201101260322.jpg§ When Jeff Lemire’s somber, moving ESSEX TRILOGY was voted one of Canada’s Essential Top Ten Novels of the Decade, it sounded like it was enough, right? But in Canada, when a book is lauded it must do battle with other praised books to see which literary scene will reign supreme! According to the Top Shelf blog, it’s now Jeff Lemire week at Canada Reads, the organization that sponsors the competition:

In preparation, Canada Reads is celebrating Jeff Lemire Week! You can watch Essex County‘s celebrity champion, indie rocker Sara Quin, in a video testifying to her love of the book, as well as an essay from Jeff explaining the genesis of Essex County and his feelings about revisiting that world. Also don’t miss Jeff’s appearance on The Next Chapter, a 15-minute radio discussion with great insights into his creative process.

You can watch Quin, of the indie rock group Tegan and Sara, defend Essex County above.

§ Another Marvel mini cancellation, another mysterious promise of a return?

§ Brian Heater gets to Part 3 of his interview with Tom Hart, who talks about why Gainesville is a good locale for his planned cartooning school:

Oh yeah. Well, it’s the only place in Florida worth living in—though I’m sure some people could make that argument about Miami. I’ve lived in Austin, Texas, and it’s the same thing, it’s the only place in Texas I’d want to live. Gainesville is a weird little enclave. It’s the biggest university town in Florida, so it’s full of smart people wanting good books and good movies. It’s a very smart and forward thinking. And there are actually people at the school studying comics. It’s actually kind of coincidental, but I’ve known about it as long as I’ve known about Gainesville—almost 15 years. There are a large number of people in the English department who are dedicated to comics. There’s one guy down there who’s writing a book about Frederick Opper. And one of the department heads has written a book about Carl Barks. And they have an academic symposium every year.

§ Retailer Brian Hibbs has a rambly but fascinating essay on Patton Oswalt’s ETEWAF Theorem — “Everything That Ever Was — Available Forever”:

As Patton correctly notes, Etewaf yields “Weak Otaku”, but the great paradox he doesn’t touch is that this also makes the objects of our geek love that much weaker. Why? Because what were previously stories have now become very powerful brands… and a brand is perceived as having value in and of itself, detached from the “story”. And, of course, to a multi-national corporation, that’s clearly true — but to us, as consumers, it often, in essence, sells out the very thing that we loved in the first place.

Later in the essay he suggests that “event comics” are part of the cost of ETEWAF, and are ultimately futile because of it:

Here’s the deal though: the trick is to make it count because it actually counts, not because you have something on the outside saying that it counts. “Civil War” sold better than “House of M” sold better than “Siege” which is likely to sell better than “Fear Itself” — by constantly going back to the crossover well, you’re the one telling customers it only “counts” when it’s bannered on the cover.

To me, the better thing to do is to make “everything count” by not producing that what doesn’t “count” in the first place; not by trying to produce more places to say, “Hey, this one counts; no really!” because diminishing returns begin to kick in; that is to say the consumer translates “this counts!” as, “Ah, Wolf!”

Here are a few oldies:

§ A Captain Canuck movie? Really?

§ A nice listing of all the Manga Moveable Feast blog events.

§ Chris Mautner on HIS best online comics criticism picks.

§ Puzzled by the Tom Hardy character in BATMAN RISES? Bone up on Bane here.


  1. I’m glad Lemire is still getting attention for ECT; it’s an absorbing and intelligent work. Top Shelf deserves a lot of credit for bringing everything together on that one.