The Doors App Tells Morrison’s Tale through Haspiel’s Comics

You might have caught wind of the fact that a multi-media iPad app has been released this week featuring The Doors as part of a “fan experience” that was created to coincide with the digitization of boxed sets by Warner Music Group. The app seeks to “tell the tale” of The Doors through a unique combination of photos, new interviews, sound files, and, of course, music. What you might not have heard is that they decided to bring in comics to be part of that storytelling.

Artist Dean Haspiel (CUBA MY REVOLUTION, BILLY DOGMA) was asked to compose a comic, referred to as a “graphic novelization” to accompany voice recordings of Jim Morrison during the infamous “Miami Incident”, when Morrison was accused of exposing himself on stage in 1969. The official press release says:

This section also includes the once-confidential FBI report, the arrest report, a portion of Jim’s tongue-in-cheek testimony, Morrison’s mug shot, and his posthumous pardon issued in 2010.


This is some serious sourcing of material to clear up the “false accusation” of Morrison’s behavior on stage. The comic contains a great deal of supporting detail to help paint a clearer picture of the factors that led to the chaotic aspects of the performance, including a window onto Morrison’s way of thinking at the time, and also the ripple effect that the arrest had on the band including the cancellation of their first major tour and the labeling of the band as trouble by promoters. The comic subtly reminds readers of the part that small debacles can play on the large scale to impact the route of cultural history and also draws sympathy for Morrison without whitewashing his envelope-pushing and anti-authoritarian attitude that contributed to the incident in the first place.  It’s a moving piece, told visually by Haspiel in a way that places Morrison at the center of his own story, justifying its presence well on the app as a missing puzzle piece of the story from Doors history. It stands alongside the ephemera and documentation on the app that helps bring the story home for readers as an unusual turning point for the Doors and places it in wider context of their career.

The app itself includes  1500 pieces of material assembled, alongside “44 short form videos and 60 audio segments” and

over 500 images including band photos, album art, singles, international releases and memorabilia (posters, ticket stubs, advertisements, press releases, contracts, and related correspondence).

It’s an exciting way to reassemble fan history and band lore in multiple formats, but even more affirming that the team chose to use comics as part of their storytelling on the app. It speaks to the role that comics have assumed as a form of visual journalism and also to the way comics can create atmosphere and a sense of participation for readers which Warner describes as “a new way to showcase and experience a band’s entire career in a single download”.  The trailer for the app is available here.


Hannah Means-Shannon writes and blogs about comics for TRIP CITY and and is currently working on books about Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore for Sequart. She is @hannahmenzies on Twitter and hannahmenziesblog on WordPress.

Meanwhile: WB and superhero experts Legendary parting ways?

While Marvel’s hit making factory breaking up over budgets could be cause for smiles across Riverside Drive at Warner Bros. it appears they are having their own dispute with Thomas Tull’s (above, left with WB’s Jeff Robinov) Legendary Pictures, Variety reports, the powerhouse studio that has produced the Batman films, the Hangover films, the Zack Snyder Films, and the upcoming most important superhero movie of all times, Man of Steel. In other words, just about everything except Harry Potter that was a mega hit in the last decade. Why? [Read more…]

Preview: Paranoid Apartment by Lala Albert


Lala Albert has already received a heap of praise here at The Beat; her bizarre and captivating comics and illustration often feature creatures that straddle the line between being elegant and stirringly frightening. Oftentimes when perusing her artwork, I’m fascinated with the visually articulated figures in her work and the manifold nuances of their inspiration, from everything from high fashion and ancient mythology to manga and science fiction. In her newest release, PARANOID APARTMENT by Secret Prison, Albert strays from the fantastical yet at the same time evokes her trademark mood of the eerie and supernatural, exploring the physical and subconscious haunting of a modern girl’s apartment.

[Read more…]

Tolja: stingy Ike Perlmutter not ready to pay for Avengers cast reunion

Even as IRON MAN 3 is a record setting triumph for Marvel, as I hinted the other day, Marvel Studios’ stinginess over signing deals with talent is leading to a titans clash battle over AVENGERS 2. Nikki Finke has the lowdown and it’s yet another takedown on Ike Perlmutter—a man who is so cheap that he wouldn’t allow an Oscar campaign for AVENGERS even when Disney offered to pay for it. Not only is Robert Downey Jr. not signed for any further movies, but Scarlett Johansson and others need to be signed up as well—and Marvel is not budging. In the past they made offers of $500,000 raises to stars of hit movies, so we’re looking at an epic showdown. And Ike is the strongest one there is.

The sad truth is that both Iger and Horn are scared stiff of Perlmutter and want to steer clear of the inevitable nightmare negotiations. Reps predict Ike is “going to create a lot of drama and going to want to prove a point and not look like he’s going to get run over”. Says one out of frustration: “I’m so bent out of shape by this asshole. He now works for a public company so I don’t understand how he can keep hiding behind the curtain.” Easy, because the Israeli-born and reclusive Perlmutter, worth $2.4B, is Disney’s third largest individual shareholder. (He had been the second biggest shareholder but that changed when Disney added Star Wars to its empire and handed George Lucas a ginormous compensation package. Disney’s top shareholder remains the Steve Jobs Trust.) Disney never dared hope that The Avengers would reap $1.5 billion in worldwide box office revenue, the third highest global gross ever. Yet no castmember has ever heard from Ike. True, Kevin Feige phoned the cast that weekend opening, but it was a first. And Iger did pick up the phone to congratulate filmmaker Joss Whedon who recalled to Deadline recently: “He couldn’t have been sweeter. He said ‘This wasn’t about the other movies — you did this’.”

The piece includes an interview with Whedon, who has been signed to a huge $100 million deal that will leave him busy with Disney projects for years.

DEADLINE: Marvel is notoriously cheap and some of the Avengers cast will want more money for the sequel. How could that affect Avengers 2?
WHEDON: I’m not going to comment specifically because I’m not privy to that sort of stuff and I don’t think it’s my place to talk about. In general terms, yes – Marvel can be very cheap, God knows. They can also be sensible and frugal. They have a very small infrastructure and they’re not heaping this money on themselves. I don’t know a producer who’s done more and is paid less than Kevin Feige. I think that it’s an issue but it’s part of a bigger issue, which is there was a time when there was a crisis in the acting community where stars were getting $20 million and character actors were disappearing as a concept. There were no middle class actors. It was suddenly bit players and Jim Carrey, and that was it. Now the studios have gotten to a point where they’re like, “Do we need that star?” With what they’re able to to digitally and the way they create franchises there’s a little bit of a feeling of, maybe we can eliminate the actor – not totally and not totally cynically, but I’ve literally heard people at the agency say, not about Marvel, “This studio is eliminating the middle movie. They’re not making dramas or prestige pics or anything that isn’t either a franchise or a Paranormal-style found footage”. I think that changes the landscape for actors because really good actors are interested in doing a franchise because they need something.


One lone hero has emerged to do battle with Marvel, and that’s RDJ himself, who has become a spokesman for younger cast members. Is he enough to counter Ike Perlmutter? Grab the popcorn.

For some more comment on this, producer Don Murphy’s Facebook page has some choice bits:

1- Ike Perlmutter is way worse than depicted here. I’ve heard he makes underlings account for paper and pens and doesn’t want to pay for mileage charges out to the Valley. He screwed over his partner in crime Avi Arad in favor of David Maisel, who brought the film financing in, and then got rid of him. This guy is so tight he squeaks. Not sure he does any charitable work, seems to think he can take it all with him. How sad.

2- Kevin Feige is “reinventing the movie business” has to be the greatest quote of the new decade. I remember when Kevin was Avi’s number two and his entire vocabulary consisted of “Yes” and “Avi.” He just happened to be the last man standing. I hope he’s getting the big bucks. Once Avi got the chop he hasn’t produced a single film (unless you count BRATZ THE MOVIE!! and ROBOSAPIEN!!!) outside of the contract leftovers from his Marvel days. He sits in his rented office with his Ivy League educated son waiting for the phone to ring. Feige sold his soul and it ain’t coming back anytime soon! A lonely future for sure.

Murphy also asks a question that many have raised: If Disney owns Disney why are they so afraid of Ike? He’s the one character in all of this who is truly larger than life.

Summer of Valiant is Gathering Steam

This week Valiant are spring-boarding off their Free Comic Book Day offerings to announce “Summer of Valiant” previews of upcoming titles. Their first announcement was that QUANTUM AND WOODY would be coming back starting in July, their first super hero team to grace the Valiant charge into their highly regarded and fan favorite lines this summer. On the second day of their week-long announcement schedule, they released preview art for X-0 MANOWAR, “The Road to Unity” (#15) also coming in July of 2013.



The original QUANTUM AND WOODY comics have actually been released recently in digital format on ComiXology for nostalgic fans to prepare for their return. Jody LeHeup, editor on the new book, says:


Since the day X-O Manowar #1 hit shelves, everywhere we’ve turned, fans have been demanding that Quantum and Woody step back into the spotlight.


James Asmus, who’s worked on a number of Marvel and indie titles is writing QUANTUM AND WOODY, with Tom Fowler, also a Marvel-ite, bringing the artwork. 

To be fair, if you picked up VALIANT 2013 on FCBD, you’ll have seen a “sneak preview” of QUANTUM AND WOODY with an ad that it would be released July 10th 2013. Other titles announced with simply a poster ad in that comic are ETERNAL WARRIOR, H.A.R.D. CORPS, NINJAK, all announced as coming Summer 2013, and UNITY, coming in winter 2013.



Despite FCBD teasers, Summer of Valiant announcements this week, popping up in various exclusive interviews on a wide array of websites, give insight into the creation of each of these works and drop hints to keep you eager for what promises to be a Valiant Summer of Love.


Hannah Means-Shannon writes and blogs about comics for TRIP CITY and and is currently working on books about Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore for Sequart. She is @hannahmenzies on Twitter and hannahmenziesblog on WordPress.

Retail Beat: A store opens in Yonkers; proposal in Alternate Reality Comics

Following in the steps of a recent micro-trend, another comics shop has opened, the Spider’s Web at 887A Yonkers Ave in Yonkers, NY. According to this earlier story, its run by Paul Borrero, a longtime collector and Spider-Man fan who felt the area needed a place for kids and adults to collect comics.

This fellow visited for Free Comic Book Day and had a swell time. Many pictures of the newsw establishment in the link.


Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, at Alternate Reality Comics, couple Lewis Cleland and Amy Cook acually got engaged at the store. Co-owner Ralph Matthieu has the details:

Lewis has been exchanging emails with me about the possibility of proposing in my store and of course I said yes because it sounded like a fun time! They're from London and had planned this trip to Vegas for some time. Lewis had an Iron Man arc reactor commissioned that actually lit up and has the inscription: "Proof that Lewis Cleland has a heart" written upon it. They arrived here in Vegas last night and this morning at just after 10am, Lewis arrived by taxi to set up the reactor and then go back to the Venetian to pick up Amy. We placed the reactor, with THE RING on top in the statue case and I put it next to a bust of Captain Britain because they're from England and he's a big Marvelite!

More of this adorable story in the link.

Will Sliney Profiles The Fearless Defenders: Annabelle Riggs

Marvel’s female characters do tend to be their very best, so here at The Beat we’ve been following Will Sliney (at a distance, so he doesn’t suspect) as he helps set up the all-female Fearless Defenders team. Whenever a new character joins the team, Will very kindly talks a little about them, and how he designs and draws them. With the current team already all individually profiled – Valkyrie, Misty Knight, Dani Moonstar and Warrior Woman – it seemed like a perfect time to talk about original creation Annabelle Riggs, an archaeologist who has inadvertently tagged along for the ride.

Annabelle is the first character created and conceived by Will and writer Cullen Bunn, so she holds a bit of a special place for them. Here’s a look at the character, and how Will went about creating her. Will has also been steadily building up a group shot of the team, and that continues on below!

[Read more…]