§ The March crew of Rep. John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell talk a little about why we need this message and these reminders now with EW’s Joshua Rivera.

Congressman Lewis is aware of this, and it’s his hope that people will take the time to reflect on what came before. “This book is a guide, we can use it,” says Lewis. “This is what people tried to do, this is what people did in the late ’50s and the ’60s to try to make things better.”


§ Kelly Thompson previews some of the upcoming 2015 books that look good. It’s going to be a busy year!

§ A Funky Winkerbean/Dick Tracy comic strip crossover is HAPPENING. And Chris Sims is on it.

§ Hilary Brown has an interview with Michael DeForge mostly about First Year Healthy, and some GAWJUS preview pages.

Paste: This project also continues your interest in rural settings. You didn’t grow up in the country, right? Where does your fascination with it come from? DeForge: I’ve only lived in cities. For First Year Healthy, it was important that the story be about reintegrating into a small community, and a rural town seemed like a good setting for that. I wanted to write about the ways a tight-knit community can be supportive, and the ways it can be suffocating. There’s also something very romantic and Canadian about rural settings, which has probably wormed its way into my work.

§ I know I shouldn’t link to something that was shared over a million times but Here’s What The Cast Of “Scooby Doo” Looks Like Now.

§ Mariah Huehner, one of a handful of people that I can go full Quenya with, is recapping The Silmarillion for The Mary Sue and she gets right on it with the story of Fëanor, the jerkiest elf of them all. I can’t wait until she gets to Thingol, who might have been the second jerkiest.

If you got the impression that, at worst, elves were just kind of aloof and mopey from LOTR, well, I’m here to tell you: they can be EPIC assholes, too. And one of the biggest jerk elves, one might even call him The High Elf King of Douchebagdom, is Fëanor.

§ Cartoonist Brian Fies (Mom’s Cancer) went to all-ages oriented show LumaCon I and liked it.

What it was was charming, and the most positive experience I’ve had at a comic con in a long time. Small, simple, low-key, unpretentious. One old comics hand told me it reminded him of the San Diego Comic-Con when it started in the ’70s. The whole thing fit into one large round room at a fairgrounds, with a raised platform for panels and speakers, an Artists’ Alley, a hands-on craft zone, LARPing (live-action role playing) outdoors, and a bake sale. I’ve never been to a convention with a bake sale before.

§ Speaking of con reports, this Blerds preview of last weekend’s two big diversity-themed shows was excellent, but I couldn’t find any actual reports on either the Black Comic Book Festival here in NYC or the Black Comix Arts Festival in SF. Did you go? Send links or reports!

However, here is a video of a panel on publishing from the BCBF, with moderator John Jennings (of SUNY Buffalo and creator of “Kid Code”), and panelists Zetta Elliott (“The Deep”), Alex Simmons (“BlackJack”), and Tim Fielder (“Matty’s Rocket”).

§ An unknown woman with very nice nails has made nearly $5 million by posting videos of her opening toy boxes on YouTube.

An unidentified individual or group responsible for uploading videos that simply show a woman opening Disney toys made an estimated $4.9 million last year, more than any other channel for 2014, according to OpenSlate, a video analytics platform that analyzes ad-supported content on YouTube. Almost nothing is known about the person or people behind the channel, DC Toys Collector (DC), which exclusively features a young woman in intricately painted nails removing the toys from their packaging and then assembling them. The account did not respond to a YouTube message.

Here is some nice rope to hang yourself now.

§ The AV Club’s Noel Murray look’s at Matt Groening’s Life In Hell, and compares it to the tradition established by Zap:

In 1977, shortly after Groening moved to Los Angeles, he started drawing little cartoons for his friends to illustrate how miserable he was in his new home, using nervous-looking rabbits as his characters. He titled the comics “Life In Hell,” and eventually started publishing a weekly strip under that name in the Los Angeles Reader (where he was also writing an offbeat, highly personal music-review column). Sometimes Groening used his space in the Reader to produce one huge single-panel cartoon. Sometimes he broke the space up into more conventional multi-panel strips, with dialogue and narratives. Often he just squeezed in art and text everywhere he could, dumping all of his ideas about culture and politics onto the page and treating Life In Hell like his weekly sketchbook.


  1. Whenever I see cheap shots at popular syndicated comic strips that appear in several hundred newspapers across the world, I ask myself how long the person who fires the cheap shot has been doing his or her own daily syndicated strip. Amazingly, the answer is usually that the person has never done a daily strip of any kind. It makes it easy for me to dismiss their snark.

  2. Sorry, Tony, Chris Sims hits it on the head with Funky Winkerbean. His regular commentaries are hilarious and spot-on, as are Josh Fruhlinger’s at the The Comics Curmudgeon. I don’t think one has to have a nationally syndicated comic strip to point out a strip is trapped in a vortex of depression and maisma. That said, the strip has run for decades, so kudos to Tom Bautik. Personally I’m glad it’s around, I enjoy the snarky comments it generates!

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