Some Comics Links for Your Reading Pleasure

Here’s a quick round-up of comics-related links that have come across my desk recently. First, Comic-Con International opens today in San Diego, where there will be a a reunion of the “Firefly” cast on Friday. I think you could say that will be the highest concentration of pure geekdom this year.

In honor of the convention, this week’s issue of The Onion is a special comics edition. A sampling of my favorite headlines: “Economically Healthy Daily Planet Now Most Unrealistic Part of Superman Universe,” “Comics Not Just for Kids Anymore, Reports 85,000th Mainstream News Story” and (I can’t find a link for this one) “Captain Actual America Overweight, Hopelessly in Debt.”

Over at The A.V. Club (the less satirical sibling to The Onion), there’s an excellent interview with writer and 20-year comics veteran Mark Waid. It offers great insight into how one of the super-hero genre’s best writers thinks about the form in the 21st Century, including thoughts on how comics will evolve in the digital age. Perhaps the best quote is:

“The problem with comics, and I’ve said this before, is that we have over the past 50 years very, very successfully taken what used to be a mass medium and successfully turned it into a niche market.”

Finally, a few weeks ago New York Times senior film critics A.O. Scott and Manhola Dargis published this dialogue on the cinematic and cultural impact of the modern super-hero movie. I tweeted that “the whole exchange is depressing in every way,” but it’s still worth reading if you’re interested in critically appraising this genre that has come to dominate so much of popular culture.