This week was devoted to our (still ongoing) roundtable on copyright.
At Comixology I talked about Steven Grant’s Punisher series, Circle of Blood and the connection between super-heroes and noir.
From the neck up, though, the Punisher isn’t hyper-competent at all. Instead, he’s more like the classic noir dupe. Though he has a certain tactical animal cunning, his inner monologue is obsessively repetitive in a way that suggests borderline idiocy — where Batman’s traumatic backstory has, supposedly, made him smarter, the Punisher’s has left him, in Grant’s writing, a monomaniacal mental and emotional basket-case. The Punisher is, like most noir men, childishly easy to fool. He stumbles into traps, is bamboozled by a shady conglomerate called the Trust, and, inevitably, betrayed by a woman. His solve-it-by-shooting-it approach to every problem results in heaps of dead bodies, including that of one child. Said child’s death sends our hero into a self-pitying funk, complete with flashbacks and profound utterances (“It’s got to stop. The poor children.”) which, at least from my perspective, makes him appear more damaged, dangerous, unsympathetic, and unheroic than ever.
On tcj.com I reviewed Fumi Yoshinaga’s All My Darling Daughters.
Also at Madeloud I reviewed Priestess’ prog metal opus, Prior to the Fire.
Dirk kicks ass.
Jason Thompson on incest in manga.
Tucker argues that illegal downloading is bad because it betrays the can-do rapacious imperialism of our forefathers.
And Tucker also pointed me to this article about why contemporary poets should just go ahead and die already.
And here’s a long, academic, and pretty fascinating article about yaoi and homophobia.