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New Escapist Column! On “Atlanta” as One of Television’s Great Liminal Spaces…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With Atlanta wrapping up its final season earlier this month, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look back at one of television’s great liminal spaces.

Creator and lead actor Donald Glover frequently compared the show to Twin Peaks and The Sopranos, two very interesting choices for a show that has the basic structure of a sitcom built around four central characters. However, over the course of its four season, Atlanta became a surrealist study of millennial Black life in the United States, in particular the constant sense of being stuck “between” places without a firm status quo. Atlanta is a show that largely unfolds in shopping centres, nightclubs and hotels, and parties and in altered states. It’s a show that often feels dreamlike, its characters drifting through a chaotic world.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

Why Does It Matter That Spider-Man is Black?

It’s interesting the odd way that comic books occasionally overlap with the mainstream. Mainly, it appears to be when a death is involved, like the coverage that Ed Brubaker’s The Death of Captain America inspired, or the pop culture impact of Grant Morrison’s Batman R.I.P. (or even Jonathan Hickman’s death of Johnny Storm in The Fantastic Four). These week, we’ve had a minor media storm over something a bit different: a new character taking an established identity. Most mainstream media outlets weren’t interested in the resurrection of Bucky Barnes to replace Steve Rogers, nor Dick Grayson donning the cowl in Batman & Robin. However, there’s been a storm in a teacup brewing over the fact that the new lead in Ultimate Spider-Man is black.

Why on Earth is this such a big deal?

The only colours I associate with Spider-man are blue and red...

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