Our esteemed comics journo compatriot Douglas Wolk has two new pieces up:
Over at Salon he interviews cartoonist Berke Beathed, whose “Opus” just started running on Salon: (You must watch a short film to view content.)

What do you think is the job of a satirist at a political moment like this one?

Cartoonists — any satirists — are mere blowhards at the fringes of the mob, screaming at the crowd to throw the gasoline bombs at the storm troopers. Nobody pays attention to us, really, but we look amusing with our veins popping out. I think it builds confidence for the stragglers in the back.

Bush has given us a gift: far from not taking himself seriously, he’s become the only human being on the planet that thinks he’s not just uniquely competent … but brilliant in his strategic, heavenly inspired prescience as to how the world works. This hilarious — also arguably homicidal — self-deception is what makes him a comical figure. Literally, it’s as if — I mean this with the utmost respect for both the office and the man — my 5-year-old boy Milo was running the free world. Milo believes himself equally as shrewd in spotting who the bad guys are in any movie and declaring the complex strategy to deal with them: “Blast ’em all!”

Wolk completes the double-header with a piece at The Huffington Post looking at an all-too-familiar subject:

The American superhero comics industry — once supported at least as much by girls as by boys — has been desperately trying to figure out how to bring back women readers for decades. It’s very simple. All it has to do is not hang out a gigantic sign announcing GIRLS: WE HATE YOU AND WE HAVE NO INTEREST IN YOUR BUSINESS. Unfortunately, that’s effectively what it’s doing right now.