We have two reviews for you today. First, Rob Kirby writes about Daryl Cunningham’s The Age of Selfishness, which finds the roots of the 2008 financial crisis in the philosophy of Ayn Rand.
Simultaneously enlightening and depressing, The Age of Selfishness is a powerful example of the aptitude of the comic art form for cogent and potent polemic. The book deftly sums up the shaky state of the economy both before and after the huge financial downturn of 2008. Cunningham traces the origins of the crisis to Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism and how its embrace by the powerful and privileged helped wreak havoc—and the threat that allegiance to this philosophy and its convictions still poses today. Examining Rand’s life and legacy, Cunningham offers, above all, a cautionary tale of the perils of self-certainty and blind orthodoxy.
And then, in something of a departure for this site, Tim Hanley reviews a “young adult” prose novel, Gwenda Bond’s Lois Lane: Fallout, tying it to DC’s efforts to broaden its female readership:
The past decade has not been a great showcase for Lois. The focus of her comic book appearances shifted from the Daily Planet to her home life, and she was often sidelined during big events because Superman wanted to protect her. She occasionally got to cover a big story or have a fun adventure with Superman, but spent most of her time in the background. Or dead. Several different storylines involved Lois “dying” in order to emotionally manipulate Superman, and not just in the comics world. The plot of the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us was rooted in the Joker tricking Superman into killing Lois, and for real this time. The New 52 relaunch hasn’t given Lois much more to do. Her marriage disappeared and Wonder Woman took her place as Superman’s lady friend, relegating Lois to sporadic appearances across the Superman line.
While the comic book world hasn’t done a lot with Lois as of late, she’s now jumped to a different medium where she can finally have a starring role. Lois Lane: Fallout is a new young adult novel by Gwenda Bond that follows a young Lois’ high school adventures in Metropolis. Bond is the acclaimed author of The Woken Gods, Girl on a Wire, and more, and specializes in young, tough female protagonists. She’s also a Lois Lane enthusiast, and pursued a journalism degree in part because of her love of the character.
Marc Singer writes about the Mark Waid era of Daredevil.
While shopping for books, Jonathan Lethem recommends Richard McGuire’s Here:
—Charlie Hebdo/PEN. So much has been written about the PEN/Charlie Hebdo controversy over recent days that it would be difficult to sum up quickly. Boris Kachka at New York does a good job of reporting how the situation first arose, talking to some of the instigators, and including the full text of the official protest letter from writers unhappy that Charlie Hebdo is to receive a special award.
Writers who have weighed in on the debate include Katha Pollitt from The Nation, Caleb Crain, Adam Gopnik at The New Yorker, Francine Prose, Dorian Lynskey, Eliot Weinberger, Justin Smith, and Charlie staffer Robert McLiam Wilson. Dylan Horrocks has addressed the situation on Twitter.
—News. The University of Chicago has acquired Daniel Clowes’s papers.
This year’s Russ Manning Award nominees have been announced.
—Interviews & Profiles. Ray Pride has a great long interview with Daniel Clowes, ostensibly focusing on his time in Chicago but expanding every which way.
For The Hairpin, Annie Mok talks to Jillian Tamaki.
Alex Dueben speaks to Nina Bunjevac for CBR.
His new local alt-weekly interviews Tom Spurgeon of the Comics Reporter.
Stuck in Vermont follows Alison Bechdel to Broadway:
Gary Groth talks Fantagraphics:
—Misc. Time has some photographs used by R. Crumb in famous stories.
Herb Trimpe’s last comics work was apparently a collaboration with Josh Bayer.
A short documentary about Jonah Kinigstein: