ITEM! Over at Polite Dissent, Scott has his picks for the best and worst comic book medicine of 2005. I always admire how Scott is able to use comic book stories as springboards to explain medical concepts.
ITEM! DCBS have their January orders and specials up. Blue Beetle, Squadron Supreme, Ms. Marvel, and Fantastic Four: First Family all clock in with 75 cent first issues (75% off); and half-off trades (and hard covers) include Batman: Dark Detective, Green Lantern: No Fear HC, Ultimate Iron Man HC, Alias Omnibus, Shadowplay, Banana Sunday, and East Coast Rising. They also have all of the DC, Image & Marvel comics at 40% off (instead of the usual 35%), including the DC One Year Later titles, so I might sample one or two extra titles to see if the new directions are any good.
ITEM! David Welsh has started up MangaTrade, a Yahoo! Group for people who want to swap manga. He's trying to keep things simple--post what you have, go through other's post to find what you want, make a connection--so there's no credits or any of that kind of stuff.
ITEM! Retail, a new King Features syndicated strip by Norm Feuti, debuted on Sunday. I can't that it wowed me or anything--few syndicated strips do these days--but Feuti has a pleasant enough style and the subject--life in a department store--could evolve into some interesting stories, even if it does seem to have been chosen for maximum focus group optimability. (link via Johanna)
ITEM! "Screw being mainstream anyway. Comics has a lot of its cultural power not just as a secondary art form, but as a semi-disgraced secondary art form." Tom Spurgeon is a smart guy.
ITEM! Apparently TokyoPop has a two-volume anthology of Star Wars Manga out in Japan, with an English version due soon--but only in the UK, since the US Star Wars license is held by Dark Horse. Expect to see much North American business for Amazon UK... (via ATR)