Questions for the Week: July 20, 2009

I rolled in late from the Finger Lakes Wine Festival Sunday (20+ travel hours on the road) and got back to business bright and early this morning. Here’s what’s been on my mind and monitor:

• How many Kindle users out there are comics readers? Archaia announced that they’ll be putting out a new Josh Fialkov graphic novel exclusively for Kindle. I’m all for this and the budget looks promising, I’ll probably be downloading this for my Kindle iPhone app (which has color capabilities). The whole concept of Amazon being able to remotely kill books you’ve paid for still bothers me, but  I have enjoyed using it. It’s great to see publishers testing new markets, and I’ll be anxious to hear what kind of comics readership is lurking out there in front of Kindle screens.

• Is this Complex list of “The 40 Most Violent Comics Ever” one of the best lists ever? Probably. I definitely like it in spirit, and it takes some chances. But I don’t know if I would have put Transmetropolitan on it, let alone so high. Garth Ennis and Frank Miller rightfully own most of the real estate on it, but I’m disappointed to see alt comix and specifically Johnny Ryan left completely off in favor of some ho-hum decisions.

• Is Chris Ware mainstream now? The A.V. Club says yes now, according to this also enjoyable list of “21 artists who changed mainstream comics.” I’m all for citing and celebrating his contributions, but I don’t know what kind of mainstream immitators I’ve seen ripping him off lately. I feel like the paragraph discussing him is a little wishful and arrogant, since including him on the list really should require a justification other than just reinventing with explanation the definition of “mainstream.” But take mainstream out of the title, and I’ll definitely buy this list. It was a good read.

• Is Scribner being irresponsible by reprinting Hemingway’s Moveable Feast according to his grandson’s vision? A.E. Hotchner definitely thinks so and said so much in an NYT op-ed. I’m personally not convinced that the new edition accurately captures Pappa Bear’s original vision, and it’s one of my favorite books of all time, but as long as the other version can still be found, I’m interested to see what changes the grandson made.

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