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In Which the Author Discusses Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

tmnt

This is what happens when I let the blog go on auto-pilot as it's been for the past few months - I miss reporting important news such as the announcement of a forthcoming new live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. My sincerest apologies.

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Punk Rock and Trailer Parks

Akron was once cool for, like, five years. I know it's hard to believe now, but it really was.

(Derf, in the University of Akron's Buchtelite.)

I've always been fascinated by the legend of the late seventies Akron, Ohio punk scene that almost became the next big thing. Maybe it's the fact I narrowly missed it myself by being born twenty some years too late, or maybe it's just the northeastern Ohio association. Or maybe it's because I recognize and identify with the quintessential rust belt story element of almost - but not quite - making good, and having to live with that near miss forever on.

In any event, the parts of that legend now exists in graphic novel form, courtesy of Ohio artist Derf, who released last October Punk Rock and Trailer Parks. Sure, it's an outsider coming-of-age tale involving punk rock, a formula already approaching overuse, but it reaches beyond the formula to establish itself as a sincere statement on what a cultural movement like punk meant when it emerged, especially to the misfits of the American working-class Midwest. If you don't identify with that background, the sincerity is still undeniable and compelling. And if you do identify with that background, this graphic novel is like meeting a new friend who instinctively gets what you're about from page one.

Regarding Akron's punk scene, I've posted before about two documentaries on the subject, It's Everything and Then's It's Gone, and If You're Not Dead, Play! I'm having some trouble viewing the video of the first one, but the second is functioning. Along with tales like Derf's, they're a good look into a tiny piece of history, as well as the larger contextual history of punk, that the VH1-style docudramas won't or can't convey.

DC Ends Minx

thejanes

I believe that there is a market for girls who read comics, I know this because I met a bunch of them, and I do believe that it's just a matter of time when all of that will sort itself out.

(From Cecil Castellucci's Livejournal.)

I'm so sorry to hear that DC has decided to end its barely one-year-old Minx graphic novel line, which was geared towards girls. It had some good stuff, especially my girl Castellucci's PLAIN Janes series (well, just a duo now, I guess). I'd like to be as optimistic as Cecil, but I'm afraid that the rest of the comic industry won't be - I'm afraid this will be taken as proof by a lot of people that girls just aren't a viable comic audience. Although I have my own serious doubts at how well Minx was marketed and promoted, not to mention the fact that they only gave it little more than a year's time to experiment. It's just too bad.

Batman's Stephanie Brown Gets Her (Imaginary) Due

There's been a few Robins during Batman's time. There was the original, Dick Grayson, the successor, Tim Drake, and a couple of others who met unfortunate ends before they could register much on the comic world's radar. They've been immortalized in the Batcave with a series of costume displays. But there's one that never had a display - Stephanie Brown, the only female Robin.

Female comic fans, the zealots we are, have been somewhat upset over Steph's omission for years. It even inspired a long-standing campaign, Project Girl Wonder, to get her recognized.

I have to admit that even I wasn't entirely behind this movement. Sure, the comic world has a long way to go when it comes to better representations of women, but I never was quite sure if Stephanie was left out of the memorial lineup because she was female. I just didn't think her character was as important. Which, I suppose, you could argue might have sprung from being female in the first place. But I never really knew.

What I do know is that they've finally gotten what they wanted, at least partially. Batman writer Grant Morrison wrote into the latest issue a dream sequence that give Stephanie her memorial.

A victory for geek girls? Well, I'm a feminist who can claim an entire adolescence reading Batman titles, especially Robin, and I'm underwhelmed. I think the Beat's closing paragraph sums it up:

Seems like a good first step to us, but don’t give up the fight just yet, ladies. We say don’t rest until you get a female superhero book that’s actually suitable for young women to read. Now that would be a real accomplishment.

Toothpaste for Dinner Lecture

Drew from Toothpaste for Dinner is going to be giving an lecture at OSU on Wednesday, January 23, at 7:30 PM. It's open to both students and non-students, and I expect it to fill up fast. If I can finagle Little One supervision, I may try to attend myself. Any parties who might like to join me, let me know.

Tom Gauld Illustration

Tom Gauld Illustration

These letter illustrations by Tom Gauld appeared with their related letters in the Guardian, but most stand pretty well just on their own. See the gallery.

Gordon Lee Case: Mistrial

The case of Gordon Lee - the insidiously evil comic book store owner who, on Free Comic Book Day, passed out a free comic book sampler that had a depiction of a nude Pablo Picasso TO A MINOR - was declared a mistrial on its very first day in court. Unbelievable.

John Calvin and Thomas Hobbes


John Calvin and Thomas Hobbes by *spacecoyote on deviantART

Harvey Pekar in North Canton

Harvey Pekar @ Walsh University, Oct. 15

Comic legend Harvey Pekar will be speaking at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio on Monday, October 15. If only it were a day earlier, I'd drive the necessary two-and-a-half hours - but on a weekday? Alas, this exemplary new employee cannot beg time off to go see an alternative comic book creator speak. Even if it's free. Which it is. Check it out if you can.

XKCD Strikes Again

Pix Plz

Pix Plz