Glen Weldon http://publicradioeast.org en Moving Fables Of Gods, Men, Love And Monsters In 'Early Earth' http://publicradioeast.org/post/moving-fables-gods-men-love-and-monsters-early-earth Despite its title, British writer and illustrator Isabel Greenberg's <em>The Encyclopedia of Early Earth</em> is not mere history, with its assiduous accounting of dusty facts, but is instead a compendium of funny, sad and surprisingly moving fables from the pre-history of a world that exists only in Greenberg's febrile imagination — one that bristles with capricious gods, feckless shamans, daring quests and, of course, doomed love.<p>We meet a man of the frozen "Nord" as he falls in love with a South Pole woman, only to find that some mysterious force prevents them from ever coming into physi Tue, 03 Dec 2013 12:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 28971 at http://publicradioeast.org Moving Fables Of Gods, Men, Love And Monsters In 'Early Earth' Alice Munro, The Punchbowl And Everyday Villainy http://publicradioeast.org/post/alice-munro-punchbowl-and-everyday-villainy Alice Munro, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature today, taught me something important and abiding and true about evil.<p>Specifically, she taught me about that singular species of evil we swim through all our lives. It's the evil to which we petty humans default, even — especially — as we reassure ourselves that we are blessed creatures, generous of spirit. It's the evil born of thoughtlessness and self-regard, and it crouches, waiting, in every conversation, every appraising look, every single human interaction that fills up our days.<p>Alice Munro taught me this. Actually, it wasn't her. Thu, 10 Oct 2013 20:37:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 25255 at http://publicradioeast.org Alice Munro, The Punchbowl And Everyday Villainy A Comic-Con Diary: The Final Day http://publicradioeast.org/post/comic-con-diary-final-day <em>Monkey See contributor/longtime nerd Glen Weldon recently attended San Diego Comic-Con. He kept a diary during one of the largest media events in the world.</em><p><strong>Saturday, 7:08 a.m. PT:</strong> After several minutes of technical glitches, I am taping an interview with Rachel Martin of NPR's <em>Weekend Edition Sunday</em>. I can't consult the notes I've made to prep for our talk, as the demands of NPR-quality audio means I'm holding the hotel phone up to my right ear with one hand, and my cellphone up to my left ear with the other. Sat, 27 Jul 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 19671 at http://publicradioeast.org A Comic-Con Diary: The Final Day A Comic-Con Diary: The Eisner Awards http://publicradioeast.org/post/comic-con-diary-eisner-awards <em>Monkey See contributor/longtime nerd Glen Weldon recently attended San Diego Comic-Con. He kept a diary during one of the largest media events in the world.</em><p><strong>8:28 p.m.:</strong> Jennifer and Matthew Holm are an adorable brother-sister team. They are standing at a podium less than 6 feet away from me and thanking their publisher, because their charming book, <em>Babymouse for President</em>, has just won the Eisner for Best Publication for Early Readers.<p>They are beaming, humbled, happy. I, too, am happy for them. Wed, 24 Jul 2013 15:04:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 19425 at http://publicradioeast.org A Comic-Con Diary: The Eisner Awards A Comic-Con Diary, Day 2: Man Of Steel, Man Of Urgency http://publicradioeast.org/post/comic-con-diary-day-2-man-steel-man-urgency <em>Monkey See contributor/longtime nerd Glen Weldon recently attended San Diego Comic-Con. He kept a diary during one of the largest media events in the world.</em><p><strong>9:30 a.m.:</strong> I file the Day 1 diary with Linda and send out a tweet asking Pop Culture Happy Hour listeners who are attending Comic-Con to come to the Marriott bar at 5:30 today to get a PCHH pin. It's something on the order of a "meetup," as the kids say.<p>Yeah, I know. I don't recognize myself either.<p><strong>11 a.m.:</strong> Late start today. Mon, 22 Jul 2013 14:00:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 19256 at http://publicradioeast.org A Comic-Con Diary, Day 2: Man Of Steel, Man Of Urgency A Comic-Con Diary, Day One: Faces In The Crowd And A Book In The Middle http://publicradioeast.org/post/comic-con-diary-day-one-faces-crowd-and-book-middle <em>Monkey See contributor/longtime nerd Glen Weldon is headed to San Diego Comic-Con. He's filing periodic updates from one of the largest media events in the world.</em><p><em><strong>Special note:</strong> If you're at SDCC, there will be an unofficial Pop Culture Happy Hour meetup in the Marina Bar at the Marriott Marquis and Marina Friday at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time. (Don't get excited, It'll just be Glen handing out PCHH pins.)</em><em></em><p>9:02 a.m. Fri, 19 Jul 2013 17:35:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 19099 at http://publicradioeast.org A Comic-Con Diary, Day One: Faces In The Crowd And A Book In The Middle A Comic-Con Diary, Day Zero, Part II: A Man Waits For A Batmobile On Preview Night http://publicradioeast.org/post/comic-con-diary-day-zero-part-ii-man-waits-batmobile-preview-night <em>Monkey See contributor/longtime nerd Glen Weldon is headed to San Diego Comic-Con. Thu, 18 Jul 2013 17:02:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 18990 at http://publicradioeast.org Theoretical Physicist Seeks Concrete Answers In 'Genius' http://publicradioeast.org/post/theoretical-physicist-seeks-concrete-answers-genius Ted is a theoretical physicist facing a slew of resolutely concrete problems. His son is racing headlong into puberty. His daughter's prodigious intellect causes her to stand out at school — the very last thing the girl wants. His elderly father-in-law isn't remembering much, these days, save for the fact that he hates Ted's guts. His wife is sick and getting sicker, just as his employer, a prominent think tank, threatens to fire him for lack of productivity. To keep his job, and its health care coverage, Ted needs an idea.<p>But ideas don't come easy anymore. Wed, 17 Jul 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 18874 at http://publicradioeast.org Theoretical Physicist Seeks Concrete Answers In 'Genius' A Tale Of The Estranged And The Just Plain Strange In 'New School' http://publicradioeast.org/post/tale-estranged-and-just-plain-strange-new-school Dash Shaw is a graphic novelist and animator whose previous books, including <em>Bottomless Belly Button</em> and <em>Bodyworld</em>, seethe with dark, mischievous intent. He sets out to unsettle, using the unique tools the comics medium provides to expose discomfiting truths about relationships both familial and romantic. Thu, 04 Jul 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 17880 at http://publicradioeast.org A Tale Of The Estranged And The Just Plain Strange In 'New School' Globetrotting Cartoonist Heads Home In 'User's Guide' http://publicradioeast.org/post/globetrotting-cartoonist-heads-home-users-guide It looks like a last-minute gift, like one of those tiny tomes that live near the register on the counter of your favorite bookstore, hoping to catch the attention (or at least the impulse) of shoppers in the check-out line. Given its digest-sized dimensions and jokey title, you'd be forgiven for assuming <em>A User's Guide to Neglectful Parenting</em> is a hastily assembled collection of cornball homilies, like those miniature books about dads, grads and golf that double as greeting cards this time of year. Thu, 27 Jun 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 17362 at http://publicradioeast.org Globetrotting Cartoonist Heads Home In 'User's Guide' Women Find More Than They Bargained For In 'The Property' http://publicradioeast.org/post/women-find-more-they-bargained-property Israeli graphic novelist Rutu Modan's deceptively clear and simple line work — she can conjure a face in two dots and a single, expressive pen stroke — is a deliberate artistic choice. Narratively, Modan's work (including the acclaimed <em>Exit Wounds</em> and<em> </em>her<em> Jamilti and Other Stories</em>) lives in the realm of the indistinct, the undefined and the hotly disputed. In her books, conflicts between family members, lovers and nations all occur in the context of Jewish cultural history. Tue, 25 Jun 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 17214 at http://publicradioeast.org Women Find More Than They Bargained For In 'The Property' Death Of A Puppy: An Exclusive Imaginary Excerpt From The 'Man Of Steel' Sequel http://publicradioeast.org/post/death-puppy-exclusive-imaginary-excerpt-man-steel-sequel NPR has obtained [or invented, <em>whatever</em>] an excerpt of the draft script for Zack Snyder's much-rumored sequel to the hugely successful <em>Man Of Steel</em>. The script, which was found in a booth at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on La Cienega, suggests that the distinctive tone set by Christopher Nolan's <em>Dark Knight</em> trilogy and adopted by Snyder's <em>Man Of Steel</em> will continue to inform the expanding cinematic universe of DC Comics characters.<p><strong> Tue, 18 Jun 2013 16:52:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 16722 at http://publicradioeast.org Death Of A Puppy: An Exclusive Imaginary Excerpt From The 'Man Of Steel' Sequel 'Steel' Trap: Snyder's Superman, Between Worlds http://publicradioeast.org/post/steel-trap-snyders-superman-between-worlds Take heart, ye spandex-haters: Zack Snyder's steroidal yet sensitive <em>Man of Steel </em>is not a superhero film.<p>Full disclosure: Over the past two years, this reviewer has spent a great deal of time thinking about superheroes in general and Superman in particular. Thu, 13 Jun 2013 20:50:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 16380 at http://publicradioeast.org 'Steel' Trap: Snyder's Superman, Between Worlds My Favorite Superman Story: When Jimmy Olsen Created Beatlemania http://publicradioeast.org/post/my-favorite-superman-story-when-jimmy-olsen-created-beatlemania Hey, Monkey See readers. It's me, your old pal Glen. Look, I know you haven't seen me around these parts very much over the last year or so, but ...<p>Mm? What's that?<p>Why, yes, I have "put on a few," as you say. How nice of you to notice. And just ... blurt out. Free as you please. Like that. Gosh I've missed us.<p>Anyway, the reason I haven't been blogging about comics in this space every week is that I was, you know, writing a book. Thu, 30 May 2013 16:43:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 15254 at http://publicradioeast.org My Favorite Superman Story: When Jimmy Olsen Created Beatlemania Graphic-Novel Gumshoe Rounds Up Unusual Suspects http://publicradioeast.org/post/graphic-novel-gumshoe-rounds-unusual-suspects Matt Kindt is a storyteller so fully in control of his gifts that his graphic novels — <em>3 Story</em>, <em>Revolver</em> and others — read like quietly compelling arguments for the comics medium's narrative potential.<p>With his latest, the multilayered and slyly existential <em>Red Handed</em>, he assembles a mystery story that only comics could capture, filled with puzzles and set pieces that depend entirely on the interplay of word and image. Wed, 08 May 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 13524 at http://publicradioeast.org Graphic-Novel Gumshoe Rounds Up Unusual Suspects Niffenegger Lets Fly With An Adult Fairy Tale In 'Raven Girl' http://publicradioeast.org/post/niffenegger-lets-fly-adult-fairy-tale-raven-girl In <em>The Time Traveler's Wife,</em> Audrey Niffenegger married her gently wry sensibility to a classic science-fiction conceit, and the result became a literary sensation — as much a tried-and-true staple of book-club culture as cheap malbec.<p>Now, with <em>Raven Girl,</em> Niffenegger sets out to create a new fairy tale bearing the form's alchemical mix of light with dark, wish fulfillment with foreboding, bright fantasy with flat-out creepiness. Thu, 02 May 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 13071 at http://publicradioeast.org Niffenegger Lets Fly With An Adult Fairy Tale In 'Raven Girl' Which Comics Should I Get? Your Free Comic Book Day Cheat Sheet http://publicradioeast.org/post/which-comics-should-i-get-your-free-comic-book-day-cheat-sheet This Saturday, May 4<sup>th</sup>, is Free Comic Book Day, the comics industry's annual attempt to sail out past the shallow, overfished shoals where Nerds Like Me lazily and inexpertly spawn, to instead cast their line into the colder, deeper waters where Normals Like You swim free, blissfully unconcerned about the myriad nettlesome continuity issues surrounding Supergirl's underpants.<p>Yes, Free Comic Book Day is about <em>you</em>, O person who hasn't set foot in a comics shop in years, or ever. Wed, 01 May 2013 14:59:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 12996 at http://publicradioeast.org Which Comics Should I Get? Your Free Comic Book Day Cheat Sheet Stars In His Eyes, Sending Smoke Signals To Mars http://publicradioeast.org/post/stars-his-eyes-sending-smoke-signals-mars In his slim but beguiling novel <em>Equilateral</em>, Ken Kalfus places us inside the heads of his characters with such deftness that the line between what is true and what they believe to be true fades to obscurity. It's no coincidence that the heads in question belong to scientists who pride themselves on their evidence-based worldview; Kalfus delights in having readers continually gauge and recalibrate the distance between the world and his characters' seemingly objective observations of it. Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 11810 at http://publicradioeast.org Stars In His Eyes, Sending Smoke Signals To Mars The Mundane World Illuminated In 'Hand-Drying In America' http://publicradioeast.org/post/mundane-world-illuminated-hand-drying-america Ben Katchor's syndicated comic strips vary in subject — his <em>Julius Knipl: Real Estate Photographer</em>, for example, explores the surreal underside of our urban environment by documenting the inner lives of the spaces and storefronts we walk past every day, while <em>The Cardboard Valise</em> reads like a Fodor's guide to a country that exists only in Franz Kafka's dream journal.<p>What unites them, and vivifies them, is Katchor's singular voice, guiding us through his busy panels like a meticulous, dispassionate and slightly bemused Virgil. Tue, 12 Mar 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 9187 at http://publicradioeast.org The Mundane World Illuminated In 'Hand-Drying In America' Beyond Visible: LGBT Characters In Graphic Novels http://publicradioeast.org/post/beyond-visible-lgbt-characters-graphic-novels OK, yes: To gay comics fans like me, DC Comics' <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/02/12/171767271/book-news-anger-over-superman-author-who-condemns-homosexuality">decision</a> to hire an anti-gay activist like Orson Scott Card to write <em>Superman</em> — an iconic character who exists to represent humanity's noblest ideals of justice and compassion — is <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/02/17/172229592/man-of-tomorrow-superman-orson-scott-card-and-me">deeply dispiriting</a>.<p>But it doesn't change the fact that today's mainstream superhero comics contain more LGBT characters t Wed, 20 Feb 2013 12:03:00 +0000 Glen Weldon 7668 at http://publicradioeast.org Beyond Visible: LGBT Characters In Graphic Novels