§ Good read: Sarah Glidden, the true journalist of comics, has a long, in depth look at Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. Told you the Nib was killing it.
§ This piece by Rosie Knight on Harley Quinn’s history is probably the BEST piece on this problematic yet beloved character that I’ve read.
Story has it that Harley was originally created to pop out of the aforementioned giant cake. In the finished episode it was the Joker who took that role as Harley enabled his escape, inadvertently giving the Joker his first sidekick—and creating a character whose reach and popularity no one at DC could have seen coming. It’s interesting to note that Harley was originally created in the pin-up mould, as it foreshadows the turbulent path and problematic treatment of the character in years to come.
To this day, Batman: The Animated Series remains my favourite representation of Batman. The addition of Harley in the first series was a complete revelation for me as a young girl who read comics and often related far more to the bad guys than the heroes. As an eight-year-old I saw a strong, funny, and smart woman in a world dominated by men. It would be much later that I realised how, for most of her formative years, those men defined her.
§ A fine primer on 30 Black Comic Book Writers You Should Know — there are a lot more than 30 but this is a good start.
§ Tim Seeley has gone exclusive with DC. But he’ll still be able to write Revival and Hack/Slash. Good going!
§ ON FB Stuart Moore revealed he’d written this Thanos: Death Sentence novel even though Amazon lists the writer as Marvel. Marvel does that a lot on Amazon.
§ Beat alum Todd Allen is getting back into fiction with a horror/mystery All The Dead Musicians, about why so many of our finest are dying. Great cover. (in joke.)
§ Chester Brown has started a Patreon and in typical Chester fashion he’s very clear about why:
I’m hoping this will provide me with a stable source of income while I work on my next graphic novel. Royalty income is up and down — sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s… not so good. And government arts grants are like lotteries. While I was grateful for the arts grants I received, the governmental system does not seem like an ideal method of supporting artists. As I understand it, the justification for governmental arts grants is that they replace the old system in which individuals would act as patrons for artists. Patreon, as an updated method of having individuals act as patrons of the arts, looks like it’s probably a better system than the governmental grants system. Keep in mind that I’m writing this as I first set up my Patreon profile — my opinion might change as my experience with the site unfolds.
The amount is pretty low now so let’s get going on this.
§ An oral history of Dark Horse Comics’ Secret Origins! I would love to see the longer transcript on this!
Bob Schreck, Dark Horse editor-marketing director, 1990-97 Mike Richardson had his dream. And, you know, he had this thing about horses. Pegasus was his comic-book store, and Dark Horse was, eventually, his comics-publishing empire and film division.
§ Oh so those stolen comics were returned and all is well with Rick Whitelock:
hello all… I am happy to confirm that my previously missing box of comics is now safely back in my possession. I am so thankful to the power of prayer! I want to thank God, my family and friends, the entire collecting community , the Tampa police department, the Tampa Con staff, as well as all media outlets that helped spread the word and give me positive support. It has been an unbelievably stressful and trying last 5 days, but I am so thankful at the end result. I feel truly blessed. Thank you, Rick Whitelock
PS: I’m going on “vacation” for the next week, but it’s a working vacation. Expect pictures of blue lobsters.
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.