I'll have to admit that there was little reason for me to seek out more of Warren Ellis' work. The first two volumes of the collected Transmetropolitan are possibly the worst mainstream comics I've ever read; the first tpb of The Authority is as dumb as the run-of-the-mill superhero comic that it mostly is (plus its use of a racist Yellow Peril caricature--presumably irony that was never ironic--leaves a bad taste); and the first tpb of Planetary has some decent ideas that Ellis forgot to turn into actual stories. So learning that Ellis wrote a column about comics for a year was clearly not a must-read. However, I'm always a sucker for argumentative inside stories and the whole thing is free (at http://www.comicbookresources.com/columns/archive.cgi?column=cia though there's a book available as well). The surprise is that this is mostly worth reading. Sure too many of the early ones seem intent on mimicking a Harlan Ellison vibe, never a good thing considering that Ellison has consistently compromised his art so he can adopt a Farwellian righteousness. But Ellis still had enough real edge for what he was doing and the later columns became more focused (maybe too much but heck am I gonna complain about everything?). There's some good nuts-and-bolts material here on things like methods of writing, Marvel's economic structure, promotion, the kinds of things usually ignored. And Ellis is a suprisingly convincing critic and even though he didn't dig up anything I haven't heard about, he has convinced me to check out Metabarons even if it is written by perennial nitwit Jodorowsky. (C'mon El Topo deserves MST3K if anything does.)
Today's "huh?" is the report that some Times Square building owners are suing Columbia Pictures because the Spider-Man movie replaced billboard images. One of the lawyers stated, "We think it's inappropriate to substitute your own image for the one that exists." This might be an odd statement at any time (jeepers don't these modern lawyers read Baudrillard any more?) but approaches downright stupidity regarding a movie centering around images of things that have never actually existed. Which means that there could be a court case hinging on the documentary nature of The Image. Book your film profs and ontologists now!
The Feb. 8 Entertainment Weekly has their list of Top 25 Modern Romances (movies). I've seen thirteen though of the unseen ones I've read three of the books so will that count for partial credit? There's also the Top 10 Classic Romances where I've seen five. Of course these are nearly all American films.