§ Steven Grant looks at DC’s return to back-up features:
Not that DC’s heart is in the wrong place. In a sane market, the move makes perfect sense. Raising prices is a great way to lose sheaves of readers who might be forgiven for bristling at paying more money for the same amount of material. The theory is sound: add enough additional material to offset reader doubts and offset the additional cost of the additional material with the additional income provided by the higher price. In theory, it should work, even if the general scheme smacks a bit of if we had some eggs we could have some ham and eggs if we had some ham. All things being equal, it would work.
BTW we have many evolving thoughts on the evolution of the “pamphlet” or the “periodical”, as we prefer to call it, but finding time to give them a coherent shape continues to elude us. Some day.
§ The Great Recession may be killing newspapers and cutting a swath through the ranks of editorial cartoonists, but financial bad times are GOOD times…for Dilbert!
As it turns out, economic collapse benefits at least one oppressed office worker. Dilbert, the iconic cartoon character who represents the crushed souls and wrecked dreams of so many cubicle dwellers, is having a banner year.
In February, dilbert.com handled 1.5 million unique visitors, among the busiest of months in the site’s history. Maybe that’s because lately the strip’s stories of pointed-haired bosses, corporate gobbledygook and naked incompetence feel like chicken soup for our downsized souls.
An interview with Scott Adams follows.
§ Sean T. Collins has the first long consumer review of David Mazzucchelli’s long awaited graphic NOVEL, ASTERIOS POLYP, that we’ve seen:
What I can say with confidence, however, is that I enjoyed that story immensely. And a big part of that is because this isn’t a Woody Allen film or a Philip Roth novel–it’s a comic, and there’s no mistaking it. Yeah, the basic story could be told in other ways, but if you wanted an illustration of that old saw that you should be able to look at a comic and determine why it’s a comic and not a movie pitch or a short story, look no further. Mazzucchelli clearly had a blast drawing this thing.
(Btw, we read it and liked it.)
§ Disappointment. This headline from Women’s Wear Daily looked so promising:Marvel Debuts Female Apparel and Cosmetics…but goddam it, they have a paywall! We’ll have to leave non-subscribers to only imagine White Queen lingerie, Wasp (female) concealer, She-Hulk after-shave skin conditioner, and Aunt May elastic-waist slacks.
§ BUT — see Tom Crippen on Stan Lee’s female characters before you get too excited.
§ We’re GUESSING, this story on a college talk by Ivan Brunetti was evidently written by a college journalism student because it’s got that weird AP style one-sentence-to-a-paragraph thing going on with absolutely no sense of how people talk, and the awkward result becomes a kind of clumsy poetry:
One of the cartoons Brunetti presented in the slide show was about his first wife in what he considered “a marriage from hell.”
He also showed naked cartoon drawings of himself.
“I am getting rid of my persona or façade,” Brunetti said.
In some of his works, he made fun of his co-workers.
Brunetti said usually people are OK with it.
“One co-worker was angry,” he said. “But the drawing wasn’t even of her, anyway.”
§ However THIS college paper human interest story about young student/fencer/cartoonist Sam Tung is a real charmer:
Wrought in a clean, high-contrast black-and-white style that sometimes resembles a woodcut, the story is set in the Dustbowl of ‘30s. “It was a strange, uneasy point in American history and kind of a cool retro thing,” notes Tung. “I enjoyed researching it.” The hero, a former mercenary, and his buddy, have unwittingly been hired to transport what turns out to be a doomsday device. Machine-gun toting bad guys, bent on stealing the goods, unleash on them gunfire and booby traps at every turn.
This story has everything but a byline, apparently. Oh well.