PopMatters is an international online magazine of cultural criticism that covers many aspects of popular culture. PopMatters publishes reviews, interviews, and detailed essays on most cultural products and expressions in areas such as music,[3] television, films, books, video games, comics, sports, theater, visual arts, travel, and the Internet.[4]


PopMatters was founded by Sarah Zupko, who had previously established the cultural studies academic resource site PopCultures.[5] PopMatters launched in the fall of 1999 as a sister site providing original essays, reviews and criticism of various media products. Over time, the site went from a weekly publication schedule to a five-day-a-week magazine format, expanding into regular reviews, features, and columns. In the fall of 2005, monthly readership exceeded one million.

From 2006 onward, PopMatters produced several syndicated newspaper columns for McClatchy-Tribune News Service.[6] As of 2009, there are four different pop culture related columns each week.

The PopMatters Book Imprint published Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion, edited by Mary Money, with Titan Books in May 2012. The imprint also published four books in a series with Counterpoint/Soft Skull[7] in 2008-2009 including China Underground by Zachary Mexico, Apocalypse Jukebox: The End of the World in American Popular Music by Edward Whitelock and David Janssen, Rebels Wit Attitude: Subversive Rock Humorists by Iain Ellis, and The Solitary Vice: Against Reading by Mikita Brottman.


PopMatters publishes content from contributors located around the globe, based in six continents and numerous countries. Its staff includes writers from various backgrounds, ranging from academics and professional journalists to career professionals and first time writers. Many of its writers are published authorities in various fields of study.[4][8] Notable former contributors include David Weigel, political reporter for Slate,[9] Steven Hyden, staff writer for Grantland and author of Whatever Happened To Alternative Nation?,[10] and Rob Horning, executive editor of The New Inquiry.[11] Karen Zarker is the senior editor.