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Comics A.M. | Tracing Batman and Robin’s history of gay subtext

by  in Comic News Comment
Comics A.M. | Tracing Batman and Robin’s history of gay subtext

Comics | In an excerpt adapted from his new book The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture, Glen Weldon delves into the long history of the gay subtext in the relationship between Batman and Robin, noting that it’s been there from the Boy Wonder’s 1940 debut: “Remember: Queer readers didn’t see any vestige of themselves represented in the mass media of this era, let alone its comic books. And when queer audiences don’t see ourselves in a given work, we look deeper, parsing every exchange for the faintest hint of something we recognize. This is why, as a visual medium filled with silent cues like body language and background detail, superhero comics have proven a particularly fertile vector for gay readings over the years. Images can assert layers of unspoken meanings that mere words can never conjure.” [Slate.com]

Auctions | Original art by Robert Crumb, Chris Ware, Winsor McCay and Moebius are among the comics works that will go under the gavel May 14 at Sotheby’s Paris next comic book art auction. [Blouin Artinfo]

Comics | Michele Barbero looks at the way Tintin evolved over the years but always kept a European perspective, skeptical of the wealthy Americans: “During his endeavours Tintin meets all sorts of greedy tycoons, most of them from the United States. Some offer him money, in which he is totally uninterested. Others try to grow their fortunes with appalling indifference to morals. In The Broken Ear (1937), set in South America, the magnate Mr Trickler causes a war to lay his hands on an allegedly oil-rich area. A reference, as it often happens in the series, to real events: the Gran Chaco War fought in the ’30s between Bolivia and Paraguay. In contrast to such ruthless economic imperialism, Tintin stands as a beacon of European humanism, a model of sensibleness committed to stopping the vicious, violent cycle of local coups.” [New Statesman]

Creators | Gareth Hinds, best known for his adaptations of classic literature such as Beowulf and Shakespeare’s plays, talks briefly about his career and shows off a lot of his work. [Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast]

Creators | Seth Ferranti has written a true-crime comic, Supreme Team, about former Queens drug lord Kenneth McGriff, aka Supreme. Ferranti has a bit of experience in this field, having served 21 years in federal prison on drug charges. [New York Daily News]

Creators | Thom Rooke takes a look at the sketches of Vietnam War scenes by cartoonist Gene Bassett, who spent three months in Vietnam in 1965. [War on the Rocks]

Comics | Writer, artist and former Marvel editor Carl Potts gave a talk at Princeton University about what goes into making a good comic. He should know: Potts is the author of The DC Comics Guide to Creating Comics: Inside the Art of Visual Storytelling. [Princeton Packet]

Manga | Tetsu Kariya’s foodie manga Oishinbo was suspended from serialization in 2014, after a controversial story arc questioning the safety of food grown near the damaged Fukushima nuclear reactor drew criticism from local officials. However, he recently stated on his blog that the hiatus was not related to the controversy, and that he plans to return to the series and finish it with a grand finale featuring all the characters who have appeared over the years. “30 years is too long for many things,” Kariya said, explaining why he was ending the series. [Anime News Network]

Conventions | What’s up with Wizard World? In a roundup of business stories (which includes the sale of CBR to Valnet), Rob Salkowitz looks at the recent changes in personnel and fluctuations in the stock price of the convention organizer. [ICv2]

Retailing | Vasily Shevchenko and Ivan Chernyavsky started their Moscow comic shop with borrowed money, deeply discounted comics, and three weeks’ free rent. The business has grown to include a second store, and the merchandise has shifted from mostly imports to almost entirely Russian-produced comics (including translations). The pair have also invested in a local publisher, Jellyfish Jam, which has partnered with Marvel and is publishing Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy comics. [Russia Behind the Scenes]

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