We’ve been very bad about link blogging, caught up in events of great pith and moment. But we’re trying to drag our attention back to the real world.

§ It seems that the Kodansha manga is selling well or at least their distributor says so.

As reported earlier, Kodansha Comics debuted in America with seven manga volumes released in May, the first of which came out on May 10. Ten days later, four titles hit shelves and three made the New York Times Graphic Books Best Sellers Top 10 Manga List. The fourth title, Arisa, climbed to a spot on the next week’s list. Four for four – not a bad start at all.


§ We’ve been picking on Superman a bit lately, but Sonia Harris points out something that we couldn’t quite put our finger on: the New Superman’s resemblance to Tom’s of Finland.

§ In the same column, Harris praises the recent LEVEL UP by Gene Luen Yang and Thien Pham which concerns a young man who is addicted to video games:

While the book is an elegantly designed object, Thien Pham’s art has a charming childlike quality which compliments the sparse and subtle writing of Yang. It is this deceptively simple style which makes it all that much more relatable. In classic Scott McCloud fashion, there is so little detail that it is easier to project one’s own personality onto the characters and situations. The simple art gives the story punch, making it feel more personal and intimately human. Pham’s art and layout feels guilessly beautiful freeing up the whole, allowing the parts of the story that are clearly outside of reality to feel oddly substantial.

§ Wizard World Philadelphia was last weekend and it sounds like there was a decent crowd, as these pictures sent by Beat Spy Argos show:


However, if you really want to feel like you were at the show, the writings and photos of Steve Bunche will supply you with that experience. In Part One, he details his quest to get Pam Grier to sign a nude photo of herself; in part two, he captures an EPIC cosplay lineup that includes the face-off between good and evil seen below!

As seen in the previous chapters, the Wizard World Philly Con was a cosplaying Mecca, and one of the highlights in that department was the massive cosplay photo shoot outside of the main convention area. Perhaps three of four dozen costumed revelers showed up and merrily mingled and posed for the shutterbug cosplay enthusiasts and the official photographer for the online Wizard World magazine. I showed up to lend support to Amber and Ashley, but also to take shots of all the wonderful costumes.

Full-sized photos in the link!

§ There have been many reviews of PAYING FOR IT, but this one by an actual sex worker is one of the most interesting, hitting on some of the more problematic behavior in the book:

From my (escort) standpoint, he’s the type of john I religiously steer away from, and that’s largely due to his immersion in review board “culture.” It doesn’t take too long for Chester to start cataloging the physical attributes and sexual performance of every woman he sees in anticipation of going home and writing about it for other dudes. Even his non-prostitute seeing friend asks, don’t “prostitutes […] expect a measure of privacy and discretion for their johns”? And his (temporary) regular tells him she doesn’t want to read the reviews because they’d make her uncomfortable, but Chester is not dissuaded.

In the five years that I’ve been networking with other prostitutes, I’ve only ever met two who were enthusiastically in favor of reviews. At best, my acquaintances and friends have seen them as a necessary evil, a form of advertising they dislike but worry they can’t do without. Most women I’ve met hate them and sometimes forbid them outright, like I do. I get why some guys want to read Yelp-like write-ups before seeing someone, and I can understand why Chester wants to complain about it when he loses money on a disappointing experience.

[Via Kate Beaton]


  1. 1. The black suited Spider-Man in that photo looks awesome!

    2. While I totally understand that sex worker’s position (no pun intended), considering I want to read reviews before I spend $12 on a movie I would certainly want to read a review before spending hundreds of dollars on a prostitute. Especially since the consequences of being misled by a prostitite’s ad could go beyond a simple “disappointing experience”, all the way to being robbed or arrested.

  2. I don’t doubt that the influence of undergroundbreaking artists such as Touko Laaksonen (“Tom of Finland”) is starting to be visible in the work of modern eclectic artists. The fact that Morales’ Superman apparently has a “groin area” at all is something we can thank a few generations of gay figure artists for making it socially acceptable.