Quick hits

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§ Eddie Campbell is back with one of the secrets of comics, known only to true initiates:

Due to the overwhelming thumbs up in response to my post telling you kids how to dress properly, I am now offering ‘Comicbook morality in one easy lesson.’ What you gotta do, right, is if you have a character and you want to send the reader a signal that we are not to take this person’s actions as morally positive, you first must show him eating badly. Here is Rorschach with a can of cold beans


§ Van Jensen isn’t going to the store every week any more:

What’s finally happened for me, I realized, is that I’ve moved past monthly comic book issues. All the negatives are well known, so I won’t bother to recite them. Simply put, I’m not buying another long box to shove away in the closet. I buy books to read them, not collect them. And so I’ll buy them in the form they’ll be read more than once.


Aside: What with fellow PWCW contributor Laura Hudson also easing up on the superhero throttle, we’re beginning to think it’s something we said.

§ This is gonna be good! A new Comics Comics Cage Match, this time on one of the most polarizing cartoonists of our times, David Heatley.
Frank Santoro with an uppercut:

And that’s sort of what Heatley does by inserting “Shout Outs” to his homies within the narrative itself.There are larger panels within the dense page design of the story that include a drawing of a figure, of a real Black person like his childhood friend Winton, with dedications like, “Dude, you were the coolest, stoney-eyed artist around!” To me, these come off as really demeaning.

There are also large sidebars and whole pages of handwritten text that are “Record Reviews” of Black music that David loves. It’s the “voice” Heatley uses to describe getting, say, a Jungle Brothers tape that makes me just shake my head. All that “Yo wassup” white-boy lingo that he spits? Give me a fucking break. Just read it, look at in the store. I don’t have the patience to describe it.

Dan Nadel calls for a time out:

One question worth asking is: How does one judge such a work: Is it reasonable for David to expect moral outrage like Frank’s? Does such a story, and the obvious implications for one’s moral well-being, elicit a like-minded response, as it did from Frank? Is that fair? I mean, David isn’t offering a prescription for how to live — just describing his own journey. But it’s the tone and content, I guess, that Frank is reacting against. Just some stray thoughts here. Tim?


§ Finally PopImage columnist Ed Mathews has moved to SF to get married and he needs people’s help:

I need your help. I need you to keep the American dream alive, not for me, but for others. When we started running YOUNG BOTTOMS IN LOVE many years ago, the thought of a daily gay romance comic seemed out of reach. Tim Fish, editor and cartoonist, proved me wrong with an amazing group of talented cartoonists and writers who stepped up to the plate and hit a home run. The logical next step in gay romance is a committed relationship. The ultimate expression of that in legal terms is state-sanctioned marriage. Extending the benefits of marriage and the protections of divorce are essential and assumed in heterosexual circles.

  1. Given how many people seemed to take Rorschach’s behavior as morally positive, I would argue that trick in fact does not work.

  2. Campbell’s dictum brings to mind someone’s observation for movies, “If the director wants to make his disapproval for his characters’ having sex clear, make it look as uncomfortable as JUNGLE FEVER and FATAL ATTRACTION.”

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