§ Johanna Draper Carlson reviews retailer Brian Hibbs’s collection of “Tilting at Windmills” columns, which reflects the changes during the eight-year span of its contents:

Tracking changing perceptions of book-format comics is one of the most interesting threads through this volume. In the early days, he’s enthusiastic about TPBs at a time when many of his compatriots didn’t carry them. He says then that most have an infinite shelf life, most are kept in stock by the publishers, and many will keep selling “forever”. Obviously, he couldn’t have predicted how some publishers would take the wrong lessons from this format, treating books as periodicals instead of handling them as perennials. (Such as his own publisher for this volume, not having the first book available when this one was released.) Nor could he (or anyone) see the glut that resulted as publishers raced to put out collections of almost anything, whether it was worth reprinting or not. By the end of the book, Hibbs has moved from (paraphrasing) “you want to start carrying books with spines and here’s why” to “here’s why publishers should hold off soliciting TPBs so we can sell more periodicals”.

§ Zack Smith talks to Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Junot Diaz:

NRAMA: What’s your reaction to, well, peoples’ reaction to the nerdish?

JD: Well, there’s a number of things. One time, I was in a very affluent suburb of New York City. I tell you, these are people who are very well-educated, these are people who are supposedly very open-minded.
And…there is an enormous resistance, I wouldn’t say in everyone, but there was definitely resistance in these people, some of it quite sharp, to the nerdish. What’s interesting is that the nerdish is considered by some to be completely puerile and devoid of meaning and something that can be dismissed, despite the fact that there’s so much of it. In their minds, they’re like, “ah, this is just bells and whistles.”

§ Graphic NYC’s video interview with Paul Pope.

§ Paul Karasik posts to his blog for the first time in years with a report on the CITY OF GLASS exhibit that was held in Florence, Italy.

Sickles 008 Copy

§ Blogger Matt Tauber takes a journey to Chillicothe, OH to search for cartoonist Noel Sickles, and although he didn’t face avalanches, snowstorms, tigers, poisonous frogs, or other daring thrills, he did find the story of one of Sickles’ covers for Life Magazine, above, surely as stirring a piece of milporn as you’ll ever see:

I was intrigued. Would the high school still have this painting almost 40 years after it had been donated? How big was the painting itself, and was it displayed prominently? Would anybody there know what it was or that they had this renowned alumnus? Itching in the back of my mind was also the daydream that the painting was forgotten and stored away, but some janitor who knew where it was might sell it to me out the back door of the school.

§ Neil Gaiman faces life as it is lived today:

Um, the main reason I’m blogging less is that I was blogging less anyway. I’ve been blogging here for over eight years now, for a total of a bit over one and a quarter million words (per the stats) and I’m tending to blog less right now partly because I keep thinking “Well, I’ve already blogged about that…” and partly because the most fun project I’m doing right now is confidential and I can’t talk about it yet, and mostly because there’s just less time for everything right now – the volume of email’s higher than it’s ever been, the number of invitations to be places, requests to do things, all that, is just higher than it’s ever been, and this year promoting the CORALINE movie, winning the Newbery (which also means that more people want me to do more things) and trying to have a personal life in which I do more than write and sleep means that there’s even less time than there is normally.

My deal with myself is that I’ll blog here until the day that blogging feels like work, and on that day I’ll stop. We’re not there yet, but we’re closer than we’ve ever been, just because time is tighter than it’s ever been.