Spotted From The Watchtower

As The Beatrix, on vacation up country, deals with the new server and its delusion that it’s an electronic bulletin board from 1982, I am performing caretaker duties here at Stately Beat Manor. So, some links… Over at The Comics Journal, Tom Crippen posts two reprints of Gahan Wilson’s Nuts comic strip, which originally ran […]


In the early days of The Beat I used to start many days with a “meta” post about my doings and very important thoughts, but that kind of personal stuff jumped the shark long ago, it seems. No one really cares about me seeing a blue lobster anymore…or rather, that’s really what Twitter and Facebook are for. There’s a social network for every ephemeral thought, and I now spend hours each day sharing the ephemeral thoughts of thousands of my close personal friends.

In a way, it’s too bad. Those were some of my most favorite posts to write — like the time I went shopping for a mop. I guess you had to be there.

The Best Jaime Hernandez comic of all time?

At The Factual Opinion, Tucker Stone and Michel Fiffe ponder whether LOVE AND ROCKETS #3 might just be the best comic by Jaime of all time. In which case it would be one of the greatest COMICS of all time.

SPX 2010 memory roundup

This year’s Small Press Expo was so wonderful that we can’t stop reading about it! It’s the first time in a while that it wasn’t too cold or too hot but just right at an indie comics show we’ve attended and that made it special. PLUS, SVA and MICA and CCS and MCAD and SCAD have been turning out lots and lots of excellent new cartoonists and the established people are putting out great stuff and there is real excitement everywhere.

There are tons of ’em, including this video made by Steven Greenstreet…we selected a few because they were interesting or especially charming.

SPX 10: You were awesome

Just a very quick moment to jot down a few thoughts on SPX. (My “official” report will be in PWCW tomorrow.) In short, it remains the summer camp of comics, with a bunch of people who are there for love just hanging out, talking, drawing, drinking, smiling and laughing.

Does the man have a point?

So Darwyn Cooke got caught on video saying that superhero comics should “…stop catering to the perverted needs of forty-five-year-old men.” He called out rape, children being forced to eat rats, explicit sex, foul language, and a lack of new characters. And now some people are getting upset. Oh come on, like you’ve never thought any of that.

Unfortunately the whole thing got derailed by his swipe at turning Batwoman into a lesbian, which came off as rather homophobic to some. Personally, I have to admit, I read it more as the character continuity issue of a man who likes his Bronze and Silver Age comics, which is somewhat humorous, given that he’s complaining about comics being ruled by the whims of forty-somethings, but he is large, he contains multitudes. (To which I say, Darwyn, it wasn’t “overnight”. She may have been around since 1956, but she hadn’t made any significant appearances since Crisis on Infinite Earths which basically changed everything. SEE? I can be as big of a geek as you are.)

So let’s break this down from the point of view of someone who is not forty five or male — me.

How people read when they read comics in public

It looks like the first ever Read Comics In Public Day was a big hit. Co-founder Brian Heater has a roundup of pictures and links and such. We’ve heard glowing reports of meet-ups around the globe. Proof that COMICS ARE A FORCE FOR THE GOOD OF ALL HUMANKIND!

…and this is AWESOME: Read Comics in Public Day!!!

As we write, Read Comics in Public Day, celebrating the ninth art on The King’s birthday, is well underway. A Flickr pool has been set up and people around the world are participating, with meet-ups going on in Australia, London, New York, Boston, Alaska, San Diego, and beyond.

The brainchild of Brian Heater and Sarah Morean, the goal of the holiday is to publicly proclaim comics solidarity and post the results to the internet.

And don’t forget the one for Ladies!

Read Comics in Public to launch on Kirby’s birthday

Daily Cross Hatch’s Brian Heater and Sarah Morean have launched a new day for comics pride via their Read Comics in Public program, which is planned for this August 28th, aka Jack Kirby’s birthday : The concept is fairly simple: we’re asking that everyone take an hour or two out of their day on August […]

Truly thankful

The Beat definitely lapsed into blog-silence this holiday weekend, but it was for a very good cause — the ongoing re-shelving and organization of our Hoarders-like graphic novel library. While we had the idea of the end result being the comics equivalent of Cribs — a Shelf Porn pictorial — we realized that releasing too […]

SPX attendance up 19%; Nerdlinger winners!

According to SPX director Karon Flage, it wasn’t just your imagination: there WERE more people at SPX this year. She writes: Paid admissions were 1772 which is a nice increase of 19% over last year.  Add to that about 150 free admissions from flyers and coupons we handed out, 500 exhibitors and 150 in staff, […]

A great week to be in comics

Sometimes it’s design, sometimes it’s fate, sometimes you just have a week that makes you realize you are one lucky duck indeed. Despite sometimes yucky weather, and bad train schedules, we managed to hit a dizzying array of high spots last week. § Wednesday night it was the “Greatest Films You Never Saw.” Set in […]

Onerous possessions

A tweet yesterday about “packing up my office” prompted some concerned private messages, and I am always touched by concern, but I am just moving office, not leaving office. However, I’ve been packing up all the stuff piled in my cubicle and it’s just insane. My packrat nature has rarely been such a burden. Plus, […]

Penultimate WATCHMEN linkage – UPDATE

Will ‘Watchmen’ live up to the hype? WATCHMEN has the widest opening EVER for an R-rated movie and midnight screenings are tracking way ahead of 300…if it breaks $70 million, it wil be the biggest March opening ever. And, to cleanse your palate, here’s Rickey Purdin’s Watchmen Sketchbook including Rorschach by JASON. GODDAM, I LOVE […]

Covered blog getting really good!

We were a little disappointed when the Covered blog first began. The idea — indie cartoonists recreating classic comics covers — was dynamite, but initial efforts were a bit too close to copying. But now it has gotten mad good. Look at this Richard Sala Batman if you don’t believe us. Much more in the […]

The Flying Pooch

Whilst searching for an appropriate cover for the previous post, we came across this beaut on Cover Browser, a site which reveals so much about changing tastes and standards that we could probably spend the rest of our career just writing about it. However, no matter how mores and fashion evolve, a flying pooch is […]