The second and final part of the Christopher J. Priest interview podcast is now up at the Dollar Bin.
Diamond's preliminary Top 10 market reports for February are out, and they suggest—unless I'm misreading the chart, which is always possible, given that it doesn't come with any concrete numbers yet—that there's little to no drop-off between Siege #1 (here's Paul O'Brien's take) and Siege #2.
If true, this would lend more credence to the theory that Diamond purposely underreported Siege #1 sales to account for the book's returnability under certain circumstances. When this happens, Diamond usually takes off 20%, which would mean that Siege #1 probably sold around 130,000 units in its first month, rather than the 108,000 initially reported.
It wouldn't change the fact that the book sold well below what other books of that type have sold recently, but it's worth pointing out.
Not comics: After recently watching the final season and episode of The Sopranos, I was wondering whether the final scene was a cop-out or a great way to end the show.
Then Sean T. Collins was kind enough to point me to this in-depth analysis of the scene, and now I'm pretty much convinced that it couldn't be farther from a cop-out.
Since I'm a few years late on this one (my strategy: read all the spoilers, then wait until I've completely forgotten about them), you've probably already this if you've got any interest in the anatomy and the meaning of the scene. If you haven't, be aware: big spoilers.
Not comics, either: Via Heidi MacDonald comes this intriguing, well-observed bit of analysis of A Serious Man by Todd Alcott.
Juliet Lapidos' take at Slate is also well worth reading, although I completely disagree with her suppositions that (a) A Serious Man is out to "create confusion" and (b) is a bleak story with a bleak ending.
I'd say the opposite is true in both instances: When the final scene hits you, all the confusion you may have had about what's going on is shattered and gives way to a kind of instant clarity that's very rare in fiction. The characters are confused and miserable, certainly, but that's because they spend their time looking for divine clues instead of doing things with their lives—which, you know, are not infinite.
The January 2010 edition of the "DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales" column is up at The Beat.
I review Smile, a coming-off-teeth (ha ha) drama by Raina Telgemeier.