Saturday, January 29, 2011

Linko! LXIX

Ladies and dudes,

We're back to Linko! It's been a while since I had time to do a lot of these because I was dealing with the back-to-back traumas of the holidays and my first residency at school (more on that later!), and my browser kept crashing and losing all the links I'd been saving (I know, I know). Still, before we get into some recent internet goodness, there's two things I can't possibly let slip by even though they are weeks out of date.

* Man, it's a real bummer that Dirk Deppey is no longer blogging for The Comics Journal or anywhere for that matter. My general view is that I want to see more smart and discriminating minds engage the comics industry online rather than less – even when the more in question enjoy taking the time to call me stupid and shitty. Dirk's Journalista blog seems completely down on right now. That can't remain that way forever, can it? Ugh. In any event, best of luck to him, and I hope the TCJ folks have a pretty radical move on tap for the future of that site. Sean has more thoughts on all this.

* Right before New Years, the ComicsAlliance kids did a great job covering the breadth of the digital comics landscape right now, particularly David Brothers. Take some time to read their essays on censorship/price and reader desires as well as interviews with BOOM!'s Chip Mosher, IDW's Jeff Webber, writer Mark Waid, DC's Hank Kanalz and Fantagraphics Eric Reynolds. I think there's a few more interviews they did I'm missing here. Go to the site and search for "Digital December."

* As I was still trying to dig my way out of school-created e-mail hole, my peers were really killing it covering the official demise of the Comics Code Authority. I'm kinda of two minds on this whole thing. I agree and understand that the end of the Code is a noteworthy historical event, but I'm nowhere near the level of jump up and down happiness that some folks seem to have hit (not just that link...I've seen a lot of cheering). I personally think that comics as a whole shook off the whole "Wertham" influence in the past decade and maybe even sooner. It just keeps getting brought up because comic folks as a whole carry their beef around in mylar bags so they can bitch from a position of absolute certainty.

Anyway, there's been some interesting historical digging going on in the wake of all this and even some legitimate news in terms of the state of the organization's archival material. For one, MEGA props to Vaneta Rogers and Newsarama who not only broke Archie's half of the Code dissolution story but also did the lion's share of work in regards to the actual state of the organization and its members. Mark Seifert also did a nice job at Bleeding Cool of tracking down some of the tax records of the Code, Werthaming aside. Finally, Heidi seems on top of the quest for the Code's actual physical records. You'd think if DC was de facto in charge, they'd just issue one release and put all this shit to bed, right?

* And hey...Wizard was cancelled. I'm having a much harder time getting worked up over this than some of my bros, but then again, I expected the magazine to get killed about a year and a half ago. I think I may post a little something on that later this week, but for now you should check out Sean's roundup of responses and his brief follow-up. Also: I thought this remembrance by "before my time" Wizard staffer Doug Goldstein was a good indicator of how one group of editorial employees viewed the company just as my former co-worker and current Dark Horse staffer Jim Gibbon's piece on the Wiz was indicative of how a lot of us felt.

* In other "worthwhile comics reporting" news: Zack Smith's web comic series at Newsarama has been fun. Read his latest with Lucy Knisley here. Shaun Manning did a fine job rounding up the news on Shannon Eric Denton's latest Actionopolis kids initiative. Alex Dueben similarly rocked it in this Jeffrey Brown Change-Bots interview. And hey, if I can talk my own shit up for a moment (it is MY blog), I thought this chat with Alex Ross and Kurt Busiek turned out well (it's about Jack Kirby!), as did this roundup of retailer reactions to the death in this week's Fantastic Four. So there.

* And hey, I don't want to make it seem like I didn't dig on this Graphic Policy interview with David Hine about the response to his French Muslim Batman character, because I did. But the real reason to check it out is to see Hine's official headshot. BAD ASS.

* And hey, I was happy to see Heidi MacDonald (or ANYONE really) taking some time to talk to Ed Catto and then to Steve Rotterdam about their new Bonfire Agency venture. I'm still not quite sure that anyone in the comics reading population gets or cares about this kind of thing, and I'm not 100% that Bonfire looks to be an organization that works much outside the hobby shop establishment of production and promotion...still, good on them for trying something new.

* Dustin Harbin doing interviews? Rad. Dustin Harbin interviewing David King. Yes pleas. (Via Tom!)

* Is it just me, or is it a little crazy that the above is a page from an upcoming Marvel comic book? It's just me? Okay then.

* Love that someone is doing this that's not me: a super in-depth analysis of the history of Tim "Robin" Drake. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Future installments will update at this tag.

* Catch up on the new Tezuka manga coming to the U.S. thanks to Katherine Dacey at Manga Critic.

* EVERY FUCKING YEAR I am reminded that my alma mater of Michigan State University hosts an annual Comics Forum by a random link about a week after it happened. It doesn't help that this year's installment was in January while last year's was in March. Here's the link to the website anyway.

* At least I've still got time to see the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art's comics exhibition tomorrow.

* My buddy Brian Warmoth and his ladyfriend Julia have a new phone app/social initiative in Chicago called Wish State. Looks pretty boss.

* Joseph Gordon Levitt seems like a pretty bright dude. Coulda guessed it, huh?

* William Gibson on modern computer hacking. Autoreblog.

* Carlton Cuse on life after "Lost." Ditto.

* Let's wrap this week with four really interesting (at least to me) info graphics that got forwarded my way this week:

Every actor connection in every Coen Brothers movie.

Every Generation 1 Transformer Autobot.

The 3,400% growth of Foursquare users last year.

Should I work for free?

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