On HU

Kinukitty was underwhelmed by much yaoi.

Sean Michael Robinson discussed Manga! Manga! and interviewed its writer, Frederik Schodt.

Ng Suat Tong introduced the awards for the Best Online Comics Criticism.

The final list of Best Online Comics Criticism.

Bill Randall, one of the judges of the Best Online Comics Criticism, discussed the list and his choices.

I talked about two of my favorite pieces of comics criticism from last year.

Vom Marlowe discussed the use of ink in Kouga’s Loveless.

Caroline Small talked about sequence (or the lack thereof) in Saul Steinberg’s Passport.

Alex Buchet looked at the influence of editorial and panel cartoons on the English language.

Utilitarians Everywhere

At Splice Today I explain why Michael Chabon is not necessarily more thoughtful than Barack Obama.

This, indeed, seems to be the cause of part of Chabon’s dyspepsia. Artists, especially successful artists like Chabon, receive such fulsome praise that I think they can occasionally mistake themselves for priests. Which is maybe why he felt qualified to proclaim with such certainty that heaven isn’t real and that death is just absence. To suggest otherwise is a stylistic error—rectifiable only by transforming the clumsy words of the President through the magical gifts of a real writer.

Also at Splice, I discuss the Meads of Asphodel’s anti-Christian Broadway black metal.

I do have a hideous attraction/repulsion for show tunes, and I think it makes sense to think of them as the music of the Antichrist. Especially if the show tunes are written by Andrew Lloyd Weber. And I dare anyone to listen to the second half of the song “Addicted to Christ” without having major Jesus Christ Superstar flashbacks. There’s a lonely horn that wanted to be jazz but had its soul stolen by music theater, and then a choral refugee starts singing like a chipper thespian—“Who is God? I am God? Are you God? But what God? I’m no God, it’s my God.” Soon enough we’ve got contrapuntal voices reciting bitter lyrics in an uplifting back and forth (First cheerful voice: “God hates you all!” Cheerful choral response: “Circumcise!”) And after not too long, again like Lloyd Weber, we launch into some classic rocky concept-album strut. Even the end, with a more traditional metal vocalist and a heavier roar, still has the busy crescendos and prog-rock shifts that strongly suggest Vegas.

Other Links

Sean T. Collins argues that Dirk Deppey’s column ran out of gas at the end, and that tcj.com is an embarrassment. It’s a thoughtful piece; if you scroll down you can see me doing some arguing in comments.

This made me want to try those old Rachel Pollack Doom Patrol issues again.

I liked Ariel Schrag’s column on Patricia Highsmith.

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