§ Michael Chabon is still all about the kids comics:

In the past, you sometimes weighed in and defended or promoted comic books and graphic novels as an art form. Do you think that’s broken through to the mainstream?

I think so. If anything, at this point I think that it’s possible that comic books are taken too seriously. There’s almost too strong of a bias in favor of adult-oriented material now in the comics world. I think comic books worked so long and so hard to achieve some level of the respect that they deserve as an artistic medium that they along the way abandoned some of the things that prevented them from being taken seriously, such as being written for the pleasure of child readers.

And now when I take my child readers into the comic book store, it’s hard to find good things for them to read. There are good things for kids in comics, but people in the comic book world don’t like to talk about them that much.

§ Mike Lynch has a nice tribute to Hilda Terry with some newspaper scans on his MySpace page. (BTW, people who use MySpace for their content should be aware that a lot of companies — including Reed Elsevier — are now blocking it as a matter of course. So you may not be reaching as wide an audience as you should.)
§ Sequart has unveiled a really sweet what’s on sale today page with cover images and solicitation info. It looks like it took an insane amount of time to put together, but also quite useful.

§ Low in the polls Senator Rick Santorum hit the campaign trail with a pitch aimed squarely at the Tolkien-quoting demographic:

In an interview with the editorial board of the Bucks County Courier Times, embattled Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has equated the war in Iraq with J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.” According to the paper, Santorum said that the United States has avoided terrorist attacks at home over the past five years because the “Eye of Mordor” has been focused on Iraq instead.

“As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else,” Santorum said. “It’s being drawn to Iraq and it’s not being drawn to the U.S. You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don’t want the Eye to come back here to the United States.”

We just want to know if they recognize habeas corpus in Rivendell.


  1. Regarding children and comics: Kyle just did a BART SIMPSON’S TREEHOUSE OF HORROR story (mentioned on our blog http://thebakersanimationcartoons.blogspot.com/), as did Terry Moore and Eric Powell. All three stories were hilarious.

    Bongo is a wonderful publisher, and Kyle enjoyed working with them; he hopes to work with them again in the future.

    These are just my comments as a parent:

    Kyle’s story is in the middle of the comic, a family-friendly tale about fairies. The other two stories, particularly the last one, are not family-friendly. But it is a “horror” comic, so there you go.

    But to my mind, this TREEHOUSE comic symbolizes the challenges parents face as they navigate their local comic shop (if there is one): you have to bypass a lot of inappropriate material to find the kiddie section (if there is one). Really, why bother? Our family shops at the local comic book store (we love them!), but none of my “mommy-friends” do.

    I do know moms who shop at Walmart, K-Mart, Target. Imagine if these stores had an extensive quality comics/graphic novel section for young readers? Books like ARCHIE, THE BAKERS (shameless plug, sorry), BONE, OWLY, Scholastic, etc. as well as superheroes?

    I can dream, can’t I?

    p.s. Heidi: we love your blog!

  2. I know what you mean about the comic store. If my kids (7 & 4) aren’t finding action figures from movies I’ve avoided showing them, they’re looking at either the sexualized Teen Titans (we like the cartoon) or other things that are inappropriate and/or just hard to explain. I almost look back nostalgiacally on the days when I merely had to keep them from destroying everything at eye-level. Thus, I don’t go to the comic store for the occasional browse as often as I might. And lest I forget the hostile 20-something staffers.

    As to Liz’s big box store idea, I have noticed something along those lines. Target has a graphic novel section near the kids’ books. (I noticed this as no matter how bad a book section is, I must browse it) It was stocked with some vaguely appropriate books, though I’m unclear on what they had beyond an older skewing Neil Gaiman book I thumbed through. I think a more likely scenario would be Borders or some big chain having a family comics section, instead of wedging all of them into the science fiction section.

    I also happily noticed a local library starting a vigorous comics & graphic novel section. Though diverse, it is a bit random with the kid and adult material mingling quite freely. They also haven’t included any books they had before starting this section, so some fine comic strips are hidden in the stacks.

    That said, don’t knock proseletyzing when buying childrens’ gifts. I love nothing more than bestowing Barks Ducks, Jack Kirby FF, and Little Lulu on my kids’ friends.