§ The NY Times profiles Qatar political cartoonist Khalid Albaih:
Lanky, with thick glasses and a nerdy air, Mr. Albaih does not look the part of a rebel. By day, he works in multimedia for the Qatar Museum Authority here, sitting behind a 27-inch iMac screen with a Superman bobblehead doll on his desk. After hours, though, he becomes a cartoonist with an attitude, one whose online work has inspired discontented youth across the Arab world.
§ C.F. talks about his new book Mere at The Comics Reporter. C.F. (Christopher Forgues) isn’t the chattiest cartoonist, but he gets into it a bit.
CF: I think I was just trying to think of comics… [laughs] and my memory of them, my relationship to them. What the touchstones were for me when I was a kid. The really basic ideas… just trying to find what I could boil down the aspects to where you don’t necessarily know [laughs] what’s going on. Even with the design and things, I wanted to get the same feeling from a hologram cover or commercial comic, that feeling you would get. The way when you’re a kid when you’re looking at a comic or a movie and you get these impressions… that can be very rich. Almost better than the plot. It was something I really wanted to try.
§ The official Comic-Con blog interviews Chris Samnee who talks about his work on Daredevil and designing covers.
Chris: Well most of the time I ask what’s going to happen in the next issue, Mark writes back an email where he laughs and says he has no idea and we sort of go back and forth. Maybe Wacker has an idea of a villain or, with the cover that had Daredevil on top of the Atlas statue, Wacker suggested maybe some sort of New York landmark.
§ TERM LIFE is an Image Comic by AJ Lieberman and Nick Thornborrow that came out in 2011, but it’s just been optioned by Vince Vaughn and Peter Billingsley. It’s about a guy marked for death who has to elude hit men for 21 days in order for his daughter to collect a $1 million life insurance policy.
Peter Billingsley is Ralphie of A CHRISTMAS STORY, btw and who knew he would turn out to be ruggedly handsome?
§ This is a fairly typical story on why Wonder Woman can’t be brought to the screen but it’s also an example of how research echoes down the corridors of time:
Is that because men wouldn’t go to the box office to see a movie about a female superhero? Perhaps. And, making things worse, men are the majority of comic book readers. A whopping 93 percent of people buying comics are male, according to The Nielsen Company’s market research done for DC Comics in 2012. The study also found that only 5 percent of people buying comics are doing it for the first time and 2 percent are younger than 18.
§ BUT in a forward looking piece, Martha Thomases looks at how technology may affect comics reading demographics:
Girls with parents who give them tablets to play with in numbers greater than boys, and girls whose parents let them read books on tablets in greater numbers than boys will soon be girls who read comics on tablets in greater numbers than boys. They will provide a lucrative market for the kinds of comics girls like, and they won’t have to go into a comic book store to do so. If these girls are like other readers of e-books, they will enjoy reading books online, and then want to own physical books as well. Will comic book stores be able to deal with this?
§ Deadline previews this week’s E3 video game conference and looks back at various attempts to scale it back, even as the video game industry itself has declined:
All the hoopla comprises something of a return to the game industry’s heyday, say 10 years ago, when the expo was a noisy, massive, overwhelming beast that consumed the Los Angeles Convention Center for a week. It attracted tens of thousands of media and industry insiders, who faced something of a death march through game company “booths” costing millions of dollars, with dozens of often outlandishly attired staffers, followed by evening parties for 10,000 people featuring performers such as Beck and India.Arie. Then, a few years after the Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation 3 consoles were released in the early 2000s, technology shifts and a bad global economy turned the business upside down. One year, the expo even tried to save money by limiting booth sizes and audiences for a small event held in a Santa Monica hangar. Related: Next-Gen Xbox One Unveiled With Content Including Spielberg-Produced ‘Halo’ Series The resulting marketing debacle sent the industry scuttling back to the convention center and a bigger physical and mental footprint. Nonetheless, many now question whether there’s even a reason to buy an expensive next-gen game console, especially when you have to spend another $60 for a game. Instead, millions of players these days prefer to spend 99 cents for a quick-hit title they can play on their smart phone or tablet. Or they’re diving into a “free-to-play” game, perhaps on their Web browser, that makes its money with premium add-ons.
§ MAN OF STEEL premieres this week, and Kate Willaert created this fascinating infographic for HalloweenCostumes.Com on the evolution of Superman’s logo.
§ Finally–they really were thirsting for a comic con in Denver: official attendance at last weekend’s Denver Comic Con was 61,000!
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.