§ I don’t often run Kickstarter checks, but I see Mike Dawson’s Rules for Dating my Daughter kickstarter is nearly fully funded after only a few days! Granted it was a pretty modest goal, but I’m glad to see a book of indie non fiction comics get this much support. Also, Mike, I told ya: Serialize on the internet!
§ I was amused by this profile of D. Piddy, the popular Deadpool cosplayer whose true identity remains a seekrit, written by Joshua Rivera:
“I mess around with people. I try to stay in character,” Piddy told Tech Insider via email. “It got on Reddit, and I liked what people said about what I did, so I kept doing it. As for my name … I wanted to call myself ‘something Deadpool’ (like LA Deadpool and Dancepool came to mind) since that’s the character I was most known for, but I didn’t want to use ‘Deadpool, in case I wanted to cosplay something else (also, the name “Deadpool” wasn’t mine, it’s Marvel’s, and I wanted to be me). Still, I wanted something kind of to do with Deadpool. I saw a Variant cover with Deadpool wearing a do-rag that said D. Pooly, and I thought that was cool, but I just changed it to D-Piddy.”
§ I was also touched by this Area Man Introduces Young Children to Charles Addams story.
For the last 11 summers, Mr. Spacek has taught a workshop inspired by Mr. Addams at the Bridgehampton Museum. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the group of students—nearly a dozen during the week of August 10—gathered around the cartoonist and his large sketchpad as he taught them the Addams technique, focusing on using light boxes, ink and different types of pens. And at the end of the week, the class took a trip to the Addams estate in Sagaponack, where the students compared their own cartoons to the master’s. Even if the specific technique does not resonate with the students, Mr. Spacek, who cartoons for The East Hampton Star, said he encourages them to keep drawing, realistically, without any sense of disillusionment. “I want them to know that we don’t just sit down and create some great cartoon,” he explained. “There are a lot of steps. So, I’m kind of trying to take the magic, or the voodoo, out of it a little bit.”
§ And heartened to see that the great multi-media artist Gary Lieb had a cool gig doing the animated titles for the film American Ultra, which stars Jesse Eisenberg as an indie cartoonist who gets embroiled. He doesn’t get embroiled in things, he just get embroiled. Any way, Lieb:
The animated credits sequence has been singled out by numerous reviewers, with some calling it a “major highlight” and the “most creative and witty part of the entire film.” Variety even went so far as to write: “Only at the end, with completely off-the-wall animated closing credits that embrace the film’s latent surreality, do we finally get a glimpse of what American Ultra has been aching to become.” If the credits capture the raw energy and style of an indie cartoonist of the type that Eisenberg portrays in the film, that’s because it was created by an indie cartoonist and filmmaker: Manhattan-based Gary Leib, who directed and animated the piece singlehandedly.
§ At SDCC, Patrick Reed sat down with Grant Morrison to talk about Morrison taking over the editing of Heavy Metal magazine. It’s still Morrison just riffing on all sorts of ideas, but it also fun to jump into orison’s head space.
§ And speaking of magazines, Johanna Draper Carlson looks at the latest print magazine about comics, ACE, which seems to have come and gone with only four issues published:
“ACE” stands for “All Comics Evaluated”, and the magazine promised both interviews and reviews of current material as well as a price guide. It debuted in March, and it was monthly after that — until May, when issue #3 was published. No issues have followed, although issue #4 was solicited for June 17 (APR15 2030); issue #5 for July 15 (MAY15 1843); and issue #6 for August 19 (JUN15 1771). The Twitter account stopped updating in early July, and the website is even more out of date. One regretfully assumes that ACE couldn’t make a go of it. I say regretfully, because it was an attractive, well-laid-out publication that talked about a range of today’s comics. It was also a hybrid, aiming to attract those who read comics and those who collected them, audiences that no longer have much in common. And the inclusion of the price guide may have doomed the publication. I’m guessing that’s why the magazine shipped bagged, so you couldn’t flip through it on the shelf. Price guides often don’t want to give their data away for free, but preventing people from looking through a new magazine makes it easy to skip purchasing, because you’re expecting them to buy blind.
I pretty much agree with everything Johanna said above. I got the first issue of Ace and thought it was a good debut. Publisher Jon B. Cooke, who is a multiple Eisner award winner for his books and magazines, even dropped me a line the other day asking if I would write something about it. I said I would but what with this and that…ye gods that email was in MAY. I’m sorry Jon, but I doubt my praise could have done much to get people to read in print again. I know Bleeding Cool magazine is still going on, but I have never read a copy and only sighted it infrequently and I’ve never heard any one say “Wow I read IN Bleeding Cool that Tom Brevoort puts his pants on one leg at a time!” TwoMorrows keeps putting out it’s extremely well researched Nostalgia magazines, but I think they play to their base pretty well. A few of you reading this may remember Comic Foundry the last attempt at a comics magazine; edited by Tim Leong (now Art Director at EW) and Laura Hudson (now a respected journalist at many places) It ran from, I think 2005 to 2009, was beautiful written and designed and helped cement for a few the mainstream non superhero comics esthetic. Let’s face it, you don’t need to buy a magazine to read a kajillion interviews with comics creators, or even long articles about comics history. Or casting news or anything else. I think you could put out a print magazine again if it was extremely curated and designed and probably had some comics, but it would absolutely be a niche product. Magazines on tablets never really took off (although Russell Willis at Sequential put out an occasional magazine via his app that I liked reading.) So yeah, I’m sorry ACE didn’t make it.
§ BUT MEANWHILE FREE COMICS! Who need to buy a magazine when you can read free comics all the time, all day?
—JUMP ON BOARD the great Hellboy in Hell with the entire first issue via Polygon
––And a little while ago, EW ran the whole first issue of WYTCHES by Scott Snyder and Jock.
So yeah free comics for the last Summer Friday. (Thanks to David Hyde for the links.)
§ Finally, they are re-releasing The Iron Giant, one of Brad Bird’s early masterpieces, in a remastered version for a little bit this fall and they made an awesome new trailer! If you know and lovwe The Iron Giant you will start to cry just thinking of the end. If you have yet to discover this classic…I envy you.
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.