§ On his FB page, always blunt cartoonist Jim Starlin wrote:
Well, from the looks of all those notes sticking out of a copy of the Infinity Gauntlet in this screen shot from The Making of The Avengers: Infinity War, it would appear that Marvel has begun shooting the movie, maybe loosely based on The Infinity Gauntlet. So very cool! Anthony and Joe, I’m ready for my close up any time you are.
In case you were wondering, this is the photo in question:
Most websites highlighted this item as Starlin campaigning for a movie cameo – and heck I did the same thing – but it also seems a bit of a call out to….something. Starlin recently publicly commented that he made from a brief use of a little known character he created in a DC movies than from the wholesale use of a lot of his concepts in the entire Infinity Stones/Thanos/Infinity War storyline that has been looming over half a dozen MCU movies.
Aside from Stan Lee, a few comics creators have had movie cameos – Ed Brubaker appeared in The Winter Soldier, Frank Miller has been in a lot of his own movies. Len Wein and Chris Claremont appeared in X-Men: Days of Future Past as senators of all things. Not a whole lot, but a few.
I think Starlin should appear in Infinity War because #1 – he’s a badass! #2 – uh, look at all those post-its. He wrote the whole Infinity Gauntlet saga in the comics which inspired all of this, created Gamora, Thanos and more.
That said, he doesn’t appear to be a cuddly, eager to please comics type. I’ve often wondered about Starlin’s outspoken frankness about his relationship with Marvel. It could be just that, as noted, he speaks his mind…it could also be that since he has such iron clad proof that he created Thanos outside of Marvel (high school notebooks of the character) that he has them over a legal barrel. (Although courts have sided with Marvel over such matters in the past, Marvel has also failed to produce any paperwork saying they actually own most of these Silver and Bronze age characters…it was all lost long ago.)
Anyhoo, the (infinity) gauntlet has been thrown down. How will Marvel Studios respond?
§ PW chats with Diamond Books’ Kuo Yu Liang about the state of graphic novel sales, and the state is pretty good:
The most exciting development in 2016 was acceptance of graphic novel by independent booksellers, retailers who have generally been cautious, if not skeptical, in embracing graphic novels and manga, unlike national bookstore chains. After “10 years of missionary work to convince indie retailers to sell graphic novels and manga,” Liang said, the category has reached an informal milestone. After attending this year’s ABA Winter Institute, Liang reported that “graphic novels have officially reached acceptance by independent booksellers.” He explained: “There were more than 600 booksellers at the Winter Institute, and all of them said they were selling graphic novels of some kind—either superhero comics, graphic memoirs, or something. Now we get questions about how to sell them better.”
Another area of growth in 2016 was DBD’s international business, which Liang said had a “big year.” He noted: “The main challenges are problems with the currency exchange or civil wars.” Sales, he said, were good in Latin America, specifically Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico. Eastern Europe, he said, “is a bright spot,” with Romania and Poland doing well, in addition to markets in the Australia, India, Turkey, and the U.K. that “are growing fast.”
§ For Valentine’s Day week let’s look at some Cute Couples of Comics™, shall we? Look at how cute Jessica Campbell and Aaron Renier are in this profile of their amazing shelving units. Two people peering through an Expedit full of graphic novels…no, it doesn’t not get cuter than that. (PS: Yes I know this is an oooooooold link but I just saw it!)
§ Johanna Draper Carlson caught that Nobrow will release all of Corinne Maier’s excellent biographies in an omnibus to be called Marx, Freud, Einstein: Heroes of the Mind.
§ Amalgam Comics in Phillie is a year old! And from these photos, it’s quite the ideal hangout.
§ I missed this story that suggests that now that the San Diego Chargers are gone, Charger Boulevard should be renamed. Say maybe to Mark Hamill Boulevard, since he grew up in nearby Clairmont.
§ Margaret Atwood plugs some graphic novels and for real the list may surprise you.
§ A trio of graphic novels are profiled in the press. First up,
Sticks Angelica by Michael DeForge:
This is a silly piece of work not meant to be taken literally. It is the kind of story that could only be told in a graphic novel. I have reviewed his First Year Healthy and Ant Colony in this space. Thank goodness, because I knew not to expect the same old, same old from Deforge, who puts maximum pressure on the comic form, forcing it to evolve into something new.
§ And then more on the bestselling GN adaptation of Kindred:
Not surprisingly, artists Damian Duffy and John Jennings felt especially daunted by the chance to adapt renowned speculative-fiction writer Octavia Butler’s beloved Kindred for a new graphic novel edition. “It was like, this is awesome, we got this project, it’s, like, our dream project! Yayyy!,” Duffy said. But excitement quickly turned to panic. “I have to do what now?” he also said to himself.
§ And THEN! Francoise Mouly gives the rub to My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris, which was originally going to be one of the top graphic novels of 2016, but now looks to be the first great graphic novel of 2017!
“My Favorite Thing Is Monsters” is not only Ferris’s first graphic novel but also her first published work. She is a single mother and has supported herself for decades as a freelance artist, often in animation. Yet her mastery of comics, her pyrotechnic drawings, and her nested narratives are already placing her among the greatest practitioners of the form. On the eve of the publication of a work about the past, Ferris is surprised by its relevance to the present: “When I started on this—years and years ago—we were living in a different time,” she said. “I was wondering, Why am I doing this? I’m talking about the rise of fascism. I’m talking about racial inequality. I’m talking about the lack of representation for children who are lesbian and gay and trans.” She would ask herself, back then, “Is this just a history lesson that I’m making? I thought it’s good to be reminded that these are important topics.”
§ Neil Gaiman has a new book coming out! and he talks about it.
Why these particular myths and not, say, Greek ones? Mr. Gaiman, who was introduced to the Norse tales through Marvel’s Mighty Thor comic books as a child in England in the 1960s, was attracted, partly, by their flawed protagonists and satisfyingly dark worldview. “Greek myths are full of sex and peacocks,” he told the audience. “There’s lots of sitting outside and falling in love with your own reflection. No one’s doing that in Norse mythology. You sit outside in the winter, you’re dead.”
§ Headline of the day; Political Cartoonists Say Trump Gives Them A Lot To Work With
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.