Links to Things

  • The amazing comics site What Things Do—which features complete stories by Sammy Harkham and John Porcellino, among others—is serializing What Am I Doing Here by Abner Dean. I was introduced to Dean’s long-out-of-print work by an article in Comic Art #9, and it floored me—it’s surrealism in the style of classic New Yorker cartoons.

  • Too Busy Thinking About My Comics is a blog I discovered from a link in the comments here. The author (I feel weirdly unsure whether it’s okay to use his name—he signed his comment here, but his blog seems to be anonymous) writes about superhero comics and British pop culture. Admittedly, those aren’t the kind of comics I read these days, but I have fond memories of Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis’s Justice League and sometimes I still like to read about them. But It wouldn’t matter if I didn’t, because this is the best kind of criticism: sharp writing, and musings and insights that hook you even if you thought you didn’t care about the cultural artifact the writer is riffing on. I recommend “The Intrusion Of The Fantastic Into The Mundane No 1: The Thunderbirds Of Edinburgh” and “The Invention Of Loneliness: What Green Lantern Can Teach A Boy That Starro The Conqueror Can’t”, both of which managed to move me.

  • At the other end of the same topic, I once checked some of the later Justice League comics out of the library and my basic reaction was “What is this crap?” I couldn’t follow the Grant Morrison issues at all, and I speak as someone who mostly understood The Invisibles. It sounds like Justice League has now gotten about as dumb as it possibly can. But at least the MightyGodKing blog got a hilarious review out of the deal.

  • “Making Smarter Dumb Mistakes About the Future” is an article by Cory Doctorow about why so many old science fiction futures were so wildly wrong. It focuses on three common mistakes which Doctorow characterizes as “Like Today, But Moreso,” “Just Enough, And No More,” and “That’s Not Weird, It’s Dumb.”

  • The Believer chronicles ancient Roman poetry slams. Apparently they were pretty horrific deals. Juvenal classed them as health hazards.

  • A hectic calendar of literary competitions soon sprang up. At first, the Sebasta in Neapolis (Naples) was the most prestigious event, luring the Emperor Nero himself to compete before a crowd of thousands. The audience was not permitted to leave the auditorium during the thirteen-hour recital; it was said that a woman gave birth during the performance, and one old man feigned death so he could escape to the bathroom.

  • Finally, here’s a fascinating essay on scurvy, and how we gain knowledge, and lose it, and gain it back again.

1 thought on “Links to Things

  1. Wesley – please accept my sincere thanks for refering to my blog here. Your kinds word were appreciated. And through you Andrew Hickey linked to me & so on, as the net goes, and its been thoroughly invirgorating to talk to folks I’ve been reading. Andrew pointed out how the chain of causality goes back to here, so cheers to him, and to you. It’s your fault! Of course, do delete this from here, as it looks like blog-pimping in my part. But do pop over to my neck of things anytime, you’re very welcome indeed. (And after reading the above, I realised it WOULD make sense to put m’name on my blog front pages.) So, thanks. Colin.

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