§ Nice Art: A Kickstarter for a reprint of Trina Robbins adaptation of Sax Rohmer’s Dope is currently running. It’s nearly at its goal but let’s push it over this fine Monday morning, what say?
§ You may think that Brie Larson’s twitter won the internet this weekend, but I think it’s this instagram movie from sometimes comics writer Jesse Blaze Snider about his fourth child arriving while Snider was trying to drive his wife to the hospital. It happens. Hope that all are doing well!
§ But Brie Larson’s picture of her boning up on her Captain Marvel in her Captain Marvel PJs runs a close second. This is how you do it, nerdlebrity Oscar winners.
§ Well, this is odd and disturbing. The Tampa Bay Times reports that retailer Rick Whitelock had a box of valuable comics stolen while exhibiting at Tampa Bay Comic Con. The box was left locked up inside the convention center over night and on Friday morning he found that a box containing CGC two copies of Amazing Fantasy No. 15 and many other valuable Silver Age comics was missing.
“I’m sick over it,” Whitelock said. “In more than a decade of doing this at more than 100 shows, I’ve never had anything like this happen. I don’t know if someone stole them, or picked up the wrong box by accident while we were unloading, or if I misplaced them somehow, but this is a very unique set of books that is definitely not going to go unnoticed if someone has it, especially not around here.”
…Other books in the missing box include an Amazing Spider-ManNo. 1 priced at $8,500, an Incredible Hulk No. 1 priced at $14,995, an Uncanny X-Men No. 1 valued at around $7,000 and a copy ofBrave and the Bold No. 28 rated at 7.5, which Whitelock was selling for $15,000. That last one features the first appearance of the Justice League team made up of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and The Flash.
The comics were insured, and Whitelock is working with the show to try to find what happened. I’ve often wondered about securing valuable collectibles at shows over night as comics notoriety grows, and I guess more security is another thing for cons to worry about.
§ This story is even more disturbing. Someone playing Pokemon Go was shot and killed in San Francisco.
According to FOX news, the shooter did not attempt to rob Riley, and it was unclear if the attack has anything to do with Pokemon Go. There have been previous reports of Pokemon Go players being robbed or attacked, as they were preoccupied with the game. A member of Riley’s family has set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for Riley’s funeral expenses. The Go Fund Me page notes that Riley was shot randomly while playing Pokemon Go and “taken by a coward who wanted to shoot up a poké stop.”
I was out and about in Queens (!) the other night and an entire street corner was taken up by people playing; hanging out, having a good time. Horrifying to think someone would want to bring violence to this fun, peaceful activity.
§ A few SDCC stories are still drifting around out there, like walking around with Margaret Atwood:
“Oh, there’s Gandalf!” Margaret Atwood says in the closest her soft alto voice gets to a shout, pointing at a costumed nerd with a staff and a wizard’s hat. She’s on the floor of the annual Day-Glo carnival–slash–trade show that is Comic-Con International: San Diego, and the 76-year-old author is surprisingly calm among the hordes. “You’re a big Lord of the Rings fan, right?” I ask her. She turns, gives a quarter-smile, lightly punches me on the shoulder, and says, “Ask me anything.” Before I can, she launches into a miniature lecture on the 19th-century literary roots of Tolkien’s epic. “I’m the person who’s seen all the movies and can tell you, in one scene, one of the characters has a wristwatch on.”
§ Also from Vulture, a glowing review of Sheriff of Babylon from a veteran:
Sheriff of Babylon, written by Tom King, illustrated and colored by Mitch Gerads, and published in July by DC imprint Vertigo, is, in my opinion, the most comprehensive war fiction of our generation. It’s a political story. It’s an unmasking of violence. It’s a noir mystery. It’s a complex rendering of an entire ecosystem of squalor, hope, and delusion. It’s also accessible and, almost as a bonus, very cool. If you put a John le Carré novel, season five of The Wire, and Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s masterly nonfiction expose Imperial Life in the Emerald City into a blender, what would come out would resemble Sheriff of Babylon.
§ I had this in my queue for a while: Get To Know ‘World of Wakanda’ Co-Writer Roxane Gay
Roxane Gay is one of the most exciting people I can imagine writing for Marvel Comics, especially among writers who have never written a comic before. But it also raises the question of why Marvel feels it has to venture outside the field of comics to find black women to hire as writers. Bringing in Roxane Gay and Yona Harvey will get headlines, and it will hopefully result in great comics. But there are many black women already making comics, and it’s a shame that Marvel doesn’t currently seem interested in hiring them as well. But again, I don’t mean to take anything away from Roxane Gay, and her potential to write an excellent comic about the Midnight Angels. As a bisexual woman, she brings a perspective to Ayo and Aneka that Ta-Nehisi Coates, as a straight man, does not have. While I’m less familiar with Yona Harvey’s work, I look forward to learning more about her, as well as reading her Zenzi story.
§ In the rush of Suicide Squad news, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti get the prized “area couple” treatment! Clearwater couple brings Harley Quinn to life in DC comics
§ But what does an editor DO? Sometimes they persuade Gene Luen Yang to create a new character:
You’ve been writing Superman for a while now, going back to the main book. Was the creation of Kenan Kong always a goal you were working on?
Yang: No. It wasn’t my idea to create a Chinese Superman. It was actually Jim Lee’s idea. When they first pitched it to me, I was like “No, I do not want to touch that. There’s no way I want to do that.” Because Superman is like Truth, Justice, and the American Way, right? And with modern China, with the nuances of modern Chinese politics and modern Chinese culture, it felt like there was a bunch of landmines.
So what made you decide to go ahead and tap-dance through the landmines?
Yang: I flew down to Burbank and had a meeting with Jim Lee and another meeting with Geoff Johns and the character started forming in my head. He started talking to me and I felt like, “I’ve got to do this.”
§ Tucker Stone celebrates his 10 years in comics with a candid interview:
Most of it was shitting the bed. Jokes are hard to do all the time. I lost the plot a lot and went too long, it became too performative. I wish I could meet that guy who did it all in two to three sentences. I’ve taken some reviews down in the last few years, but only because I found out the people/person who made the book was a particularly terrible chicken hawk motherfucker and I wanted to do my own little bit of fuck you to them, to their work. I still notice spelling and grammar mistakes and dropped words, which is the casualty of being your own editor, I try to fix those and maybe someday I’ll be more constructive and specific. But if I had to do it again, I imagine it would be the same as it was.
§ I also found this interesting: Remember The Fangirls: The Commercialization of the Her Universe Fashion Show
§ Yet another very disturbing thing, but not in a violent, crimey way.
§ Just in case I never get around to posting my SDCC pictures, this piece describes the happy mood at this year’s con.
§ Paul Gravett talks to Blutch, a cartoonist we should all know more about.
§ These photos from the 2016 Eisner Awards have been getting a lot of play in case you missed them.
§ Finally, Howard Chaykin is always blunt and here’s blunt talk about his career:
OM: But for me, and my generation, you will be remembered. And not just for Star Wars, but for your work on American Flagg!
HC: That may be. But, I can tell you now that 90% of the comic enthusiast out there today will only remember me for Star Wars, which had poisoned my career. Star Wars has sold countless millions and millions of copies and reprints over the years, while Flagg hasn’t; not by a long-shot. I’m not the sort of guy that does the work that comic book fans necessarily respond to, I’m just not and I understand that. Basically because when I started my career I wasn’t that good. By the time I was good, I just didn’t want to create the sort of work that would generate the sort of commercial portfolio that would be good for me. I just wasn’t interested. I had to find other avenues for my skill set, which I did, but at the time I wasn’t aware that I would be locking myself out of the mainstream.
I know everyone who read American Flagg! when it came out found it as prescient a view of future America as ever penned. Although it’s dated, it’s still worth discussing, I hope. Too bad it doesn’t have the shelf life of some other comics from the time, although that’s probably because the rights were tangled for so long and it went out of print for a long time. I see Image put out a collection of the first few issues in 2009, and that’s still available, as is a second volume, although the material isn’t quite as strong.
Are Watchmen, The Killing Joke and Dark Knight really the only comics from the 80s that can still be read by new audiences today? How about it, kids, have you found any old stuff that spoke to 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.