Over a decade ago, I read a comics anthology called Legal Action Comics. It was hit and miss but enjoyable overall, like most comics anthologies. Apparently, I never knew that a second volume had come out, so when I stumbled across it this year in a bookstore for half price, I snapped it up. Apparently, I overpaid, since people are selling them for 6 cents online, but I was happy to support the nice bookstore that I was in (there aren't many left, eh?). Anyway, this volume, like its predecessor is also hit and miss but enjoyable overall. I was curious if the lawsuit that inspired the books, a spat between cartoonists Danny Hellman and Ted Rall, was ever settled, and it seems to be still ongoing some fifteen years on. It's just sitting on a court docket and Hellman thinks there it will remain forever, but, judging from the comments on this blog post, Hellman and Rall still hate one another., so perhaps someday their animosity will result in Legal Action Comics Volume Three. I don't know if that would be a good thing ultimately, but the books are fun.
Since I followed up on Palookaville yesterday, it's only fair to also report on the other comics series I covered extensively on the blog a couple of years ago, which were the various series starring She-Hulk. You can find the last post in that series here. Fortunately, I have good news. The new series is very good. The art by Javier Pulido fits She-Hulk well, but even better is the writing by Charles Soule, who as a lawyer himself can "draw" (pardon the pun) upon his career experience. It would still be nice to see a woman write She-Hulk in an ongoing series (not that men such as Soule, Dan Slott, and others haven't done a fine job, but it would be interesting to see if a gender switch in the scripting would be fruitful). My only complaint would be a usual one regarding mainstream comics these days, where a number of the pages only have two or three panels on them. Issue 4 of the original Hulk series from the 1960s averaged 6-8 panels, making for a longer and more satisfying read (assuming one isn't allergic to Stan Lee's occasional silliness and plotholes). By contrast, issue 4 of the current She-Hulk series has three single panel pages, three double panel pages, and one triple panel page. It's almost a relief to get to a quadruple panel page. Still, it's nice to have Shulkie back in a starring role. FF was great fun, but with so many characters in the book, she didn't get much attention. I actually have a subscription to this series (yes, I am twelve years old again), so I'm in for the long haul, or at least until my subscription runs out (I wouldn't renew, but that has nothing to do with She-Hulk, and everything to do with the quality of Marvel's subscription service). Now, if you'll excuse me, issue 5 arrived a couple of days ago (yes, that's right, only two weeks after it arrived in stores), so it's time to catch up on my deep, philosophical reading about green people.
A couple of years ago, I reread my Palookaville collection before I disposed of it, and wrote about it on the blog (you can find the last post in that series here). At the time, issue 21 was supposed to come out, but it was delayed yet again, so I didn't get to review it. Of course, I ended up buying it when it did come out in hopes that Seth would finally finish the "Clyde Fans" serialized story that I've been reading since the 1990s. Well, "Clyde Fans" continues in this issue, but it does not conclude.
At this point, I have to wonder if it will ever conclude.
Still, this issue does provide a nice chunk of it. Unfortunately, instead of providing more of it, Seth also includes examples from the rubber stamp diary he keeps (yes, you read that right--Seth actually keeps a comic strip diary and uses rubber stamps to recreate common scenes in his life) and then an autobiographical story about growing up (Seth seems obsessed with children and the elderly--in this issue he manages to include both obsessions). I liked both features though, even if they weren't "Clyde Fans". I particularly liked the autobiographical story because of Seth's use of a 20-panel page grid. In these days of comics being two or three panels on a page, Seth is a pleasure to read. It almost justifies the $21.95 cover price (almost--I'm still a bit disappointed that "Clyde Fans" is not done).
I'll probably buy the next one though. I must admit though that I'm starting to feel like Charlie Brown does when Lucy pulls the football away yet again.
A few years ago, I started running across a story about Ernest Hemingway writing a six-word-long short story. Despite having read most, if not all, of Hemingway's stories, I didn't know this one. That made me curious. I wrote a blog post about what I found and then did further research for a paper that I gave at the 2010 International Conference on Narrative. That eventually resulted in an article that has recently been published in The Journal of Popular Culture (Volume 47, Number 2, Pages 327-340), in which I argue that the story credited to Hemingway was actually written by John de Groot. During the three years or so that my article worked its way through the academic publishing maze, the Quote Investigator discovered that the actual six-word-long short story seems very similar to a newspaper advertisement from the early 20th Century. It's quite possible that de Groot heard the legend associated with the advertisement and adapted it for his play about Hemingway, which eventually resulted in the contemporary urban legend. But, to sum it all up, the six-word story isn't a story and it's not by Hemingway.
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