§ Nice Art: Chip Zdarsky and Chris Bachalo are doing a two-part Sandman story. Not that Sandman…the other one. Here is the first cover.
§ Must read! Cartoonist Seth delivered the commencement for this year’s Center for Cartoon Studios graduating class, and he strikes a hopeful note, while looking back at what seemed like dark times:
Why was I so pessimistic? Well, I guess it was because just a few years earlier it looked like comics were done. Wrapping up for good.
I’m thinking of the year 1999, or 2000. I recall a dinner, back then. Chester and I in a Toronto greasy spoon, both lamenting the end of the road. The alternative comics publishing companies seemed to be teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Comic Shops were closing up. Even the mainstream comics were selling abysmally. I recall that we discussed plans to somehow buy a Xerox machine together. We wondered about our ill-considered career choice and what future we had left. We wondered who would be the next generation of “underground” cartoonists? We could barely name more than five possibilities.
Then somehow it all turned around. Even though I was there when it happened, when things changed, I’m still not entirely sure HOW it happened. Over the next decade or so, scores of talented new cartoonists appeared, regular people suddenly knew the words “graphic novel” and someone opened the door of the ivory tower to cartoonists. Today, I look around at TCAF or SPX and it seems like there are thousands of up and comers out there. I would not have predicted this but nothing pleases me more.
Why are cartoonists always so pessimistic about the future, I wonder?
§ Newsarama has the numbers on Free Comic Book Day:
An estimated 1.5 million people visited comic book stores as part of Free Comic Book Day this year. Diamond Comic Distributors, which organizes the annual event, has released some statistics about the May 5 event gleaned from a retailer survey.
Diamond estimates that about $5 million in free publicity was generated by the event, and 90% of retailers said the event was “Extremely Positive” or “Positive”.
§ A new comics shop has opened in Florence, SC, and the owner is very happy. It’s a dream come true!
Poston said that he has been a comic book collector since he was 12 years old. “Like any collector, you always have a dream to open your own store,” Poston said. “It’s been great. The amount of support from people that I know and have never even met has been overwhelming.”
§ Malaysian cartoonists and Eisner nominee Reimena Yee is profiled:
While Yee, 23, is not the first Malaysian to be nominated for an Eisner – Tan Eng Huat was nominated for the Best Penciller/Inker Eisner in 2003 for his work on DC Comics’ Justice League Of America – The Carpet Merchant Of Konstantiniyya is the first Malaysian creator-owned comic book to be nominated.
§ Apparently at Wizard World Philly there was a rumor that a fan bit Sebastian Stan, who portrays Bucky in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This spread so quickly that both Wizard and Stan were compelled to debunk this rumor.
Philly! For those who are worried: no one has been bit on our show floor, so you may rest easy. <3 As ever, we ask that everyone stays respectful of our guests and fellow fans, both verbally and physically, but we've checked in and all is well for now.
— Wizard World (@WizardWorld) May 20, 2018
Stan, Chris Evans and Norman Reedus seem to have weird con rumors spread about them all the time because when you love too much…
§ In a piece on the opening of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction at Disneyland it’s mentioned that 2019’s D23 Expo, Disney big showbiz rollout, will be held in August. Last year it was held the weekend before San Diego Comic-Con but I guess that was just too much for everyone to handle.
§ Back in San Diego, the Petco Park interactive carnival area is being rebranded as The Experience at Comic-Con:
Formerly known as Petco Park’s Interactive Zone, the Experience at Comic-Con plans to create the same type of atmosphere, but larger and more exciting than ever before. Nestled in the Lexus Premier Lot, folks can expect the three-acre blacktop to transform into a pop-culture playground equipped with engaging fan activations of Comic-Con-esque brands, with lounge areas, celebrity sightings, entertainment and food trucks. “San Diego Comic-Con is the convention of all conventions and virtually impossible to get a ticket to like many sporting event championship games,” said Chief Operating Officer of Grandesign, Robert Ridgeway. “After spending the past seven years working with Comic-Con and Petco Park, we approached them with an idea to turn this interactive zone into a grand fan experience so the everyday fan can participate in this iconic gathering.”
This area is already quite busy but if there’s one thing Comic-Con needs it’s MORE spectacle!
This press release notes that 200,000 people experienced the parking lot in 2017. That is way more than 135,000 that is said to be the con attendance, but as I’ve pointed out before, between 30,000-50,000 people go to San Diego during Comic-Con without badges just to mill around.
Above is an artist’s rendering from the GrandDesign site.
§ A teensy blurb in a Licensing mag re Avengers 4 has generated feverish headlines across the webs:
“A culmination of 22 interconnected films the fourth installment of the Avengers saga will draw audiences to witness the turning point of this epic journey. Our beloved heroes will truly understand how fragile this reality is and the sacrifices that must be made to uphold it.”
Interpretations range from time travel to team ups to people spending a lot of money to see the film.
§ Meanwhile, Fans Speculate On A Possible Deadpool 2 & Avengers 4 Connection. At first blush, the participation of Josh Brolin in both would seem to be a firm connection, but both Cable and Captain America, as seen in leaked A4 set photos, seem to be wearing gloves. Mind boggling!
§ A studio bidding war broke out over Analog, a comic by Gerry Duggan and David O’Sullivan, published by Image! Can you imagine it! The winner was Lionsgate and John Wick director Chad Stahelski, with Colony producer Ryan Condal attached. The logline:
Analog is set in the near-future where the security of the internet has been rendered useless thanks to an event referred to as the Great Doxxing. Out of those ashes, people turn to so-called Ledger Men, agents who carry sensitive secrets the old-fashioned way — with a briefcase handcuffed to one arm and a gun held in the other.
Hm, reminds me of something, maybe The Private Eye, a little? The end of social media/the internet is now a standard feature of our dystopian futures!
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.