NYC: Don’t forget to go to this tonight!

Girly Stories, Teenage Diaries, and Other Marvels of Women’s Graphic Fiction

Megan Kelso: author of The Squirrel Mother and Queen of the Black Black articulates the role of “place” in fiction.

Gabrielle Bell: author of When I’m Old reads from her forthcoming graphic novel Lucky.

Mo Pitkin’s is located at 34 Ave. A
between East 2nd and 3rd streets.

DRINKY CROW cartoon preview?

Over at the TCJ board, Danny Hellman posts what is purported to be a preview of the DRINKY CROW cartoon pilot.

Just one word: infographics

The rise of the graphic novel is greatly tied in with the increased prevalence of “visual literacy.” As guru McCloud predicted a while ago, generation after generation raised on TV, video games and now the Internet use words and pictures as a language more fluently than ever before. The Editors Weblog, which bills itself as a resource for newspapers, has begun a look at these “infographics,” which also includes databases and slideshows, and how they present complex subjects. The 9/11 Report gn is a prominent example.

A recent trend in media today is the increased use of infographic principles in non-traditional ways. The technology allows it and the economics demand it, and thus, people are doing it. While none of the seemingly innovative ideas I’ve mentioned above are completely new, they are now more possible than ever.

For example, last month, Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón published The 911 Report, A Graphic Adaptation. Their book is in effect a timeline in comic book form. And, in April, The Washington Post updated its Faces of the Fallen Flash page with a browsable database of US soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Developed by programmer Adrian Holovaty, this database serves as a series of fact files and allows the user to make comparisons and draw conclusions.

Whether you agree that these forms are appropriate for topics like terrorism and war is beside the point, and will be discuss in later postings this month. What matters here is that people are doing it, and encouraging others to do it, also.

This post is but the first in a series, but these issues are certainly central to the matter at hand. Over at his blog, MIT’s Henry Jenkins continues to discuss such things as Nick Bertozzi and Lego Mindstorms. We wish we had time to actually think about such things, instead of merely blog about them, but a picture is beginning to emerge from the datastorm.

Otaku invade Romania!

OTAKU GO WILD IN BUCHAREST THIS WEEKEND! MULTI-CULTI APOTHEOSIS! 40-year-old virgin gypsies! Carpathian cosplay! If it’s half as crayzee as that video, we are so bummed to be missing out.

Prima conventie de anvergura a culturii OTAKU din Romania cu caracter national si international ce promoveaza artistii din diverse domenii ( banda desenata, ilustratii, animatie, modelare 3D, moda, VJ…) si forme de cultura populara contemporana precum banda desenata, anime, jocurile video, muzica, filmul, moda, literatura…extinzandu-se de fapt in majoritatea domeniilor culturii de masa.

For the non-Romanian speakers in our audience, ComiPress explains:

A new event called Otaku Festival will be hosted at the National Dance Center and the Desant Theater in Bucharest, Romania on October 7 and 8. According to the organizers, “the purpose of the event is to encourage the otaku phenomenon in Romania.”

If only Borat were there to report. He’d know what to do.

Marvel’s MMO

Here’s a story we didn’t really cover as we should have: Marvel teaming with Cryptic Studios to create their long-rumored MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online game). The story is amusing because Marvel was formerly SUING Cryptic for copyright infringement with their hugely popular superhero MMO, CITY OF HEROES. Now it’s all lovey dubbins. However, this link at GigaOM suggests Marvel may have its work cut out for them, as licensed MMO’s have historically been hard to launch.

At first glance, the project’s success seems like a sure bet. With a huge, generation-spanning readership, and several blockbuster movie spinoffs, including Spider-Man and X-Men, how could an online game version fail?

Trouble is, it can. In fact, I’d be very skeptical, because the track record for MMOs based on non-game IP is pretty dicey. Star Wars Galaxies4 performed moderately well at first, with a few hundred thousand subscribers at peak– but before its 2003 launch, experts predicted5 it could be the first US-based MMO to break the one million subscriber mark. (And does anyone even remember Matrix Online6, let alone play it?) The fundamental stumbling block seems to be a mismatch of medium and desire.

More in link. We don’t follow the gaming community well enough to know how accurate this analysis is, but that’s what the comments are for.

71 pages of SIDESCROLLERS at CBR

200610040258Comic Book Resources is offering a 71 page online preview of SIDESCROLLERS the new graphic novel by Matthew Loux:

Brian, Brad, and Matt are three best friends who have stuck with each other through thick and thin, despite the fact that they love to tease each other constantly. It’s a sweet summer off from the bummers of high school in their small boring suburban town in Connecticut. They are the losers at their high school, the oddities of their town. When they’re not working at the local fast food joint, you can find them either playing video games, eating junk food, or collecting comics.

The book debuts later this month from Oni.

Ben Heymann guests with Lauren Weinstein

Lauren Weinstein writes to tell us that the very first guest artist is up at

His name is Ben Heymann, a former teenage student of mine. He’s created this totally gruesome comic entitled “Rotting Zombies”! View it if you dare!

Always with the ZOMBIES! Man, people sure love those flesh eating shamblers.

She also alerted us to her upcoming appearances:

1. October 7th, 4:30 pm: I will be signing and talking with Dan Nadel, David Heatley, and Tim Hodler at The 215 Festival. I’ll be at the Rocket Cat Cafe, 2001 Frankford Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19125. 215-732-1600

2. October 13-15th: I will attend The Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD. I’ll be signing Girl Stories, a new mini-comic, perhaps an all new limited edition silkscreened poster, and much more all weekend long.

3. October 18th, 8pm: I’ll be performing some stuff from Girl Stories at Carousel with Brian Dewan, Emily Flake, Megan Montague Cash, R. Sikoryak and others!!!!!

4. October 26th, 7 pm: I will be speaking with Jonathan Bennett, Ivan Brunetti, David Heatley, Adrian Tomine at Makor at 7:00 pm. We are going to be promoting Ivan Brunetti’s new book, An Anthology of Graphic Fiction.

Another writer, another comic

25Yet another prose author takes his shot at a Marvel character, this time Gregg Hurwitz on FOOLKILLER, who was recruited by Brad Meltzer to the wonderful world of comics’ instant gratification.

Best-selling author Gregg Hurwitz, the writer behind the Kill Clause and Last Shot, will be revamping Foolkiller for the Marvel MAX line. Hurwitz is bringing his gritty, street crime writing sensibilities to the hard-edged anti-hero Foolkiller for a five issue mini-series this winter. A sneak preview of the series can be seen this Wednesday when the MAX Sampler hits stands.

“The transition from novels and screenplays has been a lot of fun,â€? said Hurwitz. “It’s amazing to work with artists and see the creative process. Unlike TV or novels, comics have less production time so you get that sense of almost immediate gratification.â€?

[Read more…]

10/4 Linkie winkins

§ Jim Woodring is selling some new art at his IVORY TOWER ART OUTLET.

§ Very nice Ed Brubaker profile (not INTERVIEW) At the Seattle Times.

§ Greta, the 12-year-old comics reading whiz blogger is now conducting interviews at THE PULSE. First up: Craig Thompson:

THE PULSE: How do you think the book would have been different if all the characters were people?

THOMPSON: Namely, it wouldn’t have been as “cute”, and the cuteness is part of the charm, I suppose. A whimsical funny animal story with dark and lonely undertones.

I’ll confess it’s strange when dogs are dogs and turtles are anthropomorphic in the same world though… That’s always been troubling to me, and yet I went and did it myself.

§ Jamie Coville has all sorts of coverage of the Toronto HobbyStar Fan Expo, Dragon*Con and an interview with Ethan van Sciver.

§ Chris Mautner’s full length interview with Scott McCloud.

§ Older male virgins are a hot demographic in Japan, Mainichi Daily reports:

Once shunned for being dweebish or simply grotesque, older male virgins are being sought out in Japan in the belief that they’re more creative than their sexually experienced peers, according to Shukan Asahi (10/13).

TV shows like “Densha Otoko” and “Kekkon Dekinai Otoko” have become huge hits by celebrating stories about men who are hopeless around women.

“The 40-Year-Old Virgin” has just hit Japanese movie theaters, but has already proved successful enough to inspire the creation of a Virgin Film Festival featuring flicks all about men’s struggles with lifelong enforced chastity.

More in link, including manga treatments of the topic.

News notes: MAD, Heroes, Weird Al on FBR

§ The November issue of MAD features a bunch of top comicy types in a “LESSER KNOWN SUPER-VILLAINS” ISSUE

Mike Mignola, Kevin Nowlan, Humberto Ramos, Chris Bachalo, John Cassaday, Terry Dodson, Glenn Fabry and Sam Kieth will join the Usual Gang of Idiots next month in the pages of MAD #472 (SEP060266). The artists will illustrate “Lesser Known Super-Villains,” which profiles evildoers including the Yakmaster, Dr. Umbrage, the Clarinetist and Professor Generico.

“We wanted this comic book villains article to be as authentic as possible,” says MAD Editor John Ficarra. “So we went out and found the most sinister and evil comic book artists working today.”

§ NBC’s HEROES looks to be a hit, while the more cerebral STUDIO 60 which references Moliere and Gilbert & Sullivan, founders:

On the flip side, “Heroes” (5.5 rating/13 share in adults 18-49, 12.96 million viewers overall) declined just 7% from its strong series premiere to beat its broadcast rivals in most demos, according to Nielsen.

No other first-year drama this fall has rated higher in 18-49 with its second seg than “Heroes.” And of all NBC dramas to bow in the past three seasons, only “Medium” rated higher in week two (6.3/16).

“Heroes” was supposed to be a more difficult sell for NBC, while “Studio 60,” with its Aaron Sorkin/Thomas Schlamme auspices, garnered most of the media attention.

§ Weird Al Yankovic will be the guest on this weeks FANBOY RADIO:

Master Satirist, Weird Al Yankovic joins hosts Scott Hinze and Oliver Tull on a pre-recorded episode of Fanboy Radio tomorrow. His new album Straight Out of Lynwood hit stores on September 26th and 97-98 The Weird Al Show is now on DVD. The single White & Nerdy, a parody of Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone’s Ridin’, rose to #5 on the iTunes Top 100 Songs Chart last week.

“While Al may not be a comic book creator (yet), he sure is a power-player in regards to pop culture as a whole,â€? says show host Scott. “My new favorite song, White & Nerdy features comic reading, Star Wars, Star Trek, D&D and Internet slang – all perfect fodder for the FbR audience. I’m really stoked about this interview.â€?

Tune in for Fanboy Radio #338 Wednesday, October 4th, for Fanboy Radio with Weird Al Yankovic at 1pm Central (2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific)

Actually, Weird Al did star in at least one comic: a short fumetti in DISNEY ADVENTURES written by…The Beat.

Video of the Day: David O”Reilly

We were cruising along the other day and came on this site (via the WFMU blog), presenting mostly-animated videos by someone named David O’Reilly. In particular, we liked this, which is one of the most haunting things we’ve seen in a while. Apparently, it was made to play inside Benetton storesand for sure it’s just the kind of thing we would like to see playing on banks of plasma TVs as we purchased a frumpy woolen vest. According to O’Reilly “For me it was an experiment with a few visual things before I went into something bigger. To tell the truth though I actually hate the thing and never wanted anyone to see it, but it was out of my hands. In any case I’m happy and equally surprised that others seem to like it.”

We do like.

Leaning Curve

We’re still learning how to do our events listings here — minor things like correct dates and so on. Please note that we gave the wrong date for the Marvel Encyclopedia signing yesterday — it’s in NOVEMBER not this week. We imagine we’ll get the hang of it one of these days, but in the meantime we’ll keep plugging along. Because it’s all for YOU, never forget it, dear readers.

We’d also like to remind our readers that we always welcome hints, tips and linkage. The Beat is most places but can’t be everywhere. That’s for Underdog. If you think we saw something, we probably didn’t — better safe than sorry!

In other matters, The Beat welcomes aboard our intern, Cindy Arias, who is helping out with various logistical things. Luckily she’s not allergic to turnips, so far, so good.