This week: More than last week! Better than last week? You'll have to read on to find out!
The week was dominated by one news story, but we'll get to that eventually!
Over at The Beat, Pádraig Ó Méalóid begins a series about the history of Marvelman. Then, two days later, we get Part One. This should be a keen series.
I meant to link to this a few weeks ago, but I kept forgetting: Colin Smith interviews the creators of Babble, a new graphic novel. I pre-ordered this, and I'm looking forward to it. This week, Colin has another interview with Joel Meadows of Tripwire. Tripwire is a very cool magazine, and it's a nice piece.
Caleb has an interesting post about the latest wave of DCnU cancellations. Man, DC is on a tear recently gutting their line, isn't it? Meanwhile, later in the week, Caleb revamps the Valentine's Day cards that came with DC's Young Romance. My favorite is the one for Barbara Gordon, but they're all pretty funny.
Of course, the big news of the week is Orson Scott Card. DC hired him to write a Superman story, and the world went haywire. Robot 6 linked to a story about various retailers boycotting the comic (Mike Sterling is one of them), plus the response of a member of the anti-gay organization, which is hilarious given that his organization boycotts shit all the time. And, of course, DC responded to the kerfuffle. A lot of people have had their say about this, so I'll add mine: I don't give a shit. This is a tempest in a teapot, and nobody will care about this after the comic actually comes out. Card is on the wrong side of history and he's a bigot, but you know what? There are always going to be bigots. Science can prove that there's no difference between a black dude from Zimbabwe, a white dude from Alabama, and a dude from Japan, and bigotry will still exist. We can have gay marriage for 200 years in this country and people will still be trying to "prove" that it's bad for the country. If people want to boycott the Superman comic, be my guest. If retailers don't want to stock it, more power to them. If DC wants to hire Orson Scott Card, go nuts. The only problem I have with this whole thing is that people are demanding that DC fire Card. DC can hire whomever they want. If you don't the people they hire, don't buy the fucking comics. The only thing a demand to fire Card does is make a ton of people who would probably ignore that Superman comic want to buy it. I've read a lot of comments from people who say, "Now I'm going to check this out." They believe they're standing up to censorship, which is bullshit but a powerful belief. The best thing anti-Card people could have done was organize a boycott, explain why they're boycotting, and leave it at that. By going the extra mile and demanding that DC fire Card, they've made this story less about Card being an asshole and more about poor Orson Scott Card, expressing his First Amendment rights and getting punished for it! But stopping short of demanding that DC firing Card would require restraint and less emotion. As we know, this world is not big on restraint.
I won't be buying the Superman story because Superman doesn't really interest me, even though it includes a story by Parker/Samnee and Card's story is drawn by Chris Sprouse. Well played, DC! But let's be honest - Card's version of bigotry is dying off, and while there are going to be bumps in the road, very soon - probably in my lifetime - gay marriage will be common and uncontroversial except for a small sector of society that watches Fox News. There will still be prejudice against homosexuals, but it will be so marginalized that when someone rants about it, most people will shake their heads in pity more than anger.
So the pope is resigning. That's unusual. Because I am a huge history nerd, I knew the last time a pope resigned was in 1415, when the Council of Constance basically told all three popes (yes, THREE) to resign, and I also knew that the last time it really happened was in 1294, when Celestine V quit. I also knew that Celestine quit because before his election, he had been perfectly happy living as a hermit and only took the job because it had been two years since the last pope had died and everyone was pretty desperate. He hated being pope, so after five months on the job, he went back to his monastery. The new pope, however, hounded him because he feared Celestine (now just Pietro) would be used by his enemies as an "anti-pope." Poor dude. He just wanted to hang out in his monastery. Anyway, Benedict XVI already has a job offer, so I'm sure he'll be fine.
I don't go to church, nor do I believe in God, but this is an interesting post: The top ten reasons young people leave the church. A fascinating one is that the guy admits that atheists and agnostics treat young people as intelligent rather than talking down to them. He explains how to counter that, but it's an interesting admission.
This is a fairly depressing essay about why kids are entering college without skills. These are AP students, too, so supposedly they're the cream of the crop. I hate education in the United States, because of crap like this, and I'm trying very hard to buttress what my daughter learns in school with stuff that I know. I'm sure that will get more fun as she gets older.
Do you like tumblrs that show gifs of animals in nature? Check out Head Like An Orange if you don't know, and get back to me.
Greg Hatcher linked to this, which extols the virtues of the state of Washington. "Mount Rainier is majestic as fuck," indeed. Even if you've never been to Washington, this is pretty damned funny.
I don't watch Jeopardy, so I missed the Teen Tournament and the glory that was Leonard, but luckily, Grantland was there!
Wired actually breaks down the battle of Hoth and what Vader did wrong. It's almost too obnoxiously geeky, but still - that's what the Internet is for!
In case you like crushing on female musicians, here's 15 of them for you. More than that, it led me to another tumblr, Fuck Yeah Chick Musicians, which is actually not a bad resource to find some interesting music.
So that's all the links I have this week. You know you love to read weird stuff on the Internet! So get clicking, even though our new format makes links really hard to see. They're there, I swear it!