• I’m rounding up some WizWorld Philly and Heroes Con links today. If you have some send ’em…fast! I was going to tootle down to Philly on Saturday for some scrapple but now my ride crapped out on me, and it seems like too much hassle. I dunno. We’ll see.

• For the record, I don’t have all the problems Chris has with this cover. It’s a BOOK ABOUT ZOMBIES. Zombies based on well-known characters from the Marvel U. Like Mary Jane. Really…so what? It’s an appropriate cover for appropriate contents. I would be more upset over the very talented Arthur Suydam’s occasional over zealous borrowings. Or the fact that every new printing of this very successful book gets a NEW COVER to pander to fanboys. Now THAT is insulting! Houghton Mifflin doesn’t do that every time they reprint THE CHILDREN OF HURIN. (Maybe they would if they could get away with it.) (By the way the new issue of VANITY FAIR has like 20 variant covers. I want the one with Muhammad Ali and Obama, but apparently those are all sold out and all that’s left is Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Now THAT is an ugly cover.)(The one with Brad Pitt and Desmond Tutu is pretty hot, too.)

But a sexy female zombie on the cover of a zombie book? Where’s the fire? I especially like the little mice perching on her…they are cute! I, fact, I doubt girls will have much problem with this cover…goth girls may even like it. This cover has “TEEN” written all over it, unlike the MJ statue, which had “lonely middle-aged guy with too much money” written all over it.

See, there are messages to everything, of course, but you can’t fight EVERY message. Are “women in jep” a staple of every horror movie? Sure. I accept that. Once in a while it is a man in jep and the woman gets to not be in jep. That’s called a switcheroo. But there are innate human patterns that repeat over and over. We have to know they are patterns before we can change them. But that doesn’t mean it has to beimages of women tied up and tortured put on billboards all over LA. The line shifts, blurs, and reshifts. That’s why these comment threads get so long.