Walking last night to an event hosted by an anarcho-capitalist I know, I heard my name called out and realized I’d been spotted on the street for the second time by a guy I know as he attended an anti-government-spending protest, and unlike last time (when I was doing a quick pass through the Times Square Tea Party protest), I didn’t even know there was a protest going on this time until I stumbled by it (specifically, by the midtown office of Sen. Chuck Schumer). They were protesting socialized medicine this time, and I wished them luck.
Speaking of libertarians, you may recall that I decided to use my remaining comic book store credit (just before reading my final comic book last week) on a Pete Bagge anthology of comics from Reason. It was sold out, though — which is good for society, if not for me personally — so I instead got the first volume of DC’s comic Fables, Bill Willingham’s noir-like saga of familiar fairy tale characters living underground in modern New York City. (On another retro-hip New York-meets-old-timeyness note, you might check out Molly Crabapple’s new graphic novel, Scarlett Takes Manhattan.)
And I swear I’d genuinely forgotten, in my quest for something hip yet classic, that Willingham is a libertarian/conservative who has even written for the conservative site BigHollywood. Indeed, Snow White’s opening speech is about how the “mundanes” (normal humans) look to government to solve their problems, but fables-beings solve their own problems, and their Snow White-run “government” explicitly lacks even the power to tax, relying on donations. That’s hardcore anarcho-capitalism, my friends — or should I simply say, that’s liberty. (It’s also perfect fodder for a movie or TV show, and I think there’s something in the works.)
On another libertarian-yet-traditionalist note, Willingham joked at the recent San Diego Comic Convention that he’s 97% sure he won’t turn a gay character from the Justice Society of America, which he’s just begun writing, straight, but he leaves the 3% chance “because I’m a Republican.” The highlight of San Diego, though, was no doubt this rousing speech by my friend Ali Kokmen, who sells manga for Random House.
Ali, one of the nicest people on the planet, has also recently been encouraging people to donate to pay the medical bills of ill and cash-strapped comics writer John Ostrander, if you’re interested in looking him up and helping out. We wouldn’t want him becoming the new host-body for the Spectre, after all.
Speaking of ghostly figures:
(a) That apparition in the photo above is the marvelously-named Elva Beene, one of Indiana’s most-wanted criminals and a woman who strikes me as looking rather like she could be the sister of Elric of Melnibone, the albino swordsman from Michael Moorcock’s stories (whose look was imitated for the evil prince in Hellboy 2).
(b) Remember to attend our August 5 (8pm) Debate at Lolita Bar one week from tonight between Lillian Waters and Jen Dziura (herself a friend of the aforementioned Crabapple) to find out the answer to the question “Have We Ever Been Visited by Extraterrestrials?” — and find out whether your dreams about ghostly figures probing you are more than imagination.
(c) And for anyone out there who is still buying comics, you might consider Marvel’s Marvels Project, depicting with realistic painted art the rise of the first wave of their hero characters seventy years ago, in 1939, starting, according to a teaser sequence seen online, with a clever bit in which an elderly man dying in a hospital foretells the coming age of heroes — because, it is revealed, he is the cowboy-era hero Two-Gun Kid, whose adventures have included time-traveling to our era to meet the Avengers. It’s all connected by coincidence and causality, as in real life.
Well, your latest retirement from comics won’t last long. Fables gets better as it goes along.
I believe you but am happy to leave the reading to others, just as I’m sure there are some good TV shows but no longer get reception. Other things beckon.
I strongly second what Sean said. A huge thank you to Scott for introducing me to the series.
Remember, Todd — I can get you any FABLES collection you might desire…
I think we all know the terrible fable of the man who grew old reading free trade paperbacks from the comics editor who stole his soul.
Scott, did you steal my soul? If so, how’s it doing these days?
On a related note, werewolf fans like Chris might wish to check out Shakira’s new single, “She-Wolf,” not to be confused, of course, with _Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS_.
Thanks for the linkage, Todd. It pleases me greatly to think that some stat-crunching, traffic-trafficking folks at work are finding my silly speechifying garnering a bunch of hits.
Speaking of FABLES: even if you don’t want to acquire future volumes, and even if your soul-sealing comics editor pals don’t keep pushing the junk, there’s still, ya know, the library…
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