§ Must Read link of the day: manga expert Jason Thompson looks at the strange manga genre Moe: The Cult of the Child

The sexualization of underage (or underage-looking) characters in manga goes back to the late ’70s, when underground and adult manga artists such as Disappearance Diary creator Hideo Azuma began to work around censorship laws by drawing characters without pubic hair. This was the beginning of the lolicon (Lolita Complex) trend; born in vending-machine porn magazines, it later influenced the new ’80s market in direct-to-video anime pornography.

It’s an in-depth, balanced examination of the phenomenon, squick and all.

§ DC’s Source blog has a charming gallery of pictures of folks reading WEDNESDAY COMICS.


§ We didn’t know Brett Warnock had a Twin Peaks-themed Sketchbook. Commence jealousy fit NOW. He also links to all kinds of cool art, like Tammy Stellanova, above.

§ Tyler Chin-Tanner at Broken Frontier asks questions about Longbox, which aims to be the iTunes for comics:

As a small publisher, I think this idea is great. No one stands to gain more from new ways to sell comics than those who’ve been failed by the current print distribution system. But, like I said, this isn’t exactly a new concept and Longbox is far from the first company to offer downloads of comic books. So my question for Longbox is, what are they going to do differently from all the other ventures that have come before them? How are they going to take digital comics beyond the category of an interesting idea or experiment, and into the realm of a legitimate way for readers to feed their comic fix?

§ This radio story about Kevin Cannon’s FAR ARDEN is “a combination review, interview, and audio drama all wrapped into one short mp3 file!” according to Leigh Walton.

§ July 12th! Last-Minute Clowes/Zwigoff SF signing!

§ Bill Kartalopoulos informs us that an audio file of the first Conversational Comics panel with David Heatley, Lauren Weinstein, and Julia Wertz is now available. The next Conversational Comics event is this Saturday, with Jessica Abel, Jason Little, & Matthew Thurber, at 2 pm at Union Pool.

§ Complex Magazine’s Paul Pope-illustrated Sexy “Mirror, Mirror” Models is now online, with VIDEO.

The concept: two hot women—one illustrated, one photographed—getting intimate in a house-of-mirrors. We just posted the whole story online, so enjoy, sexually repressed nerds!

§ Marvel editor Tom Brevoort has been engaged in something called “Take My Trade” for months, in which he attempts to take a handful of comics and keeps trading up until he gets a copy of FANTASTIC FOUR #1. Now, the final trade is made, with a video accompaniment.