§ Comics may be all the rage worldwide, but in Malaysia, they still have doubts:
Of course, most children and teens have no doubt that comics are cool. It’s their parents and teachers who have reservations about them. (Comic books are not allowed in Malaysian schools and will be confiscated if found in bags during spot checks!)
In the United States, Britain, Australia and even Singapore, comics and graphic novels are being given much-deserved shelf space in libraries, and long overdue recognition by librarians and educators. However, there are still those who are dismissive of this medium of storytelling, seeing it as inferior to “real” books.
In Malaysia, most of our teachers and librarians still have negative opinions about graphic novels. They are seen as “rubbish”, “uneducational”, “violent”, “immoral”. There are graphic novels that are just those things. There are also “real” books that could be described thus. The terms graphic novel/comic (I use them interchangeably) refers to a format. Within this format, there are many genres. So not all comics are violent and not all are pornographic. And not all are just for kids.
Given Malaysian authorities views on comics, the author of this piece is certainly allowed to bring out the “COMICS AREN’T JUST FOR KIDS!” arsenal. One country at a time.
§Meanwhile back in the US, the love affair continues unabated as the LA Times looks at ARMY @ LOVE:
Notwithstanding the laughable notion of a Pentagon-organized orgy, I wonder if Veitch might be on to something. Satire has a habit of becoming prophecy. And no one can doubt that among the zillion or so things the military never accounted for in Iraq was the low-grade madness of hundreds of thousands of young men and women kept from home year after year, forbidden from having sexual relationships among themselves and denied any respite in the local population. As comedian Bill Maher asks, “What good is liberty call in a land where there is no liberty?”
§ Jeff Parker reports on the Emerald City Con and reports it was quite nice. But he also has one of the con anecdotes that only he can provide:
[One gentleman] stopped upon noticing all the Marvel books, looked down for a minute and then looked up at me in a very gradual, mechanical motion, then spoke.
“I find it incredible that Marvel no longer employs the talents of Roy Thomas. He gave us their greatest stories. It is unbelievable.”
I have an answer for everything, at shows. “Actually sir, he’s writing an issue of a mini-series that I’m also a part of called Mystic Arcana, about many of the magical characters. It comes out in a couple of months.” The gentleman lowered his head and stared at the books on my table for what seemed a long time. It was probably about two minutes, actually. During the time I spoke with others who came by and said a quick hello. Then the man raised his head again and said stoically:
“I look forward to the return of writer Roy Thomas. Good Day.” Then he walked away.
§ Examination of the Legion on the way via Tim Callahan:
I’ve convinced the powers-that-be at Sequart.com that they really need to publish a book of scholarly essays about The Legion of Super-Heroes. I pitched them my idea for the book, and they thought it would be a great tie-in for next year’s 50th Anniversary of the Legion. Ideally, it would be a book that Legion fans would love, and it would be a book that the casual comic book reader (or the pop culture scholar) could pick up to learn about the fascinating depth of the Legion. So, here we are. I’ll be contributing some chapters (as I spend the bulk of my writing time this year working on a sequel to Grant Morrison: The Early Years), but mostly I’ll be coordinating the project and editing the book.
§ Saul Colt, formerly of SSS Comicshas a catchy headline:
I WON THE LOTTERY AND I WANT TO GIVE YOU SOMETHING OF VALUE FOR FREE!
You read that correctly…I WON THE LOTTERY!
I have known for about a day and I am on still tingling…..best thing is that the winning ticket was part of the lottery fun tickets!
The rest of the entry explains that he’ll now be giving away free comics.