§ Nice art: Sleeping Beauty concept art by Eyvind Earle. Via. More in the link.
§ Best ofs: Rachel Cooke looks at the best of UK comics for the Guardian.
§ Comic Sans reared its ugly head yet again in a statement released by Donald Trump’s lawyer, Ty Cobb, and all hell broke loose.
§ An interview with Gabe Soria about Murder Ballads, his GN inspired by the blues:
It came to me in Texas, a half-formed “What if?” My idea was to write a story inspired by Alan Lomax, the musicologist who first recorded Lead Belly, Son House, and Muddy Waters. The “What if?” was, “What if I grafted that onto a crime story, a noir tale?” That idea bugged me for years. I started writing a film script. I started writing notes: copious notes; notes, notes, notes. Over the years, I would open up the file on my computer and not look at it, like, “Nah, man.” It sat there and I didn’t really know what to do with it, and like 10 years after I first had the idea, I said, “Hey the ideal thing to do with this would be to have music with it.” That’s where Dan came in. I texted him while I was walking down the street, “Hey, you know, I have this idea for this comic. Would you want to do a soundtrack for it if I ever got it off the ground?” And his one-word response to me was, “Duh.”
§ Claire Napier looks at the rape elements of Alejandro Jorodowsky’s Metabarons and is apalled. I was wondering when people would start looking at those old 70s SF/Fantasy comics because they are jam packed with rape.
§ A fellow wrote a book called Top 100 Comic Book Movies and this link is a review of that book, but damn are there really 100 comic book movies? I guess if you go back to things like Blondie and Dondi and Prince Valiant and Popeye it’s easy.
§ Earlier in the year there was a controversy when D&Q cancelled a comic by Berliac because of transphobic statements he’d made. I’m told that this cancellation led to a lot of controversy in Europe. Exberliner’s Ruth Schneider has a long interview with Berliac and a look at the discussion over his work. It’s a far more in-depth look at his attitudes than we’ve seen before and Berliac still comes off as a bit of a jerk. He also reveals that part of the problem was perceived racist elements in a strip he did for Vice, Asian Store Junkies.
§ Frank Santoro looks at Dave Gibbon’s recent book on making comics so it’s the battle of the grids
Don’t get me wrong, I love the work of Dave Gibbons, and hold it in the highest esteem. It’s just that I wish the cover wasn’t a giant Green Lantern advertisement and a pitch to the elusive market of young persons who know Green Lantern from some character on a popular TV show wearing a Green Lantern shirt. I know, I know, Gibbons did a definitive Green Lantern star turn. But the cover looks like a bad Gil Kane imitation and it has the poorest design in an otherwise flawlessly designed how to draw comics compendium. The cover is my biggest gripe with this book, so I thought I would get it out of the way first. I blame the publisher for that one slip, not Mr. Gibbons. Instead of being sold as a Dave Gibbons comic book artist masterclass, it is billed as “Green Lantern will show you how comics work with his magic ring.”
STUDIO COFFEE RUN: Lots and lots of movie and TV news that broke late last week.
§ James Franco is set to star in a biopic about Shel Silverstein, who drew children’s books and cartoonist. I don’t know what makes Silverstein a good topic for a movie but
The movie will focus on the personal and professional struggles that made Silverstein a unique voice.
§ Goldie Vance, the BOOM! comic about a teen hotel detective by Hope Larson and Brrittney Williams has been optioned by Fox with Kerry Washington’s Simpson Street producing and Rashida Jones set to and direct the feature. That’s pretty exciting! You may recall that Boom recently sold a minority stake of the company to Fox, and this is one of the fruits of that relationship.
§ Sabrina the Teenaged Witch has been set up at Netflix for a 20 episode run. This is probably partly due to the ultra hotness of the current Riverdale tv show, but the Archie verse moving from the CW to Netflix is of some interest. Riverdale’s Lee Toland Krieger and Robert Aguire-Sacasa will develop the show, which features the teen-aged witch in a more spooky and supernatural setting than usual. And if you watch Riverdale ou know ti can be very spooky.
In a surprise turn of events the show, which is now untitled, has landed a 20-episode, two-season order at Netflix. Upon closer examination, it is not surprising that Netflix would want to carve out a part of the Archie universe for itself. Riverdale has been a huge success for the CW and secondarily Netflix. The streaming platform drew viewers in as they discovered and binge-watched the first season of the show over the summer which is partly responsible for the second season’s strong ratings. Did Netflix make Warner Bros. an offer it couldn’t refuse? By going with Netflix, the creators of the currently-untitled Sabrina project will retain full ownership of the series, an enticing offer for any show creator. It does make a crossover slightly less likely now that the two parts of the same graphic novel universe are separated on different platforms.
§ Utterly terrifying rumors of wrestler/thespian John Cena teasing a role in the upcoming Watchmen TV series have been circulating, sending a chill down the spine of everyone. However it turns out the rumors are just because Cena posted two images from Watchmen on his Instagram account, which is all crazy images with no captions like this:
Hopefully this is just some kind of harmless prank.
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.