§ A graphic novel gift guide in the NY Times by George Gene Gustines.

§ And also from the NY Times: News of The Walking Dead’s success and the cancellation of Rubicon at AMC are handily summed up:

Mr. Lico thought “Rubicon” also suffered because it was “too complicated” to explain to viewers, In contrast, “with zombies, you get it,” he said. “It’s a one-sentence thing.”

§ Cartoonist Jim Davis is still apologizing for the bad timing of the Garfield which appeared on Veteran’s Day; the presence of an editor is also being questioned.

Davis claims that his brother is a Vietnam veteran, and his son has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the outrageous Garfield cartoon is going to haunt Davis for years, and forever change his public image. Was Davis trying to make some antiwar political point? Regardless, the Garfield character is probably permanently tarnished by the ongoing controversy. Where are editors to allow such a strip to run on Veteran’s Day?

Io9 digs up this video of a gadget sold in the back of late ’60s comics, the Digi-Comp. Reality is more frightening than the imagination some times.

§ Rob Clough has a particularly insightful review of HOW TO UNDERSTAND ISRAEL IN 60 DAYS OR LESS.

§ And Shaenon T. Garrity has a particularly insightful review of SCOTT PILGRIM:

That’s one of the great puzzles of every American generation to come along since the Baby Boomers: what does it mean to be a grown-up, anymore?  Grown-ups play video games now.  They fool around on the computer.  It’s a happier kind of adulthood, or maybe just a more pleasantly deluded one.  When people Gibson’s age read the first sentence of Neuromancer, they picture a gray, stormy sky, because that’s what a dead channel was when they were growing up.  People my age–I’m 32–picture a flat blue sky, because that’s what a dead channel looks like when you have a cable hookup.  The sky of an easy summer day.

§ Conventions: The official Secret Acres report:

– Sales were reasonable on Saturday, almost brisk! It was the strangest sales sheet we have ever seen. The sheet has our titles in a column on the left and then little check boxes trailing off to the right where we make a mark for each copy sold. Normally, there are a half dozen things that each show freaks out about, so the checks in the little boxes move left to right. Not this show. The checks moved up and down, leaving the sheet looking like some kid’s who ran out of time on the SATs and marked everything C. We sold a couple of everything, as if the people at the show checked to see what everyone else bought and bought something else. This never happens.

They also report that novelist Zadie Smith came by and bought some comics by Sean Ford.

§ Conventions #2: surely the latest and last report on New York Comic Con from The Marshalltown Chronicle, which could be subtitled “Milo Ventimiglia winked at me!”

Macaulay Culkin is randomly included in the panel because he’s guest starring in the Christmas special. Some boy asks where he’s been for the last ten years. He laughs and states, “Around.” They are all wearing silly hats. Seth Green goes off on a tangent about how awesome and cool Zac Efron is, and the audience isn’t very amused, because I think they all decided to hate Zac Efron once High School Musical was released.

§ More SCOTT PILGRIM: According to director Edgar Wright, the film once ended with a giant Gideon Graves robot.

“The original ending had Gideon turning into a giant robot,” revealed Wright. “That never went anywhere. We got rid of that because Bryan wasn’t going to do that in the comics, and also we thought it would look like a ‘Transformers’ spoof, so we ditched it.”

“It changed for something we’re all happy with,” he added. “The original ending, when we had test screenings, it would kind of divide people. Over that kind of process, Bryan changed the endings of the books and I was aware that the ending we had wasn’t quite as satisfying as it should be, so we had the chance — and Universal were totally behind the idea — of shooting something new. When we screened it again, the scores went hugely up.”


  1. That Digi Comp I Electronic (actually mechanical) Computer is still available… The Mark II model is better… gravity rolls balls down the “motherboard” and logic functions can be seen in operation.

  2. Speaking of Cons, the Austin Comic-con (nee Wizard World Texas when it was in arlington) came and went this last weekend.

    It got a ton of local media coverage, and there was a pretty large turnout on Saturday despite it being a fairly underwhelming Wizard show — no carpet, panel ‘rooms’ that were just roped off sections of a ballroom, and only about 6-8 real dealers. Accompanied by the *smallest* Harley Yee booth I’ve ever seen.

    But more to the point, is the local media coverage, with which Shamus’ new marketing ploy works out well for him (and maybe poorly for SDCC) in this local news piece: