Month: March 2017

#NeMLA17 #S621: “DC vs Marvel in Japan”

Thanks to all who turned out for the Northeast Modern Language Association’s session on Edgar Allan Poe in popular culture! Now I’m about to present at 11:45 AM Eastern as part of the DC vs Marvel panel. Follow along with this linked slide presentation, and feel free to submit questions there or on Twitter, hashtags #NeMLA17 #S621.

Send your questions for “The Pop Culture Afterlife of Edgar Allan Poe” here! (#NeMLA17 #S411)

Today at 8:30 AM Eastern, we’re talking Edgar Allan Poe’s continued influence on popular culture.

Watch the slideshow here (where you can submit questions as well) or on Twitter hashtags #NeMLA17 #S411.

#NeMLA17 #S306: “Transformation Sequences in Comics,” Thu Mar 23, 4:30 PM in Dover A

On Thursday, March 23, 2017, at 4:30 PM, I will be chairing the session “Masks, Mutations, and Metamorphoses: Transformation Sequences in Comics,” at the 2017 Baltimore meeting of the Northeast Modern Language Association, organized by my colleague Rafael Ponce-Cordero at Keene State College. I had helped Rafael with writing of the session description:

The transformation sequence is standard to comics: Clark Kent rushes out of the phone booth and is now Superman, Usagi Tsukino spins and lights up to transform into Sailor Moon, Kamala Khan experiences terrigenesis to become Ms. Marvel, and Bruce Banner hulks out into a giant green rage monster. This session welcomes submissions that look at transformations not only of characters but of the graphic narrative form, and how those alterations affect other narrative practices in the novel, film, and television.

I’m honored to chair on Rafael’s behalf.

Below is the lineup:

  • “The Interrelation of Transformation, Ethnicity, and Form in American Born Chinese
    Kom Kunyosying, Nashua Community College
  • “The Gay Superheroine As Filipino: A Postcolonial Queerying of ZsaZsa Zaturnnah
    Christian Ylagan, Western University
  • “Rejecting the Mainstream: Transformative Rage in Queer Comics”
    Tesla Cariani, Emory University

The session is in Dover A on the Third Floor of the Marriott Waterfront. If you can’t make it, message questions to me on Twitter @dereksmcgrath or at the hashtags #S306 #NeMLA17 between 4:30 PM and 6:30 PM.

Edgar Allan Poe Sessions at #NeMLA17 Baltimore, March 23-26

The Northeast Modern Language Association comes to Baltimore, one of Edgar Allan Poe’s homes, Thursday through Sunday. Below is a list of some of the sessions we have put together in examining his literature, criticism, and ongoing influence.

As well, the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum will be open during the convention.

Thanks to Susan Elizabeth Sweeney at College of the Holy Cross for compiling this list!


LokiCast 4: Sigurd ruins everything in “Agents of Asgard #4”

“Lets You & Him Fight!” Loki Agent of Asgard Issue #4. Written by Al Ewing. Art by Lee Garbett. Colors by Nolan Woodard. Lettering by VC’s Clayton Cowles. Cover art by Jenny Frison.

Spoilers for Issue #3 are not marked; spoilers for future issues of Agent of Asgard are covered. There are also spoilers for The Avengers and comics preceding Agent of Asgard.

Oh, and there is language below. Sorry, Cap.

Take a character. Sap from them anything that gives them dimension, depth, or anything entertaining. Now put them in a story by Marvel.

No, I’m not talking about Danny Rand–I’m talking about Sigurd, the Ever Boring! This is the fourth installment of the LokiCast, where my repetition of the word “anyway” can become its own drinking game. (No, seriously–count them up in this review. You’ll get at least a buzz.)


Conferences: Attending Them, Presenting at Them, Networking at Them

I have organized and chaired 11 conference sessions on literature, language, and culture between 2012 and 2017, and I have presented 19 papers at 9 different conventions, including six sessions at the Modern Language Association, between 2006 and 2017. I want to share advice for when you’re stuck with writing a conference paper, how to practice the presentation, how to prep for the gauntlet that can be the conference networking scene, and how to followup when a convention is over. This tutorial will be updated whenever possible, with the date of revisions at the top.


DC on TV for the Week of March 13, 2017: Don’t get into relationships, and let your parents die

“Into the Speed Force.” The Flash, Season 3, Episode 16. Directed by Gregory Smith. Written by Brooke Roberts and Judalina Neira.

“Moonshot.” Legends of Tomorrow, Season 2, Episode 14. Directed by Kevin Mock. Written by Grainne Godfree.

With Supergirl replaced with Howie Mandel so that the Music Meister two-parter can happen next week, this is a rare occurrence where, instead of having one key phrase per show, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow share the same key phrases: “Aromantic,” and “Orphaned.”


LokiCast 3: Loki murders a fish with a bazooka (“Agent of Asgard” #3)

“Your Life Is A Story Already Written,” Loki: Agent of Asgard, Issue #3. Written by Al Ewing, illustrated by Lee Garbett, colored by Nolan Woodard, letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles, cover art by Jenny Frison, and a variant cover by Coipel & Garcia.

You like Dungeons and Dragons? You like ret-cons that enrich a story rather than destroy it? You like bazookas? Then I think you’re going to like Issue #3 of Agent of Asgard!

There has been an extended break between podcasts, so future episodes will be blog posts until I can find some assistance with editing. If you are interested in editing together audio, please email me.

Speaking of podcasts, I want to thank the Misty Knight’s Uninformed Afro Podcast. The staff was kind enough to give me a free month of Marvel Unlimited, a monthly subscription service featuring past issues for digital viewing, with thousands of back-issues–and all the more incentive for me to get out a podcast more frequently looking at the Norse god of lies and stories. So thank you to everyone at Misty Knight’s Uninformed Afro Podcast–you have helped me at a really necessary time in my work schedule! Please subscribe to this podcast with the awesome name: they are online at, Misty Knight’s Uninformed Afro Podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud, and on Twitter @mistysafro. Thanks also to Ellak Roach for introducing me to the podcast.

Now, onto the review!