§ As expected, JONAH HEX did not do well at the box office, with a very modest take of $5 million. The poor showing brought on an unusual amount of analysis:
As one Warner Bros exec said about the lesson learned; “You don’t take a handsome actor and disgfigure him.” The studio is so embarrassed that it took great pains to points out that the pic was greenlighted before Diane Nelson took over as DC Entertainment prez. About the cowboy with the disfigured face and legend that he can’t be killed, a minor character in the DC Comics galaxy of stars, Jonah Hex was attempted on the cheap.
In fact it’s kind of become legend:
Why Hex was Cursed: Where to begin with the Josh Brolin bomb? A film with a horribly disfigured leading man, directed by a live-action neophyte, troubled by reshoots, and marketed like the studio couldn’t quite commit to admitting it existed. Result? A supernatural Western comic book movie that was rejected by occultists, fans of Westerns, action movies, comic books and Josh Brolin alike. Warner Bros. might have invented the first no-quadrant movie.
§ Johanna Draper Carlson finds that the Archie comics website is the very last place she found an Archie cover she was Googling for, and wonders if file upload sites will soon be targeted by comics companies on their continuing campaign to root out the pirates. Before Archie’s site, the follwoing links came up, she notes:
* three sites that search file upload sites (such as Rapidshare and Hotfile) for the comic and provide direct download links
* one torrent site (that doesn’t actually have the book)
* two links to well-optimized online comic stores
* one shopping comparison site that wants to send me to TFAW.com to buy it
* two digital comic sites (Comixology and iFanboy) that gave me the Previews solicit and cover image; the first also had preview pages and also wanted me to buy from TFAW.com. Dark Horse may not have much in the way of digital comics yet, but they sure know how to promote their online store.
§ Tom Spurgeon interviews Gene Luen Yangm who talks about lots of things:
Well, there are expectations in that more than my mom and my cartoonist friends read my comics now. To be honest, I do feel some pressure. I think a lot of it comes from the advance system that the book industry uses, that the comics industry is slowly adopting. Not to complain about the money that a publisher is willing to invest in me, but with money comes pressure. If you make a sucky mini-comic, nothing really prevents you from making your next mini-comic. If I lose a lot of money for my publisher, I don’t know… I can’t imagine them wanting to continue giving me advances.
§ We didn’t cover the passing of Al Williamson in nearly as much depth as we should have, but tributes are still rolling in, like Rick Veitch’s account of the making of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK adaptation:
Carlos was a master at getting the tech details of the Millennium Falcon and Star Destroyers to perfection. But both he and Al were having trouble envisioning the Imperial Walkers that showed up in the script. Lucas Film had only sent two grainy polaroids of the model used to create the scenes in the movie. Al was fretting so I offered to try and make sense of it with some sketches. I’d worked as a mechanic in my early years and had a reasonable familiarity with how machinery worked. I spent an hour or two figuring out how the thing would have to function and what the parts we couldn’t see in the photos might look like. Al was so delighted he put me to work penciling the Walkers throughout the whole sequence. When the film came out we were delighted to see we’d somehow caught the whole flavor of the Walker attack as staged by director, Irving Kirshner.
§ The NY Times had an obituary for Williamson.
§ Profiles of G. Willow WIlson keep on coming, like this one in The Boston Globe.
§ A librarian explains her reaction to some disturbing comics content:
And then there’s the more disturbing issue of rape scenes that aren’t unsettling enough. I was reading a graphic novel yesterday that included two rape scenes. While they weren’t graphic, something about the art was so pulpy–the woman’s clothing clinging to her breasts in artistic shreds, her mouth a perfect “o”–that I couldn’t get the images out of my head. They were sexy rape scenes. The more I thought about it, the more angry I was.
§ Another librarian, Robin Brenner, looks at what adult women are reading in libraries:
When I speak to women patrons in my library about comics, they are clearly interested in titles aimed at them. I’ve let them know I do the buying for the graphic novel section. As a result, a few women, from their twenties to their fifties, now approach me to request titles from creators like Lucy Knisley, Marjane Satrapi, Rutu Modan, Posy Simmonds, Alison Bechdel, and Hope Larson. They request the giant multi-creator Tori Amos comics anthology Comic Book Tattoo. They get excited when they see our collection has josei (women’s) manga series including Yayoi Ogawa’s Tramps Like Us and Fumi Yoshinaga’s All My Darling Daughters. Many young women gravitate toward the yaoi titles we collect, relishing the romance, and I’ve had a number of requests for more titles from both women and one young gay fan.
[ LInk via Tom Mason
§ Nerdlebrity corner: This really is sweet.
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.