Taro Aso Shop
§ Taro Aso, the controversial Japanese pol who is expected to become their next Prime Minister, is getting a lot of support from the nerd contingent down in the Akihabara, Wired reports, with manga, bobbleheads and other cartoonized versions of Aso all the rage:

There’s even a shop in Akiba dedicated to Aso, who is currently the Secretary General of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party. The shop, called “Oretachi no Taro” (Our Taro), calls him a “cool old dude” and sells Aso-branded gifts like cakes.

Otaku have given Aso the nickname “Rozen Aso” for his love of the manga Rozen Maiden.

The manga industry seems to be waiting for some Golden Age of deregulation or popularity of something, should Aso be elected: stocks already rose when he was rumored to be running.

§ SEE a cartoonist wield a baseball bat! Dean Haspiel writes to tell us that he appears on the debut episode of Smashd.tv. Haspiel chats with Brian Heater about ACT-I-VATE, MO & JO, THE ALCOHOLIC, and STREET CODE, and he gets to smash a vintage Dell Latitude with the business end of his trusty baseball bat, “Sarah.”

§ Meanwhile, Johanna ferrets out a proposed reason for the decision not to include an Alan Moore penned record with the Absolute edition of BLACK DOSSIER. The theory was offered by writer Adi Tantimedh on The V:

The reason the record isn’t included in the Absolute edition is that DC’s lawyers were played the songs and were worried that they sounded too similar to old British Sixties pop and TV shows, including the THUNDERBIRDS theme. Fearing charges of plagiarism – as opposed to pastiche or homage – they refused to press the songs for the book. Moore was only told this much, much later, and is pissed off, because, you know, if Oasis can do Beatles riffs without getting sued, why can’t a song that pastiches Sixties pop?

So the songs are still owned and controlled by Moore and his co-composer to do as they please, as long as DC has nothing to do with it. Moore is supposed to still control the masters and copies have not been circulated so far.

Johanna includes a rather odd story of previous DC editorial changes which goes along with the story in this week’s Lying In The Gutters that ASB&RTBW #10 wasn’t the only book printed and then yanked this week. ACTION COMICS #869 was pulled because Superman was depicted kicking back with a brewski on the cover, and DCU: DECISIONS was yanked because a character bore too much resemblance to Condoleeza Rice. Or so Rich says.

§ Just for fun: Today we look at the five worst ideas in the history of comics.

§ Just for more fun: Excellent list of top 10 geek-approved actors.


  1. Re: “worst ideas”– Jeez, McLaughlin, you couldn’t find even ONE bad idea in the history of undergrounds/artcomics, to balance against all the stuff from the mainstream?

    How about Angelfood McSpade, Crumb’s questionable “satire” of black stereotypes?

    How about Scott Russo’s similarly-themed “satire” of Akira Kurosawa, whom Russo portrayed as talking like Mickey Rooney’s Japanese guy from BREAKFAST FOR TIFFANY’S? Published by *****FANTAGRAPHICS!****

    On another topic, I can probably think of worse ideas than some of these, though the Clone Saga would probably make my shortlist. But I categorically reject the idea that the “Comet the Super-Horse” concept is the “worst” anything! “Kooky,” yes. “Inescapably risible to adults, including me” sure. But McLaughlin– HE’S NOT REALLY A HORSE (of course, of course). He’s a ****ing sentient being in a horse’s body, and the largely-innocent storyline doesn’t even suggest that he wants to get with the Girl o’Steel as a horse or centaur or anything but a human-type guy.

    So ya doesn’t have to call it “five worst.”

  2. That last image in that Wired article on Aso in Akiba.. That will haunt me for the rest of my days. Japanese school girl outfit + giant Aso face = sheer terror.

    Plus. Wow. DC sure loves destroying their funny books. Heaven forbid an adult have a beer with his elderly father. Clearly it should have been a shot of whiskey in front of the fireplace.

  3. Rick mentions that people have pointed out that the Action Cover “may” have originally depicted root beer, but I don’t understand the “may.” The bottle clearly says “Root Beer” on the bottom of the label. So they had to change “Root Beer” to “Soda Pop”?!?! Huh?