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

Balboa Park’s Comic-Con Museum features work by Jim Lee, Bill Sienkiewicz, Frank Miller, and others

New exhibit serves as both tribute and lead-up to the Con’s 50th anniversary this summer

Comic-Con International’s WonderCon will be throwing open its doors on March 29 up in Anaheim, but the pop-culture juggernaut has something else in the offing — much smaller, but also much closer to home. This ...

Captain Marvel: I am woman

Feels like object lessons in empowerment through self-affirmation

I was bored watching Captain Marvel. For a while, I thought it was because this particular Marvel movie wasn’t meant for me. The spiritually inclined had already had their outing with Dr. Strange, the same ...

Notes from four hours in the hospital with a 10-year-old girl who might have appendicitis

A reminder of how suffering twists expressions and robs faces of their beauty

The emergency room teaches you some things and reminds you of others. It teaches you that what looks like an emergency to you — my daughter is weeping from the pain and it’s not letting ...

Abe DeLeon’s 33 years distributing the San Diego Reader

“Having the freedom to drive around the city and hand out the most popular paper in town was a dream job.”

Abe DeLeon delivered the San Diego Reader from 1986 until January of this year. At one point or another, he handled almost every route the paper offered: from Oceanside to Imperial Beach, and as far ...

Never Look Away: Why not?

Why would anyone paint a yellow sky when the sky is clearly blue?

Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s ambitious three-hour pre- and post-WWII epic has the rare and curious distinction of opening with a villain-speech that’s actually supposed to inform your experience of the film: a Nazi docent’s ...

Time to let go of LEGO?

Is The Second Part bound to disappear into the Bin of Storage?

Maybe it’s unfair to open my review of The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part by noting that midway through, my 10-year-old daughter felt compelled to lean over and whisper in my ear, “I don’t ...

The gosh-darned Götterdämmerung

When the impending end of your own personal world looks like the end of the world at large

Like more than a few members of my generation, I had Orson Welles’ cinematic masterpiece Citizen Kane “spoiled” for me by Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip. (A sign that I’m getting old: I feel the ...

Young chessmen

“You only get mismatches like that in this tournament”

It’s a little after 7 pm on January 2nd, and the San Diego Chess Club is holding the club champtionship qualifying round in its mid-century Balboa Park digs along Sixth Avenue just north of Ivy. ...

Christmas with intoxicated Bob

Bob was the opposite of transcendence

I missed the first half of Mass on Christmas Eve because I’m an usher down at Our Lady of the Rosary. That means I wind up dealing with the busyness at the back of the ...