Asterios Polyp Roundtable

In the coming week (and a few days) we’re going to have an extended roundtable on David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp. Besides the usual Utilitarians, columnists Matthias Wivel and Domingos Isabelinho are also planning to weigh in — and we’ll also have guest posts from Derik Badman and Craig Fischer. So please check back!


I started off the week by explaining why I wasn’t that into Urasawa’s Monster.

Domingos Isabelhino devoted his first monthly column, called “Monthly Stumblings”, to Pierre Duba’s Racines.

Vom Marlowe pointed and laughed at the art in Brave and Bold #33. Several commenters protested, and I did a follow up post speculating on visual tropes in super-hero art.

Richard Cook provided a history of Wonder Woman’s panties in covers.

Caroline Small looked at Barbarella the movie and why it should not be a target for feminist ire.

Suat sneered at Gantz.

And finally Suat expressed some skepticism about the excesses of the market for original comic art.

Oh…also, here’s a download of some semi-schlocky country weepers.

Utilitarian Everywhere

Former Utilitarian and current comics creator Miriam Libicki has been doing some guest blogging over at Jewish Books. You can see her talk about her creative process here.

Columnist Matthias Wivel is over on the mainpage talking about the festival in Copenhagan.

At Splice Today I talk about the best super-hero movie of all time.

Why is it the best superhero movie of all time? If you saw the TV show you know the general outlines. Adam West does not have foam-rubber pecs like his bat-successors, but he does have a cute little paunch which is clearly outlined in his skintight bat-costume, said paunch sitting unashamedly atop his shiny external bat-underwear. It seems Robin has poured a quart of rabid bees down his green short-shorts and is bravely fighting the pain by punching his fist into his palm while imitating a (much) skinnier William Shatner. And, of course, there’s the Batmobile, Bat Repellant Shark Spray, Bat Knockout Gas, and all other kinds of Bat ephemera, each carefully labeled for those who otherwise might confuse the Bat Repellant Whale Spray with the Bat Ladder.

At Madeloud I provide an introduction to black metal.

Whiteface corpsepaint, church burning, ungodly screams, and the odd unpleasant foray into fascism — from the outside, black metal looks fairly foreboding. But while that image isn’t exactly wrong, it is a little misleading. Some black metal performers have really and truly been associated with extreme excesses and ugly ideologies (Varg Vikernes, we are looking at you). But, if you can put that aside, the music is in general quite accessible — in some cases, even pleasant. If you enjoy shoegaze or indie rock or ambience, a lot of black metal will sound like a slightly satanic twist on some familiar tropes. Here are some places to start for those ready to immerse yourself in surprisingly friendly evil.

Also at Madeloud, I review the latest releases from folk black metal horde Blood of the Black Owl and indie folk band The Clogs.

Other Links

This is an adorable illustration of Lovecraft’s Shadow Over Innsmouth.

I enjoyed this part of Kristian Williams’ massive discussion of Oscar Wilde illustrations.

Even though I have no idea what House of M is, this is still a great post about the X-Men by Tim O’Neil.

Feminist Hulk Smash Patriarchy on Twitter!

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