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Friday, January 02, 2015

On Diversity in Comics

     The Observer-Reporter ran a story yesterday about diversity in comics, focusing on the push for
same in the industry, today. It's a great article, headlined by the transition of a black character (Sam Wilson) into the role of Captain America.

     Commenting on such fare can be tricky, these days, especially if one comes across as the least-bit critical of these decisions, so I'll make two statements as gingerly as possible:

*Such changes can only have lasting, powerful impact if they are story-driven and not made for political points or impact.

*It could be argued that creators should come up with NEW characters who reflect our country's diversity, rather than retread and redress established ones, if they truly wish the material to make a national impression.

     That's all.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Diagram for Delinquents: A Film By Robert A. Emmons, Jr.

            When it comes to his role in the development of the Comics Code Authority, I’ve long believed that Dr. Fredric Wertham received far too much criticism from fans and historians, alike. This is due to no profound insight on my part, but only an educated grasp of some of what was available to children on comics racks in the period from the late 1940’s to the early 1950’s. Now, a new documentary has not only made me even less antagonistic toward Wertham, it has actually birthed new admiration for the man and a more distinct understanding of his motivations.

Diagram for Delinquents, by Robert A. Emmons, Jr., stands to set the record straight on precisely who Wertham was, and exactly why he deserves fresh consideration, not only from comics fans, but people in general. I feel fairly safe in stating that, despite some of Wertham’s mistaken views and blanket condemnation of an entire medium, viewers should plan to have their opinions of him challenged upon viewing Emmon’s work.

            Unless you are already an expert on Dr. Wertham, you are sure to learn more about him. You may actually gain respect for the man as a researcher, compassionate doctor, and even one who, it could be argued, had a unique role in the civil rights movement. This will be accomplished by well-conducted in-depth interviews with those who are experts and authorities in several different fields, not just the world of comics. That, along with a wealth of photos and newsreels from the first half of the 20th Century, slick production work and, of course, many reproductions of Golden Age comic book covers and pages, makes Diagram for Delinquents a must-watch for all but the youngest fans of the comics medium.

            Diagram for Delinquents addresses not only the history of comic books, but much weightier issues, as well, and does so in a highly professional and informative manner. Kudos to Emmons for crafting a project which has the potential to change some decades-long conceptions about one of the most controversial figures in the history of American pop culture.

Review by Mark Allen

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Jim Lee and Babs Tarr on Fox News

Jim Lee and Babs Tarr showed up on Fox News to promote the 75th Anniversary of Batman. It's a great interview, which also includes snippets of interviews with a couple of actors from the Gotham tv series. 

Check it out.

Friday, October 10, 2014

NBA Star To Release "Top-Secret Comic Project"

It's always cool when we comics fans find out that movie stars, well-known musicians or professional athletes share our love for sequential fare, but it's rare to see the high-profile crowd get quite as excited about the hobby as Brook Lopez does. As this New York Post article tells it, the NBA star and his brothers are not just uber-fans - they're planning their own comics project.

Read the story, quick!