Marvel sent out a press release yesterday trumpeting the fact that Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa had been mentioned in the Arts, Briefly section of the New York Times. Now the Times has been breaking much comics news recently, but this was really more of a tangential note:


Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, a playwright and a writer for Marvel Comics, has a fondness for including details about New York City in his comic book tales. Such points have varied from the Human Torch, a member of the Fantastic Four, boasting about getting tickets for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Beeâ€? to having Nightcrawler, an X-Man, investigate demons in the Dakota. In “Sensational Spider-Manâ€? No. 30, which went on sale on Wednesday, Mr. Aguirre-Sacasa used the Whitney Museum of American Art as the setting for a battle between the wall crawler and Max Dillon, who happens to be a fan of fine art and is also the supervillain Electro.

There’s more to the item, so click on the link while you can to read the whole thing. There is certainly something of interest in this, and we don’t begrudge Times go-to comics guy George Gustine getting this bit in–in fact his perseverance in getting regular comics coverage in the Times stands as one of the great comics mole achievements of our era. But face it, tiger, it’s kind of filler-ish — Marvel Comics reference real world stuff! That’s been Marvel’s schtik for years.

This was actually the top item in yesterday’s Arts Briefly section. What else, we wondered merited coverage that day?

— A rare, yellow-sleeved variant edition of the Mona LIsa will be on display next month in the UK.

–Famed photographer James Nachtway wins the $250,000 12th annual Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities. We once accidentally touched Nachtwey’s elbow at a gallery opening, and that was one of our best brushes with greatness ever. Dude is hardcore.

–Rating analysis of once-hot show DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES.

–Katie Couric’s ratings slipping. Boo hoo.

–The theft damaged masterworks “The Screamâ€? and “Madonnaâ€? by Edvard Munch will be exhibited for a few days.

— Robin Williams is out of rehab and full of beans.

Etc. etc. etc. Looked at in this context, a random issue of SPIDER-MAN being the news equal of the Mona Lisa, The Scream, Katie Couric and James Nachtwey may just be a new plateau in media acceptance of our bastard medium.