§ The 25 Comic Books You Need To Read Before You Die—this piece should be called “The 25 Vertigo Comics you Need to Read Before Your Library Card Expires” but not a terrible list for what it is.
§ Today’s comic book option, and it’s a good one: Matt Kindt’s excellent Mind MGMT has been optioned by Ridley Scott’s production company.
§ Marvel is doing another one of their hybrid motion comic DVDs, this time of the Paul Jenkins/Jae Lee Inhumans. maybe a warm up for the rumored Inhumans regular movie?
§ I enjoyed this interview with mystery novelist Max Allan Collins. His new novel, Seduction of the Innocent, is a murder mystery set in a world very like the one that Wertham upended; fans of comics history shpuld enjoy the roman a clef—plus it has a lurid old school pulp cover.
The two companies who were the most successful and were then decimated by Wertham’s crusade were William Gaines’ EC comics and Biro’s Crime Does Not Pay line. Gaines was a colorful guy — I actually met him in the ’80s — and his cartoonists, among them editor/writer Al Feldstein, who I was on a panel with at San Diego Comic-Con maybe ten years ago, were bright, talented men, young writers and artists who were doing terrific work and having the time of their life. The character who you figure is based on Williamson is a composite, with some Wally Wood and Frank Frazetta mixed in there, while my “Bob Price” is very much Gaines, whose Captain Queeq-like meltdown at the anti-comics Senate hearing made him a natural for the novel. And the meltdown is in there. While Collins has worked extensively in comics, he is best known as a novelist Biro and Bob Wood were vivid characters, too, Biro an oddball who had a monkey perched on his drawing board, and Wood a violent, boozing skirt-chaser who wound up very bad, in a very ironic way for a guy whose flirt with fame and success was drawing “Crime Does Not Pay.”
§ NY Times cartoonist Brian McFadden gets a nice profile in his local paper.
What New York Times cartoonist Brian McFadden likes most about his Quincy apartment is that there’s one room for work and another for watching TV and playing video games. If he doesn’t draw this line, his worlds can easily run together like sloppy ink. McFadden often turns to television’s clamorous news cycle for inspiration, but he can’t get so engrossed in it that his comics don’t stand out from the noise.
§ I don’t often absorb John Mayo’s sales analysis at The Mayo Report but his one on Marvel NOW1, New 52 and AvX has many interesting charts and graphs, and looks at the differences in Marvel and DC’s big relaunches.
Sure, Marvel can potentially replace the sales on those titles with new titles. The key difference is DC has titles it can bank on now. New titles at DC add to the existing sales, while the Marvel NOW! titles are replacing existing sales. Of course, by the end of 2013 we could be looking at a very different situation. A change of creative teams could drastically alter how key DC titles perform, while some of the Marvel NOW! titles could settle in near the top of the month sales list. The initial sales data for the Marvel NOW! titles make it seem a little unlikely those titles will sell over 100,000 on a sustained basis like some of the DC titles have. But, frankly, I’m a bit surprised by both the sales level and longevity of those sales for titles like “Batman” and “Justice League.”
§ Cartoon Controversy: Rupert Murdoch was forced to apologize about a Gerald Scarfe cartoon that was spectacularly ill-timed, if not offensive:
The cartoon, by Gerald Scarfe, appears to depict Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu building a brick wall containing the blood and limbs of Palestinians. It has the text: “Israeli elections. Will cementing peace continue?” The Board of Deputies of British Jews said it had complained to the Press Complaints Commission. It said the cartoon was “shockingly reminiscent of the blood libel imagery more usually found in parts of the virulently anti-Semitic Arab press.” It added: “Its use is all the more disgusting on Holocaust Memorial Day, given the similar tropes levelled against Jews by the Nazis.” Mr Murdoch wrote in a tweet: “Gerald Scarfe has never reflected the opinions of the Sunday Times. Nevertheless, we owe major apology for grotesque, offensive cartoon.”
§ io9 runs their Top 100+ io9 Stories from Our First 5 Years and it reveals that we like sex, robots, monkeys, staying healthy, and probably many dark things we wish we had never faced.
§ Ed Piskor gets the Comics Journal interview treatment and talks a lot about his upcoming hip-hop history book, which is being serialized on Boing Boing.
MARC SOBEL: Has the fact that you’re a white cartoonist drawing the history of a predominately black art form ever come up as an issue? ED PISKOR: There have been times where guys fricking test me, at conventions and stuff, but I always rise to the occasion. I’ve done six or seven shows this year and at every one, people will come up and discover that I’m just a little white dude, and they’ll test me, but they can’t step to it. I invite challenge because I really do feel like my trivial knowledge is a little bit ridiculous when it comes to this stuff. So I’ve been proving myself with whoever’s come up and they seem satisfied with it.
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.