Female readers have long been considered a fringe demographic in American comics. Likewise, you could count on one hand the number of female book creators. (Japanese graphic novels, or manga, are a different story, with multiple genres and audiences.) Today, the female comic book audience is growing. More women writers and artists are adding their talents; even Margaret Atwood is adapting her classic “The Handmaid’s Tale” as a graphic novel. This coincides with the growth of graphic novels, as sequential storytelling moves beyond superheroes. The Wall Street Journal notes this shift, talking to some of the women driving the change in the comic/graphic novel industry.
An office space without cubicles, private offices or walls of any kind is appealing to Silicon Valley companies. Now other businesses are adopting the open-office model. One such business is the New York ad agency where Lindsey Kaufman works. The company moved into a Tribeca building where Kaufman found herself sharing a table with colleagues and bemoaning the lack of privacy and quiet. “It’s like being in middle school with a bunch of adults,” she adds. In The Washington Post, Kaufman points out how the open-office trend harms workplace productivity and morale and offers alternatives.
In Boing Boing, Deane Barker laments the demise of neighborhood gathering places — such as watering holes and diners — where friends, colleagues and neighbors congregate and converse. He cites sociologist Ray Oldenberg, who dubbed these “third places.” Perhaps watering holes will one day seem as quaint and strange as drugstore soda fountains are today. (Yes, people used to order actual ice cream sodas at drugstores!)
Attention all Millennials who grew up with the “Pokemon” cartoon! Boomerang is continuing the nostalgia trip here! In retrospect, wasn’t there something … creepy and bizarre about the show? Aside from the primitive animation, we mean? ion explores the dystopian underside of the “Pokemon” universe, a world of identical blue-haired civil servants and weird creatures who exist mainly to fight. (All things considered, being a “Pokemon” trainer did look pretty easy, though.)
Jacob Canfield of The Hooded Utilitarian makes a point that needs to be made. Yes, free speech is sacred, and the attacks on Charlie Hebdo are horrific, but that doesn’t shield the paper — or any media outlet — from criticism. Charlie Hebdo had a history of cringe-inducing, bigoted humor. It’s possible to condemn the attacks and condemn the racism, sexism and homophobia within Charlie Hebdo’s pages. As Canfield points out, “Criticism IS speech.” And “political correctness” shouldn’t be used as a red herring.
Robin Cook is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.
riticism IS speech