jay hosler Archives | Robot 6 | The Comics Culture Blog

Comics A.M. | Why the new Spider-Man matters; a look at ‘work for hire’

Miles Morales

Comics | In a post subtitled “Why the new biracial Spider-Man matters,” David Betancourt shares his reaction to the news that the new Ultimate Spider-Man is half-black, half-Latino: “The new Ultimate Spider-Man, who will have the almost impossible task of replacing the late Peter Parker (easily one of Marvel Comics most popular characters), took off his mask and revealed himself to be a young, half-black, half-Latino kid by the name of Miles Morales. When I read the news, I was beside myself, as if my brain couldn’t fully process the revelation. My friendly neighborhood Spider-Man was … just like me? This is a moment I never thought I’d see. But the moment has arrived, and I — the son of Puerto Rican man who passed his love of comics to me, and a black woman who once called me just to say she’d met Adam West — will never forget that day.”

The New Yorker, meanwhile, posts the opening on an essay from the year 2120 that looks back at the cultural significance of the new Spider-Man. [Comic Riffs, New Yorker]

Legal | Analysis of the Kirby estate/Marvel case continues, as both Modern Ideas and Copyhype look at the concept of “work for hire” in light of the ruling. [Modern Ideas, Copyhype]

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It’s still Free Comic Book Day somewhere

Elric: The Balance Lost

If you didn’t have a chance to make it to your local comics retailer this past Saturday, never fear — it’s always Free Comic Book Day on the web. Here are a few places you can find digital editions of the FCBD comics released on Saturday, plus a few more freebies because, hey, free comics:


What Are You Reading?


Welcome to a special Super Bowl Sunday edition of What Are You Reading? Not that it’s any different from a regular WAYR column, but you can enjoy it while eating hot wings while the TV is paused.

Today our special guest is biology professor Jay Hosler, creator of Clan Apis and Optical Allusions. His latest book, Evolution, with artists Kevin Cannon and Zandor Cannon, was recently released by Hill & Wang. Check out his blog for a story he’s working on about photosynthesis.

To see what Jay and the Robot 6 gang are reading, click below.

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The five most criminally ignored books of 2008: No. 1, Optical Allusions

Optical Allusions

Optical Allusions

I sometimes think that because his books have an “educational” bent, Jay Hosler tends to get short shrift in the comics community. Sure, his books are filled with interesting facts and figures and are largely aimed at a younger audience, but they often have a wider emotional resonance that move them beyond mere textbook value. Beyond providing bon mots about the lives of honeybees, Clan Apis offered some bittersweet truths about the cycle of life and death. Beyond providing a 101 lesson in evolution, The Sandwalk Adventures offered a rather pointed rejoinder to the Creationist movement as well as a meditation on how new ideas can upset culture and tradition.

Optical Allusions, Hosler’s newest work, isn’t quite as good as those two books — it leans a bit more toward the educational side of things — but it’s smart, imaginative, hilarious and in terms of plot and structure, his tightest book yet.

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