§ Gen Con, the big gaming convention was this weekend, and MTV Geek has all kinds of coverage including this new metal 10-sided dice, IRONDIE. Roll your saving throw now!
§ An anonymous cartoonist has been making videos critical of the Renton, WA police dept. and the police have struck back attempting to charge him with cyberstalkng:
The city is attempting to jail the cartoonist on charges of cyberstalking. First Amendment advocates have called the move an “extreme abuse of power.” “Some of the videos are incidents of misconduct, some are unsubstantiated, some are rumors, some are previous internal investigations that were found to be unfounded and some are just flat out untrue and lies,” Renton police Chief Kevin Milosevich said in a Thursday news conference. “I would rather err on the side of investigating all complaints (and) alleged criminal misconduct rather than risk failing to investigate a crime that’s been reported.”
The video in question would seem to be protected by the First Amendment according to some alarmed observers.
§ Brandon Graham is one of the signature genre cartoonists of the day, and now he has his own Comics Journal interview on the website. It’s looong, like it should be. Here’s a bit on the fun of drawing porn comics:
GRAHAM: Oh yeah. I really enjoyed how much fun I could have with comics and how I could do whatever I wanted. I think it was a lot better to get used to drawing comics doing porn as opposed to drawing superhero comics or whatever, because I had total freedom with storytelling as long as there was sex in it. I did a bunch of short stories for the Slipshine website. I did one about this guy who had a paper bag on his head. He had magic testicles that made it so he could ejaculate anything. It culminates in him getting kicked out of a convenience store for having sex on the counter with this girl, and he ejaculates the Eiffel Tower on top of the place. (Burns laughs.) It was just me being able to draw anything I want. Multiple Warheads came out of that period where I was just doing whatever I felt like, so if I wanted to do a Russian werewolf comic, as long as there were sex scenes in it, I could. It was really positive.
§ Tom Spurgeon interviews Brannon Costello who did a book of Howard Chaykin interviews,
COSTELLO: In Chaykin’s case, it’s less a matter of straddling the line between the commercial and artistic than it is of blurring that line. When he hit his stride as a writer/artist in the 1980s, Chaykin was able to use mainstream comics as a vehicle to communicate a distinct, individual perspective in an innovative, idiosyncratic visual style with a high level of formal and narrative sophistication. And he was able to do it over a fairly long stretch of time — not just as a one-off graphic novel or mini-series. It seems to me that his career is less about splitting his time between commercial and artistic work as it is about making the commercial world a place where you can do a type of personal art. I tend to think of artists like Krigstein and Kane as having struggled to achieve something similar and meeting limited success at best because of the constraints of the industry at the time. With rare exceptions, their achievements in comics were about finding ways to experiment with the form of comics as a visual medium with the fairly generic stories they worked with.
§ Suzette Chaninterviews Mike Mignola:
ST: You’re telling archetypal stories using iconic artwork. Was that a conscious choice? MM: It’s probably not an accident that I write a little bit like I draw. There are some guys who do very character driven comics [drawing the details of how they do things from day to day]. I tend to work on a more dramatic scale. When I started at Marvel, one of the other artists told me, “You’re trying to make every panel look like a Frank Frazetta painting.” The hardest thing for me to draw is the quiet, simple, dramatic stuff.
§ USA Today previews FEYNMAN the new bio-comic by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick:
“He almost made his life into a philosophy,” Ottaviani says. Feynman cultivated the image in his biographical books, Surely, You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman, and What Do You Care What Other People Think?, of an aw-shucks, guy from Queens, N.Y. But he was anything but ordinary. “Feynman tried things, drawing, playing the drums, cracking safes,” Ottaviani says. “If he liked them, he kept doing them. If he didn’t, he walked away.”
§ Jim Shooter’s blog is a must-read for his version of great historical events of comics. Recently he covered the ups and down of Howard the Duck, and now he covers the long-running poker game of the ’70s that featured Paul Levitz, Marty Pasko, and several other notables:
If Paul was losing, he’d excuse himself from a few hands, go into his office, write a page or two of the Legion, then return to the game, satisfied that the thirty bucks or so he’d just earned made him comfortably “up for the night” money-wise. Marty tried to do the same thing once, but it took him so long to write a page that he missed the rest of the game.
§ Disney is doing a movie called TUX based on Tuxedo Gin a manga by Tokihiko Matsuura, but it is not really a triumph for manga, but a triumph of an American movie studio’s obsession with penguins:
The graphic novel has that element, but there is also a gritty storyline. The protagonist is a young street fighter who falls into a coma and learns that he has lived his life so selfishly that he only has enough karma points to be reincarnated as an animal 15 pounds or less. Trapped in the body of a chin-strap penguin, he tries to overcome the humiliation and rack up enough good deeds to get his old body back and save the girl he loves.
§ Speculation that may haunt you: Who Would Play Cathy In A Live-Action Cathy Movie? .
Is Hollywood’s highest-grossing star a voice over actor? Has he played any penguins? via
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.