To do tonight: Portland

Portlanders will have the chance to meet Jim Woodring and his Seattle cartooning compatriots of Friends of the Nib tomorrow night at the opening of a FOTN group show at Floating World Comics. Details and links to more info below: Floating World Comics 20 NW 5th Ave Portland, OR Thursday, Feb. 7th, 6-10PM

A day of triumph…and tragedy

The Beat‘s Wednesday couldn’t have stuck to a better schedule. Whereas on some days we struggle to get up before noon, we woke up before the alarm clock even went off, refreshed and energetic. By 11 we were showered, fed and caffeinated with a brisk cup of Vietnamese coffee. All of our computers were up and running, the modem line was secure, the phone charged, the credit card was near at hand. At 11:55 we had the San Diego convention site loaded up and ready to refresh. At 11:58 we put on “Come With Us” by the Chemical Brothers for that added little boost, and then…it was showtime.

The hotel site live, we loaded it up in four or five windows, waiting for the little blue bars to fill up. We didn’t hit refresh because that way lies disaster. A sip of coffee, and then…success! The hotel form! We hit our preferred housing site — The Omni, home of free wifi and movie stars — and waited…NOT AVAILABLE.
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To do Friday 2/8: The Color of Comics opening

A new exhibit kicks off to look at the sociological implications of comics:

OPENING RECEPTION of THE COLOR OF COMICS EXHIBITION: A Look at the Images of People of Color in Comics

When: Friday, February 8, 2008

Where: Bronx Community College (Bliss Hall Art Gallery)
181st Street & University Avenue
Bronx, NY

Time: 5 to 7 PM


Some storytellers on storytelling:

Todd Alcott:

The protagonist of 2001: A Space Odyssey is:

a) Moon-Watcher
b) The Monolith
c) Dr. Heywood R. Floyd
d) Dr. Dave Bowman
e) Dr. Frank Poole
e) HAL 9000
f) The frozen astronauts
g) None of the above

Neil Gaiman:

The oddest moment of today was finding a slip of paper in The Graveyard Book book I’m writing in, on stationary from the hotel I was in in Budapest in June, which listed everything that needed to happen in Chapter 7, including the climactic denouement which I was very proud of having come up with last week. Not sure whether this says something about my rubbish memory, or about the sometimes inevitable nature of storytelling. As in, “Of course it went there, because that was where it was going to go.”

§ Professional wrestler and sometime comics author, Raven:

There is a whole entire range of emotion and body language on the selling scale that could be encapsulated let’s say for babyfaces as simply as 1)no selling, 2) registering, 3) selling a little, 4) selling some more, 5) selling a lot, 6) selling to the point of hopelessness for the fan that you will ever recover, 7)no hope of recovery,8)signs of life, 9)more signs of life, 10) the possibility that with enough fan encouragement, you can possibly turn this thing around, 11)fire, 12) more fire, 13)fighting back, 14) comeback, 15)the post comeback, pre-finish full body fire to signify to the people that you are back in control and the heel is gonna pay. Also, let us not forget, that one’s body should still show how wracked with pain it is from step 8-step 15 and on through the rest of the match. Understand this, just b/c you are fired up and back in control, does not mean you should be hurting any less. It only means that you have found a way to fight through the pain with the help of the fans support. That is why people love wrestling, b/c they feel like they are a part of the show.

§ Steven Grant on thought balloons:

Once practically ubiquitous, the thought balloon has fallen on hard times the past couple decades. While there are old-timey comics fans (and professionals!) who believe thought balloons fell on hard times mainly because the too-cool-for-school “graphic literature” snobs bullied everyone into dropping them so as not to look “unsophisticated,” there were good reasons to stop using them. While no device should be characterized as “juvenile” – they are as they are used – thought balloons were mostly put to idiotic, as cheapjack exposition shortcuts.

Bonus: Jonathan Lethem on “plagiarizing”, via Leigh Walton.

If we just wait a while

Dick Hyacinth answers Mark Andrews and reiterates:

One last thing. I’ve only got the data for 2007, but I think it’s a reasonable assumption that Fun Home would have been last year’s consensus best comic/graphic novel and that Persepolis would have won in 2003. That’s three out of eight for this decade so far. Would it be too much to ask for mainstream articles on women in comics to focus on this achievement rather than Wonder Woman?

News and notes

200802070402§ Image gallery for the Y: The Last Party auction. Left, Cameron Stewart.

§ San Diego’s David Glanzer talks to ICv2 about WonderCon, and San Diego.

§ Josh Neufeld promotes AD on the Huffington Post

§ Colleen Doran recalls the ups and downs of the Self-publishing era:

Contrast the solitary, long hours we spent drawing comics in our homes and studios with the swarms of attention and loud parties of the convention scene – I’m surprised we didn’t all end up in the loony bin. We lived like rock stars on the road, and then went back home and, in my case, slept in my only real piece of furniture – a chair. People assumed we were all filthy rich, and while there was money coming in, it went out just as fast, reinvested into new books, inventory, and promotion.

§ A new comics shop is to open in hipster heaven Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

§ Junior comics editor is born.

§ Editors will queue up to work on this book:

Jaime King says she’s a little obsessed with comic books. The 28-year-old actress, who starred in the 2005 film version of the graphic novel “Sin City,” says she’s writing one with Kimberly Cox, girlfriend of “Sin City” writer Frank Miller. “It’s a take on various fairy tales,” said King, who attended the Badgley Mischka and Monique Lhuillier shows at New York Fashion Week. When she was growing up in Omaha, Neb., King said, she could often be found in the library poring over comics — “Calvin and Hobbes” was a particular favorite. “I just find it such a great medium because you can take a character and then spin it off into its own series or whatever. And it helps that my husband is completely obsessed with them,” she said, referring to “Fanboys” director Kyle Newman.

§ Neil Gaiman’s fashion sense analyzed in watch magazine.

Wolf Boy movie in the works

200802070254-2Evan Kuhlman’s Wolf Boy: A Novel has been optioned by the Weinstein Co. for a possible film.
The novel — which deals with a young boy’s grief after his brother is killed in a car crash — is of interest to our kind because that grief is channeled into creating a superhero comic. The novel includes excerpts from this comic, and thus the finished movie might be expected to be part live action, part animation.

Giuliani the collectible

In what has to be one of the most devastating cardboard slapdowns of all times, someone at Topps thought it would be funny to put Rudy Giuliani on a Red Sox baseball card.

And not just any baseball card, but one where The Beantowners are celebrating last season’s World Series victory, a moment which cast dread and misery into the hearts of all true Yankees fans.

The card will be a 1-in-70 variant of the regular 2008 set. Someone at Topps must really have it in for “America’s Mayor” — who spent upwards of $50 million to win just one delegate in his spectacularly unsuccessful presidential bid — but who could say Rudy didn’t deserve this? In a classic betrayal born of expediency last year, the one-time die-hard Yankee fan claimed that he was rooting for Boston in the World Series with the lame-ass explanation “I’m an American league fan.” As if. Not even Mitt Romney has ever made a flip flop so calculated.

Giuliani, who appeared on his own Topps baseball card in 2004, was not actually present for the Red Sox’s triumphant win last year; that why God invented Photoshop, and not a moment too soon.