OK, so I don't think it's any big secret that I swipe a lot of links from Twitter and from the people on there with much stronger RSS feeds than me (because I don't actually use RSS feeds!), and this week Twitter was ablaze with news of the protests in Iran. Reading up on the story of an entire people's loss of basic voting freedoms (and seeing the frightening and, as you can see above, inspiring photos that go along with that) can make comic bookiness feel pretty stupid. In any event, I still have plenty of dumb nerd links this week, but let's start with some real world news I found pretty intriguing.
* Perhaps for comic fans, the most interesting bit of Iranian new is word that Persepolis cartoonist Marjane Satrapi took evidence of election fraud to members of the European Union Parliament. And I know that nothing 100% conclusive of fraud has been 100% confirmed by news organizations, but reading stories like this one can be pretty damn convincing, even if they're written from a place of obvious bias.
* One of the most interesting things for me about watching this news roll out on social media networks is the way in which we as Americans respond to it. You can count me among the numbers who were pretty shocked that big news networks like CNN didn't make a bigger story out of this from the start, but I think the overall rage has been a little out of place, especially considering the great job places like the NY Times' Lede blog have been doing covering the story. Still, even more shocking to me was the fact that I found myself agreeing with a lot of what was said in a post on a blog called Young Manhattanite. I know, the name is fucking stupid, and I'm betting the rest of their posts are pretty vapid too.
* Then again, in the Times' own profile of a young Iranian photographer covering the event, the comment thread broke out with people equally praising her for her work and praising her for being hot. I swear to God, some days I think we'd all be better off if Americans just woke up blind tomorrow.
* But you know what the craziest thing of all has been for us Americans this week? Fucking Twitter, man. Not on has the State Department been fighting to keep the site active over the past week on behalf of Iranian protestors, but the whole thing seems to actually be working to spread information during massive internet lockdowns within the country. I'm following two Iranian protest groups myself now. It's nuts. I also think it's funny how nerds now get to use phrases previously only seen in William Gibson novels and have them mean something important. Way to go, goobers. If anyone's looking for a straightforward take on why Twitter works so well for Iranians, you could do worse than this interview at the TED blog.
* All right, back to our regularly scheduled stupidity. The above screencap is only a fraction of the madness that is sprawling relationship map of the cast of the Uncanny X-Men. I remember being in high school and the girls at the lunch table doing this with friends of mine. In any event, as Agent M said to Topless Robot when it was passed between them: "That's like the videotape in The Ring. Once you see it, you have to pass it on so you don't die. MADNESS."
* I enjoyed this interview with Aspen Comics and upcoming Blackest Night: Titans writer JT Krul. JT went to Michigan State. He's all right.
* Marvel editor Steve Wacker sent around the link to this news story, saying, "If I edited Aquaman, this would be the issue this month." I thought that was pretty funny.
* Crazy but true: Laura Hudson's roommate posted a photo on Flikr, and now that photo is the cover to an album by Bon Iver.
* Also from Hudson: I already knew #2 on this list, and it's been one of my favorite cocktail party stories to tell for years, but the rest of the 15 Reasons Why Mr. Rogers Was The Best Neighbor Ever is pretty epic. Related: watch this.
* My friend Song put up a link to something called My Bathroom Ninja. I'm not 100% what it is, but it's called My Bathroom Ninja.
* I've been kicking myself for a while for not yet having read Cory Doctorow's latest book Little Brother, and now that I've learned that a Chicago theater has put up a stage version of the book that's only running a few weeks, I'm feeling the pressure to read it even more. I'd rather read and then see than the other way around, you know? Also: I guess it makes sense that people know Doctorow more from Boing Boing than anything else, but I still find that silly.
* My buddy Josh Wigler interviewed Mike Allred about the end of Madman Atomic Comics. It's always sad when a Madman iteration ends, but I'm always lifted up by the fact that Allred will come back to Frank and the gang sooner or later. This volume was really wild, wasn't it?
* Finally, thanks to Tom Brevoort, watch a real Gundam come to life:
More here. I know this is going to sound like a really nasty stereotype, but do Japanese people love robots or what?