois: Acadie (1989).”  Roctober #49 (Spring 2011).

“How Satan’s Kid Turned Me on to Voivod.”  Roctober #43 (Fall 2006): 42-44.

“The Night Dee Dee Ramone Nearly Died,” Roctober #39 (Winter 2004): 58-59.

Other online essays (mostly) about comics:

Walt Kelly and Me

Gil Kane, Memory Drawing, and Bob Dylan’s Self Portrait

reel gone: Matt Levin’s Walking Man Comics and Kelly Copper’s America

“The Infernal Ride”: Notes on Oscar Micheaux’s The Symbol of the Unconquered and Tarantino’s Django Unchained

Notes on the 2nd Annual Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE)

Nostalgia and Strange Tales #180

Captain Marvel, The Master, and the Feminine Embrace

And a few older online essays…

Notes on the 2003 MLA Convention (2004)

Notes on Dartmouth College’s Blitzmail System (2001)



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