Most of the reviews here were published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but I also had a weekly online comic review column for awhile (currently on hiatus), and those are all here.
After the link to each column you'll find the "smiley" ratings I gave the work. You'll notice that the lowest rating anything got was three smileys. That's because I only review things I recommend. While I'm easy to please, I'm paradoxically also a tough grader on the high end of the scale. In 22 weeks (more or less) of reviewing comics, only one book earned five smileys - Dave McKean's Cages. Three smileys, however, while it's the lowest grade that actually appears, is actually a good grade: "A very good comic that is well-crafted and enjoyable. Recommended. (examples: Starman, Bacchus, Batman: The Gotham Adventures)" You can see the complete rating system here.
In the meantime, feel free to sample my other comics reviews. I've also had reviews of several science fiction and fantasy novels. I also reviewed one film and one art exhibit. I've also interviewed several writers and comic book creators.
I quit writing for about a year for various reasons (including lots of overtime at my "real" job and a 3-story turn-of-the-century house my wife and I are rehabbing), but I've recently started up again. All reviews since I started up again are dated on this page. All the reviews carry their own dates, of course, but if the date doesn't appear here than it's from before 1996.
Most of the comics material reviewed in the newspaper was published in the form of "graphic novels." I put quotes around the term because I hate it (see my Comics & Comic Books page for more details). I did have a short-lived semi-regular comics column when the Post-Dispatch launched their entertainment magazine GET OUT in 1995, and the focus there was on magazines, but few of those were selected for inclusion on this website.
My original intention for this site was to put up everything I'd ever had published. I've changed my mind - less than half the newspaper reviews are here now. I decided to concentrate on the best ones - both in terms of the works reviewed and how I felt about what I'd written - and on reviews of books that are featured on other pages here.
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The words on this page and others maintained here are © J. Stephen Bolhafner.
Images in this webspace or pages linked here are all © their respective creators
Feel free to add add this page as a link, or to copy any of the links to your own page -- just don't copy the words themselves without my express permission, or I shall be forced to send my lawyer over to beat up your dog.