Glen Weldon http://krwg.org en Cyborgs, Simpsons And Ticks: All About Free Comic Book Day http://krwg.org/post/cyborgs-simpsons-and-ticks-all-about-free-comic-book-day Here's the drill: This Saturday, May 3<sup>rd</sup>, is Free Comic Book Day. Walk into a comics shop (you can find the one nearest you at <a href="http://www.freecomicbookday.com/storelocator">www.freecomicbookday.com/storelocator</a>), and they will hand you some free comics.<p>Not <em>any</em> comics in the store, mind you, but a selection of comics specifically produced for Free Comic Book Day, which is now an annual event. There are a whopping 57 such books this year – some of them samplers, with excerpts from various titles, while others reprint the first chapters of ongoing series. Fri, 02 May 2014 12:19:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 65298 at http://krwg.org Cyborgs, Simpsons And Ticks: All About Free Comic Book Day Dear Zack Snyder, Regarding Wonder Woman http://krwg.org/post/dear-zack-snyder-regarding-wonder-woman TO: Zack Snyder, Big Time Hot Shot Hollywood Director<br />FROM: Glen Weldon, Nerd Mon, 09 Dec 2013 21:34:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 55501 at http://krwg.org Dear Zack Snyder, Regarding Wonder Woman Moving Fables Of Gods, Men, Love And Monsters In 'Early Earth' http://krwg.org/post/moving-fables-gods-men-love-and-monsters-early-earth Despite its title, British writer and illustrator Isabel Greenberg's <em>The Encyclopedia of Early Earth</em> is not mere history, with its assiduous accounting of dusty facts, but is instead a compendium of funny, sad and surprisingly moving fables from the pre-history of a world that exists only in Greenberg's febrile imagination — one that bristles with capricious gods, feckless shamans, daring quests and, of course, doomed love.<p>We meet a man of the frozen "Nord" as he falls in love with a South Pole woman, only to find that some mysterious force prevents them from ever coming into physi Tue, 03 Dec 2013 12:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 55071 at http://krwg.org Moving Fables Of Gods, Men, Love And Monsters In 'Early Earth' Alice Munro, The Punchbowl And Everyday Villainy http://krwg.org/post/alice-munro-punchbowl-and-everyday-villainy Alice Munro, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature today, taught me something important and abiding and true about evil.<p>Specifically, she taught me about that singular species of evil we swim through all our lives. It's the evil to which we petty humans default, even — especially — as we reassure ourselves that we are blessed creatures, generous of spirit. It's the evil born of thoughtlessness and self-regard, and it crouches, waiting, in every conversation, every appraising look, every single human interaction that fills up our days.<p>Alice Munro taught me this. Actually, it wasn't her. Thu, 10 Oct 2013 21:59:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 51595 at http://krwg.org Alice Munro, The Punchbowl And Everyday Villainy A Comic-Con Diary: The Final Day http://krwg.org/post/comic-con-diary-final-day <em>Monkey See contributor/longtime nerd Glen Weldon recently attended San Diego Comic-Con. He kept a diary during one of the largest media events in the world.</em><p><strong>Saturday, 7:08 a.m. PT:</strong> After several minutes of technical glitches, I am taping an interview with Rachel Martin of NPR's <em>Weekend Edition Sunday</em>. I can't consult the notes I've made to prep for our talk, as the demands of NPR-quality audio means I'm holding the hotel phone up to my right ear with one hand, and my cellphone up to my left ear with the other. Sat, 27 Jul 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 46330 at http://krwg.org A Comic-Con Diary: The Final Day A Comic-Con Diary, Day One: Faces In The Crowd And A Book In The Middle http://krwg.org/post/comic-con-diary-day-one-faces-crowd-and-book-middle <em>Monkey See contributor/longtime nerd Glen Weldon is headed to San Diego Comic-Con. He's filing periodic updates from one of the largest media events in the world.</em><p><em><strong>Special note:</strong> If you're at SDCC, there will be an unofficial Pop Culture Happy Hour meetup in the Marina Bar at the Marriott Marquis and Marina Friday at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time. (Don't get excited, It'll just be Glen handing out PCHH pins.)</em><em></em><p>9:02 a.m. Fri, 19 Jul 2013 17:35:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 45810 at http://krwg.org A Comic-Con Diary, Day One: Faces In The Crowd And A Book In The Middle A Comic-Con Diary, Day Zero, Part II: A Man Waits For A Batmobile On Preview Night http://krwg.org/post/comic-con-diary-day-zero-part-ii-man-waits-batmobile-preview-night <em>Monkey See contributor/longtime nerd Glen Weldon is headed to San Diego Comic-Con. Thu, 18 Jul 2013 17:02:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 45700 at http://krwg.org Theoretical Physicist Seeks Concrete Answers In 'Genius' http://krwg.org/post/theoretical-physicist-seeks-concrete-answers-genius Ted is a theoretical physicist facing a slew of resolutely concrete problems. His son is racing headlong into puberty. His daughter's prodigious intellect causes her to stand out at school — the very last thing the girl wants. His elderly father-in-law isn't remembering much, these days, save for the fact that he hates Ted's guts. His wife is sick and getting sicker, just as his employer, a prominent think tank, threatens to fire him for lack of productivity. To keep his job, and its health care coverage, Ted needs an idea.<p>But ideas don't come easy anymore. Wed, 17 Jul 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 45589 at http://krwg.org Theoretical Physicist Seeks Concrete Answers In 'Genius' A Tale Of The Estranged And The Just Plain Strange In 'New School' http://krwg.org/post/tale-estranged-and-just-plain-strange-new-school Dash Shaw is a graphic novelist and animator whose previous books, including <em>Bottomless Belly Button</em> and <em>Bodyworld</em>, seethe with dark, mischievous intent. He sets out to unsettle, using the unique tools the comics medium provides to expose discomfiting truths about relationships both familial and romantic. Thu, 04 Jul 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 44666 at http://krwg.org A Tale Of The Estranged And The Just Plain Strange In 'New School' Globetrotting Cartoonist Heads Home In 'User's Guide' http://krwg.org/post/globetrotting-cartoonist-heads-home-users-guide It looks like a last-minute gift, like one of those tiny tomes that live near the register on the counter of your favorite bookstore, hoping to catch the attention (or at least the impulse) of shoppers in the check-out line. Given its digest-sized dimensions and jokey title, you'd be forgiven for assuming <em>A User's Guide to Neglectful Parenting</em> is a hastily assembled collection of cornball homilies, like those miniature books about dads, grads and golf that double as greeting cards this time of year. Thu, 27 Jun 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 44184 at http://krwg.org Globetrotting Cartoonist Heads Home In 'User's Guide' Women Find More Than They Bargained For In 'The Property' http://krwg.org/post/women-find-more-they-bargained-property Israeli graphic novelist Rutu Modan's deceptively clear and simple line work — she can conjure a face in two dots and a single, expressive pen stroke — is a deliberate artistic choice. Narratively, Modan's work (including the acclaimed <em>Exit Wounds</em> and<em> </em>her<em> Jamilti and Other Stories</em>) lives in the realm of the indistinct, the undefined and the hotly disputed. In her books, conflicts between family members, lovers and nations all occur in the context of Jewish cultural history. Tue, 25 Jun 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 44041 at http://krwg.org Women Find More Than They Bargained For In 'The Property' Death Of A Puppy: An Exclusive Imaginary Excerpt From The 'Man Of Steel' Sequel http://krwg.org/post/death-puppy-exclusive-imaginary-excerpt-man-steel-sequel NPR has obtained [or invented, <em>whatever</em>] an excerpt of the draft script for Zack Snyder's much-rumored sequel to the hugely successful <em>Man Of Steel</em>. The script, which was found in a booth at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on La Cienega, suggests that the distinctive tone set by Christopher Nolan's <em>Dark Knight</em> trilogy and adopted by Snyder's <em>Man Of Steel</em> will continue to inform the expanding cinematic universe of DC Comics characters.<p><strong> Tue, 18 Jun 2013 16:52:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 43600 at http://krwg.org Death Of A Puppy: An Exclusive Imaginary Excerpt From The 'Man Of Steel' Sequel 'Steel' Trap: Snyder's Superman, Between Worlds http://krwg.org/post/steel-trap-snyders-superman-between-worlds Take heart, ye spandex-haters: Zack Snyder's steroidal yet sensitive <em>Man of Steel </em>is not a superhero film.<p>Full disclosure: Over the past two years, this reviewer has spent a great deal of time thinking about superheroes in general and Superman in particular. Thu, 13 Jun 2013 20:50:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 43302 at http://krwg.org 'Steel' Trap: Snyder's Superman, Between Worlds My Favorite Superman Story: When Jimmy Olsen Created Beatlemania http://krwg.org/post/my-favorite-superman-story-when-jimmy-olsen-created-beatlemania Hey, Monkey See readers. It's me, your old pal Glen. Look, I know you haven't seen me around these parts very much over the last year or so, but ...<p>Mm? What's that?<p>Why, yes, I have "put on a few," as you say. How nice of you to notice. And just ... blurt out. Free as you please. Like that. Gosh I've missed us.<p>Anyway, the reason I haven't been blogging about comics in this space every week is that I was, you know, writing a book. Thu, 30 May 2013 16:43:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 42244 at http://krwg.org My Favorite Superman Story: When Jimmy Olsen Created Beatlemania Graphic-Novel Gumshoe Rounds Up Unusual Suspects http://krwg.org/post/graphic-novel-gumshoe-rounds-unusual-suspects Matt Kindt is a storyteller so fully in control of his gifts that his graphic novels — <em>3 Story</em>, <em>Revolver</em> and others — read like quietly compelling arguments for the comics medium's narrative potential.<p>With his latest, the multilayered and slyly existential <em>Red Handed</em>, he assembles a mystery story that only comics could capture, filled with puzzles and set pieces that depend entirely on the interplay of word and image. Wed, 08 May 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 40694 at http://krwg.org Graphic-Novel Gumshoe Rounds Up Unusual Suspects Niffenegger Lets Fly With An Adult Fairy Tale In 'Raven Girl' http://krwg.org/post/niffenegger-lets-fly-adult-fairy-tale-raven-girl In <em>The Time Traveler's Wife,</em> Audrey Niffenegger married her gently wry sensibility to a classic science-fiction conceit, and the result became a literary sensation — as much a tried-and-true staple of book-club culture as cheap malbec.<p>Now, with <em>Raven Girl,</em> Niffenegger sets out to create a new fairy tale bearing the form's alchemical mix of light with dark, wish fulfillment with foreboding, bright fantasy with flat-out creepiness. Thu, 02 May 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 40288 at http://krwg.org Niffenegger Lets Fly With An Adult Fairy Tale In 'Raven Girl' Which Comics Should I Get? Your Free Comic Book Day Cheat Sheet http://krwg.org/post/which-comics-should-i-get-your-free-comic-book-day-cheat-sheet This Saturday, May 4<sup>th</sup>, is Free Comic Book Day, the comics industry's annual attempt to sail out past the shallow, overfished shoals where Nerds Like Me lazily and inexpertly spawn, to instead cast their line into the colder, deeper waters where Normals Like You swim free, blissfully unconcerned about the myriad nettlesome continuity issues surrounding Supergirl's underpants.<p>Yes, Free Comic Book Day is about <em>you</em>, O person who hasn't set foot in a comics shop in years, or ever. Wed, 01 May 2013 14:59:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 40229 at http://krwg.org Which Comics Should I Get? Your Free Comic Book Day Cheat Sheet Stars In His Eyes, Sending Smoke Signals To Mars http://krwg.org/post/stars-his-eyes-sending-smoke-signals-mars In his slim but beguiling novel <em>Equilateral</em>, Ken Kalfus places us inside the heads of his characters with such deftness that the line between what is true and what they believe to be true fades to obscurity. It's no coincidence that the heads in question belong to scientists who pride themselves on their evidence-based worldview; Kalfus delights in having readers continually gauge and recalibrate the distance between the world and his characters' seemingly objective observations of it. Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 39162 at http://krwg.org Stars In His Eyes, Sending Smoke Signals To Mars The Mundane World Illuminated In 'Hand-Drying In America' http://krwg.org/post/mundane-world-illuminated-hand-drying-america Ben Katchor's syndicated comic strips vary in subject — his <em>Julius Knipl: Real Estate Photographer</em>, for example, explores the surreal underside of our urban environment by documenting the inner lives of the spaces and storefronts we walk past every day, while <em>The Cardboard Valise</em> reads like a Fodor's guide to a country that exists only in Franz Kafka's dream journal.<p>What unites them, and vivifies them, is Katchor's singular voice, guiding us through his busy panels like a meticulous, dispassionate and slightly bemused Virgil. Tue, 12 Mar 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 36816 at http://krwg.org The Mundane World Illuminated In 'Hand-Drying In America' Beyond Visible: LGBT Characters In Graphic Novels http://krwg.org/post/beyond-visible-lgbt-characters-graphic-novels OK, yes: To gay comics fans like me, DC Comics' <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/02/12/171767271/book-news-anger-over-superman-author-who-condemns-homosexuality">decision</a> to hire an anti-gay activist like Orson Scott Card to write <em>Superman</em> — an iconic character who exists to represent humanity's noblest ideals of justice and compassion — is <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/02/17/172229592/man-of-tomorrow-superman-orson-scott-card-and-me">deeply dispiriting</a>.<p>But it doesn't change the fact that today's mainstream superhero comics contain more LGBT characters t Wed, 20 Feb 2013 12:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 35471 at http://krwg.org Beyond Visible: LGBT Characters In Graphic Novels Man Of Tomorrow: Superman, Orson Scott Card And Me http://krwg.org/post/man-tomorrow-superman-orson-scott-card-and-me-0 Let's make this perfectly clear at the outset: I don't work for NPR, and what I'm about to say doesn't represent NPR. I'm but a lowly freelancer they're dumb enough to publish a bunch, and what I say now I say as me, which is to say:<p>1. An inveterate Superman nerd, and<p>2. A gay dude.<p>DC Comics has hired Orson Scott Card to write the first two issues of a new digital-first Superman comic. Sun, 17 Feb 2013 18:33:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 35323 at http://krwg.org Man Of Tomorrow: Superman, Orson Scott Card And Me Man Of Tomorrow: Superman, Orson Scott Card And Me http://krwg.org/post/man-tomorrow-superman-orson-scott-card-and-me <em>Glen Weldon is a freelance writer and regular contributor to </em><a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/">Monkey See</a><em>.</em><p>Let's make this perfectly clear at the outset: I don't work for NPR, and what I'm about to say doesn't represent NPR. I'm but a lowly freelancer they're dumb enough to publish a bunch, and what I say now I say as me, which is to say:<p>1. An inveterate Superman nerd, and<p>2. A gay dude.<p>DC Comics has hired Orson Scott Card to write the first two issues of a new digital-first Superman comic. Sun, 17 Feb 2013 17:45:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 35321 at http://krwg.org They Call Me ... Bruce? When Characters Outlive Their Names http://krwg.org/post/they-call-me-bruce-when-characters-outlive-their-names Look, don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with the name "Bruce."<p>There are plenty of Bruces about, and good and strong and admirable Bruces they are, contributing to society in myriad ways.<p>You got your Springsteen, of course. Your Campbell. Your Vilanch. Your Dern. Your ... um, Boxleitner. Your Jenner and your ... Baumgartner, was it? Baumgartner.<p>Bruce: A perfectly fine name. Just not as common in the U.S. as it once was, is my point.<p>Like any name, it cycles in and out of fashion over the decades. Consider: Of the notable Bruces I picked at random, above? Fri, 01 Feb 2013 18:39:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 34325 at http://krwg.org They Call Me ... Bruce? When Characters Outlive Their Names New 'Tune,' Same Key From Cartoonist Derek Kirk Kim http://krwg.org/post/new-tune-same-key-cartoonist-derek-kirk-kim By the time cartoonist Derek Kirk Kim was 30 years old, his prodigious talents had already won him an Eisner award, an Ignatz award and a Harvey award, the top three honors of the comics field. Sat, 24 Nov 2012 14:57:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 30263 at http://krwg.org New 'Tune,' Same Key From Cartoonist Derek Kirk Kim Graphic Novels That Flew Under The Radar In 2012 http://krwg.org/post/graphic-novels-flew-under-radar-2012 In 2012, several high-profile comics creators added landmark works to their already impressive legacies. With <a href="http://www.npr.org/books/titles/161892846/building-stories" target="_blank">Building Stories</a>, Chris Ware offered 14 volumes of comics, each with its own meticulous, anagrammatic take on despair, and stuffed them into a box. Tue, 20 Nov 2012 13:31:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 30031 at http://krwg.org Graphic Novels That Flew Under The Radar In 2012 Spooky Puppets, Slow Pacing In 'Catechism' http://krwg.org/post/spooky-puppets-slow-pacing-catechism Mike Mignola's occult adventure comics <em>B.P.R.D.</em> (that's short for Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) and <em>Hellboy</em> (about a demon who fights for the side of Good) combine furious action set pieces on a literally biblical scale with a wry and nuanced understanding of very human emotions. The novelist Christopher Golden has written many popular works of dark fantasy. Wed, 31 Oct 2012 11:23:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 28839 at http://krwg.org Spooky Puppets, Slow Pacing In 'Catechism' Collaboration Leaves Couple 'Drawn Together' http://krwg.org/post/collaboration-leaves-couple-drawn-together What happens to underground artists after they step, blinking, into the harsh, flat light of the upper world? If they are Robert and Aline Crumb, not a whole hell of a lot — at least, not in their approach to their art. Wed, 17 Oct 2012 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 28031 at http://krwg.org Collaboration Leaves Couple 'Drawn Together' Bits Of Beauty Amidst The Gloom In 'Building Stories' http://krwg.org/post/bits-beauty-amidst-gloom-building-stories For the characters of Chris Ware's astonishingly ambitious comics project <em>Building Stories</em>, leading lives of quiet desperation is surprisingly noisy business. Tue, 09 Oct 2012 14:56:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 27563 at http://krwg.org Bits Of Beauty Amidst The Gloom In 'Building Stories' A Supersized Slice Of Life In 'Telegraph Avenue' http://krwg.org/post/supersized-slice-life-telegraph-avenue Michael Chabon's <em>Telegraph Avenue</em> is an agreeable if ultimately frustrating shaggy-dog tale of a novel that slips its leash and lopes its discursive and distinctly unhurried way through the unkempt backyards of its characters' lives. Tue, 11 Sep 2012 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 25917 at http://krwg.org A Supersized Slice Of Life In 'Telegraph Avenue' Old Memories, New Depth In 'The Underwater Welder' http://krwg.org/post/old-memories-new-depth-underwater-welder In a memorable (and much-parodied) 1983 television ad for a brand of instant, decaffeinated coffee, a gravel-voiced announcer asked: "What kind of people drink Sanka? People like Joe Zebrosky, underwater welder." The ad, one of a series featuring manly men in a variety of high-stakes professions, featured the aforementioned Zebrosky intoning: "Too much caffeine makes me tense. And down here, I can't afford that."<p>Neither can Jack Joseph, the lead character of Jeff Lemire's wise and moving new graphic novel, <em>The Underwater Welder</em>. Thu, 16 Aug 2012 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 24330 at http://krwg.org Old Memories, New Depth In 'The Underwater Welder'