§ Just to finish up the Oscars, which everyone has probably already forgotten —I had to look up what won Best Picture last year — DO YOU REMEMBER? Hint: it wasn’t Gravity — cartoonist Liza Donnelly live drew them on her twitter feed, and got a big write up in her local paper about it, and also did some nice drawings.
— lizadonnelly (@lizadonnelly) February 23, 2015
§ That said, Birdman winning is a real sign that Hollywood is in such a tizzy that the rules have changed. In the olden days, something like Unbreakable (with a less contentious director) would have been a lock. There were so many mixed messages about superhero films—Birdman’s win is definitely part of the resentment against “comic book movies” but about 70% of the presenters have one on their resume. Also, “Everything is Awesome” was awesome. Devo and Batman!
§ Meanwhile, cartooner Amy Reeder got the New York Times how do you spend your day? treatment. Hint: Karaoke is involved as the above drawing by Reeder suggests.
§ And G. Willow Wilson was interviewed on NPR about the new A-Force book.
§ Speaking of Marvel, in his weekly fireside chat, Axel Alonso summed up the changing tastes of the readership in response to Albert Ching’s question:
Marvel’s May 2015 solicitations came out on Tuesday, and while there weren’t necessarily a ton of surprises — most of the big news was announced in the days and weeks before — when looking at them as a whole, it’s striking to me that with “Secret Wars” beginning, we’re seeing things that are staples of the Marvel lineup — “Avengers,” “New Avengers” — not around for a bit, along with fewer X-books. Basically, fewer of the things that are seen as “sure things” at Marvel, and in their places are new concepts, and different takes on revisited concepts. What’s the mindset at Marvel of the risk/reward of giving a rest to some of these tried and true concepts, and bringing out some different material — has Marvel become confident that’s a worthwhile risk to undertake?
Alonso: We have. And the proof that it’s worth undertaking is in the numbers. Who could have predicted the response to “Spider-Gwen?” We’ve sold upwards of 250K. And the numbers on Jeff Lemire and Ramon Perez’s “All-New Hawkeye” #1 and Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones’ “Howard the Duck” #1 are also ridiculous. I think all of this is a symptom of a changing market — the changing tastes and changing demographics of our readers. I also think it speaks to the confidence that retailers and fans have in the strength of our publishing line at this moment.
§ ComicBook.com named the five worst Superhero movies ever and Catwoman and Superman IV are locks, but what about the other three?
§ I’ve already referred to the incident where 11-year-old girl Rowan Hansen complained about DC’s lack of female superheroes, and DC responded back in the affirmative. BUT THE PR DIDN”T END THERE! Hansen actually appeared on the Today Show to talk about her letter, and DC sent her a very swell portrait of her as a superhero by Dan Panosian. But Hansen is one media savvy kid. She knows that one big PR event isn’t a solution:
“I don’t want people to think, ‘Oh they responded to her, now it’s over,’” she explained. “I want people to keep trying to make this happen ‘cause it’s really important to me.”
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.