“If you can read this, LEAVE!!!” Storytelling in Left 4 Dead and Zone One

Post-apocalyptic fiction continually attempts to project itself into the future by resisting endings; each ending becomes instead an opportunity for continuation. Storytelling is the main method by which post-apocalyptic fiction attempts to resist closure, and this method can be traced back to the roots of the genre itself. Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, published in … Continue reading “If you can read this, LEAVE!!!” Storytelling in Left 4 Dead and Zone One

Rail Ways, Crop Rows and Line Mates: Masculine Isolation in Jeff Lemire’s “Ghost Stories”

Jeff Lemire’s Essex County explores numerous aspects of rural Ontario life, but perhaps none more than the ways that masculinity separates men from one another and prevents them from experiencing healthy relationships with one another. The examination of masculinity is particularly important to book 2 of Essex County, “Ghost Stories” which follows the diverging lines … Continue reading Rail Ways, Crop Rows and Line Mates: Masculine Isolation in Jeff Lemire’s “Ghost Stories”

Life at the Grindstone: the small significance of grinding

The Magus by John Fowles follows an entitled, selfish English graduate as he escapes his failed ambitions and relationships to a Greek island. There he meets Maurice Conchis, a billionaire intellectual who may be (but probably isn’t) connected to a supernatural force. The novel, set just after the Second World War, explores post-war masculine anxiety, … Continue reading Life at the Grindstone: the small significance of grinding

The Gamer’s Dressing Room

[Originally posted on Game Church] In 1732, Jonathan Swift published a poem called “The Lady’s Dressing Room” about man named Strephon snooping through his lover Celia’s room. Swift opens the poem by telling the reader that after five hours of preparation Celia’s beauty is equal to a goddess’s. Understandably, the love-struck Strephon is excited to take … Continue reading The Gamer’s Dressing Room

“Be not afraid of greatness.” An Analysis of the Third Season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” These lines are from Twelfth Night, one of Shakespeare’s comedies, which features a subplot where a narcissistic Puritan servant is fooled by a fake letter from his mistress that confesses her deep love for him. Oddly, … Continue reading “Be not afraid of greatness.” An Analysis of the Third Season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

And I Feel Fine

Dennis Scimeca wrote an article for Unwinnable‘s fear theme week that I enjoyed reading and I encourage others to read it as well.1 Scimeca’s thesis is that, for all the horror and apocalypse fiction floating around (and there’s a lot), there’s an almost wistful longing for the end of all things because the world as … Continue reading And I Feel Fine