Glen Weldon

Glen Weldon is a regular panelist on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. He also reviews books and movies for NPR.org and is a contributor to NPR's pop culture blog Monkey See, where he posts weekly about comics and comics culture.

Over the course of his career, he has spent time as a theater critic, a science writer, an oral historian, a writing teacher, a bookstore clerk, a PR flack, a seriously terrible marine biologist and a slightly better-than-average competitive swimmer.

Weldon is the author of Superman: The Unauthorized Biography, a cultural history of the iconic character. His fiction and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Atlantic, Slate, Story, McSweeney's, The Dallas Morning News, Washington City Paper and many other publications. He is the recipient of an NEA Arts Journalism Fellowship, a Ragdale Writing Fellowship and a PEW Fellowship in the Arts for Fiction.

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7:49am

Sun July 12, 2015
Monkey See

French, English, Comics: Proust On Memory, In Any Language

Originally published on Mon July 13, 2015 8:04 pm

Marcel Proust
Omikron Omikron Photo Researchers RM/Getty Images

[Deep breath.]

So there's this new English translation of a French graphic novel adaptation of Swann's Way, the first of seven novels in Marcel Proust's masterwork, In Search of Lost Time.

Got all that? First there was the 1913 novel by Proust (in French!), then a graphic novel adaptation by Stephane Heuet (in French!) that was published in installments between in 1998 and 2013, and now that whole thing has been translated by Arthur Goldhammer (into English!).

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3:35pm

Tue July 7, 2015
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour, Small Batch Edition: 'Terminator Genisys'

A Series T-800 Robot in Terminator Genisys.
Melinda Sue Gordon Paramount Pictures/Skydance Productions

Faithful Pop Culture Happy Hour listeners know that contributor Chris Klimek is a lifelong action-movie enthusiast, but they may not know that he is, in particular, a Terminator movie connoisseur. Which is why, for this Small Batch edition, I asked him to Skype in from the Connecticut coastline, where he is estivating while on a prestigious writing fellowship, to talk about the fifth film in the Terminator series, the enervatingly spelled Terminator Genisys.

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12:24pm

Tue June 30, 2015
Monkey See

After 25 Years, A Comics Publisher Pauses To Collect And Reflect

Originally published on Tue June 30, 2015 2:56 pm

Drawn and Quarterly

Drawn and Quarterly, the Montreal-based publisher of comics and graphic novels, began life as a magazine, released in April of 1990. That first issue served as a de facto mission statement, laying out what the company would one day achieve on a grander scale – and what it would strive always to avoid.

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2:03pm

Tue June 9, 2015
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour Small Batch: 'Sense8'

Daryl Hannah in Sense8.
Murray Close Netflix

In this Small Batch edition of Pop Culture Happy Hour, I sat down with promising NPR up-and-comer Audie Cornish to discuss the new Netflix streaming science-fiction series, Sense8.

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4:44pm

Fri June 5, 2015
Monkey See

Floating Eyeballs, Trained Bees: History's Most Cringeworthy Crusaders

Originally published on Fri June 5, 2015 4:47 pm

Think about superheroes for a minute.

NO THANKS, you say. KIND OF SUPERHEROED OUT, you say. I'M TIRED OF BEING FORCE-FED AN ALL-SUPERHERO DIET IN MOVIES AND TV, SO ACTUALLY IT'D BE GREAT IF I COULD NOT THINK ABOUT THEM, AT ALL, FOR EVEN ONE LOUSY MINUTE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, you say.

... You are kind of touchy, has anyone told you that?

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2:26pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Monkey See

Small Batch: 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky and Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa.
Jasin Boland Warner Bros.

Another sequel, another chance for Hollywood to hurl metal hither and yon and make with the flashy summer blockbuster blow-'em-ups. Yawn, right?

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12:39pm

Fri May 1, 2015
Monkey See

Free Comic Book Day: A Guide To The Heroes, Musicians And Mutants

Help the CBLDF Defend Comics
Diamond Comic Distributors

Another first Saturday in May, another blockbuster superhero movie set to bust our collective blocks, another Free Comic Book Day.

"What's Free Comic Book Day?" you ask, because you've managed to ignore the gallons of virtual ink I've spilled about it on this blog every year since 2009.

(No look it's fine, I get it, but at this point it's starting to look like willful obtuseness on your part, ok?)

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1:06pm

Fri February 20, 2015
Monkey See

The Comedy And Good Conversation Of Harris Wittels

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 2:24 pm

Along with Colton Dunn (L), Harris Wittels (R) played a bumbling member of the Pawnee animal control team on the show he co-executive-produced, Parks And Recreation.
Ben Cohen NBC

Harris Wittels died Thursday. He was a stand-up comic, a television writer/producer, a musician, a frequent and dependably hilarious guest on comedy podcasts, and an author who unleashed the concept of the #humblebrag upon the cultural landscape.

He was 30 years old.

When anyone dies, our sadness is tinged with something darker and more selfish; we resent the time we'll never get to spend with that person, the days and months and years that will pile up without their presence.

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2:04pm

Sun October 12, 2014
Monkey See

Wolverine's Death: Superheroes And The Cycle Of Eternal Return

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 6:47 pm

Go on, guess what it's about.
Marvel

The fourth and final issue of the weekly, four-issue Marvel Comics miniseries Death of Wolverine, written by Charles Soule and drawn by Steve McNiven, will be published Wednesday. This prompted an incredulous text from a friend, Golfrguy, to NPR's nerd-about-town Glen Weldon:

Golfrguy: dude they're killing off wolverine???????

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7:03am

Wed October 8, 2014

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