This has been a chaotic week for me, and so things are a little out of sync. Thanks to both our readers and guest posters for bearing with us. And thanks to Caro for keeping the trains running on time.

This week has mostly been devoted to our Popeye roundtable. There are going to be a couple more posts in the roundtable next week by Andrew Farago and Robert Stanley Martin.

Sunday incidentally will also see the delayed but much anticipated post in our series on Crumb’s Genesis by Matthias Wivel.

Utilitarians Everywhere

I have a post on Splice Today about my enthusiasm for the Bangles

That’s the point of pop music in some sense, though; it’s addictive. Not like heroin that’ll land you in prison with the cool kids, but like sucking down a bagful of jelly bellies and then feeling sick and ridiculous before going out and buying another one. And part of the addictiveness and the ridiculousness is, really, that it’s jelly bellies; they’re right out there. Everyone can do it. It’s not a subculture you can call your own; it’s pop—it belongs to everyone. The Bangles don’t give you any cred. Everybody loved them and that was the point, and now everybody’s moved on and if you still love them you’re either remembering your youth or (like me) you’re subject to a meaningless and harmless idiosyncrasy. The ingratiating hooks are there to be ingratiating. What else could they be for?

Also at Splice I have a short essay about E. Nesbit’s wonderful Book of Dragons.

At Comixology I writer about the Oprah comic book.

With comics, I’m never taken aback by lousy quality. After all, most things are lousy — maybe comics are a little worse than everything else, but not enough to squawk about. But the marketing confusion in even comics that have no point other than their marketing: I can never get over that. Why churn out this horrible Oprah Winfrey piece of dreck if not to make money? And how can you make money if you don’t even know who you’re trying to sell to? I mean, I bought this in a direct market store. What are they doing even selling it through the direct market? What venue could they find where folks would be less likely to pick this up?

Other Links

Tucker’s Comics of the Weak this week is one of his all time all times, I think.

And Tucker and David Brothers are blogging their way through some interesting looking Black Panther stories. Good week on the Factual Opinion!

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