Robot 6

Comics A.M. | Are You My Mother?, The Walking Dead top indie bookstore chart

The Walking Dead, Vol. 1

Sales charts | The American Booksellers Association has released its list of the top-selling graphic novels in indie bookstores for the eight weeks ending May 27. At first glance, it looks like it’s mostly literary graphic novels (Habibi, Are You My Mother?) with a healthy sprinkling of The Walking Dead. [Bookselling This Week, via The Beat]

Creators | Grant Morrison discusses the second issue of Batman Incorporated, which features Batman’s lover and Robin’s mom, Talia al Ghul. [USA Today]

Comics history | Could comics history have been radically different if Jerry Siegel had a different last name? Larry Tye, the author of the new Superman a biography, talks to Fresh Air about the origins of the Man of Steel and how he changed over the years: “The editors in New York over time started to exercise their editorial control. They saw this as both a character and a business. They would go down to the level of dictating just what his forelocks looked like. They could be too curly. His arms should be shorter and less ‘ape-like.’ And Joe should get rid of his hero’s ‘nice fat bottom.’ His editor told him that he worried that that made Superman look too ‘la-dee-dah.’ And they were really concerned about the image of the character.” [NPR]

Archer & Armstrong #1

Creators | Fred Van Lente talks about his work on Archer & Armstrong, the upcoming revamp of the classic Valiant title, and how his work relates to the original: “Besides [Barry Windsor-Smith’s] incredible art, the wit and breadth of adventures Archer & Armstrong went on was just inspired insanity even by super hero comics usually nutso standards. There are some things I’m definitely changing — I’m strong believer in tight plotting, for example, while the original A&A just kind of rambled from bit to bit — but I want to retain the spirit of the original, most definitely. [MTV Geek]

Creators | Eddie Wright talks to Noah Van Sciver about his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln as a depressed young man in The Hypo. [MTV Geek]

Creators | Ian Boothby talks about writing the Simpsons comic: “Well, the real trick, as we say, is that there’s about 500 episodes of the show, there’s 200 issues of the comics, so just don’t do those 700 stories. Any new ideas, knock yourself out. That’s the only real trick, to come up with a new take on it. Homer gets a job as a what? What hasn’t he done? What haven’t he and Marge fought about? Thankfully, I’ve been able to find some angles that haven’t been done on the show. I am given a lot of latitude unless it’s something that’s been done already or is upcoming.” [Sequential Tart]


Manga | David Brothers discusses the classic manga Cyborg 009, why the caricatured black character doesn’t bother him as much as Ebony White or the black characters in Tintin, and what he sees as the overall significance of the series: “I can see that Ishinomori was trying to tell a story that’s still progressive to this day, one that incorporates warmongering, weapons dealing, and the effects of war on a society. It’s about how war screws over all of us, from the people getting blown up on the front line to the people who don’t realize how often war is used in support of business interests. It’s about weapons possibly being used to prevent that outcome, and the importance of making humane decisions, rather than business-oriented ones, during the course of war. The cyborgs are weapons with free will and minds, and they make choices according to their own morality. That’s impossible with a nuclear bomb or drone. There’s a point there about where warfare and personal actions meet, but I can’t quite grasp it. Are the cyborgs us? Are they the leaders of the world? Just a cool superhero team? Something else?” [4thletter]

Theme parks | Tom Staggs, the head of Disney’s theme park division, says that the company is “hard at work” at creating theme park attractions based on Marvel’s characters after the success of the Avengers movie. “We were hard at work on attractions using Marvel characters previously, and that work has only intensified given (the film’s) great success.” While the company cannot add Marvel attractions to its Orlando resort due to the license held by Universal Studios, they can build them at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and at their parks outside the United States. No timeline was given, as he added building the right attractions “takes a fair amount of time.” [Reuters]

Retailing | Several comic retailers discuss the same-sex weddings and commitment ceremonies they’ll host this week when Astonishing X-Men #51, featuring the marriage of Northstar and Kyle, arrives. [Newsarama]



I read that item, and it was interesting, although one thing jumped out at me:

The author asserts that, in contrast to Superman, BATMAN is really just his ordinary civilian identity in a disguise?

Last I looked it’s pretty much received wisdom in modern thinking about the character that Batman is the ultimate example of the superhero being the real personality and the civilian identity the facade. Kind of makes me wonder about the rest of the gentleman’s book.

Matthew Halteman

June 19, 2012 at 7:33 am

I agree, Wraith. If he fails to grasp that one fundamental concept, what else is he going to have wrong?

Matthew Halteman

June 19, 2012 at 7:47 am

I just read the full article and notice also that he states that “Superman” is the true persona and “Clark Kent” the disguise. I suppose that’s the way that it was back in the beginning of the character’s creation and is the prevailing perception even now, but I much prefer the John Byrne interpretation of Clark Kent being who he actually is and Superman being more of the persona, the armor that he puts on in order to do good in the world without sacrificing who he is as Kent.

That resonates with me a great deal more than some all-powerful god dressing in a bad suit, bumbling around and presenting himself as a cowardly, klutzy boob (an image, by the way, which makes it impossible to believe that he is an award-winning reporter and author – but I suppose those details have been retconned away, as well).

However, Mr. Tye’s book seems to be more concerned with the history and cultural/social significance of Superman as a phenomenon and, as such, I can forgive some possible misinterpretations, which honestly comes down more to personal preference than anything else.

Yeah I’m guessing he just came at the material from a different angle than the typical comics fan, and on balance that may be a fine thing. Perhaps the work will be more original and/or more accessible. It certainly could be a great book.

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