Lydia and Rick work behind the counter.
No new strip this week, but there’s something that may be of interest to some of you.
Danny and Aaron have a conversation about something at Newsarama.
The Dieline has more. You may die of cuteness overexposure.
Jabba The Hutt: ((-___-))
Max Riffner come on down and draw some comic strips! Thanks, Max!
OK, Japan. This round is yours. Next bout, however, you can’t use Toastie.
Some things are best left unseen.
About three things, I was absolutely positive. First: Sarek was a Vulcan. Second: There was a part of him — and i didn’t know how dominant that part might be — that found my kind utterly illogical and frustrating. And Third:, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him
As I examined them across the Vulcan Science Academy’s cafeteria, one of them looked up and met my gaze, this time with plain-spoken curiosity in an expression I could have sworn was unreadable to anyone else. As I looked swiftly away, it seemed to me that his glance held some kind of unmet expectation.
“Which one is the boy with the straight, slate-colored hair?” I asked. I peeked at him from the corner of my eye, and he was still staring at me, but without the disdain the other Vulcans had plainly written on their face — he had an ever-so-curious expression. I looked down again.
“That’s Sarek. He’s gorgeous, of course, but don’t waste your time. He doesn’t date. Apparently none of Terran girls are logical enough for him.” She sniffed, a clear case of sour grapes. I wondered when he’d turned her down.
I bit my lip to hide my smile. Then I glanced at him again. His face was turned back to the PADD he was holding and he was speaking to the Vulcan to his left, but I thought his eyebrow appeared lifted, as if he were smiling inside.
After a few more minutes, the four of them left the table together. They all were noticeably graceful — even the big, brawny one. It was unsettling to watch. The one named Sarek didn’t look at me again.
“It’s nightfall,” Sarek murmured, looking at the western horizon, obscured as it was by Mount Seleya. His voice was thoughtful, as if his mind were somewhere far away. I stared at him as he gazed unseeingly out of the hovercar’s windscreen.
I was still staring when his eyes suddenly shifted back to mine. His pupils had already dilated a bit in response to the rapidly-encroaching night.
“It’s the quietest time of day for Vulcans,” he said, answering the unspoken question in my eyes. “The easiest time to meditate and center ourselves. But also the most sobering in many ways… the end of another day, the return of the night. Darkness is so predictable on Earth, isn’t it? Your nights do not have dangers like the le-matya or dust storms along the Forge as the terminator crawls across the globe and the cool air collides with the warm ground.”
“I like the night. Without the dark, we’d never see the stars.” I frowned. “Not that you see them here much.”
His eyebrow went up slightly, and the mood abruptly lightened.
“Thank you. But there’s something else I feel should be mentioned.” Sarek didn’t frown, exactly. His mouth became a thinner line.
I waited patiently.
“He called you pretty,” he finally continued, his eyebrows furrowing ever so slightly. “That’s an understatement. You’re … very aesthetically pleasing at this moment.”
“You might be a little biased.”
“I do not believe that to be the case. Besides, I have excellent eyesight, like all of my people.”
We were twirling again, my feet on his as he held me close. “So are you going to explain the reason for all of this?” I wondered. He looked down at me, unreadable, and I glared meaningfully at the crepe paper.
He considered for a moment, and then changed direction, spinning me through the crowd to the back door of the gym. I caught a glimpse of T’pril and Stolok dancing, their heads cocked ever so slightly. Jessica waved, and I smiled back quickly. The slight Andorian Liari was there, too, looking blissfully happy in the arms of George Kirk; she didn’t look away from his eyes, a head above hers. T’lin and Soltar, T’pau, glaring toward us, with Tuval; I could name every face that spiraled past me. And then we were outdoors, in the still warm, yet dim light of a fading sunset on a world light-years from my native Earth.
“Nightfall.” I heard Sarek say quietly to himself.
Some wobbliness in our schedule this week, but here’s Staff Picks so you can get a bit ahead of the game tomorrow.
I am so glad to see that the world has embraced Axecop. It is exactly what I’ve wanted all my life without ever knowing that the void could be filled by something.
Last week’s prize of the first three volumes of The Immortal Iron Fist was won by Scwonkey Dog creator Jonathan Switzer, so let’s all give him a polite round of applause even if we feel we should have won in our hearts. Thanks for entering, everyone, but there’s only one winner (unless some publisher/company wants to shell out for multiple prizes. Hint!)
This week, I’ve got a copy of the first Elephantmen trade paperback to give away, Wounded Animals. Elephantmen is a surprisingly nuanced, frequently thought-provoking look at genetic manipulation in the future. The reviews that compare it to Blade Runner are not far off and it’s one of my favorite recent comics discoveries. (I got a copy of the hardcover from creator Richard Starkings at San Diego, hence having a spare lying around.)
TO ENTER: comment with what animal you’d least like to wake up in the body of. Enter before 12:01AM EST on Saturday, February 27 to qualify for the draw. The winner is determined using the Random.org number generator.
Terms And Conditions?
Please note that because of shipping costs, this contest is for residents of the United States of America and Canada. You must leave your email address with your comment to qualify, as I’m not going to spend any time hunting down someone who didn’t want to be contacted about their amazing prize. One comment per person and yes, I will know if you cheat and will probably mock you in public.
In which I get a little self-righteous and claim I know more about Batman than the people writing and editing his comic books.23 Comments | Posted: February 19th, 2010 | Filed under: Thinking About Comics | Tags: batman
Here’s a sequence from this week’s Streets of Gotham written by Mike Benson and drawn by Dustin Nyugen, in which Batman tortures an innocent man to get some information:
As you can imagine, this pinko liberal has issues with this scene:
- Batman does not believe that people give up their rights. That is what makes him different from The Punisher, Wolverine, Bloodfucker, Kickblade, whoever. At the character’s core is a belief in justice and due process. This is why The Joker goes to Arkham or Harvey Dent gets to defend himself in court and could theoretically walk free. This is, of course, purely a storytelling mechanic that’s been fleshed out as a core component to a character over the years, but that’s how it is and that’s how Batman should be written. Batman’s open to a huge variety of interpretations and that’s one of the reasons that the character works for me: Batman is still Batman as long as he adheres to certain tenets, and one of them is that the justice system applies to everything he does, even if he works outside of it.
(And yes, Frank Miller’s snappy line about rights from The Dark Knight Returns is a great bit of black comedy in the middle of a raucous satire. It is not a basis for How Batman Is.)
- Batman does not torture lightly, if at all. He will terrify, he will defend himself, he will subdue, he will not just slam someone’s head against a table and demand answers, especially if there’s a chance the suspect is innocent. In The Dark Knight Batman goes to pretty extraordinary measures to try to get answers out of The Joker, a man he knows to have committed several murders. It’s an unpleasant, tense scene that’s heightened by the fact that Batman is at the absolute limits of self-control. Gordon even notes that “He’s in control” at one point just before it goes wrong and Batman blocks the door and things get hairy.
It’s important to note that the differences between that scene and this one are myriad: The Joker is an intelligent, cunning psychopath and Roland Davis is a bog-standard Gotham City heavy on which they have no evidence at all. Batman’s actions against The Joker are a last-ditch effort in The Dark Knight whereas torture is presented here as the first option. Gordon’s complicity in a warehouse interrogation in which a suspect is beaten is just as wildly out-of-character for him as Batman’s brutality against a man they’ve not even properly questioned is for the Dark Knight.
- The man is proven innocent at the end of this whole story and not the slightest thought is given to this interrogation and how both the Gotham Police and Batman ran roughshod over someone who had not committed a crime. Benson’s scripting is fairly rough throughout the issue, but to ignore this entirely strikes me as a nearly intentional obtuseness about what is right and what is wrong. Readers accept a certain amount of legal flexibility in Batman comic books, but to out-and-out drop an innocent man’s beating at the hands of a costumed vigilante is sloppy and counter to the themes that have been an established part of superhero comics for years.
This is part of an ongoing trend that I find a bit bothersome. Chris Sims talked about the previous issue and how Batman came close to signing off on a murderer because he was killing bad people. Cry For Justice features the Justice League keeping their villains in stasis as a punishment, stripping their rights entirely for an indeterminate period. Marvel may have had a distinct Neocon bent with some of their material in the last decade or so, but they seem to have had some sort of story and thematic point to make with the ascension of Norman Osborne and his upcoming fall.
Maybe DC has something like this in its future, but that feels kind of doubtful right now.
(Also, yes, I know that’s Dick Grayson as Batman. The guy raised by Bruce Wayne is certainly going to follow in Bruce Wayne’s shoes when it comes to these things, isn’t he?)
It’s time for a relationship to end, but there’s some last minute things that need to be addressed.
Rick and Jerry take a look at a book that’s being solicited.
Sam gets up close and personal with some of the locals.
“Trotters, you ever have those, Toodee? This little village in the middle of fuckin’ nowhere, on the Amazon, I’m there shooting my show and they’ve got to eat all the animal, they’ve not got a Tesco or Safeway or anything nearby, right? So I sit down with the camera guys and…why are you shuddering?
“I’m sorry, is that out of your American fast-food safe zone? Does it freak you out that people in other parts of the world eat intestines and organs and even brains? Maybe if McDonald’s told you there were brains in those McNuggets you and the rest of these freaky megapuppets snarf down between takes here, maybe then you’d accept them as being part of the deal when we choose to consume another animal’s flesh.”