§ NICE ART: Chris Reynolds made a name for himself in 80s indie comics with Mauretania, an ongoing published in his native Britain. Nowthe fine folks at New York Review Graphic Novels have brought it out in a new hardcover editions, The New World: Tales from Mauretania, the latest in their series of extremely tasteful and interesting reprint volumes. And over at Broken Frontier, Tom Murphy explains why it’s cool:
As a film-maker as well as a comics auteur, Reynolds shows a gift for imagery and composition, as well as editing and juxtaposition. There’s a lovely flow to his visual sequences. Particularly in shorter pieces like ‘Our Town’, his images are often like a series of beautifully compact little still lives, capturing within their thick black borders a sense of frozen time. ‘The Dial’, The 38-pager that opens this collection, uses its broader canvas to expand on some of these elements, while also unfolding with the asphyxiating logic of an anxiety dream. Returning from war, the protagonist, Reg, finds his home unexpectedly deserted.
§ Louis Skye interviews Nnedi Okorafor, the latest respected SF author to start writing comics big time, with Black Panther: Long Live the King, an upcoming Venom book, projects for IDW and Dark Horse and FOUR secret projects. She is busy.
When I went to write, they initially wanted me to Venom-ise Black Panther and I was like, “Umm, yeah, I like that idea, but what about this one?” So, instead of having an established Marvel character Venom-ised, I had this normal average everyday girl in Lagos, Nigeria who happens to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time, when Black Panther is fighting this villain over the Venom canister and she ends up getting Venom-ised. That’s my Ngozi character. This is kind of confusing; I tend to do things in a confusing way. .
§ Speaking of Women Write About Comics, They’ve launched a campaign to pay for th emove to a bigger, better server. Been there, done that! It is a modest ask so they should make it okay – but don’t sleep on this!
What We Need The cost of moving WWAC to a new host, including all the background work to transfer seven years worth of archives, is more than we can handle on our own, so we’re asking for your help to get us over that initial hump. Our transition will also involve designing a layout that can handle the site.
§ Rosie Knight interviews Hope Larson on Her Triumphant Return to Cartooning ALL SUMMER LONG:
It’s not just a lesson Larson wants to instill in her readers, but also one she craved as an artist. “I think this is a message kids need to hear, and it’s also a message I needed to give to myself,” she admits. “Even though I’ve been making comics professionally for a long time, I can sometimes feel rejected, or creatively squashed, or not good enough. In a lot of ways, I was writing this story as my own personal pep-talk.”
§ There was a big opening for a big MAD retrospective in Columbus. Mad editor Bill posted his photos
A new exhibit at the world’s largest cartoon museum showcases MAD’s artistic history and legacy, including illustrations and paintings by some of its most famous illustrators. The magazine, founded by editor Harvey Kurtzman and publisher William Gaines, debuted as a comic book in 1952, then switched to magazine format three years later. The magazine, produced by what MAD calls its “Usual Gang Of Idiots,” includes long-running features such as “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions,” hapless espionage antics in “Spy v. Spy,” and a back cover that once folded in on itself reveals a new image. “Artistically Mad: Seven Decades of Satire” opens at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University on Saturday and runs through Oct. 21.
§ Viz’z Kevin Hamric talked to ICv2 about the Kids Graphic Novel Market and confirms the reports of the new B&N Kids comics section:
Upcoming changes in the racking of kids graphic novels in Barnes & Noble, where the chain is going to begin grouping kids titles in the children’s book department rather than shelving them alphabetically by author, are expected to improve sales, making it easier to find graphic novels for kids that like them. We asked whether Hamric thinks kids titles should be broken down further, into age groupings, and while the more narrow age targeting is useful for librarians, in stores he suggested racking kids titles together regardless of age target. “I think they should put it all in one group from six through YA. Up in Canada, Indigo has it broken out in three different categories in their store. I personally think it makes it hard to figure out… If someone comes in for Naruto, goes to the regular manga section and doesn’t see it, they’re not going to think to walk over to YA, and find it there. There’s really no signage. I think it makes it a little difficult, especially in the bigger superstores.”
§ Just how DID the Wicomicon team put the pop-up together in a week? Keith Chow has some of the details.
Moooooooovies, aka Infinity War
§ Avengers Infinity War has blasted to $1 billion at the box office faster than any movie (ceat The Force Awakens by a day) but they did it WITHOUT EVEN OPENING IN CHINA.
§ Enjoying his victory lap, co-director Joe Russo felt confident enough to throw the DCU right under that bus!
Joe Russo said he feels the DC characters are unrelatable, and that the characters are too powerful compared to the Marvel characters. The Russo’s said that having grown up in Cleveland, that they feel more connected to the underdog characters that Marvel represents. Joe Russo did add that he finds Batman to be the most interesting of the DC Comics characters as Batman’s humanity and fallibility makes him the most fascinating of the Justice League.
Too powerful! Thor can survive being blasted by a star and Dr. Strange and the Scarlet Witch have undefined powers that can do anything!
§ And in case you’re wondering about the technical aspects of AIW, here’s an article on hos the CGI for Thanos worked, via an interview with Digital Domain’s Kelly Port.
We use both still scans and motion scans using technology developed at Disney Zurich Research Labs. We took the helmet-cam data, which is quite low resolution, to create a facial motion mesh. Then you feed that through a machine learning algorithm, which finds the appropriate fit with the high-resolution shape. With each iteration, you teach it — you feed it information or make shape adjustments so it’s a more correct solution. Over time, this algorithm improves the ultimate results by basically learning. We were able to keep so much of the incredibly subtle facial performance detail — little twitches in the face muscles, for example, and little quivers. Subtle things that aren’t really obvious but critical for the dramatic performance.
§ Not Infinity War! Solo director Ron Howard was asked about Alden Ehrenreich’s three picture deal and he can barely contain his enthusiasm!
I think the fans are going to define all of that. I mean I think that Lucasfilm and Disney in casting actors, and particularly younger actors, want to see what happens and build upon that. Certainly, they want the commitment from the young actors, but there are no concrete plans. I think there’s been a lot of creative energy and now marketing energy going behind this movie. I think these are exactly what they’re meant to be, or what they’re designed to be. They’re single movies exploring the galaxy; but of course, as a company, I think they’re going to be very interested to see how people respond to it and take it from there. This whole thing is kind of a cool, ambitious exploration of what the galaxy and the Star Wars sensibility can continue to mean to fans.
§ Finally, that HBO Watchmen TV series has been flying under the radar for all our safety, but a few detalsare creeping out, like the fact it won’t be an adaptation of the graphic novel, and its working title is “Brooklyn.”
Be afraid, etc.
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.