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The Man from Krypton
A Visitor's Guide to Mystic Falls
Dragonwriter
The Psychology of Harry Potter
A Friday Night Lights Companion

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The Man from Krypton

Jewel Mountains and Fire Falls

The Lost World of Krypton

by Chris Robersonon Superman

When first introduced, Superman’s home planet of Krypton was a fairly notional place. It was originally presented in very little detail, and served as little more than a backdrop for the unfolding drama of the lone scientist Jor-El who, unable to prevent the destruction of his world, launches his only son, Kal-El, in a small rocket ship bound for Earth. Readers were shown very little else of the planet, its culture or its history; it was simply a place to be destroyed so that Superman’s story could begin.

 

For many years, Krypton fared no better. It was handled in a haphazard manner by a number of different creators, all working at cross-purposes and without a central unifying vision.

 

Almost twenty years after the planet was first introduced, though, all of that changed. A strong editorial vision, with an eye toward consistency and invention, led to drastic improvements. Over the course of decades … read more»

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Wed 12/19
A Visitor's Guide to Mystic Falls

Ladies of the Night, Unite!

by Jon Skovronon The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries is a perfect example of an age-old battle between opposites. Not Good and Evil, of course. Neither the book nor the show is so didactic as to portray any character as purely Good or purely Evil. No, I’m talking about that other age-old conflict: Boy … read more»

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Tue 12/18
Dragonwriter

The Ships That Were

by Mercedes Lackeyon Anne McCaffrey and the Dragonriders of Pern series

It’s really tempting for critics to try to read things about the writer into a writer’s work. And yes, sometimes things in the work really can apply to the writer herself–heaven knows that Anne McCaffrey was fun and funny to be around, and . . . well, if not obsessed read more»

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Mon 12/17
The Psychology of Harry Potter

The Werewolf in the Wardrobe

by Siamak Tundra Naficyon Harry Potter

Professor Lupin, who appears in the third book, is one of my favorite characters. He’s a damaged person, literally and metaphorically. I think it’s important for children to know that adults, too, have their problems, that they struggle. His being a werewolf is a metaphor for people’s reactions to … read more»

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A Friday Night Lights Companion

Why We Love . . . Jess Merriweather

by Jen Chaneyon Friday Night Lights

We didn’t get to know Jess Merriweather as well as we would have liked. After all, the surrogate mother to three misbehaving brothers didn’t join Friday Night Lights until season four. And in many of those episodes, she sometimes felt like more of a pretty narrative convenience, a set of … read more»

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