Frank Miller speaks from the NY Times to Playboy, on sex, violence and masculinity

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With Sin City 2 finally opening this weekend, creator and co-director Frank Miller is making the PR rounds, speaking out at length publicly for the first time since the mixed reception of Holy Terror and his incendiary Occupy comments. First up was a very nice front page of the Arts & Leisure piece in the Sinday Times — which is as close to anointment as a cultural figure as it gets. There was a polite Dave Itzkoff profile (ALERT: I am quoted in the piece):
Purveyor of a Stylish Brutality in which he talks about the reception of The Spirit for the first time:

“It tossed me back on my heels,” Mr. Miller said of the film’s failure. “And it made me smarter. There are a million things that can go wrong with a movie, and you’ve got to get them all right. I still approach the set with great confidence.”

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Report: Hobby games industry hits $700 million

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ICv2 has a new report on the size of a market, this time the hobby game market—games like Magic, Warhammer,various card capture games, D&D and so on which he estimates as being a $700 million industry — not far below the comics industry size of $870 million. : Here’s the pr:
Pop culture experts ICv2 released today the results of their study on the hobby game market and it shows that the North American market totaled $700 million at retail for 2013.  Breaking down the estimate for the total industry by category shows that collectible games was the largest at $450 million; miniatures second at $125 million; boardgames were third at $75 million; card and dice games fourth at $35 million; with RPGs coming in last at $15 million.  “Hobby games” are defined as those games produced for “gamers”and are most often sold in the hobby channel or game and card specialty stores, but these items are not limited to sales in that market.

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ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp commented, “A $700 million market is a significant geek culture market segment.  With the growth it’s been experiencing, a billion dollar market is within reach in the next few years, and hopefully this kind of industry analysis will help us get there.  I cannot thank enough the industry insiders who helped us compile these estimates.  Without their willingness to speak frankly with us about their own estimates of market size and the reasoning behind them, we would have been unable to complete this project.”

The hobby game industry remained strong in the Spring season of 2014, according to information compiled by ICv2.  In collectible games, WizKids’ Dice Masters was the red hot and hard-to-find item due to high demand.  Magic: The Gathering led the pack, but not as strongly as previous seasons.  Boardgames continued to grow with support from hard core gamers and an influx of mainstream gamers coming over from other markets.  The heat in the miniatures category came from Star Wars X-Wing and Star Trek Attack Wing, with any extra space filled by anticipation of the new edition of Warhammer 40K.  The big news in the Card and Dice Game category was high interest and quick sell-out of both Boss Monster and Adventure Time Card Wars.  The largest change overall in the RPG category was the failure ofDungeons & Dragons to hit the Top 5 list for Spring, before the release of the new edition.  This change is a first in ICv2’s decade long history of sales reporting on the hobby game industry.

MariNaomi begins Cartoonists of Color Databse

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Cartoonist MariNaomi is starting a database of cartoonists of color (COC) and you can upload your details as explained in the link. There’s a FAQ:

What is a Cartoonist of Color?
Cartoonists of Color (COC) is a play off of the acronym “POC.” POC stands for “person of color.” A POC is anyone who identifies as non-Caucasian (non-white). In these forthcoming pages, you’ll find comics creators of various ethnicities: African American, Korean Canadian, Indian Singaporian, Turkish American, Iranian British, Japanese American and so many more. 

Why a Cartoonists of Color Database?
For visibility. For academia. For inspiration. For community building.

How can I submit my info to this database?
To submit a creator (yourself or anyone), please fill out this form.

New documentary on the DOOMED Roger Corman Fantastic Four movie from 1994

Before Marvel became the toast of tinsel town, there were some pretty dreadful Marvel-based movies—and I’m not just talking Howard the Duck. Dolph Lundgren starred as The Punisher in 1989, but the movie got only a very limited theatrical release. A 1990 version of Captain America starring JD Salinger’s son, Matt, was so bad it sat on the shelf fro two years before being released in the dead of night on cable. BU worst of all was a Fantastic Four movie produced by legendary horror filmmaker Roger Corman that never got released at all, although bootlegs have long circulated. (There’s an awful JLA pilot from a little bit later that is also pretty horrid, but not much worse than the Superboy TV show that actually aired for a season.) All this would change just three years later with the release of the first Blade movie, and the avalanche of superhero movies would follow to the point where, they are the bread and butter of the whole filmmaking industry.

But if you want to see how NOT to do it, some folks have put together a whole documentary about the making of the FF film, called DOOMED: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s THE FANTASTIC FOUR And you can see a sneak peek above. According to the PR, this documentary will “shed new light on the mysterious circumstances surrounding this legendary cult classic and “lost” Roger Corman film, THE FANTASTIC FOUR.” I didn’t know that there were that many secrets besides the movie being very rough, but director Marty Langford and executive producer Mark Sikes will reveal all in this film. One of the problems, as revealed in the above snippet, is that they had only $1 million to make the movie. Even in 1994 that didn’t get you very far. (although I do like the non-CGI Thing a bit.) Marvel historian Sean Howe will appear, and I’m sure there will be lots of dirt in the final film.

The movie was partially crowdfunded, and you can follow along with more news on how to see it on Facebook of course.

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Comics stars taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge — UPDATED with Bendis and more

So far, I’ve only found one — Billy Tucci! Tragically, Tucci did not call out other comics folks, so the charity meme has not yet spread to out part of the world. But let’s give Billy a hand for doing it!

In case you missed it, the ice bucket challenge is meant to draw attention to ALS, aka Lou Gehrig disease. When called out, you must either dump a bucket of ice over yourself or donate $100 to the ALS Foundation. Most celebs who have been doing this do both. You make a mideo of yours;f getting dumbed on, and call out someone to take the challenge next at the end of your video.

It’s a fun way to while away the summer—somehow I don’t think this would be as popular in November. People who have done it so far include Lady Gaga, Robert Downey Jr., Justin Bieber (he didn’t actually use ice), Steven Spielberg, Carrie Underwood, Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez, the NY Mets, the NY Jets, and a bunch of nerdlebrities folks like Tom Hiddleston (very popular),

Chris Pratt, Nathan Fillion, James Gunn and Stephen Amell.

I found Dave Bautista’s by far the most impressive however.

When we look back at the summer of 2014, will it be as the time that famous people dumped ice on themselves? In these turmoil filled days, it’s nice to have something giving and fun and silly to talk about.

Meanwhile, comic folk, step up!

UPDATED: OK OK, I missed Brian Bendis:

Who calls out Fraction and Oeming.

And Frank Tieri, although I can’t find his video,

who called out Scott Snyder:

I’m told Dynamite’s Nick Barrucci also took the challenge.

So NOW we’re getting somewhere!