Sunday Readings 01/12/14

Welcome to another edition of Sunday Readings, where I point out some things you might have missed over the past week. So celebrate my birthday by reading about comics!

Leading off is what might be the best piece of comics commentary that Chris Sims has ever written. I've been reading Chris going all the way back to his Blogspot days, and watched as his hilarious take on comics and comics culture refined itself until it became the thing most folks know him for.

Well, I love Chris's snark (he's actually the only snark blogger I read now, because so many try to be Sims and fail miserably), but I think we forget that he's also able to speak knowledgeably and reasonably on comics. Here's Chris' take on Stan Lee, and it's amazing. It's well-reasoned, has supporting examples, and doesn't try to take a hard side on the "Stan Devil, Stan Saint" debate--letting the evidence do that for him.

Chris has managed to say what I think better than I do, and from now on, if I get asked what I think about Lee, I'm just going to point them here.

But hey, if you want Chris being Chris about the strange side of comics, there's that, too. Just have a look at this time Luke Cage and Danny Rand took on---Daleks? No really, they did--it's all detailed here.

Moving into the 21st Century, some of you may be aware that Marvel, who gets it, is trying to open up the Comics Club to people of color, at least just a bit. Sure, there's Miles go to (sorry, couldn't resist), but I think we need to give credit where credit is due.

One of those steps is the new Captain Marvel, as the House of Ideas creates a new legacy hero who is openly Muslim, a first for the major companies. She's Kamala Khan, and there's a Tumblr taking you behind the scenes here.

Looking at some numbers now, Diamond released their December 2013 numbers, and it's not shocking that once again Marvel and DC take 70% of the money. However, it is notable that IDW slipped ahead of Image for third place, which is interesting, because I tend to think of Image as having taken 3rd place as their own. Some folks even refer to a "Big 3" now, though I think that's stretching reality. Talk to me when Image's take isn't outnumbered by Marvel 3 to 1. IDW tends to go under the radar a bit, I think, but they have a very solid catalog for those who like licensed properties as well new ideas like Locke and Key.

Speaking of creator-owned work at IDW, here's my friend Lela Gwenn interviewing Adam P. Knave and DJ Kirkbride of Amelia Cole and Never Ending fame. I love how much fun Knave and Kirkbride have in interviews. The wit you get in person shines through on paper, too. Amelia Cole is about to get its second volume from IDW, so be on the lookout for that.

Atomic Books is one of the things I'll miss about Baltimore, other than my friends. They have such great contacts within the mini-comics crowd and always do right by them. Now they're asking some of them to give out their Best of lists from 2013. Here's Pat Aulisio's which includes Raw Power 2, a comic that also made my list.

Finally, speaking of mini-comics, Big Planet Comics talks about how new mini-comics creators can help themselves get into stores. It's a great read, with some tough love, but I think overall the advice is strong. They focus a bit too hard on making money but the concepts like putting a damned price on your book and not over-charging are dead on. They even get the price point ($6) right. If you are at all interested in seeing how non-creators view minis, this is worth a look.

That's the stuff I thought was interesting for the past week. How about you? Leave anything you think I missed in the comments!