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Monday, July 13, 2020 

Tom King sugarcoats the medium's health during the Covid19 pandemic, and Maryland book panel sugarcoats Ta-Nehisi Coates

King gave an interview to Fargo's KVRR station, where he said:
Even with the pandemic, King believes the comics industry is still doing well.

“Comics and graphic novels are the one medium that will keep going strong during this virus and then artistically react to it so that you can read new product, good, brilliant product, that’s being made during and about the virus,” King said.
Yup, and don't admit quite a few specialty stores went out of business over the past few years. What is doing well now are some of the crowdfunded independents, and that's what'll likely be the future of comics going forward, not unlike Europe. King doesn't "believe" the industry is doing well, so much as he does want the wider public not part of the audience to believe it. By the way, what makes comicdom the "one" medium that'll endure, but not the simple book medium?

While we're on the subject, the Cumberland Times-News fawned over a special panel Ta-Nehisi Coates will be part of, Notable Maryland Authors, and Coates told them:
The Maryland author for July is Ta-Nehisi Coates. His notable quote is “I was made for the library, not the classroom. The library was open, unending, free.” The genre is superhero comics.

He has published three non-fiction books: “The Beautiful Struggle,” “Between the World and Me” and “We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy.” “Between the World and Me” won the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction.

Coates has also written a Black Panther series and a Captain America series for Marvel Comics. His first novel, “The Water Dancer,” was published in 2019.

Coates was born in Baltimore, Maryland, grew up in the Mondawmin area, and graduated from Woodlawn High School. Coates’ interest in books was instilled at an early age when his mother, a teacher, in response to bad behavior, would require him to write essays. As a child, Coates found escape from the often-bleak reality of West Baltimore by immersing himself in the stories of superheroes. He enjoyed comic books and Dungeons & Dragons and there found early influence for his future writing career. Coates’ father was a Vietnam War veteran, former Black Panther, publisher and librarian. His father’s work with the Black Classic Press was a huge influence: Coates said he read many of the books his father published.
So his dad was a member of the Black Panther Party that came about shortly after Stan Lee created T'Challa in the pages of Fantastic Four? I suppose that could partly explain why he gravitated so much to the prince of Wakanda as a character to write in corporate owned medium, though the visions he's applied to BP are hardly inspiring. The article doesn't mention Coates is loved on the left because he represents their dreadful visions, nor does it make any mention of the politics he goes by, or how that's influenced his writings more than the comics themselves. And despite what he says about being made for libraries, I'm sure he'd like to push his POV in schools just as much, and if his writings are put to use there, he's quite delighted.

And there's 2 of the most pretentious people who've ever worked in comicdom receiving only so much fluff-coated press that wouldn't be afforded to a conservative writer.

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The Maryland book panel don't sugar-coat Coates; it mainly sticks to the basic facts with a bit of color. It leaves out all the negative things that you want to say about him, but that is being neutral, not sugar-coating.

Coates is not necessarily the darling of the left. He has for isntance inspired criticism because of his sympathetic outlook towards Israel and Zionism, manifested in his non-fiction and in the analogies he draws in the Black Panther comic book between Wakanda and Israel.

Off topic- but what is the best site to read comics online for free? I am interested in the years 1955 to 2000 with a focus on the 60's and 70's. Most free comic sites that I see only have scattered individual books from earlier years and focus on recent releases.

Ideally I could read every Flash in 1961, every Fantastic Four put out in 1968 or every Batman in 1979 so i could follow the ongoing story line- not just an issue here and there

There are tons of old great comics made that I would like to read. I would appreciate any recommendations. Thanks.

"And despite what he says about being made for libraries, I'm sure he'd like to push his POV in schools just as much, and if his writings are put to use there, he's quite delighted."

I think he means that when he was a kid, he liked libraries because he could explore and read whatever he wanted there, while in school he had to follow what the teacher wanted the class to read. Like any writer, he would be happy to have his work taught in the classroom.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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