§ Over at io9, Graeme McMillan has an insightful post entitled Why James Rhodes Is Comics’ Ideal Black Hero:
If there’s one rule for black superheroes, it’s that they’re never the stars of the show (Or, at least, not for very long; attempts like Black Lightning or the Milestone books are always, sadly, done in by falling sales). Yes, you could make an argument that Black Panther contradicts that, but I’d just invoke the “He’s the exception that proves the” clause and move on quickly*. Despite headlining his own books twice in his career – something that doesn’t really mean anything, no matter how good those books were; remember, Marvel once published Street Poet Ray and Power Pachyderms, so anything goes there – Jim Rhodes is, and always will be, a sidekick to Tony Stark’s Iron Man.
David Brothers comments as well.
§ Librarian Robin Brenner looks at her circulation stats to figure out what’s really popular and there’s a pretty good chance that something on the list will surprise you. For instance, CASE CLOSED is really popular. On second thought, you will either be surprised or find something to back up your long-held beliefs on this list.
§ Rich Johnston sends a chill down our spines with the disturbing news that the exhibitor lottery for hotel rooms for San Diego Comic-Con 2010 has already taken place Of note: The Hyatt is no longer on the hotel list. Oh dear god, this year’s Hoteloween is going to be brutal.
§ The end of the decade, as normal humans account it, draws nigh, and Tom Spurgeon is kicking things off with The 83 Best Superhero Projects Of The Decade We’re Leaving.
§ A short, nice interview with First Second’s Mark Siegel.
§ Chris Mautner interviews the Will Durant of the comics crowd, Larry Gonick, whose cartoon history of the world just brought us up to Iraq:
Abolitionists, while they were often motivated by moral considerations, lived in a time when the society at large was receptive to their message. Somehow, the advance of science and technology, the wealth that came from factory production and overseas trade, and the development of enlightenment ideas about human nature—essentially sociable and good, not the victims of Original Sin—produced a government that saw abolition as good policy. I tried so show how these threads were woven together by describing the origins and progress of the abolition movement itself, along with an account of how Britain was able to afford to do it: by banning the trade to all nations, Britain was displaying its power on the open seas, and when slavery itself was outlawed in the British Empire, the profits from the opium trade with China were enough to buy off nearly every slave owner in the West Indies.
§ Scott Edelman continues his trip to the Vault of Memories with memories of early comics events:
Just to show my appreciation, here’s a blast from the past—a letter Roy wrote to Joe Brancatelli’s fanzine Comic Fandom Monthly that was printed in its April 1972 issue, in which he debated the merits of the famed Stan Lee at Carnegie Hall event.
§ Valerie D’Orazio explores the image of blue women.
It’s not a completely transcendental, all-things to all-people, everyone-must-read-this-now sort of book or anything. And it’s therefore not one I’d reccommend to anyone. But if you like shojo? If you like Young Adult fiction? If you like historical romance and teen drama and nicely drawn, very expressive, clean, open, fun, slightly cartoony artwork with a hint of Japanese influence? Then perhaps this is one that you must read now, at least.
§ Time’s rebranded Techland blog proclaims itself yet another spot we must check for comics content, with a preview of SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN #3.
§ Oliver Ho looks at Celebrating Peanuts.