§ Headline of the day: Woman Goes To Court With A Monkey In Her Bra
§ Big news: it’s Chester Brown Week at The Comics Journal! They kick things off with the longest, most comprehensive Chester Brown interview yet, as conducted by Sean Rogers. The piece contains many insights on Brown and some of the book’s more disturbing passages:
Well, there are going to be people who don’t like the work and shouldn’t be doing it. The woman who pulled the hair over her face, she shouldn’t have been doing it [laughs]. She couldn’t emotionally handle it, apparently. So, I mean, I felt bad for her. But anti-prostitutionists seem to think that’s how all prostitutes feel. I certainly wanted to acknowledge that some of them do feel that way, some of them can’t handle the work, some of them shouldn’t be doing the work.
and some great Dave Sim stories, too.
Well, he disapproved of paying for sex. He thinks women shouldn’t have jobs. He wants them at home getting pregnant and raising children, not out in the world having jobs. And so prostitution, for him, is just another job that keeps them away from their real role in life. That’s why he disapproves of it. So I was considering having us talk about all that kind of stuff. But at a certain point I decided not to put him in there, which turned out to be a good idea once our friendship fell through. Then I would have felt funny about getting his permission for depicting him in the book.
§ ALSO THIS WEEK, at TCJ, Joyce Farmer steps into the Diary Spot with lots of Carol Tyler anecdotes in the first installment:
To compensate for my refusal to drive Sunset Blvd., We went east on Wilshire Boulevard from La Cienega to Carol’s downtown hotel. Highlights: the former Orbach’s at Wilshire and Fairfax, now part of the Los Angeles County Museum complex; the La Brea Tar Pits; the Folk Art Museum where Carol leaped at the opportunity to photograph a colorful political mural for her daughter. She met a person there, a bodybuilder, who seemed to have connections in the entertainment community, i.e. Hollywood. I hope he doesn’t disappoint. Then on through the Miracle Mile; the beautiful Wiltern Theater, now a venue for rock concerts (there was a long line at the ticket window); the big beautiful old synagogue on our left; the former Ambassador Hotel, now a school; Bullocks Wilshire, now a law school; MacArthur Park; and the many art deco apartments and hotels which are still grand in their way. Wilshire Boulevard really is a treasure, I hope Carol had as much fun seeing it as we did.
§ They like us! Scholastic Education president Margery Mayer has words of advice for parents whose kids don’t read:
I gave him the same advice that I give everyone. Let a child read what they want to read, even if it’s just comic books or graphic novels. Don’t pass judgment. Reading is reading. And if you allow a child to read what he or she wants, chances are good that they’ll continue reading into adulthood.
And it works!
§ At least one Borders, outside St. Louis is turning into a Book-a-Million.
§ Tim Callahan conducts a multi-part interview with Walt Simonson who’s getting some attention of late thanks to the Thor Moment.
One of the great things about Ragnarok is, as a story, if you read the Elder Edda, and you see that story in verse, in Viking verse, it’s a great story. It’s one of the great stories, I think, in Western literature. It’s very powerful. And since comics — American mainstream comics — are really ongoing, communal efforts, where different writers and artists come on but the title goes on, they take different colorations over time. Batman has not been the same guy, really, since the 1940s, but…he’s the same guy. That’s kind of true for Thor and other characters as well.
BTW the THOR OMNIBUS continues to sell well on Amazon.
§ ICv2 reports on a new brAnd of gaming event called Epic Con, run by Cryptozoic Entertainment, which will be held this year in Las Vegas and Philadelphia/
Each Epic Con will include a Darkmoon Faire, an event for players of Cryptozoic’s World of Warcraft TCG. But Epic Cons will also include gaming from other companies, including Magic: The Gathering, Ascension, Settlers of Catan, and more.
Cryptozoic is also inviting retailers and other game companies to exhibit. Cryptozoic President and CCO Cory Jones explained the strategy. “The hobby gaming space is too small not to support any group or company spending time and money to grow the category as a whole, and as you can see with the types of games we will be supporting and the types of partners stepping up to be represented, we are totally committed to this vision,” he said.
§ Speaking of games, that security breach of the Sony Playstation network is a HUGE freaking deal that Sony president Howard Stringer is just now owning up to:
“I know some believe we should have notified our customers earlier than we did. It’s a fair question,” wrote Stringer, “As soon as we discovered the potential scope of the intrusion, we shut down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services and hired some of the best technical experts in the field to determine what happened. I wish we could have gotten the answers we needed sooner, but forensic analysis is a complex, time-consuming process. Hackers, after all, do their best to cover their tracks, and it took some time for our experts to find those tracks and begin to identify what personal information had — or had not — been taken.”
§ Toykopop’s digital remains are quickly being erased.
§ A brief, cryptic profile of Comic-Con International headquarters:
Organizers of the four-day convention work most of the year out of three unassuming and unmarked office buildings in the heart of this East County suburb. They declined this week to allow interior photographs of the places and asked that the addresses not be published.
Bletchley Park, it’s in Bletchley Park.
§ Matt Seneca has a tl;dr post about something that looks very interesting, and when we have enough time, we will read it, promise:
Basically, for me making written criticism of a visual medium is always going to have some feeling of artifice to it. The comics criticism I enjoy reading is usually historically based, or it addresses some aspect of the “world of comics” that goes beyond the work on the page. I can see everything in the comic for myself, and explaining it out in words when it’s all right there gets more and more tiring unless those words are really really good. You ever read something like Dostoyevsky and wish you could understand the original Russian? Or Baudelaire in the original French or whatever? Writing book reviews and close readings feels like working as a translator — certainly a worthy endeavor, as well as a craft of great subtlety and value — but it gets to a point where I want to use comics to talk about comics.
§ At MTV Geek, Brigid Alverson profiles manga-ka Natsume Ono who is appearing today at Kinokuniya Books in Manhattan:
Two things knit her work together. One is her style, which is instantly recognizable even though she varies it from book to book. The simple lines and areas of unmodulated black and white in not simple give way to a more complicated and detailed style in her later books, but Ono is always recognizable as Ono. One of her trademark features is her characters’ wide mouths, often a simple line that turns up for a smile, down for a frown. She can actually express an amazing array of emotions with that single line, but at the same time, it gives her characters a uniform look.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.