Yesterday, Zeus Comics owner Richard Neal started a minor swirl online when he announced his store would not be selling the new Superman series. Neal’s decision was based on the fact that the author of that series, Orson Scott Card, was vehemently homophobic, actively working against gay marriage proposals. Even though today is new release day at the shop, Neal took a few minutes to answer some questions about his decision.
Is this the first author/artist you’ve refused to sell? If not, who else/why? Retailers frequently choose not to carry comics based on sales or content. I’ve declined some titles for graphic content or poor quality. There was a series of collected strips from a popular web comic that I stopped ordering because of their portrayal of rape and their negative jokes about gays.
How do you separate the work of an artist from their personal choices and beliefs? I don’t think Roman Polanski is a good person, but I like his movies. We stock plenty of comics by authors and artist with views I don’t support. Card moves past a belief and into activism. How can I order or support a comic from a person actively working to legislate against me?
In an extensive sit-down interview Monday, Grantland’s Zach Lowe chatted with Dirk Nowitzki about his struggles, Shawn Marion’s shooting mechanics, and Mark Cuban’s business decisions. Nowitzki was his usual honest self, especially in this exchange:
Was that the same party where your old friend Steve Nash got a lap dance from Nicki Minaj?
[Laughs] Nah, that was at a different party. So I’ve had Deron’s number since then, and we were texting sometimes. And he knew I wanted him to come here. We talked when it was all in the process. I didn’t fly up on July 1. I wanted him to come. Cubes had to film freaking Shark Tank.
I just watched that for the first time the other night.
I still didn’t. I still refuse to watch it.
It was actually not bad.
I haven’t seen one episode and I probably won’t ever see one.
The whole thing is worth a read.
Republicans’ tune: “Too much government.” Democrats: “Everything’s gonna be great!” America: “Yeah, this thing’s a toss-up.”
Pete Sessions: “President Obama once again touted his ostensible commitment to job creation and fiscal responsibility. Unfortunately, the American people have heard these empty campaign promises for the past four years. Instead of turning his rhetoric into responsible action, the President’s policies have burdened our economy with unprecedented levels of spending, record deficits and debt, and inevitably high unemployment. It’s time for a new direction, not retreaded policies.”
Dallas is the 47th most literate city in America, coming in behind such bastions of literary might as Toledo, Ohio and Virginia Beach, Virginia in Central Connecticut State’s annual literacy rankings. Dallas was the third-highest ranked Texas city behind Austin (23) and Plano (45). Fort Worth came in at 52, followed by Houston (60.5), Arlington (64), San Antonio (71), El Paso (75), and Corpus Christi (75). The rankings were based on six categories: bookstores by 10,000 residents, education level, internet resources, library data (number of branches, circulation numbers, etc.), newspaper circulation, and the number of periodical publishers.
Only cities with more than 250,000 residents were ranked. Dallas’ highest ranking was in the internet resources category, where it was tied for 16th, with Fort Worth. Its worst? Bookstores, where we come in at 69th. There is hope, though. Last year Dallas was ranked 51st.
Plano was first overall in educational attainment, determined by the percentage of the population with high school and college degrees.
Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones said Tuesday that he’d like to lock up Tony Romo for a long-term deal, and that the quarterback is “a great partner.” From ESPN:
“Tony is a key piece of what we’re about going forward,” Jones said Tuesday. “We’re certainly going to be looking at his situation (in) time. We’ve historically (extended contracts) with quarterbacks for the Dallas Cowboys ahead of time. We did it with Troy (Aikman) and we certainly want to look at that with Tony so we can all move forward in terms of how we want to play around our salary cap with our team. Tony is the key piece in terms of how your cap is represented.”
Romo is in the last year of his deal, and is owed $11.5 million in 2013. Troy Aikman also stuck up for the embattled QB Wednesday, saying he believes Romo can lead the team to a Super Bowl. “He’s a special player,” he told The Fan. “Unfortunately, not enough people recognize that.”
Like I’ve said before, average at best.
My brain’s a big blank today. But here’s what I can tell you. There’s a guy named Ben Fountain, who wrote a really good book that you should read if you haven’t already. It’s called Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. You can read what we’ve said about it here. And here. And here. And here’s what Fountain has to say for himself after not winning a National Book Award.
And if all that’s not quite enough for you and you want more, Fountain is reading from his novel and speaking tonight at the University of Texas at Dallas. He’ll also do a Q&A after the reading, so stick around. I know it’s all the way in Richardson. I know. But I think you might find that it’s worth the trip.
Also this evening, Milk + Honey boutique on Henderson hosts a pre-Valentine’s Day bash that covers all the last-minute bases: manicures and maybe a new outfit. The store is staying open later than usual and offering wine and live music, plus Polaroid photos on your way out the door. Down the road, resident DJ Blake Ward hosts a “very special” Cupid-inspired singles night at The Dram, if that’s your scene. Or just go to dance. It all starts around 9:30 p.m.
For more to do this evening, go here.
Fellow prisoners and inmates of Alberto Morales have told law enforcement officials that Morales “made it pretty clear he’s not going back to prison,” triggering speculation that Morales may have planned his escape. Grapevine Police have solicited help from Miami, Nevada, and federal law enforcement departments to aid in the capture of Morales, who escaped from police custody in a Walmart parking lot Monday night.
Homeland Security officials have been warned that Morales may try to cross the Mexico border, Sgt. Robert Eberling told reporters Wednesday morning. Morales received “a prison education, in his ability to get away from law enforcement and his ability to get out of restraints,” Eberling said. The department has received numerous tips; none have lead to any viable leads. A stolen and recovered SUV once thought to be used by Morales has been eliminated as a get-away vehicle by police. Police do not know if he is still shackled.
There’s no reason to believe Morales has left the immediate Grapevine area, but police haven’t ruled out the possibility. Until they hear otherwise, they’ll continue to search backyards and drainage ditches, anywhere that Morales may be hiding.
“He’s very dangerous and anyone who comes in contact with him is certainly at risk,” Eberling said.
Andre Emmett was a star at Carter High School, then moved on to Texas Tech, where he played for Bobby Knight and became the school’s all-time leading scorer. But the NBA never really worked out for him. He was a second-round draft pick in 2004, but has bounced around the league, never sticking anywhere for long, never really getting any playing time during his short stints. His last taste came in February 2012, when he signed a 10-day contract with the then-New Jersey Nets. Now he’s leading the Lebanese Basketball League in scoring as a member of Amchit Club. As Jeff Neumann reports, basketball is now the No. 1 sport in Lebanon, supplanting soccer. Why? “Largely because fans are banned from attending [soccer] matches after repeated outbreaks of sectarian bloodletting in the stands.”
“It’s heavy here,” Emmett says. “I just gotta try to block it all out and focus on playing basketball.”
Beyond the obvious cultural differences, Emmett has to consider “a civil war raging next door in Syria, sporadic political violence in Lebanese cities, a recent spate of kidnappings, and corrupt security forces.” But he played for Knight, so he’s probably used to balling under trying conditions.
I understand this happens sometimes. You’re unfamiliar with an intersection or set of on-ramps, and you accidentally take off the wrong way. I’ve done it, then corrected myself in a matter of seconds. A woman in Burleson last night went the wrong way for 15 miles. That’s like getting on Central Expressway in downtown Dallas, and staying on it until you hit the George Bush Turnpike. But you’re in the wrong lane.
Probably needless to say, she was eventually slapped with a DWI, after hitting two cars and getting taken down by a police spike-strip.
A Miami man who stabbed a police officer in Grapevine Monday night is still on the loose, after escaping from police custody in a Walmart parking lot. Alberto Morales was en route to Las Vegas, where he was 30 years to life in prison for sexual assault.
Grapevine-Colleyville schools are on a “soft lockdown,” meaning students will still attend class at the regular time but exterior doors will remain locked. “Regular school classes and activities will continue as normal inside the schools and all athletic, recess and physical education activities will continue as usual,” reads a statement from the district. “We remain on alert and continue working closely with police. We will provide updates if any changes to our procedures are necessary.”
Morales was added yesterday to Texas’ Most Wanted Fugitives list, and a $10,000 reward has been offered for information leading to his arrest. Quick note: the list says he weighs 145 pounds, when he actually weighs 175 pounds. Life on the run adds a few dozen pounds, I guess.
Keeping West Nile in Check. Seemingly, West Nile snuck up on us last year. While I love seeing Zac do a Q&A with a blood-sucking, misunderstood mosquito as much as the next gal, I don’t love what the disease can do to just about anyone. The city is working on getting out ahead of the thing by offering more than 46,000 free insecticide tablets and putting traps in place. It’s also launching a health campaign that calls for insect repellent. Maybe this year I’ll actually use some spray, instead of last year, where I just stayed inside the whole summer.
Student Gets Rope Burns After Teacher Lassos Him. It’s not what it sounds like. But, then, it is. A teacher was talking to his students about lasso techniques. He asked for volunteers, and had them start running. He then demonstrated how cowboys lasso cows by lassoing the kids. One of the students ended up with marks around his neck.The teacher is suspended while an investigation is being done.
Horrible Human Drops Off Pot Belly Pigs, Returns With Dogs to Attack Pets. As I’ve maybe mentioned four of five-hundred times, I grew up on a farm. My favorite pet during that time was a pot belly pig named Rosy who lived to be 18. So when I read this story about someone dropping off one baby pig and two adult pigs, and then returning to allow their dogs to attack the pigs, I got angry. This story was reported on Monday. At that time, rescuers were still looking for the poor baby pig and one adult pig. If they find them, I have a home for them. (Just don’t tell my husband I made that offer.)