Hello everyone, I’m Lawrence Guy, founder and chairman of the Institute for Sequential Art and I’m here to briefly discuss in more detail ISA’s various programs that provide yearly opportunities to university students in gaining research, analysis and publishing experience in a real world setting.

ISA’s flagship educational program which oversees critical analysis and interdisciplinary studies is the Modern Mythology Journal—a digital peer-reviewed and multimedia literary journal dedicated to the sequential art field. Our next two programs are specifically designed to promote the creative arm of the art form:

The Omniverse Anthology— a peer created, digital anthology, offering an eclectic range of creative experimentation in both graphic and prose formats of some of the promising future innovators in the field, and,

The Teaching Comics Radio Network—a listener-supported online talk/entertainment radio community with a multi-show format showcasing various media interpretations of sequential art and broadcasted through BlogTalk Radio. And finally, to preserve this historical art form we introduce:

The Sequential Art Research Library— an online database project which offers detailed and comprehensive compilations and annotations of publishers, characters, and creators for general academic research use.

With these programs, The Institute for Sequential Art will implement a new standard for the analysis and preservation of sequential art and its continued legacy.

So browse our website. Take a look at our design samples and don’t forget to check out some of our goodies (they're free after all). And please don’t forget to donate because without you being our superhero, we cannot do this. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and YouTube.

The Institute for Sequential Art: REDEFINING COMICS THEORY!


State of the Industry (Editorial)

The X-Men & Me: What I've Learned!

I love the X-Men movies on many levels; not just as a fan but for what they also teach us and our kids. But today, I'm going to comment on one aspect in particular.

The X-Men speak to my feelings of being “other” and “different” and provide a teaching moment for the concept of coexistence. Looking at the basic concept of the movie, it is about a group of enhanced humans (i.e. mutants), different physically, mentally and genetically from so-called “normal people”. These “normal” people want to kill or control mutants simply because they are different. The normal humans are so busy focusing on the differences between them and the mutants that they do not see the similarities. Mutants love, hate, form communities, and want to belong just like any other rational human would. But they are constantly pushed to the outskirts of society and hunted as a result of their uniqueness. They can only find acceptance by hiding what makes them unique, living in constant fear of discovery. On view is not only humanity’s intolerance towards the different and unique but also its underlying cause—fear.

The sad truth is that this has been, and still is, an everyday occurrence in humanity’s history. Even in present day society, where we are so “enlightened,” there are people want to control or destroy anyone that they don't agree with or understand. Wars, lynchings, and genocide based on differences in faith, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation are sad examples of humanity’s continued aptitude for hating that which is different. Don't get me wrong. Not all of the “normal” people in the X-men are bad; just like not all mutants are good. There's a continued fight between them just like there's a continued fight amongst us — good and bad, haves and  have-nots, rich and poor, smart and not so smart, guys and girls, gay and  straight, and the numerous faiths to name a few.

The true teaching moment for me has been that unlike in many movies, the good guys do not always win. NO! The bad guys do not always get the punishment that they deserve. This is an everyday reality in the real world. A reality that is often not shown in movies. Too often all the ills and pains of society are wrapped up in a nice little bow within 120 minutes and presented to the audience as a problem easily overcome. These issues cannot be easily solved in two hours with a smile and pat phrase. This is an issue that needs constant work and vigilance. I greatly appreciated the fact that the X-Men movies showed this truth.

I'm no super smart guy. I see myself as a normal thinking guy. If I can see these things in a movie designed to simply entertain me, I'm hopeful that others will also see and understand the message. Teach it to their children even. Maybe one day we can fulfill the mandate given by the late great Rodney King when he asked, "Can’t we all just get along?" And maybe … just maybe others will look at the movie and our reality differently. More seriously. This world we live in isn't white or black. It's filled with infinite shades of gray!!! We all need to learn to live together because at the end of the day we’re all we got.

— Tielos Manning

Roll Call (Character History)

Real Name:
Dan Garret
First Appearance: Mystery Men Comics #1 (1939)
Original Publisher: Fox Features
Created by: Charles Nicholas

History: After his father was killed by a gangster's bullet, young Dan Garret joined the New York Police Department, but he soon tired of the slow pace and red tape of police work. He donned a blue three-piece suit and a white mask and established a costumed identity, fighting crime as the Blue Beetle. He had no powers, but he used a gun and a wrist-mounted mini-radio to get an edge on the criminals he was fighting. His calling card was a small beetle-shaped marker that he left in conspicuous places to alert criminals to his presence, using their fear of his crime-fighting reputation as a weapon against them.

Shortly afterwords, his friend and mentor, a pharmacist and a drug-store proprietor named Dr. Franz helped Dan acquire bullet-proof armor made out of chain mail-like cellulose material. He still occasionally used a gun, but he mostly relied on his fists from that point on. He added a "BeetleMobile" car and a "BeetleBird" airplane to his arsenal. He also started using a "Beetle Signal" flashlight. In some stories, he was shown with a multi-pouched belt similar to Batman's.

While investigating a dope ring, Dan Garret was wounded by a gangster's machine gun and laid near-death in the hospital. He received a visit from Dr. Franz, who had a plan to save Dan's life.

Dr. Franz administered a strange treatment. Dan was given the secret experimental vitamin 2X, a super drug that endows its recipient with super strength and healing abilities, increased speed, heightened senses, and enhanced intellectual capacity. Under the drug's influence, Dan Garrett rapidly recovered from his injuries and returned to the street the next day.

The effects of vitamin 2X were temporary, however (though the effects of healing were of course permanent), and when a serious crime called for super powers, Officer Garret had to rush to Dr. Franz's drug store, where, in a hidden room, he donned his costume and took a vitamin 2X pill. A super-powered Blue Beetle would then emerge to strike out against evil.

Oddly, and for no reason ever stated, Dan Garret was never shown carrying a supply of vitamin 2X with him. Maybe it never occurred to him to do so, or maybe the strange drug rapidly broke down and had to be prepared fresh every time. Or maybe Dr. Franz was keeping his watchdog on a short leash.

During the middle portion of his career, Blue Beetle was aided by a sidekick named Sparky. He was also occasionally aided by Joan Mason, his on-again, off-again girlfriend. His partner on the force, Mike Mannigan, viewed Blue Beetle as a criminal, which is probably why it's a good thing that he never caught on to the reason behind Dan's mysterious absences.

Golden Age Appearances:

•    Mystery Men Comics #1-31
•    Blue Beetle #1-60
•    Big 3 #1-7
•    Real Hit Comics (one-shot)
•    All Top Comics #8-13
•    Phantom Lady #13
•    Tegra, Jungle Empress #1
•    Zago, Jungle Prince #1


Fox Features' police officer Dan Garret (spelled with one “t”) is the ONLY Blue Beetle in the Public Domain. Archaeologist Dan Garrett (spelled with two “t”), who gained his powers from a magic scarab, is NOT Public Domain. Both he and all Blue Beetles thereafter are property of DC Comics.

Reprinted from:

ISA would like to thank them for all of their dedicated research and commitment. Be sure to visit their site and thank their sites' creators for their great work.



State of the Union (Editorial)
We are looking for guest bloggers to contribute 250-500 word articles to this section of ISA’s website. These articles must cover topics that are associated to the sequential art field, i.e., how-to and lessons-learned type of articles, covering technology-related topics publishing, distribution, virtualization, and preservation, etc.

Additional Requirements:

• Contributors are allowed as many article submissions as personal time allows
• Contributors selected for online publishing will not be eligible for another opportunity to publish for five weeks after their article is published
• Submissions should discuss the sequential art industry in terms of its history, literary worth, and/or its educational capacity as a whole
• For SEO purposes, optimal article length is between 250–500 words with targeted keywords appearing throughout the text

The guest writer would be required to write two articles per calendar quarter. The article can come with one accompanying image. This is an invitation to share your opinion and therefore there is no monetary compensation.

Perks- writers will have (at their discretion):
A profile (picture and bio)
• A byline and linkback to your own site(s)

The articles simply need to be emailed to ISA and we will format and publish.
Please send us email at LGuy [at] sequentart.org with a suggested topic for your guest post.

Roll Call (Character Analysis)

We are looking for guest historians/writers to contribute character analysis articles to this section of ISA’s website. These articles must cover topics that are associated with a specific character and his or her publishing history and impact on the sequential art field.

The guest writer submission is open to all and has no submission number limits (it simply cannot repeat a character already previously done in this entry area). This is an invitation to share your opinion and therefore there is no monetary compensation.

Perks- writers will have (at their discretion):
• a profile (picture and bio)
• a byline and linkback to your own site(s)
The articles simply need to be emailed to ISA and we will format and publish.
Please send us email at institutesa [at] gmail.com with a suggested topic for your guest post.