Look, The Beat had a bad day yesterday and made lots and lots of mistakes. Tonight we’re getting a full five hours of sleep and things should be much better. Okay? Sorry about all that, but it happens. Our “hire a copy editor” fund is to the right in the box marked “Patreon.”
Also, it is going to snow soon, so send hot cocoa.
§ The Wrap looks at all the LGBT actors being hired for superhero roles, like Ezra Miller in that far off Flash movie, Ellen Page in the X-Men movies and Wentworth Millar as Captain Cold:
“I’d like to believe the industry is more LGBT-friendly,” openly gay actor Wentworth Miller, who stars as villain Captain Cold on CW’s “The Flash, told TheWrap, “I see LGBT characters on TV and I can think of actors who are out and paying the rent. Again, mostly on TV. Most out actors I can name are either exclusively or primarily associated with television. I don’t know why that is, why I can’t think of more out movie actors. It feels like change might be coming more slowly on the feature side.”
§ Do you remember the first time that comics tried to break the internet? Brian Cronin does. It did not involve photoshop nor an oiled up butt, but it did involve a superhero believed dead!!!
§ First Seconds’s blog questions some of its authors on self publishing vs publishing. Self-publishing involves many trips to the post office so be forewarned.
§ Dr Naif al-Muawa describes the time he had to go to the police station and defend himself on charges of being a heretic:
“Leading up to it, there’s been a whole series of death threats.” Mutawa chatted with Al-Monitor on the margins of the World Innovation Summit on Education (WISE) last week in Doha, where he was on the opening panel. He’s facing a lawsuit by a self-proclaimed defender of the Sunni faith as well as a recent fatwa from the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, both of whom have attacked “THE 99” for allegedly disparaging Islam — even though both the Saudi and Kuwaiti governments gave their blessing for the project years ago. “I went there with my lawyer and when I was asked the question at the police station, I just burst out laughing,” Mutawa told Al-Monitor. “It’s just so ludicrous what’s happening. I’m the one who’s giving Islam a bad name? I’ve been giving Islam a good name for over 10 years.” “It’s very schizophrenic,” he added. “They keep honoring me from here, and then they sue me from here — it’s like they don’t know what to do with me.”
§ Comics news I missed in yesterday’s meltdown — a new comic from the Mark Millar and Sean Gordon Murphy team called Chrononauts. It is very very pretty and will look great when they turn it into a movie as they do with all Mark Millar projects.
Described by Millar as “Apollo 13 meets The Time Machine,” Chrononauts aims for big sci-fi fun that will appeal to fans of last summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy. “‘Man’s first step into the past’ was really the starting point for this, planting an American flag in the soil the day before even Columbus arrives,” Millar says. “But of course it all goes horribly wrong and so we have these two guys stranded in the time-stream, trying to get home, but at the same time at this incredible advantage the people around them don’t have.” It’s a deliberate step away from the grounded and more serious sci-fi fare of recent memory, an escapist time travel adventure in the vein of Doctor Who. “It’s essentially a buddy story about two best friends who can jump around between 16th-century Persia, the American Civil War or New York in the ’20s,” Millar says.
§ Comics event in Riga, Latvia, courtesy of kuš!
§ I was cleaning out some links and was reminded that Meathaus has a blog, mostly posting really cool art, like this from Christine Bian. In case you weren’t around 15 years ago, Meathaus ws a comics/art anthology that featured early works by Brandon Graham, Tomer Hanuka, Farel Dalrymple and James Jean among others. No big whoop.
§ The Batman tv show DVD is out and I have a copy. That is the only thing I wanted for my birthday so I’m super happy. Mark Evanier has a few comments including photographic evidence of him Adam Ward was made to look dumpy via the positioning of his Bat logo.
§ Evanier’s piece led me to this well researched and somewhat definitive piece on how the show finally got released after decades of legal wrangling and neglect.
The wait is over. Next week, Batman hits retail in all its kitsch-laden glory just in time for the holidays. After decades of rumors, corporate wrangling, and the foresight of an actor who recorded his commentary early in case he dropped dead before the collection materialized, the series finally escapes legal purgatory. But don’t give much credit to corporate lawyers. Instead, it’s due to a tireless, clever campaign by a small band of fans that started when Stacks started digging into the show’s archived paper trail. “That’s when one fat guy in Florida shook the whole thing up,” he says.
Indeed in reading the story about the conflict—which pitted Warner and Fox against one another with the scattered heirs of producer William Dozier in the mix—one is struck by just HOW LITTLE CORPORATIONS WANTED THIS TO HAPPEN. If it hadn’t been for dogged fans and the vision of Eric Ellenbogen at Classic Media this might never have happened at all, and Warner and Fox execs were mostly engaged in a war of “I don’t want the other guy to have the money!!!”. Ellenbogen, who was briefly a high level mucky muck at Marvel, is a preatty smart executive when you look at all the deals he’s made. But see the next post for more on that..
Among the fun facts in the piece: Mark Hamill had Fox make him a special VHS copy of the entire series; and Adam West recorded audio commentary years ago before there was even a DVD in case he passed away before it was finally put on the media storage of the moment. West is 86 and we’re very glad he lived to see this, even if his uniform was dumpy.
§ A look behind another nerd lore classic: James Dallas Egbert III, a troubled teen whose dissapearance in a bunch of tunnels in 1979 sparked protests against D&D. Police believed that Egbert had wandered into the tunnels as some kind of role playing thing (The term LARPing may not have been invenetd then) casting a lot of shade on the then-underground game. The truth, however, was much sadder.
§ Finally, Ellen Pao, a Silicon Valley whistle blower who filed a lawsuit for harassment which laid open a lot of the tech industries sexism, is now acting CEO of Reddit. Good luck with that!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.