§ The Comics Reporter Holiday Interview series has kicked off with Paul Pope! Your morning coffee reading is assured for the next few weeks.
§ The Hollywood Reporter’s legal reporter Eriq Gardner has a devil’s advocate In Defense of Shia LaBeouf suggesting that LaBeouf “seemed to be making the case for his transformative “fair use” of Clowes’ work.” It’s not a terribly compelling argument, or accurate, given the level of adaptation in the film, but it does mention this little tidbit:
In 2007, LaBeouf starred in a film called Disturbia, which almost every film critic in America saw as a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. In interviews at the time, LaBeouf admitted it was a “homage.” When the rights-holder of Rear Window sued, one publication called it “the most obvious lawsuit ever” while Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood said the only mystery was why the lawsuit took so long — saying it was “a total duh.” Three years later, the defendants won. The judge found dissimilarities in setting and mood and concluded, “[t]heir similarities derive entirely from unprotectible elements and the total look and feel of the works is so distinct that no reasonable trier of fact could find the works substantially similar within the meaning of copyright law.”
That doesn’t apply to HowardCantour.com which actually IS based on the Clowes short story, but there you go.
§ In his spare time, Chip Zdarsky likes to correspond with Applebee’s.
§ Best ofs! The USA Today guys have their lists, and I guess they don’t go much for indie stuff.
§ LGBTQ magazine The Advocate suggests 10 Great Graphic Novel Gifts.
§ Zak Sally has started writing about the 21-year history of his publishing company La Mano.
i had the normal trajectory for my generation: superhero stuff (mostly Marvel), then slowly losing interest in that whole deal. still loving comics, but not getting what i wanted out of them. i’ve told this story too many times (that might happen a lot during this), but at the moment i was about to give up, i ventured into the back room “smutty” section of the comic store, and picked up 2 comics: Love and Rockets #20 and Yummy Fur #1, and my life changed. it really was one of those moments– everything changed, right then and there. something i thought i knew about comics, but had never really seen with my own 2 eyes –that they were real art– that was now REAL. i had proof. you could do anything with them.
He’s also having a sale.
§ Julian Darius takes a very close look at the new Miracleman coloring and lettering, and after seeing a closer analysis of all this, I’m feeling better about it.
§ Long-time Marvel writer and industry veteran Don McGregor is the subject of a long interview at 13th Dimension, and he talks about writing comics’ first interracial kiss.
You wrote the first interracial kiss into a color mainstream comic script back in the 70′s. Today, people younger than you and I might not think that was such a big deal, but it really wasn’t too long ago that that sort of thing was verboten. What did you have to go through at Marvel to get that into a comic back in those days?
The hallowed halls were a minefield. I was so naive. I believed in the Bullpen in print. I never understood why people were shocked by Watergate. They’re politicians. Business as usual. But I guess I wanted to believe in the Bullpen Bulletins. It was a creative environment. I didn’t realize that there would be so many agendas and that there were people who would be prejudiced and did not want any color but white in the books, and certainly no intermingling between people of different colors.
§ Occasional Beat writer Amy Chu is profiled in Hire This Woman: Writer Amy Chu.
§ The Guardian weighs in with another Graphic Novel 101 called Why read graphic novels? which suggest the usual Moore/Clowes/Ware/Satrapi grouping but adds Isabel Greenberg’s Encyclopedia of Early Earth.
§ While some celebrities have had a rough go of it in comic book land, SNL’s Taran Killam had gone about things the proper way with The Illegitimates which imagines a far-flung group of James Bond’s illegitimate offspring teaming up:
Killam’s been developing the idea for seven years, and is serious about being a proper comic writer, Andreyko reports. “It’s not like some of these Hollywood guys who come into comics and just put their name on something. “There’s no carpetbagging — he just wants this to be the best comic it can be.”
They all do, they all do.
§ Comic Shop Closure Alert! Savannah Comics is closing up to merge with Comics & More, a store in another part of town. Significantly, the closure isn’t because of comics, but rather because of a hugely unprofitable movie rental business. The story does include a rather priceless anecdote however:
Lucky for Durden, Savannah’s cinematic appeal has lured plenty of movie stars into the store over the years. “We’ve had Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sandra Bullock,” Durden said. “Robin Williams not too long ago.” Back when they were an item, Affleck and Paltrow frequented the store for magazines, he said. Affleck was filming “Forces of Nature” at the time “and they all had Sundays off and they would come to the store and buy magazines.” Durden doesn’t recall any of them ever leaving with a comic, though.
§ I have to confess, I’ve often had a cup of coffee put in a paper bag but it usually goes very badly.
§ I had missed the news that they are making a fourth Narnia movie. That means that we’d finally get to see a Silver Chair movie! This is easily the oddest of the C.S. Lewis fantasies, what with that whole Bism business. PLUS Puddleglum.
§ Comics blogger had a secret blog for years!
§ Finally, it turns out M. Night Shyamalan also stole a movie plot from a comic book.
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.