The National Catholic Review

Culture

February 2016

  • February 4, 2016

    This story really begins with Will Eisner, who grew up poor and Jewish in the 1920s and in pre-War, Depression-era Brooklyn. Eisner published what’s generally considered the first graphic novel, A Contract With God , in 1978. He also coined the term “sequential art”—which helps to explain to some of us how comic books became graphic novels. Eisner taught a course on sequential art for years at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Before that, in 1940,...

  • February 4, 2016

    As cancer ravaged her father’s once-strong body, Ann Neumann did her best to at least give him a “good death.” She hoped that he could exit life at home, surrounded by family, free of pain. She became his full-time caregiver in an effort to make it so. Then his pain grew so intractable that Neumann rushed him to a hospice facility. He twisted in agony until stronger drugs took hold, and then he died.

    Neumann was left haunted...

  • February 4, 2016

    More is better in the land of Trump, even in the literary world. Our novelists garnering large advances and recognition write hefty novels chock-full of virtuosic sentences, one after the next. The result can be numbing. Glimmers of truth are obscured by pyrotechnic wordplay, making readers, at least readers like me, feel they are not smart enough to keep up.

    Not so reading Peter Stamm, the excellent Swiss novelist and short-...

  • February 3, 2016

    It is nearly impossible to watch Making a Murderer and believe in God at the same time. The viewing experience of this Netflix series perhaps was best summed up by Robert Browning nearly 200 years ago when he wrote, “And yet, God has not said a word.” If temporary atheism is too precise a descriptor of the affective wake the viewer is left to tread after viewing the series, then temporary agnosticism might do just as well. Agnosticism is the order of the day...