[OWLS June Blog Tour: Pride] Envisioning Worlds Without Hate

Pop culture acts a platform for self-expression and provides a space for the LGBTQ+ community to find visibility. There are a number of pop culture works that include and revolve around LGBTQ+ characters. A number of these works focus on overcoming hate and discrimination, raising awareness for what individuals in the community experience in the … Continue reading [OWLS June Blog Tour: Pride] Envisioning Worlds Without Hate

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Verbal and Situational Irony: Putting the Funny in Futurama

Comedy shows offer many great examples of irony because the comedy genre often takes advantage of irony in order to produce hilarious or unexpected outcomes. Futurama is especially good at using irony, and even talks about irony in the episode "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings"...

Holiday Special: Eight Nights of Deux ex Machina 6 & 7: Rick & Morty, and My Little Pony

Nearly every holiday has some sort of festival celebrating a miracle that saved its practitioners in some way. Miracles such as these are almost always worth celebrating, and people generally like to celebrate. In honor of the many December holidays (not all revolving around miracles), we're exploring eight examples of narrative miracles through the literary … Continue reading Holiday Special: Eight Nights of Deux ex Machina 6 & 7: Rick & Morty, and My Little Pony

Holiday Special: Eight Nights of Deux ex Machina 5: Gravity Falls

Happy Chanukkah and happy holidays, everyone, and welcome back for the fifth night of Deus ex Machina. We're celebrating the eight nights of Chanukkah and other December holidays with this literary device. Tonight, let's take a look at Gravity Falls...

Alliteration, Consonance, and Assonance: Making Songs and Gunpowder Treason Memorable

Advertisers and creators know this and take advantage of it whenever the opportunity arises. If you can name any of these cartoon characters, you have been influenced by three tricky little devices: alliteration, consonance, and assonance...

Family Dynamics in Gravity Falls [OWLS August Blog Tour: Bloodlines]

Everyone has their own experience with and definition of family –some positive, some negative. In the media, however, we often only see certain portrayals such as a positive family with one mom, one dad, and children, or a broken family who all work together to change their ways in the end. In his hit animated series Gravity Falls, Alex Hirsch tackles the complicated issues that shape families and addresses the fact that not all families are ideal, but that doesn't make them bad...

Tropes: When You’re Fairly Certain You’ve Seen These Odd Parents Before

Anybody that watches cartoons or anime is familiar with today's topic: the trope. Tropes act as a visual way for the creator of a work to quickly and easily convey a concept to their audience. They can take many forms-- a figure of speech, a character type, a plot device, a location or location type, a pattern of storytelling, a sub-plot. If you've seen the concept before, it is most likely a trope. Let's take a look at a few examples of tropes found in Butch Hartman's The Fairly Odd Parents.

Eight Literary Allusions in Animation: Celebrating National Book Lover’s Day

It's National Book Lover's Day, an official-unofficial holiday celebrating literacy and books. People often mistakenly believe that real readers only read novels, especially the literary classics such as The Scarlet Letter or Oliver Twist. That's not strictly true. Whether you read comics or novels, literary classics or fantasy, you are a reader. Books have been … Continue reading Eight Literary Allusions in Animation: Celebrating National Book Lover’s Day

Pride in Pop Culture: A Celebration of LGBTQ+ Visibility(Part 4)

Tisibility matters, and can make a huge difference in a person’s understanding and acceptance of themselves as well as positive cultural shifts in how people perceive the LGBTQ+ community. Media representation can act as a double-edged sword, having positive or negative effects on a marginalized community depending on how the creator uses it. In honor of Pride Month and to celebrate...

Finding LGBTQ+ Pride in Pop Culture (Part 3)

In recognition of this colorful month, I’ve put together a miniseries recognizing different creative works helping to raise LGBTQ+ visibility. The more that mainstream media includes our voices, the stronger our voices grow. Visibility helps make our movement...