O Say Can You See: The Greatest Patriotic Super Heroes of All-Time
* Nina Stone can’t get worked up enough to hate on Power Girl: “I guess I just don’t see what is being oppressed here. Is there some strong feminine story that could be told if this character didn’t have large breasts? What is it I’m missing?”
* Is Storm a racist character? Discuss.
* Writing for Reason magazine, Brian Doherty examines Harold Gray’s classic comic strip Little Orphan Annie, with a particular eye to its political themes:
These first two volumes of the series, both of them pre–New Deal, are individualistic, but the anti-government mood is generally quietly suggestive, not obtrusive. The subtle politics are highly individualistic, promoting the virtues of the hard-working common man. The strip was suffused with Midwestern values (hard work and cheerfulness) and prejudices (pro-fisherman, anti-beard) and a very populist sense that it was who you were inside, not money or station, that mattered, and that “just plain folk—and plenty of ’em” were best.
* Sandy Bilus looks at Old Man Winter and Other Sordid Tales by J.T. Yost: “This 2009 Xeric Award winner is a fairly excellent collection of five short stories, three of which are powerful condemnations of the treatment of animals by humans.”
* Kevin Church has good things to say about Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941: “This Greg Sadowski-edited look at the nascent superhero comics scene is pure pop culture heaven.”
* John Jakala gets around to last year’s Love and Rockets: New Stories:
The styles and subject matter that the Hernandez brothers work in are so different that it’s a bit jarring to move from stories about superheroines to surreal tales of an old knock-off comedy duo slaughtering an entire alien population.
* Jeff VanderMeer has a great essay looking at the history of Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim’s awesome Dungeon series.
* While we’re on the Trondheim kick, Greg McElhatton reviews his most recently published (in the US anyway) work, Bourbon Island 1730: “At the end of the day, it’s a good book that felt like it should have been a great book.”
* Jog and Tucker Stone finally wrapped up their Humanoids run-down with a roundtable chat at Savage Critics.
* John Mitchell was impressed with Nate Powell’s Swallow Me Whole.
* Bart Croonenborghs thinks Niklas Asker’s Second Thoughts might be too ambitious for its own good.
* Finally, Derik Badman reports on the new Edward Gorey exhibit that’s at the Brandywine Museum in Pa. I gotta go check that out.