To Kill a Mockingbird Archive

Cartoons & Archetypes: How They Work and What to Know

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I learned about character development not by studying it, but by understanding the nature of cartoons. I spent years sculpting superheroes and cartoon characters for DC Comics, Nickelodeon, Pixar, and others. Although the perception is changing, the art world considers cartooning of all kinds to be a distant, lesser

Cool Girls Don’t Wear Dresses: Being One of the Boys in Classic Children’s Books

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Seminal children’s books are littered with girls who are defiantly un-girly. Just a few of the many examples are Harriet the Spy, who wears a toolbelt stuffed with spy supplies and Pippi Longstocking, the rowdy orphan with the strength of Popeye.

Big Picture, Small Picture: Context for Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

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September 14, 1919. A lynch mob gathers outside of the county jail in Monroeville, Alabama. They are there for Frank and Brown Ezell, father and son, who have just been arrested for the murder of a white store owner.

My Literary Zombie Apocalypse Dream Team

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It’s a discussion as old as time itself: in the event of a zombie apocalypse, with whom would you hope to be stranded? I know I’ve given this a lot of thought (I am, after all, a very serious and presently unemployed intellectual with way too much time on

Round-Down: Why GO SET A WATCHMAN May Have Been Better Unpublished

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Discussion surrounding the recent release of Harper Lee’s purported To Kill a Mockingbird prequel–or draft, or sequel–Go Set a Watchman has dominated the literary community for the past several weeks. Just about every article on Watchman touches on the question of either whether Lee consented to having the long stowed-away manuscript released. At

Harper Lee and the Politics of Genius in Today’s Age

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The intensity of the reaction to news of beloved author Harper Lee publishing a sequel to her masterpiece, To Kill A Mockingbird, is ironic, given the very reasons we thought we’d never see this day come: Lee often proclaimed that her first book had said all she wanted to say,