Newsy things from around:
Well, for one I already have a some comics work coming up, which will be announced soon, as well as securing other work in and out of the industry. I’m also available for work as well. I’ll be taking private commissions and developing some projects and pitching some of the creator owned concepts I’ve been working on over the last few years.
In case you had any doubts, the era of the exclusives wars is over. For any but the highest tippity-top creators, (and maybe not even then) it no longer holds advantages…and Marvel and DC aren’t really interested in signing any but the tippity-top creators to exclusives any more anyway.
§ Breaking! Comic Books Make A Comeback!
Good news for comic book fans: graphic novels are not only making a major mainstream comeback, they’re also taking on exciting new forms. With the successful relaunch of all 52 comics in DC’s Superhero Universe last September and the highly anticipated new
The linked video features teenaged journalists quizzing various industry types on the big comeback.
§ Grace Bello interviews Tony Millionaire as part of a guest blogging series at Pop Candy.
It seems like you do a lot of stuff that’s “old timey.” Where did that come from? Did you collect old newspaper comics, or did you study those kinds of illustrations?
My grandfather was an illustrator, and his friends were guys like Roy Crane and Les Turner who did the comic strips Captain Easy and Wash Tubbs. He had lots of collections that he would cut out of the Sunday newspapers. When I’d go to his house on Sundays, he’d show me all these beautiful old comics. I just fell in love with the style.
And my father would take us on the Minutemen parades every year, so we would march dressed in tricorne caps playing the fife, and my father carried a musket. So I really have a great love of costume and history and all that old timey stuff … Until John Kerry marched backwards against us and protested against the Vietnam War. And we all agreed with him, and that was the end of that. And now the tea party has totally ruined my tricorne caps! War reenactments are not cool anymore.
§ Along the way a possible news bit is dropped!
What are you working on now?
They’re turning (Billy Hazelnuts) into one of those new comics apps. That’s coming out probably sometime in the spring. I’m working on book number three of Billy Hazelnuts, which will be the final book.
A Billy Hazelnuts app? Is this Fantagraphics finally taking the plunge?
§ Grant Morrison was a Guest DJ on KCRW
“This particular song is just so cool, for me this is the essence of cool, this song, and it’s a really sexy, slow, kind of iconic song. And what it made me feel, it was very much of a time where I was doing The Invisibles comic, which was about a group of sexy terrorists, you know occult terrorists. And this would have been the theme song of The Invisibles. You know I think it says everything about that outlaw glamour, the life lived on the fringes of the law, and on an international scale, and I really love it for that. It’s the sexiest song about terrorism that you will ever hear.”
He also praised the psychedelic hip hop of Dr. Octagon (“It sounded like comic books, it sounded like my favorite science fiction, it sounded like the weirdest television show you’d ever seen.”) and the Beatles parody group The Rutles. He says the work of Eric Idle and, in particular, songwriter Neil Innes resulted in “a parody that’s as good as the original, and in some cases better because Innes is such a genius song writer. He’s actually better than any of the song writers in The Beatles, as regards lyrics.”
“You know sometimes in my work I love to pastiche other writers. I kind of learned it all from Innes and The Rutles.”
§ The Spider-Man musical broke a record for biggest gross by a musical — the PR doesn’t indicate if this is due to a high ticket price or how many years the show is away from breaking even but…after all the pain and suffering, let’s just enjoy a happy moment.
SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark, Broadway’s most popular new show, rang in the New Year as the highest grossing show on Broadway, shattering the record for the highest single-week gross of any show in Broadway history. The total gross for the record-breaking week ending Sunday, January 1 was $2,941,790.20, besting the previous record of $2,228,235 set by Wicked in 2011. Playing to 17,375 audience members (100.02% capacity of The Foxwoods Theatre), SPIDER-MAN also enjoyed the highest single-week attendance by any show in Broadway history (playing a standard 9-show holiday schedule).
The Foxwoods previous box office record of $2,070,195.60 was set by the show just four weeks ago. Currently in its second smash-hit year on Broadway, SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark began preview performances on November 28, 2010, and has become one of the most famous theatrical events in Broadway history, playing to packed houses and standing, screaming ovations nightly.
“We are thrilled that the public has taken such a liking to this show,” said producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris. “The audience continues to grow, and it is great to enter the New Year with such momentum.”
§ Artist Michel Gagné explains how he restored Simon & Kirby comics for Fantagraphics’ new
Young Romance: The Best of Simon and Kirby’s Romance Comics and it really looks nice.
§ The Beguiling comics shop in Toronto had an amazing, amazing year.
§ DC Women Kicking Ass has 2011 for DC women: The best! — led by WONDER WOMAN! Who says the DC Comics Blogging Brigade is never positive?
After spending the first half of the year distressed over Wonder Woman’s role in the DCU, I spent the last three months of the year in delight with the arrival of Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s take on the character.
Praise is also offered for writers:
You know when you pick up a book by these writers you’ll see female characters that are fully fleshed out. Kelly lists:
Duane Swierczynski, J.H. Willaims III & Haden W. Blackman, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemire, Gail Simone, Paul Cornell, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Bryan Q. Miller…
I’ll add Paul Levitz, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray and Brian Azzarello.
§ In our email inbox it was discovered that Hermes Press is putting out a collection of the COMPLETE SIX-ISSUE RUN of the 60s I SPY comics. Were these comics notable or historic in some way? Unsure. But they did feature Robert Culp and a pre-sweater, pre-pudding Bill Cosby.
§ A sad note: the son of editor/writer Tim Beedle has been struck by a mystery malady, and he’s asking anyone who has undergone anything similar to share their stories.
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.