200808061250§ The Wall Street Journal interviews DC publisher and president Paul Levitz on his origin, and Paul says you should stay in school — sometimes:

Q: Do you think a degree is more important today than it was back in the 1970s?

A: On the creative side, it’s never been necessary to get in (the door). Even now, that’s not changed. We’re looking for what the artist or writer brings. I was just talking to one of our newer writers yesterday who dropped out of high school, skipped college and somehow ended up getting a law degree. And now she’s a writer. This is a very self-educated woman with an unorthodox background. On the other hand, you’re unlikely to get in on the management side without a degree today.

§ The SF Chronicle reports on the X-Men’s relocation to San Francisco where they will, presumably battle villains on cable cars and debate the merits of burritos in the Mission.

But San Francisco just got some pretty big (albeit fictional) allies in its progressive fight for equality: The X-Men have moved to the Bay Area. This isn’t a small deal in the world of comic books. The X-Men, who settled in the Bay Area in the just-released 500th issue of the Uncanny X-Men, are arguably the most popular and recognizable superhero team in comic book history. And they’ve spent most of their 40-year existence based out of a mansion in Westchester County, N.Y. But it should be no surprise. The trials of the X-Men, who discover at puberty that they are mutants, and are often forced to hide their true identities out of shame, have a lot in common with left-leaning causes, most notably the gay rights movement. In the comics, the X-Men have had gay and bisexual team members and associates, and their numbers were once decimated by a virus that had strong similarities to the AIDS epidemic.

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§ Time looks at The 99, Teshkeel’s Islamic heroes with a mission.
Now Mutawa wants to spread the word farther. The first of six planned theme parks based on The 99 will open in Kuwait this October, and Mutawa hopes that an animated television show will hit airwaves around the world by late 2010. Working with writers such as Fabian Nicieza, who wrote for the Power Rangers and X-Men comics, and a group of managers including an ex–Rolling Stone publisher and Marvel’s former marketing chief, Mutawa believes The 99 can succeed in non-Islamic markets. “Our characters are appealing to kids across the world,” he says. “We have been able to sell licenses to India, Bangladesh, France, Spain, the U.K., the United States and Canada.”