Monday, February 16, 2004

Notable Links for 02/16/04

* "Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox and the state’s 83 county prosecutors have agreed not to enforce a controversial section of a new state law that bars bookstores from displaying some sexually explicit titles until a federal judge rules on a challenge to the law.

Last month, five Michigan booksellers, along with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the Association of American Publishers and four other groups filed suit in U.S. District Court seeking to block the law passed last year." Read more here.

* "Can you teach a physics class with only comic books to illustrate the principles? University of Minnesota physics professor James Kakalios has been doing it since 1995, when he explained the principle of conservation of momentum by calculating the force of Spider-Man's web when it snagged the superhero's girlfriend as she plummeted from a great height." Read more here.

* "Some in the [video game] industry, however, are not so sure that games will ever mature. They fear games could be a dead end like comic books - valuable as a social phenomenon, but outside a select few titles like Art Spiegelman's "Maus," not worth a great deal of individual study." Read more here.

* "One new face who seems destined to go the distance . . . is the author of "Belly Button Comix," a 32-page booklet published last month by Fantagraphics Books in Seattle. Identified only as Sophie on the cover, she is in fact Sophie Crumb, the 22-year-old daughter of the legendary counterculture cartoonist Robert Crumb and his cartoonist-turned-artist wife, Aline Kominsky-Crumb." Read more here.

* "Stuart Levy jokes that he spends about a third of his time in planes traveling back and forth between Los Angeles and Tokyo. As CEO and CCO of TOKYOPOP (, Levy is currently riding the crest of a wave of a hot product on both sides of the Pacific — manga." Read more here.

* "Ever since "the Man of Steel" first took to the skies in 1938, comics have been consigned to the bottom shelf. Superman may be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but he and his pals cannot seem to get out of the kids' section and into the hallowed halls for art. Arnold T. Blumberg says he wants to see that change." Read more here.

* "It doesn't take superhuman strength to do well in school, but it doesn't hurt to have some superhero inspiration. That is what Amigoman, the Latin Avenger, gave students at Rolling Ridge Elementary this week when he stopped in to talk about setting goals and working hard in school." Read more here.

* "The Justice Department has quietly installed an outspoken anti-pornography advocate in a senior position in its criminal division, as part of an effort to jump-start obscenity prosecutions." Read more here.

* "Painter Baiju Parthan is known for his evocative images but he is also a botanist, cartoonist and an academician who has delved deep into Comparative Mythology. Acutely aware of the fast-transforming world around him, Baiju Parthan intellectualises the issue and comments on the male gaze." Read more here.

* "As readers of this morning's comics pages know, the star of "Cathy" said "yes" to longtime boyfriend Irving's marriage proposal. And there is more than a single reason why Cathy will no longer be single." Read more here.

* "Half a century after unleashing the Bash Street Kids on their beleaguered teacher and the world, their creator was toasting the 50th "birfday" of Smiffy and friends yesterday. The comic strip that spawned Fatty, Plug, Smiffy and co was first published in the Beano in 1954 - and they are still causing mayhem in class 2B at Bash Street School." Read more here.

* "John Sherffius, the editorial cartoonist of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, recently resigned after a series of disagreements with the newspaper's editor over his criticism of President George W. Bush and the Republican Party." Read more here.

* "Formerly a cartoonist with The Chronicle, John Whittaker made his name with his full-colour topical cartoons, which featured in weekly publications, calendars and greetings cards. He worked under the pen name John Witt." Read more here.

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