Is Black Panther actually the second black costumed superhero?: Sean Kleefeld says yes, after having done some research on The Black Phantom. And on the subject of race and superheroes, here are two posts about two notoriously weird comics about white characters becoming black for a story: Tim O’Neil on that time the Punisher visited “a ground-breaking plastic surgeon who just happened to be a drug-addicted hooker” who turned him black as a disguise, and E. Peterman of Girls Gone Geek on the Lois Lane story “I Am Curious (Black).”
“Can New Characters Flourish in Today’s Market?”: The folks at iFanboy look at the comics charts in an attempt to parse which characters and concepts are “new,” and how they’re doing. It’s interesting reading, even if I’m not sure to what degree turning The Hulk red or putting new kids in the Batgirl and Robin costumes should be considered new, but this is always a topic worth considering/fretting over. Particularly for folks working in comics. (Even if for merely mercenary, monetary reasons: Barb Wire, Spawn, Kick-Ass, The Mask, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Scott Pilgrim and that lady from Whiteout all had major motion pictures made long before Thor, Captain America, Green Lantern, The Flash and Wonder Woman).
There are few things I like more than pet versions of superheroes: One of them might be these sorts of creative exercises, in which The Absorbascon makes up some dogs to join Ace the Bat-Hound and Krypto the Superdog in a Justice Pack of America.
This crazy thing freaks me right the hell out: It seems like something you’d find in a haunted mansion. And it even generates its own spooky music? Brr! Still, I totally want one to put over my mantle.
Art from comics masters before they were stars: Cartoonist Ed Piskor spent some time going through some old Comics Journals and Amazing Heroes and assembled a post chockfull of art from the likes of The Hernandez Brothers, Bruce Timm, Kevin Nowlan and others. Take a look. Speaking of Piskor, Top Shelf just announced that they would be publishing his complete WIZZYWIG next year. Piskor’s a great artist and his hacker series is a great comic, so this is great news. He’s been self-publishing trade collections so far and promoting them all on his own, so I imagine this will free him up to keep making great comics and leave it to the fine folks at Top Shelf to get his work in more hands. (If you don’t want to wait, you can buy the trades here, and read some of WIZZYWIG here).
“Technically, it’s a graphic novel adaptation of an all-new Peanuts straight-to-DVD movie, which in turn is based on several classic Peanuts strips”: Glen Weldon of NPR taks a look at Boom/Kaboom’s announcement of their new Peanuts ogn. When Boom first teased a Peanuts project, my first guess was that they had gotten the rights to collect the 1960′s comic books published by Dell and Gold Key. Turns out I guessed wrong. This is actually better news though, because it means a) a brand-new Peanuts comic (For some reason, I love the comics but hate the cartoons, so won’t be seeing the DVD, but am looking forward to the Boom book) and b) the Dell/Gold Key material is still out there, waiting to be collected. Be sure to read the Weldon post to the end, as he lists the titles of 40 Peanuts cartoon specials produced between 1965 and 2006, and plants four fake ones in there (What’s the one where Patty and Marcie were in France? That one depressed me so much as a child).