§ In case you’ve been wondering how things work at the New DC with its five fearless leaders, this account of how the alterna-Fringe covers came about is probably a pretty good indicator. Geoff Johns writes:
A month or so ago, I was fortunate enough to take on the job of Chief Creative Officer. That meant I was charged with bringing out characters out of the comic book pages and into the vast world of television, film, animation and video games that is DC Entertainment. One of the first calls I got was from the director of the Fringe season finale – writer/producer/director Akiva Goldsman. He was shooting a scene in an alternate world where things weren’t exactly like ours. Where even the smallest details were somewhat off. Including the comics. Together with executive producer Jeff Pinker, Akiva wanted to showcase an array of DC Comics that could’ve been including the ones you can see below. He wanted them to be as authentic as possible. Something only the hardcore would really recognize. We all came up with some ideas.
§ Tom Spurgeon has a wide ranging post on annoying things that stay annoying in comics and this is a pretty sad anecdote:
I have plenty of female friends that love comics and will shop at a DM store with me, but over all my years I have left more of my female friends sitting in the car than I’ve ever been able to convince to come into stores — at least more than once — and I bet that’s true for a lot of people. I once took three girls 6-14 I was baby-sitting into a pretty average comic shop — the girls all read comics — and within five minutes each went to sit in the car. I quickly rang up and we sped away. Their parents and I joked with them at dinner about the Scary Comics Shop, and they laughed about it, but the more I think about, the more that wasn’t all that funny an afternoon.
§ Rich Johnston rounds up some bollocks about this weekend’s Comics Expo in Bristol. We welcome furher reportage. Did they have enough beer?
§ Frank Santoro looks at the evolution of the pamphlet, noting that release dates are often planned around comics shows:
The other reason, I think that there are less serial pamphlets is because the market determines the form. The Direct Market determined that the pamphlet form was THE FORM. Now, the form is whatever tickles the fancy of the maker and what they can sell at a show. I know 20 to 30 alt cartoonists who release two or three comics a year but they aren’t serials and they aren’t pamphlets. These works don’t engage in the Direct Market’s periodical model. These works reflect the demand of the market which is generally geared towards handmade zines or trade paperbacks that are not serialized.
§ J. Caleb Mozzocco discovers what Korean comics can tell us about becoming a success in the comics industry
§ Harlan Ellison tells Kiel Phegley about writing the Spirit — art above by Ladronn.
While Ellison didn’t want to spoil the ins and outs of the story for those who haven’t been able to pick it up just yet, he did explain that its final form came thanks to the diligence of Cavalieri who helped pull the tale together in spite of the fact that Ellison at one point forgot the original plot he’d pitched his editor over the phone. One area that needed no extra work was the hiring of the artist, however. “I had just finished reading a few weeks before ‘Wednesday Comics’ and was very impressed. I’d sit on the floor and read it like at the Breakers Hotel! All propped up on my elbows reading the funnies! And there was Kyle Baker’s Hawkman. I’d known Kyle had done the Spirit with Sergio and Mark Evanier, both of whom are friends and who I admire. And I said, ‘Do you think you can get me Kyle?’ Kyle said yes, and we were off to the races.”
§ This is super old news, but we just stumbled across the fact that the Standard Attrition blog is being discontinued and the forum has been revamped. The blog started out as a place for creators including Brian Wood, Jason Aaron, G. Willow Wilson, Jock, and others of that calibre (most of them with a connection to Vertigo) to talk about their work. The forum was formerly set up around individual creators but is now a more general interest comics message board with creators participating. All this is worth noting because just because a few years ago, when Standard Attrition began, it seemed that the group blog was a great way for creators to band together and promote their work. But perhaps now, with everyone tweeting and Facebooking, it isn’t as effective. Brian Wood, who was instrumental in founding the site and and incredibly successful in promoting himself on the web, has drastically reduced his participation. Over the last decade, the web has obviously become the main way to market yourself — see: Warren Ellis — but just blogging isn’t really enough any more, even for creators as immensely talented as those involved in Standard Attrition.
§ Not Comics: perhaps, like us, you have been wondering what is that terrific music in the trailer for INCEPTION, the new movie from DARK KNIGHT director Christopher Nolan. Well, it’s a piece called “Mind Heist” by a fellow named Zack Hemsey, and we have a feeling you’ll be hearing it in about a million other trailers, because it is perfectly trailer-tastic.
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.