Sunday, July 10, 2011



Once more into the e-mails. Our e-mail address is And for the mailbag it's just going to be me, Ty, and Jim, Dona, Jess, Ava and C.I. First up, Wendall e-mailed to note he was "thrilled to see two comic features last week" -- "Comic book round-up" and "The economic comic book report" -- but "I was bothered by the fact that you're not including Batwoman anymore. I applaud your efforts for including Wonder Woman in almost every comic round up but I think Batwoman needs even more help. In my town, the gas station's where I get my comics and they stopped carrying Detective Comics. My nearest big city is 45 to 50 minutes away and with the price of gasoline I just can't be zipping in and out all over the place. So I really count on your features to show me some stuff I'm not seeing."

We first covered Batwoman in "A Rucka, a Batwoman, a Zeus and a Heatwave" when she debuted as the lead in Detective Comics.

Batwoman autographed

For any who don't know, Batwoman is Kate Kane, a Jewish, lesbian superhero. Greg Rucka did a great job starting her off as a lead character on a regular basis. Such a great job that DC wanted Batwoman to have a title all her own. Wendall, even if you're gas station still got Detective Comics, you wouldn't have Batwoman because she's not in it anymore. She was supposed to debut in her own title earlier this year but the start date has been repeatedly pushed back. Batwoman is currently scheduled to launch in September. J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman will be steering the series. Last week, Michael "Skitch" Maillaro (Inside Pulse) interviewed the two. And that interview should excite you enough to consider subscribing -- either to print or digital version. And if you're needing to catch up on Kat Kane, the Detective Comics battle with Alice is collected in Batwoman: Elegy.

Jess: Lauren was also among those e-mailing about the comic book features and she expresses her belief that it will be "at least two months" before we do anything else on comic books. Actually, no. We'll do one next week. Ty, C.I. and I had an idea for another feature but thought three might be too much so we tabled it. We'll grab it next week. And as for Batwoman, we all loved her run in Detective Comics so we will be noting it when she returns with her own title.

Dona: C958 e-mails to tell us that we cover "mainstream comics and you ignore the independents." That's not our intention. But it's also not our intention to cover a comic that's only available in one to ten cities. We define "mainstream" publisher here as Marvel or DC. All other titles are independent to us. If you check our coverage, I doubt you'll find any piece where we're covering comics -- not just one title -- that doesn't include smaller publishers. There's an exception to what I've just said and that's whomever publishes Archie Comics. That is clearly a mainstream publisher. However, we've not covered Archie Comics really. There's one article, a year or two ago, where we included Betty and Veronica in a round-up. That was it. I grew up on many comics including Archie Comics so I would like to see us do some real coverage of them at some point.

Ava: On a different topic, Steve e-mails to state, "I feel C.I.'s carrying the load on the Libyan War at her site" The Common Ills "with some assist from Elaine and sometimes Mike. I really thought that there would be more Libyan coverage here." We did too. We've tried Libyan pieces that just haven't worked out. Elaine has written strongly and powerfully about the Libyan War. I applaud her work. I think Mike's has been important as well because he's a different kind of writer and different kind of blogger. Within what he does and how he does it, I think he's done a good job. But if you asked either of them -- or anyone present for this mailbag -- there would be no argument that C.I.'s done the most work on it. I'm passing to C.I. so give her a second to finish taking notes and then I'll grab notes while she's speaking.

C.I.: I put anything up at The Common Ills. I don't have time to worry about the writing quality. I have to offer content and I will do the best I can in a first draft. The only time there's editing going on is when the snapshot is too long and it has to be edited. By contrast, here articles go through draft after draft after draft. That makes it more difficult to have a consistent article. Also true, I'm tired of war by the time Sunday rolls around. It's a topic that's got to be covered. But if anyone's expecting me to lead here on it, they're mistaken. When possible, Ava and I will work into our TV pieces. But I'm not coming in saying, "Okay, let's do this big piece on . . ." This week, this edition, I had four suggestions and three were about the Iraq War and they were also three short pieces. As Ava can tell you, the Libyan War is very important when we're speaking about the wars. It's the one that outrages especially. And we include it in our discussions but would have to during the question and answer portion regardless because it is consistently raised by any group we're speaking to. If someone needs a scapegoat, you can blame me.

Jim: But we're just not, so far, able to pull it together on a piece like that, a piece that we need. We do have some minor Libyan coverage up here that we've done but we are aware it needs to be more. We've got a piece we'll be working on after this -- reworking -- and maybe we can pull it together on that.

Dona: Carrie e-mails that "TV: Who's the dick?" was "excellent but I'm afraid that having taken on Barack's press conference last Sunday, they'll ignore Twitter this Sunday." We were too but they've already written their piece and it is about the Twitter town hall or so-called Twitter town hall.

Jess: Rhonda wonders whether it makes it easier or more difficult when we're all together -- everyone working on the edition, not just those of us who are Third -- to work? If we were in DC, the answer would be "easier." But this is a lot of people's vacations and we really don't want to say, "Hey, do this, hey, help with that." That's why, instead of doing a roundtable with everyone, we're just doing a Third mailbag.

Ty: Snazzy D e-mails that we really need to do "an article that's nothing but a paragraph on this TV show or that TV show, just pulling from Ava and C.I.'s stuff you've already published." That's an idea we've often toyed with and what we've always said, in the last six years, is that we'll save that for an edition where Ava and C.I. don't feel they have anything. We'll do that to give them a weekend off. And we really should. They are the only ones who've participated in every edition, every week Ava and C.I. have taken part. I've taken a week off here and there, Dona has, Jim has, Jess has, but Ava and C.I. have always worked on the edition.

Jim: Last e-mail we have time to address, Cando e-mailed that he wants two things: Libyan coverage and more from Ava and C.I. We've addressed Libyan coverage. In three or four weeks, you'll have a feature that Ava and C.I. will be doing with Ann. So you can look forward to that. We're out of time on this feature.

Ty: Again our e-mail address is We'll try to do a roundtable soon on readers' e-mails and we're planning to do the summer read this month. Possibly next week.
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