§ Important reading: Maki Naro drew this informativecomic about the Zika virus for Fusion explaining how it disproportionately affects the poor.
§ Here at The Beat, there is nothing we love more than a juicy Day 2 story, as in, something made the headlines, but here’s what really happened next. Such is the case with the theft/misplacement of $85,000 in old comics at the Tampa Bat Comic Con. Retailer Rick Whitelock discovered that a box containing such desirable back issues as two copies of Amazing Fantasy #15 went missing when he was unloading boxes to the show. After the theft was given wide publicity, Whitelock says a “Mysterious caller” contacted him and promised to return the comics. :
He said the man told him he wasn’t sure how he’d ended up with the box containing such rarities as Amazing Fantasy No. 15,Uncanny X-Men No. 1 and Incredible Hulk No. 1, but realized the mistake while later unloading his own boxes after the convention. Whitelock told police the man said it was possible he or a helper had picked up the wrong box.
The mysterious caller won’t drop off the box, as he wants to remain anonymous, but is instead sending the books back via….FedEx, a service which prides itself on accurate tracking, which seems a bit counter-productive, but, Whitelock just wants his comics back. “Until those books are in my possession, I won’t feel better,” he told the Tampa Bay Times.”I haven’t slept in three days. I’ve lost seven pounds. I just want some peace.”
§ Associate editor Hannah Means-Shannonis leaving Dark Horse after only 9 months, :
I’ve been working as Associate Editor at Dark Horse for 9 months, having moved to Portland, Oregon, from New Jersey to take up that position. In that time, I’ve worked on over 30 projects, had many books come out onto the market that I’m very proud of, and worked with some wonderful people, from fellow editors to comic creators. It’s been a huge time of growth in my understanding of the publishing industry and the mechanics of comics storytelling.
However, in that time, my husband and I have been living bi-coastal while he went through a job search process, and despite having a number of interviews, he hasn’t been able to secure a job that suits his skill-set in the area. For that reason, we stretched our budget as long as we could, but are having to make a geographical decision for a job change.
Sometimes these are just the practical factors we face in life. I’m really pleased to have experienced the Pacific Northwest through travel, culture, and great friends, and to have learned so much during this time.
The equation of finding a job and maintaining living wages is a harsh one, and its a shame that Hannah has to give up a job she loved doing, but I’m sure she’ll land somewhere else.
§ Actor Scott Eastwood teamed up with a tech company, I think Samsung, to make a 360ª video of his Comic-Con experiences. I can’t embed the video, but to make it required footage of Eastwood taking a shower, so this is perhaps the best Comic-Con video ever. It also has footage of the great Celebrity Tunnel where stars are shuttled about in golf carts. We judge this film 16.000 with NO deductions.
§ The kids over at Comics Workbook are always doing fun stuff, and the CW Roller Derby team has redrawn an entire Love and Rockets story starring Maggie and Hopey. And Izzy Reubens. I guess this is one of my all time favorite comics pages, as is every page of Love and Rockets.
— Michel Fiffe (@MichelFiffe) August 4, 2016
§ Meg Lemke interviewed the Island crew of Brandon Graham and Emma Rios for the Paris review. If only Graham spoke his mind more:
There’s a weird responsibility in putting someone on this stage. Many of the underground cartoonists of the sixties were guys who were part of the drug culture, who said, Let’s just put as much sexual, racist, whatever images down on paper. They weren’t afraid, but they were also kind of gross and worked without any responsibility. It’s exciting to me to publish cartoonists who are trying to be adults, people I am proud to be published alongside. At the same time, if you do something objectionable, you’re not dead to us. Art can be about failure. Island is a place where we can try out things and fuck up and say, Let’s try better next time. Let’s fail better.
§ Someone has finally compared Paper Girls and ‘Stranger Things’ for HuffPo, after it was done on twitter about 80,000 times.
§ I still haven’t seen Stranger Things. Maybe when I’m on vakay next week. Somehow I’m avoiding spoilers, I think.
§ Someone also finally made a list of “10 far-out space comics from Image” – SF is a very very common genre at Image from Saga to Bitch Planet with stops for Drifter and Descender. And that’s not even getting into more social SF like Invisible Republic. But the twist is that ALL THESE BOOKS ARE GOOD.
§ It came out recently that J. Michael Straczynski has retired from comics, partly due to a vision problem which has, thankfully been healed, but it makes for a harrowing tale:
“Where I had once been able to turn out three or four comics per month in addition to whatever else I was writing, now I struggled to write even one comic per month, and sometimes failed to get even that much done,” Straczynski wrote. “Some who followed my work assumed that the slowdown was due to a sloppy work ethic, or getting bored and waddling off. But the truth was that I simply couldn’t see the computer screen. As it was, the only way I could read what I was writing was to use huge white type on a black screen … I literally could only work with about a dozen words on screen at a time, rather than a hundred or more per screen.”
It’s first issue is a blast of a comic that’s funny and action packed. It’s also, as described by the solicit text, “queer as shit.” What put Kim & Kim on my own radar was the fact that Magdalene Vissagio is a trans woman and I have never seen a comic of this size in the industry with a trans woman as one of the creators. In fact, all of the creators are woman including the editor, Katy Rex. That was an important moment for me as a trans femme and a fledging writer of and about comics. We can make it. Trans people don’t have to be stuck in our own corner of the industry, making only webcomics and zines that we pass amongst ourselves. We do no have to be a subculture within comics; we can be a part of the culture of comics. What made it even better was the fact that both Kims of the book’s title are queer. Kim Quattro is transgender and Kim Dantzler is bisexual. Being both of those things myself, I remember wanting to cry when I heard about that. Never have I seen a comic book hit the mainstream press with a trans woman and a bisexual woman as the lead characters. This pushed Kim & Kim from an important book in my eyes to something genuinely industry-changing.
§ Well there had to be ONE: ‘The Dark Knight’ Star Cillian Murphy Uninterested In Comic Book Films
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.