A few items of note from the past few days:
On Comics Alliance, David Brothers analyzes data on digital comics sales. He finds that, in contrast to the direct market, digital comics sales are dominated by independent and smaller publishers and creator-owned works. What this means for comics, or what this tells us about who is buying what, are still open questions, but these results are interesting for how dramatic the contrast is between the two sides of the market.
In matters related to environment, creativity, and urban spaces, Juxtapoz explains how to make graffiti from moss, and Inhabitat points to a New York restaurant that is using the rooftop of its building to grow fruits and vegetables.
Two short, funny, though still dismaying, takes on Sarah Palin and the state of political discourse in the U.S.: one from cartoonist Matt Bors and the other via Crooked Timber.
Finally, ComicCritics has a perceptive strip on a particular expression of comics fandom.
With the start of the term, I have not had much time to make new posts. Here are some items I have cataloged:
From the world of comics:
- On Okazu, Erica Friedman has the results of an informal poll concerning “what women want” from the comics they read. The short version: it isn’t that complicated, not matter how mysterious and alien many of the folks at DC and Marvel like to imagine women and girl readers to be.
- On Techland, Douglas Wolk does some quick analysis of Diamond’s numbers related to the bestselling comics of 2010. It’s interesting to note the extent to which the trade paperback and long form book sales were dominated by independently published titles.
- On Comics Alliance today, Laura Hudson looks at comments made by the owner of the Heavy Ink comics store regarding last Saturday’s shootings in Arizona and the response by creators such as Gail Simone and Nick Spencer. Anyone who takes this moment to advocate more shooting of public officials clearly has both political and personal problems beyond the scope of comics, but I also think that this episode is an illustration why it is never possible to compartmentalize these kinds of questions as if “comics” and “politics” are separate matters.
- Via girlsreadcomics on Twitter, is some really cool Amanda Connor art.
- Via Dean Blumberg on Twitter, is a link to this article on the growth in certificate programs at institutions of higher education in the U.S. The article notes that much of this growth is at for-profit schools, but that public institutions are also offering more of these credentials. As someone in the liberal arts, I have my doubts about the value of these programs in the long run, and am concerned that they represent a further degrading of higher education to a kind of narrow vocational training. My institution confirms the trend identified in the piece. Thankfully, the article leads with questions about the value of these certificates to students.
- At ProHacker, Amy Cavender relates some of her experience trying to teaching an intro level class without resort to a traditional textbook. Her efforts, and conclusions, mirror some of my own.
Finally, Dwell has started a project to map “The World’s Best Public Spaces”. Check it out and contribute if you have a favorite.