Friday, March 30, 2012

It's been a Banner Week!

I have several things to share this week.

First up, my ebook Scratch received a four-star review at

Thanks for the kind words!

Second, I was quoted in the newest issue of the scientific Journal of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society. Nothing scientific on my part I assure you. I would have guessed that my lifetime chances of ever being quoted in a scientific journal were more infinitesimal than some quantum particles, but I tend to have some sort of probability-altering field at work in my life, so...

Anyway, it came about like this. The author of the piece, Lynne Robinson, writes for the Journal of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society. In every issue, in addition to abstracts and articles with titles like A Materiomics Approach to Spider Silk: Protein Molecules to Webs and Tailoring Microstructure and Properties of Hierarchical Aluminum Metal Matrix Composites Through Friction Stir Processing (real titles... trust me, I couldn't make this up), they try to include a more fun and interesting piece. Lynne discovered that many of the scientists she worked with were comics geeks (imagine that), who were genuinely interested in the transforming some of the ideas in comics into real life science. Things like Captain America's shield and Iron Man's armor were of specific interest to them. She wanted to talk about how fiction, specifically Comics and Science Fiction, both influence and reflect the development of new technologies. As she wrote the article she realized that she simply didn't have the background knowledge of comics and comics history, so she cast about to find someone who did. She contacted the PittsburghToonseum, and they recommended she talk to me.

I spent about an hour and a half on the phone with Lynne last fall and covered a lot of ground. She was fun to talk to and genuinely interested in the topic. As a journalist, her style was remarkable. She asked really very good questions and zeroed in on some of the most important points in my sometimes rambling style of talking. I'm really happy with the way the article turned out and proud to have been included. There were a lot of things in the conversation that didn't make it into the article (Doc Magnus and the Metal Men, Jack Kirby and the New Gods and how we all carry Mother Boxes in our pockets and have Metron Chairs at home).

Anyway, you can read a PDF version of the article here:

And my week didn't stop there.

Last year I was invited to participate in writing entries for an encyclopedia of graphic novels to be published by Salem Press. Salem Press is primarily a publisher of reference books aimed at libraries and universities. The two-volume collection is now available (and it's really expensive in hardback). You can see the ad and announcement for the collection at

Out of literally hundreds of articles they could have chosen, my piece on Matt Wagner's Mage: The Hero Discovered is one of ten free sample entries available on the order page, along with pieces on Watchmen, Sandman and other more well-known books. The editors either really liked Mage or my writing. I'm kind of stupidly happy that they picked my article. The direct link to the pdf of it is

I was planning on writing about Mage in my ongoing favorite comics posts anyway. I still will, in a less academic form than this article.

Lots of good things this week. No wonder I'm tired.

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