Robot 6

Comics A.M. | The secret of Batman’s enduring appeal

Detective Comics #27

Detective Comics #27

Comics | Liam Burke, editor of the essay collection Fan Phenomena: Batman, discusses the enduring appeal of the Dark Knight, who of course turns 75 this year: “This isn’t a guy who’s from an alien planet, this isn’t someone who was bitten by a radioactive spider. This is an average guy, albeit incredibly wealthy and incredibly intelligent, at the peak of human fitness, but an average guy nonetheless. That sort of aspirational quality has been identified as the reason Batman sort of stands above Spider-Man, Superman or any number of heroes.” [RN Drive]

Publishing | David Harper looks at the economics of monthly creator-owned comics, as well as how trades fit into the picture; for creators, the monthlies provide a regular stream of income so they can always be working on the next issue. Brandon Montclare, Jim Zubkavich and others provide some first-hand commentary on how things work in the real world. [Multiversity Comics]

Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con

Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con

Conventions | The two Philadelphia dailies preview this weekend’s Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con, with the Inquirer focusing on a partnership with Awesome Fest that bring film, music and comedy programming to the event. [The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News]

Festivals | If you’re curious about the U.K. indie-comics scene, Zainab Akhtar has a writeup of the East London Comic Arts Festival (ELCAF), which sounds a lot like TCAF or MoCCA; at one point, the line outside was so long that someone asked “Is this for comics, or a secret Fall Out Boy gig?” [Comics and Cola]

Creators | Marc Tyler Nobleman spotlights industry veteran Mike W. Barr and his account of his 1986 firing as an editor by DC Comics over his public endorsement of crediting Bill Finger as co-creator of Batman. [Noblemania]

How to Be Happy

How to Be Happy

Creators | Eleanor Davis talks about her new book How to Be Happy, a collection of short comics stories and sketches that she has done over the past seven years, in a variety of styles: “My drawing style changes a lot both because different stories call for different styles and because I don’t want to get stale or bored. I don’t like to draw the same image twice. A good drawing is sort of mystical; it has its own life and existence in addition to being a representation of something else. A drawing that’s been drawn over and over again can turn into just a symbol – it stops being a living thing.” [It’s Nice That]

Creators | South Korean cartoonist Oh Young-jin talks about his experiences in North Korea, which he described in two comics, A Guest from the South and Opening up of the Wall. Oh spent 18 months in North Korea as an employee of Korea Electric Power Corp. Guy Delisle, who chronicled his trip to North Korea in Pyongyang, also was part of the panel, had a very different take on the country, where he worked on an animation project in 2001. [Korea Times]

Creators | Leah Hayes discusses her comic Not Funny Ha-Ha, which is about the experience of having an abortion, as seen through the eyes of two different women: “The main thing for me is that I don’t really want to offer this graphic novel as a political stance on abortion … In fact I make a point to start the book where the girls find out that they are pregnant, and I don’t address how or where or why. It doesn’t matter in this book. I wanted to illustrate JUST that time, from when you make an appointment to when you are ‘done’ and going back to every day life. A lot happens during that period of time that is not political, just doing what you need to do, and dealing with the emotional ups and downs of having surgery.” [The Huffington Post]



Creators | Here’s a translation of a three-way conversation between Taiyo Matsumoto (Tekkonkinkreet, Sunny), Inio Asano (solanin, Nijigahara Holograph), and Keigo Shinzo, whose work hasn’t yet been translated into English. [Mangabrog]

Comics | Alice Cooper will be the star of a new series from Dynamite Entertainment, to be scripted by Joe Harris, creator of Ghost Projekt and Great Pacific. Says the iconic shock-rocker, “There is so much you can do in the form of a comic that we’d never been able to do onstage. It’s just a different way of storytelling, and it really has almost limitless possibilities. We’re looking forward to stretching the existing boundaries of the comic medium again. We have new stories to tell, but we’ll do it with the same theatrical, sinister sensibility that comes with the name ‘Alice Cooper.’ This is just the beginning! Welcome to my new nightmares!” [The Hollywood Reporter]

Manga | Shaenon Garrity writes about the wine-tasting manga Drops of God. [Anime News Network]

Exhibits | A collection of cartoons depicting life on the Western Front during World War I, drawn at the front by Lance Corporal Albert E.V. Richards, is on display at the Castle Museum in York, England. [Darlington & Stockton Times]

Retailing | Comics & Gaming, the newest comics shop in Bethany Beach, Delaware, is described as bright, well-organized and welcoming to all. [Coastal Point]



He’s an average guy, admittedly not average at all, but an average guy none the less.

The secret to Batman’s enduring popularity is that, if you had the proper resources, anyone could be Batman. It’s all about taking a tragedy in your life and turning it into something positive.

Actually, the enduring popularity of Batman is because he doesn’t have to worry about his parents telling him what to do, he gets to drive a cool car, he has a cool plane, he has a ton of money, he gets to play dress up every night (and in black, no like those brightly colored weirdos), he gets to be a jerk to everyone and he’s admired for it, and he hangs around with clowns and Alice in Wonderland fans and dudes with cool riddles instead of the lame-os in real life. (Chris Sims over at Comics Alliance, who proclaims himself the biggest Batman fan, says that the character is basically the ultimate in childhood wish fulfillment… and he’s right.)

The Batman Rules

June 20, 2014 at 9:40 am

The enduring popularity of Batman comes from the fact that, no matter how many times the exact conversation takes place, people will endlessly talk about what makes him popular again and again. I can’t count high enough to reach how many times that exact topic has been discussed. He’s truly a wunderkind in that regard.

@The Batman Rules: That’s true. To be far though, there’s also been a fair share of pieces about “The Enduring Popularity of Superman” (such as Glen Weldon’s “Unauthorized Biography”) and “The Enduring Popularity of Spider-Man” (mainly about how he’s a relatable teen with real problems).

Batman is as popular as he is because he is dark gothic avenger who goes well with the teen angst crowd. So hes ‘cool’ – dark shadows and all that, ninja in a bat costume essentially.

I dare say if you are over 35ish and still read mainstream Batman comics, well…you aren’t exactly the most mature guy on the planet…

The Batman Rules

June 20, 2014 at 10:25 am

@Larry Cruz: That’s true. It just sometimes feels like their enduring popularity is the weird dependency the fans have with them. It’s hard to tell what triggers that, but I don’t think it’s because Batman’s just a guy like us or that Superman is the pinnacle of what it means to be human (even as an alien). It’s like they coat their comics in heroin or something. It goes beyond thematic explanations into something that isn’t so easy to ascertain, and I think it says more about the wish fulfillment you’re talking about than the theoretically attainable realism of Batman.

Why are we disparaging other super heroes in our praise of Batman? Supes and Spidey round out the top three in terms of popularity. There is no need to put them down in your assessment.

Important comments from Oh Young-jin regarding the terrible living conditions in the DPRK.

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