§ The New York Press is shutting down, although it will continue on as the arts section in a new free weekly newspaper. The death of an alternative newspaper is hardly news in this day, but in the ’90s, the Press was a huge outlet for comics and cartoonists, including Tony Millionaire, Danny Hellman, Charles Burns, Mark Newgarden, Ward Sutton, Kaz, Ted Rall, and many other stalwarts of the weekly strip scene. Paying a decent rate for illustrations, the Press helped many an artist make a living…a simple, straightforward system that doesn’t exist any more.
§ The LA Times profiles this weekend’s D23 Expo Disney-themed Comic-con, where Marvel will be integrated into the Disney Machine as never before.
The three-day consumer event at the Anaheim Convention Center, which begins Friday, will feature star-studded panel discussions, presentations on theme park attractions and first-look footage from upcoming films and TV shows, a formula borrowed from Comic-Con International, the annual San Diego pop-culture extravaganza. Disney used that template for its first D23 Expo in September 2009, the same year that the company bought Marvel Entertainment for $4.24 billion. Now, for this second edition, Marvel heroes like Iron Man and Captain America will be part of the presentations.
Anaheim Convention Center, eh? That place is getting more and more popular. The piece has some ideas of attendance and scope:
The first D23 Expo (the name alludes to 1923, when Walt Disney arrived in Southern California) was far smaller than Comic-Con — Disney officials put the attendance at 40,000, although some insiders say it was barely half that number. But this time around, the growth of the namesake D23 fan club and wider public awareness of the event have set the stage for a bigger turnout. Steven Clark, the head of the D23 club, said that tickets — which cost $47 for adults and $37 for children each day — have been sold in 48 states and 19 countries.
§ Anders Nilsen gets a suitably lyrical profile in the Chicago Tribune:
Because nothing feels quite complete about Nilsen. His apartment, for instance, is a minor shrine to the lonesome and discarded: There’s a tree limb from Door County, Wis., missing most of the mushrooms that once clung on its side like a flight of stairs; rocking horses found in the alley behind his house; a model airplane; a Bugs Bunny water pistol missing an ear. The toys, he explained, he started collecting in college. He thinks of them as “orphaned.” He pulled a black wooden case from a closet and snapped open the latches; a mess of trinkets spilled out, looking as though they had been found in a field after a natural disaster. A Spider-Man arm, half a dinosaur, the other half, a car melted down along one side, a scorched teddy bear.
§ Did SpongeBob artist Todd White hire martial arts experts to silence a gallery owner while he stole $1 million in artwork? Probably not:
White, who also created designs for The Coca-Cola Co. and acted as the official artist for the 2007 Grammy Awards, has an entirely different version of the story.
He says he had been conducting an investigation for two months and uncovered massive fraud at the gallery. He accused Howell of forging his signature on at least four pieces, and copying the work of other artists.
§ The crew at Newsarama offers “Unsolicited Advice for THE NEW 52, and while some of it is pretty specific — give WildStorm its due! — some is so universal — more comics for kids, teens and women, digital original for experimentation — that you have to wonder why the advice even needs to be given.
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.