§ Nice art: Brett Booth’s design for the new Wally West. More concept art for Donna Troy and other Teen Titans here.
§ 61-year-old JK Simmons gets jacked for his role as Jim Gordon in Justice League. In case you didn’t notice, he wore a lot of tight t-shirts as the sadistic drumming teacher in Whiplash, so this is appreciated.
§ Linework NW, Seattle’s indie comics show, which just wrapped its 2016 edition, will take 2017 off, but return in 2018.
§ David Harper goes long form again with The Creator-Owned Ideal: Looking at the Story Behind Chew as it Begins Its End where he looks at the origin and provenance of the long running Image comic, which is coming to an end very soon.
§ Laura Hudson reviews Paper Girls for Slate
Paper Girls evokes a similar thrill as many of the best kids’ films of the ’80s: Instead of looking at childhood through a rosy, sanitized lens, it makes being 12 feel exactly as dangerous and exciting as it truly is. There’s a frisson of excitement in the swear words and threats and unsupervised moments of childhood, a sense of being both invincible and intensely vulnerable. The story features smoking, swearing, and fighting, drunk step-parents, and a handgun that makes its way into the hands of our young protagonists. Mac and her friends aren’t “nice” girls, per se—or rather, they aren’t captive to the tyranny of niceness that so often constricts female characters, particularly young ones. Instead, they bristle and crackle with a transgressive spark, riding through the empty streets, smoking cigarettes, and chattering on walkie-talkies before the sun comes up. It’s a vision of adolescent freedom that feels both exhilarating and somewhat alien in the era of the helicopter parent. “We were this generation of latchkey kids,” said Vaughan. “We were the last generation, I think.”
Speaking of Paper Girls, issue #6 which just hit stands, has gone back to press. People like this comic.
§ Marvel gets many props for having more representation in their comics, but as Kate Tanski shows, sometimes they flub it up, too as with Civil War II, when Black Panther writer Ta-Nehisi Coates warned them that killed off a prominent black character in the first issues wasn’t that cool, but they did it anyway because…they know what they are doing.
§ Indigenous writer James Leask looks at Marvel’s recent treatment of indigenous characters and finds it similarly lacking:
However, recent issues of some of Marvel’s comics forced a realization in me separate from these critiques: despite having multiple books including indigenous characters, the company does not appear concerned with presenting indigenous characters as people. Instead, they are often treated as objects — either narrative or literal.
Leask takes issue with the the use of “Redskins” in Vision #4, a scene which writer Tom King intended to highlight the kind of issues Leask was talking about, but it doesn’t appear to have hit the mark.
§ BTW, if you think these kinds of discussions are going to fade away with time, they aren’t. Nor should they.
§ Also from The Outhouse, a look at that Apocalypse strangling Mystique billboard that got taken down:
While I didn’t initially see what the issue with the billboards was, I stopped to think about the image in a completely different context: instead of Apocalypse, a villain, choking out Mystique, the face of X-Men to showcase his threat… I thought of it as an image of a man choking the life out of a woman to advertise the film. Now thinking of the serious problems of domestic violence and violence against women, especially given that I help out with an organization that helps bring awareness to victims of domestic violence (Hunks4Hope), it would be extremely distasteful to see an image of a woman – lets say she isn’t blue – being beat up by a man as a form of selling a film. It is unfortunate that many people fail to at least TRY to understand instead of being offended that others are offended about something. I personally felt a little annoyed at myself for originally being rather flippant of a woman’s reaction and feelings towards this.
I don’t have any problem with female heroes getting a drubbing when it’s part of the heroic comeback storyline, but without any context, the violence against Mystique does seem questionable.
§ Chip Zdarsky will include actress Lea Thompson, who played Beverly in the Howard the Duck movie as a supporting character in the current comic. It’s a torus, people:
Thompson makes her Marvel Comics debut playing herself in Howard the Duck #8 in a story that harkens back to her role as Howard’s girlfriend Beverly in the 1986 movie that was executive produced by George Lucas. “My career goes into a 100 different directions, and I embrace them all,” Thompson tells The Hollywood Reporter. “They asked me to appear in the comic and I was like, ‘Sure, why not?’ ”
§ Continuing on the Celebrities invade comics track, Ethan Hawke talks about Indeh, the graphic novel he produced with artist Greg Ruth
As a huge comic person, I was really surprised by how moved I was by Indeh.
That means a lot. Greg Ruth is a majorly gifted individual. He is as steeped inside the world of graphic novels and comics and that kind of art as a person really can be. I have just learned so much from him. I feel so proud of his work and just to be working with him.
I’ll be looking forward to James Leask’s view of Indeh, which deals with the Apache Wars, Geronimo, and Naiche, son of Cochis.
INDEH on the TONIGHT SHOW @ 11:30 pic.twitter.com/n4HjNXzCrJ
— Greg Ruth (@GregRuth) June 7, 2016
§ Hawke hit the tonight show to talk about his graphic novel. And he’s appearing with Ruth on Thursday at the Union Square Barnes & Noble for a signing.
§ Can we all agree? Kelly Thompson is one of the best new talents in comic books
§ Roz Chast describes her childhood home and environs:
We lived in a small apartment on the second floor. I hated my bedroom. It was jammed with oversized furniture from my uncle’s furniture store, and my bedroom window faced the brick wall of a church. My father, George, was a French and Spanish high-school teacher. My mother, Elizabeth, was an assistant principal at an elementary school, which meant she was the enforcer. She was supertough and proud of it. My mother was the kind of person you wanted in a crisis. She wasn’t afraid of anybody. She had a fierce temper and could go from normal to bats in seconds. I still don’t know how to get mad fast.
§ Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams has decided that he must support Hillary for president, becauseotherwise his life might be in danger because of potential violence towards Trump supporters.
§ Cartoonist Jimmie Robinson talks about dealing with depression, both personally and artistically. It’s a painful read, but seeing how so many others deal with these issues can help other who suffer from the same problems.
§ Finally, a review of Officer Downe, this year’s indie comics film. It sounds pretty darned psychotropic.
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.