§ Fantagraphics is having a huge sale on back issues of The Comics Journal! Hurry over!

§ If you’re wondering what happened to the Pepper-kisses-Iron Man’s-helmet scene from the IRON MAN 2 trailer that was nowhere to be found in the movie, Gavok’s Iron Man 2: The Deleted Scenes has a lot of answers by comparing the novelization of the movie (based on an early version of the screenplay) to the finished version:

The most obvious removal is the scene of Pepper kissing Tony’s helmet and throwing it out the aircraft as he tells her, “You complete me!” as seen in all the ads. A variation of that is in the book. The situation makes it look like Tony is about to be dropped into a warzone. He’s vomiting into a toilet and argues with Pepper over what brand of aspirin she’s given him. The two banter back and forth and the tension is played up until he finally makes the jump out of the plane. The payoff, of course, is that this is for the Stark Expo and not some big battle.

More importantly, THIS change was made:

During my review of the book, I noted that they had the potential of a huge mistake when Rhodey runs off to become War Machine for the first time, but luckily they changed it. In the movie, Rhodey’s last straw is seeing Iron Man blow up the champagne bottles. In the book, he’s set off by seeing Iron Man blow up the watermelon. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help but think that the combination of that scene would have led to a big wave of racial awkwardness if left unchanged. You can’t tell me 4chan wouldn’t have been all over that one.

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§ Speaking of which, Brandon at Are You A Serious Comic Book Reader? finds some racist imagery in Brendan McCarthy’s SPIDER-MAN: FEVER:

First, it’s just weird. How, in 2010, a clearly smart knowing guy like McCarthy could write such ridiculous coon-ish dialogue is baffling. Second, it’s confusing because the guy’s dressed like say, a De La Soul or Souls of Mischief fan from the early 90s, not a thug at all. Third, it’s a buffoonish black character dropped into the narrative for some incredibly cheap laughs. This kind of stuff happens in comics all the time, like casual sexism, and it’s just sort of jarring and weird and worst of all, innocent. McCarthy clearly doesn’t think this is a big deal, right? He finds it humorous or maybe somehow, accurate to real life? What the fuck.

§ Brian Hibbs is chatted at by Tom Spurgeon:

HIBBS: Is it possible? Sure, it’s possible. The thing that’s different with comics as opposed to the franchise businesses you’re talking about is that the product changes every single work. If you can go to the ice cream store that sells 31 flavors, you’re getting 31 flavors of ice cream. There are variations of how you’re getting it, but there’s only a few permutations of possible objects that you’re selling there. In a comic book store, if you’re focusing primarily on periodical comics, and that’s still a significant portion of everybody’s business, every single week you’re getting somewhere between 60 and 100 comics that aren’t interchangeable the way chocolate ice cream is with another ice cream.

§ Tom has a similar type convo with Ben Schwartz, editor of The Best American Comics Criticism:

SCHWARTZ: Doug Wolk edited Da Capo’s annual Best Music Writing series some years ago and I thought, why not do that with comics? I’m writing another book for Fanta and pitched it to them and they liked the idea. Gary was the most skeptical. Early on he asked me if I seriously thought I could fill a whole book with good writing on comics. He sent me his essay “The Death of Criticism.” Nice to know that’s on your publisher’s mind!

§ Did you know that Newsarama no longer posts comments after their news stories? I did not!

§ From Polykleitos to Topffer with Matthias Wivel.

§ Ken Parille offers 35 short ‘essays’ on comics at Blog Flume.

§ Ben Morse takes a crack at explaining the appeal of Iron Man.



§ Sorta news. A few images from the Conan set in Bulgaria have leaked out, and apparently ancient Cimmeria has been dressed to look like Camden, New Jersey.


§ A New Zealand newspaper takes umbrage at the way J. Scott Campbell drew Kiwi actress Anna Paquin for the cover of the new TRUE BLOOD comic. It seems that there isn’t much real news in New Zealand. Lucky New Zealand.


§ Gerard Butler is on image rehab at Architectural Digest!

Thirteen-foot-tall mahogany doors with a knocker that could summon the dead. A ceiling fresco depicting the rape of Ganymede. Plaster walls chipped and mottled with age, massive columns supporting limestone lions, crystal chandeliers casting spidery shadows…. Medieval castle? Ancestral manor house? Try a two-story loft in the heart of New York’s ultratrendy Chelsea district. The doors alone are remarkable enough to stop the most jaded Manhattanite in his tracks: Who in the world lives here?

Knocker. Tee hee.


  1. The Spider-Man: Fever panel is ok. I live at the edge of Trenton, NJ … and I see guys like this all the time. Maybe we should show them Brendan McCarthy’s comments and they’ll clean up their act — or maybe they’ll just start shooting.

    Heidi, I was born in Camden, NJ, and understand your joke regarding Cimmeria — but using Brendan McCarthy’s criteria, even that could be misconstrued as a racist remark.

  2. I agree with Brandon – that shit is coonish. I don’t think anyone has dressed like that in 20 years and he’s clearly dressed like that to be funny. The medallion is almost as bad as the colors. Why not give him a big, floppish hat with a feather and a huge fur coat? And “Thass my phone?” Seriously?

    I don’t think most comic fans and creators have even met a non-white person in their life.

  3. rich, I did. I think you’ve never been to an inner city. Camden is practically Barney compared to the D. Hell, it’s Barney compared to Cleveland or Nashville. Also, NO ONE dresses like the coon in the Spider-Man comic – further proof you’ve never stepped into an actual ghetto.

    And really – “Maybe we should show them Brendan McCarthy’s comments and they’ll clean up their act — or maybe they’ll just start shooting.” What kind of racist asshole are you? The worst kind – you don’t think you’re a racist because your birth certificate says you were born in a city you’ve heard people call a ghetto. I bet in all your Klan meetings you’re like “I know what I’m talking about! I’m from Camden!”

  4. No, I’m not a racist just because I don’t agree with a short-sighted comment.

    The inner-city black thug exists, just like the redneck white hillbilly exists somewhere out there in the deep south.

  5. Newsarama’s new comments section is so irritating. They’re TRYING to do Comic Book Resources, I guess; but I always thought the comments being directly below the article was an excellent idea. No extra clicking. Now, in order to “improve the system” or whatchamicallit, you have to click a banner that they place below each article. And for previews of comics, you have to run through EVERY page (some having 28 pages, many of comics you have no desire to even preview) before you get to the end and some tacky ****click here to post and comment on this preview*** text is shown. Can’t that be on every page, or the first, at least? It’s bad. They need to just revert it to the way it was. Their attempt to “improve the system” just made a mess.

    And that site has become advertising obsessed, too! Anywhere you can stick an ad, they’ve done it! But don’t get me started on that…

  6. @rich, You’re right – you’re not a racist just because you don’t agree with a short-sighted comment; you’re a racist because you think black people are going to shoot you because they live in Camden.

  7. If I remember correctly, Brendan McCarthy’s “Paradax” series also featured some “over the top” racial caricature.

  8. I never said black people would shoot you. Maybe just the ones who are criminals — like the whites and everyone else who are criminals — like the ones portrayed in the Spidey panel.

    Sorry, not a racist. Enjoy your counter-culture diss-whitey schtick.