§ Now this is what I call marketing a graphic novel. Rep. John Lewis, who is co-authoring MARCH, the history of his actions in the civil rights rights movement will be appearing at BookExpo America at an authors breakfast along with Bridget Jones author Helen Fielding and Outlander author Diana Gabaldon, and moderator Chris Matthews.
§ While Marvel has become a treasured part of the Disney family, the Marvel characters have been blocked in Disney’s theme parks due to Universal having dibs on them, but this is not the case in Hong Kong. Marvel’s superheroes will be getting their own area in Hong Kong Disneyland, the first area of its kind in the world. Bring on Deadpool’s Wild Ride!
§ Those fretting bout Warner Bros. superhero movie slate should recall that Guillermo del Toro is putting together a whole universe for them:
“I am going to be presenting my storyline to DC and Warners of where I want to take this universe,” Del Toro tells Total Film during a recent interview regarding Mama. “We do have a writer, but until that is firmed up, I have to keep it a secret. I hope it happens. It’s going really, really well. It’s like meeting old friends. I grew up with Demon Etrigan, with Swamp Thing, with Deadman, so these are characters that are near and dear to my heart.” When asked if he’d be focused on the current storyline of the comic or go back to the beginning, Del Toro responded, “I’d love to use the origins that are proper to each character. I love the idea of Jason Blood as a paladin and a knight… I love the entire Constantine mythology, the Dead Man mythology, the Alex Holland Swamp Thing mythology. These are really rich things to well and to dig.”
§ Retailer discoversGirl power: Comic books are for ladies, too
“What surprises me about the women customers we have is how many of them read the superhero comics,” said Jason Dasenbrock, also a co-owner of Legend Comics & Coffee. “Usually, the stereotype of women in comics is the independent stuff like Chris Ware and Daniel Clowes – the sort of artsy side of the medium. But I have been amazed at the amount of women coming in and buying their superhero books. I think it’s wonderful.”
§ Good news! Mike Kunkel’s delightful HEROBEAR AND THE KID is coming back from BOOM!.
§ A new biography of L’il Abner creator Al Capp is out later this year and he was quite the character.
The story of Li’l Abner creator Al Capp, as told in Michael Schuhmacher and Denis Kitchen’s new biography Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary, has absorbed me for months. I’m finishing a book on positive unintended consequences and looking at, among other things, the effects of childhood illnesses and injuries. Capp lost his leg in a streetcar accident at the age of 11 and explicitly credited his success as a cartoonist to what was then called “compensation,” determination to prove his competence and mastery. Phantom pain plagued him every day for the rest of his life, but he became one of the world’s most acclaimed and wealthiest cartoonists. During the World War II he volunteered enthusiastically as a role model and morale builder bucking up troops recovering from amputation, and drew a widely circulated comic about his career.
§ J Michael Straczynski talks a bit about the relaunch of Joe’s Comics, his imprint at Image, and TEN GRAND, his upcoming book with Ben Templesmith.
§ Miriam Katin’s new book LETTING GO is profiled in the LA Times:
But without minimizing this part of the story, “Letting It Go” is much more than that — a meditation on love, on family, and an inquiry into art. Functioning in some sense as a sketchbook, Katin’s story is delightfully open-ended, less a look back at a particular situation than a series of reflections from the trenches of her life as it is lived.
§ More on that ACHEWOOD cartoonwith comments from Chris Onstad
An animated show isn’t the only thing on the horizon for Achewood. Onstad says he’s been quietly stockpiling a variety of material including a new webstore, a stand-alone anthology through a print publisher, and another book that has been in the works for over a year. Onstad also thinks there’s a “good chance” that more original Achewood strips could be in the works. “I took a long time off to take care of myself and recharge, to live life without constantly seeing the world in the service of the comic, but now I am nostalgic for it again. When I first started seeing the tremendous outpouring of support for the new show announcement, I realized what an important part of my life writing and sharing Achewood on a regular basis was.”
§ David Brothers has yet another uncomfortable look at how black comics creators are perceived:
What Alex is referring to here is something I’m going to call “writing while black,” because I honestly don’t know if there’s a proper term for it yet. In short, there’s a tendency for a certain subset of comics fans to view books written by black writers with a suspicious eye. The motivations of the writers come into question. Sometimes that suspicion manifests itself as viewing a book as a “black book” instead of a regular old comic book. Other times, it’s a kind of defensive, twisted white guilt, like when fans declared that Black Panther and Storm were only getting married because they’re black, and how offensive that is. (They didn’t. It’s not.) And other times, it’s just straight up racism, of course.
§ Why didn’t you tell me? A while ago people suggested I turn my RSS feed to excerpts. And I had to go to another website to find out you hated this. Okay! I turned full posts back on! Now are you going to tell me how much you love 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.