Friday, October 16, 2020

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Fans Didn’t Enable Rowling; Success, Ego, and Power Did That.

I watched part of a YouTube video last night in which a longtime Potter fan basically laid out a thesis that fans have progressively enabled Rowling to become a bigot. This is an interest thesis, with some very small, partial truth to it; but it’s naïve—fannishly so, imagining a closer relationship and more influence on the author than fans actually have.

Friday, September 18, 2020

J.K. Rowling, Aging Face of a Zealous and Growing Ignorance Movement

It’s a shame seeing J.K. Rowling become the face of a hate movement, and worse, an anti-intellectual movement of sycophants whose rhetorical tactics (fallacious reasoning) are on the level of snotty seven-year-olds. “Back up your assertions!” they squeal, while liking people with TERF in their handles.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Conan the Uncorrupted: Pure Robert E. Howard, Belatedly

Two books came in the mail today: The Conan Chronicles volumes I and II by Robert E. Howard. Originally published in the UK in the early 2000s, I must have missed their debut. I still can't figure out if there ever were counterpart editions in the United States, but if there were, they have evaded me.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Books Without Borders: Recent Reviews

Updated Agust 3, 2020.

Since 2014, I have composed a number of reviews for book editor Tony Norman at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Here is a running list of the links (all have been for the P-G, unless otherwise noted):

Monday, July 6, 2020

Joanne, Jo, J.K. or Robert: Somebody Help Me Out Here...

This is the second of two parts. Read part one.

It’s okay for Joanne Rowling to write novels under the pseudonym “Robert Galbraith”; it’s okay for her to obscure her gender using the made-up initials “J.K.” (she has no middle name); it’s okay for her to prefer the masculine-sounding nickname “Jo” over her feminine given name.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

“Who'll Have You, Freak?!”: J.K. Rowling and the Curse of Transphobia

“Who’ll have you” is a hateful putdown the author has used twice in the mouth of one of her most beloved characters and once in her own voice, directed cruelly at transgendered persons in the abstract.


by Don Simpson

Last December (2019), just before Christmas, I became aware of a Tweet posted by J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, and the brouhaha surrounding it, that has now become famous:
“Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?”

Friday, May 22, 2020

Unfrozen Caveman or Woke Neanderthal?

Or, Sorry, You’re Already Assimilated  to Capitalist Modernity


 [Warning: This essay employs such hateful buzzwords and terms (in alphabetical order) as authenticity, call out, cultural appropriation, hating on, imposter syndrome, looks like me, stay in your lane, virtue signaling, and woke, as well as such shopworn and problematic terms from yesteryear (that will surely date the author) as a priori, always already, consciousness raising, poseur, and that schoolyard grand-daddy, sellout. Enjoy.]

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Another Roadside Attraction and the Popular Cover-Up Genre

I am currently reading Another Roadside Attraction for a second time, more than forty years after reading as a virginal senior in high school. Recommended to me by Nikki Robertson, the quintessential daughter of fortune-telling free spirits who attended the Livonia Career Center, the book had a profound effect on me, and as I'm reading it again, I remember almost every bit of it.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Eroticism in Don Simpson’s Comics, Part I of II:

Megaton Man, Border Worlds, and The Return of Megaton Man

           Proceed to Part II: The Megaton Man One-Shots, Anton Drek Comix, and Bizarre Heroes

          Note: A gallery of 22 archival covers and comic book pages appears below, following the text.

Megaton Man #1-10 (Kitchen Sink Press, December 1984–June 1986)

Eroticism was always a prominent subtext in the Megaton Man comics from the very first Kitchen Sink Press issue in December, 1984. The cover of #1 set the tone for the series: On it, a sexy Pamela Jointly, reporter’s notepad in hand, kneels barefoot next to a spread-eagle Megaton Man, draped only in a torn, red dress that threatens to fall from her bare shoulders. Although she’s fixated on what she’s writing and not his diminutive crotch, a bulge, nearly lost in the stretchy wrinkles of his trunks, is clearly in evidence.