§ Nice Art: Nerdist reveals pin-ups for the new volume of ANGEL CATBIRD by Jeff Lemire (Black Hammer), Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil), Irene Koh (The Legend of Korra), Paulina Ganucheau (Zodiac Star Force), and Renee Nault (who is adapting Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale). That’s Nault’s up above.
§ Speaking of Angel Catbird, G. Willow Wilson wrote a nice appreciation of the quirky series, which is written by literary superstar Margaret Atwood.
§ Last night I forgot to record or watch Riverdale because I’m stupid but that’s what streaming is for, and so missed this delightful Easter Egg involving my old message board nickname Heidi “Ace” MacDonald. Of course, maybe they just thought “Ace McDonald” was a cool name, but I prefer to think it was a deep in joke and I’m sticking with that story!!! (Screencap by Ivan Cohen.)
§ Although I haven’t seen this week’s Riverdale, I remain obsessed with Cole Sprouse as Jughead, and in this Vulture interview, he shows he’s no dummy:
Who is Jughead? I didn’t read these comics growing up, but in doing so now, I’m struck by how unique of a fictional character he is. He’s a bit creepy in the comics. I’m sure some people would take offense to that, but he’s this sardonic, sarcastic, oftentimes cynical character who, if it wasn’t obviously stated that he was a real member of the town, you would probably think he was fashioned by Archie in his imagination. He’s almost an imaginary friend, not like a real character. But in this, we still very much try to deal with Jughead as this cynical, sardonic, objective character. He’s very much on the outside. And, much like real comedians or real jokesters or real cynics, Jughead has a troubled past. But we still keep the fundamental basis of Jughead strong. He’s a very nonsensical character and he has a unique philosophical take.
§ Several stories out there on the wires with topics you will be familiar with if you are a follower of Kibbles ‘n’ Bits. Why graphic novels may be the future for growth in book sales – which covers the sales growth and NY Times bestseller troubles.
§ And Young readers embracing graphic novels as they develop literacy skills – old news to Beat readers but worth repeating!
§ Speaking of all that, Teen Vogue has embraced the March trilogy, which is about as potent a media team-up as can be imagined.
§ Here’s a headline I’m just repeating. An Artist Is Deconstructing Comics into Grids in Order to Challenge Power Structures. Head hurts.
§ Comics Workbook is running some Angoulême coverage and starts out with a ton o’ piccies.
§ The Beguiling has moved, and here’s a look at their new store:
For 30 years, The Beguiling sat at 601 Markham Street, a frequent stop for local comic lovers and an occasional pilgrimage for geeky out-of-towners with a few extra hours between flights. “I like that people can’t imagine the city without us,” says shop owner Peter Birkemoe. They don’t have to. Though The Beguiling shut its Mirvish Village doors this month, it’s now up and running in a new 900-square-foot College Street space that houses most of the shop’s old collection of eccentric comics and zines. “I heard a bookseller once say a move is worse than a fire,” Birkemoe says. “I never wanted to believe that, but I’m starting to understand what he’s talking about.” The exodus involved several blowout sales and a lot of heavy lifting, but it also yielded some unexpected finds: rare gems that have accumulated and been tucked away over three decades. We asked Birkemoe to show us some of the most curious and iconic items that emerged during the move.
§ Mark Evanier expounds more on the work ethics and career aspirations of Golden Age comics artists:
Yes, there was definitely something different about the folks of whom you speak. For one thing, most of them got into comics because they loved doing that kind of work. Some got in to make a living while they aspired to something better and then were unable to get out. But no one started writing or drawing comic books because they thought it would make them rich or famous because even as late as the seventies, that did not seem possible. It would have been like getting a job as a guard in a men’s prison because you thought it would make you a millionaire, plus it would be a great way to meet cute chicks. At Comic-Con as you probably know, I’ve had the opportunity to interview a lot of comic book writers and artists of comics’ early days and one recurring theme for me is a certain amazement that they have followers. Nick Cardy was practically moved to tears several times when he first came out to San Diego and had grown, adult professionals lining up to say to him, “I discovered your work when I was ten and I followed it and you were a big influence on me becoming a professional artist.” Nick was especially stunned that people were asking for his autograph or offering him money to do commissions. All those years he was drawing Aquaman, he never dreamed it meant so much to so many.
§ People are obsessed with Netflix ratings because now that Ike Perlmutter lets his picture be taken, it’s the greatest secret of all. The Wrap is also interested in this topic, and teamed with Symphony Advanced Media to get some viewership metrics based on “cell phone microphone and audio recognition technology to identify what a television viewer is watching.” It’s admittedly unstable but let’s pretend it’s solid! These numbers, whatever they are, show Marvel shows are very popular, but not as popular as Lemony Snicket:
During its opening weekend (“Live” + 3 Days), “Lemony Snicket” was viewed by 3.755 million adults 18-49 over the average minute. Compare that to “Luke Cage,” which got 3.388 million. “Daredevil” Season 2 is next down the list, with 3.201 million viewers from the advertiser-coveted demo. Behind “Daredevil” sits “Fuller House” Season 2, “Stranger Things,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” Season 2 and “House of Cards” Season 4.
§ I tried to watch Powerless last night but it was awful. This show will not be around much longer. It’s a standard office comedy set in the DCU without any actual jokes based on the DCU. Clare Mae has a detailed look at how the show changed from the original concept to what is on the air.
§ If you want everything about Guardians 2 spoiled Kevin Feige is here to help.
§ So not comics, but Stephen Merchant (Extras, The Office ) is directing a movie starring the Rock about a family of British mobsters who turned into wrestlers. SOLD!
§ Acting president of the United State Steve Bannon once ran a site that made money by farming for World of Warcraft in-game gold and then selling it in the real world. Weird but at least he didn’t use prisoners/slave labor…yet.
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.