Everyone's A Critic: A round-up of comic reviews and thinkpieces

* Nina Stone can't get worked up enough to hate on Power Girl: "I guess I just don't see what is being oppressed here. Is there some strong feminine story that could be told if this character didn't have large breasts? What is it I'm missing?"

* Noah Berlatsky, meanwhile, wants to remind you that no one really cares about Power Girl anyway. If you have time, you should also check out Noah's savaging assessment of Jeffrey Brown's ouevre.

* Is Storm a racist character? Discuss.

* Writing for Reason magazine, Brian Doherty examines Harold Gray's classic comic strip Little Orphan Annie, with a particular eye to its political themes:

These first two volumes of the series, both of them pre–New Deal, are individualistic, but the anti-government mood is generally quietly suggestive, not obtrusive. The subtle politics are highly individualistic, promoting the virtues of the hard-working common man. The strip was suffused with Midwestern values (hard work and cheerfulness) and prejudices (pro-fisherman, anti-beard) and a very populist sense that it was who you were inside, not money or station, that mattered, and that “just plain folk—and plenty of ’em” were best.

* Both the Los Angeles Times and David Welsh praise Yoshihiro Tatsumi's A Drifting Life.

* Sandy Bilus looks at Old Man Winter and Other Sordid Tales by J.T. Yost: "This 2009 Xeric Award winner is a fairly excellent collection of five short stories, three of which are powerful condemnations of the treatment of animals by humans."

* Kevin Church has good things to say about Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941: "This Greg Sadowski-edited look at the nascent superhero comics scene is pure pop culture heaven."

* John Jakala gets around to last year's Love and Rockets: New Stories:

The styles and subject matter that the Hernandez brothers work in are so different that it's a bit jarring to move from stories about superheroines to surreal tales of an old knock-off comedy duo slaughtering an entire alien population.

* Jeff VanderMeer has a great essay looking at the history of Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim's awesome Dungeon series.

* While we're on the Trondheim kick, Greg McElhatton reviews his most recently published (in the US anyway) work, Bourbon Island 1730: "At the end of the day, it’s a good book that felt like it should have been a great book."

* Jog and Tucker Stone finally wrapped up their Humanoids run-down with a roundtable chat at Savage Critics.

* John Mitchell was impressed with Nate Powell's Swallow Me Whole.

* Bart Croonenborghs thinks Niklas Asker's Second Thoughts might be too ambitious for its own good.

* Finally, Derik Badman reports on the new Edward Gorey exhibit that's at the Brandywine Museum in Pa. I gotta go check that out.

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