Matthew Lickona

Matthew Lickona

As an undergraduate at Thomas Aquinas College near Ojai, California, Matthew Lickona co-founded and ran The Hype, a college lit-mag printed on the school's copier and sold at a dollar a copy to pay off speeding tickets acquired while trying to make movie times in Los Angeles. This may or may not have helped him to land a job at the Reader upon graduation in 1995, but the paper did reprint some of his collegiate Easter Island-based cartoons, and later, his Mudflap Girls series. He has been at the paper ever since, in a variety of capacities: feature writer, wine columnist, church reviewer, restaurant critic, television columnist, editor at large, and now, film critic. Plus some other stuff under various pseudonyms.

He is the author of a couple of books (Swimming with Scapulars, Surfing with Mel), and his essays have appeared in places like The Awl,, and Doublethink. In his spare time, he likes to write movie pitches and country songs.

Articles by Matthew Lickona

The Favourite: Pretty ugly people

At the outset of The Favourite, director Yorgos Lanthimos’ scabrous and nihilistic romp amid the English royals, Emma Stone — playing Abigail, a clever girl from a fallen family — faces an unpleasant choice: either ...

Baja’s Hearst Castle

“A hallucination materialized”

Back in 2011, a real-estate man named Tony Wells caught the attention of the LA Weekly with El Bordello Alexandra, a Venice Beach apartment complex that he’d spent ten years transforming, along with his partner ...

The journey to “see the end of the wall”

“If I had known the walk was what the walk was, I would have stayed in the car.”

“If I had known the walk was what the walk was, I would have stayed in the car,” says the man at the beach where the United States ends and Mexico begins. And it was ...

Memorial for The Man

Stan Lee, the Creator

“The man is dead,” texted my brother on November 12. “Which man?” I answered. “The Man.” The capital “M” got my attention. “God?” “Yes. Blasphemy, but not by much. He was the Creator. Stan Lee.” ...

Melancholy vs. midday meal

“Smile — You’re in San Diego.”

November seems odd/ You’re my firing squad/ November — Tom Waits, “November” My wife might say that anyone who goes listening to Tom Waits’ “November” in November — when the darkness starts closing in even ...

Local boy makes good

An interview with Character Designer Jeff Merghart

Ralph Breaks the Internet, Disney’s sequel to Wreck-It Ralph, is superior to its predecessor in several ways. Character Designer Jeff Merghart, a La Mesa native who attended Helix High and Grossmont College before heading to ...

How your genetic makeup impacts your health

Your genetics might mean your jar is already half-full

November 8 is Genetic Counselor Awareness Day. National Society of Genetic Counselors president Erica Ramos lives and works here in San Diego, and wants you to know that “your genes and your predispositions to disease ...

Skeletons and spiderwebs

“We live in hearts that we leave behind.”

On November 2, the Catholic Church celebrated the Feast of All Souls, commemorating the faithful departed who have died but who have yet to attain beatitude in heaven. The feast reminds the living to pray ...

The Inkwell Incidents

The details are difficult to hear

Inkwell Tattoo & Body Piercing on Main Street in Ramona is not on any of San Diego’s haunted house tours, and perhaps it’s just as well. Owner-operator Christopher Fowles has a business to run, and ...

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