§ How awesome is this season of Game Of Thrones? Seriously. And yes spoilers BELOW as if you couldn’t guess.
Season 6 of HBO’s longest running show is at last deviating from the original novels (which I’ve never read although I want to very much) and after Season 5’s horribly unpleasant and grim treading of water, we seem to be moving forward. It’s called CATHARSIS, baby. After five seasons of stomach turning shocks that caused viewers to have PTSD flashbacks whenever the word “wedding” is mentioned, some of the bad guys are actually having shitty things happen to them! And it feels great!
Of course I”m well aware that awful things are going to continue to befall characters we’re rooting for, and any glimmer of hope in episode two will be dashed to bits by the final scene of the season. But how awesome was it when Wun Wun showed up to tell those perfidious Knights Watch jerks that killing your leader because he made peace with the Wildlings was totally bogus?
Or when some drunk running down Cersei got his brains smashed in as punishment. That doesn’t sound like a feel good moment…but it was!
Instead of smart people doing stupid things — like Sansa turning down Brienne’s protection last season — now the two of them are together and solid as a rock!
Even the awful things that happen are somehow just average TV show awful and not the gut wrenching betrayals on the brink of a shred of happiness that George RR Martin’s version was so good at. Martin is obviously a great writer with a unique vision, and it is amusing that with his version of things yet to be written, Game of Thrones is just another TV show. Like even when (spoiler) Roose Bolton fed his baby brother to his dogs, it just seemed so simple. There was no dismemberment, castration, boiling in oil, or glimpse of escape to lead up to things. It was just good, clean inhumane cruelty.
While, as mentioned above, I imagine this sudden tying up of plotlines and satisfying climaxes are just to kick off the season and we’ll be wallowing in castration and incest again in no time, it is significant that GoT has, is it assumed, only two season to run after this. This seems a likely scenario because the main actors all signed up for six seasons, and had to get big new contracts for the next two season.
For the cast, the news comes after the stars in October 2014 signed on for the yet-to-be officially announced seventh season with hefty pay raises. The principal Game of Thrones actors were signed only through six seasons of the show. In exchange for the option, HBO ponied up huge raises for seasons five, six and the potential season seven that will make the castmembers among the highest-paid actors on cable TV. An HBO rep declined to comment on the renegotiation or the season seven options. Game of Thrones ranks as HBO’s most-watched series ever and is the premium outlet’s longest-running show currently on the air.
If you think this means grisly ends at some point for the surviving main characters from season one– Daenerys, Tyrion, Cersei, Jaime, Sansa, Arya and Bran – you might be on to something.
So enjoy this run of the good guys winning while it lasts. As in real life, nothing nice lasts very long in Westeros.
And now back to the comics:
§ Zainab Akhtar profiles Koyama Press for The FADER
For its first six years, Koyama Press functioned somewhat like a non-profit organization: Annie funded local artists’ ventures—street art, zines, comics—then gave them all the proceeds. An insomniac, she spent nights scouring the internet for the work of young, little-known cartoonists and gave them the opportunity to publish their comics, often for the first time. On an immediate level, Annie’s generous yet meritocratic approach validated the work of artists who were otherwise written off by the established alternative comics community, which often views this new generation of cartoonists working primarily online as somehow less legitimate. On a broader scale, her commitment to taking risks on emerging artists reflected an ongoing paradigm shift affecting the way alternative comics are produced and consumed.
§ Artist Joe DeVito is suing Legendary and Warner Bros. over Skull Island because he claims they stole ideas from him, including some from the illustrated novel KongL King of Skull ISland, published by Dark Horse, for the upcoming film. DeVito says he pitched some ideas that found their way into the finished film
DeVito is suing Legendary and Warner Bros. for breach of implied contract, claiming the companies have used the conceptual framework he pitched them as the basis of their film without giving proper credit or compensation. He’s also hitting Legendary with an intentional interference with a contract claim, alleging the company bullied his production partners into dropping out of the TV project. DeVito claims in February 2014, di Bonaventura Television agreed to partner with his company to develop and market the project, but the next month put pitches on hold because the company was severing its relationship with ABC Studios. Its new partner was Legendary. During an April 22, 2014, pitch meeting at Legendary, DeVito says his team presented its vision for the Kong Skull Island project, including how the events after Kong’s death could tie to events before his discovery. Despite what DeVito paints as a positive response to the pitch, Legendary passed on the project and, because of its new relationship with the studio, di Bonaventura backed out as well.
§ As you can see, Vertigo’s Shelly Bond had a spectacular final exit on her last day.
§ This is old, but I missed that getting advance parking spaces for the San Diego Comic-Con is also a lottery now. You have to register for the lottery (now past) and then be chosen for a group to purchase a parking spot. The first group is open this week. Basically, everything is a lottery now — but parking did not sell out during this lottery, so you may still be able to grab a space.
§ At Women Write about Comics, Jo Fu looks back at Orientalism in Big Trouble in Little China, and rather shockingly, it turns out John Carpenter got things right:
Before you read this: did you watch the Dr. Strange trailer? You should, because I’m going to compare it to Big Trouble in Little China, a movie thirty years its senior. “Why?” you ask. Because John Carpenter made BTLC with the understanding that Chinese-ness is context and not just culture, and that the mixture of cultures in America can be a strange and wonderful thing. On top of that, BTLC features Asian actors who have accents and no accents, mixed race Asians, a Muay Thai world champion, and the first Asian-American woman featured on the cover of Penthouse magazine. BTLC, made at the tail end of the exploitation film era, does a better job of exploring (specifically) Asian-American culture than any blockbusters made recently.
§ Jason Latour reprinted some thoughts on comics conventions.
§ There was some kerfluffling in the DCEU over the weekend when the Flash director quit of “creative differences” (it was his first directing gig on a movie) and Aquaman’s James Wan was said to be getting dicey about Aquaman but then he tweeted a PICTURE of Aquaman and what does it all mean and…if you’re all hot and bothered about this, this piece at Flickering Myth sums up all the rumors in a calm fashion.
— Christopher Edwards (@cjsedwards) April 30, 2016
§ At the Calgary Expo, dear dear Karl Urban excited fans with the above quote on a panel. Of course “conversations:” could mean that people are talking about the fact that someone had a tweet about Netflix picking up Judge Dredd. It’s a nice game, and it’s nice to dream, but Judge Dredd would be pretty pricey by Netflix standards, so I dunno.
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.