§ Douglas Wolk is interviewed at Comic Debrief:

Why are superheroes so prominent in the medium? Why not, say, pirates?

Superheroes ended up dominating pamphlet comic books as part of this gradual economic process over two decades. But superhero comics do two things really well. First, they’re really good at creating extended metaphors for things: the idea of human perfectibility, the idea of responsibility versus power. The Hulk is a story about the ways rage makes people less human and makes them into monsters, and that’s a metaphor you can just work and work and work — they’ve been working it for forty years. The other thing superhero comics do really well is create this gigantic fictional narrative that’s been going on for 70 years. There are two main narratives: a Marvel one and a D.C. one. So any comic you pick up is going to be part of this much, much bigger story that you can fit it into. In some ways, it’s like reading the newspaper every day and fitting it into the big picture, except that it’s fictional and exciting and there are these colorful things going on all the time. They’ve got a whole lot of clichés and tropes and things that are native to the genre that you’ve got to get used to in order to enjoy them, but they can be very enjoyable if you do.

200705212344§ Spidey is not the only cartoon-based character coming to Broadway–The Addams Family, based on the work of Charles Addams, is on the way.

The gestating show by composer-lyricist Andrew Lippa and book writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice — based on characters created by illustrator Charles Addams — had a rehearsed reading in August in Manhattan featuring Tony Award winners Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia and Nathan Lane as Gomez.

§ Although he’s getting a new trial, accused slayer Michael George is not getting bond:

After delaying the decision twice last week, Macomb Circuit Judge James Biernat Sr. on Tuesday denied bond for George, stating he would be a flight risk if he posted bond. He will remain in the Macomb County Jail.

Biernat said he considered the issue “very carefully.”

§ Area man pleads for local college to “Give graphic novels a chance”:

Completely unbeknownst to many people studying English and literature, a whole movement of autobiographical memoirs and original fiction has risen, though they are often overlooked for their “inherently juvenile” visual storytelling. Even now, books like Marjane Satrapi’s “Persepolis” and Alison Bechel’s “Fun Home” are being studied at Western, and this is a good step. But what we really need is a dedicated class.

§ Back issue tycoon Chuck Rozanski knows that he who controls the spice controls the universe:

In 1991, long before organic, sustainable and local became common culinary adjectives, Rozanski and his wife, Nanette Furman, moved their four daughters – Rowan, Aleta, Tanith and Elsbeth – to the 32-acre Jay Hill Farm just outside Boulder.

Their collective passion for organic gardening has blossomed into an enterprise that supplies restaurants, including Denver’s Z Cuisine, and customers at the Boulder County Farmers’ Market with everything from cinnamon basil and yellow chiles to salad greens and San Marzano tomatoes.

§ Joyous news! The Bratz will no longer be sold at Scholastic book fairs:

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, based in Boston, said that Scholastic’s move followed an 18-month fight to purge book club fliers that go home with students and are distributed at school book fairs of titles like “Lil’ Bratz: Dancin’ Divas” and “Lil’ Bratz: Catwalk Cuties.” Scholastic has also stopped offering spinoff products, like a Bratz computer game and designer stencil kit, in its book clubs and fairs.

Susan Linn, director of the campaign, said the group’s members had sent 5,000 e-mail messages to Scholastic protesting the highly sexualized images in the Bratz books and products. “When schools send these book club fliers home with children,” Ms. Linn said, “the message is that ‘We think these are fine and are good for your child.’ ”

We suppose we should be sad that another protest group has gotten material removed from wider circulation but…come on, it’s the Bratz.

Albrecht Dürer–cartoonist?


  1. Do we have any idea who Cody Bozarth is? Is he a student at Western Illinois? A professor? A local comics creator? A regular columnist for the paper?

    It’s a great find, though. How on earth do you learn about such things?

  2. “In America they first came for the Bratz, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a fan… ”

    And from the article:
    “Parents who had written e-mail messages to Scholastic were pleased with the disappearance of the Bratz books. But they were also concerned that other books tied to popular television shows, movies and toys still appear in the book club fliers or at book fairs. ‘There are a lot of books that are more just gimmicky,’ said Allison Sharma, a technology consultant and mother of two in Newton, Mass. ‘They aren’t real books.'”

    Slippery slope… does this mean Scholastic will not carry graphic novels based on commercial characters like Iron Man, Spider-Man, Batman, and Superman? What of manga, which gets adapted into other markets? Will they stop selling ancillary products based on Harry Potter, which they publish?

    “…highly sexualized images…” nope… none of that in comics! Nothing to worry about!

  3. Douglas Wolk makes no sense at all.

    Yes, superheroes provide “extended metaphors” (clumsy though that term is). But so do science fiction stories, fantasy stories, and even westerns.

    “Extended metaphor” really explains nothing particular to the superhero.

  4. Karen:

    I’m cody bozarth. I’m a senior at WIU. I major in English and double minor in Journalism and Communications.

    I read a lot of grphic novels and play a lot of video games. I’m no better than you.

    Hope no one’s dissapointed.

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