Sonia’s Linkage: from the sublime to the ridiculous

I thought that it’d be fun to share a very few of the many sites that relate to comic books which I found to be in some way of special interest. My apologies if you’ve already seen them elsewhere, I do my best, but half the time I’m oblivious to what’s current. This is just the stuff that I found especially nifty.

Scott McCloud’s talk at TED
I meant to post this for you all months ago and completely forgot. It’s a marvelously energetic talk that Scott McCloud gave at TED (the conference for technology, entertainment, and design) in January. He managed to pack about 2 hours worth of information into his 20 minute talk, and addressed subjects such as family history, vision, career choices, comics as a calling, the nature of print, the internet and how comics work in that forum.

Ecocomics: Economics in Comics
A deeply detailed and surprisingly serious look at economics in comics. While a lot of it is massively over my head, there’s a lot of it that you might have already thought about yourself, (or as Ron wrote about a year ago, “
Being ‘super’ anything is clearly a game for the super rich“). For example, in an article criticizing Wolverine’s lack of money management, it’s noted that “…he left employment with Department K and Alpha Flight to become a member of the X-Men. This provided Wolverine with food, shelter, and access to Jean Grey but denied him the benefits of being a government employee.

Superuseless superpowers
This site is fun not just because of the endlessly inventive stupidly pointless superuseless powers that are listed, but also because of the fantastic, airplane safety-style drawings. It’s simplistic but rather sweet in it’s directness, after all, why would all superpowers be useful if they really did exist?

At right: an example superuseless power. Being able to fly, but only within the confines of an airplane.

Bill Sienkiewicz draws Elektra

If you’ve never read one of my articles, you may not realize that I worship Sienkiewicz and the way he draws Elektra. In this video, from the 4:20 mark onwards, you get to see the master in action, simply pouring Elektra out on to the page with his elegant, fluid motions. It’s beautiful. Oh, and before that there is some guy called John Bucsema drawing some guy called Captain America, which isn’t bad either.

Polite Dissent: Medicine in Comics
A professional critiques medical practices in comics to great effect. Did you ever wonder if your favorite comic writers research the medical jargon they use? Did it ever occur to you that a comic artist might not know where an IV goes (and why would he)? What about all of those old PSA’s in comics? If Hank McCoy never actually qualified as a physician, despite functioning as the X-Men’s physician, and having one or more doctorates, is he part of the AMA and does he fall under their jurisdiction? (Apparently not.)
This is your chance to read all of that and so much more.

The Superest: Who is the superest hero of them all?
A game wherein player 1 draws a character with a power. Player 2 then draws a character whose power cancels the power of that previous character. Repeat ad nauseam. The resultant site is pretty hysterically inventive as people bounce their increasingly ideas off of each other.

This little guy on the right (Boogala), defeated the “Dehydrodator, who drains the moisture from unsuspecting lonely women“, but was beaten by the “Under Taker, who traps his foes beneath tables.” It continues in that vein.

xkcd: A Webcomic – Listen to yourself

Most everyone knows about this webcomic, and there are plenty out there. But this particular one is an incredible example of life imitating art and worth noting. Xkcd posited that the famously inane YouTube commenters might not post such moronic stuff if they could hear their comments spoken out loud. In a marvelous turn of events, a contact at YouTube informed me that this caused a developer to create a function where comments could be heard which was briefly implemented, though no one knows if this actually helped…

Sonia Harris tries to avoid reading too much about comic books, tv, or movies because she’s deathly afraid of spoilers. In addition, she’s now massively behind on her reading and film watching schedule, so it will be months before she catches up. If you have any links that are must-see, but are pre-screened for spoilers, please let her know in the comments here, or via email at (or just comment and email whatever random bollocks seems appropriate, as per usual). Thanks!


  1. I am now a fan of xkcd, thank you Sonia 🙂

  2. Firsties!

    …oh God, is that what I sound like?!

  3. These links are complete bollocks.

  4. I really REALLY love that cartoon.

  5. Genius. I love XKCD, and this is definitely one of the better ones.

  6. xcxd is always a favorite!

  7. Thank you for XKCD.

  8. I just checked out Ecocomics and it isn’t too advanced.  The game theory stuff on the first page might seem a bit complex, but their explanation is pretty clear.  If you’ve have had a couple of econ classes (especially microeconomics and even more especially if you had them from me), then you should be able to follow most of the posts. 

    Even if you have trouble with the posts its somewhat fun to read the comments. Some posters write up a big response critiquing the post and then add something like this at the end of their post: "if it’s not obvious by now I was a C student in economics, so maybe i’m thinking about this wrong…"

    I think Conor specifically would like their most recent post.

  9. That Scott McCloud summarised his books in less than 20 minutes.

  10. Ah, these are very cool!

    One site I enjoy is comic book urban legends:

  11. Polite Dissent is one of my favortie blogs. Especially the House reviews he puts up.

  12. That Elektra video was fantastic. I too worship Sienkiewicz so thank you so much for sharing.

    Also that YouTube cartoon is priceless.

  13. Sonia, did you ever track down that Batman #400 with the Sienkiewicz cover?

  14. @ultimatehoratio Nah, but I figure I’ll look for it at comic-con in a month anyway. It’ll give me something to look for specifically when I’m rifling through bins, instead of just erratically buying all sorts of things.

  15. xkcd is the greatest

  16. that elektra video was the bomb!!

  17. This is most accurate for me:

  18. The Sienkiewicz video is mesmerizing. Great stuff.

  19. Sienkiewicz’s Elektra is amazing. John’s Captain America isnt 2 shabby either I must say. Thanks for the links!

  20. My favorite xkcd:

    Thanks for posting that TED talk. I’d seen it before and enjoyed it again.
  21. Just for reference me and my friend both read XKCD, he never realized there was commentary on each comic by hovering the mouse over the toon, adds a level of depth, very often as funny as the strip.

  22. @JumpingJupiter You do realize that you noted the same favorite cartoon as TheNextChampion. Lost soul mates perhaps?

  23. @JJ: There were bells on a hill/But I never heard them ringing/No, I never heard them at all/Till there was you.


  24. JumpingJupiter and TNC sittin’ in a tree…

    Not typing the rest of it.

  25. @horatio: Wha? Why!? I wanna hear how the rest of it…..

    Oh…..excuse me for a sec

    *goes behing a trash can and vomits*

  26. @TNC – Oh don’t worry.  The ending is happy.  There are kids and whatnot.

  27. @horatio: Kids? How did we….nevermind…I dont wanna know.

  28. found this just recently.

    a nice intro to newbs and the curious alike.