Monday, February 23, 2004

Notable Links for 02/23

* "Last week, the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Association and the PEN American Center kicked off the Campaign for Reader Privacy, supporting efforts to amend Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act.

"The section allows the government to seize -- with a search warrant from a secret court, but without probable cause to suspect criminal action -- the library and bookstore records of individuals. It also puts the librarians and booksellers under a gag order, preventing them from challenging the order or notifying the people involved." The CBLDF is also involved in this campaign. Read more here, courtesy of

* "'American Splendor,' which revolves around the travails of comics connoisseur Harvey Pekar, won the Writers Guild of America Award for best adapted screenplay..." Go here for more, courtesy of Reuters.

* I discussed the Image turnover on Friday - Erik Larsen in as publisher, Jim Valentino out. Of course, it was to be expected that the negative rumors began spreading immediately - as we saw in this Newsarama article. Of course, these "further sources" were immediately debunked by Image officials, and the slippery nature of these rumors makes me inclined to disbelieve them myself - but that's hardly a scientific judgement. Quite frankly, excepting a bombshell announcement from one of the four remaining Image founders, there's no way to confirm any of this as of now. I'm going to be interested to see if Valentino makes a comment in the next few days. If you want to read the official Image press release, go here, courtesy of Comic Book Resources.

* Spaekin of Image, I mentioned the Masters of the Universe licensed titles as perhaps being a thorny issue in recent history, but it seems as if the books are not the prize I originally assumed. This is merely a press release, but it's worth reading as it points to a great deal of troubles the licensors, MVC, have had on both sides of the issue. Both their publisher, Crossgen, and the property's licensee, Mattel. It will be interesting to see how this story pays out - whether or not Image will have any interest in becoming a participant again, and whether or not Crossgen's continuing problems will effect MVC's ability to continue making comics. Link courtesy of Comic Book Resources.

* The San Jose Mercury News sat down with Art Spiegelman to discuss his forthcoming "In The Shadow of No Towers" book. Go here to read all about it.

* Former and current comics scribe Ann Nocenti (now going by "Annie") has stepped into the position of editor for the marijuana-advocacy magazine High Times - read more here. As an aside - do you think a position at a magazine like High Society will effect her possible emloyment at either of the Big Two? She's just recently begun to work for mainstream comics in the past year or so after a long absence, it will be interesting to see if the somewhat controversial nature of her current day-job will make her an unnattractive prospect for certain publishers...

* Ever wonder why newspaper strips are such an ossifed genre? Take a look at this sampling of reaction when the Montreal Gazette sent out a comics ballot.

* Joseph Szadkowski of the Washington Times takes a look at Marvel MAX's recent Thor: Vikings limited series, as well as other assorted odds and ends here.

* "Remember when comics cost a dime? Well, those days are about as far gone as hoop skirts and sugar rationing." The Nebraska Daily Nonpareil is just now catching up to the 1980's here, with their look at the recent Greater Omaha Comic Book Convention.

* The Western Missouri Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is using comics to help in their crusade against capital punishment - read more here courtesy of the Kansas City Star.

* "The first ever NBA Licensed comic book series is available at the NBA Store, Wal-Marts and at All the stories are family oriented. The series features Jason Kidd, Allan Houston, Stephon Marbury, Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson . . ." Courtesy of Stebe Serby and Kevin Kenan ("The Insiders") of the New York Post.

* "Webcomics can range from epic graphic novels that are several volumes long, to weekly updated three-panel strips. But webcomics do have a couple things in common. First of all, they are all online, and second, a great number of them are free." The Lompoc Record takes a look at the burgeoning world of internet comics here.

* The Johns-Hopkins Newsletter took a look at a recent gallery exhibit of comic art at the Maryland Institute of College Art, called "Comics On The Verge", and they definitely liked what they saw. Read about it here.

* Garry Trudeau wants to help our President clear himself of recent slanderous accusations on the part of the vast Left-wing conspiracy - don't you believe his intentions are noble? Read about it here.

* "Size doesn't matter when it comes to superheroes. Or so says Louisville artist Mario Gully. The 30-year-old's new comic book, 'ANT,' published by Arcana Studios, was released Feb. 11." Read more here, courtesy of the Louisville Courier-Journal.

* Here's a look into a new vanguard of Christian-themed adventure comics, courtesy of The Miami Herald.

* As if Dave Sim weren't controversial enough, he's joining forces with the CGC and Paradise Comics of Ontario to produce a special limited & signed "slabbed" edition of Cerebus #300. Go here for the details & press release, courtesy again of Comic Book Resources.

* Finally - just in case you were confused, this ain't Journalista!, so I can link to stuff like this when I want to. So there. Hawkgirl Roolz!

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