§ Well that Boston Comic Con looks like it was fun.
§ Sue at DCWKA notes that this week two female writers debuted at DC: Marguerite Bennett wrote the BATMAN ANNUAL #2 and Nicole Dubuc wrote a Flash back-up making her the first woman to write a Flash story.
§ This is a bit convoluted, but writer Jeremy Holt (After Houdini, released digitally) tweeted that he didn’t believe in paying artists on creator-owned work upfront, which led to pushback from Joe Keatinge and Erica Moen, and the linked post on Robot 6, and more in the comments. Holt himself responded with a bit more:
When I first started out, I paid an artist out of pocket. After 40 pages, he stopped returning my emails, and my book hit a dead end. I had invested my time, effort, and three months’ rent for absolutely nothing. My artist, on the other hand, had made $2400 and suffered no consequences for breaking our contract.
Now, I know that this was one artist out of a million, and he is not representative of all the other conscientious, hard-working artists out there. However, the experience made me realize that I want artists to be every bit as invested in outcomes as I am. I want them to agonize over dialogue and layout and pacing just as much as I do. That way, if we are so fortunate as to have our work recognized by a publisher or even a movie studio, the artist will own half of the rights. If our comic turns into the next Walking Dead, then we are sitting on a beach sipping Mai Tais together, and if our book languishes unpublished, then we cry into our beers together.
I doubt this system would work for everyone—Holt has a day job and most artists don’t have that second—or first—income but there are so many models these days…Holt does share profits 50/50, so it’s working for the backend. There are no hard and fast rules except DON’T DO WORK FOR HIRE FOR A BACKEND. That’s just stupid.
§ Speaking of money and getting paid and all that, in this interview, Len Wein mentions getting some movie money, more for Lucius Fox in the Batman movies, and “a nice check” for the latest Wolverine movie from Marvel. Just who gets what on what characters they created for all those comic books movies is also a matter with many models, some of them sucky. And neither Wein nor Chris Claremont got a “thank you” credit on THE WOLVERINE, which is definitely sucky.
§ Nathanial Cook sent along his appreciation of cartoonist Chris Reynolds, whose work I had never heard of. Always good to learn of a new cartoonist!
First up is Chris Reynolds (of England), creator of what could be loosely termed the “Mauretania Universe.” His stories all seem to take place there, whether they explicitly state it or not. Now there’s a real country in Africa called Mauritania, but Reynolds’ Mauretania is a decidedly different place (Mauretania was also apparently an independent tribal kingdom in ancient Libya, and the namesake for two Cunard-made ocean liners, FYI). Reynolds’ Mauretania is an off-kilter, edgy, and dream-like setting, a mix of lost bucolic past and downbeat retro future. Logic, as we understand it, doesn’t apply there: characters act and events occur for reasons that don’t make sense in our world.
§ Sparkplug Books is periodically highlighting some of their books; first up, Mardou’s Sky in Stereo, about a teenage girl living in Manchester in 1993.
§ And PictureBox is having a big sale until August 14th. Check it out.
§ Tom Spurgeon made a list of cartoonists and the ages at which they started out. Some will be depressed to learn, for instance, that Dave Sim was only 21 when CEREBUS #1 came out.
§ John Jakala rarely blogs any more, but when he does it’s usually worth reading. Here he looks at various hiccups and annoyances with various digital comics releases.
§ J. Caleb Mozzocco analyzed a Superman comics-themed endcap at his local bookstore, but ended up learning that perhaps the universe was more random than he’s anticipated:
It wasn’t until I’d spent a few hours over the course of a few evenings working on the post below that I realized that maybe, just maybe, the guiding principle of the display was simply “A bunch of Superman books that will fill up the display,” and that the folks who filled it might not have been super-familiar with each of the items on it, nor were they operating under orders from their corporate headquarters or from suggestions made by DC or Warner Brothers.
Our favorite [art exhibit] was the phenomenal exhibition, Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes. Daniel Clowes is an acclaimed graphic novelist and cartoonist and regularly contributes cover work for The New Yorker. I admit, I had never heard of him before. Some of my favorite books are graphic novels (Maus: A Survivor’s Tale and Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty) so I was intrigued by Daniel Clowes.
§ Movie korner: Turns out that very few superhero movies are made in Hollywood! Maybe that is because…VERY FEW SUPERHEROES LIVE IN HOLLYWOOD. The only exceptions I can think of: Hancock and Iron Man.
§ Marvel/Disney released a poster for the SHIELD TV show, and Joss Whedon explained his involvement:
“I’m reading every script, every story, and giving notes and re-writes,” Whedon says. “I just can’t be in the room every day. The group I have [including showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen] shares this hard-to-convey idea of how I want the show to feel.” As for directing more episodes beyond the pilot, that’s off the table for the near term. “I don’t think it will happen again for the next couple years, because I’m getting behind another camera in another country,” he says, presumably referring to his Avengers 2 commitment
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.