The Statue of Liberty.  That is the reference in this week’s title.  Well, it is in a roundabout way with more than one meaning, of course.  Everyone remembers the lines, “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”, even if they do not know the title of the poem (“The New Colossus”) or the poet (Emma Lazarus).  But this week’s Westworld episode title also comes from that same poem: “her name / Mother of Exiles…” (Not true, her actual name is “Liberty Enlightening the World,” which we call “The Statue of Liberty,” just like we call Lesane Crooks “Tupac Shakur” or we call Marion Morrison “The Duke” or “John Wayne” – nothing in America is called by its actual name.)  So, the Mother of Exiles is the Statue of Liberty, the celebration of liberty and immigration.

Like much of quarantined America, I have binge watched and obsessed over Tiger King. While the craziness and over-the-top characters are fun (and sad), I admire the well-crafted narrative. The people are allowed to slowly reveal things about themselves. Sometimes, they reveal things about themselves that they themselves are not aware of. The story seems to unfold effortlessly. Where the remarkable craftsmanship is, however, is in a narrative structure that, untelegraphed and without fanfare, suddenly upends everything you think you knew about this story so far. (Tiger King spoilers ahead.)

Plough Publishing Press recently released the genre-bending poetry comics anthology, Poems to See By: A Comic Artist Interprets Great Poetry, by cartoonist Julian Peters, coinciding with National Poetry Month in April.  (Fanbase Press' interview with Peters may be found here.)  The publisher has been very generous to the Fanbase Press staff, as we are now able to share an exclusive excerpt from the book!

Greetings, fellow Newcomers.  If you’re here, you either saw the second episode of this season’s Westworld and wanted to think about it some more, or you got lost looking for the "Geeky Parent Guide.”  (If the latter, just hit your back button, and then scroll down – you’ll see it.)  But if you’re here for Westworld, then we have a LOT to talk about.

Every March 25th, J. R. R. Tolkien fans around the world honor the renowned creator for "Tolkien Reading Day," a day set aside for reading and sharing their favorite passage from one of his stories.  This year, Fanbase Press Contributor Claire Thorne shared her passion for Tolkien's stories in the below editorial.  We invite you to join Claire and the Fanbase Press team in commemorating the geeky holiday by sharing your favorite excerpts in the comments below. 

Well, it’s the end of the world as we know it. Time to binge watch HBO, and just in time to do so is season three of Westworld: The Blade Runner Years.  

“Fundamental Comics,” a monthly editorial series that introduces readers to comics, graphic novels, and manga that have been impactful to the sequential art medium and the comic book industry on a foundational level.  Each month, a new essay will examine a familiar or less-known title through an in-depth analysis, exploring the history of the title, significant themes, and context for the title’s popularity since it was first released.

“Fundamental Comics,” a monthly editorial series that introduces readers to comics, graphic novels, and manga that have been impactful to the sequential art medium and the comic book industry on a foundational level.  Each month, a new essay will examine a familiar or less-known title through an in-depth analysis, exploring the history of the title, significant themes, and context for the title’s popularity since it was first released.

To Our Fanbase Press Readers, Listeners, Colleagues, and Friends:

In the past, my interaction with comics had been limited.  As a child, I read Casper and Richie Rich for a brief period of time to overcome reading challenges I was experiencing, but, once my reading improved, I was off reading books, and comics became a distant memory rather than an integral part of childhood experience; however, working with comics over the past handful of years, I came to the realization that as a (film) historian, it had become my passion to better understand the intricacies of this visual medium, its history, and its impact on popular culture.  Why?  Because I wanted to engage with sequential art as a more informed and well-read individual.  

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