* I wrote a well-received post on feminism and A Song of Ice and Fire over on my ASoIaF tumblr, in response to this pretty bad piece by Sady Doyle and this very good one by Alyssa Rosenberg. Spoilers abound at all three, so be careful. Related, and less spoilery: my big problem with the way the non-Western cultures in A Song of Ice and Fire are portrayed.
* Jeez, the hits just keep on coming in the comics world: The Center for Cartoon Studies’ library was flooded during Hurricane Irene. The books are basically okay, but the building’s screwed.
* On the Sparkplug/Dylan Williams front, Chris Mautner recommends six Sparkplug books you should consider purchasing to a) help out, and b) read great comics.
* And in happier news, this is a terrific idea: The Library of Congress is creating the Small Press Expo Collection, which will permanently archive all of the Ignatz Award nominees and select self-published books and minicomics.
* And if you enjoy alternative comics in the slightest, Rob Clough’s Top 50 Comics of 2010 is well worth your time. You’ll find a lot of the usual suspects on here, and he and I have a lot of overlap, but he orders things in an idiosyncratic way that will make you think about what you liked best and why.
* George Lucas added a bunch more nonsense–and I mean that, it’s nonsense, it’s stuff that it doesn’t really make sense to add–to the Blu-Ray editions of the original Star Wars trilogy. I’m in broad agreement with what Rob Bricken says about this at the link. It’s perfectly fine for George Lucas to do whatever he likes with his movies. He doesn’t owe me anything. It would just be nice if I could own a nice hi-def copy of the movies I loved growing up as they existed when I was growing up.
* Brigid Alverson put together a highlight reel from a recent Dan DiDio/Jim Lee interview about the rebooted DC Universe and its concurrent digital-comics initiative.
* Zak Smith/Sabbath on what Rem Koolhaas can tell us about Dungeons & Dragons. (Now that’s a tough sentence to top.)
* Here’s the cover and creator line-up for Thickness #2, the latest issue of Michael DeForge and Ryan Sands’s alt/art smut comics anthology series.
* Both Rolling Stone’s Matthew Perpetua and Pitchfork’s Tom Breihan interviewed the Rapture’s Luke Jenner about his band’s comeback album, and he comes across like a mensch in both. He’s quite candid about why former co-frontman Mattie Safer left the band following his own return to it after he himself quit a few years back, but Safer emerges as a sympathetic figure too. He thought he was now the undisputed leader of the band, and then that was taken away from him. You can easily see how that would weigh on a guy.
(A quick programming note: Though a hurricane-related internet outage appears to have resolved itself as mysteriously as it started (on Monday morning, well after the winds from a hurricane during which we never lost power or cable had died down), I’m still having some unrelated computer problems, as well as spending a lot of time writing for other outlets. So if you don’t see me here as often, that’s why.)